Sunday, May 13, 2018

We Made WATCH THE YARD!!!!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all of those beautiful, hardworking mothers out there.

I have been extremely busy these last few weeks. Preparing my orchestra kids for our annual Disneyland trip, Choir Concerts, Musical Theater Performances, and on top participating in the Red For Ed movement. I am will be thrilled when these next 3 weeks will be over and I will be on Summer Break. In the meantime, a video that I created for my Neo's made its debut on Watch The Yard. I was beyond THRILLED! When you get a second, check it out. I am SO proud of them.

Click on the Link Below to Watch!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Welcome To the Sisterhood and Brotherhood!

Hello Everyone!

It's been a while since my last blog, so I hope all is well. I have been swamped! My chapter just had intake they initiated a few weeks ago. I was honored to have been able to be a part of their process. I wanted to take this time and congratulate ALL Sorors, Sistergreeks and Fraternity Members who have crossed the Sands into Greek-Life. Some of you have waited for years and dream of becoming a member of XYZ sorority/fraternity, and it finally came true. I am sure you have heard this saying before, however, let me reiterate that "Now the REAL work begins." With that being said, let me give you a little advice. I will list a few things that I  hope you find this helpful as you transition from being a prospective member to being an actual member if your organization.

1. Take it all in and enjoy being a neophyte. I loved being a neo. When I first became a Delta, I was beside myself. I wanted to be the BEST Delta I would be. I also made a vow to make the soror who wrote my letter or recommendation proudly. I studied every rule, protocol, do's and don'ts, etc. I remember how impressed my chapter sorors were when I went to my first chapter meeting. Take in all the love. You will receive respect from everywhere included your new sorors, fraternity members, prospective members, GDI's, etc. They are excited for you, and they see the love that you have for your organization.

2. Have THICK SKIN! Why? There will always be haters out there. Folks who are hating because you got picked and they didn't. People will hate because you didn't pick the org that THEY felt that YOU should have chosen. (Yes, it does happen). And if I can keep it REAL one hundred, you might even receive some haters from people from your OWN organization. Shake those haters off.  You are not going to be embraced by everyone, but that's just life. Remember how you felt when you got that phone call inviting you to membership. You became a member of *feel in the blank* Org.  That feeling when you were embraced by you new sorors/frat brothers.

3. REMEMBER why you joined this organization and that you made a LIFETIME commitment. This is SO important. What breaks my heart is that same zeal that I have seen from people becoming members in year one, to "girl I ain't got time" to support this event, or join this committee, or run for office, or *fill in the blank.* Well, you apparently had time to go through the process which I am sure was time-consuming, expensive, and required you to give your all. Also, remember that you yes YOU were chosen. Some people would love to be in your position. The chapter that you were initiated in apparently saw something special in you to pick you for membership.

4. Now that you have revealed yourself to your campus/community and people know who you are, now is the time to get ready to WORK! I am sure that you that cannot wait to get your hands dirty. And on behalf of members who have been in the organization and have been working hard, we are more than happy to hand that torch over to you. We are open to new and innovative ideas, and we LOVE when new members are eager to work.

5. Now that you are ready and willing to work, brace yourself. Look at all of the committees within your Org. Is there one that tugs at your heart? If so then THAT'S the one for you. My recommendation is to join ONE. As a new member I get it, you want to join this committee and that committee, and run for this office, and a year later, you are BURNT OUT and want to take a year off. I tell new members all the time that it's more useful to join ONE committee and put there all into it. Year two, you can either rejoin that committee (as chair this time possibly) and join the second committee as well. Now that I have said that, let me be brutally honest with you. Your new sorors/frats may volunteer you for many roles, so just expect it. (We actually call it voluntell/voluntold, which means we are not really "asking you" but telling you. This happens all the time. When I became a neo, I was expected to work the door of every party, help plan events, set up the events, break down events, clean up after events, etc. If I can be completely honest with you, I loved it. I was able to get to know everyone and learn the business of Delta. So if you are ever wondering "why do they ALWAYS ask ME to do this, that and the other," It just comes with the task of being a neophyte.

6. Don't get discouraged. You may experience getting shut down at chapter meetings, and realize that it's normal. When you go to your chapter/committee meetings, check your feelings at the door. Your program may not get approved, your idea may not be implemented, or the policy that you feel so passionate about may not get the majority vote, and that's okay. Just remember that it is nothing personal against you. You will not get your way every single time. These organizations run like a business and just like a business some new ideas get implemented, some do not. That doesn't mean that you give up, just be aware. If your plan doesn't pass the first time, talk to some members afterward to figure out what their concerns are.

7. Paraphernalia - Not everything that has your letters is CUTE. I honestly do mean that. Now you couldn't tell me that when I first crossed. I bought everything that had Delta Letters on it, or clothing that was red, if it looked anything close to Delta, I HAD to have it. Remember you have a LIFETIME to collect/purchase paraphernalia. If you want my personal opinion, the best pari you can buy is at State and Regional Conferences, and National Conventions. For me, I love buying things that are different and unique. My biggest pet peeve is seeing vendors create the SAME items for all organizations. Look, I get it. You just crossed, and you love all things pink, green, red, blue, gold, purple, brown, etc. but as I stated before you have a lifetime!

8. Stay educated. This is so important. You need to know your tools, (and by tools I mean your ritual, Constitution, and Bylaws, etc.) These organizations are forever changing so what you was true the year YOU pledge, could have changed. The last thing you want to do is tell someone something that is no longer than the case in your organization. When I was chosen from my chapter to participate in membership intake, I read my tools. What I found was a lot of things have changed. I was surprised by how much has changed since my last intake, but I wanted to make sure I was informed regarding the process. Now that you are a member of XYZ org, now is the time for you to educate yourself at the national level, as well as your local chapter.  Not sure where to find the information in regards to your local chapter? Reach out to your local president, and I am sure she/he will guide you to where you need to go to access the procedures for the chapter.

9. The best way to stay informed? Attend your state, regional, and national conventions/boules. This is SO important. New Policies are introduced/changed and updated during this time. I spoke about my first national convention, and it was nothing short of amazing. To see my sorors in the sea of white was breathtaking. I met SO many sorors during that time, from coast to coast and sea to sea. It was wonderful. I was able to take pictures with my current National President (Marcia Fudge) and the upcoming National President (Gwendolyn Boyd). I learned so much during this time. It was also amazing to see how Delta conducts business at the National Level. For those of you who just crossed, I would HIGHLY recommend that you attend your next National Convention/Boule. I can't even put into words how overwhelmed you will feel. I will also add how important it is to attend your state/regional conference as well. It's important to know and understand how your organization operates at the local and state level. The BEST Sistergreek/Fraternity Member to me is an informed one. Don't rely on the second-hand information because although I am sure the person that is relating the information has the best intentions, there is nothing better than hearing it first hand. Although boules/conventions are all about business, this is also an opportunity to network, and have fun as well. There are usually Step shows, Galas, Concerts, etc. happening during this time.  This is also an excellent opportunity for a lot of sorors/frat members connect with their line sisters/ships during this time since this is the only time they can get together. So, in essence, a lot of people use this as a reunion to catch up. This is also how you can see and listen to the speeches of those who are running for office.

10. Be humble! Remember a few months ago you were a prospect wanting someone to take a chance on you. You expressed your desire to the chapter on why they should pick you to become a member, all you needed was a chance. Why am I I saying this? Because there are other prospective members out there that want to become members as well. They want to be your shoes. If someone comes up to you expressing interests, be very careful how you interact with them. Trust me; they are more than likely already intimidated because you have something they so desperately want, so it's essential for you to remember that. At some point in time, we were all in their shoes. Back when I pledged Delta, I only had one person that I could talk to, and even then I was intimidated because one, she was my boyfriend's at the time sister.   I didn't want to come off as being as if just because I was dating her brother, she had an obligation to help me, and two, I wanted it so bad that it took me a long time just to make the initial step to call her. I have spoken about this before that DeltaNet (A Delta website created by Bee Jae Jackson- RIP Soror- before the internet was popping. This was before our National Website was established. (And she was the FIRST webmistress of that as well). I loved how she created a platform for people like myself who was very shy, yet I wanted this and couldn't quite understand how to express my interest in the organization. I met a lot of Deltas during this time and established relationships with them both before, during and AFTER my process. I credit soror Jackson for this blog. Because she created a platform for prospective members for Delta, I wanted to create a platform as well. The only difference is I try to keep all of my posts generic for any and everyone who wants to join a BGLO.

Congrats again everyone. I hope this post was helpful and enjoy Greek life. Is there any specific topic you me to address as a new member? If so comment below.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

My National Convention Delta Treasures

The rest of the convention was all about the business. It was refreshing to finally be able to sleep (FINALLY) and not worry about waking up at 4:30 am for early morning rehearsals. Although I enjoy connecting with sorors, singing the choir, and attending fun-fare events such as the Gospel Fest, Stepshow, Welcome ceremony, etc., the best part of the convention to me is the business. After getting dressed, I was able to connect with my neo again, and we headed to the central area for the business sessions. It was quite informative. When it was all over, we both headed to the vendor's area since I had to leave out and head home the next day. As much as I have enjoyed myself in Las Vegas, I was really looking forward to going home.

We walked around for a bit, as I started to check out the deals. Since the convention was coming to a close, vendors tend to put a lot of their items on sale, so they don't have to ship their merchandise home. (There were still two days left, but I had to get back home to prepare for school).  I usually only go to the vendors TWICE during a National Convention/Regional Conference; on the first day and the night before I leave. On the first day, I only purchase MUST HAVES. Must haves for me are items that are unique, and the vendor only has a few in stock.  Typically, these items sell out before the end of the first day. On the last night, before I leave, I will go back to the vendors to bargain shop and see what they have on sale. Most of the time, all the items that I purchased during this period is 30-50% off. I was able to find some great things!  After we casually browsed through every booth, we started back at the beginning to see if there was anything worth buying. I must admit that most of the paraphernalia that I purchased, was during this time. All of the items were on sale, and I was able to negotiate a few pieces. Here is a preview of my fantastic finds.
My Delta Treasures

I LOVE Jewelry 

I can never have too many Pearls

This set was only 10 bucks, YES! 

I can never have too many Delta Pins

I love this Delta/Alpha Necklace. 

I had to shop for my Darling Alpha Husband. He was SO thankful.

I am VERY proud to be an Alpha's Wife. 

I Love This Unique Delta Shirt. WINNER!

I received this shopping bag for free w/purchase. 

So while I was shopping, I stopped by this booth "Renee Marie" to inquire if they had what I labeled as the "Superwoman" bracelet.  I purchased the bracelet a month before, and I wanted to show my neo the bracelet. When I asked about the bracelet, the vendor looked confused and stated that I must have the wrong booth. I was then confused, and I pulled up my phone and pulled up my blog to show her a picture. I featured her items on my blog before. (She has some amazing stuff, check it out here --->(
At any rate, when I showed her the picture and told her the I blogged about her items, she smiled and stated that they didn't bring any bracelets to the convention. I told her that I really wanted to show my friend the bracelet. She then reaches behind the counter and pulls out this BEAUTIFUL envelope clutch and says "Now you have something else to blog about." I paused for a second, and it took me a min to realize she was GIVING IT TO ME! I came across the counter to give her a big HUG. (Oh, and I failed to mention she was also a soror). HOW COOL IS THAT???? The front has a print of our Crest, and the back has our beautiful letters. I absolutely fell in LOVE WITH IT, and if she didn't bless me with this clutch, I would have bought it. She also blessed my neo with a free clutch as well.  Thank you SOROR CANDICE!!!!!!!!!

The back of the Clutch

The front of the Clutch

I ended up purchasing two more items from Renee Marie once returned home which I will feature on my blog at a later time.  Her quality of her merchandise is impeccable.  I am very pleased with my Delta finds, and my husband was grateful for the items that I purchased for him as well. He stated that he was more than prepared for the upcoming fraternity year. I told him that I need to buy a Delta Jewlrey box, JUST FOR Delta Items. After he saw my Delta items, he agreed! So now I am on the hunt to find a Delta Jewlrey box to store my jewelry. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

53rd National Convention (Interfaith Worship Service/Gospel Fest)

Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring. Dang, Didn't I JUST lay my head down on this pillow? I struggled to get out of bed for today's events.  After getting dressed in my White, I headed downstairs to catch the shuttle. I had to get to the Garden Arena (MGM Hotel) by 5:30 for choir rehearsal. 

We had a great rehearsal, and we were ready to SANG! As the venue started filling up, I realized that this was a perfect opportunity to take out my camera and start snapping away. One benefit of being a member of the choir, is you get premium seating. I was able to capture great footage from where I was sitting. Seeing a sea of Black Women dressed in white was a sight to see. The service started promptly at 7:00. Unlike on yesterday during our opening ceremony, on today, I was able to snap away like crazy as the NEB made their way to the front. 

We had excellent service, and our guest speaker, National Chaplain Vashti Murphy McKenzie did a phenomenal job. I was able to do a video collage from the service, as well as Friday's rehearsal from the Convention Choir. 

Leaving the service was not an easy task at all. It was sorors EVER-EE-WHERE!  While I was in line waiting to get on the bus, I ran into an FB friend that I connected with on FB but never met in real person. HOW COOL IS THAT! When I finally got on the bus, I must have gone straight to sleep. The next thing I remember was a soror waking me up saying "We're back at Mandalay Bay soror, wake up. I looked around and realized that I was the LAST person on the bus mind you, I was sitting at the very back. I guess I was tired. I headed back to my hotel to take a breather before heading back to our regional luncheon. My only disappointment was I had to attend my current region's luncheon. I was made in the Midwest, but I am currently in the far west region. Although I absolutely LOVE my fabulous Farwest Region, I also wanted to reconnect with sorors from the Midwest. The luncheon was great, and I was thrilled that our chapter picked up a few awards. When it was over, I made my way over to the Midwest Region's room to see if I would find any familiar sorors. It was then that I was able to hook up with one of my neo's. I was thrilled to see her. After we connected, we both rushed to grab a seat for the Public Meeting. A Public meeting is where all members of the Divine Nine is present to give greetings to the body of Delta Sigma Theta.  

National Presidents and Representatives from the Divine Nine

When the public meeting ended,  I headed BACK to my hotel to get ready for tonight's main event; the Gospel Fest featuring Tasha Cobbs, and Hezekiah Walker. So you know what that means right? Yup, it was back to the Garden Arena. The spirit of the place was incredible. It all started with announcing the winners of the Gospel Choir Contest. Congrats to the members of the Chicago Alumnae Chapter of being the winners. They sounded outstanding together as a choir.  Tasha Cobbs was up first, and she laid it down with her vocals. People were really feeling the spirit. Hezekiah Walker closed the place down with an altar call after his performance. I am so thankful I was able to attend this spirit-filled concert. We straight up had Church that night. 

Chicago Alumnae Chapter: Winners of the Gospel Choir Challenge

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

53rd National Convention (Step-Show)

Yawn! As much as I love being in the choir, I was beyond exhausted. Living off two hours of sleep was very hard. As I stumbled to get on the bus, seeing the beautiful faces of my sorors made it all worthwhile and woke me up. As usual,  the opening ceremony was incredible. I always get teary-eyed during the ceremony. We welcomed a new honorary member, Patience Stephens, Ph.D. to the sisterhood. (Google her).  When the ceremony was over, I grabbed some lunch and attended several plenary sessions.

 I then went back to the hotel, to change into some comfortable clothes (paraphernalia) and headed to the step-show. What a great time we had.  Generally, I would try to hook up with my chapter members to sit with them. However, I was on a mission to find a seat where I would be able to capture great photos and video footage. As I sat down, right to the right of me was chapter sorors. I guess it was meant to be for me to be sitting right across from them. After exchanging that good ole' fashion Delta embrace, I pulled out my camera and started snapping away. The DJ was spinning on the 1's and 2's and soror was in the aisle getting their "stroll on. " I was able to capture some great video footage and pictures from the event. The National Executive Board showed up and showed out.  Sorors were decked out in their crimson and cream and were anxiously awaiting to see which chapter would claim the throne of first place. Overall, I actually enjoyed myself. The judges included members of the Divine Nine, and they did a great job judging the show. 

When the show finally ended, the MC highlighted sorors who pledged from each decade. One, by one, each decade started to rep the decade that they pledged. It was so much fun. When it was all over, I began to follow a group of sorors "thinking" they were heading back to the shuttle bus to take us BACK to Mandalay Bay. Big mistake. I realized, they were all staying AT the MGM hotel, and they were just heading back to their rooms. After realizing that I had to make my way BACK to the Garden Arena to head back to the shuttle bus area. By this time I was starving! I grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the hotel. Although I was tired as all get out, I had to transfer my photo/video images to my computer to clean out my card. I needed a fresh brand new card for tomorrow's events. (Really today's events since it was well past 2 am.) I was finally able to get into bed by 2:30 a.m. only to get up 2 hours later for our Interfaith Worship Service.