Monday, April 26, 2010

True Life: My First PDAY

Hey everyone!!

Do you want to see what PDAY was like? Watch this!!

Best of Weeks...Worst of Weeks

This time at school is a really difficult time - mentally, emotionally, and physically. First, since it is the end of the semester classes are crazy -- everyday it seems there are more and more assignments being handed out. To make it more difficult, it has been sunny so much and all my friends and I want to do is lay and/or play outside -- not homework. To add onto the stresses of homework, comes the stresses of leaving friends. In 5 days I will close my last box and move home. Moving home to me, is moving 1.5 hours away from my best friend and various amounts of hours from my other friends. Do not get me wrong, I am stoked to go home, but at the same time I love my friends here. To make leaving worse, I have become very close this week with a lot of people and now there really is not time to let things grow because now we will have a 3 month break. Also, last week was also physically demanded; back to back meetings, homework, classes, programs, and work led to little to no sleep. My body at times felt like it was going to give up, but it persevered and I made it to the weekend!!

THIS WEEKEND WAS THE BEST WEEKEND OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On Friday, my best friends and I watched a movie and spent a lot of  time together since it was my last weekend on campus. Friday night was an early night though because we all knew that the next day would be a long one. Saturday, was the best day of my life -- literally. Not only was it one of my best friends' birthday, but it was also PDAY. Pday stands for Preparation Day and it falls on the last Saturday before finals week. It is meant to provide a chance for all SMC students to come together and have fun. Whether its the friends, the inflatables, or the massive amounts of food, every one has a fun day on PDAY. I was able to work and make $100 by helping out the SA and running a couple of tables (token table and bubbles boot). This was the best $100 I have ever made!!!!!!!!!! The night of Pday a friend of mine asked me to watch the sunrise, and even though it would mean I would be up for more than 20 hours, I agreed. This was the best decision of my life, for now this friend has become another best friend. We were able to talk and share stories as the clock ticked to 6 am. After the sunrise, it was time to go to bed and I closed my eyes after the best day ever. 

I look forward to what this week will bring and look forward to sharing it with all of you. 

PEACE LOVE AND HUGS,
 
JOSH




Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

If you are about to watch my new vlog...

If you are about to watch my new vlog, scroll down and mute the slideshow so there is not a crazy amount of sound going on. Hope you like it and please comment and tell me what you think :)!!

Peace Love and Hugs

Josh

MY FIRST VLOG!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

THE CHALLENGE OF CHALLENGES

On Monday night, Saint Michael's College hosted Rachel's Challenge in the Ross Sports Center. Now believe me, I have witnessed some powerful speakers and I have attended life-changing conferences, but none of them compared to the witness talk from Rachel Scott's father on Monday night. Rachel Scott was the first student shot in the Columbine High School Massacre, but before she left, she recorded her goals in a diary, which left a lasting legacy - a few words that would inspire millions including myself. In one of her last papers, Rachel wrote about the importance of spreading kindness and making a positive impact on the world. Rachel's father Darrel, in his witness talk, challenged attendees to a few things:

1. Stop Prejudice (the act of judging those before you know who they really are)
2. Write down your goals
3. Commit to kindness and peace

I have thought about and reflected upon the act of judgment a lot here at Saint Michael’s College. In high school, judging others was part of life. My friends and I constantly talked about others, made fun of others, and even sent each other embarrassing pictures we took of people who looked or acted differently than we did. Some of my friends idolized the girls of the movie Mean Girls, which led to that label sticking to some by the victims of our efforts. In retrospect, much of my behavior was despicable and inappropriate. Towards the end of the year, I found out that I was on a “hit list” of a fellow student. My personal safety was in danger because I let myself become someone I truly was not. Rachel was different. She strived to be friends with the lower of the social chain. When others looked away, Rachel stood up. A story that really hit home with me was a story of Rachel approaching a girl in a cafeteria who was sitting alone, sat, and ate lunch with her. So many times, I have mocked and teased those who sat by themselves, why did I not have the power to step up and reach out a helping hand? Monday night I committed myself to a new way of life – I committed myself to reaching out my hand not to point a finger, but rather to help.

Along with this goal to be a better person, I was also inspired to write down other goals. Rachel, in diaries and journals, wrote down her goals and because they were written down, she was constantly reminded and was able to achieve them. This blog is my journal – a window into my heart and soul, it will now be the home of my written goals.

Goal #1 – Take every bit of every opportunity given to me in the coming months and year, do my best, and make a difference in as many lives as possible.

Goal #2 – Show my parents that Saint Michael’s College is the place where I can evolve into a proactive adult citizen of the United States of America. I was fortunate enough to have parents that are the main financers of my college education, and it is now time for me to show them why I need to be here.

Goal #3 – Be a better student and learn how to balance all my volunteer programs with my academics.

These are my three goals, three goals that I will work hard to achieve not only for me, but also for the people around me and in Rachel’s memory. I challenge you, as Darrel challenged me, to write down your goals and do everything you can to achieve them.

The last part of the presentation Monday night was a commitment to spreading kindness and peace. At the end of the talk, Darrel had a few more challenges for attendees. The first was to admit that there was someone we needed to forgive in our lives. For me, it was a friend I had not talked to in months and immediately upon returning to my dorm, I began a continuous dialogue dedicated to repairing my friendship with her. Whom do you need to forgive? What do you need to let off your shoulders to let you be at peace? Let it go. It is okay to be scared to forgive or not want to forgive those who may have hurt you, but only through atonement comes absolute peace. Next, Darrel challenged us to think of people we were grateful for and challenged us to let them know we loved them and were grateful for them. Who are you grateful for? Whom do you love, but have not told them lately? It is never too late to let these people know that you love them and thank them for being there for you. Finally, we were challenged to commit ourselves to living like Rachel did – a challenge to live a life committed to kindness. I forward this challenge to you. Live your life with kindness. Be there for people, love people, and be beacons of light on a cloudy day.

Peace, love, and hugs
Josh


In Loving Memory of 
Rachel Scott 
April 20, 1999







Thursday, April 8, 2010

Volunteerism - The Most Important Thing


“Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart.”
I believe that when one goes to college they found out who they really are -- lives change and veer into directions not known. This happened to me at St. Mikes. Volunteerism took over my life. Thanks to the programs in the Move office, I have been able to find an outlet for my passion to help others. Sure classes and grades are important, but truthfully, your impact on the world matters more. In his inaugural address, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy made a plea to all Americans, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” How do I answer this plea to help America? I serve. I volunteer. Although it has caused stress in my life, often due to over involvement, I still follow my heart and continue my work because I trust that it is what the right thing to do is. 
The program that I most heavily am involved with is International Outreach Homework Club. Early in my first semester, I signed up for this program thinking that it would be an outlet to continue tutoring those who were having difficulty in class, but little did I know, I would find so much more. The city of Winooski, VT, unbeknownst to so many, has a large refugee population that includes refugees from countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. International Outreach Homework Club works with students in the ELL (English Language Learners) programs at both JFK Elementary School and JFK Middle School. These students, who range from those who can read a book, to those who can read a sentence, to those who struggle with sounding a letter, work so hard to achieve in American schools and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with them and help them achieve their goals. Since the beginning of this semester, I have become the coordinator of International Outreach Club and am now responsible for recruiting volunteers and making sure the program runs smoothly on a weekly basis. Fortunately, I am still able to work hands on with the students. I can truly say I have learned so much from these kids. I have learned what it is like to help someone who truly is lost in his or her learning. One day when I was working at the middle school, one my students stated, "I think I'm just going to get an F because there is no hope for me." This statement made my heart plummet, my student wanted to give up because she felt she could not ever succeed. America is a country where dreams CAN come true. For refugees, it is a safe haven, a place to attain a better life. In little ways, I hope that I am helping my students to attain this better life when I work with them every Monday and Tuesday. 
Working with ELL students has become my passion. This is not something I would ever get the opportunity to do in my small town in Rhode Island. I am so thankful to MJ Jaird (my predecessor) for creating this program and inviting me to take part, for it has truly truly changed my life. I encourage all of you to sign up for a program -- no matter what school you go to or where you are in the world, I hope that you sign up to Volunteer. I promise you, with the fullest sincerity of heart, there is no better joy that can be felt than the joy of helping others. 
Until next time - Peace, Love, and Hugs, 
Josh






Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Just made a flikr account :)

Hey Everyone!!

I just wanted to invite all of you to my new Flikr account. I have added some pics from throughout the semester. Please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshsmc13/ and let me know what you think!!

Have a great day!!

Josh

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Current Students and Prospective Students from across the US I introduce you to... ME

Hey Everyone!!


My name is Joshua Miranda and I am currently a first year at Saint Michael's College. There is only about 24 days until summer begins and I cannot believe the school year is almost over. Since I began here, people have been telling me that every year after your first year flies by, but even this year did. It is hard to think that in three short years I will leave this wonderful place and begin my future. Fortunately, I still have these 24 days and 3 years to live my life and be ME!

While I am not living in the GREAT city of Colchester, VT, I live in a small town in Rhode Island called Portsmouth. Portsmouth is one of the best places to be on Earth and I miss it so much sometimes when I am at school. As a student at Portsmouth High School, I was an avid student leader and participated/organized/helped out in as many events as possible, which truly helped me with the path I have taken at SMC. I have a supportive family back home who I still call/text everyday (yep I miss my mommy and other family a lot :) ). Summers in RI are great and often consist of daily beach relaxation (cannot wait). Although Patriot (our school mascot was the Portsmouth Patriot) blood still flows through my body, Purple and Gold Knight blood has mixed in.

Saint Michael's College is definitely the only place I would rather be if I were not at home. There is so much to do here and it is so easy to get involved. Currently I am a member of the Vision team for VITA (campus ministry), a member of the Core team for Move (Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts), Coordinator of International Outreach Homework Club (a refugee homework help program), Coordinator and Founder of Autism Awareness Week, Co-leader of Connections (small faith sharing group at SMC), and also participate in other on campus activities. I am an Elementary Ed and American Studies major with a Religious Studies minor (double major + minor = crazy life :) ). My passion is working with kids and helping them succeed in anything they want to.

I have loved my first year so far at St. Mike's (great teachers, great classes, and great friends) and look forward to continuing my next few years of college life at the greatest school ever!




Friendship Quotes