Thursday, October 29, 2015

Peter Mawanga & the Amaravi Movement

When I arrived for the performance, I had no idea what to expect. Peter Mawanga is a musician from Malawi, and most of his lyrics are in his vernacular, Chichewa. He is a self-proclaimed “Voice for the Voiceless.” All of his songs have roots in traditional Malawian music, and he plays with both traditional Malawian and Western instruments. It was difficult to not find yourself tapping along with the music as he played. During the performance, Peter Mawanga would pause between songs occasionally to explain more about himself and his music. On their flight to the US their marimba, the backbone of their music, was lost and the airline still hasn’t found it. They were up all night building a new one for the event at the Touhill. Two of the most moving songs were from an album called “Mau a Malawi: Stories of AIDS,” which he wrote along with an American artist. The songs themselves told the stories of people living with HIV/AIDS. They put faces and names on something that is an epidemic that is detached from most people unless they know someone who is experiencing it. One of the most haunting lyrics was from his song “Thengo”:

When a father buries his child,

Who will bury him?

What we’ve buried in silence,

Has taken my children.

The performance was sponsored by the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professorship in African/African-American Studies and the Office of International Studies and Programs. The event gave those attending a chance to experience Malawian music, and it also gave us the opportunity to understand more about the culture and issues people are facing. It is important for students to broaden their minds and increase their acceptance of others, and the tools are equally crucial for the community overall. This performance offered the chance to work toward those ideals. With the University Ambassadors, I was able to attend an event that exposed me to a new way of thinking and increased my understanding of people in Malawi.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Upcoming Social Event: Haunted Honors

While the UMSL Ambassadors are busy representing at events around campus, we also make time to have fun and socialize with one another! With Halloween right around the corner, the UMSL Ambassadors will be having its second social event this semester on Friday. Through these events the UMSL Ambassadors have been able to socialize and learn more about their fellow leaders on campus. The Pierre Laclede Honors College will be hosting its annual Haunted Honors at the Provincial House at 6:30pm and all are welcome to attend. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

UMSL Ambassador meeting with Career Services

On October 16, during our monthly meeting, Teresa Balestreri, a worker from UMSL Career Services came to speak to us on how to create a great, job winning resume! I believe that resume writing skills are something most take for granted. When I was younger, and I imagine a lot of people do this, I would create a resume without putting much thought into it. Quickly writing about my extracurricular activities and my job history and it would go to my (hopefully) future employer. At that time I had the assumption that the resume was not particularly important. Sure, the resume was somewhat useful for getting an idea of who you are, but the interview was what really determined everything, right? Wrong!

One cannot really give more importance to the interview without underestimating just how much weight the resume holds. The resume is like the interview before the interview. With it, your employer learns of your experiences; not just in previous places of employment, but in life. Through the resume one learns much; if it is sloppy and hastily written, then one can tell that most likely you are not one to notice details and that you may not be the most dedicated worker.

Mrs. Balestreri taught about all of the nuances that go into writing a proper resume. For instance she explained that wording is very important. If you repeat the same group of words in your resume multiple times then the reader may get bored. Having variety in your resume is of the utmost importance as it is one thing that can help you differentiate yourself from the many other resumes that the employer most likely has to read.

During the meeting Amanda pulled some of us out to take head shots! Having a picture on, say, your profile picture on LinkedIn can separate you from the masses of blank profiles that cover every inch of the website. By taking that picture, I took one more step towards making myself look more appealing to potential employers!

Though I could not stay for the entire meeting, I am glad that I was able to come.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Center for Character and Citizenship 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

On Tuesday September 29th, I went to the Touhill- Grand Terrace Lobby for the first time. I’ve always wondered what that building was and on that day, I finally found out. This event was very interesting. It celebrated the 10 Year anniversary for the Center for Character and Citizenship which was established in 2005. The goal of the organizations is focusing on character and citizenship growth in youth. Their mission is “To engage in research, education, and advocacy that will foster the development of character, democratic citizenship and civil society.” Sounds very important to me.

During this event, the ambassadors did the jobs of a typical ambassador and greeted the people that came and led them to the location of the event. Later in the evening, we were able to join the celebration and congratulate the prize-winning candidates and try the delicious food. The highlight of the evening was when it started pouring rain outside! Fortunately, the rain settled down by the time the event was over and it was time to leave. I had a great time at this event. I am looking forward to more!