Elyse's Blog

Hope To See You Soon

All is well that ends well…

All good things must come to end…

For everything there is a season…

This blog ends with this entry, at least until I find a new story to tell. A story where I am a professor, a paralegal, or whatever my career may be. But damn, I am grateful for the journey I’ve been on with it for the past two years. This blog gave me an avenue to explore my life as a student, my life as a single woman, as a dog lover, and a job seeker.

I’ve thought about what I might like to say in my last blog a lot in the past few weeks but I’m at a loss. So I’ll leave you with this.

Smile. A cute guy or girl might be watching.

Laugh. It makes you feel better.

Study. Your GPA will thank you.

Drink. Something other than wine and Diet Coke.

Listen. To anything that makes you want to dance.

Thanks for reading guys!





Not The Kind Of First In Flight I Imagined

Torture. It’s a nasty word made even worse when put into practice. Tonight I was reading my local news page from back home in North Carolina when I came across an article showing how “torture flights” are originating from my home state! The place that I still to this day call home, and have always been proud to do so, participates in the torture of human beings! I am not sure where to begin with this. Its appalling, stomach turning, and sets off all sorts of feelings of—who the hell do these people think they are that they can do this to another person?

The flights originate about an hour away from where I grew up, in neighboring Johnston County. CIA officials transport these individuals overseas to countries where the torture can be more easily carried out and then violate every law on human rights known to man. When I read this, and the brief stories of those who had suffered as a result of these flights, I lost some faith in our government. I lost a little bit of my belief that we don’t do that. Whatever that maybe. I always held on to a belief that as a country we knew better, that we had morals and ethics, standards that wouldn’t allow us to participate in such despicable activities.

I’m not sure if it was naivety, false hope, or perhaps a combination of the two that allowed me to think that we don’t do this. That as a country we are above it. Yes, I’ve heard bits and pieces about torture taking place in the name of stopping another 9/11, but somehow tonight made it real. Tonight it hit close to home. The place where I learned to say “Yes sir and yes ma’am,” and where the guys at my undergrad always offered to carry anything heavy for all of us girls. Yes, North Carolina does southern hospitality, but apparently we also support torture. Not sure we’d want that on our license plates.

It’s Easy To Forget (How Awesome DC Is)

It’s easy to take DC for granted. We can wander through any number of amazing museums; try different types of international food at with the ease of a phone call, and, as of late enjoy a Springish Winter. Now, to go off on a tangent for a moment (just for a moment), my birthday was Sunday. What was amazing about this birthday was who I got to spend it with. I spent the actual evening with my friend Joohwa. Then the next night two of my friends from the restaurant took me out to dinner, Jenn and Beatrix. Jenn a born and bred NOVA-er but Beatrix is from Romania.

Being here, having the chance to meet people from so many different places has changed me. Joohwa and I discussed how the death of Kim Jung Il could impact things in her native South Korea. She worries there may be another war because their new leader will want to prove his prowess. She also explained how with the division of the two countries the Korean language has evolved separately in North and South Korea. This is the type of discussion I wouldn’t be able to have with my friends who, like me, grew up in the US. She provided insight into an issue that no newspaper would be able to rival because of the way her answers were so personal.

I was wishing I had more of a culture recently, but then I realized it is up to me though to make my own story and have my own traditions to pass down. As the only religious one in my family it is up to me to share those beliefs with the next generation. And I will certainly ensure my children learn to play cribbage and that they came by their Irish complexions honestly. In my family the Irish traits trumps any other genetic input.

To come full circle, living here has made me appreciate how much we can learn from each other and how vital it is to share who we are and what we stand for with the next generation so that it doesn’t get lost.



New Year’s Eve

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m sick so I can’t go out. But…I can still wish you all a Happy New Year!!!

Like my parents say: Smart Choices People!!!!

Christmas Wishes (A Day Late)

Wishing everyone a (late) Merry Christmas!

Mt. Vernon…and a Camel

The Estate

I met a camel named Aladdin on Monday and it was awesome. Donna, one of my good friends from work, decided I need to experience history. No, not the history of the Middle East (that where camels are from, right?) but history in our own backyard so off we went to Mt. Vernon on our day off from the restaurant.

The Kitchen


Washington's Tomb

There are a couple of cool things about going to Mt. Vernon during the holidays. First of all the third floor of the mansion is open to tours from Thanksgiving-Christmas. This is where Martha Washington lived after George Washington died and she closed off their shared bedroom. Also good, is the fact that it’s not tourist season so there are no lines to get on to the property and you can get good views of all the rooms during the tours. Regarding the tours, no photos can be taken inside the mansion, sorry. But…you do get to see a beautiful carved marble fireplace and room that is so green you blink several times when you first see it. And the quilts…some of the quilts are gorgeous.


I won’t lie though; my favorite thing was meeting Aladdin. What I didn’t know until visiting Mt. Vernon was that in 1787 George Washington had a camel brought to his estate for the holidays for his guests to see, so now the current estate does the same each year. This camel is friendly. He will walk right over for attention and petting, and if you aren’t careful will put his face thisclosetoyours when you are looking for your camera. My souvenir for the day? A mini-camel of course!

Too Cute!

Too Cute Not to Share!

*Shared With Me By My Parents*

The Hardest Part

There is a song lyric, I believe by Tom Petty, that says that “The wai..ai..ting is the hardest part.” At this point I’m inclined to agree. I’ve have been waiting for more information on two potential jobs for over a week now. The first is an Adjunct position at NOVA and the second is at my former internship site, as I mentioned in a previous blog.

At first I thought NOVA wasn’t going to work-out because going down to Manassas just isn’t feasible. Then the head of the Psychology Department contacted me again about teaching online classes as an alternative. Score! I was excited. This is a job that Dr. Doll said I’d be great at. I love academia, being around students, and I’ve always loved teaching, both formally and informally. With all my former Marymount professors willing to be references for me I feel confident that I might be heading in the right direction here.

With the internship site position things are a bit trickier. The work is lot more likely to show up in my dreams, as I know from prior experience. But I also know that it gave me a sense of satisfaction like nothing else I have ever experienced. Knowing I made difference, and not just in a superficial way, in the lives of families was amazing.

I truly hope you all leave your internship with a similar sense of satisfaction because your internship is one of the things that make Marymount, Marymount. Be careful when you select your internship site, and apply for a bunch so you have options. And hopefully, maybe, it will turn into something long-term. I hoping mine does, even though it has taken awhile for it materialize. Gotta love the government financial situation. Sigh…


Longfellow and More Good Christmas Stuff

I’ve been listening to the Casting Crowns a lot lately and heard their song, “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day,” which is based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song and poem are both so beautiful I needed to share.

                  Christmas Bells

    I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old, familiar carols play,
        And wild and sweet
        The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
        Had rolled along
        The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Till ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
        A voice, a chime,
        A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Then from each black, accursed mouth
    The cannon thundered in the South,
        And with the sound
        The carols drowned
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
        And made forlorn
        The households born
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    “There is no peace on earth,” I said;
        “For hate is strong,
        And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
        The Wrong shall fail,
        The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Listen Too!

Notes From A Trip Home…

Bon Jovi said you can’t go home. Well, I disagree. But sometimes things are just so…not DC… that you have to write them down.

Buffalo Wings+Tortilla Chips+Chocolate Cake=Stomach Fail

Sometimes, when trying on a pair of shoes, the left one will fit but the right one won’t.

There are dogs that don’t like to eat. Interesting…

Killers (Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl) was worth a second watch, if only to check out Kutcher sans shirt).

I am codependent on my coworkers for gossip…life isn’t the same without all the drama.

Tomorrow night I’m going out to dinner with five guys. No prospects. What is wrong with this picture?

My brother really hates having his photo taken. This presented a problem when I was making Christmas presents.

The only thing I went back for seconds on? Cranberry Sauce! New recipe and it was freaking awesome!

Riding in Cars (with or without Boys) just feels wrong after depending on Public Transit for so long.

Not worrying that Finals are coming up is bizarre.