Friday, November 23, 2012

My Stages in Greek Life!!!!

There are MANY stages in Greek Life, and I would like to share mine! Although I go into GREAT detail in my journey to Greek Life at I will break down the many stages I went through when becoming Greek.

Year One and Two Everything I owned was red/white! I was like a Wal-Mart Queen trying to find cute red/white tank tops, shirts, jackets, etc ,and I would take them straight to our local Greek Embroidery store to get my line Name/Ship Name, Line Number, Crossing Date, Crossing Time, etc. Put on there. Every single elephant I came across I HAD to have (after collecting my 22 as gifts FIRST, because that was a tradition in my chapter, you could NOT purchase any elephants until you receive 22 as gifts).

Always had to wear something with my letters, Oo-ooping was a MUST on the yard in-between classes, I had to add a class to my class load entitled - "Strolling/Strutting 101 which my sorors and I practiced every chance we got.  I never took a picture without throwing up the pyramid! Making up step show steps was a daily routine for me before bed in my dorm room mirror and walking to classes. If I wasn't busy at opera/theater rehearsals, then I was at step show practice.

My line had the pressure of keeping up with the tradition of our chapter winning the step show competition. Chapter meetings were one of the highlights of my weeks, and I was PROUD to be the president of my chapter! I also learned a lot being a member of NPHC local chapter. Traveling to other chapters/schools was INCREDIBLE especially if we went to colleges/universities where they did not have a chapter. We were treated like superstars!!!! Going to the mall, I always ran up to anyone who was wearing my letters to greet them, and exchange information.

I had three rooms FULL of Greek Paraphernalia, clothes, cups, napkins, hats, car decals, barbie, jewelery, you name it, I.HAD.IT! What can I say...I was going through the Neo-itist Stage!

Year Three - Five - Becoming a Lifetime member (Was a struggle at first to make that HUGE payment, but I knew it would eventually pay off (which is has).  I missed my undergrad experience/ better know as "The Yard." I had to become a grown up, which means no more step show/strolling practice till 3 am. No more super stardom trips to universities! I had to get used to Grad Chapter and how different it was, hard work, dedication, no more parties! Occasionally I wore my paraphernalia but, for the most part, it's packed up in my "Greek Chest." My life went from Stepshow practice, strolling practice and Planning Greek Parties, to the COMPLETE opposite! I can finally walk into a store and see an elephant, smile, and keep it moving without having a the burning desire of "having to have it." Going to the Mall, if I see someone with my letters on, I may speak, I may not depending on my mood.....I don't have to run them over like I use to anymore. The only time I feel obligated is if I had on letters.....but even then before I put on any paraphernalia before stepping out of the house, I make the decision of if I want to speak or not. If not, I won't wear it.

Year Five - Ten   My house now only has a few elephants throughout, the rest of them are in storage. I became a member at large, but still volunteered and supported my local chapter. (The meeting times didn't fit my schedule). The only time I would wear any paraphernalia is if it were raining, I would grab my Delta umbrella, or if I was going to a Greek Event like a step show. Wearing my letters weren't that important to me anymore, I knew I was Greek, and that's all that mattered. Going back to my chapter reunion was amazing, and I was still trying to get used to being called an "Old head, WHAT???" Realizing how times had changed while watching my new chapter members stroll to a song. Wow- Did we gyrate like that when WE were in the chapter? Still can go to a Union Party, but can't stroll as long as I use to....It's late (3 am) ain't 'chall ready to go home? Yeah, after I said that, I realized, I am OFFICIALLY AN.OLD.HEAD.!

Ten Years and Beyond- After officially accepting being called "old head" I am proud of my new title! Re-joined an alumnae chapter, and was happy to leave my "member at large" status behind. Chapter meetings, planning, scholarship money, Diabetes walk, Cancer walk, Delta Gems, EMBODI, Jabberwock, is what my life consist of.  Wait I can't find my Paraphernalia T-Shirts, Crossing Jacket....It's packed away somewhere. Oh well, let me log online and see if I can purchase one and hopefully it will get here before next week Greek Picnic.

Going back to my chapter for reunions have a new meaning....."Naw baby, Y'all can go ahead and do the stroll w/out me. I'm too busy taking pictures/video footage." (But deep inside I'm saying to myself,  this body, can't function the way it use to...and wait you'll bout to do the duck walk??? Naw, I am not doing that, not with THESE knees).

It's great to hear my name ....Oh wait you're Such and Such??? Wow- even though we just met, I have heard SO many stories about you when you were a member of the chapter. (Smiling and saying CHEESE, *inside chapter joke*) My husband went through the same thing...he recently went to his 40th Chapter Anniversary which happened to be during homecoming weekend. Him, his line brother, prophytes, his neos when he was dean of the line and others that pledged him were sitting around reminiscing old times all decided to go the union party! I had to mention this because once they got there, they did an old school stroll one time around the party, sat down, and several of them FELL.ASLEEP at a union party! (How do you go to a party, where the music is blasting and FALL ASLEEP???  I DIED laughing and was like give it up boys;,,,you're not young'ns anymore!

Building a Greek name for myself in my graduate chapter, and feeling the love, passion, and dedication at a different level in my new home chapter. I would rather spend my Saturdays getting up early to serve my community, organization, than spend my Saturday evenings at a Greek Party strolling, at Greek Sips. Hey what can I say, my bedtime is no longer 4 am, instead it's 9 pm!

Cia for now!

I'm Greek and I'm Proud (Undergrad OR Grad)

So you just graduated from college, and for some reason or another you decided that the FIRST thing you want to do after graduation is find an alumni/alumnae chapter of Greek Phi Greek  to join in your local community. Okay, I get it, you couldn't pledge because the Deltas were suspended, the Alphas didn't have intake, Your campus didn't have Ques on the yard, OR you tried and tired and tried again, only to receive multiple rejections. So now you are you feel your best chance is to try and join grad chapter.

So I talked about this SOooooo many times before, but after going to homecoming a few weeks ago, I HAD To bring this up AGAIN to make myself perfectly clear! There is NOTHING wrong with joining an alumnae/alumni chapter, and you should NEVER use an alumnae/alumni chapter to join just so you can re-capture your college years during homecoming/reunions at your college/university. If you want MY opinion, if I pledged Delta at the Alumnae level, and I go back to my college for a reunion, then the only paraphernalia that EYE (and yes I spelled it that way on purpose) would be wearing is my school's paraphernalia. Why attend a reunion all decked out in Greek Wear and I didn't attend that particular school? Now I am not by no means saying this is law, but this is what EYE would do.

I was present at homecoming reunion, and it was painful to see how some people who OBVIOUSLY became Greek AFTER they left college how they were trying to "fit in", or re-capture their Greek Life experience (which was non-existence since they didn't pledge until AFTER they graduated) with the undergraduate chapters.

Case in point, BE PROUD WHERE YOU WERE MADE!!!!! Stop trying to fit in, and/or recapture your youth through the undergrad chapter. You ever heard of the term "Thirsty"? That's what you look like, and trust me it's not a good look! I was shaking my head to witness how some people are trying so hard to fit in with the undergrad chapter. Now I am not saying you can't speak, sing, or connect with them, I'm not saying that at ALL! But lets "think" about the definition of reunion which means "the reuniting of persons together after a separation." So how is forcing your way to "kick it" with a chapter you were NOT a member of, especially since the majority of the members who are planning the reunion, meaning the CURRENT members are planning everything?

Most chapters have their "own" special reunion "luncheon" during homecoming, and at my school for example, that's a time where we get to know each other better, we introduce our lineage, we have a stroll off competition between either lines, or decades, etc. Instead, I would suggest that if you attend your college reunion, that you take the time to REUNITE with the people you went to school with.

When your chapter has an anniversary, then that is the time for you join in together, wear your chapter shirt PROUDLY and reunite with your chapter fraternity brothers/sorors!

I guess that's all for now, be blessed!

Don't Quit Poem
by anonymous

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must; but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow;
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit;
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

As I sit here with my family, after eating dinner, playing family games, I am very thankful!
I am truly thankful for my family, friends, sorors, and sistergreeks.

I am also thankful for all of you that have decided to follow me on my blog these several years. Some of you started out as strangers, and now my sorors, sistergreek, and fraternity members. I hope that Greek-Life is all that you hoped it will be! Please remember to be humble and no matter what, remain the same person. So many people have changed when they become Greek, and as I spoke openly in my previous blogs, please do not allow three small letters change you!

I lost a few sorors/friends this year, and I am praying for their family as they grieve during this time. For those of you that have lost loved ones, I am praying, and thinking of you as well. Although it's personally natural to grieve, I would suggest taking this time, thinking about the wonderful time you have shared together!

Wishing you all a wonderful, blessed and happy Thanksgiving!! I am wrapping up a movie "The Hunger Games" and trying to digest this food, so we can prepare for BLACK FRIDAY, YEAH BOYeee!!!!!

Cia loves!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

HBCU Vs. PWI (Historically Black College/Universities vs Predominately White Institutions)

So as you know from my Blog Entry entitled "My Journey to Greek Life" which talks about how I became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., I attended a PWI- Predominately White Institution. Although I was accepted in three Major HBCU's I decided that my going to a PWI was a better choice for me because of my major (Opera Vocal Performance). Since I knew I was going to be competing among the best and that Whites dominated the Opera world, I felt it was in my best interest to attend a College that would prepare me for those challenges. So is there differences in pledging an HBCU vs a PWI? Yes. Although I did not attend an HBCU, I had tons of friends that did and pledged and they shared their experiences with me.

So what are the differences???

HBCU- Historically Black Colleges and Universities!

PWI- Predominately White Institutions

HBCU's have caps on their lines, whereas PWIs do not. What is a cap? A Cap simply means your line cannot exceed a certain amount. At HBCUs their are generally large turn outs for Rush/Informational. For example for Delta, you might have 400 people attend, and half of them might qualify/apply for membership. Instead of picking all of them, the university may have a cap of only 75 members.

PWI- (Predominately White Institutions) do not have to worry about caps because they do not have the same type of turn outs at Rush. The University that I attended for example the average amount of attendees are around 20-40 (for sororities) and 15-20 for fraternities. The Deltas however always had an average 0f 40-60 basically because at the time when I was a student we were the most popular on our campus.

In the past people have compared PWI's BGLOs to HBCU BGLOs. Some from PWI feel that there is no way anyone who pledged a HBCU had a "process" because there is NO WAY you can pledge a line of 40+ members.

Pledge lines- HBCUs typically line their members by height, and that is how you get your quote unquote "line number" So if you are the shortest on your line, then you were the ACE, and if you were the Tallest, then you were the Tail.

Pledge Lines- PWIs typically your line number is given to you based on your knowledge and was considered "earned." For example the person who is given the number 1 is considered the Captain and NOT the Ace, because they are quick thinkers, or very smart. The last person on the line is considered the "Anchor" and not the Tail.

There are also typically other "positions" that exists at various PWIs such as Co-Captain, the Rock, Mid-Ship, Navigator (which was my position, I was the Deuce as well as the Navigator on my line) and many others......

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Senior Year....Now what????

First off CONGRATS CLASS OF 2012!!!!! You survived 4, 5, or 6 years of college, (or more).... This is a HUGE accomplishment. Those late nights of studying, partying, praying (for God to help you during those major exams, especially finals) have paid off. You are hopeful that you can say goodbye to roman noodles, give pizza a break, and you are getting ready to enter the REAL world, and Make some REAL money for the first time in your life. You feel as if you have accomplished your goals of getting that BA, BS, BM degree, you met some long-life friends and you are hopeful that you can land a good paying job. There is just ONE thing you were not able to accomplish during your years in college...Yup, PLEDGING! This can be for many reasons such as they were/are suspended on campus, you did not realize you wanted to join until it was too late, You tried and tried and tried over and over again only to receive rejection letter after rejection letter. So now what? You are determined to become a member at all cost. So what steps do you take?
Well let me first tell you that membership in any organization at the Alumni/Alumnae level is VERY expensive! So I would start off by focusing on YOURSELF first. Duh right? Well you'd be surprise! This doesn't mean that you can't find out if there is an active Alumni/Alumnae Chapter in your area, and if they are hosting any events. You can still do that, but in the meantime, get settled! You are all grown now.....Those student loans will be knocking on your door sooner than what you think. Sure six months seems like a long time NOW, but TRUST me, you will look up and receive the first bill in the mail. If you are BLESSED enough to have already secured a full time job, BEFORE graduation, KUDOS and CONGRATS!
Once have secured a job and you have everything else in can't stop thinking about fulfilling your dream of becoming a member of ABC organization....But you are no longer in on a College campus, so what are the steps? Where do you start? What do you do ff you are starting a new job in a new state?
1. Join a prestigious organizations in your area. NAACP, Young Black Professionals, Metro Board, Big Brother/Big Sisters are just a few orgs that comes to my mind at the moment. More than likely these orgs will include Greek members. Also doing a quick google search on the Internet in looking up the nearest Alumni/Alumnae Chapter is also a great idea.
2. How about looking up for the nearest NPHC Chapter (National Pan-Hellenic Chapter which consist of the all the BGLOs). They normally host several events throughout the year, and this is a perfect way for you to connect with the organization of your choice.

3. Start serving your community! Most organizations require a certain amount of community service, so give yourself a head start by start serving NOW!
4. Start saving NOW, (if you can). Even by putting a way a dollar here, or a dollar there can help you. As I stated before, membership can be VERY expensive, so you want to be prepared financially.

5. Have patience! Becoming a member at the alumni/alumnae level requires a lot of patience especially since most chapters do not have intake often.
6. Research, Research Research! I have many postings about this so if you need to refresh on this topic, feel free to re-visit!
7. Preparation is key!

8. Have Confidence! So you didn't make line during your undergraduate career and you're still mad about it. Get.Over.It! Look at this as a wonderful opportunity, and a second chance.
Well that's all for now, good luck to you and your future endeavors, and once again, CONGRATULATIONS Class of 2012!!!! (I truly do mean this, as I am preparing to get hooded and walk across the stage myself in six days, Whoo hoo!!!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Else????

What's the number one question I receive from people who are interesting in pledging a BGLO? To sum it up, it all starts off with "What Else?" Honestly, I cannot answer this question. As I have said time and time again, you need to treat joining a BGLO the same way as applying for a job position. Like a job position, you can meet the requirements, have the work history, have impeccable references/referrals, and still not land the job. This works the same way when applying for membership in a BGLO as well. The only differences, if you are trying to join as an undergrad, the members can also consider your actions on your college campus and how you carry yourself on or around campus, facebook page/posts, pictures, parties, etc.....

 I have said this over and over again and can't say it enough. Do You want to be a part of the best? (And by best I mean AKA, Delta, Zeta, SGRho) Then you need to BE the best! What do I consider the best? High GPA, continuous community service, someone in leadership roles, making an impact in your community (Alumni/Alumnae Level) or college campus (Undergraduate Level).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy New Year....

Okay, so I realized we are almost in the THIRD month of 2012 but Hey with my hectic schedule, I couldn't post in the Month of January, OR February for that matter since tomorrow is leap year.
I have received a lot of Thank You's for starting this blog.....And well....You're welcome! I enjoy blogging about things that I love...Greek, my relationship/family, and my journey of being a successful Opera Singer. These last few months have been a world wind with a lot of things going on, (all FAN-TAB-U-LOUS things of course) and I didn't have anytime to write any new Greek postings lately. Glad you guys are enjoying the subjects and for the FIRST TIME EVER, if you would like for me to blog about something specifically,,,,please respond to THIS post by submitting a reply asking me and if there is enough interest around that topic, I will post about it. Since this blog has been up three years ago, I have received almost 600 Thousand hits!!!! YAY!!! So obviously there are ton of people out there who want to learn about BGLO's.......So I am thrilled I am able to provide you with as much info as I can.

As I stated before, this blog is VERY general, and does not specifically target one organization, but ALL! Every org has their own "specific" requirements that you must have, and as always I recommend that you visit their national website for the requirements....

In the meantime be on the look out for more posts.....I know it's that time of year again,,,,,RUSH, Interviews, Packets, I am wishing you all MANY blessings as you prepare for this journey, and when you make it please let me know. I would LOVE to hear from you! Since starting this blog 3 years ago, I have seen 218 people cross into Greekland! *You know who are, and CONGRATS again*

Ciao for now!