My two mentees were Irene Guggenheim-Triana and McKenzy Richie. Irene is a Music Education major from Brookville, Maryland. She ended up at Ohio State due to having a very influential flute professor here that helped make her decision. Kenzy is an Early Childhood Education major from Mason, Ohio. She chose to come to Ohio State because of the great program we have in store here and how well the university offered her off of her tuition.
It seemed like Kenzy, Irene, and I had a lot in common. We all were interested in education, but in our own unique ways. Education is something that we found to be an important part of our lives and something that we wanted to be able to share with others. It takes a lot of patience to be in the education field, but we think it is something that we are capable of doing with passion. One obvious difference that I share with my mentees is gender, which can affect the way that we perceive the world. They taught me that being a man is an identity that I can use to help other people solely based on the roles that society plays on all of us.
I felt like I have witnessed such a huge transformation between both Irene and Kenzy. I can remember when I first met them and noticed how shy they were and hesitant to share their lives with me. After the mentorship program, I can safely say that we formed friendships over this time. We had a lot of fun exploring Columbus and going to ACES events together. Thanks to the events that we went to, they allowed us to grow as individuals and share our growths when we felt comfortable. Having the time where it was just the two or three of us instead of being in a large group seemed to have worked better for us because there was more personal time without many distractions.
As a mentor, I feel that I have grown momentously from my experience in ACES. Being a mentor allowed me to put my own insecurities out into the world for the betterment of someone else. Seeing someone else struggle in the same ways that I have in the past made me want to help them as much as I could so they would not have to worry as much as I did. One thing that brought Irene, Kenzy, and I together was being a first-generation college student. Being a first-generation college student means that we are the first in our family to attend college. This put a pressure on us to want to perform to the best of our ability, but we don’t have all the resources that other people who aren’t first-generation college students might not have to worry about. Through my experience as a mentor, I became more aware of my personal identities and why they’re important to me. My identities are something that are unique to me and have attached character traits to me that I can and will use in order to help others.
In order to help my mentees with socializing, I made sure to do events that put us outside of our comfort zone. We had a lot of fun trying new things that we normally wouldn’t have tried. This forced us to be uncomfortable to an extent where we became okay with how weird the experiences were. There were definitely times where we just wanted to quit or leave because it would have been the easier thing to do, but we stuck by each other’s sides and pushed through the awkward parts. At the end of these experiences, we laughed about how much fun we had doing something new. Having the ability to put ourselves out there trying new things made us appreciate every step that we took along the way.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time mentoring Irene and Kenzy. I think that this mentorship program was beneficial to not only them, but myself included. I believe that mentorship programs allow the mentor to relive a part of their past by helping someone new discover their own path while guiding them through the tough parts of their journey. I felt good knowing that I was able to help my mentees figure out some difficulties that came up so far during their Ohio State experience. The intrinsic reward of helping someone who doesn’t have as much knowledge as you do about a certain subject is something that is better than any extrinsic reward you could receive.
For our spring Explore Columbus, we did two separate events. Kenzy and I decided to go to Berry Blendz, while Irene and I went to Simply Rolled. We decided to do separate events so that our schedules would match up better and we all get to go to something that we would enjoy.
Kenzy and I wanted to go somewhere that was close to campus so that if we liked it so much that it wouldn’t be a hassle going there whenever we wanted to. Berry Blendz is one of my favorite spots near campus for a quick drink that helps cool you down on a hot day. Berry Blendz is located on High Street, right across from the book store. It’s less than a 5-minute walk from Smith-Steeb, so we walked from there. I stuck to my favorite smoothie and got the PB&J. Kenzy got a smoothie that had lemon, orange, and peach in it. Luckily, they weren’t too busy, and we were able to sit down there and talk for a while. It was a nice time that allowed us to just sit back and enjoy not doing anything. We both agreed that having the escape a few minutes away from campus helps our mental health. I think Kenzy would agree that Berry Blendz is a great place for a quick drink around campus and would like to go again with more of our friends. It’s a nice treat to have every once in a while that’s different than any smoothie you can find on campus.
Irene and I went somewhere a little farther away from campus this time. We stuck to the theme of food and decided to go to Simply Rolled. On the day we went, it was pretty warm, so ice cream sounded like a good plan. Neither of us have been to Simply Rolled, but we have heard a lot about them. It seemed like all of our friends have gone there and posted pics of their ice cream just to make us jealous. We left Smith-Steeb and took the COTA down to get there. It was about a 10-minute bus ride and it was definitely worth it. When we got there, the place was empty. We were able to walk right up and order immediately. They had a lot of options to choose from, but I chose a cookie dough creation whereas Irene chose a salted caramel pretzel ice cream. The seating inside was nice and we were able to enjoy our ice cream there. Once again, it just felt nice to be able to not be stuck on campus and try something new. Having the escape from school and focusing on ice cream was a nice relief. After going, this is definitely a place that I would recommend to all my friends, and I’m sure they would agree after seeing my posts about Simply Rolled on social media.
Completing these Explore Columbus trips made me realize how much Columbus has to offer me and my friends. I don’t think it would be very hard to find something new to do every day. Something that I really liked about this experience is that I was the one leading the trips and knew the most about the area. Since Irene and Kenzy did not know too much about the area, it was up to me to figure out how to get to places and if they were even worth going to. Since I have been in Columbus longer than them, I was able to navigate the city and I knew where to go if I needed help. When I’m in a new city, I like to ask people who have been there before what some of their favorite spots are. To me, I like to experience what other people like and try new things that I normally would not do. One thing to keep in mind when doing a project like this is if it is something that you think you would want to do over and over again. Putting yourself out there to try something that you are unsure of but would still like to try allows you to grow as a person. Trying new things can expand your horizon and allow you to know what you really do like and dislike. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and make yourself uncomfortable. We can learn a lot about ourselves when we are doing something that we normally wouldn’t and see how we react to new experiences.
5 questions I asked my mentees:
- Are you enjoying your major? Why or why not?
- How do you manage your time between your involvement and your academics?
- Have you enjoyed the ACES living-learning community in Smith-Steeb? Why or why not?
- Have your career plans changed since your first semester? Why or why not?
- What has surprised you about Ohio State since arriving on campus?
Irene Guggenheim-Triana – Music Education Major
- I love my major. It can be stressful at times, but it’s fun for me. The amount of passion I have for it definitely outweighs its stressors.
- I’m barely managing my time. I have about 2 hours of free time on the weekdays which is insane. I’m constantly doing homework and studying. One of the only ways I can get through it is by getting in a good mood and just milking that for as long as I can. I try to listen to my emotions too so that I know when I need to take a break and don’t overwork myself.
- I feel like I’m not in my room enough to know. The only time I’m here is to go to sleep. I’m always out studying elsewhere and by the time I get back everyone is tired and getting ready for the next day. I do have some quick casual conversations with people around the floor but that’s as far as it usually goes.
- My plans haven’t really changed. I still know the occupation that I want, and it still excites me. Only minor details have changed, like where I think I would want to work at.
- A lot has surprised me here. A pleasant surprise was how well the TA’s are here. They’re so understanding and knowledgeable that they make the class not as hard as it could be. Another thing that surprised me was how prominent the gender roles seem to be here. It feels like boys should be doing one thing while girls should be doing another. One more thing that surprised me was the general differences between home on the east coast and life here in the Midwest. I would have to say that I like it more back home just because I’m used to how everything is.
McKenzy Richie– Early Childhood Education Major
- I love my major so far. FEEP has allowed me to see more into the career I want to have, and it seems fun. However, some of the other classes seem very straightforward and can tend to be boring and repetitive.
- In order to manage my time I have to plan ahead of time and am constantly scheduling my time. It works well when I get things done before hand so I can attempt to have free time. My free time usually only comes on the weekends.
- I’m getting used to the living community in my residence hall. The rooms themselves are so nice. I just wish that the people on my floor were closer to each other and we we’re a huge friend group.
- My career plans haven’t really changed. I love the teaching field and the classes have strengthened my love for it. The only thing that has kind of changed was the grade level I’m willing to teach. I think 2ndgrade will always be my favorite, but I’m open to pretty much anything. It really all depends on what jobs are available at the time.
- One thing that surprised me here was how easy some of the classes were to me. Since Ohio State is such a prestigious school, I didn’t expect my classes to be easy to relate to as they are.
Irene and I decided it would be fun to go spend time at Hang Over Easy! We walked from our home of Smith-Steeb Hall over to Hang Over Easy on High Street. It’s a convenient location that we knew if we liked we could always come back and check it out. When we went, we were lucky enough to get a table, as the place is usually packed on weekends. We were greeted with smiling faces and shown to our table. We both loved the aesthetic of the building itself. It felt cozy while keeping our attention. When it came time to order, everything sounded so good that it took us a few minutes to decide. We both were anticipating a good experience with great food. We heard from our friends that it was the best place off campus to get brunch. I ended up going with the Cleveland Steamer burger because I wanted something spicy and it contained jalapeños, and plus the Cleveland naming drew my eye to it. Irene chose avocado toast, which sounded refreshing and filling. When our food came, we dove in immediately. Before we knew it, the food was gone like that. Irene ended up taking home half of her toast to eat later during her busy day, so it accommodated to her busy schedule. The thing I liked the best was how cheap everything was. For the quality and quantity of the food we got, it felt like a really good bargain. Once we paid, we left and headed back to Smith-Steeb Hall. Overall, we really enjoyed the experience we shared at Hang Over Easy. We had a great conversation and learned a lot about each other. The hardest part about the experience was scheduling a date and time to go and explore Columbus. Irene and I both have busy schedules and it was very difficult to find a right time to go. Kenzy was supposed to come with us, but unfortunately, she came down with the flu and was unable to go. We would love to go back sometime, but hopefully with all three of us. The difficult part about choosing Hang Over Easy as the place we wanted to go was going during the hours they were open. Hang Over Easy, being a brunch restaurant, is only open until 3PM, which made it even more difficult to fit into our hectic schedules. Since all of our friends recommended Hang Over Easy to us, we would definitely suggest that they go there whenever they can too. As I stated before, the food and atmosphere we encountered made us want to go back immediately. We learned that Columbus is a fun place that many people can go to and find something that everyone likes. With Hang Over Easy, we both found something that allowed us to choose what we wanted while being at the same place. I enjoyed being able to show Irene, someone who is from out-of-state, how easy it can be to learn about and explore a new home. What I like to do is start small and close, then branch out and get out of our comfort zone. For someone trying to complete an experience like this, I heavily suggest going to a restaurant. The best part about a restaurant is that someone can choose what they get so the only person they can be unhappy with about the selection is themselves. Everyone I know loves food and it is something that is easy to come together over. Whenever you’re looking for something that can get people to have a good time with one another, try to involve food whenever possible!
McKenzy Richie– Early Childhood Education Major
Kenzy’s most challenging class so far is her math class. This course is intended to prepare future teachers to teach math to elementary students, so it goes in depth a lot which could be a struggle to manage. I also find it hard to teach children something that we find so innate. When we know something for so long, it becomes second nature and can become hard to explain on a lower level. Kenzy is in two service groups and recently got a job as an Office Assistant. I am also an OA and understand how to manage time between the job and other things. Some things Kenzy is looking forward to in ACES is being able to volunteer at different places and meeting new friends. I also love being able to go to places all around Columbus and help in different ways each time. It makes each experience new and exciting while being educational at the same time. Personally, I met some of my best friends through ACES, so I can see where Kenzy is coming from when she said she can see herself becoming good friends with her peers in ACES. When I asked Kenzy about her dream job, she replied with two answers. The first was becoming a teacher that traveled to third-world countries and teaching children that are less fortunate. Her second answer was working for an animal conservation. My answer was being a comedian, something that I like to think I already am. We both want to help people and make others feel good, because in return it will make us feel good in the end. One thing Kenzy has learned so far at Ohio State was how to manage her time. When we both first got here, we were blindsided by how little we new about managing our time. Eventually, I learned how to put some things before others and I got the hang of it, and I can already see Kenzy doing the same thing.
Irene Guggenheim-Triana – Music Education Major
Irene’s hardest class so far is astronomy. In this course, there are weekly quizzes and her book was on backorder, so she had to go to the library constantly to catch up on material. I have taken multiple classes where we have a quiz every week, so I told Irene to take it one quiz at a time. Irene is very involved already here at Ohio State. Besides ACES, Irene is in Morrill Scholars, LLDI, and the Ensemble Band for the School of Music. Irene is already very busy so I made sure to tell her to find time for herself and enjoy little moments to make the long ones seem not as stressful. Irene is looking forward to the service events ACES offers. Going out and learning about the diverse community while giving back is something that we are both interested in. Irene’s dream job is becoming a band director for international students. Being able to bring together a big group of people with diverse backgrounds to complete a goal is a big interest for Irene. Irene and I both said one of the most important things we’ve learned at Ohio State so far is to “fake it ’til ya make it”. That saying just means that we understand that we won’t know everything there is to know about something, but we’re going to try our hardest to try and make it work out in our favor. This is an easy way to try to just go with the flow of things and destress a little from our busy lives.
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Global Awareness– Global awareness to me, means that you are knowledgeable about different cultures around the world. This means you don’t assume that everyone lives the same and is treated the same way as you. Even in the United States, we don’t even have equal treatment, so it would be hard to assume that everyone is treated like how Americans are treated. One thing I would like to do to become more globally aware is study abroad. I feel that if I were to receive my education while overseas, I could understand the lifestyle of others while trying to gain knowledge in other areas.
Service Engagement– Service engagement is something that I feel everyone has a duty to do. As residents on this Earth, we should give back to make the world a better place for others. It would work best if everyone took up something that they enjoyed so that they could put forth their full effort when giving back to the community. For me, I enjoy working with animals and I am happy to be volunteering at the Franklin County Dog Shelter, where I walk the dogs to make sure they get enough exercise. It doesn’t have to be a long time that you give back, because every little bit helps someone in need.
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Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine ACES Film Project- 11/17
In our ACES seminar, we had to select a movie in groups that we thought we could connect to our pillars. My three group members and I came together to watch the movie and observe all of the parts of the movie that we felt added to society. I selected this artifact for the same reason we selected this movie; the movie shows the basis for the beginning of gay rights movement. One major thing I stand for is equality. I believe that we’re all created the same way, and we should all be treated the same way, no matter the differences. This project is significant to me because it shows how so many people of multiple backgrounds can come together to reach a goal. It shows that even after a tragedy, good will prevail. This is a good message for everyone, showing that when you’re at your worst, people will come to help pick you up. It’s a shame that Matthew lost his life, but his legacy will forever live on.
Group Teaching- Achievement Goals ESEPSY 2309 10/17
In my educational psychology class, we had a group teaching project. My group was assigned achievement goals, which explained the reasoning for why we will or will not do things. I found this project to be very important to me because it is something I will directly use once I graduate. I plan on becoming a teacher, so if I understand why students will act a certain way when they want to do something, then it’ll be easier for me to manage my classroom. When I first started the assignment, I was confused on the subject itself as I kept mixing up the different types of goals. Thankfully, my group mates were able to describe the types in a different way for me that allowed me to grasp the subject. This project proved the importance of group projects to me. Back in high school, it seemed that there was always one person that did all the work and that group projects had no real value. Instead, I found that this group project let me see the perspectives of others and how to improve or get a better understanding on something. This project helped me be more comfortable with group work and allowed me to be more open to asking questions or asking for help in such scenarios.