Looking Back, Moving Forward

It’s my third year at St. Mary’s and I’m feeling more confident all around about navigating college. I am better at managing my time and prioritizing tasks. I think that this is going to be an interesting semester. I’m taking two English courses, two VCD courses, and a theology course. It just feels like a good variety in terms of subject matter and workload.  

In Media Production I, I am most excited about expanding my multimedia skills. I’ve created videos and video slideshows before but they’ve lacked in the technical aspects. I am also looking forward to working with Final Cut Pro for the first time. 

According to the syllabus, I anticipate that I will have difficulty getting material for these projects because my interviewing skills are underdeveloped. My only strategy for overcoming this will be to use and practice any techniques for interviewing provided in class. I am a bit of a perfectionist so I also see myself struggling with trying new software— having a good idea but not being able to execute it. 

I don’t really have a specific career in mind. I’d be willing to work anywhere I can create, whether I write, design or produce multimedia. I hope to come away from this class with confidence in my ability to produce quality video and audio packages. I am really grateful to return to St. Mary’s this semester and am constantly aware of how brief my time is here. I want to devote my time wisely. 

Applying for Gilman

Do you want to study abroad? Do you want to study a foreign language? Are career opportunities in your field international? Then you should consider applying for the Gilman International Scholarship. It is a program run by the U.S. State Department that has been helping financially limited students to study abroad since 2001. 

To apply for this scholarship, first, check your eligibility. The 3 criteria at the top of the list are:

  1. Be a United States citizen
  2. Be an undergraduate student
  3. Be receiving a Federal Pell Grant

More details and criteria are on the Gilman Website.

The application is straight forward. You provide basic information about yourself (institution, age, address, etc.,) and two essays. The essays are crucial to your application because they are all that the program gets to see of you. In my experience, it is important to be precise and to double-check for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and form. After you have written and revised on your own have someone from the Study Abroad office look it before you turn the essays in.

After completing the essays and application, the next important thing is to submit your transcripts. This is all done through the Gilman Scholarship Application portal so everything is kept conveniently in one place. At this point, you will have likely already met with a financial advisor at your institution and will have decided who you will list on your application. Choose wisely, they are responsible for submitting verification of your financial status to the Gilman Scholarship Program. 

And you’re finished! The overall process looks something like this:


Making a Podcast

I learned how to manipulate GarageBand to produce results similar to that of those created in Final Cut Pro. In using GarageBand, I learned how to use audio ducking tools which were different visually from Final Cut Pro. I also learned how to cut and trim audio as well as change the volume on separate tracks as well as change the master track. I learned how tempo works and different ways that audio can be altered within the GarageBand application for cool effects.

Banana Bread

Isabela Vazquez, senior English major at St. Mary’s University, prepares banana bread. The recipe is an old family favorite passed down from her grandmother.


  • 2-3 Bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • Half a cup of sugar
  • Half a cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1/3 cup of butter (melted)
  • Loaf pan (and butter for loaf pan)


Preheat oven to 350º F. Mash bananas in medium sized mixing bowl. Add melted butter, beaten egg, and vanilla. Mix in flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour batter into buttered loaf pan. Butter the pan well to prevent sticking. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of batter and bake for 45-60 minutes.

Live-Tweeting the St. John’s Bible Lecture

Dr. O’Connor giving presentation in Assumption Chapel.

Last week I live tweeted an event on St. Mary’s Campus. It was a lecture connecting present vulnerable populations to the artwork produced for the St. John’s Bible depicting the stories within. President Mengler opened for Dr. Bob O’Connor’s lecture series: The St. John’s Bible and the Vulnerable in Society. Dr. O’Connor led us through the imagery in the hand-written and illuminated Bible. He used a projector to enlarge the images for the audience. He asserted that the St. John’s Bible was meant to lead people to God and, in its effort to do that, it depicts intimate stories vulnerable populations. Dr. O’Connor presents the argument that we must all admit to our own vulnerability— and “Vulnerability doesn’t mean powerlessness,” says O’Connor.

Photographing action