Midwest Madness!

I’m finally winding down after an awesome week in Indiana and Illinois. Again, I would like to give mother nature a shout out for keeping the snow and ice away for the duration of my visit- much appreciated!

I started my tour of this area in Mattoon, Illinois. As you might have guessed, it’s a smaller town- which I’m growing to love because with smaller towns seem to come nicer people. I spent some quality time at the “McCafe” – coffee, free internet- what more could one need? Now, I don’t normally hang out at McDonald’s- quit frankly because most people just use the drive through or run in to use the restroom after long car trips. Not in Mattoon. This was the place to be, with families, friends and a super nice lady who picked up everyone’s tray once they were settled and talked to them about their day. How nice is that!? Don’t ever change Mattoon.

Just down the street from the uber friendly McDonald’s is Lake Land College. Girls Fight Back was the end program after a week of projects to promote campus safety. We had a great group of students come out and even members of the community, including local martial arts instructors who wanted to learn more about our mission. I had such a fun time with these students – thank you to Lori for bringing GFB to Lake Land.

My next stop was Center Grove High School in Indiana…but I had a few days in between so I took the opportunity to explore Chicago since I had never been. I found the coolest hotel close to downtown and the airport and it was super cheap( which is always good), so if you’re ever in the area I recommend this place.

I met up with Sam, a friend of GFB. We had dinner and did some major damage at Sephora on the Magnificent Mile. I should not be allowed to go there- seriously. I don’t need $30 lipstick! I barely ever wear lipstick! But guess who is the proud owner of this…oh and this.

After Chicago I drove out to Greenwood IN and Center Grove High School. This town reminded me of where I grew up and it was a nice place to end my week. I was ridiculously excited (and a little nervous) as this program was for the junior and senior girls- all 600 of them!! As soon as I was introduced they were screaming, cheering and ready to go- nerves went out the door and I had such an amazing time!

I challenged these students to tell at least 3 other people about trusting their intuition, being bad victims and fighting back….scary bad guys of Indiana- you’ve been warned!

Now, after a great time with exceptional people like those I mentioned above there is NOTHING more heartbreaking than to realize I forgot to take pictures!! It’s my weak point. I get so into the program that it sometimes slips my mind. Therefore, I’ve included an artist’s rendering of these wonderful individuals.

 

 

Yes. I said that…

So…sometimes I get a little ahead of myself and start telling a story that I think is funny. Then about midway through I realize this may not have been the best idea. This happened to me last week when I was giving the Girls Fight Back program at Lincoln College at Normal.

The program was taking place at the Student Commons and I walked in at the tail end of R.A. interviews. It totally brought me back to every interview I ever had in college, but mainly reminded me of the worst experience ever with my R.A. Let’s just say that it involved the boyfriend of the girl across the hall, intoxication, public urination, my brand new rug from Target and a really uncomfortable apology demanded by my R.A. I’m going to spare you all the full story (what happens in IL, stays in IL) – but I will make clear that it was not I who was intoxicated, urinating, or apologizing.

Anyway…

I had the best time with the ladies of Lincoln. The group was a little smaller, which I loved because it gave me more one on one time to learn about them and answer questions. We were also reminded why you never mess with the smallest person- I would certainly not want to be on the receiving end of any blows from the front and center blonde (you know who you are)  🙂

It’s really interesting hearing about the fears women have and talk through them. The students at Lincoln College definitely gave me some great topics to bring with me on my journeys! Thanks for having me…