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......