Displaying 1 - 10 of 360 entries.

Going Alumna

  • Posted on July 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm

By: Amanda Cross22

As a collegiate member I was very fascinated by history. I was a member of a rechartered chapter, and while the break between wasn’t a huge gap, it made it extremely difficult to understand some of the vast amount of history my collegiate chapter had. I soaked in every bit of history I could learn from the past alumnae women I got to know through my years and I still love learning all about our history.

This summer as I was reading through the latest version of our Sigma Sigma Sigma history book “Over a Century of Sisterhood,” I really began to see some of the obstacles and triumphs our founders and alumnae went through in order to found this great sisterhood I am so in love with today. It truly amazes me what these women, with the help of friendship, could accomplish. It also astounds me what our members do to continue the legacy we were given. Each day members all across the country help keep this history alive that was started long before any of us were alive.

Now as a social media assistant for Tri Sigma I get to see the histories of multiple chapters everyday. It really is such a cool feeling logging in to our Sigma Sigma Sigma Instagram to see what our chapters across America are doing and how they are continuing our legacy everyday. I can only imagine how exciting our Instagram will be once the school year is in full swing and our chapters are reunited under our values of wisdom, power, faith, hope, and love. History is not just about what has happened in the past, but the history that we are creating with each other daily.
Being an alumna, no matter for how little time, has really given me a new perspective on our history as an organization. I have always considered history important to learn, because it’s always important to know where you come from. This organization has been through so much since 1898 and I am excited to be writing a part of our history, no matter how small or big my part in this organization ends up being. Every member in this organization contributes a little piece of Tri Sigma history and that’s amazing.

 

Amanda Cross is a recent Sigma Sigma Sigma alumna from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. She loves blogging, reading, and binging on too much social media and netflix. She is super excited to start her new monthly series Going Alumna as well as to start her journey as a Marketing and Communications Assistant for Tri Sigma.

Confessions of a Sigma-holic

  • Posted on July 21, 2015 at 12:07 pm
Mitzi Tri Sigma Golden Violet 68 yrs as a Sigma

Mitzi Hertel (Mu)

Hello, my name is Jackie and I’m a Sigma-holic…

On June 26th one of my favorite Sigma-holics entered the Omega Chapter.  Mitzi Hertel (Mu), a charter member of the West Michigan Alumnae Chapter, Golden Violet, and 2013 recipient of the Steadfast Sigma Award, taught me what it means to be truly Faithful Unto Death. The goal of this blog entry is to pay tribute to this very special sister, but I confess that I am going to submit a reprint of the recommendation from her Steadfast Sigma Award nomination.  It is very difficult to find the words to describe our Mitzi, so I hope you will forgive me for recycling, but I feel the West Michigan Sigmas said it best.

How does the nominee demonstrate her dedication to Tri Sigma and our values?

Every chapter has a Tri Sigma hero, for West Michigan Alumnae that’s Maxine Mitchell Hertel, affectionately known to all as “Mitzi”.  Mitzi was one of six young women who founded the Grand Rapids (now West Michigan) Alumnae Chapter. She is also the glue that has helped to hold this chapter together for the past 66 years.  When I hear the word “steadfast” I picture Mitzi.

Mitzi began her life as a Tri Sigma on January 23, 1944, at the Mu Chapter of Northeast Missouri State University, now called Truman State University, in Kirksville, Missouri.  While in college she was president of her pledge class, and was a class representative on the Homecoming court.

Art has always been one of Mitzi’s great passions.  Following graduation from NMSU, she hoped to enroll in the Art Institute of Chicago, but the country was embroiled in World War II, and money was short.  So Mitzi moved to Washington, DC where she began a career as an airline hostess, now referred to as flight attendants. Mitzi was employed by the Pennsylvania Central Airlines (PCA), which would later become United Airlines.  Her years with PCA were exciting ones, as this was a glamorous time for the airline industry. Many flights were frequented by dignitaries and celebrities.  Mitzi recalls attending to actor Jimmy Stewart and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

With the end of the war, came an end to Mitzi’s career with PCA and the beginning of her life with David Hertel, who would become her husband and sole mate.  Dave and Mitzi would move to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Mitzi would help to found the Grand Rapids Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma, in June 1949.

Throughout her 63 years with the Grand Rapids Alumnae Chapter, Mitzi would hold numerous offices and chairmanships.  In 1950, she was the Chapter Delegate to Tri Sigma’s Chicago Convention. She has served as Chapter President many times, and also as Secretary.  More recently she has been the Chapter’s Robbie Page Chairmen, and has been instrumental in helping our chapter obtain three separate local hospital grants from the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation. Two of these grants would be awarded to the DeVos Children’s Hospital, and another to the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

Dave and Mitzi have belonged to and been active in the Westminster Presbyterian Church since moving to Grand Rapids.  They have also been active volunteers with the Mercy Respite Center.  They enjoy traveling, music and art.  Mitzi especially enjoys basket weaving, and has designed many lovely pieces.

In 1994, Mitzi was awarded the “Golden Violet” which she wears with pride.  Now 89 years young, Mitzi continues to attend chapter events as her health will allow.  She serves as a Sigma Sentinel guiding her sisters, and instilling in all of us the strong womanly character so valued by our sorority.  If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it said by chapter members old and new a thousand times – “I want to be just like Mitzi!”

Although Mizi may not have served as a National Officer herself, the Grand Rapids Alumnae Chapter that she established and nurtured, has produced a number of National Officers and volunteers, all of whom have all been influenced by Mitzi’s wonderful example.  She is a strong Tri Sigma violet, who put down her roots in Grand Rapids, allowing Tri Sigma to spread and flourish here.  Mitzi has shown us all what it means to be a Steadfast Sigma Sigma Sigma.
Jacqulyn King (Alpha Phi) is a retired high school Library Media Specialist, and she and her husband Mark divide their time between homes in Michigan and Florida. She belongs to the West Michigan, Central Michigan and Southwest Florida Alumnae chapters. Her blog Confessions of a Sigmaholic runs the third Tuesday of every month.

Why do we need an Archive? What IS an Archive?

  • Posted on July 15, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Over the past year, the Archives Committee has been working hard to transform the Mabel Lee Walton House and create a formal Tri Sigma Archives. You may have heard of our work, and connect it to some of the most visible collections at the MLW, like the chapter dolls. But, many sisters may not even know what an “archive” is let alone why it is so important to Tri Sigma.
What is an archive?
An archive is a repository that maintains the records of enduring value for a person, organization, or cultural institution. It can be found in almost any type of institution, from a local historical society to the Smithsonian or Library of Congress and from a university library to a corporate business. It can contain many forms of materials, such as meeting minutes, photographs, diaries, letters, CDs, floppy disks, and digital records.
Why are archives important?
Archives act as a witness to the past, providing evidence, explanation, and justification for past events. They are essential to ensuring that the legacy and history of an institution remains for future generations. Beyond cultural and historical importance, they often contain significant legal, administrative, or governmental documentation.
What is the Tri Sigma Archives?
The Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority National Archives serves to safeguard and preserve the records of Tri Sigma, ensuring that the history and heritage of the Sorority is maintained.  The Archives identifies, acquires, and preserves archival materials that document the history of Sigma Sigma Sigma National Sorority and the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation, promoting the awareness, discovery, and use of the materials.

The Tri Sigma Archives maintains the collections throughout the Walton House, including the chapter dolls, jewelry, Mabel Lee’s personal items, and documents such as convention minutes, papers of past presidents, and issues of The Triangle.
Why should you care about and support the Tri Sigma Archives?
The Tri Sigma Archives supports the legacy of our organization and is essential to its future. Without proper archival care, we could lose materials that embody our past: original editions of The Triangle, convention and Panhellenic meeting minutes, handwritten notes from Mabel Lee and Mary Hastings Page, interviews with the founders, and scrapbooks documenting our events for decades. These items illustrate how we have grown into the successful and empowering organization we are today. We want to guarantee that this history will remain to enlighten and inspire future sisters for many years to come.

To do so, we need to take measures to protect the history we have at the Walton House. The Archives Committee must take action to preserve the documents and artifacts, and cannot do so without your help. We need archival quality boxes and folders to protect the integrity of our paper documents, new cases and stands for the chapter doll collection, professional restoration for the chapter dolls that are damaged or deteriorating, and environmental stability through temperature and light control.
In short, the Tri Sigma Archives Committee is here to preserve our history, and we need your help. Visit the archives website for more information.

Iced Tea and Panties

  • Posted on July 10, 2015 at 12:05 pm

By: Molly Schroeder Steadman Molly Schroeder Steadman

Gay marriage, the confederate flag, terrorists, FIFA and even sharks in NC; there is a lot going on in the news but you know what I want to talk about? Iced Tea. That’s right, not coffee or gin and tonics or even a fruity white wine. Iced tea has a lesson for all of us.

A friend of my father’s came by this week. Now my dad hit 70 this year, he doesn’t have a lot of friends. Not because they are dead, because he doesn’t really like that many people. But this friend went to kindergarten with my mother and he introduced my parents when they were in high school. Gregory came to visit and he sat at my kitchen table. I asked if he wanted something to drink. “Miss Molly,” he said, “I’d like tea.” It was 103* that day so I was pretty sure he wanted the iced variety.
The thing about iced tea is that you can’t make it ahead, fresh is best. So many things we have to plan for these days and make ahead. Retirement, vacations, menus and more; sometimes it’s nice to be spontaneous, just to let things happen. This is hard for me as a mother and former event planner.  I got out the pitcher and the bags, filled it with water and sat with my dad’s old friend.
That’s the second thing about iced tea. It’s not fast. You have to wait. In our Google world, what do we wait for anymore? You can’t rush iced tea. So we sat and talked. No phones or texts or email a legitimate conversation. He told me funny stories about my dad and I told him about my kids, (the last was named after him) When the tea was ready we each had a glass (unsweetened with a little lemon cookie because I’m not a heathen) And it was blissful.
That brings me to my final thing we can learn from iced tea. It’s delicious, calorie free and tastes like summer. We are programmed to think of summer as a chance to squeeze in more activities, maybe take a class, do a project, get ahead for fall. But what if instead we squeezed a lemon into our tea and enjoyed the moment? Whatever you would like; unplugged, outside, alone or in a group. Just take a minute. Wouldn’t the rest of your day still be there?
Pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea and enjoy summer. Or better yet come to my house. I’ll have it ready for you.
Molly Schroeder Steadman (Chi) is a former chapter officer, local and national sorority volunteer, and National Headquarters employee. She recently moved back to Kansas with her husband and three children. Join her in supporting the future of Tri Sigma with regular donations to the Foundation, preferably the Chi Scholarship fund. Her blog, “Is everybody wearing panties?”, runs the first Friday of every month. Values aren’t something you are born wearing; like your panties, you have to put them on every day before you leave the house.

Going Alumna

  • Posted on June 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm

By: Amanda Cross22

“Visitation is discovery: collegians discover that Sigma officers are not merely people but truly Sigma Sisters; visitors discover that collegians today are very much like those of yesterday…really!”–p. 27 of Sigma Sigma Sigma: Over A Century of Sisterhood.

As I was reading this passage from the Sigma Sigma Sigma history we all hold so near and dear to our hearts I looked back at my experiences as a collegiate member of the sorority. The first time I was in the chapter and we had a national visitor come to our sorority–I was very scared. I had no idea what to expect and the prospect of having a woman down from National Headquarters was just hard for me to wrap my head around. Not to mention the visit was during a most emotional time for any sorority member–formal recruitment.

One of my first ever memories of a sister from Tri Sigma nationally was in the form of a regional consultant visit. We weren’t sure what to expect when she came into town or how everything would work. By the end of the week we had grown closer to our regional consultant as a chapter and I continue to keep in touch with her through social media. At first it seemed that all people from Tri Sigma nationally would just be different. What we found out is that they liked the same things as us, did the same things as us, believed in the same core values as us. They were sisters.

Flash forward to today, I have had the privilege of getting to know many people from Tri Sigma nationally through opportunities like this blog, regional consultants, and random Tri Sigma events. It has been a journey, but one that has helped me grow tremendously in this organization–and one that made me want to become the alumna that I saw all of these women become–the super involved kind.

Just these simple moments of sweetness, these moments of laughter, and these moments of kindness really helped me grow. I began to see getting involved at the National level as something everyone could easily go after. So as soon as I was in the last semester of my senior year in college I knew I wanted one goal–to get involved nationally as soon as I got out of college. I did all I could and landed the role of Marketing and Communications Assistant where I will be able to use my love of social media to benefit tons of Tri Sigma women all across the country (and even various parts of the world).

Looking back to my freshmen year I don’t think I ever would have saw this level of involvement coming, but I am forever grateful to all the Sigma Sigma Sigma women I have gotten to know all over this country for giving me the confidence to help this organization that I love so much in so many ways. So join me on my new journey of recent alumna life, in my blog series Going Alumna!

Amanda Cross is a recent Sigma Sigma Sigma alumna from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. She loves blogging, reading, and binging on too much social media and netflix. She is super excited to start her new monthly series Going Alumna as well as to start her journey as a Marketing and Communications Assistant for Tri Sigma.

Confessions of a Sigma-holic

  • Posted on June 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Hello, my name is Jackie and I’m a Sigma-holic… Jacqulyn King

It is high school graduation season, and if you have a legacy heading off to college this fall, there are a few details you need to know before she steps foot on campus.  I confess that I learned most of these the hard way and I hope that these suggestions will allow you to avoid the mistakes I have made.

So if your daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, or cousin is interested in participating in Greek life on her campus, I suggest you do the following ASAP:

  • Have the “Sorority Conversation”.  Please explain that sorority is something that you enjoy, but that it is her decision whether to join, or not.  As a legacy, a Tri Sigma Chapter will give her special consideration, but this is not a guarantee that she will be extended a bid. On the other hand, she should feel free to choose the sorority that “she” feels most at home with.  Assure her that it is okay to join another group.  We choose and are chosen.  The goal should always be a positive sorority experience for your legacy.
  • Start NOW!  Do not wait to learn what she needs to do to participate in formal recruitment.  Many campuses hold Panhellenic recruitment PRIOR to the first week of classes.
  • Determine if there is a Tri Sigma Chapter on her campus.  The National website lists all Sigma chapters, simply go to http://www.trisigma.org/Home.mvc and select Meet Us from the menu at the top of the page.  This will take you to the Chapter Locater. If a Sigma chapter is available the next step to take is….
  • Submit an Alumnae Recommendation form to National.  Access to this form can be obtained by going to the National website and logging on to Sigma Connect. On this page locate the Alumnae Resource Center and click on the Forms link. From the list of forms that appear select Alumnae Recommendation.
  • Research Panhellenic Recruitment on her campus:
  1. Go to the college’s website and check under Student Life or Organizations.
  2. Contact a member of the Chapter’s Alumnae Advisory Board (AAB), preferably the Membership Advisor. This information can be obtained by contacting National Headquarters at sigma@trisigma.org
  3. Find out what your legacy needs to do to register for Formal Recruitment.
  • Explain Panhellenic.  Panhellenic is the governing body over all the sororities on campus, which has many regulations in place intended to protect students from receiving pressure from sororities to join their group.  As a result, there may be little or no contact allowed with individual sorority members prior to Panhellenic Formal Recruitment.  Therefore these sorority women may seem aloof.  However, they must keep their distance, as their sorority could receive harsh penalties if they are perceived as attempting to illegally recruit a student.  In fact, some campuses enforce a Sorority Silence until Formal Recruitment begins.

I sincerely hope this information is helpful.  Good luck with your efforts and if you have further questions please feel free to email National at sigma@trisigma.org.  It is my wish that there will soon be a future Sigma-holic in your family.

 

Jacqulyn King (Alpha Phi) is a retired high school Library Media Specialist, and she and her husband Mark divide their time between homes in Michigan and Florida. She belongs to the West Michigan, Central Michigan and Southwest Florida Alumnae chapters. Her blog Confessions of a Sigmaholic runs the third Tuesday of every month.

2016 Convention: “Yous Guys” Just Can’t Miss it!

  • Posted on June 10, 2015 at 12:02 pm

By: Angela David

BluesLately I’ve had one song stuck in my head. Lyrics saying “Come on, oh baby, don’t you wanna go? Back to that same old place, Sweet home Chicago.” As we kick-off our 365-day countdown to Convention 2016, I hope you all want to join me in sweet home, Chicago!  I am so excited to have the honor of being your National Convention Chairman.  I feel so thrilled to have the privilege of helping bring my Sigma sisters to the city I call home for Convention 2016 themed, “What Will Matter”.

An eye-opener during my first Convention was that Sigma is so much bigger than me, my Chapter, my Alumnae Chapter, and even those I am friends with on Facebook. I know that Sigma has helped shaped “What Will Matter” for me as we reflect on our values of faith, hope, wisdom, power, and love. Convention gives us the opportunity to reflect on what our Founders’ thought mattered back in 1898, but also gives us an opportunity to look towards the future of “What Will Matter” and the legacy we set during Convention.

Bean

As someone who has lived in Chicago (ok the suburbs) my entire life, I still find the city completely intriguing. There is always a new place to discover and explore. Chicago is a city that is hard to describe in just a few words, especially those must-see/must-do places. Convention is very similar in it is difficult to describe in just a few words to someone the feeling of being surrounded by over 600 of your sisters. The best way for me to describe it is to share what local Chicago alumnae have said:

“You don’t understand the power of convention until you attend…Women working together for a common goal …sharing, learning and laughing.  If you have never attended but always wanted to it will be very emotional being in the presence of something greater than you as an individual and realizing the impact you and your sisters have on future generations.” – Jill Zager, AN, Fox Valley, IL Alumnae Chapter

“The ultimate girl time!  I have attended 12 Conventions – I was privileged to be the delegate when I was a collegiate and my roommate at that Convention became a friend for life as well as my roommate after college. Conventions have provided the opportunity to reconnect with sisters who I may only see every three years – some more frequently – others less. It provided the sense of a national organization to me – the broad scope – sisters with a common bond who share much and also offer plenty of diversity. It is pure joy to witness the respect and love we share together!” – Nancy McGowan, Kappa, NW Suburban Chicago Alumnae Chapter

“Convention is hard to put into words…overload on Sigma, fun, inspiring, too little sleep, lots of laughter…I guess I would relate it to having a kid…the reward is much more than can be explained. It has to be experienced to really understand how inspiring and wonder it is.” – Rebecca Calkins, EO, Fox Valley, IL Alumnae Chapter

Convention truly reminds me of the famous Portillo’s Chocolate Cake because there are many layers to convention (if you have never been to a Portillo’s make sure to put this as a must stop during your visit to Chicago).

Ports

The Cake itself…

Convention is structured, similarly like a cake needs to be structured (if not we’d just have a big pile of crumbs). Convention has the structure of business sessions each day. Business sessions are like one large chapter meeting. There is a head table where the Executive Council sits, overlooking the Convention Body, which is similar to officers presiding over a chapter meeting. The Convention Body is made up voting delegates each representing our collegiate and alumnae chapters and National officer positions.  This may look similar to what you’d know as chairmen and chapter members.   Additionally, there is a seated gallery where non-voting members can take part in the business of the Convention Body, because we all have a say in “What Will Matter.”  Whether you currently are or once were a collegian, you know chapter meetings are where all the major decisions are made.   So on a National level, Convention is your opportunity to help form and mold the organization, and as our theme is, really help decide “What Will Matter” to Sigma now and in the future.  Past Convention Bodies have helped shape what mattered to the organization with discussion around our National policies, such as hazing, alcohol, office structure, and even ritual. You have a say in what our organization looks like and values. Convention is wonderful because that “you” can be ANY member, no matter how old you are, how long you’ve been a Sigma, or even if you’ve been disconnected the past few years…ALL are welcome to attend.

The Frosting…

Convention is so sweet just the like frosting on the chocolate cake. Do you think I’d ask you to come to Chicago and have you sit in meetings all day? Of course not! Did I mention that Chicago is home to not just one alumnae chapter, but THREE! Along with a spectacular local Convention Committee comprised of members of the Chicago North Shore Alumnae Chapter, Chicago NW Suburban Alumnae Chapter, and the Fox Valley, IL Alumnae Chapter, and the amazingly supportive National Headquarters’ staff, we promise to provide a Convention filled with lifelong memories, laughter and tears, and of course more stories than the Willis Tower (or Sears Tower to all Chicagoans). Convention provides many opportunities of fun from the themed banquets, to a “slumber party” atmosphere with rooming with sisters, to meeting sisters for the first time (even though you are probably already Facebook friends). We want to note that we understand that Convention is not only a time commitment, but a financial one too. We want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck here in Chicago, so be rest assured that the Convention Committee is filling up the event with spectacular surprises and take-a-ways.

Special secret ingredient…

Clock

Portillo’s throws in something special to their chocolate cakes…mayonnaise! I can just see your face squinting up to think of adding such an odd ingredient to such a sweet treat. Just like the mayo, you can look forward to many surprises and exciting events added to our 2016 Convention agenda, such as a surprise Sisterhood event, a little taste of Chicago, and the return of a southern tea where we honor our roots in the Farmville Four.

These are just “three” little hints for now, but please know the Convention Committee and I have many, many more surprises up our sleeves of “What Will Matter.”

Registration will open in the Spring of 2016, but in the meantime, I encourage you to check our National Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blog and website for future updates, hints, giveaways, contests, and, of course, the official countdown!  However, I would be doing my position and our Sisterhood a disservice if I didn’t challenge you to actually speak to someone about Convention.  As a professional fundraiser we are always told to have an elevator speech ready in our back pocket, so I challenge you to start the conversation about Convention and what matters to you about Sigma. I truly hope by sharing this glimpse of Convention and what matters to me about Sigma will encourage even just one sister to attend.

I cannot wait for all of you to join me next year and as Frank Sinatra said it best “And each time I roam, Chicago is… Calling me home, Chicago is… Why I just grin like a clown… It’s my kind of town.”

Profound Impact

  • Posted on June 9, 2015 at 12:07 pm

By: Emily Turner

Today in Negril, I started my day with a shower and then breakfast at the Whistling Bird, our hotel. My shower was a nice start to the day, like many, I do some deep thinking in the shower. While thinking, I formed my expectations for the day, those expectations were long forgotten when I was overwhelmed with happiness instead.

At breakfast, I was sitting with some of the most wonderful women of character. These women are my sisters, I thought. Very rarely do I feel so content with where I am. I say there eating the most delicious meal made by some of the most gracious ladies and gentlemen of the Whistling Bird, and was very happy. Expectations were gone.

Then, we went to church. I was honestly scared to go to church. I lost a very dear family friend in October, my best friend’s mother. She’s been in my life since I was 3 and she has been a huge influence to me. I am very much still grieving the loss of that influence. The last time I was in a church I was sitting in the front of the church holding myself and my best friend together as we said goodbye to her mother and the woman I have always called Mom.

I was terrified to death to enter that same environment, I didn’t want to be sad anymore and I most certainly did not want to cry in front of these women. I don’t make a habit of crying in front of people I just met less that 24 hours before. I stood in church, the atmosphere was upbeat and welcoming, so I thought it wouldn’t be hard to get through. My thoughts were focused on getting through the service, not really being there. That definitely changed.

During the service, the music was very loud and catchy, many were dancing. An older woman pulled many out of the pew and took us to the front of the aisle, to dance. When she came back for me, I grabbed her before she grabbed me, I was truly joyous. I was dancing and singing and I looked up at the ceiling, clapping my hands over my head and began to cry. I felt as though Mom was dancing with me. She was rejoicing in the Lord right along next to me. I had been so hateful towards the idea of God since I watched the most beautiful woman I knew and looked to wither away, how could he do that to her? This was something I was really struggling with, until I was dancing in that church. He didn’t take her life, or even who she was, he took her pain. This beautiful joyous woman who took me to the front of that church, accepting me so willingly, helped me accept that.

I have never seen a church like that, these people have so little by the standards that I have been raised on, but do they really? They have themselves, their fellow Jamaicans, and their health. That is beauty to them, that is money to them, that is all the material they need, that is their everything. This sentiment is so radiant that it is obvious to all of the women on this trip and was a sentiment expressed by all at tonight dinner and tonight’s closing talks.

We disused serving as opposed to helping tonight as well. How serving is more beneficial to the soul, and helping others can point out an inequality between people. Tomorrow we begin serving the first school and after today, I cannot hardly wait to begin. My desire to learn so much from this journey, here in Jamaica and to contribute as much as I can to these beautiful people and this beautiful land. This is no longer a trip for me but a journey for my soul and the souls of my fellow sisters. As I sit here typing this, sitting in a chair on the shore, the water at my feet, the people walking the shore behind me, stopping to say hello, I think of Mom. How she has taught me to contribute to others the best I can, and know that this trip already has and will have a profound impact on who I am, especially the elderly woman from the loud and upbeat church.

 

Emily Turner is one of the seventeen Tri Sigma’s on the Service Immersion Trip to Negril, Jamaica.

Monkeys Don’t Wear Panties

  • Posted on June 5, 2015 at 12:05 pm

By: Molly Schroeder SteadmanMolly Schroeder Steadman

The Gingers, as my 5 year old twin girls are called, had their first dance recital this week. They were monkeys in little sequined body suits complete with tutus and tails. Madame, the instructor who dresses only in black, was very clear. “We don’t want our panties to show. Monkeys do not wear panties!”
So there were my little panty free (so excited!) monkeys, in the back row, stage left. The music comes on and well let’s just say their next school won’t be Juilliard, it was their first year and they were in a class with some veteran monkeys and it showed.
I had such anxiety about the recital. You see, I had been to each practice and knew the truth, mine were not the most  graceful monkeys in the tree. One of the moms downloaded the music and made her monkey practice the routine each night. I thought about doing that but it seemed like work and dance class is a fun activity; not a chore. So there they we were; two little monkeys swinging the wrong way and me clapping like my pants were on fire.
It reminds me of how far we will go to protect the people we care about. I was determined that my monkeys would not realize how off they were compared to the others. I don’t care if they grow up to be professionals ballerinas, but I do want them to develop some grace and be able to walk across the floor with out falling down. Clearly our work with Madame is not finished.
Mothers are fiercely protective, it is carried over from our caveman days. It’s biology. But we can be just as protective of our family, sisters and ideals. We all know someone who will fight to the death over what in reality is a remarkably silly point of distinction. The words “agree to disagree” might be some of the most important words in the English language.
So when I read in the news about somebody’s mama or friend or colleague sticking up for them in the wake of overwhelming evidence, I try to remember that it’s just biology. After all, we were all panty free monkeys a million years ago or so.
Molly Schroeder Steadman (Chi) is a former chapter officer, local and national sorority volunteer, and National Headquarters employee. She recently moved back to Kansas with her husband and three children. Join her in supporting the future of Tri Sigma with regular donations to the Foundation, preferably the Chi Scholarship fund. Her blog, “Is everybody wearing panties?”, runs the first Friday of every month. Values aren’t something you are born wearing; like your panties, you have to put them on every day before you leave the house.

Missing Puzzle Piece

  • Posted on June 3, 2015 at 12:05 pm

By: Chelsea Robbins Chelsea Robbins Church Service

For the past four years I have been an active member of Tri Sigma and I have learned the power of caring through my family and friends, the power of dedication through my sisters, and most recently, the eternal and divine power through God. Growing up in a Catholic family and church community, I was constantly being reminded of God and all His wonderful works.

Being young, I didn’t participate much in church services or youth group. Once I reached my Senior year in college, I felt I had a calling and so I began to open up my heart more to God. Since being accepted for this service trip, I knew my calling had a connection to this journey. And today I realized what that calling was.

This morning, as I sat in the New Life Tabernacle Pentecostal Church in Negril, Jamaica I experienced an overwhelming power take over my heart and soul. Not one such as the power of money or status but the power of love and faith. Overcome with emotion I turned to the beautiful people around me: my sisters from across the United States and the people of Jamaica. Through them I was empowered to worship Jesus without judgement and was able to serve God today with the local congregation. I have never experienced such a moving service as I did today. As members of the congregation ranging in age stood up during the church service to tell their story of why they love God, why they praise Him, or why they are thankful for Him my heart felt so whole. This feeling of wholeness along with the cheerful hymns and praises we sang together made me feel a sense of home I have never felt before. Being welcomed with open arms in a foreign country during such a meaningful church service was something I didn’t expect when embarking on this immersion trip. Having an elder member of the congregation grab my hand and pull me to the front of the church to praise and worship Jesus alongside her was another unexpected reality that happened today. The power of the words I heard in the church service today, the power of the happiness and joy on everyone’s faces, the power of faith instilled in my heart and soul today at the New Life Tabernacle truly is one I will never forget.

During our group discussion tonight after sharing a delicious meal, we read an article entitled “In The Service of Life” by Rachel Naomi Remen. The article outlines the true meaning of service and how we can heal others through our service. As I mentioned above, before embarking on this immersion trip, I felt that there was more out there for me, sort of a piece from this beautiful puzzle of life missing and I can already say on day two of this journey that I have found my missing puzzle piece. I have learned that service is not an addition to your résumé, it’s not something to boast about nor feed your ego but “service is the work of the soul.” This trip has given me a once in a lifetime to serve the people of Jamaica, to serve my soul in becoming stronger in my faith, and to serve God because “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13.

With that, it is with a full heart that I can say my soul has been healed and I send good vibes from Jamaica to everyone reading!

One Lord. One Faith. One Baptism.
Ephesians 4:5

 

Chelsea is one of the seventeen Tri Sigma’s on the Service Immersion Trip in Negril, Jamaica.