• Archives
  • July31st

    So it’s been a while since I’ve done a music-related post…So here’s one :) This is what I’ve been listening to recently!

     

     I Don’t Wanna Be a Bride – Vanessa Carlton

    U-Turn (Lily) – Aaron

    This song was actually featured on a French movie I’ve been watching recently: Je Vais Bien, Ne t’en Fais Pas (I’m okay, don’t worry). I really love the song…favorite line: “it’s not the wings that make the angel…”

    Gonna Get There – Tim Knol

    So you’ll have to ignore the weirdness and potentially disturbing nature of this music video…I really enjoy the song, and I tried to find a good recording of it on YouTube minus this crazy video…but alas, all of them were live and they sounded horrible. So just enjoy the song and ignore the music video. hahaha

    The City – Patrick Wolf

    Close your eyes and you’ll feel like you’re in the 80’s ;)

    [EDIT: actually, upon re-watching the video, you don’t even have to close your eyes…this video looks like it was shot (AWESOMELY) with an Ampex! hahaha! By the way, also worth noting, the caption of that photo is “first ever portable VHS Camcorder”….that certainly seems debatable…only 50 lbs and just $65,000]

    Wavin’ Flag – K’NAAN

    “When I get older, I will be stronger – they’ll cal me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag!”

    Different Story – Lola Kite

    Y’all have a great day now, ya hear?

    – Ross

  • July19th

    There’s something I’ve been keeping from most of my friends for a while now, and I have to admit that it has been INCREDIBLY hard to keep secret!

    But now that I’m further along in the process, I feel it’s a good time to put it out there.

    After 3+ months of getting together my application, background checks, transcripts, reference letters, and an hour-long web interview this afternoon – I have officially been nominated as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer for French-West Sub-Saharan Africa in Business Advising & Development for June 2012.


    A couple of years ago when I finished university at Louisiana Tech, I first filled out my application to the PC, but upon much introspection, I felt I may have been going into it for the wrong reasons. As cliché as it may seem, I wasn’t 100% comfortable with myself and my identity. My identity was very much connected to the identity that others had of me in North Louisiana – I was Ross Frazier the photographer, Ross Frazier the Tech student, or Ross Frazier – a member of the Frazier Clan (haha). I’d never truly left the area and I didn’t have much of an identity outside of it. I figured undertaking such a challenge as the Peace Corps may not be the best way to succeed at “finding myself” – I needed to be comfortable with “me” before taking on a job where people would be dependent on that definition of “me.”

    So I decided to continue school far away from “home” and far away from all the friends I knew and loved. Here I sit in Belgium, my new “home” surrounded by equally amazing friends. I’ve proven to myself that I can uproot myself and still find happiness; I can weather dark times and come out even better than before; I can make lasting friendships anywhere in the world; I can find a smile no matter the circumstances.

    It is after the revelation that has been my year+ in Belgium (remember THIS post) that I have decided NOW is the time – the RIGHT time to embark on a challenge bigger than myself, a challenge harder than anything I’ve undertaken before, a challenge more demanding than any previous in my life. That is why a few months ago, I began filling out my application, asking for references, getting fingerprinted, getting a background check, writing my essays, and interviewing for my entrance into the Peace Corps.

    All of the work, all of the stress (and keep in mind, it’s still just the beginning!) have culminated in the moment I enjoyed this afternoon: receiving a nomination to serve.

    I still have a lot of work ahead of me; a nomination does not equal an invitation. I must pass more tests, medical and legal among others, to make sure I qualify on all fronts. There is a chance that my nomination will not be the same (in terms of location and job description) as the invitation to serve that I will hopefully get after I pass the medical, legal, and other placement requirements are met. But nonetheless, this is a huge step in the process and I am beyond honored to have made it this far in the continued hope of serving the greater world community and continuing the exceptional reputation that the Peace Corps has built over the past 50+ years.

    So with great honor and enthusiasm in all of my heart, I am proud to announce this great decision in my life to you. I hope you will join me in this journey as I take on what will undoubtedly be one of the grandest experiences of my life.

    And as always, I appreciate the support, love, thoughts, prayers, and good vibes that all of my friends and family have provided over the years, and I will appreciate your continued support; y’all truly are the greatest!

     

    – Ross

     

  • July16th

    Exam Results

    Posted in: School

    So my program’s graduation “ceremony” was last week. My cousin accompanied me to celebrate with my friends who were actually graduating (I still have to finish my thesis, so I was not graduating). But I have to admit, I was woefully unprepared for what was to come AFTER the ceremony was over…I walked past the table where the graduates were receiving their transcripts and diplomas and was told “you can get your results even if you didn’t pass.”  My heart sank. I was under the impression that I would have a few more hours (read: drinks) to prepare myself!  I told the lady my name and literally shook as she handed me my results…I was prepared for the worst.

    I stood staring at the paper attempting to find the right column to look at – I could tell Anna, my cousin, was a little nervous as my face gave no clues and she knew how nervous I was! I kept scanning the column full of numbers over 10 certain I must have been looking at the wrong column. I finally looked up holding back tears and said in a shaky voice, “I did it! I passed all of them!” She gave me a big hug and I immediately ran down stairs to call my parents and Laurel. Neither of whom immediately picked up their phones!!!  Finally I got in touch with Mom and Dad and immediately start crying as I told them that all the hard work I’d put in had finally paid off.

    I have to admit, I’m still a bit in shock over a week later…All the hours, days, and weeks I spent at the library studying my ass off – all for the moment of seeing that paper.

    My transcript – showing I passed all of my exams (lowest grade of 12/20 this semester – WOOHOO!!) – now has a prominent position on my fridge :)

    Once I finish and defend my thesis (hopefully in the next couple of months), I will officially be a Master of Science, Business Economics: Managerial Economics and Strategy; minor: International Business.

    Thank you for all the finger crossing, candle lighting, prayers, and good vibes y’all sent my way!

     

    Greatchadayis,

     

    – Ross

     

    P.S. – all the C’s in that column are the key/code for “passing” – it’s uncorrelated with the traditional grading scale of the US’s A, B, C, D, & F.  haha Just FYI

  • July3rd

    Despite the fact that I’ll be staying in Belgium until September, a lot of my friends will not be. So as I begin to say my “see you laters” to my friends here, I’ve begun to contemplate once again: “why do we set ourselves up for these emotional roller coasters?”

    Unfortunately, I don’t really have a good answer…but while I was walking in the Brussels Central Park, I came up with the closest thing to an answer that I could:

    We put ourselves in these situations with inevitable good-byes because the moments and memories between the nice-to-meet-ya and good-bye far outweigh the momentary sadness of the end.

    So despite the sadness, I regret nothing. And after all, there is no such thing as good-bye, merely see-ya-laters; if not in this life, in our next.

    I’ve heard it said
    That people come into our lives for a reason
    Bringing something we must learn
    And we are led
    To those who help us most to grow
    If we let them
    And we help them in return
    Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
    But I know I’m who I am today
    Because I knew you…

    Like a comet pulled from orbit
    As it passes a sun
    Like a stream that meets a boulder
    Halfway through the wood
    Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
    But because I knew you
    I have been changed for good

    It well may be
    That we will never meet again
    In this lifetime
    So let me say before we part
    So much of me
    Is made from what I learned from you
    You’ll be with me
    Like a handprint on my heart
    And now whatever way our stories end
    I know you have re-written mine
    By being my friend…

    Like a ship blown from its mooring
    By a wind off the sea
    Like a seed dropped by a skybird
    In a distant wood
    Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
    But because I knew you

    Because I knew you
    I have been changed for good

    And just to clear the air
    I ask forgiveness
    For the things I’ve done you blame me for

    But then, I guess we know
    There’s blame to share
    And none of it seems to matter anymore

    Like a comet pulled from orbit
    As it passes a sun
    Like a stream that meets a boulder
    Halfway through the wood

    Who can say if I’ve been
    Changed for the better?
    I do believe I have been
    Changed for the better

    And because I knew you…

    Because I knew you…

    Because I knew you…
    I have been changed for good.

    To be honest, I never truly believed I would make such amazing friends in my short time here…but alas, I did. Amazing and true friends that I couldn’t be more thankful for…

    – Ross

  • July1st

    The blok starts out innocent enough: you wake up somewhat excited at the start of a new routine – awake early, shower, actually put some time and thought into what you look [and smell] like, arrive at the library early with bag and books and bottle of water in hand to wait in line till they open. You spend a good 4-5 hours studying with the somewhat frequent YouTube-distraction-break, then it’s lunch – just a quick one so you can get back on track for studying. Then it’s more studying till 19h-20h and you call it a day. Fall asleep to comedy shows.

    Then you get to the second and third weeks where the hatred of your new routine has now dwarfed the previous appreciation you had for it. You wake up before your alarm due to bright sun entering your windows at ungodly hours in the morning, and you roll out of bed wondering what fresh Hell the day will bring. You wet your hair down within an acceptable afro range and comb it in the hopes it will stay down for most of the day to prevent a jew-fro despite the fact you’re Scotch-Irish. You throw on clothes not caring that someone will undoubtedly notice you’ve been wearing the same zero-effort outfit for the past 5 days. You add a Diet Coke to your study bag for the caffeine…which is soon replaced by multiple RedBulls after the Diet Coke loses any and all effect…you also tend to forget about the water, too…eff that, right? Then you get to wait in line at the library, moping and sighing so everyone knows just how ridiculous you think it is that one has to WAIT IN LINE AT A LIBRARY. So nowadays your studying is less frequently interrupted with YouTube-distraction-breaks, since at this point the exams are taking place seemingly every other day and you’ve somehow managed to read hundreds of pages of textbook and write 70-100+ pages of notes for each class; yet still also manage to read over it and think “there’s no way I wrote this…I’ve never seen this before…WTF?!” Then you go home and fall asleep to some depressing documentary about teenagers with children in abusive families and ya think “well, at least I won’t have a teenager at my 10 year reunion…?”

    Then you enter the last week of studying…You wake up and instead of “wondering what fresh Hell the day will bring” you pretty much know at this point….and you certainly dont give a rat’s a** what you look like – cologne takes on new meanings, by the way. You’re 4 exams deep into the Blok and you’ve got ONE more. You wake up in the mornings of the last week cursing the day you signed up for this class thinking it would be easy…You take your last  exam…probably fail it…then you’re done!

    If you ever finish an exam period not knowing what to do with yourself – I’ll tell you what I did: I finished my exam period by leaving the exam room and making a bee-line to the nearest bar.

     

    Now I await my results…July 7th…I certainly wonder what Hell that day will bring…for the love of God, PLEASE keep your fingers crossed for me!!!!! :~)

     

    Y’all have a great day now, ya hurr?!

     

    – Ross