Work Experiences

It’s been quite a while, but here I am! Hope you’ve all been well.

 

Last week, I got the opportunity to conduct my first official interview.

Whoever says that the only way you can get around is through connections is completely and utterly wrong. After months of pestering corresponding with the editor of a South Asian newspaper, she finally gave me the opportunity to write stories for the newspaper as an unofficial intern. While this opportunity is basically unpaid freelance work, I have no complaints because as a rising sophomore, this is an incredible opportunity.

Needless to say, I was incredibly excited to write an article for an established newspaper and conduct an interview. The interviewee was the director of a feature length documentary. This documentary is actually being featured in a film festival at the moment. I actually got the opportunity to watch it early, since I wasn’t able to attend the film festival considering my lack of a press pass. This didn’t deter my excitement. In fact, watching the documentary made me even more excited to meet the director.

The night before the interview, I was scrambling to find a professional outfit. Something that said “take me seriously” rather than “I’m a freshman”.

I ended up wearing a white button up blouse tucked into black harem pants and (cringe) olive Toms. To be fair, I wasn’t sure how casual/formal I should dress and I figured the Toms would add a pop of color. I also have a slight dislike for heels, so there.

Harem Pants: Cotton On, Shoes: Toms, Purse: Michael Kors, Blouse: H&M

Harem Pants: Cotton On, Shoes: Toms, Purse: Michael Kors, Blouse: H&M

I had to be dropped off, which is incredibly lame but at least the director/her PR manager didn’t see that part.

I actually didn’t know where the place was but I started walking in a direction, hoping to walk past it. On my way, I tried to walk past this man, who was being loud and obnoxious. He immediately came close to me and creepily watched as I walked by, trying to hit on me. I just looked forward and kept walking. Honestly, I shouldn’t have even had to deal with that man harassing me, because he had clearly been doing this to multiple women but I guess no one (including the two security guards standing a short distance away) had the courage to say anything to him. I personally didn’t want to put myself in danger, but I digress.

I met the PR manager and director soon after. To my surprise, the director was so down-to-earth. She was incredibly humble and truly cared for what her documentary was about. It was refreshing to learn more about her.

On a side note, I liked that she was so honest and genuine. She did not act like she was above me because she was older than me, or because she was an established director. It is difficult to sound sophisticated and witty, and it’s often tiring. I have a friend or two that I feel less than great talking to just because I know I have to be on my A-game when it comes to being clever, or they’ll just steamroll right over me. It’s frustrating and annoying. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good back-and-forth but to always be on my toes is a nuisance when it comes to a basic, friendly conversation.

Anyways, back to my interview. While it was only about 10-15 minutes, I really felt like I had learned a lot about where the director was coming from and that in turn made the documentary that much more insightful. At the end of the interview, she even asked about me which was crazy in itself. Maybe it was just polite talk, or maybe it was curiosity, but I’m glad that although the conversation was about her, she never made this apparent.

I learned quite a bit from this first experience. I need to work on saying ‘um’ less. I also need to learn how to sound less fake when laughing (oh the convenience of Voice Memos on the iPhone). But overall, I’d say I did a pretty good job for my first time out.

My article is to be published in the newspaper next week!

Best,

Shivani

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Shop Til You Drop

Yesterday, I went on a shopping spree.

It was amazing.

In case you haven’t read my other posts (ahem, Confessions of a Shopaholic & Confessions of a Shopaholic Pt. 2), something that I like to do is shop. Of course, this time around I was completely justified. I’m going to college!

My first purchases was from Nordstrom Rack. To be honest, I think it’s just a more expensive Ross or Marshall’s. You really have to take your time and search for good pieces. I think my mom and I spent a good two hours there. The store tries to make it easier by putting the clothes on racks by size, but you know us consumers – we just pick up clothes we like and immediately shove it back onto some other rack when we see the price tag.

I had purchased a pink North Face, but my mom conveniently forgot to tell me she already had one so she’s going to go return it some other day. The price was astounding – $290 retail, $174 on sale. I also purchased an “ultra lightweight packable down” by Miss Sixty. This jacket makes me feel like I’m resting on a cloud. It’s so soft. According to the tag, it’s made of a mixture of down & feathers. At a price tag of $59.97, it’s not too bad. I’m hoping it’ll come into use for the horrible Boston winters. I also got this black polyester shirt, which I’m pretty proud of because it was only $20. It’s such a versatile piece, with the capability of being dressed up or down.

Next, I went to Bath & Body Works. I swear, when I’m there, I can’t distinguish the different smells. I think it’s just too overwhelming for my nose. Regardless, I bought body wash, body cream, and a sugar scrub. I ended up choosing Country Chic just because the smell is fresh & not too overwhelming. My mom really liked Cashmere Glow, which is very similar in smell to Be Delicious by DKNY (at least, that’s what I think she uses). You can understand my hesitance at smelling like my mom, so I decided to get a body cream in that scent. B&B had a discount – buy 2, get the 3rd free or buy 4, get the 5th free. Deciding she wanted a body cream too, my mom decided to use the buy 4, get the 5th free deal. Also, I swear I saw a guy that looked exactly like Chris Hemsworth (but with a high-pitched voice) at the store.

And, of course, the next shop we hit up was Victoria’s Secret. I am seriously in love with their sweatpants. I don’t know what it is about them, but they’re so comfortable and they last. I also love their leggings, because while they aren’t exactly cheap, they’ve lasted me almost two years which definitely is worth it. I got the new collegiate pant, which I haven’t tried on yet. Unfortunately, the store I went to didn’t have an XS in black, so I got it in grey while my mom got one in blue. With a purchase of $65 or more, VS was giving away “free” headphones, so I am now the proud owner of hot pink headphones that say pink. They aren’t the best headphones, but hey – at least I didn’t pay for them (directly).

And finally on my list, my school bag. I’ve had a variety of bags over my stint in middle/high school. I’ve had normal backpacks, purses, satchels, messenger bags – you name it. I’m not the most careful person ever, so my mom really wanted me to get a bag I could clean. One that wouldn’t be high maintenance. If you had asked me last year whether or not I would get a nylon bag, I would’ve said a definite ‘no’. But I’ve found myself liking these nylon totes more and more so, finally, I got one.

Readers, meet my baby – MICHAEL Michael Kors Hangbag, Kempton East West Tote. I bought this from Macy’s. Luckily, there was a sale on any turquoise or mandarin bag (which was odd, but I wasn’t going to question it). I’m so excited to walk around with this by my side.

Less than a month, and I am off to Boston!

Until next time,

shivaani

P.S. I’m taking my behind the wheel test again next Friday! Wish me luck!

The College Conundrum

co-nun-drum  noun

1. a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun
2. a: a question or problem having only a conjectural answer
     b: an intricate and difficult problem
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     I recently read an article on Wall Street Journal, entitled To (All) The Colleges That Rejected Me. Basically, she’s complaining about the fact that while colleges want you to be “yourself”, you actually have to have so and so accomplishment with this type of internship while being this ethnicity. Her article has garnered a lot of responses. As a High School Ambassador for Her Campus, my attention was brought to an article written by the HC Editorial Team. The gist of this article is that while Weiss did bring up a few good points, the majority of her article was unfair. In their opinion, Weiss should’ve taken initiative and developed passions, instead of sitting back and blaming her parents for it. Although, they bring up the interesting fact that her GPA is 4.5 with an SAT of 2120. With those types of scores, Weiss has hardly nothing to complain about. It is clear that she has the brain power, but what isn’t is her motivation behind her work.
     In my opinion, Weiss definitely has the right to complain (now, whether doing so on WSJ was the correct way is up in the air), but in the end, she can’t claim her rejections were due to her parents and colleges. It’s the easy way out. Blame someone else and leave yourself blameless. Colleges, I’d like to think, love drive – seeing a student go out of their way to fulfill their passion. The funny thing about college is you can’t depend on your stellar scores and legacy or whatnot to get you in. It’s a lot more than that.
     It’s about your ability to be yourself.
     Let me explain. Obviously, at this point, you can’t become Native American overnight. You can’t suddenly develop a passion to volunteer with about three months before college applications (well, you can, but it’ll look suspicious). What you can do is take interest in what you like to do. Do you enjoy swimming? Try out for the swim team. Do club swimming. Look into volunteering at the swim center. That’s just one example of all the possibilities.
     Face it, college admissions suck. There’s no tried and true method. It’s all up in the air, and sometimes, it feels as though it’s down to luck. We can’t mold ourselves to be the perfect student because there is no perfect student. All you can do is try your best at what you do because your happiness is what matters. Stats matter, of course they do, but you can only go so far with them. You can do as much SAT boot camp, or as many practice tests as you want, but at some point you’ll have to accept enough is enough.
     I know this has gone on a bit of a tangent, but I really just wanted to encourage you all who still have time to enjoy and work hard. College admissions is definitely unfair, but complaining that it’s all due to your parents or colleges or whatever excuse you can come up with isn’t going to help. What is going to help is being real with yourself.
My two cents,
shivaaani (:

“Hit the Lights”

Our 2013 Winter Formal entitled “Hit the Lights” was yesterday. I can’t say I was incredibly happy or surprised with the results, mostly because last year’s formal was similar. Our school’s dances are never that great. Still, I had fun with my good friends. So, without further ado, here was my night:

GETTING READY.

Last year, I got ready with my friends, who helped me with everything. I wasn’t incredibly happy with the results. This year, I decided on going with a different group, who didn’t really care about getting ready together, so we all just got ready separately. I should’ve washed my hair the day before, but being the lazy person I am, I did not. So, I washed my hair that morning and blow-dryed the crap out of it, combing it. It was actually really straight, but I really wanted an up-do.

Hair

So, I was browsing on Pinterest when I came across this updo hairstyle. Granted, it is for a wedding, but I didn’t mind.

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“Vintage Faux Bob”

I never do this type of hairstyle, so I figured there was no harm in trying something new.  I found one flaw though – I can’t really do hair all that well. My mom couldn’t really do it either, so she called this girl that usually helps. Her name’s Myra and she’s really good with hair/makeup/etc type things. She’s actually modeled a couple of times, and been on TV, so she’s learned to do that sort of thing.

While it didn’t come out exactly the way I pictured it would, I was satisfied. What she did was that she divided my hair into two sections – top & bottom section. With the bottom section, she created a sock bun (with a sock! first timer :D) towards the bottom left of my head. She curled the hair in the top section. Taking some of that hair, she braided it and pinned it around my bun. The remaining hair just stayed on the side of my face. I know that sounds super confusing, but I don’t have a clear picture of it, unfortunately. I’ll edit this if my friends upload better pictures with my hair kind of visible.

Makeup

So, for makeup, my mom claims that I always do too much. All I knew was that since I had red heels with my dress, I would do red lips. Anyways, let me just go through the process.

First, I used MAC Prep + Prime which is basically a base for your makeup. It’s nice to put underneath makeup so that your skin doesn’t look super dry and it helps even out your makeup. I just used my fingers because I’m not the biggest fashion guru out there, and I don’t have brushes designed to put on primer (do they even have those? probably). Second, I used my liquid foundation MAC Studio Fix Liquid in NC44. I lost my new foundation, which made sure my skin didn’t breakout and was very light, so I had to use this. It’s not bad – it actually matches my skin well. The only thing is, it’s a bit heavy so I tend to start breaking out after a while. I set the look with Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder in Golden Suntan. To be honest, once I put it on, my skin looked a bit darker, but the shininess from the foundation was gone.

For my eyes, I used Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Then, I used this charcoal grey color from my Victoria Secret eye shadow set. It comes out pretty light on skin, and you really have to put quite a bit on to see some color. Towards the edge, I put MAC eyeshadow (Print Satin) and dragged that into the crease. I blended it a bit, and it didn’t look too bad. After that, I lined my eyes with my gel eyeliner from Rimmel London. I really like gel eyeliner, because it gives you a lot more control then liquid or pencil eyeliner do. For my waterline, however, I used a pencil eyeliner.

For my lips, I put some rose salve on before I put M.A.C Red (by MAC, A99). I put about two-three application, making sure to blot in between each time. Overall, I thought the lips popped nicely against the black and silver dress and matched with my nails/heels.

I put on some blush aaaaaand that was that.

Dress

The dress was my mom’s from about two years ago, so needless to say, no one had it. It was a bit loose, but I think it looks fine. Pictures soon!

Photo Booth pictures!

Photo Booth pictures!

 

THE ACTUAL EVENT

So, all in all, it was pretty boring. We went to souplantation, which was pretty good. The food was cheap (one of my friends even found a coupon). I had salad, biscuits, foccacia bread, baked potato, apple cobbler with ice cream, blueberry muffin with ice cream, and a soda (even though I was supposed to go water #rebel). It was really good. Needless to say, we were stuffed which was good considering that there was nothing at the actual event.

After that, parents picked us up and we went to the actual venue. It was about 30-45 minutes, give or take, so not bad all in all. We were early, so we had to wait in the cold. Slowly, people started to show up (like freshman in limos – yeah, I know). Soon enough, we were in line to get through security. Yeah, that’s how cool we are. For the past few years, they’ve had security to make sure we don’t sneak in booze or anything like that. The guys get patted down while the girls’ purses/jackets get searched. When it was my turn, I got stopped and they let the guys’ dates in. The guys’ line is always shorter, so I suppose they wanted to go in with their dates but still. We had been waiting for a good 5-10 minutes, and they were just going to waltz right past us? No way. I made sure that the girls who passed us knew my opinion loud and clear. Jeez, just because my group went stag doesn’t mean that they can just make us wait. On top of that, they made me put an eye drop in (I brought drops which help when my contacts irritate my eye), just to make sure it wasn’t something else. Really… This isn’t airport security, people.

Finally, we were all in. So, the place would’ve been really pretty had we been able to see it. Since it was so dark, we couldn’t really appreciate it fully. Let’s just say it was really cold. Now, I won’t bore you with the morbid details. Basically, they only served cookies and brownies (the shock & horror), but the drinks were good (they serves shirley temples!). My friend wanted to get a caricature done, so we waited in line for about 2 hours (I know), and by the time we were done, there was only half an hour left of the dance. We danced a bit, but the DJ sucked, so we went to the Photo Booth. We got picked up. The End!

I mean, sure, there were a few laughs here and there, but for the most part, it was just an average formal – not too boring, not too exciting.

I might post some pictures later.

Until later,

shivaaani (:

Blast from the Past

So, I was doing something I never do.

Cleaning.

If you know me, I’m sure you’d be surprised. For those of you who don’t, let me just put it this way – I’m finding stuff from ninth grade (that’s about four years ago). Basically, I’m the laziest of the lazy. It’s actually not too bad though. It’s like a trip down memory lane. Seeing all this old word is triggering memories from my high school career and it’s pretty cool as well as a bit sad, considering this is my last year in high school.

Anyways, I found this poem I wrote from ninth grade and I’m pretty sure it is the best poem I have ever written hands down. Maybe I’ll publish it one day. Probably not, but whatever. So, I forgot what the topic was (or if we even had one) but I’m pretty sure we had to use a variety of literary devices. Here is the amazing poem in picture.

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the game of life!

In case you can’t read it, I’ll type it up for you.

Game of Life

by Shivani Patel

Life is a Game.

Oh look – there’s go.

Advance two spaces.

Start paying – there’s elementary school.

Bad roll – advance to your nearest middle school.

Spend seventh in solitude – skip a turn.

Here comes high school smacking into you.

Eventually, eleventh ends and the end is near.

Is it a bird?

Is it a plane?

No – it’s college applications!

All seems hopeless – you can’t possibly win this horrid “high school” –

Or can you?

Suddenly, the sun shines and you’re throwing graduation caps into the balmy air.

Suddenly, you’re twenty and hopelessly caught

Caught in the Game of Life.

I’d say this is pretty accurate, at least in my case. Who knew I was such a genius back in ninth grade? Just kidding. Maybe. I think it deserved that extra point. Psh. I can’t believe he gave me a 19/20. This is most likely my best work in poems to date.

Well, I have to get back to cleaning my room but I just wanted to share that.

BEST,

shivaaani (:

Taking Off

Airports are pretty cool.

I mean, have you ever just taken in the surroundings when going to an airport? (probably not, I’m weird) They’re made up of so many cultures when you think about it. At least on the international level, the airlines all have their respective countries. It’s no different with people either. The different languages you hear being spoken around you… Well, I definitely plan on learning more languages someday.

Personally, I love eating at the airport. Despite the most likely inflated prices, it’s just something I’ve come to love and expect every time I go to the airport (internationally). This usually happens if my grandparents are going on their trips to India. It’s tradition now. As soon as we get to the airport & check-in, we head to the second floor. Then, after getting money, we walk towards the plethora of food joints. I stare at everything, but I usually end up at McDonalds while my brother heads to Pink’s.

apple pie at the airport! (:

After the grandparents leave, we head back to the parking structure. As soon as we get to this bridge connecting the main airport to the parking structure, my brother and I race down (it has a small decline) to see who wins. I always do, because I’m awesome (and four years older so waddup).

The point is, I love going to the airport not only because of the interesting people and surroundings, but because it’s full of memories and traditions that I hope will continue for years to come.

OH AND RANDOM STORY. So, since there were two cars, my brother went with my uncle & I went with my dad. As we were driving home, I guess my dad decided it was okay to speed (I told him he should probably slow down for the record but as usual, deaf ears and all that). We were just about to get to my house, and he still didn’t slow down and OF COURSE this car is turning. While my dad is speeding. On the same road. He quickly hit the brakes, and turned just a bit so that we missed the guy (or girl, I wasn’t paying attention) by a couple feet. My god, my heart was beating so fast… I think I just shouted as he got too close. After that, my dad just got mad (yes, because you have the right to get mad after almost getting us into an accident due to your inability to give a damn about laws that are put into a place for a reason, but whatever) and told me to not say anything (my mom likes to nag, as I’ve established). I think he got even madder cause a while before that, I commented that he was supposed to change lanes one at a time on the freeway (yay driver’s ed!) when he was just going lane after lane. But at least we survived, so happy day!

Speaking of taking off, it is time to start college apps/finish summer homework.

Summer homework. I don’t even have that much. First, there’s stats. Basically, I had to take notes on two chapters, half of which was examples so whatever. It wasn’t that bad. Honestly, the thing I got frustrated at most were the stupid colored pens I was using because of course my mom got the weird ones, so they didn’t work properly half the time. Still, that’s over and done with. The second part is answering questions while reading a book. Having taken Statistical Reasoning in Sports (AP Statistics without the AP; OG Finite REPRESENTT), I know most of the answers, but I figure reading might help. The only thing is, I’m too lazy to go find the book at the library and I don’t want to waste money on such a tiny book, so I found it online. I already waste so much time online, and it’s such a pain reading online. Jeez. At least the questions aren’t too bad. Second, there’s lit. Lit homework is to read Pride & Prejudice as well as Frankenstein and to brush up on How to Read Literature Like A Professor & Greek/Roman mythology. I wish I could say I was one of those super cOOl and hipster types that have read Pride & Prejudice six billion times and the cover’s torn and all that but honestly, I thought it was boring. I attempted to read it a while ago (before I got the assignment), and I got bored in the middle so I put it down. I’ve read a couple chapters since, but I haven’t had the motivation. As for Frankenstein, I just bought it, but I figure I should finish P&P before I start that. As for the How to blah blah & the mythology, I went over that in 10th grade, but I guess I’ll brush up on it before school starts. It’s funny, cause I bought Something Blue by Emily Griffin to read with Frankenstein the other day, and I finished that book within a couple hours but I couldn’t manage finishing P&P within a couple of months.

College apps. (cue groans of every student in the class of 2013) Even though I’ve asked/read about so much, I still don’t really get it. Or at least, I don’t feel stress. I’ll complain like no other, but on the inside? I really could care less. I guess it just hasn’t hit me yet. I did create an account on Common App. First step, right? So far, I’m applying to Boston University, Emerson College, and the University of Southern California. I got the prompts for BU & USC (I made a document to keep them all in one place – organizational success!). USC is so weird. It asks for your favorite food, for one. But oh well, it’s pretty interesting, so props to them. I don’t really know what I’m going to write for anything, but I’ve already received three offers to have my essay read (one helped this guy get into Berkeley, the other has a daughter at BU, and the last got into Berkeley so I think I’ll take them up on their offers). I guess I should start the other essays as well. But damn it, I just don’t care!

So hopefully, I’ll have most of my summer homework done and have started my college apps within two weeks? Goal set. Let’s hope I can meet them.

AU REVOIR,

shivaani (: