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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Fleming

1 Year Down...

Hey from OK for the last time this semester! Happy spring officially – it’s been a while since my last post so I have plenty to update you on before I wrap up my freshman year of college (!!) Here are the highlights of the past few months:

  • Spring Break 2022: Costa Rica Edition was definitely a success. I made the best of our beach time despite being a bit under the weather. Favorite moments included exploring Tamarindo’s coast, enjoying a sunset boat trip, communing with the wildlife (especially some cool butterflies!), relaxing in the Arenal hot springs, and zip lining through the rain forest. It was an exciting and much-needed break.

  • Back in the swing of things at school, I tried my hand at OU’s annual College Bowl (a week-long team trivia tournament). I participated with some friends from The Big Event and we did our best, but pop culture trivia was not our forte. The attached picture of us with the trophy was taken after losing in the consolation bracket, so it portrays our wish rather than the reality ;) It was still a fun time and a nice distraction from school.

  • Speaking of The Big Event, it was a Big success! Our official day of service was April 2nd. We had over 5,000 volunteers (students and community members) turn out to serve at over 120 locations around Norman and Oklahoma City. My jobs for the day included helping set up our "opening ceremony," running errands when needed, and loading/unloading tools from volunteers' cars. It was certainly a long day, but it was rewarding knowing how much of an impact we were able to make.

  • Another big highlight of the past few months was getting into the swing of things at my new job. I really enjoyed working at the museum, particularly the variety it offered. My main job was working at the front desk (selling admission, answering questions, and directing visitors). I also got to try my hand in the gift shop and at many special events the museum hosted, from sorority date parties to business conferences. Working at the events was always challenging (lots of moving chairs/tables!), but it was my favorite thing to do there because it was always so interesting to watch the event. Catering was another bonus of the events – we usually got their extra food. (One time I left with ten bacon-wrapped filet mignons, 4 baked potatoes, and three pounds of roasted vegetables. My mini fridge could barely take it!) There was a lot to learn but I truly enjoyed working there and the many kind people I met. I just finished my last shift yesterday and it was sad to say goodbye, but I'm grateful I got to work somewhere so fun even for a little bit!

  • Easter weekend saw a visit from Mom and Grandma which was a ton of fun. There were plenty of tasty meals to be had, of course, and many hugs to be shared. We spent Friday afternoon exploring OKC, then took the tour to Norman on Saturday. They got the full OU experience and were even able to meet my roommate Avery and her family. I spent the night at Mom and Grandma's hotel in OKC which was very luxurious and full of interesting art. Our brunch the next morning and stroll around the botanic gardens was the perfect way to end their visit. I'm glad they were able to visit one last time to get the "Freshman Taylor" experience – and check out the dorm before I upgrade next year!

  • Another project I worked on last month was with a group called Student Heroes. This philanthropy club helps students develop and implement service projects in an area of interest. My group focused on education, so we created an initiative called "Teacher Tags." It's essentially the same concept as an Angel Tree – we surveyed elementary school teachers about what they need for their classroom (things they would normally have to pay for out of pocket), created tags for the items, hung them up in the school lobby, and are encouraging parents/visitors to purchase and donate the items to the teachers. The project is currently running, so we'll see how well it does, but nonetheless it was fun to work with my friends and create something that will (hopefully!) have a positive impact.

  • I've been busy this spring in terms of cultural enrichment as well. With my free time, I've gotten to explore some more around Norman and OKC. Avery and I checked out the Oklahoma City Art Fair a few weeks ago which had dozens of booths from local artists, food trucks, and live music. Similarly, Avery, Lilly, and I went to the Norman Music Festival this weekend. Lovingly called "Norman's Coachella," it had several local bands headlining. Since it stretched along Main Street, all the cute shops and restaurants stayed open for the night so we could do some browsing as well. More tasty food + shopping = the perfect Saturday night activity.

  • Oh, and there's a little something called school too! That's definitely kept me busy when I'm not otherwise occupied ;) My classes have continued to go well and I enjoy them for the most part. My reigning favorites for the semester are Physical Geography and Deep Time, both of which helped lead me to the decision to add a minor! As of next fall, I'll be minoring in Geographic Information Science (GIS), which is essentially a field that looks at how we can collect and analyze geographic information using various technologies. I'm thinking GIS will be a nice complement to Environmental Design, as it's frequently applied in city planning and related fields. More updates to come as I dip my toe into it! Until then, I'm busy with preparing for finals coming up in only two weeks... crazy how time flies.

And that's (almost) a wrap on my freshman year of college! I can't believe how quickly it went by and how much has happened, but I've really enjoyed the journey so far. The self I was nine months ago certainly didn't know what to expect heading into such a grand new adventure, but the self I am now couldn't be much more pleased with how it's turned out. I'm so grateful to have had a good first year, to have made some great new friends, and to have so much to look forward to.

In my first blog post I told the story of David Ross Boyd and the seed sower. I've started planting my seeds here at OU and can't wait to see how they grow in the next few years. Thank you all for your love and support over the past months and for being loyal readers of my adventures. I couldn't have done it without you! I'm headed home for the summer but will be back in Norman next fall, thinking once again... "Oh, what possibilities!"



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May 02, 2022

Great wrap up Tay. So proud of you!!


Kathleen Kinkopf
Kathleen Kinkopf
May 01, 2022

What an awesome year! So proud of you. You have a lot of exciting things ahead. Since I live vicariously through you, thank you for providing '"us" with such an adventurous and exciting past year. Have a great summer! 😘


May 01, 2022

Wow, you have been busy! Ziplining was my favorite thing when I was in Costa Rica. I’ll be seeing you in a month 😊.

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