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Was That a Firing Squad?

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Hello Friends,

So, last weekend my family went paint balling at a park in western Maryland. I had never been before, and the rest of my family had never really done organized paint balling, so we really didn’t know what to expect. When we got there…

Oh my.

As we pulled up there were people in full-out combat gear holding their own personalized weapons. A five second warning had just been given for one of the fields that was about to begin playing and when we stepped out of the car, it sounded like someone was being murdered by a firing squad.

Needless to say, this was not what we were expecting. We were assuming this would be a fun family outing with some strategy games mixed in, but this was serious business. My sister immediately was wary and saying that she did not think this was going to be fun and that she did not want to die today, thank you very much.

I’ll be honest, despite our reservations, we jumped right in. And the first game was horrible. No one had explained the rules to us and we had no idea who was on our team or where we should be going or how much it actually hurts to be pelted with a paintball from close range. After that first game, we decided we would play one more, and if it was anything like the first, we would probably leave.

Staying for one more game was the best decision we made.

The second game was set up capture the flag style, and it was soooo much fun. We had finally figured out basic paintball etiquette and now we knew what our goal was. As we looked more comfortable, other players began to include us in their strategy as well, giving us direction and answering our questions when we didn’t know what to do. 

We ended up staying the entire day and playing in several matches. We learned that the firing squad that we heard on the way in was actually a professional match between trained teams, not the recreation games that we participated in. We also learned that not owning camouflage pants and your own gun doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be good at paintball. 

Long story short, this past weekend I learned how to play paintball. More importantly, I learned to not let my first impression of something put me off from trying it anyway. Sometimes, people will be kinder than you think and situations that seemed daunting will actually turn out to be a lot of fun!

Until next week,


Music choice for this week! My sister and I have been listening to this so: Journey "Open Arms"

Mission Monday

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    A while back I decided that I needed to start making a conscious effort to be more adventurous. And, as of lately, I’ve been sticking to that mission. Take this weekend, for example:

    Friday night was inventory night at MOM’s. On inventory nights basically a whole bunch of employees get together and we count everything in the store. Like every single item. As you can imagine it takes a long time—and we can’t even start until all of the customers leave. I came into work at 6 PM and I was scheduled to leave at 2 AM. I didn’t make it out of there until 5:30. I was there so late that the morning crew was coming in, as I was leaving. I’ve never had a sleepover at work before. It was definitely an adventure. 

    Needless to say I slept in until 2 in the afternoon the next day. And I was scheduled to work again at approximately… 2 in the afternoon. Oops. I got off that night and my boyfriend-lover-boo-thang surprised me by taking me out dancing at a Latin club. Definitely adventurous. The people there were crazy with no inhibitions and no judgment. So I let go of the initial culture shock and allowed my little gringa butt to attempt to dance bachata, cumba, and punta. I may have looked like a fool but I sure as heck had a great time.

    Holidays are always an adventure with my family. So after finally getting to bed around four in the morning on Sunday, I woke up, slapped some makeup on my face, and headed on over to my mother’s house. We proceeded to cook and argue and cook and argue and cook and argue some more—with as little cooking being done on my part as possible. And then I saw The Sound of Music for the first time. Nazi’s in a musical? Can you get any more adventurous? I think not!

    I went home after dinner and did homework with a friend. And when I say homework I mean I wrote an essay about The Amazing Spider-Man and researched it by watching the movie. I did homework until 7 at night the next day and then went fishing. Yes, I, the vegetarian-est vegetarian in the whole wide world, went fishing. Kind of. I mostly just sat by the fire and relaxed with Mother Nature all the while pleading for the cute little fish’s lives.

    Now its 8:30 and I’m headed to school smelling like a campfire and eating McDonalds. Funny how adventure’s make you hungry (and daring) enough to order off a dollar menu.

    Well, that’s all folks!

    Happy Monday.



Tiffany’s Magical Monday Music Selection: Quiet Your Mind by the Zac Brown Band 

Be Cool to Your School

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I’ve got nothing today. . . I can’t believe I’m typing this but it’s a week where I’ve got nothing of interest to myself. . . Even less so anyone else. So, I decided that I want to take a moment to point out some of the good things going on at the Rockville campus in the next week or so. I love out music department and they do not get enough credit for their ongoing series of concerts, performances and workshops.

     I’m particularly looking forward to this Wednesday’s jazz concert with Alvin Trask and his “Krewe’tet.”  Professor Trask teaches trumpet and Jazz History, and leads the Jazz ensemble the Rockville campus. I’ve studied and under him as part of the Jazz Ensemble and have learned much through his insight. He is also a fabulous performer greatly influenced by Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis. His Krew’tet plays modern Jazz that swoons, bops and shoots forward with improvisations flourishes.

     I’d be remiss to forget to remind people about the Montgomery College’s Venerable World ensemble. Led by Dawn Avery with help from Leonardo Lucini, the WE without fail puts on one of the most diverse programs semester after semester. Where else can you hear and see African or Middle Easter drumming, Celtic highland music, Native American Dirges, Reggae and Latin Rhythms in one evening? This is what goes on every semester (and if you take part yourself, every week) at the World Ensemble’s end of semester concert. Their concert is next Wednesday. One of my big regrets this semester is that with my busy schedule, I haven’t been able to take part in the ensemble. Do yourself a favor, check these performances out (or really any of the events, bookmark it, set your schedule All faculty events are free but there are other low cost musical events that are held at the Parilla performing arts center on campus (

 Wednesday April 23 Alvin Trask Krewe’tet 7:30PM Music Recital Hall, Music Building, Rockville Campus –Free-

 Wednesday, Mary 7 MC World Ensemble, 7:30PM Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, Rockville Campus.              


Endings and Beginings

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    I cannot believe it is just about three weeks left for school to be over. Many things I participate in are already coming to an end. The On Ramp to Stem scholarship program that I have been a part of for about a year now will be ending next week. During the past year, we have been receiving lectures on the incidence of cancer from top scientists working at the National Institute of Health and other universities. In the past weeks, we did our own research on topics related to cancer and the group I belonged to, presented a paper on the over amplification of HER2 protein in certain Breast Cancers. It was an amazing program and I am sorry that it is over.

    This week during the GRAD finale I had a glimpse of what my commencement will be like. I got my robe, my Phi Theta Kappa stole and my honor cord. I was surprised to actually find out that some of my friends will not be attending the commencement ceremony. For me, I am very excited for that day because I will be seeing most of my professors and fellow classmates for the last time.

    When I tell people that I will be graduating in May, I always get the same question “Where are you going next fall?” Unfortunately, I do not have the answer now. I have heard back from six of the eight schools I applied to and they have all given me positive answers, but I do not feel ready to give them a reply yet. I know that financial packages are important so I am also waiting to see what they will offer me. Even though I am confused now, I know that in August I will be going to a school that will be best for me. I am always grateful when people tell me that no matter where I go to, I will be able to obtain the best from it. I know that too, so that is why I am patient to see how things will unfold.


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Fall 2013 Blogger

Montgomery College

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