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ELC Blog

Posted On: Monday, February 3, 2014 05:21 PM, by Elizabeth Mundy
One of my favorite things about being an ELC is traveling the U.S. and Canada. Below are lists of my favorite cities and college towns I have visited on the road. Enjoy!

Favorite Cities on the Road

1. Boston-- I spent nine months in Boston last year working with the Eta Chi chapter. Boston was an incredible city to live in as a young 20-something. It is big enough to experience something new every day, but small enough to be a walkable city. A few friends warned me that I would not find the friendliness of the Midwest I was accustomed to, but I found the people to be absolutely wonderful and always willing to show off their vibrant city. *Favorite Places- Border Café, No Rest for Bridget boutique, Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

2. Nashville-- I fell in love with Nashville the minute I stepped off the plane. Literally. I was greeted by live country music in the airport as I walked off the plane, and I soon realized this fun, easy-going atmosphere was prevalent throughout the entire city. I was not much of a country fan or meat eater, but Nashville turned me into both within days. *Favorite Places: Belmont University, Bluebird Cafe, Edley's Bar-B-Que, Impeccable Pig boutique, Provence Breads & Cafe

3. Chicago-- I visited Chicago during one of the worst weeks of January weather. Temperatures were below zero, and the wind was absolutely brutal. Despite all this, I LOVED Chicago. I enjoyed being in a city surrounded by other young people looking for new opportunities. It gave me a renewed sense of motivation and spontaneity. I will definitely be back for more visits, but next time during the spring, summer, and fall! *Favorite Places: University of Chicago, Medici on 57th, Michigan Avenue

4. Baton Rouge-- My two favorite things about Baton Rouge were the accents and the food. I could not get enough of the charming southern accents, and I think I ate just about every Southern specialty. You name it, I tried it. Beignets crawfish étouffée, and po' boys galore. Needless to say, I left Baton Rouge feeling an abundance of Southern hospitality and Southern food. *Favorite Places: Louisiana State University, Mike the Tiger's cage, Sammy's Grill, Chelsea's Café, Coffee Call

5. Columbus, OH-- Alright, so this is a bit of a cheat city because it is not where my job as an ELC has taken me... it is my home! But my constant traveling has made me love the city of Columbus even more than before. There is nothing better than returning to "old Columbus town" for a football Saturday in the fall. *Favorite Places: The Ohio State University, 1861 Indianola Avenue, Katalina's Cafe Corner, Wexner Center for the Arts, German Village, restaurants and shopping in the Short North

Favorite College Towns on the Road

State College, PA
Tip: Go to a football game. Penn State fans are some of the most spirited around, and football is definitely a way of life.

San Luis Obispo, CA
Tip: Spend a warm evening downtown. It is decked out in twinkle lights and boasts of charming restaurants, retail shopping, and unique boutiques.

Charlottesville, VA
Tip: Get a campus tour. The university has very rich history and the campus is breathtaking. The university was not fully coeducational until the 1970s, so it is quite amazing to see how much has changed over the decades.

Ann Arbor, MI
Tip: Visit during the fall. Michigan has some tough winters, but the fall months are absolutely gorgeous with colorful foliage and fun places to explore.

Even after traveling over 100,000 miles, my list of cities keeps on growing. This semester, I am excited to explore San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charleston, Austin, Vancouver, among many others. The best part is that I get to explore these cities alongside Theta sisters.

What is your favorite trip or vacation you have gone on with Theta sisters?

Elizabeth Mundy, Alpha Gamma/The Ohio State University, Educational Leadership Consultant

Posted On: Thursday, October 24, 2013 10:51 AM, by Jenny Cook
ELC Jenny Cook with Eta Psi charter members and Olympian, Aly Raisman, while volunteering on Day of Service!
To say my time so far as a based ELC has been full of new experiences is quite an understatement. Every day I am experiencing something new, whether it is a different way to get around campus, the local cuisine, or meeting someone new. This job brings endless new experiences and I absolutely love it! But after all of the rush of trying new things, I have found myself beginning to miss and truly appreciate some of the old things in my life.

I went to college in the same town that I grew up in so I never actually "went away" from home. When all of my friends from school would talk about things they missed from home I could never relate because it was just a 10 minute walk to all of my favorite hometown places. Now that I have finally "gone away," I am definitely missing some things from home that I would not necessarily have thought I would miss. Of course I miss my family, my dog, my friends, and my favorite restaurants but here are just some other things that I am also surprisingly missing from home in Ohio:

1.Good drivers- While drivers in Ohio are not necessarily the best, they definitely beat Bostonian drivers. No matter how long I could live here I don't think I could ever get used to drivers casually running red lights, coming within inches of your car so they can merge into your lane, or this whole driver/bicyclist understanding that states "get in my way and I will hit you."

2.Grass- I would never consider myself an "outdoorsy" person but I have actually missed seeing acres of grassy land stretching out across the horizon. Even though there is a park right by our apartment in Medford, it is just not the same knowing exactly where it ends.

3.Small privately owned coffee shops- As much as I love Starbucks and am 17 drinks away from getting my gold card, I still love the cozy feeling of hunkering down in a big comfy chair in the corner of one of my favorite coffee shops at home. Despite the convenience of having a Dunkin Donuts on every block, I'm still searching for a coffee shop small enough to let me escape from city life.

4.Quiet- The hustle and bustle lifestyle is one I love but nothing can beat a quiet night's sleep free of car honking, airplanes flying overhead, and semi-trucks driving over potholes in the road. For a long time, silent nights gave me an eerie feeling but I have now come to really appreciate the ability to hear birds chirping in the morning instead of car horns.

5.General Familiarity- Anyone misses this regardless of where you move to, but I am really experiencing missing this for the first time. Sure, I know where the grocery store, the craft store, CVS, and Chipotle are located but I still find myself craving the sense that I actually know where I am going at all times. Though I have only been here a couple of months and have not really had the chance to just drive around (mostly out of fear of getting lost), I'm not too sure that I will ever actually feel like I am totally familiar with the area.

Despite missing all of these things, I can't help but to take a step back and reflect on how truly blessed I am to be where I am today surrounded by constant Theta support in the incredible city of Boston doing what I know I am meant to be doing at this point in my life.

When you went away from home for the first time what did you find yourself missing the most?

Jenny Cook, Beta Tau/Denison University, Educational Leadership Consultant

Posted On: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 03:30 PM, by Madison Cannon
Eta Psi and Eta Chi Thetas with ELCs on Kappa Alpha Theta Day of Service 2013 in Boston!
After having lived in suburbia all my life, I was happy to find out that I would be moving to a more metropolitan area. Although Medford is a suburb of Boston, it is still much more city-like than anywhere I've lived before. I am generally familiar with subway systems and have used them in my travels before, but only for short, "touristy" visits. To use the subway, commonly called the T, and bus system of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Jenny and I purchased a "CharlieCard." This re-loadable ticket was named for the campaign song of Walter O'Brien Jr during the 1949 mayoral election about a man named Charlie who used the Boston transportation system.

I am pleased to finally say that Jenny and I have gotten the hang of the T. Public transportation has been a big adjustment, but we prefer it to driving our car through the crazy streets of Boston. It is absolutely impossible to get anywhere, especially when using a map app on our phones. Our first mistake was taking our car instead of the T to our first Red Sox game. Any Bostonian would have immediately advised us not to do so. It was our first week in the area and we had no idea that traffic would be at a stand-still and parking would be so expensive. Our second mistake was using our phones to get home from the airport. Going there was easy; no problem; straight shot. The way back was a completely different story. Instead of going from Logan Airport back to Medford on I-93, our phone took us downtown to Ipswich Street. This was exceptionally bad timing as it is the location of Fenway Park and a Red Sox game was letting out.

I have since tried out the bus system and feel a little bit more like a city girl. I absolutely love being in this area because it has allowed me to meet so many other Thetas. Just this past weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting the Eta Chi women on our Day of Service!

What's your favorite city to visit? Have you ever met another Theta in a new city?