Yeah, I made a paper chain…

Last year for our belated honeymoon, Jonathan and I took THE MOST AMAZING TRIP to Negril, Jamaica. We loved everything about it, and while part of me feels like maybe we should try other resorts down the road, a much larger part of me just wants to go back here every time we can.IMG_7107

Recently, something beyond exciting has happened. WE BOOKED ANOTHER TRIP TO JAMAICA! And the other night, I felt so moved to create a paper chain countdown out of old magazines to tick away the days until our trip. I’m a nerd. I was procrastinating. I really wanted to do this.

And this time with our friends, John and Lindsey. We will be celebrating a few fun things while there:

1. Jonathan’s 30th birthday

2. Jonathan graduating from grad school

3. Lindsey being accepted to grad school

4. John and Lindsey’s first wedding anniversary

5. Jonathan’s and my second wedding anniversary

6. Hopefully a job for Jonathan?!

Basically, me and John (Lindsey’s husband) are going to be all like “congrats to you guys!” and sitting at the “I don’t have anything to celebrate but my wedding anniversary” table, but it’s allllll good. I cannot wait to share this place with them. The boys can golf. Lindsey and I can lounge and yoga. We all drink the most amazing smoothies anyone has ever had anywhere in any life.

Just 111 more days to go!!

Big News!

I promised it a long time ago, but we are finally ready to share our REALLY BIG NEWS with all of you, our friends and family!

We are going to be Buckeyes for a couple of years!

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{The night we finally decided! I was traveling, so we set up a skype date. Jonathan went draft-style and unzipped a sweatshirt to reveal his OSU shirt!! Then we had a skype-dance party.}

This fall, my lovely soon-to-be husband Jonathan will be attending The Ohio State University for graduate school. In the two years he is there, he will earn two Masters degrees: one in City and Regional Planning and one in Civil Engineering. To do this, he is giving up his five-year career as an 8th grade US history teacher, which he has been incredible at! I have all the faith in the world that he will be incredible at this next step of his journey as well, living out his dreams!

Meanwhile, I have accepted a job at Ohio State as well, which I will be starting on May 20…just around the corner! There, I will work with the College of Arts and Sciences team as a major gift officer – a great next step from my current position in Leadership Annual Giving. I’ve gained incredible experiences in my five years working for Vanderbilt, and sad as it may be to leave, I’m thrilled for my next steps!

Need I remind you…we will be getting married at the end of June, so there will be a lot going on between now and then! But before you know it, we’ll be settled into our new home in a new state as newly weds. Right now, I’m trying to savor every day and moment of planning and celebrating with our many wonderful loved ones. Thanks to all of you for your incredible support in this time of much change! The Lord has truly blessed us, and we know that as long as we continue to put our faith in Him, He will be our solid rock in these busy times.

Closed for Comps

Remember back when I got into grad school?

Well, here I am 2 1/2 years later, and I am finishing grad school. This week, I have been and will be working on my comprehensive exam (commonly known as “comps”). This beast is essentially a big ol’ paper based on a prompt they gave us which we have one week to complete and it must encompass pretty much everything I’ve learned in grad school. Passing means I will officially receive my M.Ed. in December.

This week I will also be traveling for work. Needless to say, between comps and traveling, I will likely not be blogging around too much. So stay tuned for fun updates next week. Meanwhile, say a little prayer for this girl!

Gleeful Follwership

Twice during the semester, we are required to post a blog on our class blog for Leadership Theory.  This week, it was time for one of mine.  Just thought I’d share it here too!

Gleeful Followership

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This is officially your opportunity to admit to the world how much you love ABC’s new show “Glee.” No? Just me? Well, you’re missing out. And as I’ve watched the characters develop over the first few episodes, styles of followership have become evident. Each eccentric character of the high school glee club fits right into one of Robert Kelley’s followership patterns: Tina, a yes person; Rachel, an effective follower; Finn, an effective follower; Kurt, an effective follower; Artie, a sheep; and Mercedes, a very active survivor. I could write a ton on each person’s traits that make them a certain type of follower and/or leader, but instead I would like to focus on the choice of followership.

Still early in the season, Rachel has already decided the leadership (Mr. Schuester) wasn’t good enough, got him to leave the group, tried to bring in someone else who failed, and then she happily resigned back into her followership role, allowing Mr. Schuester to take back over the club. She tried something, it failed, and then she made the choice to follow Mr. Schuester’s lead, while still acting in many ways as a leader for the other students in the group.

Rachel is potentially a very effective follower, but as Kelley writes, “some potentially effective followers derive motivation from ambition. By proving themselves in the follower’s role, they hope to win the confidence of peers and superiors and move up the corporate ladder. These people do not see followership as attractive in itself.” This accurately describes Rachel’s constant fluctuation between being an effective follower, and her tendency to quit when she can’t be in charge. There are many times throughout the show that she chooses to follow effectively. Followership is a choice. Each student in the Glee Club has chosen to be a part of something larger than them, and to take the lead of others.

But if we assume that followership is a choice, which I believe it is, what are the circumstances that persuade us to choose what type of follower we will be? Must you try something, like Rachel did, and fail before you are willing to be a follower? Or is there a moment when you weigh the pros and cons of being a follower and you decide what type you’ll be? And finally, is it possible for us to create a general definition for what these moments might look like, or is it unique for every individual in every circumstance?

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