2 Months and 1 Day Later….

Tonight, our Athletes in Action/Fellowship for Christian Athletes student leaders group, had bible study and reviewed a passage, (Isaiah 26th) that we previously worked through a day before the semester started. August 24th, exactly 2 months and 1 day ago. As we talked about the chapter we worked through a handout that had questions such as:

“What is God calling you to trust him with this semester?”

“What do you need to give over to Him so that you can walk in the goodness of his ways?”

“What in your life is taking God’s place?”

Tonight, I answered those same questions again and then reflected on how God has worked in my life this semester, what I still
need to be praying about, and also things I completely forgot I wrote down. I really enjoy doing activities like this because it gives me concrete examples of the growth I’ve made. I write a lot so I always have material to reflect on, but if you don’t often put your feelings on paper I recommend finding/creating a list of questions and answering them every 2-3 months to track your own growth, as a person and/or in your relationship with the Lord.

I would love to hear about different methods you use for reflection, and/or prompts you might use for journaling!


An Update with ‘Lysse

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 7.07.14 PMGuys, life is crazy! I haven’t been able to blog the past couple of weeks, as I have been bogged down with studying for midterms, working in the football office, and planning college visit days for my internship. With a few more assignments to finish up, and an away game this weekend, I think things are slowing down a little. Anyways, I don’t talk about myself too much around here, but I thought I would share some fun facts about my life lately!

  1. I have been apple picking for the past 2 weekends in a row, and I am going again this coming Saturday.
  2. I get my class ring on Friday  (I need to get better at wearing rings before someone wants to marry me!!!!)
  3. The 9 other people and I in my cohort’s major pitched a idea for a new class next semester, and our advisors were totally down for it!
  4. I got shellac on my nails at least 2.5 weeks ago and it still looks superb
  5. I watched Love Actually last weekend and I am officially ready for Christmas!
  6. I went to the J.Crew Warehouse sale and bought my first pair of corduroy pants in like 8 years
  7. I don’t actually wear glasses, but I have always wished that I did (for fashion reasons of course)
  8. I caught a falling bottle of shampoo in the shower with one hand last night
  9. I went bowling last weekend and gee wiz I really needed the help of the bumpers
  10. I got a 94% on my Globalization of Women’s Sport midterm (!!!)
  11. I have not taken advantage of McDonalds all-day breakfast yet
  12. I saw an ad looking for girls wanting to play ice hockey, emailed the girl, & decided I wanted to play within a span of 10 min
  13. I have never played ice hockey before
  14. Fourteen is my favorite number

8 Apples and 57 Thousand Pictures Later

Yesterday I spent some quality time at the local apple picking orchard! We all dressed up because we knew it was basically going to be a photoshoot, but it was a lot of fun…AND I GOT DONUTS! Here are some of our candid, and some of our very staged pictures from the day: 

Exhibit A: Heavenly Apple Cider Donuts and a side of coffee (obviously)

If you leave the orchard and don’t get a picture of yourself grasping for the prize, then did you really go?
My outfit, aka the same outfit as 76.4% of the other women out there #typical

Oh you know, just showing off my fall manicure. Shout out to shellac for always having my back!

 We got this perfect shot in one try!

Selfies while we wait for the whole group to show up (this is definitely my good side)

Can we all just stare at the bounce in my girl’s hair?! #YassAlexis

(Alternative caption: “running through the 6 with my woes”)


I wish y’all could hear my laugh, its quite entertaining!

Running through the aisle 4-across was not plausible, so here is my squad casually staring at you over our shoulder

Despite the fact that it took 40 minutes to get up the mountain in bumper to bumper traffic, and that I sat in the car listening to our football team lose, we had a great time! I plan to do a lot of baking later this week, and I am in search for some fun apple recipes. Does anyone have any favorites?!

Waiting for Superman: The Public Education System, Charter Schools, and My Personal Frustration

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 1.08.29 PM Last night I watched a documentary about the public education system. My brain was running and I couldn’t go to sleep so I wrote this:

Well it is 1:38am and my blood is hot. I just finished watching Waiting for Superman, a documentary on the U.S public education system. Most of the information wasn’t new, I sit in class and discuss many of these topics daily. But there is something about seeing real peoples lives on screen that makes things so much more impactful…and emotional.

The education system just isn’t fair. At all. It’s not fair that every child doesn’t have access to an equal education. It’s not fair that parents have to search far and wide for a decent school. It’s not fair that perpetual structural inequality inhibits families from certain schools. It’s not fair that there are obvious issues with education policy but so many people are standing in the way of change. It is not fair. Our children deserve more.

I am personally very curious about charter schools. I look over at the Harlem Children Zone, and think their education pipeline model is genius. I look at KIPP schools and think their ability to scale is incredible. Then I do what all my professors drill in our heads, read the research. See “if it is working.” For some charter schools yes, they are doing better than the average public school in terms of standardized testing. But for others, not so much. I wrestle with the idea that all evaluations have to come down to standardized testing. Do the kids in the Harlem Children Zone have a more positive outlook on learning? Probably. Are the kids in the Harlem Children Zone more emotionally stable? Maybe. Do they have higher expectations forthemselves? Are they safer? Do they have access to more resources, more support? Evaluations comparing standardized testing is one thing, but you can’t tell me everything else I listed is not important, and beneficial to the development of a child.

I cry of happiness when I see the faces of students and parents who get their name called in the charter school admission lottery. I also cry tears of sadness for those who are subjected to their local inner city public school. I get pissed when I hear that there are millions of dollars going to teachers who straight up suck a their job but can’t be fired due to tenure. I get pissed when union groups ignore the fact that teaching the kids of the future is a privilege, not a right you acquire after two years.

This documentary leaves me with many thoughts I have been wrestling in my Youth & Social Innovation classes. A major structured around Positive Youth Development theory, and the application of such through education, after-school programs, and research. I don’t know how to fix things. I have plenty of ideas trust me, but there are structures and policies that get in the way of progress. I try to stay positive, but this semester so far has left me very frustrated, yet very inspired. There is so much room for change, and every day I get to sit in classrooms with some of the most genius, innovative (lols) people I know. From frustration comes focus, drive, and perseverance. But one step at a time right? I can’t save the world yet, I have a midterm to study for..

Podcast Party: Undisclosed The State v. Adnan Syed

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 6.51.51 PMPreface #1: If you haven’t listened to the podcast Serial, stop right here and start listening!

Preface #2: I think Adnan is innocent. Or I at least believe there is not enough evidence to put him away.

Okay, so half the world was obsessed with Serial when it debuted almost exactly a year ago. I personally listened to the podcast this summer not knowing that it had been a huge thing a few months before. I thought I was discovering this new cool thing but everyone was like “no Alysse, you’re like 6 months behind” #whatever.

When the podcast ended I was like “Wait what?! We don’t find out if he is innocent for sure?!” I wanted more answers, and Undisclosed, a new podcast is giving me just that!Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 6.51.45 PM

Undisclosed is a podcast hosted by a small group of lawyers, one of which is a family friend of the Syed family (so yes, there is bias). Together they walk through some updates in Adnan’s case, but mostly focus on smaller details Serial does not touch on. Basically, they are just spelling out all the things the police investigators should have done, but didn’t. It is not as aesthetically pleasing as Serial, but I would not look at it as a continuation or a “2nd Serial”. They are not trying to be like Serial, they know they are not pro’s, they just want to share what they have discovered.

What do you think of Serial? His case? And my personal favorite, what do you think Jay’s problem is?!

In case you’re interested:

Adnan Syed asks court to reopen hearings

State calls Adnan Syed’s request to reopen proceedings ‘meritless’