Wednesday, September 28, 2016

                                                                     About Shanna

Hello everyone!! 

My name is Shanna Postlewait and I am not an
international student.  I was born and raised in
a wee town on the east side of Washington
called Walla Walla: a town so nice they named it twice.

So here is the basic layout of myself.  I am currently working as the International Student Services Administrative Intern (Wooo what a mouth full), I am also double majoring in Hispanic studies and English Literature and I am the president of The Mark: a writing club.  So if you see a zombie on campus please do not be alarmed as it is most likely my lovely energy-drained-self.

Now you may be wondering what a native like myself is doing in ISS.  Well I am glad you asked!  (No seriously though I wanted an excuse to show off this photo)
A store front in el Calle de Arte in Granada, Spain

I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in the spring of 2016 in Granada, Spain.  I now have a Spanish family that I call my own and many friends who I left across the big pond. 

So even though I have never been a foreigner in the U.S I definitely know and have experienced the whirlpool of emotions that come with big adventures like these.

Speaking of adventures, this is also my last year as an undergraduate.  That's right after this I will be forcefully shoved into the responsibility-filled adult world. (Sorry I have a taste for the dramatic)  And even though I am a bit nervous I can't wait to start yet another new and exciting phase in my life!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Moon Festival in Vietnam

Hello everyone! 

I wonder if anyone knows that Moon Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival) was on last week珞. For people who don’t know what this festival is about, “The Mid-Autumn festival is named "Tết Trung Thu" in Vietnamese. It is also known as Children's Festival because of the event's emphasis on children. In olden times, the Vietnamese believed that children, being innocent and pure, had the closest connection to the sacred and natural world. Being close to children was seen as a way to connect with animist spirits and deities.” (Wikipedia)

In Vietnam, children participate in parades in the dark under the full moon with lanterns of various forms, shapes, and colors. What I found most interesting about this festival is that it has a special folk tale to go with. It is about the legend of Cuội, whose wife accidentally urinated on a sacred banyan tree.
The tree began to float towards the moon, and Cuội, trying to pull it back down to earth, floated to the moon with it, leaving him stranded there. And that’s why every year, during the Mid-Autumn Festival, children light lanterns and participate in a procession to show Cuội the way back to Earth.

Making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. Mooncake has a round shape that symbolizes completeness and reunion. Thus, the sharing and eating of round mooncakes among family members during the week of the festival signify the completeness and unity of families.

Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos. In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Villagers of Xuân La, just south of Hanoi, produce tò he, figurines made from rice paste and colored with natural food dyes.

Me with roomie and our friends, Camille

I miss the holiday so much since it’s been 3 years I’m not in Vietnam to celebrate it. But spending time last week with friends and eating mooncakes were such a precious moment here in the US and at PLU. Next year, Moon Festival will be on October 4 so put it on calendar and celebrate with your families and friends! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Top 10 Lute-tips 

Hey Lutes! Whether you are right off the plane or have been here for some time, these tips will apply to you. I am writing from my own experience and the goal is to give you the best college experience you can possibly have. These tips have helped me conquer the world of college life with all that comes with it. From academics to having fun, college is a great time. I believe these ten tips will increase your productivity so you can both nail the classes and see the newest episode on Netflix. I wish you all the best for the upcoming semester. Let`s rock and roll, we can do this Lutes! 

This is me doing a prime tourist selfie in San Francisco over Spring Break Last Year for those who are curious. P.S: travelling is lots of fun! 
This is me in Garibaldi Lake, Canada for those who want to like to Hike/visit new countries. 

(That was a little bit about me, if you want to know more see my other post on this site)

Here are my Top 10 Lute-tips: 
  1. Get to know your school
    • There is always an event on campus! Check calendars and be a part of newsletters to see when fun stuff are going on. Flourish in the academic realm of lutes. Engage with teachers and classmates who want to help you be the best you can be here. 
  2. Get to know the area 
    • Parkland and Tacoma offers diversity and an unique opportunity to get different experiences and learn from people from others cultures like yourself. A lot of people want to talk to you so emerge in our area and embrace diversity within Tacoma, from food to music and art. 
  3. Get to know your classmates 
    • Engage in activities at school and in the area and make PLU yours. A big component to making PLU home and feeling at ease with Lutetown is to make it your own, do what you like to do and engage with the club or group of your choice. College is so much fun and you have began your journey as a Lute. Start a club if you don't see your niche or interest taken care of or join or rigorous variety of clubs on campus. 
  4. Grow as a leader
    • A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. PLU has numerous ways to be a leader, at a club, in class or in talks with friends. A leader is within all of us so show your inner leadership here at PLU and have others do the same. 
  5. Don`t be afraid to be different
    • Often times you feel like you need to be different than you are to fit in, but be yourself and that is more than enough. Be yourself because everyone and every story is unique and everyone will respect someone who are confident in themselves and that they are good enough. If you have an idea at a club, say it, don't be afraid. 
  6. Dream big 
    • PLU is what you make it, so don't be afraid to dream big and make goals on what you want to get our of school here. Setting realistic goals is important but also goals that brings the very best out of you. 
  7. Master your schedule 
    • There is a lot of activities going on at college and a lot of people who want to engage with you. To succeed in various things, plan things and stay on top of your schedule to have the most fun. An example for me is doing homework in weekdays and then travel on weekends. I have done this thus far and have felt I have plenty of time to both succeed in academics, be part of clubs, work and emerge in fun travel experiences. 
  8. Control your expenses
    • It is important to budget and spend your money sustainably. The currency for a lot of you guys can be tough now, it is at least for me as a Norwegian. I need to budget food, fun, necessities and so on. Setting up a monthly budget is a great way to get the most out of your money. 
  9. Take care of yourself 
    • You are in a new country and it can be overwhelming. A good priority is to take care of yourself health-wise. I took the flu shot to avoid being sick for a week as I was my first semester here. Also, eat well and exercise. Food may not be the same that you are used to. Sleep is also quintessential. Though it is fun staying up late sometimes, do what you need to do to be at your best. Taking care of your body is crucial to being able to balance everything and to enjoy yourself to the fullest here in the states. 
  10. Foster teamwork
      • This is the summary of all the others. We here at ISS and other PLU workers want to help you succeed and to feel at home here at PLU and in the USA. We are here for you and want to have a good teamwork. Take part of our activities because they are really fun and don't be afraid to talk to us about anything. We are all together here, we all want to succeed, do well and have fun and enriching life experiences. Share your dreams and ideas on how to make PLU better and engage with others to help this come true.