Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LAD, Class, and Socials OH MY!

It’s hard to believe that fall break is just a few weeks away. Man I tell ya, this semester is flying by! How have your classes been going? My classes have been very interesting. This is my first semester in the field for credit and I am enjoying myself a great deal. I hope the semester is treating everyone well.

Recap of the first half of the semester:

Besides all of the non-school related, yet intellectually stimulating, things I have been doing (HAHA) I have been working with GSA a lot. Recently a law was passed that graduate student interest rate will now fluctuate depending on the economy. The interest rate for graduate student loans can go up as high as 9.5% whereas undergraduate student loans cannot surpass 8.25%. Well this is just not acceptable for graduate students. We already have loans from our undergraduate degree and a good portion of us have families and bills that need to be taken care of. So, an organization called the National Association for Graduate Professional Students (NAGPS) had an opportunity to represent and advocate for graduate students. The event is called LAD or Legislative Action Days. I went with the organization to Washington DC and spoke with representatives for Senator Casey and Toomey. My cohort and I spoke about the interest rate amendment as well as some other pressing graduate student issues that need to be addressed. It was an extremely nerve wrecking but awesome experience. Until this past year I did not know, nor cared to know, anything about politics. I felt that my voice did not matter and I shouldn’t waste my time because everyone is out for self. LAD helped me voice my concerns as a graduate student and feel comfortable doing so.

LAD Participants
After a Judicary meeting regarding immigration (excuse the quality)
PA State Flag

PA NAGPS representatives WCU, Carnegie Melon, and PITT

GSA President and myself outside of Senator Casey's office

If anyone is interested in participating in LAD please comment below and I will share more information. LAD happens twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. I recommend anyone interested in politics or simply learning more about the laws being passed concerning graduate students.

                Other than that my Practicum site has been amazing! I was able to return to the high school I graduated from and it is so interesting to be on “the other side”. We hosted a college fair for juniors and seniors last week which had a great turnout. I have also been meeting with students, learning about procedures, had a couple parent meetings, among other things. I have been learning a lot from my site and am anticipating the remainder of the semester.
The cake for the college representatives at the college fair

                One last thing before I go. THE FIRST GSA SOCIAL OF THE SEMESTER IS THIS FRIDAY!!!!! It will be at Landmark Americana in West Chester in the basement. The event is from 6pm-8pm and there will be a DJ as well as free food and non-alcoholic beverages (cash bar as well). The first 20 people get a DOORBUSTER!! BEAT ME THERE! It will be a great time and I will be sure to take plenty of photos to post later.

Happy Tuesday J