My Twentysomething Life

I Do, Make, Read, Watch, Eat…

Weird Food and Encouragement

All of the conference details, the ones you care about, and the ones you don’t—Part 5
Saturday Night

Saturday night at the RCC convention was my favorite event of the week, the Wilbur Awards.  The Wilbur Awards (from the RCC Website):

                “recognize the work of individuals in secular media who communicate religious issues, values and themes with the utmost professionalism, fairness and honesty.”

The basically are awards for secular communicators who show excellence in communicating a religious topic.

I thought this was a really cool thing to give awards for.  And, the recipients of the awards really seemed to feel honored that the RCC recognized the hard work that went into communicating their topics.  A full list of this years and other years members can be found here.

I really enjoyed seeing the examples of all the work had been done and I was surprised to find myself with tears in my eyes at some points.  I just think this is a really awesome part of the RCC.

And my final tale is this:  all week I was worried about the hotel catering some of the meals.  And Saturday night proves the reason why.  I get to dinner on Saturday and there is front of me is a salad with nuts and oranges on top.  For those of you who don’t know, I am allergic to both.  There was also a nutty dessert already on the table.  Great two things I couldn’t eat.  Then, they brought the main dish.  On the plate was, steak, salmon, and green beans.  The salmon was in a coconut cream sauce (allergic) and the green beans had nuts crunched on top (#whodoesthat?).  So, I kindly told my server that I was allergic and asked him to bring me a vegetarian plate (since you can do weird things to meat) and I gave him a card with a list of all the other things I was allergic to.

An hour later he brings out my food.  I wish I had taken a picture of it because there is really no way to explain it to you besides….really weird.  No one at my table knew what it was.  It was a square blob, it was a lot of white, and spinach and then some weird pot pie crust on top.  I could see some layered noodles, so I asked the server if it was lasagna.  He laughed at me and said no.  So I asked if it was like a vegetarian equivalent of lasagna.  He again, said no, it’s not lasagna.  So I said, “What is it?”  Because it looked really strange and I wanted to know what I was eating.  He said, “It doesn’t have anything in it that was on your list” and he walked away.  Gee.  Thanks.

I picked off the top crust, because that just looked too suspicious for me.  And I took a deep breath and took a bite.  Let me tell you what I could taste.  Spinach, noodles, mashed potatoes, and a kind of alfredo sauce. Bleck.  But I would definitely have called it some kind of lasagna equivalent.  It was noodle, mashed potatoes, noodle, mashed potatoes, noodle.  All covered in the weird spinach alfredo ish sauce.  Top with the too weird to eat pot pie crust.  Yeah.  It was not good.  The people at my table said that it was probably all the safe ingredients they could find in the kitchen thrown together.  Yuck.  So there you go, the best night of the week, with the worst meal.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my week.  I really had a great time.

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Break your tech addiction–Measure your VMI


All of the conference details, the ones you care about, and the ones you don’t—Part 4

Saturday morning started with the final plenary, “The Digital Diet: the four-step plan to break your tech addiction.”  The title of the plenary is also the title of a book written by the speaker, Daniel Sieberg.  Daniel is a tech expert for Google.  His talk was very interesting, and his book is now on my list to read.  One really interesting thing that he talked about that I wanted to share with you is a VWI index.  A Virtual Weight Index, which is basically how much your body is weighed down by technology.

His formula can be found here or you can do it with me now:

For every…

Smart phone you own, add 3 points

Social Network you use, add 4 points

Laptop you own, add 1 point

Tablet or iPad like device you own, add 2 points

E-mail account you use, add 2 points

Cell phone texting service you use, add 5 points

Online role-playing game log-in you use, add 7 points

Desktop computer you own, add 1 point

E-book reader you have, add 1 point

Digital camera you have, add 1 point

Additional gadget you own that requires a charger but doesn’t fall into any of these categories, add 1 pt

Blog you write or comment on, add 2 points


Here’s my VWI

No smart phone—0

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+–16

One Dell Laptop—1

No tablet device—0

Personal email, blog email, work email—6

No texting service—0

No online role playing game—0

No desktop computer—0

One Kindle—1

Two digital cameras—2

No additional gadget—0

Write two blogs, consistently comment on 2 blogs—8


My Virtual Weight Index—34

What’s your VMI?


After the plenary the schedule was workshop, lunch, workshop.  Unfortunately, both workshops were meh and I didn’t learn anything (the first time all week, and I was extra disappointed since it was the last day) and I had Taco Bell for lunch.  It was a very unexciting, uneventful afternoon.  But since I enjoyed the morning Plenary so much I guess it worked out.

Tune in next time for the last and final part of this epic mini-blog-series.  It will be about my favorite part of the week!

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A Day Full of Learning

All of the conference details, the ones you care about, and the ones you don’t—Part 3

Friday morning I attended the RCC annual business meeting breakfast.  It was interesting to see how everything worked and how they conduct their business meeting.  After breakfast, there was another plenary called “Communicating Faith in a Social Media Age.”  I really enjoyed this plenary.  We sat in small groups and we would discuss after each presenter spoke.  It was really good to dialogue with different faiths, people in different jobs, and to learn how to better communicate what we believe in a world of 140 letters.  My group was a group of young women and after the plenary, they invited me to go to lunch with them.  We went to the Indianapolis Colts Sports Bar.  Over my lunch of cooked veggies, I found out that they all worked in some form or fashion with the Methodist church.  It was strange for me to have to explain my denomination.  I’ve never had to explain it to someone who didn’t have any idea what it was.  So that was definitely a stretching moment for me.  I really enjoyed getting to know them better and dialoging about their jobs in communications.

After lunch, there were four tours we got to choose some.  Tour number 1 was a trip to the University of Indianapolis Radio station, tour number 2 was to the Indianapolis Speedway to meet and talk to the IndyCar Ministry, tour number 3 was to Exact Target, a social media marketing company, and tour number 4 was to the Islamic Society of North America’s national center in Indy.  At first I thought I wanted to go to the IndyCar Ministry tour, but I decided to go to Exact Target instead and I am very glad that I did.  I learned a lot about the company.  We toured their buildings, and their Director of Social Media Marketing spoke with us.  I learned a lot from him and I even won a mug. Yes!

After the tours, I signed up to go to an additional tour, more like field trip, to the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation.  We got to go to their Friday evening Shabbat service.  It was very education and interesting.  All the songs were in Hebrew.  I really enjoyed going to their service.

Once we got back, we went to a late dinner at Scotty’s Brewery.  It was a sports bar downtown.  I got some broccoli and mac and cheese and it was delicious!  I wanted seconds of both.  I went with the other three scholarship winners, and it was really fun to hang out together.

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I Google Words I Don’t Know/Who Needs A Dictionary?

All of the conference details, the ones you care about, and the ones you don’t—Part 2

Thursday morning we woke up, got registered for the convention and attended the Orientation.  This was basically a time for everyone who was attending their first RCC Convention.  There was an introduction to the council, what they do, and what to expect with the convention.  There were 15 people there who had never been to a convention before.  After the orientation, we went to lunch at a pizza place just around the corner from our hotel: Enzos.  It is a small, no place to eat your food, pizza place.  You just walked down the line, picked your pizza, your breadsticks, your drink, then they cooked it right then so it was super-hot and yummy when you got it.  I enjoyed a pepperoni pizza, two breadsticks, and cheese sauce.  Talk about tasty!  And super cheap! Gotta love that.

After lunch we went back to the hotel for the opening Plenary.

                Side note:  when I first saw the word “plenary,” I was like, what the heck does that mean?  So I Googled it.  (Gotta love Google).  “including all who have a right to attend <a plenary session of an assembly>”  So it is basically a fancy word for a gathering.  Who knew?  End side note.

The opening plenary was titled “Faith-based Peacebuilding in the Social Media Age.”  This was a very interesting panel discussion about how to build peace among faith groups (I was a little disappointed that they didn’t discuss the social media aspect very much).  There were three people on the panel: an Arab-Christian from Jordan, a Muslim, and a Jew.  During the plenary, the three of them talked about the conflict between their faith-groups and the ways that they could seek peace.  It was very interesting.  It was good to hear from individuals in each of these groups rather than from the people in the news for a change.  I have never really been involved in these kind of dialogues before, and I found it very educational for me.

After the plenary, there was a choice of workshops to attend.  I attended a workshop entitled “Real-Time Coverage on Social Media.” And I learned tons!  First, the presenter introduced the various social media and other tools to use them, and then she instructed on how to use them to cover a live event.  I have all kinds of new tools to use now and I am super excited about it!

In the evening was the De-Rose Hinkhouse awards, which are awards given to members of the RCC for excellence in communication.  Members can submit their work from the year in several categories of medium, and they are judged by a third party source.  It was a very inspirational awards banquet to see what these professionals have done in religious communications.  And for dinner at the banquet I had pasta and vegetables.  It was yummy.

And that night, I slept soundly with no sounds of loose wheels running through my head.

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And So It Begins

All of the conference details, the ones you care about, and the ones you don’t—Part 1
Introduction and Wednesday

The convention that I attended last week was the 84th annual convention of the Religious Communicators Council (RCC), and the theme was “Communicating at the Speed of Life.  All about Social Media.”  The RCC is an interfaith group of religious communicators who work in a number of different mediums.  I was made aware of a group by a professor at Milligan who heard about the convention and their scholarship program and suggested I look into it.  One of the goals that RCC has is investing in up and coming religious communicators through their scholarship program.  They hope to educate students about religious communications and let see what a profession as a religious communicator would look like.  As a recipient of the scholarship program, I received a paid registration for the convention, my hotel room was paid for, and my travel and food expenses were also paid for.  And lastly, my membership in the council is paid for 2013 and 2014 and I will work with a mentor in the field for the next year.

As the time for the convention got closer and closer, I found myself getting more and more nervous.  I would be traveling eight hours away, all by myself, and spending the week with a bunch of people that I did not know!  Another thing that I didn’t know what to expect was the size.  I was not sure if I should expect a CIY sized event, or a small group setting.  It ended up being around 100 people, but I think that made it a lot better.  One fun thing that I will highlight in this blog post is also the food that I ate while in Indianapolis.  I never ate the same thing twice and only at one chain restaurant all week.  I’m surprised I didn’t gain 10 pounds.

Besides myself, there were three other scholarship recipients.  Two senior Public Relations (PR) students from Florida State University, and a junior PR student from the University of Indianapolis.  I enjoyed getting to know the three of them throughout the convention.  There is so much information that I want to share with you about the convention.  I hope you will bear with me, but feel free to take breaks, as long as you will come back and finish reading!

On Wednesday  when I arrived in Indianapolis, I carried all of my stuff up to my hotel room (which was quite a feat in a sling), met my roommate, and got settled in.  Just a little while later, we went down to the lobby and met the scholarship coordinator, Phillip Poole.  Phillip is a wonderful guy.  I really felt like he cared about us and invested in us all week.  That night he took us to Rock Bottom Brewery for dinner and it was delicious!  I had a handmade, fresh margarita pizza.  Talk about yummy.  We spent the evening talking a little about the convention and getting to know each other.   That evening, as Teresa and I were going to bed, there was this terrible sound in our room.  It kept us up for a while and then woke us up early in the morning.  We finally put all the pieces together.  Our room shared a wall with the elevators, and one of them sounded like a shopping cart with a wobbly wheel.  Talk about annoying!  Needless to say, after that first night, we moved rooms.  Thank goodness!


A Story of Hope

One thing that I was so happy to be able to attend at the Religious Communicators Convention was the Wilbur Awards.

The Wilbur Awards are given by the Religious Communications Council to secular communicators display excellence in communicating a religious story.  It was very inspiring to see and hear all of the stories at this award ceremony.  It was one of my favorite things of the whole convention.

The following new story from CBS was one of the winners.  This was my favorite story of the night.  Enjoy.

The video won’t embed since it is from CBS, but please, please, please go out and watch it!

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This I Believe…

At the Religious Communicators Convention I went to a workshop about putting the social back in social media and one of the things we talked about was blogging.  This is a writing exercise that we did, and my partner thought I did a really good job and I wanted to share it with you.

This I Believe
This I believe, that you have to have friends to help you through the mountains of life.  You need them in the high times and the low times.  They help you celebrate in the good times, and they pick you up and help you hike out of the valleys.  The bad times in my life seem so much worse without a friend to encourage you and lift you up.  And the peaks of the mountain, when you are so close to God, can be a much bigger blessing with someone to rejoice with you.  You already have the best friend with God, but I believe we are blessed with other partners to journey and hike the big mountains with.

What is your “This I Believe?”

*coming soon an update about my conference!*

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Thursday-Morning Tell-About (a few hours late)

My Movie Queue: Around the World in 80 Days, Cold Mountain, There will be blood, Melinda and Melinda
Pages left to read in my current book:   I’m reading several things at the moment and I do not know how many pages I have left.  All my books are in my room and I’m in the hotel lobby, taking advantage of their free wifi
I have made: notta
I have worked on: checking email, attending conventions, and looking nice every day
Food made: nothing. I’ve been out of town.
Goals checked off: none this week
Games played: Hand and Foot
Favorite Pinterest pin:favorite
This is so true! Especially on my road trip this week!

Total Blog views since last Thursday:  161
Number of snow days: 0
Movies Watched: 7: The Watch, Total Recall, Les Miserables
Books read: none finished
This week I love: learning new things
This week I hate: only having free wifi in hotel lobbies

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Road Trip

Hello Lovely Blog Readers.  I miss you already.  I know to you it doesn’t seem like I’m really gone, but just the fact that I’m not writing this at my usual computer makes me miss you.  I am glad, however, that I get to type this to you tonight.

Last night I started my road trip.  I drove 4.5 hours to my parents house in Lexington.  It was a very short stay, but it was great to see them and their new house all decorated.

I started the second leg of my journey this morning and got to have lunch with my dear friend Janna.  It had been over 1.5 years since I had been able to see her lovely face!  Something that I am not okay with.  So we had a great visit and caught up, then I finished up my trip to Indy.

I checked into the hotel, met my roommate, and got ready for dinner.  For dinner, the other scholarship recipients and I went to dinner with the scholarship coordinator at Rock Bottom Brewery.  I had a personal pizza and it was delicious.

As I am writing this to you, I am Facebook chatting with my hubby because it is the only way for us to communicate over this trip because we share a cell phone.  Bad planning for a time like this.

Hopefully I will get a chance to update you again tomorrow.

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My bags are packed

Well, the time has finally come.  Today at four, I will be on my way to the Religious Communicators Council Annual Convention in Indianapolis.  I am a big jumble of excitement and nerves.

Last night I did all my laundry, packing, grocery shopping for Adam, and this morning I loaded it all into my car.  I know this will sound silly to some of you, but I am going to be away from Adam for 5 and a half days and I’m really not looking forward to that!  It is just about the longest we have been apart.  And only having one cell phone is a huge problem!  All we’re going to be able to do is Facebook chat in the evenings.

There are going to be several free nights, so my plan is to catch up on my Netflix viewing and my book reading (and my junk food eating).  This week is definitely going to be an adventure for me.  And I’ll be sure to keep you up to date during the week!

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