Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ivy League in the Big Apple?

I like to plan way, way far ahead. I was looking at colleges when I was a freshman in high school, and now I'm looking at grad schools, even though I don't plan on applying for a couple more years. Top pick on my list? Teacher's College at Columbia University in grand ole' New York City. It's been ranked the 2nd best grad school for education programs (Michigan's the first, but that's far!), and it's juuuust close enough for me to commute from home. Yesterday, I took a trip there with my mom to check it out:

The buildings behind me are the Teachers College part of the university. So established and academic!

On the main campus. So grand! Much different than the campus at my current school.

I was impressed with the school, to say the least. It has all the things I want, things that I feel like I'm missing at my current school. A globally-esteemed program, prestige, famous and incredibly knowledgeable faculty, all that grand important stuff that I think about when I think of a great school. My current school is a small state school, without recognition beyond New York state, nestled in the hippie-artsy hills of the country. I love it,'s not for me anymore.

But is Columbia for me? I may feel out of place at my current school, but I feel comfortable, and everyone there is so friendly. I'm afraid that at a big important Ivy school, that friendliness will be placed by snobbishness and pretentiousness. And it's in the city, no less, on the edge of a rough neighborhood. I am a wimpy suburban girl. I like my safe little bubble; I don't know if I'm aggressive enough to handle NYC. Part of me wants to go just for that reason: I want to break out of my bubble and "grow some balls," to put it crudely. And I want to be challenged in school, to really learn something by working hard and breaking a sweat.
But there are so many questions running through my over-worrying head: Will I be able to handle the hour and a half train ride every day? Will I be able to make friends as a commuter? Would I be able to handle the coursework, and more importantly, the fieldwork in the brutal inner city schools? Will I meet others with similar tastes and interests, or will I be stuck in a sea of hipsters? Is it smart financially, considering I'll be on a new teacher's salary?

I feel like I need to make a change, and attending a school like Columbia might be that change. If it's the right change, well...there's no knowing. I just have to figure out these things through experience.

If any of you have any advice for me and other soon-to-be-graduates, about grad schools or navigating through your twenties, I'd love to hear it!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

New bag, new cardigan! Some excellent scores...

I apologize for my week-long hiatus turning into a 2-week long hiatus, things have been crazy (in a good way). Finals are over, and I finished with a 4.0 GPA for the semester- bring it on, senior year! I've been home since Sunday, and I've kept myself enjoyably occupied doing some things I've been wanting to do for ages.

One of those things was taking a trip to the Woodbury Common outlet mall to find a new bag. I also wanted to see if Vineyard Vines had the Seawater Cardigan I'd had my eye on since March (I posted about it at one point).

I called ahead, and was ecstatic to find out that not only did they have an XS, but it was $110 LESS than it was listed for on the website! SCORE!

Cardigan: Vineyard Vines, XS
T-Shirt: Banana Republic, XS
Jeans: Old Navy, sz. 0
Belt: J.Crew, sz. S

I love it. The length is petite-friendly, and the detail is lovely:

However, it's quite wide. I think that's how it's intended to fit, but it's a bit too much for a petite frame, and makes me look kind of boxy:
awful cell phone pic, sorry about that!

Luckily though, it's an easy tailoring job. The sweater isn't tapered, so taking it in should be no problem at all.

As for a bag, I spent 2 hours going to every single store painstakingly searching for "the one." I'm super-picky when it comes to bags, so I figured it would be a long trip. I wanted a small-ish bag, which made my search extra hard since big bags still seem to be in style. I'm also not into bags with the logos patterned across them- I wanted something leather, in a tone that could work for all seasons.

I first tried Coach, where there was a big coupon sale (and very cramped, crowded chaos!) When I entered, there was a woman standing there handing out the 30%-off-everything coupons. She deliberately looked at me and decided not to give me a coupon, which I'm guessing was some sort of age discrimination (everyone else got a coupon!) She probably assumed I was someone's teenage daughter. Petites- does this ever happen to you? So frustrating! No matter how I dress, retailers always seem to assume I'm 15 and not worth their time.

However, it was Dooney and Bourke where I finally found "the one"- on my second trip there, no less. It was perfect! And luckily, offered at a price much less than originally listed.

I decided to jazz it up with a silk scarf from Talbot's and a yellow-and-gold key fob I got with my purchase:

I may or may not keep the key fob there, but I love the scarf!

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In other news, I had a wonderful time at the Bronx Zoo yesterday with two of my friends! Here are some pictures from the day:

 Tomorrow I'm heading back to the city to tour the Teacher's College at Columbia University, where I'm looking to go to grad school. It's nice being busy doing things I actually want to do!

Until next time,

Friday, May 13, 2011

On hiatus for the next week.

Yes, as a college student I have to experience that awful period of time known as finals week. It's actually been more like finals weeks, since the past week has been pretty busy as well. Until next Saturday, I will be on break from blogging so I can focus my attention on "inquiry-based teaching methods" and 20th century women writers. But first...I need to share this really cute coin purse that I saw on Etsy:

SO CUTE. I don't need it...but I want it.

Can't wait for this semester to end,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I hope all of the mothers and loving women out there know how wonderful and appreciated they are. Happy Mother's Day mothers, grandmothers, future mothers, caregivers, sisters, aunts, and all those who give love with all of their hearts. <3


Friday, May 6, 2011

2 Great Giveaways!

Hello all! Taking a break from research papers & studying (hence the lack in posts) to let you know about some fabulous giveaways going on:

My Dolce Vita is giving away something from Tiffany's! Check out her blog to see your choices.

All Things Southern and Preppy is giving away a cute needlepoint coin purse OR headband from Smathers & Brandson!

Check them out, and I'll be making a full return to the blogosphere once the craziness of finals is over. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

LOFT dress review!

I was so excited to get my new LOFT dress in the mail today! It took longer than I expected to arrive (2 weeks), but that's most likely because I've been spoiled by Zappos' super-speedy shipping.

Dress: LOFT, Petite Knit Dress with Ruffle Trim, PXXS
Shoes: Jack Rogers, sz 5
Belt, Necklace: Boutiques in NYC that I don't remember...

Remember when I tried on the size PXS dress in-store, and didn't like the fit?

Honestly, the fit of my PXXS isn't that much different- maybe a few inches shorter. It just needed a belt, because without it, it's shapeless and hangs in an unflattering way:

Not only do I LOVE the color of this dress (#1 reason why I bought it, I love coral!), but it's sooo comfortable and easy. Also, it's a great way to show off turquoise accessories!

I chose this thin wire necklace with suspended turquoise pieces rather than one of my bulkier necklaces, since I wore the dress with a thick belt.

I do think the dress is somewhat overpriced considering its simplicity (it's one layer of cotton), but I got it for 40% off. Plus, the fabric is super soft and well made, so no complaints there!
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The weather here in New York has been lovely, perfect for wearing dresses like this one. I spent the weekend at my friend's party and it was a TON of fun! Live music in the sunshine all day- I danced my heart out. :)

Hope it's sunny and beautiful where you are too,