Archive for December 12, 2005

Winter break relief effort

So, who’s excited about winter break? As far as the usual, seeing your friends and family, eating great food, celebrating Christmas, New Years, and perhaps your 21st birthday…what more can you ask for?

Well this year I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life and take a first hand approach in rebuilding a community drastically destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Approximately 100 other IU students, including the lovely Heather Meece and I, will be taking a week out of our winter break to go to Biloxi, MS, where we will be spending much of our time cleaning the area and removing debris left behind by Katrina. This weekend will be our first time meeting our small groups. I’m looking forward to building that wonderful group solidarity and forming special bonds (which is bound to happen over a 14 hour bus trip).

Although it’s too late to join us, you can still help out by making donations. Please contact me at if you would like to lend us your support.

How we adopted Christmas

Does my family celebrate Christmas? Like 78.13% of those polled on, yes. But my family is not Christian. This is a recollection of how we came to observe the commercial holiday of Christmas.

“Oh yes, don’t forget to write your first AND last names!” my second grade teacher reminded us, as we started our letters to Santa. The assignment was to write a letter, asking Mr. Kringle to please bring us a pony or fire truck or whatever we wanted most.

Of course, I didn’t believe in Santa Claus. There was no way he could park on our steeply sloped roof; he couldn’t slide down our chimney since it was locked with a metal plate; and I had never gotten a Christmas present before in my life. Surely I qualified as a good boy–or at the very least, I was a better boy than that brat Tyler, who bragged about how Santa brought him a Super Nintendo last Christmas. At any rate, I had never received a piece of coal either. Thus, Santa did not exist.

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AAA: A User’s Guide

I’m a big fan of online shopping. I like to get good deals, like the 18” LCD monitor I got for $150 and the books I buy every semester for $100 when they should have cost me $350. It’s also great to have all those user reviews, which give you the inside info before you buy. Shopping online is all about getting the most out of your money. This article is about the online shopping of student organizations: active involvement.

“What is he talking about? Is he stupid? That doesn’t make any sense!” Calm down slugger—here we go: active involvement in your student organization lets you get the most out of the experience and helps you develop critical skills for the future. Okay. Great. Good metaphor. So what’s it really mean? Well, by active involvement I mean going beyond being a rank-and-file member–don’t just attend events; instead, participate and coordinate. Being an active element of AAA has connected me to truly wonderful people and given me the skills to lead and succeed.

Here’s an example. During the fall semester of my freshman year AAA went to MAASU Fall Leadership Conference. I was asked to go and I said “sure, why not.” On Friday, November 4th, we piled into two cars and drove several hours to Michigan State. The weekend was amazing.

We had decided to spend a night in Chicago on Friday for kicks. On the way there, I discovered the miracle of [flavor] pretzels. Delicious. In Chi-town we had dinner family style at Happy Chef in new Chinatown and I was introduced to the official beverage of Asian America and my newfound love: bubble tea.

At the retreat, IU AAA represented with true style and flair, proclaiming “Peace, Love, and Harmony” complete with hand signs. We went to lunch at Baker’s Square and had six different types of pie. The MAASU workshops were engaging, the speaker inspiring, and the party amazing. I was sold on MAASU. In retrospect, I hadn’t said “sure, why not,” if I hadn’t been willing to try it out and allow AAA to engage me, I would have missed out on all of this.

Example two: leading. Through AAA I’ve had a chance to work on a fair number of programs and projects with other able, motivated, and accomplished people. During Taste of Asia last year, I was lucky enough to chair the restaurants committee to get sponsors for the event. We were able to secure over $1000 worth of food donations for the event and contributed meaningfully to a program which drew nearly 500 people. It felt good. You know what else felt good? Putting it on my resume. And another thing: talking about it in the interview. And getting the job.

Ultimately, no matter which organization you’re in, the way to get the most out of it is to put the most into it. So don’t be a schmuck like the people paying too much at Best Buy. Don’t sit around and let AAA pass you by. Jump in and get involved. Unless you’re overcommitted. In which case you should drop out of another club to join AAA. We’re just that good.

December Mass Meeting

Thursday, Dec 1 2005
Business School 300

Celebrate Christmas early with AAA! We will have hot chocolate waiting for
you and a cookie contest that includes a great prize. Also, participate in
our gift exchange where a special guest will hand you a present. Make the
gift as practical or silly as you want: Be creative! Remember this present
will be for either for a male or female, and please do NOT spend more than $5
(we all know how poor college students are).

In addition, receive Fashion Show DVDs and give a special thanks to Michael
Huerta, who graciously made them for us with no charge.