Updates

So, I was pretty terrible at this whole blogging thing at DU — sorry!  But, I figure I’d give a brief update on life as an official master and what I’m doing now that I’ve headed out of the ivory tower towards the real world.

I say I’m headed towards the real world because I’m really not in it yet.  The most exciting news I have to share from last spring is that I was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach English in Germany!  I found out last April, and I was at work when I got the email and was totally unable to function like a proper human the rest of the day.  I’ve been at my new job helping German high school students learn English for a couple of months now, and I’m absolutely loving it.  I’m also fully confident that I wouldn’t be here without Korbel – I spent last fall in lots of meetings with the career office and workshops with the writing center, and I can say it was all definitely worth while!  If you want to hear more about what I’m doing as a Fulbrighter, you can head over to my new blog laufenmitliz.wordpress.com

As for everything else, I got a lot less whiny winter and spring quarter.  Classes were especially demanding in Spring; I took Comparative State Building, US National Security Policy, Political Behavior of Citizens in Representative Democracies (probably one of my favorite classes at Korbel – Torcal talks a big game but the class isn’t too bad and totally worth the work you do put in), and an independent study on Public Diplomacy reform for the Nathanson.  I participated in CENEX (which I also highly recommend).  My parents came into town for their Spring Break, and they were able to sit in on General Casey’s class on civil-military relations.  If you can get into this class, take it!  I only got to observe a couple of times, and I am kicking myself for not taking it.  And of course I spent a lot of time enjoying the Pio and Prom with fellow Korbellians and visiting my other favorite Denver spots like Park Burger, Adelitas, Jelly, (I like food-don’t judge me) and Wash Park (to name a few).

I can’t believe my time in Denver has already come to an end.  It really wasn’t as bad as I (and in reality, the whole cohort) complained about it, and it’s been a wonderful experience both for me personally and as I begin my professional career.  Always feel free to contact me if you have any questions about going to Korbel, and thanks for reading!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh hello there

Hi there!  Once again, I’ve been extremely negligent in blogging consistently.  Sorry!  Last quarter, as with all quarters, was extremely busy.  Before I delve into the excitement of this quarter, I’ll give you a quick update on what happened since October.

I finished up the transition from the OCPD to the Dean’s Suite.  This involved wrapping up the Social Impact Organization Networking Forum.  We switched up the format so that it was also a panel discussion of issues facing nonprofits as well as networking time with organizations.  It was a great event that we partnered up with SIDI for, and because of that we were able to get Ali Baba catering for everyone — yum.  Transitioning to the Dean’s Suite meant that I got to work on my first Public Diplomacy Speaker Series event, where we partnered with the Center for Middle East Studies to host David Sanger and Steven Kinzer.  Sanger is the current White House correspondent for the New York Times, and Kinzer also wrote for the New York Times and recently published a book.  Very cool event with a huge turnout.  As part of the Nathanson Fellowship, I also traveled to DC to meet with Aspen Institute folks to talk about the upcoming ADDTech conference in Aspen — our duties are mostly to write a report about suggested changes for the State Department’s public diplomacy initiatives.  It’s a huge undertaking, but I’m very interested in the topic and am very excited to research it!

The Global Cup Challenge with WorldDenver was a hit.  We raised money for the organization and everyone had a great time playing trivia. The team from the Canadian consul all dressed in matching hockey jerseys.  They had a cheer and everything.  I don’t really remember most of the evening; I was mostly running around making sure everything was going smoothly.  But my favorite moment was when everyone had left except some of our staff and volunteers — we were giddy from a really fun and successful evening and did a little cheer in front of the Inverness Hotel.  I’m pretty sure the staff thought we were crazy, but we did not care.  

So, after all of that, I drove on down to Arkansas for a lovely Christmas break.  It was extremely relaxing.  I essentially did nothing except eat.  I’m not gonna lie, it was amazing.  I subbed a couple of days, but again, it was mostly a whole lotta nothing.

Now I’m back at Korbel taking Professional Communication, Foreign Policy and Public Opinion, and History, Culture and Conflict.  It’s definitely going to be an interesting quarter.  No jobs besides the Dean’s Suite, so I’m definitely feeling a bit more settled than last year.  And, of course, my schedule leaves a lot more time for the job search!  I can’t believe that it’s already that time.  I know of several lucky second years that already have job offers, either from their internship or from a job they’ve already applied to.  They’re making me feel like a slacker!  

Till next time, y’all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer in the City

Soooooo… Something that might be incredibly obvious to you all is that I have not updated in months.  So even though it’s in between week 4 and 5, I’m going to recap my summer in Denver for you all.  One really important part of grad school is figuring out what to do over that summer break of yours.  Some of my classmates went on internships abroad, in DC, or in their hometowns.  Some stuck around Denver doing an internship, taking classes, or working (or doing all three).  One important thing that you shouldn’t do during the summer is nothing.  Nothing is bad.  You don’t get money, resume builders, connections, or knowledge doing nothing.  What did I do?  Let me tell you.

I interned.  As I told you all in my last post, I got an internship at WorldDenver for the summer, which I have actually extended into the fall (I’m taking it for five credits… you can do that and it’s awesome).  I have learned a lot about fundraising and the nuts and bolts of the nonprofit world.  Also, I have gotten to go to some of their events and meet our fascinating international visitors and hear some great speakers.  There’s also a great community of Korbel kids who are also interning there, as well as others from CO universities.  All in all, a great time (but also lots of work).  As an added bonus I get to write trivia questions for the fundraiser.  It is super nerdy and fun.

I worked.  Where did I work, you ask?  Well, lots of places.  I spent three weeks babysitting two adorable Corgis and three sassy cats in a farmhouse in Littleton while their owners were on a trip to Europe.  This was great and complete with lots of shenanigans.  The farmhouse was 95 years old, so it came with mice, both live and dead that I got to get rid of, the younger Corgi peed on me twice the first week, the cats vomited a few times to show their displeasure in the untimeliness of my feeding them, and I had to wake up at five to walk the dogs.  Overall, however, it was awesome, and we even went to a Corgi meetup at the dog park we frequented, which was so adorable I can’t even tell you.  As crazy as they were, I really miss those goofballs.
I also worked at Korbel.  I spent some time in the career office, but the main job I had was working in the Dean’s Suite planning the Korbel Dinner.  Which meant that there were a lot of fundraisers for me this summer.  It was incredibly busy, and we had extra hurdles with the controversial nature of our honoree, but ultimately it raised a lot of money for Korbel, and I really enjoyed being a part of it.  This also led to a big change for me… I was offered the Marc Nathanson Fellowship, so this quarter I’ve been transitioning from my job in the career office to the Dean’s Office.  It’s definitely bittersweet; the Nathanson is a great opportunity for me but I am definitely going to miss my great coworkers in the OCPD.

I played.  I went to Rockies and Rapids games, both of which were super fun.  I spent some lovely Saturdays and afternoons reading at Wash Park.  I ate out downtown and on Pearl Street.  I also made it home several times, and my parents and brother came to visit in Denver.  I took them to the art museum, on a tour of LoDo, on a tour of Mile High Stadium, and drove into the mountains to Echo Lake and the Summit of Mount Evans.  I went to Cirque du Soleil with my friend Rachel and her mom.  A great way to stay connected to fellow Korbelians was to join the “Denver Summer Fun League” group on facebook.  If you stay in Denver, you should definitely join so you know what all’s going on.

So a busy summer quickly transitioned into a very busy fall.  The Korbel Dinner was the first day of school, so I started coming off of a 40 hour weekend into a 14 hour day with the dinner.  Then school jumped into full swing; I’m working 20 hours a week at Korbel and 15 hours a week at the internship, I’m taking Comparative Politics in the 21st Century and Cross-Cultural Communications.  This week, I turned in my Fulbright Application and our first paper for Comparative Politics.  Life is crazy, but this weekend I’ve just laid around my apartment relaxing.  I’ll definitely pay for that tomorrow when I head to the library to start reading for classes this week.  But I’m thankful for every busy moment… I’d rather life be hectic than boring!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Bad news, good news

So, again, I have been an epic fail at student blogging.  But, there are lots of very good reasons for that.  Read on for the sordid details!

The last five weeks and subsequent week of finals and 1.5 weeks of summer have been absolutely CRAZY!  They were littered with papers, stats programming, stats data analysis, internship searches, cover letter and resume reviews, networking, class registration – the list goes on!  And, lucky for me, my computer screen broke in the middle of May.  This is the bad news part of my post.  I got home from class and powered up that bad boy and it looked like this:

So yeah, that was horrible.  So, in the event that your computer decides it is going to break down on you, you have options!  If it’s still under warranty, you can take it to UTS in the library.  They can order parts and fix it within 48 hours.  If you don’t have a warranty (guess who didn’t have a warranty?!?) they recommend a place out by the tech center that can help you.  Unfortunately for me, the place out by the tech center would’ve taken too long, as would sending it back to Dell.  So, I cruised on down to WalMart and got a VGA cord, so I could work on it at home connected to my computer screen.  To write papers and all that, I used the library or the lab at Korbel, because the TV screen hurt my eyes.  So if you computer crashes and dies, make sure everything is backed up, and you have lots of options.  If you take stats, some of the computers in Korbel have SAS software, so you are good to go!

Besides the computer drama, everything else has been going great.  I used a connection I made back in October at the Networking Forum to get an internship at WorldDenver, so I am now spending 15-20 hours a week planning their big fundraiser, the Global Cup Challenge!  It’s a great organization, and so far I’m loving it (I started on the 11th, the Tuesday after I turned in my last final).

Finals were not super painful for me.  Final papers were a bit staggered, so I had several days to write each of them and even catch some rest.  And while I did have to turn in a paper on Memorial Day (and not just that, turn in a hard copy IN CLASS), I planned ahead so that I just had to do some final edits and then got to spend most of the afternoon before class at Wash Park with some friends grilling and soaking up some sun.  Now that school is out until SEPTEMBER(!), I’m looking forward to spending some quality time in Colorado interning, working, and exploring the mountains!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where to live when you move to Denver. In other news: It’s week 5 already?!?

“Can you believe it’s week 5 already?”  “No!  No one is allowed to talk about how it’s already week 5!”  “Midterms are here already?”  “Only 5 weeks left in the quarter?”

It’s a super cliche thing to say around Korbel right now, but it’s something almost all of us are saying.  Seriously, you could walk up to a complete stranger and mention week five and end up having at least a ten minute conversation about 1) how you can’t believe the quarter has gone so fast 2) how much you have to do in the next five weeks 3) how the quarters just fly by quicker and quicker.  And guess what?  It’s all true.

This quarter has seriously gone by the fastest for me.  I think it’s because I didn’t really get a huge breather in between Winter and Spring quarters, so it seems like I just hit the ground running again.  My professors haven’t messed around this quarter, either; the first day I was already assigned a ton of reading.  But, classes are going great.  I feel like Stats 3 is way better than Stats for IA, because we’re actually using our own data sets and applying methods (basically, I understand what the SAS software actually does now, and why we might want to use it).  I turned in my first of three papers for Policy Making, and I’ve already knocked out my European Foreign and Defense presentation.  Networking week was great; all our panelists had great advice.  Our students got to network with a lot of diverse alumni.  Oh, and we had lots of yummy food, complete with beer and wine.

Anyway, enough about that.  Back to the main issue at hand:  Where do you live when you move to Denver for grad school?  You’ve come to Discover Korbel, or you’ve visited, or you haven’t been here but you’ve read all our blogs and all the material from admissions, and think, “obviously there’s nowhere else in the world where I would want to go to school.”

I am part of the latter group.  I didn’t come to Discover Korbel, and the first time I actually saw DU was when I showed up at the end of June to look for an apartment.  Which was horrible, and extremely stressful.  BUT it worked out great, because I love my apartment, which is a 5-10 minute walk from Korbel.  My own personal adventure of finding and apartment entailed lots of research online before I headed out to Denver, so I had a couple of appointments already set up.  But, the way I really found my place was a combination of driving around the DU area, and a website called hotpads.com

I know.  Hotpads.com sounds stupid.  But it’s a lot like padmapper.com, except most of the listings are from realtors and the actual apartment landlords instead of random Craigslist people.  Not that Craigslist can’t work out great for you.  I know several people who found roommates or apartments on Craiglist, and it worked out great for them.  But Craigslist sketches me out, so I did not use it.  Anyway, we’d driven by my apartment a couple of times, and the outside looked a little janky, but then we also found the listing on padmapper, with photos of the inside.  I toured several other apartments that we found on this site.  But the one I found was the perfect combination of size, location, and price.  I pay $695 a month for rent and a parking space, and I live by myself in a studio on University and Asbury.  It’s ideal.

It will be way cheaper to live in a house with lots of roommates, and there are tons around DU.  A great way to find roommates/homes is to get connected on the facebook group for your incoming class.  I’m sure you probably have already.  For apartments, listings usually don’t go up until June, July, or August.  Unless you want to live at Asbury Green or Vista, which are owned by the same people and come fully furnished.  They lease way in advance.  I would highly recommend living around DU, the light rail is close, which gives you easy access to downtown, it’s close to the Korbel watering holes, and it’s just more convenient.  You don’t have to factor in hours of commuter time or worry about the bus being late to pick you up.

This felt more like a ramble than actual coherent tips about finding a place to live here (I try to sound more intelligent when writing papers, I promise).  I hope it helped.  Moral of the story:  Craigslist does work, HotPads is a good website you might not have heard of before, the cheapest option is an older house with lots of roomies, and really the best way to get a feel for the area and what your apartment really looks like is to wander around the University area.
Good luck with your apartment searching, kids!  And happy Week 5 to all!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What happened to the rest of Winter Quarter and another library geekout

Ok, so… I have not blogged in two months.  Yikes!  I’m totally shirking my responsibilities here.  Luckily for you guys I have been extremely boring these last two months, so you get all the winter quarter highlights and none of that boring, oh papers, oh readings, oh midterms, oh finals blah blah blah.  I’m just gonna tell you about things that I ate and the excitement of SPRING QUARTER that began yesterday.

So, to start with some winter quarter highlights, one would definitely have to be food.  There is awesome food right around campus.  I had several Illegal Pete’s dates with friends.  I FOOLISHLY waited around until January or February to go.  Which is ridiculous because it’s great and maybe a five minute walk from Korbel.  It saved me lots when I forgot to pack my lunch.  Also, you should eat at Little India and Park Burger.  Little India’s chicken curry is ah-mazing and Park Burger’s burgers are the bomb.  I also gorged myself frequently on buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwiches that I made myself.  Some days, when I’m feeling whiny about how hard grad school is I make one of those and remember what a badass I am.  It’s the little things, people.

Most of work was spent focusing on the Career Connections trip to New York City.  Have I talked about Career Connections before?  In a nutshell, we send a group of students to NYC with some of our staff to meet employers over Spring Break.  We did the same thing in DC back in December.  Well, as you can imagine it takes a lot of planning, so I put my event-planning powers to work, of course with a ton of help from the grad staff and the professional staff, and I hear the trip went great!  Getting everything ready for that is 100% a team effort.  We’re also gearing up for networking week at the OCPD in April; we’re going to have a week of Alumni Panels culminating in a reception at the end of the week.  CAREER DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES!!!!!

My classes were also really great.  My PD class featured a lot of great speakers who were from the foreign service or worked in other areas of PD, we also got to meet a couple of ambassadors and do skype calls with PD officers in Washington.  I read eight books on the Arab Spring, which was a great class, and in my development class one week we had representatives from an NGO and a mining company based in Denver talk about mining in Latin America and all the problems related to that.  Also, there were no panic rushes to campus or all-nighters during finals week, so that was an extremely positive development.

I spent my entire spring break eating and sleeping.  It was so beautiful.  The airline travel to and from home was a nightmare (you know… blizzards) but the in-between was GREAT!  

Yesterday, classes started again!  This quarter I’m taking American Government and Policy Making, European Foreign and Defense Policy, and Stats 3. I had everything but Stats yesterday.  So far, I’m loving it.  Europe was my focus area in undergrad, so I’m definitely going to be more at home this quarter.  Also, I’ve had my stats professor before, and he’s great.  

Also, the Anderson Academic Commons (the LIBRARY) opened up yesterday.  IT IS BEAUTIFUL.  If you’re headed to DU for Discover Korbel, you should check it out.  It’s just… I can’t describe to you.  Soooooo much study space.  There are several places where if you look to the left, there are the Rockies, and if you look to the right, there’s downtown.  It’s amazing.  There’s a cafe inside, and every desk has an outlet.  These are all new, magical things for me. Also, it’s open TWENTY FOUR HOURS. Say what?!?!  

Korbel Prom is coming up and I’m super excited. I have a feeling it will be way cooler than the one I went to five years ago.

I’m going to try to update more.  I feel bad, shirking my blog duties especially when it’s acceptance letter/grad school decision time!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Magic of the Lawbrary

So, it’s week three and I already feel like this quarter has hit the ground running.  For Reading the Arab Spring, I’ve already read two books; I’ve submitted a paper proposal for International Development in Cross-Cultural Perspectives, and next week I have an assignment due for Practical Public Diplomacy.  This quarter I feel a lot more active than last quarter.  Not that my reading load is heavier.  Well, it kind of is, but not overwhelmingly so.  But this quarter I’m going to have more substantial papers as well as more assignments sprinkled throughout the quarter (as opposed to last quarter, where my busiest time was at the end) (another side note, I knew what my workload would look like before I signed up for these classes, because Korbel is awesome and has a database of syllabi [some of them a little older] on their portfolio page that you can access while you’re deciding what class/professor you want to sign up for!).  And it’s all good.

Because I have discovered the Law Library.

It is magical.  I’ve tried the temporary library in Driscoll once, and I’m not a super fan.  I’ve also gone to Korbel a couple of times, but the building isn’t open on Sundays, and if you’re there during weekdays it can be pretty loud and distracting.  But the law library is awesome.  You can’t access their wireless, but that’s okay, because they have ethernet cord plug ins as well as outlets at most of the work stations.  It is quiet and new and shiny and wonderful.  I bunkered down there for a couple of days over the long weekend and I got so much done!  It was the perfect environment for focused studying and  knocking out research.  Penrose (actually it’s going to be called something else now, because DU got an endowment?  I think?) is happily opening in time for Spring Quarter, but for now I am happy to know that I have lots of on-campus study options.

Other than totally nerding out about libraries, not too much has been going on.  I had a Downton Abbey watch party with my friend Rachel, went out to a hibachi place for another friend’s birthday, and made eggless chocolate chip cookie dough.  Skiing with my family was great, but I already miss them and those powdery slopes!  Work has been fairly chill; Fall Quarter was insanely busy and this quarter we’re hosting less events.  But I’m about to be thrown headlong into planning the New York City Career Connections trip, which hooks up our students with employers in New York City.  They go to panels and info sessions with alumni as well as employers, and in general they get a feel for the city.  We did this trip to DC at the end of last quarter, which according to the participants was awesome.  It’s a great opportunity to practice networking and get other career-building tips from the good ole OCPD!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment