Tuesday, October 30, 2007

First Annual Dodgeball Tournament

My boss, Amanda Denny, showing off her spirit!
Some worn out, but talented, students, after the game.
The faculty/staff team showing their "game faces"!
As President of the Macon Activities Council here at RMWC, I have spent the last few months preparing a lot of concerts, programs, and traditional events to give students a break from their studies. MAC is in charge of anything from major parties (Tacky Party, Fall Formal, Opening Concert, Summer Send Off) and even small events.

Given the changed atmosphere here on campus, I wanted the board to focus on "community building" events this semester. A lot of students feel heartbroken, unattached to "Randolph College", and upset. So, my goal was to keep our traditions alive as well as introduce new events to reach out to the community.

In August, I had an idea for a dodgeball tournament, of faculty/staff versus students. We held it this last Sunday, and it was a HUGE success. We had about 15 people on each side turn out, plus a pretty good number of watchers turn out to see the action.

We had staff from so many areas: Dining Services, Human Resources, Health Center (the very tiny nurse, Gretchen, who helped me get to the hospital several weeks ago!), Dean of Students, The Phys Ed Department, and even our college President, John Klein. If nothing else, John Klein was a great sport about it all; I feel like a lot of students feel anger about the changes our college is making and holding Klein, a former CEO, partly responsible for the turn to "business practices" versus "practices of an institution for higher education".

Anyways, I refereed the event to volunteer and had a blast! Students and staff were both so exhilarated about it they played about ten rounds of dodgeball, and then we organized a fun "free for all" where watchers joined the crowd!

The faculty were overwhelmingly successful, due to the great skills of Dining Services' Mitch Rodhe and the Skeller's (student grill) April and Amanda. The faculty/staff beat every student team and even held their own in the 'free for all' game!

So we are pleased to announce that this will become an annual event (which is great, so we can re-use the official dodgeballs rolling around in my trunk right now). I think so many people had a great time, got some exercise, and certainly felt like the community needed it!

Soon I'll have another post about Neverending Weekend, a huge tradition there that is approaching this weekend.

For now, here are some pictures of the event!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Setting up in foggy Lynchburg
The first big wave of ladies running coming around the bend!
The big hill they later had to run up (Lynchburg is definitely the Hill City!)
All the different booths
Above- the last runner coming up the hill!
Yesterday morning (at 7 AM) I had the opportunity to volunteer for the "I am Woman" 5k run for the Children's Miracle Network hospital near here. I had contacted the staff about volunteering about a month ago, and I was really excited when they got back in touch with me. It was a really good experience. About 50 women participated in the run along VES road right here in Lynchburg, and I was posted with several of the hospital nurses (each representing different areas in the hospital for children) monitoring the race and making sure no one tried to back out of their driveway. I think the fastest runner completed the race in 19 minutes, which was amazing!

It was really inspiring seeing so many women from all age ranges, from 7 year old girls so women in their late fifties, participating in the run. It was definitely a great cause for each woman to set goals for herself and help raise awareness and money for CMN!
Unfortunately, I'm unable to load my pictures because of problems with Blogger, I'll post them later!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Self Defense Class

In the first photo below, the Sherriff's deputy explains personal safety: Students listen to information about keeping themselves safe
Below, the self defense instructor talks about ways to be alert


I participated in Take Back the Night's self-defense class, and it was wonderful! A lot of students turned out to learn about defending themselves. The class started with some helpful hints from a sherriff deputy about how to protect yourself. He gave some really great ideas, which seem common sense once you hear them, but we don't often put into place in our everyday lives!

So tonight, along with my pictures, I'm going to include some basic tips about how to protect yourself from sudden attacks. Although most domestic violence occurs with someone you know, so does rape, and it's always important to protect yourself from unsafe situations. I think the knowledge is something we all can use!
So, in a dangerous situation, what are the tools to help you?

Yelling “NO!” sends a very clear message to the attacker that what they are doing is not okay.
Yelling can frighten or startle the attacker. Most of the time, a rapist is not looking for a fight. They are looking for someone they can subdue easily - when you yell and run, you are telling them you are not that person.

Run away if you can. If someone asks for your wallet, don't hand it to them- throw it away from you. Most of the time they are more interested in the money and this gives you space from the attacker.
If someone at your front door claims to be the police, don't even trust a badge. Call the emergency number and ask if a patrol has been dispatched to your address.
If a strange unmarked van is parked next to yours in the parking lot, and if there is a person in the passenger seat, find the security or police officer nearest to escort you.
At the ATM, get in your car and lock it immediately. Drive away quickly, and count your money somewhere safe.
I thought these tips were great. Even this past weekend, I encountered an uncomfortable situation. I was leaving for Roanoke yesterday morning about 6:45 and went to a familiar and safe gas station to fill up. As I was doing so, a strange car with a man in it pulled up to pump on the other side. As he got out, I quickly let go of the gas pump to hang it up and put the cap back onto my car, then jumped into my car, locked it, and drove off.
I'm really glad I did- as I looked in the rearview mirror, the strange man never even pumped gas, and he actually just got back into his car and left after I did.
Even in a safe part of town in a well-lit and safe gas station, I felt unsafe. Keep an eye out about where you are, who is around you, and make sure you can react quickly and get to a safe place. I'm really glad I followed my gut and got out of there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Take Back the Night

Over the next week, I will be blogging about a very amazing program at my college that I am proud to participate in each year. Take Back the Night is a week of events designed to increase awareness about issues of sexual violence. The ultimate goal is to unite to stand against all violence.

As awareness is such a key part of my personal platform, it's an incredible experience to unite with the women of my school to stand up against violence, which happens against women at an alarming rate. Tonight was the first night of events, which was creating a clothesline of all the t-shirts we made (which we will wear in the march next week) and an open mic night for survivors or others to speak about their personal experience or how violence makes them feel. I will be taking pictures at each event and sharing them here. The co-chair of this Take Back the Night is Stacey Lantz, a great girl who has organized a wonderful week. She is also my co-intern at the YWCA Domestic Violence Center right here in Lynchburg.

Since I am so close to my platform, I sometimes forget that others aren't aware of the most basic information about the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence, so each night I will post a few questions or facts about it.
The pictures in this post are of some of the t-shirts being made tonight, my friend Whitney working on her t-shirt, and my friend Vanessa and I decorating our t-shirts.
How many women are affected by domestic violence?
-Around the world, 1 in 3 women have reported sexual or domestic violence in their lifetime.

Why focus on women?
In 2001, 85% of reported domestic violence was of incidents in which women were victims. They are the primary victims of abuse!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The results

That was a little hectic, trying to keep up with everything going on. I am a fast typer, but you'll notice there were a few errors I made, which I think have been fixed. For example, I wrote the teens last name wrong. I'm not sure of the spelling, but it is something like 'myhren'. Also, Jitu won Congeniality in Miss. I previously hit 'K' instead of J.

Just wanted to say one more time that I was not a judge at this pageant. I've never attended a judges seminar for the USA system. What I wrote here was purely for the benefit of those outside the Lynchburg/Roanoke area who weren't able to see the telecast or the live show. Everything I wrote (besides the actual results!) was just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to one, and I certainly didn't mean any offense to any of the girls. They were all fantastic, and I know from personal experience the kind of confidence and hard work it takes just to present yourself on that stage. They all did an excellent job, and I hope that many will return next year for another shot.

Please know that when I write anything on the internet that IS my personal opinion, I will attach my name (and generally email) to it. So unless you see a post with my name/email on it, I didn't write it!

Hope everyone there and those watching on tv liked the show. I thought it was a good stage!

Miss Results

After crowning the teen, they played the cheesiest song! They had the typical problem of the crown not sitting well on her head, but she seemed really excited about winning. Now on to Miss!
I made a few spelling errors and I tried to fix them sorry!
Miss Winner and Court:

4th-Amanda Jones
3rd-Christina Rowe
2nd-Erin Hildreth
1st-Megan Phillips
winner: Tori Hall
Congeniality Miss: Remi Harvey
People's Choice: jitu Abraham

Final Updates

Teen court and winner

The guy emceeing is having a hard time pronouncing a lot of the awards, although the awards are lengthy, I wish he'd just finish up so we can see the winner! He keeps making side comments and you know those ten girls standing up there are nervous and just want it to be over with! He just turned around and then right back around, I think he finally got the hint that no one wanted his commentary. He later said he'd never been to a pageant before. It didn't need to be said- it was obvious!

Congeniality Teen: Katie Turner
4th-Christina Nicholson
3rd-Santana warren
2nd-Amanda French
1st-Holly Vance
Winner: megan myrhen

Top Ten VA USA

Top Ten, VA USA

I tried to catch names again!

Carissa Grazel
Amanda Jones
Christina Rowe
Leslie McConn
Megan Phillips
traci Poole
Tori Hall
Ashley Overstreet
Erin Hildreth
Elizabeth Robinette

The top 15-Last names

Listed below are the top 15 just announced at Miss VA USA.

The sound quality was not very strong, but I did my best!

Lauren Barnette, looked absolutely gorgeous!

They did Teen USA intros first!
All of them were really beautiful, if a little bouncy, during the intro. The state looked nice! All were wearing white during the opening number to "I Like the way you move!"

Standouts: (wrote titles if I couldnt catch the name)

Courtney Grant
Amanda French -Fredericksburg

Hampton Roads
Locust Grove
Virginia Beach

(these were just my personal standouts based on their confidence in introduction and appearance during opening number).

They announced a top ten:
I again wrote title:
Holly Vance Southwest
Christina Nicholson- Locust Grove
Simone Gilma- Williamsburg
Ashley Ulrich-Spotssylvania
Natalia -Hampton Roads
Santana Warren- Abingdon
Katie Turner- Richmond
grayson Lambert
Amanda French-Fredericksburg
Megna Myrhein


The Miss Virginia USA telecast will begin in a few minutes.
My first post will include the last names of the top 15 for timing. I know some people are anxious for results, so after I make the original post, I will go back and edit it to add first names.

I'll continue to update throughout the telecast.


I am trying to get some homework done, so I am going to blog my reaction to Miss VA USA/Teen USA this afternoon while watching the telecast. It seems ridiculous to spend $35 on a ticket when it will be on the local news, and I can work on revising some of my papers during the breaks (when they fill time with entertainment or talking).

I can't wait to watch it!

As for babysitting last night, it well really well. The infant was only 7 weeks old but he was very well behaved and it was fun to watch him for a few hours while his parents got to celebrate their anniversary and have a little break.

Off to do some work!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Exciting News

This weekend, the Miss Virginia USA pageant is being held right here in Lynchburg at EC Glass!

Since it is my fall break, I will be attending and giving you my 'pageant insider opinion'. I will simply be stating what contestants stood out, and my overall impression. I do not intend to 'bash' anyone, but I know that many people who can't attend in person like a first hand view of what's happening.

*edit* Yikes, I made an error posting earlier. The preliminaries are on Saturday 8-10, and Sunday we have to be seated at 1:30 PM. I have no problem with the Sunday time, but I don't know if I'll be finished babysitting in time for the other pageant. If I am, I'll head over and grab tickets at the door. I only found this information out by calling a place selling tickets to confirm. The professor I am babysitting for has a very young infant (6 weeks) and she and her husband just want to go out to dinner, so I don't think they'll be gone very long, but I made a commitment to them and will only go watch the preliminaries if I'm finished. I'm finding out tomorrow the final details of my babysitting job.

Also, for those in Virginia, the final pageant on Sunday is being televised on ABC 13, so tune in!

I'm really excited about being able to attend both the preliminaries and the finals (if I can!), and that it's so close, because I've never watched a USA pageant in person and it will be interesting to see the differences that I notice between MAO and USA pageants.

I will be bringing a notebook to take notes.

This will be fun, a much needed break from my economics and politics senior seminar work (which has consumed me over the last week), and I hope will get me even more excited about Miss Hill City, which is approaching in just a few weeks!

So, look forward to my posts over the weekend, so you can hear how it's all going!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A huge thank you

I took my biology lab practical this afternoon, and it went very well. Feeling much better without the headache, I holed myself up in the library, determined to get some work done.
I finished all my work for the week, which is a great feeling! Now I can relax a little bit and just hand in the papers I've already written.

And then I got a wonderful surprise. I logged into my Miss America 4 Kids account to find that someone had donated towards my efforts to become Miss Hill City! I couldn't be more proud to be a Randolph-Macon woman and a member of such an incredible network of women who really love their school and our sisterhood. I'm not sure whether my donor wants to be named at this point or not, so until then, I want to say thank you to my RMWC alum donor who donated ALL of my Children's Miracle Network goal this afternoon! I feel so blessed to attend this school and that so many women have created such an incredible legacy of leadership, intelligence, and friendship here, and I am truly grateful for my donor's support. Please know that I am throwing my heart and soul into becoming Miss Hill City and representing this city of Lynchburg!

To all the girls who have come up to me and told me good luck, or that I had a lot of 'guts' to do something this wonderful, thank you! Randolph-Macon is my family, and I am so happy to be able to share this pageant experience with my friends!

For now, I'm going to relax knowing that my biology lab practical and senior seminar work is DONE for the week!

Help me out!

On November 3rd, 2007, I will be competing for the title of Miss Hill City right here in Lynchburg! This is really exciting, because Lynchburg is my second home and a place I've come to know very well over the past few years. This would be an excellent opportunity to promote the Miss Virginia Organization from right where I spend most of my time, and I'm really excited about it! Also, many of my friends will be able to attend and cheer me on, as many have never seen me in a pageant before!

I am beyond excited about this amazing chance to represent Lynchburg at Miss Virginia, so please help me raise $100 for the Children's Miracle Network so I can compete! You can visit the website below to make a donation- and every little bit counts!


Sunday, October 7, 2007

A tough decision

As many of my close friends know, I haven't been feeling well for the past three weeks. I have been plagued with awful headaches that are the worst in the morning and kick back in during the early evening.

I had planned to compete in Miss North East Ohio for a long time, and had originally come home this weekend in order to do that. When multiple health center and doctor visits, including numerous medicines, didn't work to stop the headaches, the doctor I was seeing recommended a CT scan and a visit with a neurologist. The earliest this could happen in Virginia was October 28th, and I would have had to pay out of pocket for the CT scan because of my insurance. I called my mom and she got me an appointment with her neurologist this past Friday, so I flew home a day earlier than planned. I did this because of the prolonged pain, which I couldn't seem to keep under control. On Wednesday, when I went to my internship, my supervisor noted that I didn't look well and she sent me back to RMWC. My friend who lives next door passed my room about 12:30, and said I looked really bad and needed to go to the health center. My headache was getting increasingly worse, my speech was somewhat slurred, and I felt extremely dizzy. I went immediately to the health center.

This resulted in a trip to the emergency room, where my boss and another staff member from the Dean of Students stayed with me. I was injected again with medicine through my back, which was very painful and made me nauseous. I had a CT scan done and spent the entire afternoon in the ER, missing econometrics and my senior seminar in economics. Those who know me know that I don't miss class-ever. The 24 hours prior to my flight I couldn't keep any food down and I was starving.

Let me tell you, this is the worst possible way to approach a pageant. I was dizzy, weak, hungry, and plagued with the headaches. On Friday afternoon, I saw the neurologist, which was a Godsend. We determined that I had hereditary migraines, and that mine were cyclical so three weeks into this, my head was actually sore from the continuous pain. We figured out medicines and a plan to keep from getting the headaches (hopefully) and treated the immediate headache I had. Since I am still adjusting to the medicines, which make me very tired, I was very worried about competing.

Still, I was determined to push through. Until last night. I packed up all my pageant gear and my brother, my mother, and myself drove over to Canton and checked into a hotel. As the night went on, I felt the headache creeping back. We finally decided that I had to take the medicine, although I had problems falling asleep and wouldn't get a full nights rest. I woke up this morning at 5:30 AM to blinding pain. I immediately took the medicine, but the combination of it all wore me out. At this point, I knew the odds of me performing my tap dance were physically impossible. My body was dragging, and my physical exertion was limited because of the migraine.
At 6:30, I made the executive decision to withdraw from Miss NE Ohio. If I had attended, I doubt I would have been able to perform my talent, and I would have been miserable the entire day. I can tell you now at 6 PM that most of the day I have been moving very slow and just recently got rid of the headache. Luckily, my fall break at school is coming up, so I will have several days to recover.

I called Anne right away, as well as the Civic Center, hoping that someone would get the message to her. I sincerely hated having to pull out at the last minute, although I knew in my gut that I was not up to the physical work competing in a preliminary requires. I have been looking forward to this for weeks, but I know that I made the right decision for my health. I think that pushing myself today would have given in to another headache, and I wouldn't have been able to sleep tonight or fly back to Virginia tomorrow (I have to take my biology lab practical on Tuesday).

I am handling the situation, and the medicine is certainly helping me gain control of the headaches. My hope that is over the next week, the headaches will disappear and I can focus again on my schoolwork, which became increasingly hard to handle as time went on and the headaches increased. I feel awful for leaving the pageant directors in the lurch, but I know that I would have been miserable giving my best in my tap dance, and even the interview, if I had remained in the pageant.

I hope all the girls had a wonderful day, and I am sorry that I couldn't be there.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Thank you to everyone who sent me emails or called me today.
I am ok.

I spent the afternoon in the emergency room and I was seriously ill. I'm flying home tomorrow and I hope everything is ok, because I am looking forward to seeing my mom and competing.

My headache got out of control today so the health center called security and they took me to the ER.

I am ok, just to let everyone know.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

And it continues

Dear Community –

There have been persistent rumors that the Maier neighborhood and people approaching the museum yesterday afternoon were told that there was a bomb threat. College personnel were not involved with this in any way and were unaware of it until later in the evening.

The College had requested and received security support from the police department. The police department acknowledged later today that one of its officers made the bomb threat statement to a student. The police department is addressing this misstatement through its proper channels.

Dixie Nash Sakolosky
Director of Institutional Research and
Assistant to the President
Randolph CollegeFounded as Randolph-Macon Woman's College in 1891
2500 Rivermont Avenue
Lynchburg, VA 24503-1555

Tel: 434-947-8131
Fax: 434-947-8139

We live a few hours from Virginia Tech.
Ignoring a statement about a bomb threat is unacceptable and dangerous to everyone on this campus. I would say I'm disgusted by the behavior here, but you know what? It's so commonplace you have a tolerance for how angry one can get.