Sunday, October 24, 2010

Welcome & Thanks: 2 Words 2 Often Misplaced

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!

And welcome to the Levine Scholars blog. My name is Anna Bawtinhimer, and despite not knowing you it is a pleasure that you took your time to meet me. So, thank you. Sometimes I feel this combination of beautiful words is too often misplaced, not forgotten, just not used together as often as they should be. Nor can "thank you" ever be overused. The same goes for the spoken or unspoken "welcome." It is up to you to determine who and what you will invite into your life; how often and with what intent. The combination of invitation and thanks should culminate the continued beginnings and closures of whatever relationship we may form with another. Despite our "virtual" interaction, you and I are still people behind the text; this too should also never be discarded or diminished. Your worth in taking time to read and analysis our blog content has just as value and consequence as us Levine Scholars initiating the content.
So again, thank you for your time and thoughts.

Okay. . . moving along from the deep-thinking dialogue (well, temporarily - I'll admit to being the profound and poetic type). Just some fun, hopefully at least somewhat fascinating, facts about what I've been up to as both a Levine Scholar and general UNC-Charlotte student so far this freshman fall semester.

Before the adventure of college life even began, as you may already know from the video blog of NOLS posted below, the 14 Scholars embarked across the glorious Absorokas Mountain Range in Wyoming for 25 days, backpacking our essential supplies over 100 miles. Little did I realize at the time of being happy, cold, hungry, and even exhausted on, up, and over the ever-changing mountain landscapes how significant NOLS would have on enhancing my life. I found my experience not only weaving its way into my personal life by teaching my incredible patience and perspective, but also into my academic assignments and interests.

The first project I was assigned as a student at UNCC was through my honors English class. We had to take a "balloon ride" over someplace of our past and use this destination throughout the semester through a personal narrative and portfolio assignments. I subconsciously, well or consciously, revisited the mountains. The following link is the midterm portfolio for that course (Yes, a website; just another way UNCC offers interactive and engaging academics):

I hope you enjoy the journey I took, captured through the above website.

In addition to study and homework through my general education and Public-Health / Pre-Med specific courses, I have already become involved in several campus and off-campus activities both through the Levine Scholarship and general self-interest.

With the Levine Scholarship I have had the pleasure attending a Panther's football game, the Echo Foundation event held at the Mint Museum of Charlotte which fosters Elie Wiesel’s promotion of humanity, meeting influential people of the community and campus, and most recently hosting Jacqueline Novogratz (author of The Blue Sweater).
On campus I am a member of the Allied Health Club, American Medical Student Association (AMSA) , Campus Activities Board (CAB), and participate in a variety of volunteer activities. I most recently returned from the regional AMSA conference held in Nashville, Tennessee at Vanderbilt University. I am also seeking to connect UNC-Charlotte with Appalachian State University as a reviewer for Impulse, an undergraduate neuroscience journal headed through ASU. This entails editing two to three full length research articles per semester and returning my advise to the editor-in-chief for the scientific journal. If you are interested, online Impulse articles can be found at the following site:
. . . That's all for now. Till next post, thanks and go outside to enjoy your day to the fullest.
- Anna :)

Myrtle Beach Trip

Over fall break, the Levine Scholars Program gave us the opportunity to go to Myrtle Beach to soak up the sun and relax for the long weekend. Some students from the University Honors Program were able to join us as well, and from October 8th to 12th we shared an awesome mini vacation together. It was funny because we had met the University Honors students for the first time just a few days before the trip, but after four days of Catch Phrase, a trip to the Tanger outlets, and countless hours lying out on the beach together, we definitely got to know each other well!

We got really lucky with the weather and were happily able to wear bathing suits the entire trip. It seemed so strange to me that it was in the mid to upper 80's the entire time we were there, whereas in Maryland, I don't recall the weather ever being that nice in October!

Here's a picture of a time when a few of us were actually successful during a jumping picture- a very rare occasion!

Coming from Maryland, I had never been to Myrtle Beach before but had heard from all of the people who I had talked to that it was a fun beach to go to. I'm sure that during the summer the crowds of people makes the atmosphere of the beach more lively, like what had been described to me, but the quietness due to the lack of tourists was actually really nice. For the most part, the people who were at the beach, besides us, were the people who lived there.

The house we stayed at was right on the beach; painted a bright turquoise color, it was easy to spot even after a walk down to the pier.

Although the fifteen passenger van that we rode in on the way down to South Carolina was entirely packed, we managed to stuff in a football and soccer ball to play with on the beach. My friend, Sam McClenney, showed us some of his juggling skills with the soccer ball:

This one night after dinner, we were all hanging out down by the kitchen listening to some music, and my friend Jon just began dancing. He was dancing by himself, with everyone either circled around him watching or slowly backing away from him, for a solid few minutes. Of course, we were fortunate enough to have a flipcam handy, and we got the entire thing recorded. Sorry Jon, this had to be published! :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dorm Rooms

Coming to college, I was dreading dorm room life. But, it turns out that it's not too bad at all--I actually love my dorm. As part of the Honors college, we get to live in Witherspoon Hall along with other honors students, international students, and student-athletes. I share a bathroom, living room, and two bedrooms with my three suitemates. Our biggest challenge is the limited number of outlets in the bathroom. That, and the fact that four girls shed a lot of hair (we have to vacuum ridiculously often). But besides that, transitioning to living in a dorm has been pretty smooth.
Here's my bed and desk area. All the wires and cords on my desk make me crazy.
Living room...our couch was hideous so we covered it with a less ugly comforter.
Freezer, fridge, microwave...where we go for food when we don't feel like walking to Crown Commons. Notice the icepops in the freezer--they're a big hit.
We've permanently adopted our friend Sam's DVD player and keep adding to our movie and magazine collections...Closet space is a little crampedHalf of our bathroom

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Introducing the Jacob

Alrighty, I'm gonna go ahead and post the first student post.

So my name is Jacob Huffman. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

A little about me; I'm a fan of cats, I own three of them. And before you even think to yourself "oh I despise cats," know that my cats are awesome. And many of my friends who "despise cats" love my cats. I like to cook and eat food, my favorite is probably asian. I've been known to make a mean plate of fried rice. I also like reading and writing, my favorite things to read/write are short stories. I play music, the guitar, banjo, and a little mandolin, and I sing. Some old friends and I have started up a band here, I'll post a link to our myspace when we acquire one. And I like to go places and do things.

Now you know Jacob.

Let's talk about school. School is cool. My classes are going swimmingly, I'm destroying every test that is put before me, and I study and do homework without even thinking about it, it's like breathing. Alright, I'm exaggerating a bit. But really, I'm working hard and things are going well. What you put in is what you get out. And though I should be writing an essay right now, I figure I can do it late at night when everything is quiet and my roommate Mack is trying to sleep. THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR WAKING ME UP AT 5:23 EVERY MORNING MACK! No he knows I'm joking. We get along real good.

Anyhow, I know you don't want to hear about academics anymore. And I don't want to talk about them, that's all people ever seem to be able to talk about. Whatever.

Moving on to school life. It's really great being up here. There's so much freedom, as I'm sure you've heard already. Weekends have really lost their meaning for me because pretty much every night I'm hanging out like it's a Friday night. For other people I'm sure it's different, people who go to parties and stuff, but in the program we have to keep our noses clean, so it doesn't really matter to me.

I think that I got lucky with the mix of people that are on the hall we live on (third floor suites in Witherspoon.) The teaching fellows pretty much make up the rest of the hall, but there are various pockets of general honors students here and there. But everyone is just hanging out, making a racket, having fun all the time up here. There's always someone to talk to. And even if you have something to do, it's okay, because you can stop for like 15 minutes, have a laugh or two, then move on with your day, and it's 100% less of a bad day. Back in high school, if you had a bunch of junk to do on a Saturday, you didn't see anyone for the whole day, and it was rough! But now, with all your friends right up and down the hall, you don't get so lonely.

Of course I've made friends outside of the hall and outside of the program. Mainly I've become really good friends with these three other guys in my band, Baylor, Timmy and Johny (and am becoming friends with a fourth who we added last week, Harrison, Baylor's brother.) One of them was a guy I knew from high school, and the other two I met at a show at Tremont (a sub-par concert hall here in Charlotte.) We've been meeting up regularly for lunch, the occasional dinner or breakfast, and recording/practice on Thursday nights. Through them I've met a lot of other great guys and ladies, played ultimate frisbee, had some lunch and what not, laughs and junk. So I've really been getting out and making friends and acquaintances.

Sometimes I attend events on campus, sometimes I just hang out on the hall with the floor mates. Wherever I am I'm usually having a good time with good people. Really it's just all about not being afraid to introduce yourself to someone, or go into a situation where you may feel awkward as all get out. I've been taking those risks, and its paid off well. Like one night I was outside the dorm, and these people walked up. So we started talking, and two of them left while two of them stayed, Elliot and Jordan. Me and Jordan were having some good music conversations (I'm very into the local scene, so I like to share my knowledge with newcomers.) Either he gave me his number, or I gave him mine, but somehow one of us had the other's number. He lives in Lynch, right next to Witherspoon, and so we met up for lunch or dinner or something. Since then we've hung out pretty much every day, gone hiking over at Crowder's Mountain, had some serious inside jokes develop. You know, that general friend stuff. But he's a good dude of mine, and I'm glad I got the opportunity to meet him.

So, you know, I've met some great people, and gotten some great things going. I'm really satisfied here at UNCC, and being a native Charlottean, I love my city, so how could I not be? Hopefully things continue to be peachy. But now I'm tired of blogging. So I say good day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Levine Scholars Program - Leadership Expedition

UNC Charlotte's inaugural class of Levine Scholars spent three weeks in the Absaroka Range, Wyoming, during the summer of 2010.