Sunday, December 29, 2013

Why I Should Be a GlobaLinks Correspondent

GlobaLinks Correspondent Application

At the end of January, I will be on my way to Stirling, Scotland to study abroad at the University of Stirling for my second semester.  In the fall of 2012 I had the chance to study abroad in Stirling and loved it so much, that I did everything I could to get myself back on a plane to the UK.

While abroad in 2012, I had an incredible experience but found it was very difficult to explain to so many friends and family from home with only a limited amount of contact.  Because of this, my roommates and I started a shared blog before our departure since we would all be studying abroad during the same semester and wanted a way to keep in contact with people from home.  We were able to document the important parts of our trip while also working on our writing and communication skills.  I am looking forward to blogging again while in Scotland this spring and the Correspondent Program looks like a way for me to expand my blog and video skills to more than just friends and family.  Sometimes some of our biggest inspirations come from stories told by strangers and this would be a way for me to share my own stories to more than my personal acquaintances.

Writing is not only a part of my studies as an English major, but also my favorite form of creative expression.  Being a correspondent for GlobaLinks would also be beneficial for my career goal of writing for a magazine or newspaper publication by continuing to practice different ways of writing and communicating.  I am also interested in working on my video blog skills because I haven't had too much experience creating any in the past.  The combination of picture and sound can really add to the explanation of certain journeys.

As a former study abroad student, I learned how beneficial it is to study, travel and socialize outside of our comfort zones.  I could offer a new perspective to the correspondent program as a returning student, comparing and contrasting my two different experiences while abroad.  I'm excited to see what else I can learn and how else I can grow during my second trip.

Travel lightly,
Hillary Leslie

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Reads

In less than 2 weeks, I will be on a 6-week-long Christmas vacation. Can I get a 'hallelujah?!' Unfortunately it will be bittersweet (I think bittersweet might be my favorite word. . .and chocolate flavor).  This is my last Christmas break that will probably last longer than 7 days.  I'm never going back to Westminster to study, and I will be leaving the US for another 4.5 months.  Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely ecstatic to be going back abroad, but it's hard to imagine another phase of my life is coming to an end.

In order to stop thinking about the inevitable, escaping into the world of literature is a good place to start.  December is perfect for cozy-ing up next to the fire with steaming hot cocoa, light folk music, and a tattered used book recently released from its sparkly red Christmas wrapping. I know I'm ready.  And since working at summer camp hindered the completion of my book list (in addition to Capstone taking up my "fun" reading), a lot of these books were from my list created this past June. 

1. Until the End - Christopher Pike
2. Bones of Betrayal - Jefferson Bass
3. After the Funeral - Agatha Christie
4. A Study in Scarlet and the Sign of Four-Arthur Conan Doyle
5. The Princess Bride - William Goldman
6. This Side of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald
7. Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth GIlbert
8. The Naming of the Dead - Ian Rankin
9. Extras - Scott Westerfeld
10. Endless Night - Agatha Christie
11. Mere Christianity-C.S. Lewis
12. Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury
13. Captivating-John Eldredge
14. The Poisonwood Bible-Barbara Kingsolver
15. Blue Highways - William Heast Moon
16. Any remaining Nancy Drew novels in my room
17. Danse Macabre - Stephen King
18. The House of the Scorpion - Nancy Farmer
19. Lemony Snicket: The unauthorized autobiography
20. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring