Thursday, August 20, 2015

Memories Made


              With college quickly approaching, I must take some time to reflect on my past summer. I think of the memories that I have made, the friendships that I have started, but most of all, the “lasts” of my high school career. Such as the last time I will hang with my classmates of 2015 or even the last time I will participate in a conference. These are the memories that I cherish, but each one has a distinct thought provoking question behind them.
                On late nights I enjoy hanging with my friends. These friends could be the ones that I have had throughout my high school career, the ones that I met through my work experiences at Pizza Hut, or the ones that made a difference in my life this past year. I have made many memories with these friends, but my favorite of all is making late night runs to IHOP. With these late nights comes great food, deep talks, and most of all a tiring morning. These are the times that I cherish because not only do I get to enjoy great pancakes, but I get to become closer with my friends. This is where the “last” comes into play. One of my best friends is heading to Tabor next year and the likeliness of both of us seeing much of each other is slim to none. Our last late night he stated to me, “Karl, I’m going to miss you. We both have great friends, but as of now if we were to get married you would be my best man.” I was shocked. How do I answer back to something like that? All I kept thinking was this is the end, this is the final time I will have that deep conversation with a trusted friend.
                Could I have done anything different with my time with my friend? Of course I could of, but I wouldn’t in a heartbeat. Every memory that I made is something that I will never forget. My piece of advice is to cherish the memories that you make. Life goes by quickly and if we don’t take some time to “smell the roses” then we truly haven’t enjoyed the life that we have. I have made a lot of memories with my friends, and I have made cherished memories away from home at conferences.
                I went to many conferences throughout my lifetime, such as Washington Leadership Conference (WLC), State Presidents Conference (SPC), and State Conference for Chapter Leaders (SCCL), as well as many others. I absolutely love conferences! With my outgoing personality, making friends is a must. At all of these conferences I learned important skills and made friendships that will last a lifetime. A very interesting lesson I have learned is how networking contributes to most of the individuals I see throughout my lifetime. An individual I met from Iowa at WLC, I met again at a conference this year. The friends I made at SCCL throughout my two years as a chapter officer, I still keep in touch with to this day and see throughout the regions of Kansas. Why are these conferences so important to me? The skills that I learn are many, but the networking that I achieve could help further me in my life goals.
                You never know when that member at SCCL or that friend you make at WLC could be your coworker or even your boss. It is important that wherever I go I display a positive image and step out of my shell and meet new people. The more and more I meet new people, the less and less I feel uncomfortable with trying new things and starting the conversation with random strangers. As I am finishing up, I would like to share a few interesting facts about myself.



Fishing is my favorite hobby; doesn’t matter what time of day, I will always be up to fish. If you ask me, I believe I am a phenomenal cook. Although I do not cook as much as I should, when I do I am excited to see the faces of the individuals I am cooking for. I cherish my family and friend. I always put them before myself no matter what situation. Finally, I have an extreme interest in quantum physics and the M-theory, which leads to why I absolutely love science and math courses. The picture to the left is one of my proudest chemical compounds that I made in my AP chemistry class. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas


Around Christmastime, each family has its own traditions whether it’s decorating the Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols, baking delicious treats, or trading secret Santa gift. In my family, it’s a tradition to watch the Charlie Brown special on each holiday with our favorite being A Charlie Brown Christmas. From Lucy’s antics and the iconic Charlie Brown Christmas tree to the all-cast Christmas carol at the end, this special show warms my heart every time I watch it. One of my favorite scenes from this episode is when Linus tells Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas:
 
 

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night, and lo the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid, and the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, tis Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

The older I have gotten, the more I have appreciated Christmas for its true meaning as well as for the time spent with family. Giving becomes more valuable than receiving and the little things in life get a little bit bigger.

As Kris Kringle tells us in Miracle on 34th Street, “Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a frame of mind.” Around this time of year, we see the good in people emerge everywhere we go. If I could have one Christmas wish come true, it would be to see more of that kindness happen throughout the year. You never know when one small act of kindness could turn an entire day around for someone else. Try it one week. Each day, challenge yourself to do something nice for somebody else and expect nothing in return. You may just feel like the Grinch when he gets all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Blessings to you and your family on this special day!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Are we human or are we dancer?


Yes, you read that right. When I first saw the lyrics yesterday morning in my cultural anthropology class, I thought there was a typo. It should say “dancers” not “dancer,” right? Wrong. Here is an excerpt from the song by The Killers:

Pay my respects to grace and virtue

Send my condolences to good

Hear my regards to soul and romance

They always did the best they could

 

And so long to devotion

You taught me everything I know

Wave goodbye, wish me well

You've gotta let me go

 

Are we human or are we dancer?

My sign is vital, my hands are cold

And I'm on my knees looking for the answer

Are we human or are we dancer?

Many people figured it was a typo due to the artists’ poor English and just enjoyed the song, but not for its intended purpose. If we truly listen to what the entire song is saying, we will discover that the question The Killers pose is a rather deep one. Are we human or are we dancer? Are we truly experiencing life and all it has to offer or are we going through the motions like a puppet on strings?

They cause us to think about what we are doing with our day-to-day lives. What in our lives has such a control over us that we forget to enjoy life itself? Maybe it’s our goal of getting straight A’s, an obsession with sports, a high value on personal image, the want for money and power… The list could go on forever. This cycle isn’t one that is easy to break, and sometimes it is almost impossible. What we can do, though, is remember what makes us enjoy life and what we can do to remind others of those same things. This could mean going on a random Sonic run with a friend, putting true passion into our chapter service project, or just taking a moment to sit outside with Mother Nature and breathe.

I challenge you to consider, are you human or are you dancer? If you’re dancer, what are you going to do to become human? If you’re human, what are you going to do to help others be human? This task will be simple for some, but harder for others. This next week, some of us will be given the chance to be “human” while at National Convention. Members from across the nation, all with different backgrounds, will be coming together in Louisville. Let’s make the most of that opportunity as well as the ones we encounter every day!


Kansas FFA, are we human or are we dancer?

(To hear the entire song, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4jR9P9YJGo)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Uno, Ein, Jeden, Amháin: One


The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is all over social media sites. In this challenge, people dump ice cold buckets of water on themselves or they must donate money to support amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research. Some say it has reached the point of annoying, but there is one point that can’t be argued… the challenge has accomplished its purpose. The ALS Association reported that they have received more than $15 million in donations (in addition to ALS awareness) because of the challenge, but how did it all begin? With one person: 29 year-old ALS patient, Pete Frates. The challenge kicked off with athletes in the Boston-area and it has exploded from there. In the beginning, the act of dumping cold water on yourself might not seem very powerful but the impact can be clearly seen.

This doesn’t mean that we all need to start daring challenges to raise awareness for one of our passions. As FFA members, we are the future of agriculture and there are countless ways for us to support it. We can share pictures of how we properly care for our animals, keep ourselves up-to-date with current issues in agriculture (and then share that information!), and do our best to carry out a chapter, district, or state service project. Sometimes we feel like we can’t do much as one individual, but our actions can start a ripple effect that can reach farther than we ever dreamed.
 
Two of my good friends, Nicollette and Savannah, have taken something they are passionate about and made it bigger than themselves. Nicollette started an event at our high school called Trojans Helping Trojans. Southeast of Saline HS clubs and organizations donate gift packages to be put into a silent auction. The event is held in conjunction with the school play so supporters can eat a meal, bid on items, and then enjoy the work of students at the play. T-shirts can also be purchased. The funds raised from the event are given to Trojan families in need of help. Savannah teamed up with one of her friends to host the Smiles for Mija Summer Splash. The day was filled with swimming, volleyball, raffles, live music, and t-shirt sales to raise funds for Mija Stockman who was in a tragic car accident in 2013. Both events were big successes because someone did something they felt passionate about.

I challenge us all to pinpoint one of our passions and then do something it, but we must remember it doesn’t have to be the biggest feat to leave a big impact. I’ll close out this blog with one of my favorite stories:
A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.
The young boy asks, “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die,” the old man replies.
“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all. You can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”
The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”

Kansas FFA, how will you make a difference?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Opportunity

“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.”
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.                                       

It is hard for me to believe that a month has already flown by! I feel that the quote above describes a lot of what has been going on in my life. If we aren't willing to take a risk, we will never reap the rewards of an opportunity. What an opportunity this year has already been!

State Conference for Chapter Leaders was a blast! I had a great time meeting with members and watching everyone get excited for the coming year. This year we have countless opportunities to pursue in FFA. Some opportunities will be easy for us to take while others will have to be “danced” with before we are ready. If we are willing to risk boldly to grow ourselves and our chapters, we will be able to see the benefits of those opportunities!

Just today, I had the opportunity to go on my first motorcycle ride. Flying down the interstate at 75 miles per hour was a little nerve-wracking at first, but once I got accustomed to the feeling, I was having a ball! I am glad I took the chance to try something new and get outside of my comfort zone. On a day like today, we also have the opportunity to give a special thanks to the men and women that have and continue to declare and support our nation’s freedom!

Before I close out my first-ever blog post, I want to take the opportunity to share a little bit about me:
1.  I am from a family of five that I love. I have an older sister and a younger brother.

2. I love my mules, dogs, and cats. They are my babies.

3. If I can do something outdoors, I am probably doing it.
4. I can jam out to just about any music.
5. I LOVE FFA!


Thank you Kansas FFA for giving me the opportunity to serve you this coming year. I can’t wait to see what this year will bring for all members!

Kansas FFA, how will you get on the dance floor?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Thank You

Wow.  Reflecting back on the 86th Kansas FFA Convention, and my year of service for that matter, all I can say is wow.  So many incredible memories and moments that I will forever savor.  As I think about all of these memories and moments, I can't help think that this whole year has been made possible by so many who went above and beyond.  To all of those who have been a part of this past year, all I can say is thank you.

My Friends... Thank you for always being there for me- whether it was listening to tales of my travels and visits, helping me get things ready for a visit, talking to me on the phone (or even going with me!) when it looked like I was going to be getting back into Manhattan late.  You have been my family away from home and I can't thank you enough.

Garden City FFA... Mr. VenJohn, Mrs. Hensley, and all of my fellow members, the past four years with you have been the best four years of my life.  Thank you for being my supporters and cheerleaders, as well as some of my best friends.

My Professors... Thank you for being flexible when I had to miss class for a visit or a meeting or whatever.  My experience at K-State has been second to none and it's all because of you.

My Family... You've put up with me for almost 20 years, but this one has definitely been one for the history books.  Thank you for the constant texts to see if I was home yet, missing me because I wasn't home as often as all of us would have liked, and for always supporting me and encouraging me to pursue my dreams.

My Teammates... We entered this year as six acquaintances and somewhere between the road trips, jam sessions, and runs (which we all know I wasn't a fan of) we became a family.  I can't think of five other individuals who would have served Kansas FFA with more heart and dedication.  This year together has been such a pleasure.

Ms. Kane... Although a lot of your work is behind the scenes, you are the heartbeat of our Association and are what keeps it running.  You have been one of the best mentors and friends I could have ever asked for.  Kansas FFA is lucky to have you.

Kansas FFA Supporters...  Whether you're a donor, a volunteer, or even the parent of a member, you are truly the glue that holds our Association together.  No matter what or how much you give, you are appreciated.

Kansas FFA Advisors... Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your chapters over this past year.  You are enabling your students to accomplish all of their goals by equipping them with the skills needed for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

Kansas FFA Members... You are incredible.  Throughout my travels this year, I have been constantly amazed by the things you are accomplishing in your homes and communities.  I came into this year hoping that I would be able to impact you, but you have impacted me far beyond my wildest expectations.  You all constantly challenged me to get out of my comfort zone, work even harder, and be the best possible version of myself.  I believe you can all achieve anything that you set your minds to, and I can't wait to watch you all continue to attain your dreams.

There's no way to list out everyone who has impacted me over the past year, but know that I appreciate everything that has been done for me.  This past year was everything I could have ever dreamed it would be and then some.  Forever blue.

Living to serve,
Lindy Bilberry

PS- I enjoyed the opportunity to blog on here so much, that I have decided to start my own personal blog.  If you're interested in following it, check out itsLindyLou.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Value of a Good Friend

     This past Monday, my teammate Chance and I found ourselves in what had the potential to be the worst day ever. We were on our way to the Southwest District Banquet in Scott City (4 hours away) when the transmission went out in Chance’s truck. Here we were, two college kids broken down on the side of I-70 outside of Hays, America—about two hours from both Manhattan and Scott City—on a balmy western Kansas day, with blustering cold 65 mph winds. Our situation had all the makings of a disaster.
      In a desperate attempt to figure out what in the world we should do, Chance and I quickly gave a phone call to each of our parents. My dad reminded me that our family friend, Pete Weber, lived in Hays and told me that he would give Pete a shout. Within five minutes, Dad called me back and said that Pete was on his way. And, within ten minutes, Pete was calling me to see if he needed to bring a flatbed trailer and asking what else he could do to help us.
     Pete soon got there and we quickly loaded the truck on the trailer and headed to Enterprise to pick up a vehicle to take us to Scott City. James, the manager, went above and beyond to expedite the process as we picked up Fred the Ford Fiesta. We soon were on the road and ended up making it to Scott City on time for the banquet! Thank goodness!
    Our potentially horrible situation was made easier by a friend who was willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help us out. I’ve known Pete Weber for pretty much my whole life, and this actually wasn’t the first time that he’s had to bail a Bilberry kid out of a vehicle disaster (my brother Rusty hit a deer outside of Hays a few years ago). Pete probably had tons of other things he could have been doing that afternoon, but he was willing to drop everything and brave the less-than-ideal weather to help us out. Pete is living proof of the value of a good friend.
    Over the last year, I have been blessed with some wonderful people in my life. Whether it was my Louisburg gals, the great friends I’ve made here on campus, my teammates, my friends from back home, or my family, there has never been a shortage of people who have gone above and beyond when I needed help with a task, found myself in a pickle, or just needed someone to talk to.
     I hope that I can be that person to others. Take a second to think—do you go above and beyond when others find themselves in a bind? A lot of times we take, take, take, but are we remembering to give, give, give? Sometimes, in order to receive, we need to remember to first let others receive. Good friends are few and far between, but if we are willing to first be a good friend, we will find good friends. Help out others when they’re in a bind, even if it’s not the most convenient. Because of our friendship, Pete changed Chance and I’s situation from bad to good just by offering a helping hand.


Kansas FFA, let’s help others change their bad to good!