eMentors’ Big Give: Kyle and Paige

This week, we asked the eMentors: Suppose a genie appeared and gave you a million dollars, but only under the condition that you had to spend half of it on yourself and half of it philanthropically (for the benefit of others.) How would you spend that money? See their answers here…


On myself

With my $500,000 I would start by buying my Jeep a new muffler so it won’t sound like stampeding buffalo when I drive. So, that uses up about $500. Next I would buy myself some new snow skis. I want to get Salomon Shoguns; another $500. I would then use half the remaining money to travel for 3 years- I want to scuba dive in Australia, hike the rainforest in Costa Rica, visit the Parthenon in Greece, safari through Africa, see my family’s farm in Norway, and then bike and backpack through Europe. I would take my friends and family along too- as many people as I could for $200,000.

Next, I would buy a 1975 Chevrolet Silverado pickup with a v8 and a bench seat to drive around in with my girlfriend and my dog.

I have roughly 250,000 left. I have grown up with wooden boats, and have always wanted to live on one. I would spend the rest of the money to buy an older 50 foot wooden sailboat, take it down to bare wood, and restore it. Then I would anchor it in the bay by UW and row to my classes every day. This would also allow me to fulfill my lifelong dream of being a pirate.


That leaves me $500,000 for philanthropic purposes. My first goal would be to buy $100,000 worth of forest land nearby the beach at my parents’ house in Olympia. Developers have bought most of the land and built horribly drab neighborhoods. I am calling these philanthropic because that land is good habitat for fox, beaver, deer, eagles, boy scouts, etc.

Next I would take $200 and buy my roommate a new bike for charity. His current bike is such and embarrassment that I have to ride about 20 feet ahead of him so we aren’t associated with each other. This philanthropic purchase alone would probably improve society the most.

I would take another $100,000 and buy rainforest land in Indonesia for preservation as well. (If you don’t sense the theme yet, I really like wilderness).

That would leave me $299,800 and I would start a micro-loan program. Micro-loans are small loans, maybe $100-300, made to people in the 3rd world to start a small business, buy some simple machinery, or even to buy furniture. Small rural areas in the 3rd world only need a little cash to generate some activity in their economy but no banks will loan it because the profits are so small on the tiny loans. The micro-loan programs don’t make a lot of money, but hopefully it would be enough to spread it throughout strategic areas in South America and Africa.


On Myself:

Traveling.  Hands down.  I want to go to England, Morocco, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, France, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Ireland, India, Sweden…the list goes on and on.  I want to see the Eiffel Tower, the Tower of London, the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, the Amazon rainforest, an Argentine milonguera, the pyramids, sheep running around the Irish countryside, the Louvre, an Italian coffeehouse…as you can see, I could VERY easily blow 500 grand on an epic year long voyage around the world.  Plus, I’d bring someone to share the wonder with me, try every sort of ethnic food I could get my hands on, and do some intense wardrobe improving along the way 🙂


I would love to fund a literacy program for disadvantaged youth.  My program would split its funding between reading instruction and providing children with as many great classics as I could afford.  Literature has always been a huge part of my life and I cannot imagine being without my many books.  The Little White Horse, Little Women, Gone with the Wind, The Great Gatsby, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Women in Love, East of Eden, Romeo and Juliet, anything by Jane Austen…I would like every child and teenager to have the ability and means to read any book they are interested in.  I would love to give others a similar experience to mine, that same chance to travel to another place and meet new people just by reading a story.  Therefore, I would shower children with books and instruction who don’t have the means to attain them.

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Gotta Have It! – Manmeet and Paige

A wise man named Lupe Fiasco once said, “Rule two: Do you, to the fullest.”

This week, we asked our eMentors about their guilty pleasures- their guilty pleasure movies, TV, music, and foods. Sure, we’re all entitled to like what we want to like, but what are some favorite things that, sometimes, our eMentors would have rather kept secret? No shame here.


Guilty pleasure TV show(s)?

Jersey Shore: Truth be told, I watch the Jersey Shore. In fact, I watch it religiously. I know it’s really trashy and that I should probably have better taste, but I don’t care. I love spending my Thursday nights watching Snooki, JWoww, Vinny, The Situation, Pauly D, Sammi, and Ronnie embarrass themselves like it’s their job. Where else can I learn about the art of GTLing? By the way, this is the only semi-appropriate picture of the cast that I could find.

Guilty pleasure movie(s)?

I don’t really like romantic comedies but for some reason, I always find myself wanting to watch “A Lot Like Love.” I’m not an especially big fan of Ashton Kutcher or Amanda Peet but they are such a cute on-screen couple! I think I like this movie because it’s somewhat realistic. Well, not really, but I still like it.

Guilty pleasure song(s) or artist(s)?

These past few years I’ve really developed an appreciation for the rapping styles of Lil Wayne AKA Weezy. With songs like “Mrs. Officer” and “A Milli,” Lil Wayne is quickly becoming the musical genius of our generation. Some people think his voice is obnoxious but I think it adds character to his already through provoking music. Sure he’s had a few run-ins with the law but I think he’s really learning from his mistakes, or so he says. Wee oh wee oh weeee, like a cop car!

I also happen to love Kesha…I mean, Ke$ha. She might look like she got dressed in a dumpster but I think she’s a lyrical genius, just like Lil Wayne. Nothing makes me want to dance more than a Ke$ha song on full blast. My favorite Ke$ha song is “Tik Tok.” Any song that starts off with “wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy” is automatically amazing.

Guilty pleasure foods?

I have A LOT of guilty pleasure foods: enchiladas, pulled pork sandwiches, sushi, the list goes on. I just love food in general. I already talked about my love for enchiladas in another blog post so I guess I’ll explain my love for pulled pork sandwiches in this one. I only recently discovered pulled pork sandwiches (like in the last six months) but ever since then I just can’t stop thinking about them. I don’t really have time to make them from scratch during the quarter so instead I buy the pre-packaged pulled pork at QFC. It’s delicious and it takes two minutes to heat up in the microwave. All you need is a plain bun and some coleslaw and you’re good to go. The pulled pork sandwiches I eat don’t look like the one above but I guarantee they taste just as amazing.

Guilty pleasure desserts?

I love chocolate. My favorite chocolate dessert is the “Chocolate Death Bar.” Unfortunately, it’s only sold at the corner store by my apartment in the U-District. The “Chocolate Death Bar” is basically a cookie bar/brownie…it’s amazing. I know that this dessert is my guilty pleasure because I actually make an effort to ask the store owner when their next shipment is coming in. The “Chocolate Death Bar” must be popular with a lot of other people as well because it’s almost always out of stock. This picture doesn’t do it justice. Apparently the company that makes these little pieces of heaven doesn’t have its own store but you can order them and have them shipped to you!



Guilty pleasure TV show(s)?
I should tell you that I’m a liiiiitle crazy about Friends.  Like, seen every episode at least 15 times crazy.  I’ve never been one to plop down on the couch and watch random things for hours, but I can be occupied with Friends all day.  Luckily, my roommate is just as obsessed.  She’s the only one who gets me when I quote a super obscure comment from the show 🙂  Gilmore Girls is my other favorite.  I literally grew up with Lorelei and Rory.  My mom and I would watch it every week when it was still on and would buy the seasons on DVD as soon as they came out.  I always watch them when I’m sick.  There’s nothing like a bit of fast-talking Gilmore Girls wit to make you feel better when you have a cold!

Guilty pleasure movie(s)?
Legally Blonde.  Reese Witherspoon is adorable.  Elle is the ultimate girly but brilliant character.  Her chihuahua is all cuddly.  The whole movie is pink and happy.  Enough said.

Guilty pleasure song(s) or artist(s)?
I love Taylor Swift. LOVE HER!  Her music is happy, sweet, genuine…it always puts me in a good mood.  Plus, no one can write an innocent love song like she can.  Katy Perry is my other one.  I’ve been playing her newest cd super loud in my car and bouncing around, trying to dance in my seat while I’m waiting at traffic lights.  Probably not the coolest thing in the world, but she has great party music!  And most everything she does is catchy.

Guilty pleasure food and dessert?

A croque madame, green olives with mustard, and pommes-frites with seasoned mayonnaise at Cafe Presse.  This is one of my favorite ‘treat myself’ dinners.  Cafe Presse is this tiny, atmospheric french cafe on Capital Hill and one of my most frequented restaurants.  A croque madame is essentially a fancy grilled cheese sandwich with an egg on top.  The green olives are seasonal and come in a light oil.  If you put a little mustard on them, they’re to die for.  Pommes-frites are french fries.  Realllly good french fries.  And it may seem weird to eat fries with mayonnaise, but Presse puts all these spices in theirs so it makes the perfect dipping sauce.  And I know I’m supposed to talk about deserts below, but this place also has french drinking chocolate with house made whipped cream.  It tastes like they put a bar of dark chocolate in a pan, melted it, added a little sugar, and served it to you. Yuuummmmm.

I’m also pretty much obsessed with Trophy Cupcakes.  It’s this little cupcake shop they have in Wallingford that has the best cupcakes I’ve ever had in my life AND really good coffee (a must for me).  Currently my favorite is called the Tiger Tail.  It’s white cake with raspberry frosting, coconut flakes, and a raspberry drizzle.  I think I could eat a dozen of them.

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Gotta Have It! – Kyle, Jocelyn, and Beza

A wise man named Lupe Fiasco once said, “Rule two: Do you, to the fullest.”

This week, we asked our eMentors about their guilty pleasures- their guilty pleasure movies, TV, music, and foods. Sure, we’re all entitled to like what we want to like, but what are some favorite things that, sometimes, our eMentors would have rather kept secret? No shame here.


Guilty pleasure TV show(s)?

Without a doubt it is “The Office”. I have seen every episode multiple times and will drop whatever I am doing on Thursdays at 9 o clock to watch it. My roommates know that if they try to use the TV at 9 or are talking too loud I will not hesitate to throw medium sized objects at them until they cooperate and let me watch in peace.

I also love to quote The Office, relentlessly. I have found that no matter how many people I alienate or situations that I make awkward that I cannot stop quoting obscure lines from this show. “Bears, Beets Battlestar Galactica!”

Guilty pleasure movie(s)?

“My apartment smells of rich mahogany. And I have many leather-bound books.”

When I am not quoting the office I spend most of my time embarrassing myself with rampant “Anchorman” quotes. I saw this movie in middle school and it is the likely the single most influential thing that happened to me during those two years. Sure, most people outgrew this movie once we got to high school, but I refused, I couldn’t let go.

At this point I use most of my anchorman quotes on my dog Kuma, pretending she is Baxter. If she starts barking I will usually say, “What Kuma? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate a whole wheel of cheese? I’m not even mad that’s amazing!” This conversation usually leads to one of my mom’s “it’s time for you to go back to college” looks.

My plans to go as Ron Burgundy for Halloween were thwarted when all of my roommates decided to go as the Village People and needed one more, but there is always next year.

Guilty pleasure song(s) or artist(s)?

My guilty pleasure artist is definitely Amy Winehouse. Sure, the last things we have heard from her include going to an elementary school to yell at kids picking on her goddaughter and last year an arrest for punching some lady in the eye, but this only makes her more interesting. The more I began to see Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus plastered all over the TV the more drawn to Amy Winehouse I was.

Her soul filled R&B hits are so refreshing compared to all the punch-less songs about high school relationships.

Amy Winehouse is the ultimate rock star and rebel. I have two of her posters and her cd “Back to Black.” Something about her hair is entrancing as well; it looks like she was hit with a tornado. Even though she is a disaster, there is something really genuine about Amy Winehouse that I don’t see in many other artists, because she really doesn’t care at all about what anyone thinks and just does whatever she wants. Amy, please get out of rehab and make another album!

“I only write about stuff that’s happened to me… stuff I can’t get past personally. Luckily, I’m quite self-destructive.” –Amy Winehouse

Guilty pleasure foods?

NACHOS! I love nachos! Salt, cheese, chips, beans, peppers, salsa and guacamole, any of these foods by themselves are excellent, but they combine like the Super Friends to create an unstoppable food. I eat nachos at least every other day, but to start training for the Super Bowl I will eat nachos daily (you have to start training 6 months in advance). I know they are unhealthy, but I will usually justify it to myself by having carrots with dinner or going for a run first. I have actually found allowing myself to have nachos afterward is a great motivator to get me to exercise; unfortunately they probably cancel out all the benefits. Criteria: Must be guacamole and not just avocado, must have salsa, cheese cannot be burned or bubbly, and the chips cannot be stale.

Guilty pleasure desserts?

Haggen Dazs Ice Cream. On the surface Haggen Dazs is not a guilty pleasure because it really good quality and aside from the fat isn’t that bad for you. It becomes a guilty pleasure because of how expensive it is however. I have tried to just have the Safeway Select ice cream, but I feel like I have gotten used to driving a Mercedes but then had to switch to a tricycle with a rusty chain. I even tried Tillamook, and while it is acceptable, it is more expensive than Safeway and so I always just decide to spend the $4 more and get the good stuff. So my choices are laid out for me, budget breaking, gross ice cream, or shoplifting.

Unfortunately, ice cream is so cold that if I hide it under my shirt and try to shoplift I will be visibly shivering and probably get arrested, or I will start eating it before I escape the store. So logically, my only choice is to buy the expensive Haagen Dazs right? That’s my justification and I am sticking to it.


Hello everyone, today I will be talking about my guilty pleasure TV shows and food. It’s sad to admit to myself that I actually spend my precious time watching pointless shows, and breaking my diet once every other week. Oh well, I guess we all have our weaknesses.

I actually didn’t have a TV in my apartment for two years after I moved out of my dorm after freshman year. I figured if I don’t own one I won’t have much of a hard time fighting temptations. However last year I started living with my sister who set up Comcast internet and On Demand. For the first two quarters I was really good about not watching TV. I had no idea what “real housewives” were, and I didn’t know the difference between “Real World” and “Jersey Shore.” Actually, I still don’t know why Jersey Shore is much more famous than Real World since it’s essentially the same thing. But anyway, now I spend my free time catching up on whatever Real Housewives show is on air at the moment. Fortunately I have to work during the time Jersey Shore is on TV, and since I didn’t really follow the show from the beginning I don’t feel the need to go back and watch it.

So what’s my guilty pleasure reality TV show? I would have to go with “Basketball Wives!” I watch this show because it’s on the air on Sunday nights, which is convenient since I usually don’t have much to do on Sundays. Also, it is the only show that I’ve followed since the first season, and I understand what they are referring to if they mention previous altercations. However my ultimate favorite TV show is “South Park.” What’s not to love about South Park? It’s hilariously inappropriate and has sarcastic brilliance. My favorite movie is “Grease” even though I HATE musicals. But Grease is simply the best musical ever! Finally, my guilty pleasure music artist is Eminem. He is truly an entertainer with no limits. He is the only artist that I know of who channeled all his anger and hate into a successful movie and a platinum album. And he did this while being funny and brutally honest about his opinions.

Now for the yummy part. My guilty pleasure food is a veggie burrito with guacamole and extra sour cream from Chipotle! I am convinced that I have been addicted to Chipotle since I was first introduced to it my freshman year. I am happy to say that since then I have introduced it to several of my friends who now share my addiction as well. A delicious treat that I break my diet with is a blueberry muffin. Thankfully I haven’t had those in months, but the problem is once I have one, I find myself eating it for days.


When I am not doing homework, or catching up on the news you can find me watching what my friends call “trash television” from my blue recliner (as seen in the previous blog entry). My roommate and I almost went without cable in our most recent apartment. Cable is super expensive! We went on this way for one week until we both went crazy and gave in to the cable bill. My TV viewing tends to stick with three major channels: Bravo, TLC and Oxygen. The first TV show that I watch on a daily basis is The Real Housewives of…. Anything! LA, Orange County, New York, Atlanta, New Jersey and now Miami!

If I had to rank my preferences of the Real Housewives, it would be as follows.

New Jersey- because they have attitude and Theresa is hilarious, I also own her Skinny Italian Cookbook!

LA- because of the drama, and who doesn’t want to see Frasier on a regular basis

Orange County- Because Gretchen’s in it.

New York- Because of Bethany

Atlanta- Drama

Miami- ranked here because it isn’t out yet.

The other two TV shows that I enjoy watching are Toddlers in Tiaras (creepy but true) and Snapped! Snapped is about women who go crazy and commit acts of violence against their husbands or significant others… (no reflection on how I act or ever will act).

Guilty pleasure movie(s)?

I love Disney Channel Original movies! My favorite has to be Halloween town, the original, not second or third ones, those were just awful. The first Halloweentown however, was filled with magic, intrigue and surprise! It’s probably where J.K Rowling got her inspiration for Harry Potter, let’s be honest.

(You can even buy this one on DVD!)

Guilty pleasure song(s) or artist(s)?

My pleasure artists are the “Rock” singers I started listening to when I was young (preteen). These artists allow me to hold on to my head banging rebellious years!

#1- Avril Lavigne- Rebellious pop rock princess!

“He was a skater boy, he said she you later boy. He wasn’t good enough for her!”- Now you will have this stuck in your head forever! She’s also foreign; she’s from the northern regions of Canada!

#2- Paramore, you would think this would be a recent obsession but I started listening to them in the 9th grade

I found Paramore on Myspace one day. I was feeling kind of down because I was transitioning from the 9th to the 10th grade. In our school system this means from junior high to high school. They still have a soft spot in my heart. I am always excited to see the lead singer performing with the likes of Eminem.

Guilty pleasure foods?

My guilty foods are all frozen vegetables. I love love love frozen green beans and frozen corn. I could eat them all day. I can honestly say that frozen corn tastes like candy. I always buy them in the bulk organic bags from Costco. The giant sized bags can last me for weeks. You should all try it and remember to buy in bulk!

Guilty pleasure desserts?

I love any sort of artificially flavored sour candies. I love sour Mambas, sour Skittles, Shock Tarts, and War Heads! Sour Mambas are the best out of this list. The sad thing is, is that I would probably take sour Mambas over any ice cream or cake you could offer me I hope one day there is some sort of raffle to win a free lifetime supply of sour Mambas. I would probably enter my name a million times.

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eMentor Cribs: Desk Edition – Jocelyn

This week, we asked our eMentors to give us a tour of their desks. What does your desk or study area look like?
This is Jocelyn’s entry. Check out the other tours at the following links:
Manmeet Beza Kyle Paige

Instead of doing a traditional blog with pictures, Jocelyn went with a video blog (or a “vlog,” if you’re savvy.) Check it out here:


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eMentor Cribs: Desk Edition – Manmeet

This week, we asked our eMentors to give us a tour of their desks. What does your desk or study area look like?
This is Manmeet’s entry. Check out the other tours at the following links:
Jocelyn Beza Kyle Paige

Airline Tickets

The bulletin board behind my desk is where I put random mementos from trips and events. The airline tickets you see in this picture (behind my lamp) are from a trip to Europe. The summer following sophomore year I traveled to Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, France, and England. I think I went on over five flights that that summer, plus a couple of train rides.

And yes, my computer screen has fingerprints. I’m cleaning it today, I swear.


As an international studies major, literally all I ever do is read. Luckily, I actually enjoy reading. I just wish I had more free time to read for fun. Most of the books I read for class are about politics, economics, social justice, education, and race and ethnicity.  I have three minors (diversity, education, and human rights) on top of my major so I’m usually juggling multiple books at the same time.My favorite book from the ones you see below is “A Lesson Before Dying”…go read it!

Quote Magnets

I absolutely love quotes. I know a lot of people think they are cheesy but I think they’re a great way to find quick inspiration. I spend a lot of time at my desk, so why not have some inspirational quote magnets to look at while I’m working? My favorite quote magnetis the white one that says, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the live you have imagined.”

More Mementos!

The flyers/cards in this picture are from a few of the events and organizations I’ve been a part of. One of my favorite items in this picture is the Dream Project card you see in the front center. I joined Dream Project as a freshman when there were less than fifty people so it’s amazing to see how fast it the program has grown.

Notes from Friends

I keep a stack of Post-it notes on my desk, which my friends like to use to leave little messages for me. The notes you see below are from my friends Kelsey and Laura, both of whom are abroad right now. I miss them!

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eMentor Cribs: Desk Edition – Kyle

This week, we asked our eMentors to give us a tour of their desks. What does your desk or study area look like?
This is Kyle’s entry. Check out the other tours at the following links:
Jocelyn Beza Manmeet Paige

I call it- “Chaos”. Since my desk doesn’t have any drawers I just stack everything around and all over my desk. My filing system is to tape things to my walls, and I use sticky notes to write down those great thoughts I have before they slip away, unfortunately thoughts that I think are genius at 3 in the morning while I am studying usually sound pretty bad when I read them the next morning. Note the orange lighting- I replaced my brutal fluorescent with an orange bulb.

This is the top of my shelves on my desk. This is like my version of a wealthy person’s garage full of expensive cars- here you have the cut in half soda can / candle holder (super romantic), the giant gorilla (he does the cucaracha when you clap), a plastic crab missing legs I found in my house when I moved in, my speaker, and nothing says safety like a string of X-mas lights I found at my grandma’s house from the 1970s!

This is my calendar of office quotes! In case you didn’t notice I am a little behind schedule, I guess you could say I have been living in the past (witty pun!). This quote is from an episode where Jim tries to get a promotion for himself by getting Michael promoted as well but Michael sabotages everything! The office is the best show ever!

These are all my books- I have John Locke and Karl Marx for political theory, and architecture books from last quarter’s History of Architecture. Troll Tales and All the World’s Reward are folktale books, and Strunk and White’s Elements of Style is my trusty book of writing tips for essays.

Here is a good shot of my desk itself, and I know what you’re thinking, “Man that looks really expensive!” I got this desk from my parents for free, and it actually came out of a library and was made in the 1920’s. It has some pretty cool woodwork but is pretty beat up. The boards that make up the top aren’t at the same level so I can’t write directly on it, but the desk has character! Even if the desk isn’t the most functional it is cool to have a piece of furniture that is made of real wood, handmade, and has been in your family for a long time. When I first moved into this desk I found paperwork from my grandpa in it and old pictures of him fishing which was really cool.

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eMentor Cribs: Desk Edition – Paige

This week, we asked our eMentors to give us a tour of their desks. What does your desk or study area look like?

This is Paige’s entry. Check out the other tours at the following links:

Jocelyn Kyle Manmeet Beza

Here’s my desk! It’s all nestled into the corner of my room by my window because I get the best light there.  I’ve found I hate sitting down at a desk and staring at the wall.  I pretty much need a window to look out every once and awhile or I go stir crazy, even when I’m in the library.

My current reading material.  I seem to have a running tally of books, articles, and journals going constantly.  I’m always either reading something for class, for fun, or for research.  The article at the very bottom of the stack is for my animal behavior class.  It is not my friend.  But when I finally decipher its finer points I will feel quite accomplished!  On a brighter note, I have a free subscription to the “Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology” because I’m a student!  Research articles are MUCH easier to read when you’re really interested in what they’re talking about.  Hilda Hurricane is my entertainment reading.  There is a great bookstore called Elliott Bay Book Company on Capital Hill (a neighborhood of Seattle) that I frequent all the time.  This particular author is famous in Brazil and it’s the first time one of his books has ever been translated into English.

My mom bought me this pen for Halloween 🙂 He is a vampire bird!  It’s still on my desk and I use it all the time.

My magazine rack.  I have a weakness for fashion magazines and coveting clothes I can’t afford.  Plus, I like Seattle Magazine.  I can always find new and awesome restaurants, parks, and events by going through my back issues every once in awhile.  I read the New Yorker when I feel like reading something that runs more on a social/political current.

I have a small tree that sits behind my desk.  The corner just seemed so empty and dark when I first moved in, so my dad bought me a little tree to liven it up.  It drops leaves all over the place which my cat proceeds to spread all over the apartment, but I still like it a lot.  Though, I definitely don’t water it as much as I’m supposed to.

I keep pictures on my desk because they make me happy.  When I’m fighting with my stats homework or feeling like deleting 6 paragraphs I’ve just written, looking up and seeing pictures of people I love makes me feel better.  And when I’m in a good mood, seeing those people just boosts me up even higher!

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