Emily Menez Blog
Emily Menez writes about her experiences in the ICNYC Program:
Final Blog Post--April 22, 2013
T-minus one month until graduation. I’ve battled with a bit of senioritis, mixed with nerves, mixed with excitement, mixed with nerves over the excitement. What can I say? I’m a well-composed person. It is such an odd feeling to reach the end of my academic career. It’s been sixteen years in the making. That’s all but five years of my entire life. Basically, I’m getting old.
My work-study experience at the New York Public Library has been going really well. Most of my day-to-day work consists of shelving holds, pulling out requested books, and assisting patrons. My supervisor, Ashley, recently informed me that I’ve caught the branch up with four months of book reserves. That was an exciting moment. I have really enjoyed helping out and getting to know the staff. Through my experience at the library, I’ve been able to read many new authors, like Raymond Carver and Henry Green.
I was fortunate enough to take “Improv 101” through Upright Citizen’s Brigade Training Center’s Diversity Scholarship Program. It taught me basics of improvisation that I had previously studied at IC’s Comedy Club. It was cool to have my foundational knowledge re-established and refined. Our graduation show was last Saturday in Chelsea and it went quite well.
In Urban Sociology, we went on a tour of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We are studying the history of the Moore Street Market, which consisted of early immigrant’s food carts. In addition to being educational, the tour included samples of food. We were offered plantains, pork shoulder, yellow corn fritters, Sancocho (traditional Latin American Stew), and an oatmeal-based juice. The food was delicious, and I loved the fact that I had never sampled any of it before.
In internship news, SNL only has three shows left! It truly is hard to believe. I feel like my time has gone by so quickly, and I honestly cannot imagine a better way to spend my senior year. I was looking at my NBC badge yesterday, and I must admit, that zanny, enthusiastic girl hasn’t changed much. I still feel exhilarated everytime I walk into the doors of 30 Rock. I still find myself arriving way too early every day at work.
I have no idea what the future holds, but I’m not so worried anymore. Just in the way that I couldn’t have planned out how wonderful and unpredictable this year has been, so life will also be. This is going to be good.
I’m ready to don that blue cap and gown now. Let’s do this!
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Blog Post 2--February 26, 2013
It's hard to believe that we are nearly finished with February. Recently, NYC hosted a Nor'easter, Nemo. I feel like I should get a badge for every weather havoc I've survived, like in Girl Scouts. I would have a cartoon tornado for Sandy, and a giant snowflake for Nemo. Since the weather has been slightly manic as of late, I've decided to take advantage of the winter weather (I'm a midwesterner, after all). A few weeks ago, I went ice skating with fellow SNL Intern and IC friend, Lucy Forbes. I have to say, we were two of the least talented ice skaters on the rink, possibly ever. Lucy refused to let go of the perimeter. I tried to compensate by being overconfident and therefore wiping out twice. Nearby, a pompous middle schooler continually showed off her impressive moves. My main concern was fighting my natural posture, that of a nervous hunchback.
On February 11th, I attended the College Board of Trustees Dinner. President Rochon asked me to speak about my experiences. I eagerly agreed, with extreme caution that there was no food in my teeth. It was a really fun night, I met a number of interesting people from Ithaca, including some alumni and members of the board. I was sitting across from Faculty Trustee Jason Hamilton, who is an environmental professor at IC. He told me about his classes on how to harvest honey and make maple syrup. Underclassmen, take note, that sounds like an awesome course. If I had more time at IC, I would totally take advantage of that.
I am taking "Urban Sociology" this semester with Kathleen Dunn. It's a new course, but I've already learned so much about early sociologists and their views on the city. Friedrich Engels, in his 1845 work, "The Great Towns," noted that although city-dwellers all seek the same goals of happiness and success, we do so separately. He seemed to think that city life was self-centered. I'm not sure about that, but there is something about being in one's early twenties that strikes me as a selfish time. All this focus on launching our careers, it feels like it's all too easy to forget that there are other people out there.
So, that being said, I will be starting my work-study/volunteer job at the New York Public Library. I will be stocking the shelves and filing donation books. It's a small thing, but I'm glad I can help out with something unrelated to my own goals.
In the meantime, I've been working on my coffee blog. Through my various explorations, I've discovered that I actually enjoy light roast. The world is full of surprises! You can read all my reviews here http://brewingwithpotential.blogspot.com/). Also, my alumna mentor Francine helped me edit my resume. It looks really professional, ready to go out to future employers.
As February nears an end, I wonder what March holds...Hopefully good things, I'm cautiously optimistic about the future.
Blog Post 1 – January 30, 2013
Here we go again; another semester is officially underway in the ICNYC Program. It’s exciting to see how the program has already changed so much from the fall to the spring. We had 15 students in the program last semester, and now we’re up to 52.
It seems like a good crop of students in the program – a variety of sophomores, juniors and a small sprinkling of us seniors. Last semester, Park students represented a vast majority of the program. Now, we’ve got Business and Humanities and Sciences students as well. But no doubt, the Park students are still the best (she wrote with obvious Park Pride!). That’s just a given.
In personal news, I celebrated a move from the New Yorker Hotel in Midtown (one of the EHS offerings) to a women’s residence on the Upper West Side. It’s been an adjustment in a few ways: the communal bathroom, my coffeemaker being banned (almost a deal breaker), and of course, some of the older women keep different hours. This has resorted to my tip-toeing throughout the hallway and lowering the sound of my voice while on phone calls. I can’t help that I’m a passionate conversationalist, people!
I’m much more a fan of this area of town though. I’m between Central Park and the Hudson River. According to Billy Joel, my location is what puts one in a, “New York State of Mind.” Some mornings, whilst I take a stroll along Central Park and sip my non-residence coffee-to-go, I can’t really believe that my life has led me to New York City. Even though this is my sixth month in the City, I still have those “pinch me, this is a dream” moments. According to the Carrie Bradshaw standard, one is not truly a New Yorker until one has lived here nine months. That means that by the end of this semester, I will have passed her test.
Every semester, I like to challenge myself with a new long-term writing project. Last semester, it was writing a three act play for Juilliard’s Grad School Program. This semester, it is to create a blog filled with coffee reviews. One new coffee place a week for the rest of the semester, that’s my goal. I kicked things off this week with a review of Café Grumpy in Chelsea. They had excellent coffee and a unique atmosphere that is perfect fodder for my initial post.
Finally, and perhaps most relevant to my being here instead of on campus, I have begun to have my pre-graduation freak-outs. They actually began in November, but have been culminating nicely over Winter Break. My friend and IC Alumna Perri Gross (2012, Art Major) wisely dubbed these as, “Pre-graduation night sweats.” Truer words were never spoken. I have resolved that instead of stressing out, however, I will consult some IC Alums for advice. They are everywhere in New York and I’ve met a number of them through the ICNYC Program Internship Seminar as guest speakers. I have already spoken with three and recently had dinner with Francine, a ’12 TV-R Graduate who successfully has navigated from postgrad to impressive employment. She encouraged me, and even offered some pointers on my resume. It’s helpful to get the skinny from people who have been in my shoes before and survived. Seems like I’m on the right track. But I suppose only time will tell.
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Emily Menez, one of our ICNYC students, talks about Hurricane Sandy
Early last week, I hadn't even heard the phrase "Hurricane Sandy" uttered once. A tornado and flooding were far from my mind. I was quite content enjoying hiatus week and relaxing with Monica, one of my best friends from Kansas. Monica took off early Sunday morning and by late Sunday night, all anyone could talk about was Hurricane Sandy. Suddenly, I felt wrapped up in a blanket of fears and anxieties about the looming weather. I was trapped inside to stare at the rain, and listen to panic across the hallway. Everyone had the news on. Everyone was afraid.
For the better part of Monday and Tuesday, I was pretty stressed out that the hurricane would take a turn for Midtown. Suddenly, the city that had felt so welcoming and exciting only hours before, felt scary and incredibly lonely. It was like that scene in the horror movies when the lights go out and the beautiful mansion suddenly becomes entirely too menacing. Only that's a terrible example, because I never lost power. Luckily for us in the New Yorker Hotel, we were completely fine. Obviously, this wasn't the case for so many areas along the East Coast. By Wednesday, I had moved past most of my initial fears. I thought things had returned back to normal.
Yet, the aftermath of Sandy became very real to me when I explored the lower side of Eighth Avenue. On 14th and 8th, an entire facade of an apartment building had been ripped off. In the East Village, over 80% of the businesses were closed down. Only a few people walked about the streets. It was seriously something out of a post-apocalyptic nightmare. One man had acquired electricity in his apartment and played "New York, New York" loudly from speakers. There was a stark contrast of the empty streets and Sinatra's optimistic tune. The best way I can describe it, is that it was incredibly surreal.
Even throughout the chaos of last week, I was glad that I could help out in a very small way by sharing my apartment with a friend who lives in the East Village. Even now, a good four days after the storm, things are just starting to return to normal.
Most of Manhattan has regained power, along with many of the other affected areas. In the next week, many of the Subway stops will be back to full functioning power. I am one of the lucky ones, but this experience has definitely increased my respect for a very tough city.