Saturday Sun…

Waking up later was heaven – the progressing feeling of concluding events in New York always causes mixed feelings, but sleeping in is amazing, and seeing the sunny warm weather  in New York on our last day was heavenly.

Packing early, I placed notes on my door of how we’d store luggage in one room, check out by 11:00 in all other rooms, meet back at the hostel at 1:00 – pick up at 1:45 – time to explore the area around the hostel including Broadway, a slower paced day to allow some to catch up on work needed, turn in notes, check Moodle, check any work from the assignment sheets pass back again (originals and copies), and just a slow backing out of New York heading back to Mexico.

A small group of us headed south on Broadway to see the large Barnes & Noble, the Staples, the awesome Canine Styles on Broadway, as well as catching a last minute Shamrock Shake and mailing off several magazine to artists that had submitted in the 2012-2013 magazine (I was able to mail 7 magazines for the price of 1 here in Mexico, and these were going to France, Netherlands, and Puerto Rico as well as stateside!).

I was asked often by students, on getting onto the plane if I had a good time, they had seen me stress over several things back and forth yet, I replied and do mean, that this was the most memorable trip yet, and yes, bittersweet as I was returning.  Things happened so fast and now it was sonly becoming a blur. Some of us would never be in this situation again as we had seniors that would be moving on to start their own new adventures.  For one week, I was able to spend time with some amazing students and laugh at their antics, enjoy their successes, and encourage them to dig deeper in themselves and pull out what they are capable of.  That in itself is priceless.

On the plane ride back, as I was watching Rush and A Good Year, I recalled the aspects of my father I missed, wondering sometimes if I had escaped to Mexico to escape facing the fears I had of a life in the states for the first time without my father. Yet I realized there was something deeper.  A portion of my father was the most knowledgeable person around when it came to mechanics, how anything mechanical ran, and how it could be fixed.  Yet, the other side of my father comes out n pieces through each of our family and is the most priceless gift he could have ever given any of us.  Finding a way to push others to do their best, motivate, ingratiate, and let others know they are more powerful than they realize, there is something that he left that allows each one of us in our family to seek these qualities out in others and want others around us to do amazing things.

Before this particular New York trip, I of course knew the staff members that agreed to come to New York – yet when I was leaving New York, I realized I found it hard to let New York go, but I realized New York would not be New York without the very students that had companied me.

These are aspects I learned –

Sonia – A smile and optimistic attitude with all can be found with Sonia.  Even when things go awry or not the way we planned,  Sonia was gracious and brings a calmness to all that she is interested in, for example when it came to questioning individuals about their career or something that interests her, even when it was not her area of interest, she still brought intelligence and interest to the topic.  I see her being powerful and quite capable of many good things in the future, her eye for art is a GREAT strength and the accent to the staff.

Payton – Payton has always said she is not good in art/literature etc, yet I am not sure she is aware of the power she has as a confident leader.  She when sure of herself and a decision she settles on is able to focus on that and go for it with all her might and talent.  Payton is confident and talented when it comes to reaching out to people, and a great staff member to have to push ideas and steps to work on surrounding the Repentino. staff.  I also think she is one of the tallest staff members when standing by Sonia  🙂

Monica – I have to say the one thing I always can identify and create a smile from is her laugh – Monica has this deeply found, solid laugh that can’t help but make you smile and join in laughing too.  On top of this, her optimistic approach to all, and a confidence that shows in the success of her workshop on creative writing? – she is unforgettable when you have challenges to overcome, you can count on Monica to make the day itself much better.

Erika -Erika is quiet and usually pretty laid back, but the main thing you notice is her willingness to push on and get through what needs to be done.  Erika never causes a commotion and even though elements might not go her way, Erika is a true team player and supporter and is there when you need her for advice and to pull together with the staff.  She brings a sense of calmness and a calm sensibility to the staff and what needs to be accomplished.

Cassandra – Cassandra is quiet yet she brings this gentle confidence to all she does. She isn’t the first individual to voice an opinion, nor is she the last, but without having to push a voice insistently, her gentle yet strong confidence in all she does is felt and she helps others around her feel the same.  She is all around kind, selfless, and supporting as a staff member.

Alejandro – Often mistaken for Monica’s name (maybe due to that they are two peas in a pod) – is seemingly quiet yet often adds a comment or two that can’t help but make you smile.  She is talented when she is asked to help achieve something, and combined with others, she is one of many reasons that things are done well.  Also having a personality that is easy going, she is a pleasure to have with the staff and helps all operate smoothly.

Fiona – I see in Fiona an ability to achieve that she does not fully see in herself.  Avidly interested in reading, authors, and new literature, her ability to accomplish a wide range of tasks (from amazing hot chocolate, to emails to customers, to helping organize Repentino. tasks and more), she is a REAL person enjoying real things, little artificial about Fiona.  She is talented and strong-willed and able to accomplish anything she sets her mind out to do.  The aspect of considering every page a treasure is rewiring to see and keep her rooted in the area of how much reading means to her.

Mariana I.- Mariana also has a smile that could easily accomplish anything.  She steps up to the plate when a task in needed, and the does it well.  Her optimistic approach to everything is contagious, and powerful among our staff.  Seeing her laugh and smile let s you push on and realize as a staff anything is possible.

Daniela – Always shedding a smile that affects everyone around her, her common sense and confidence can be sensed across the room.  Her ability to present, create, and tie together aspects of her interests (video, publicity, literature in general) is powerful and it is not impossible picture her as a visionary in design. Her good nature personality makes you feel good when she is just part of the staff.

Kim (Sam) – Also heavily knowledgable in all things literary, her talents with drums and music is not recognized enough by herself, though she has both.  She is talented in all these areas, and just needs to be willing to share them more to let others know what she is capable of.  Capable of so much, and is an asset and one of the best freshmen students we have ever had on staff, and with other staff members is always agile and willing to be on hand to help get tasks done to their end.

Karin – Brings a sense of responsibility to all she delves into, and with the involvement of social Media that involved Twitter, UTube, and more, Karin always shows a confidence and willingness to see things through.  Her ability to be excited over her accomplishments as well as the wonders of the world let others realize they too should be excited on how we support each other through our successes.  She always finds connections and solutions to share as was evident in her presentation.

Izabel – Very level-headed and a smile that also can’t help but get others smiling.  Her responsible and dependable nature tells everyone she is a staff member that can be depended on and see a ask through to its end.  Her genuine opinions and approach to all things Repentino. do make her one of the best staff additions to a staff she was unsure whether she could contribute to this year.

Luis – A very thorough and analytical staff member, Luis gets to the heart of the matter and makes very targeted and pointed observations that help the staff make decisions. His ability to improve staff morale based on supporting others is evident in diverse circles among staff.  He has a share sense of humor and is able to lighten the load for those around him in an instant.

Ernesto M – Lover pf pugs and cats, Ernesto is highly talented, vocal and represents one of many heartbeats of staff.  His vision for seeing a successful magazine shows through his support of others around him and letting his energetic personality spread among others.  Priceless to have him as a part of the Repentino. staff.  His expression that comes out in Open is always a source of warmness and celebration.

Victoria – While a late addition to the staff, her energy and enthusiasm spreads among others quickly, and perks others up when bad things need overcome.  Attentive to others, she supports those around her, always is good for a grand smile, that gets others doing the same, and we are thankful for her coming on board.  She is always good for a checking up on and lookout for others, and boldly goes forward with everything that needs attempted.

Miranda – So quiet at times that you might not see her around your shoulder (it has happened) Miranda is very present when it comes to getting anything done.  An avid reader and cherisher of all things literary, her ability to reach out to people, and really to get any task accomplished is solid.  It is excellent to see her excited about those things she likes, as she smiles and we hear her talk about what it is that appeals to her, and you realize there is much more to her than the quiet demeanor you see.

Nina – Okay, lets talk quiet – Nina can be the epitome of quiet, yet her keen observation when it comes to anything literary is indisputable.  Dependable, talented, and a sweet disposition, Nina is one of the most dependable individuals we have on staff and one of the luckiest additions to the staff as well.

Alice – Coming down from the quiet platform, Alice can be opposite of this quality and a part of this quality when she chooses.  Opinionated, a mover of things needing done, Alice  is able to record the most important details for use later, and has been a HUGE asset to the Repentino. staff.  Sometimes her voiced opinions cause a stir up, but always in the way that gets staff moving, and this is exactly what Repentino. needs at times.  I can’t help but think of the show Glee when I think of Alice, and I appreciate her boldness when it has come to Open Mic Night, her passion for the group carries through everyone on staff.

Alia – Beng a huge part of art and layout with the history of Repentino., it ties someone willing to take the good with the bad as a leader with any group.  Alia shows she is willing to take both, and roll with all things to show Repentino. has been and is a powerful personal and academic learning experience.  Having put in so much extra time in the past for the good of everyone pretty much sums up Alia’s commitment to something she believes in – and this spreads to everyone around her.

Tiana – A pretty laid back and relaxed back individual, even when stressed, Tiana is a very valuable part of the staff due to her commitment to helping the staff out overall. She is willing, committed, and patient, things I need to soak in and it is possible with her on staff.  We certainly did hit the jackpot but acquiring her as a staff member and know that her contributions impact us frequently.

Stephanie – Being the Mom of any group is not quite fun, and carefree, yet Stephanie has taken care of others in the staff over and over.  Willing to learn new things and outspoken, Stephanie is willing to speak her mind and also turn around and listen.  Her ability to do both and move the staff forward together is evident, and her participation is contributing to something that will show how we have all grown together is very visible.

Ms Dixie – A HUGE thank you to a chaperone that took on the risks of a large group with aloof activity and much time to be spent to have run smoothly. Willing to work alongside the students, willing to take in any and all the things that go with a trip, both good and bad, Ms Dixie made harmony out of all the above personalities and let the students know she was willing to sacrifice her time for them day after day.  She often sacrificed her own time for the sake of the other students and never failed to let them know this.  She was a major part of why this trip was as memorable as it was.

Take the above feelings, and then realize that there is still another half of staff that contain these and other amazing qualities, and what do you have?  A staff that defies the normal description of any group, and you see no matter where we go, be it in Mexico, be in the Pulizter Award Winning giver of journalism in Columbia University, with the right encouragement and motivation, the sky is the limit and even that cannot hold the Repentino. staff grounded for long.

Even with the above descriptions that ran through my head as the plane touched down in Mexico, I realized, as with Billy Joel’s song These are the Times to Remember, the time and place would never be able to reproduced, as well as the other times with previous staff, and New York just wasn’t New York without the accomplishments of each of these young staff members, they are simply amazing, treasures, and made the overall experience rewarding.  Descriptions above do not do them justice, yet, they grow with the experiences such as these and that makes huge difference.  Occasional stressors and complications exist with any large or small group, yet with the right group, away or here in Mexico, it is worth it.  Such it is with Repentino. 🙂

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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