We asked several of our TBSADAA members, 'who is your biggest influence and why?' - and these are the responses.
Greetings from beautiful Stillwater, Oklahoma! As I thought about what to focus on in this blog post for TBSADAA, I began to think of what unique contributions I could make to our sisterhood. All of us have learned about Stillwater in our membership education program and some of us may have even mailed packages off to National Headquarters to file reports and request resources, but how many of us have had the opportunity to visit? Well, what better way for me to contribute than to give you a glimpse into National Headquarters in Stillwater!
We’ll start with National Headquarters which is located at Stillwater Station near downtown Stillwater. Stillwater Station was originally constructed in 1917 as a depot on the historic Santa Fe Railway. The building has been listed on National Register for Historic Places since 1980. Stillwater Station has been home to the National Headquarters of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma since 1991. Prior to its relocation to the depot building, KKY and TBS were headquartered on the campus of Oklahoma State University, in a building which no longer exists, and earlier still the national archives and records were kept at the home of Grace and A. Frank Martin in Stillwater.
I recently had the opportunity to visit National Headquarters and took a look at some of the documents on file for the Alpha Delta chapter. Headquarters does a phenomenal job of archiving all the documents submitted by chapters throughout the history of both organizations.
I first reviewed the petitioning documents of Alpha Delta submitted by the “Keynotes”, a club of bandswomen first formed on October 17, 1949 which ultimately became the founders of Tau Beta Sigma – Alpha Delta. The History of the Keynotes, included in our original petitioning documents, outlines the requirements for members and symbols of the group including adoption of the white rose as the official flower of the Keynotes and green and white as the official colors. The document also indicates that the Keynotes received correspondence from both the Chi and Lambda chapters of Tau Beta Sigma offering assistance in the early stages of the petitioning process. The petitioning documents also include a number of letters of recommendation written on behalf of the Keynotes for initiation into Tau Beta Sigma, including a letter from then-president John C. Baker, for whom the Baker University Center in Athens is now named; as well as a letter from Earl C. Seigfred, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, for whom Seigfred Hall is now named.
In addition to our petitioning documents, I reviewed a selection of archived chapter documents from the early 1960s, which included Quarterly National Chapter Reports, equivalent to the Chapter Personnel Report, and a variety of correspondence between the Alpha Delta Chapter and representatives of the national chapter, including A. Frank Martin and Executive Secretary Robert H. Rubin. In the documents I reviewed, I found several references to the founder of the Marching 110, Gene “Coach” Thrailkill as well. It is incredible to think about the changes occurring within the Ohio University bands at that time, and yet the Alpha Delta Chapter held strong to their commitment to serve. I am interested in returning to National Headquarters soon to review the Quarterly Chapter Reports and archived chapter correspondence during the years of 1966 to 1975 to understand the role of Tau Beta Sigma-Alpha Delta during that time of profound change within the bands.
I could spend all day in National Headquarters visiting with the awesome staff and reviewing documents, but sadly, I don’t always have that luxury. I look forward to the opportunity to return and continue to research our history as a chapter!
TBSADAA would like to congratulate our 2017 Ideal Sister Scholarship winner, Colleen Johns.
Colleen will be a senior this fall at Ohio University majoring in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Biological Sciences and Mathematics.
Thank you, Colleen, for your dedication to Tau Beta Sigma and the Alpha Delta's chapter continued success!
By Haley Shaw
Since graduating college last April I have undergone many changes and challenges. I moved from Ohio to Colorado with my boyfriend, I started a new job the University of Colorado, and I applied to and was rejected by three master’s programs. On top of all of that I am not saddled with copious amounts of student loan debt. And if all that weren’t enough I continue to battle my anxiety and depression. Honestly, it has been a challenge to keep up. But this blog post isn’t meant to be me complaining about my life. It is about how Tau Beta Sigma made those challenges a little easier to manage and overcome.
When I am having a terrible day one of the things that helps me power through is thinking about the Eight Essential Factors and Five Qualities. So many of these values we are taught as members of Tau Beta Sigma act as great reminders to focus your mind after some tough news or a bad day at work. As someone who struggles with mental health issues maintaining emotional poise under all conditions is not the easiest to do, which may be why “cultivation and maintenance of your emotional poise under all conditions” has become a mantra of mine. This quality, though the hardest for me to achieve, acts as a reminder for me to step back and think about my reactions.
Another unfortunate side effect of anxiety and depression is an inability to do anything when having a down day. When I wake up in the morning and the thought of getting out of bed terrifies me or even something as simple as brushing my teeth feels pointless I remind myself of two other qualities and factors.
The Eight and Five aren’t the only tool Tau Beta Sigma has provided to help overcome the challenges life throws at us. Perhaps the most important thing this organization gives us is sisterhood. The friends I have gained through my involvement with Tau Beta Sigma and the TBSADAA have become some of the most important people in my life. They are always there to be a listening ear or send virtual hugs when life throws a curveball your way, they are the first to congratulate you when something wonderful happens, they provide act as mentors and give advice when they are far wiser than yourself, and they even can be a resource for simple things like helping you find an apartment in a state that is halfway across the country (Thank you for that by the way Rebecca). The relationships I have developed with sisters have been some of the most meaningful and wonderful. Though they may not know just how much their friendship has meant to me and helped me over the years I could not be more grateful to have them in my life.
So I leave you with this challenge. Think about the 8 & 5 and which one (or ones) are the most difficult for you. Then take that factor or quality and use it to better yourself. And of course reach out to your sisters. They are always going to be there for you and help you in the good times and the bad, because with my sisters I am best.
By Lisa Grogan
As a career student, I have adapted very well to the idea of working towards a long-term goal, putting off fun things until I finish the semester, finish the year, finish my degree, etc. It’s easy to think that real life will begin when you get out of school, when you get that job, when you have big kid money. If you keep waiting to be happy, you’ll soon find that you have spent years chasing happiness without ever experiencing it.
To give you an idea of my background, I went to college right after high school, then went to graduate school right after college. I was 24 before I was ever not in school. I got really good at putting things off until I finished school. When I graduated from my Master’s program, I was so excited to start my “real life” and finally be able to do all the things I didn’t have time for when I was in school. What I quickly found though, was that I had gotten so used to the structure of school that I felt lost without it. I was so used to pushing through until the next break that I didn’t know what to do with myself when there wasn’t a next break to look forward to. The idea of working at one job day after day, week after week, for years just seemed daunting and depressing. I realized that I did not have the skills to really care for myself because I had always put that off until I was done with school.
I left my first “big kid” job after 7 months and moved back to Cincinnati, where I started working nights at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Working nights is a unique experience that can really mess with your sense of routine and personal stability. My plan was to work at Children’s for a year, then go back to school to get my doctorate. I wasn’t involved in much outside of work, but I still felt like I didn’t have the time to do things. Since I was only planning to work at Children’s for a year, my excuse became, I’ll do that when I’m not working nights anymore. I applied to 6 schools and didn’t get into any of them.
Suddenly our plans were in chaos. We were only planning to be in Cincinnati for one year, we were living in my in-law’s old house, and we both had jobs that were supposed to be temporary. The big questions was “what now?” I decided that I would put off applying to schools, but set a goal that I had to apply within 5 years, just to give myself a deadline. We started looking for another place to live and bought a house. My husband found a better paying job and I kept working nights at Children’s. I started to realize that living my life waiting for the next break, more money, more time, a better schedule is a great way to miss out on life. I started making a concerted effort to make time for the things I enjoyed. I joined a community band, I reconnected with friends, and made an effort to go to things with my family. TBSADAA came about during this time, and I almost said no because “I don’t have time for that.” I had to sit down and really think about whether I didn’t have time, or I just thought I didn’t have time. I went ahead and joined, and it has been a great way to me to get in touch with old friends, make new ones, and stay involved in things outside of my own life. It was still difficult with my work schedule, but I was determined to make things work.
I decided to reapply to schools in the fall of 2015 to start in the fall of 2016. This time, I got into one of my schools! It was really happening, I was finally going to go back to school to get my doctorate! By the time I left Children’s, I had been at my “temporary job” for 3 years. Being on nights taught me some valuable lessons about prioritizing what is important to you. No one is going to magically plan a vacation for you and give you the time off for it, you have to make it happen. As students, we often get into the mindset that we cannot ask for time off, we haven’t earned it yet, we don’t deserve it. But if you start making it a priority, you will often be surprised at how willing people are to accommodate you.
Now that I’m back in school, I’m finding it easier to set boundaries between school and personal time and making time for myself. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary. I will say, as much as I thought that I was using my night shift schedule as an excuse, it is much easier to make plans and make time for things now that I am on a more normal, day time, Monday-Friday routine. I’m still learning how to say no without feeling like I’m making excuses, and I still struggle with feeling guilty if I take time for myself when my to-do list is a mile long. But however crazy it is, this is my life right now. My life is not waiting to start when I finish this degree. I cannot pour from an empty cup, and if you don’t make good habits when life is difficult, you won’t know how when life calms down.
By Caitlin Coulson
I, along with a large percentage of Americans, have a slight (or not so slight) addiction to social media and the Internet. I find myself tapping the Instagram app on my phone or typing in the “F” for Facebook on my computer, often without even realizing it. I seldom have any rhyme or reason for scrolling through the pages, other than to waste time and see what funny videos or witty remarks my friends share. One thing that I have a love/hate relationship with doing is reading comment threads on controversial posts. With the presidential inauguration happening on the 20th, my feeds have been filled to the brim with political banter and opinions again. I often wonder if many of these people think before they type.
As a teacher, it’s been pounded into my head since I began my college education to be careful about what you post online. I’ve learned the importance of the image you portray on social media. It’s unwise to post pictures of yourself having a wild night out at the bars, or post a status ranting about a fellow coworker. You probably shouldn’t post anything with profanity, and you definitely shouldn’t post anything provocative. One raunchy picture could mean the difference between a job and unemployment. Many of my non-teacher friends find this strange. They roll their eyes when we prepare for a selfie on a night out and I ask them to put their drinks out of the picture. They don’t understand why it’s a big deal that people know that I have fun once in a while. Let me explain to you why it’s a big deal.
What you post on social media, whether you like it or not, is a direct reflection of yourself and your character. When the World Wide Web first emerged and the public began to use it as a means of connection and gathering information, the stakes were lower. In 1993, less than 1% of the world had access to the Internet. Now, in 2017, over 46% of the world has access. In the U.S., 89% of the population now has access to the Internet. Think about what that means when you are applying for a job, or when the guy you meet on a blind date follows you on Instagram, or when you meet his parents and they add you on Facebook. Do you want his family to see photos of you bonging a beer in your underwear? Do you want your potential future employer to see you trash talking the last place you worked? It should be common sense to know that these types of things should be left to phone calls to your parents, or photos saved only on your phone to be sent to your best friends.
Something that doesn’t seem to be backed with much common sense is the way people choose to express their opinions and beliefs on the Internet. As Americans, our constitution provides us with freedom of speech. Many people seem to forget that freedom of speech permits you to say virtually anything without being sentenced to jail; it does not, however, come without consequences. You have the freedom to give your boss a piece of your mind. You won’t be arrested, but you’ll probably be fired. You have the right to tell your best friend’s sister that she’s a liar, a cheater, and a jerk. That doesn’t mean that your best friend will still be friends with you afterwards. We live in an age where we feel entitled and empowered to type whatever we want behind the small bright screen of our phones and computers. It’s instant gratification, and it’s not met with any immediate consequences.
It’s obvious that world peace doesn’t exist. I hope it will someday, but I’m not sure if it ever will. There are so many people with various opinions on how we should live our lives. There is so much divide between people. The most obvious comes between the Republican and the Democratic parties. I choose not to post my own political opinions online, but that is simply my choice. There is nothing wrong with sharing your beliefs and having civil, informed discussion with others. I would probably post more about my opinions if everyone knew how to have a discussion instead of an argument, but this is not the case. I seldom see conversations that don’t turn into a battleground, with people quickly taking sides, throwing insults, name calling, and rarely using facts to back up opinions. It is so easy to blindly share information on the Internet without fact checking it first. This has become even more evident in the current political state of the world.
You will never encourage someone else to listen to your beliefs and to change theirs through disrespect. Understanding and tolerance is key. You have to realize that you will not always be right. Your opinion will not always be the popular one. You must be willing to listen to what others have to say. Every discussion does not have to end with a victor; it is possible to realize that you both may be so strong in your beliefs that they will not change. It is okay to acknowledge that and to move on. If you encounter someone who will not respect you, be the bigger person and make the choice to leave the conversation. Stooping down to someone else’s level will never make you a better person, but walking away with your head held high will. Leave them with the facts and information you want them to have. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force them to drink it.
I’m not telling you to be passive in your efforts to share your opinions. Be aggressive, but be respectful. Be determined, but know when it’s time to rest. Lead with intelligence, kindness, and the ability to understand the viewpoints of others. In Tau Beta Sigma, we agree to uphold 5 qualities in our daily lives. I keep these three at the forefront of my mind when accessing social media:
2. Recognition and development of your intellectual potential.
3. Appreciation for and the maintenance of the highest moral standards.
5. Cultivation and maintenance of your emotional poise under all conditions.
I interpret these when I am surfing the interwebs in this way:
2. Expand on your intellect by reading factual sources and informing yourself on matters that you are unfamiliar with, especially when having a discussion with others.
3. Think hard about what your morals are and about how you want to portray yourself to others. Use your morals to guide you when you choose what words and photos you want to post. Your morals won’t always be the same as everyone else’s, and that’s okay.
5. When having discussions with others, remember to breathe before you hit “send”. Stay collected, and don’t let your emotions make you post something that you will regret later. Once it’s out there, you can never truly delete it. Someone has seen it, and will remember it if they haven’t already screenshotted it.
Be safe on social media. Think before you post, and always treat yourself and others with respect.
By Kane Osstifin & Brittany DeRyke
Part I By Kane Osstifin
I've truly loved being a part of service opportunities ever since I first joined Tau Beta Sigma. Helping out with anything and everything I could was a great way to express my genuine nature to provide help. I'm not opposed to helping out with anything that's too big or small. A service is a service and helping out just makes me feel good. So, when Brittany asked for volunteers to help with her high school hosting a marching band competition, I checked my schedule and said "sure, I can drive down that day." I enjoyed my two hour drive from Toledo to Dayton listening to podcasts and singing along to Lady Gaga's new album Joanne. The driving doesn't bother me. A two hour drive becomes nothing when you've spent the past five years driving four hours between Toledo and Athens.
When we arrived at the high school our assigned task was to fill up and pass out cups of water to bands who had just finished performing. There were quiet a few bands that showed up and we passed out around 1,500 cups. It may not have been back breaking work, but it was still something worth doing. During one of the performances, as we sat at the water table, a high school band parent approached us to inquire about Brittany's TBSADAA shirt. This parent happened to be a TBS sister from Gamma Rho at EMU. She thanked us for helping out and said she was glad to still see TBS sisters helping where they can. These are some of the moments that help to make any service worth it, and show how important it can be to wear all of the sorority branded merchandise. As the alumni affiliate for the Alpha Delta chapter, we of course want to provide our services to the Ohio University bands. This doesn't stop us from reaching out into our own communities back home and all over the state. We may be an alumni affiliate, but we want to give service to anyone who may need it. Because service is fun and service is good for everyone.
Thank you Miamisburg High school for letting us help keep you hydrated!
Part II - by Brittany DeRyke
Most people would not go back and relive their high school years; however, there is something truly nostalgic about the memories created and the relationships built. My fondest high school memories were created within the confines of the Miamisburg Viking Marching Band.
When I noticed that my high school was hosting not one, but two band competitions this fall, I did not hesitate to contact my high school band director, Steve Aylward. I was overjoyed that I was able to give back to the band program that gave me so many memories (and ultimately steered me to Ohio University, and later Tau Beta Sigma.)
Being in Tau Beta Sigma, you know there is no service too small when serving the bands. TBSADAA sponsored the water table for high school bands from Ohio and Kentucky post-performance and handed out 1,500 cups of water. Kane and I staffed the water table for a 6 hour shift and had a great time sharing stories from our high school days. We had fun serving the bands and spreading a little cheer and encouragement for the high school students as they left the stadium.
It was amazing to be able to give back to my high school band program as an alumna, reflect on my time at Miamisburg, and share my memories with Kane. Being able to share in this service experience with my fellow TBSADAA sisters was incredible.
Thank you Miamisburg Viking Marching Band for the privilege to serve your program and your event. We will see you again at your November 5th competition!
- Generosity of mind, heart, and hand -
One of our own, Emily, presented her thesis on 'Phosphorus Limitation of the Biofilm Community in Acid Mine Drainage Impaired and Remediated Streams' and successfully defended it! So proud of you, Emily! Congratulations!
written by: Brittany DeRyke
"Everything in life can teach you a lesson. You just have to be willing to observe and learn." - Unknown
The one constant in my life has always been music. Throughout my life, I discovered that each musical experience I've had has molded and shaped me into the person I am today. I honestly cannot remember a moment in my life where there wasn't music.
My parents always had music playing at home and in the car. I guess you could say that they brought me up on the "Classics," Journey, Queen, REO Speedwagon, Genesis, and Chicago; although, I developed my own diverse taste over the years, creating iPod playlists with anything and everything from piano concertos and orchestral works, to classic rock, to country, to alternative rock, to pop music. My parents helped press upon me that music was an outlet, and an art - it helped me be tolerant and appreciative of others and their quirks. It taught me not to be so quick to judge.
From 6th grade through my senior year in high school, music and band consumed life, I pushed myself into every band the school had to offer, pushed myself into several state-recognized honor bands, performed at solo and ensemble contests, and tried out and was a part of Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Springfield Youth Symphony. All of these experiences, taught be personal discipline and time management. Learning to play bassoon, flute, and euphonium came with a learning curve. It required endless hours of practice and dedication. I got out of it, what I put into it. Being in private music lessons taught me emotional expression and passion. I learned how to perform to people's emotions.
By the time I stepped foot on Ohio University's campus as a college freshman, I could have put all the ensembles and music achievements I earned on its own resume (little did I know that everyone in the OU School of Music had the same resume). They had the same drive and passion for music and it drove me to be better. My freshman year, music taught me humility. Instead of being the big fish in a little pond, I was now a small fish in a big pond - it was humbling. I had to learn to be more efficient.
My sophomore year through my senior year I had the honor of being a part of the Ohio University Marching 110 - "The Most Exciting Band in the Land!" It was a culture shock watching the band/jock stigma change. For the first time, we were seen as equals. We were just as "famous" as the football players, sometimes being pulled into stranger's pictures because of our iconic band uniform. In my time at OU, we went to 3 bowl games, traveled to pro-football fields (in and out of state), and went to Pasadena, CA to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The Marching 110 taught me how to more deeply appreciate cultural unity and embrace community (no matter whose community).
And when the time came to graduate from Ohio University, I knew in my heart that I would feel a void that I had never felt before. Not being a part of the band and music culture was going to be life-changing. However, across the last 5 years, I have had the privilege of being a part of 3 different community bands in the Greater Dayton-Cincinnati area. Being in these ensembles has instilled in me that a creative outlet in the “real world” is important.
But perhaps the most important lesson I've learned through this 16-year journey has been TBS inspired. The last 9 years have been incredible with my sisters by my side. I learned so much about leadership and group dynamics. Most importantly, TBS taught me about appreciating tradition and rituals. Every musical experience I've had and all the lessons I learned, could be wrapped up in four years of being a sister of Tau Beta Sigma: tolerance and appreciation, personal discipline and time management, humility, cultural unity and embracing community.
Music creates memories, it forges lasting bonds, and it is forever.
written by: Kane Osstifin
Through being a member of Tau Beta Sigma Alpha Delta Alumni Association (TBSADAA), I’ve learned what it means to be an active alumni. I may have graduated college and hold a degree, but because I joined TBSADAA, immediately after graduation, it feels as if I’ve never stopped being an active member. The only difference is I’m working with other alumni who were not in the chapter at the same time as myself. I’ve observed how this is an advantage because it allows our group to develop a multitude of ideas and look at them from different angles.
I needed to remind myself that I wasn’t a student any longer. I was an actual adult in the adult world, and so were the other alumni in our group. The once a week chapter meetings that had become habitual these past four years reduced to bi-monthly with committee meetings in the off months. Active alumni aren’t working towards their adult life like student members because they are actually living those lives now. Communication remains a key element and instead of seeing fellow members at band practice, class, or studying in the coffee shop, we send emails, talk on the phone, and post in Facebook groups. We can’t all be in one place so the internet has become our hub. Thank you internet, you rock, most of the time.
As an active alumni, I get to continue working towards maintain the same principles and ideas I was taught during my time as an active member. I have similar obligations to maintain my status as an active alumni as I did when I was an active member. Those have become second nature to me and it would feel almost weird if I didn’t have to keep following the same requirements.
When becoming an active alumni, it’s something you know you want to do. You have a desire to stay actively committed to supporting the bands and Sorority, and this can become stressful if you have other obligations in life such as work, but with a bit of organization, it’s possible to balance both your adult and alumni life together. If you are someone who misses being involved in different aspects of sorority life, then join the Tau Beta Sigma Alumni Association (TBSAA) and join a local affiliate. Being an alumni does not come with the same high demand as when we are students, but anything we do can help. Whether you are raising money to help a local chapter, or volunteering for a local high school/college band camp. All of this, as an active alumni, can help, and as an active alumni you are promoting both the TBSAA and possibly a local affiliate, to demonstrate to senior members of the organization that it’s a great thing to be an active alumni after graduation.
It’s been great being an active alumni. I’m able to continue being involved with the organization that I truly love and I get to experience life on the other side of the coin. So far, nothing feels different,
and I’m sure it’s only because I never had a break after I graduated from college. It has been one year since I became an active alumni of TBSADAA, and in that time I have learned a lot. I’ve learned things both on my own and from my fellow older alumni. There is a lot of work involved when you are part of an alumni affiliate, but if you truly enjoy staying active and working towards trying to making things better for students and alumni, then you should consider becoming an active alumni at some point in your life. Tau Beta Sigma has given so much to me in terms of friends, skills, and experiences that it feels right to give back as an alumni and being actively involved in any way possible.