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The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


This is my favorite poem of all time. Having spent the first 18 years of my life living under a rock in regards to world knowledge, this was such an ideal vision for me. I finally got to put a little bit of it to my life when I moved to Vermont. I continue to be inspired by it, and emulate it’s vision in my own life.

What Makes Me: My Patch Jacket

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I am pretty well known for having this jacket that to this date has over 100 patches sewn onto it. It started in 2007 with my ethnicities, and expanded into other areas of my personality.

I like to say that it’s hard to accuse me of being fake, since I literally wear myself on me every day I put this on. This post is going to show all of the 100+ patches on the jacket, with references if I have another post related to them.

HERITAGE & PRIDE

THINGS ABOUT ME

POP CULTURE REFERENCES

 

LIFE LESSONS & FUNNY THINGS I BELIEVE

ALCOHOL REFERENCES

SEX REFERENCES

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Reviews: The Chocolate War

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The Chocolate War is one of my two all time favorite pieces of literature. (The other being Inherit The Wind) Now that I re-read it recently, I figured it’s time to write a post explaining how much this book means to me.

The Plot

The main storyline of the book revolves around high school freshmen Jerry Renault. It’s sometime in the 1980’s and he goes to a private Catholic school. Jerry has just experienced his mother passing away from cancer, and his father moved him out of their house and into an apartment because they couldn’t deal with the memories of her around every corner.

Jerry is a skinny kid but wants to be a football star someday, so he’s trying out for the team and pushing himself to succeed there.

Archie Costello is the antagonist, although there’s a handful of moments from his point of view. Archie acts as a ringleader in a gang in the school called the Vigils. The Vigils act as a “control” in the school – an underground organization that bullies kids into doing prank-like “assignments.” Archie is the one who creates the assignments and uses psychological warfare to make his victims carry out their tasks.

The conflict (and title of the book) arises when Archie assigns Jerry the task of refusing to sell Chocolates for 10 days in the annual school chocolate sale. Not wanting to be bullied, Jerry accepts the assignment but then continues to deny the Chocolate sale after his assignment is up. This causes other students to rebel against the sale, while unbeknownst to them the acting headmaster is counting on the sale to save the school and his own reputation.

Characters

Jerry Renault represents very accurately who I was when I was his age – 15. Jerry lived through his mother’s passing from cancer, I lived through my father’s passing from cancer at that age as well. Jerry was just starting to come into his sexuality, and I was just starting to understand mine at that point. Although Jerry went after girls, whereas I did not. Jerry starts with a poster in his locker that reads, “Do I dare disturb the universe?” Back when I was 15, I was so trapped in my own universe and had no concept of the real one outside my window. After I turned 18, I slowly began to disturb the universe, and move around in it, much like Jerry ends up doing over the course of the book.

I found myself relating to Jerry at my original reading of the book, but didn’t see just how similar he and I were at the time.

“The exhilaration of the moment vanished and he sought it in vain, like seeing ecstasy’s memory after jacking off and only encountering shame and guilt.”

All of the references to masturbation went completely over my head when I read this in 8th grade, but they are glaringly obvious to me now. This book follows teenage boys just developing into their sexuality, and I came into my own about 2 years after I first read this book.

Archie is more complicated. Whereas Jerry is a freshman, Archie is a senior, and closer to 18. Archie has a much more adult mentality.

“Archie believed in always doing the smart thing. Not the thing you ached to to, not the impulsive act, but the thing that would pay off later. That’s why he was the assigner. That’s why the Vigils depended on him.”

Archie strikingly reminded me of Draco Malfoy the first time I read the book, and he still does to this day. Archie is a true Slytherin type – resourceful with a disregard for the rules. Archie is also a puppet master, able to adapt any chaos thrown at him and control everyone and everything around him. The 15-year-old Lukas saw him as a villain, but the present Lukas sees where that kind of personality is truly a life skill to have. While Archie is obviously not a Harry Potter character, he’s a Slytherin I relate to in present day. Many times throughout the book he feels the controlling thought of “I am Archie, I cannot fail.” Another one of Archie’s lessons, from the sequel, Beyond The Chocolate War:

“The point is nobody’s perfect. There’s always a flaw. A secret. Something rotten. Everybody has something to cover up. The nice man next door is probably a child molester. The choir singer a rapist. Look at all the unsolved murders. Which means the man standing in line next to you could be a murderer. Nobody’s innocent.”

Much of Milo Yiannopulous reminds me of Archie, which is probably a subconscious reason why I’m so drawn to Milo as a person/speaker. Archie also strongly reminds me of Kai Hiwatari, an anime character I idolized during my high school and early college years. Archie has a lot of lone wolf characteristics in him; to quote from the sequel Beyond The Chocolate War:

“No response, no echo. Which is what he wanted; to be alone, separate from the others, untouchable except by the knowing hands and mouths of the girls at Miss Jerome’s.”

Also:

“Archie realized anew why he kept himself distant from people. Let them approach a bit and they come too close, take too many liberties.”

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Themes & Motifs

More of Archie’s thoughts:

“It was good to have people hate you – it kept you sharp.”

And Archie’s thoughts from the sequel, Beyond the Chocolate War:

“Everybody likes the smell of his own shit.”

Archie pulls some thoughts out of the mentality from another book I enjoy, Lord Of The Flies. He speaks the following to the leader of the Vigils, Carter:

“You see Carter, people are two things: greedy and cruel. So we have a perfect setup here. The greed part – a kid pays a buck for a chance to win a hundred. Plus fifty boxes of chocolates. The cruel part – watching two guys hitting each other, maybe hurting each other, while they’re safe in the bleachers. That’s why it works Carter, because we’re all bastards.”

This mentality plagued the characters of Lord Of The Files as well. I was still very much an innocent little kid when I first read this in 8th grade, but I’ve definitely seen too much of the world to deny this thought on my own now. I’ve seen the overwhelming greed and cruelty from far too many people at this point, it really makes you lose faith in your fellow human. I’d even add to this: distracted. While people watching at the airport during the holiday season in 2016, I saw the vast majority of people only looking at their phones, or so wrapped up in their moments that they were leaving bags unattended, or dropping things and just walking away. Every day I see people fail to read documents agreeing to financial transactions that they don’t bother to even look at. People give their credit cards over the internet to criminals and scams that they don’t even realize are fake. I’ve seen people kill & hurt over their greed and desire for drugs. Forensic FilesNumb3rs, and other crime shows reveal so much about the negative side of the human psyche.

The 2016 election (and it’s consequences) has been a great example of so many people devoting their lives to their political beliefs, wearing them on their shoulders, having a self-righteous attitude about them, but then refusing to act when it comes time to vote, or work gracefully with others when their team has lost. (I used to be that person once upon a time.) In particular, the UC Berkeley riots over Milo were gut-wrenching to read about.

I have seen so much that people complain about problems in the world, but are doing absolutely nothing to change them. Too many have come to believe that sharing a picture on Facebook will feed a starving person, fill up a blood donation bank, get someone trapped in an abusive relationship to safety, get someone off their drug addiction, and so much more. If you want to see good things happen in the world, you have to go out and do good. You really do have to be the change you wish to see in the world.

Humanity has good moments, but as life continues these moments get increasingly rare. I have a harder time each passing year believing that people will do the right thing.

Carter’s reaction to Archie’s explanation:

“Carter disguised his disgust. Archie repelled him in many ways but most of all by the way he made everybody feel dirty, contaminated, polluted. As if there were no goodness at all in this world. And yet, Carter had to admit that he was looking forward to the fight, that he himself had bought not one, but two tickets.”

Even Jerry realized what Archie’s mentality does when it infects people:

“A new sickness invaded Jerry, the sickness of what he has become, another animal, another beast, another violent person in a violent world, inflicting damage, not disturbing the world but damaging it. He had allowed Archie to do this to him.”

Jerry has started his journey in the book with a poster in his locker that had the phrase, “Do I dare disturb the universe?” Jerry ponders this before deciding to take his refuse the chocolates assignment further than he was supposed to, thus going against the Vigils gang and disturbing the universe that is Trinity School.

Other characters’ views of the world are ripped apart by Archie and Brother Leon, the teacher who is the grown-up version of Archie. From the mind of another student, who was just blackmailed by the acting headmaster:

“And he did see-that life was rotten, that there were no heroes, really, and that you couldn’t trust anybody, not even yourself.”


I do like to hope though, that I don’t make people feel dirty, contaminated, & polluted. Archie falls into the evil side of the spectrum because he uses this outlook on life to inflict harm onto others. For me, I take this worldview and use it as a way to find compassion for others. We all have our sins to bear, our battles to fight, or opponents to defeat. I have a dim view of humanity these days, and it makes those who are kind, loving, and warm all the more special.


Another bully at the school, Emile Janza has a moment where he describes his view of people & life:

“He found that the universe was full of willing victims, especially kids his own age…….Nobody wanted trouble, nobody wanted to make trouble, nobody wanted a showdown. The knowledge was a revelation. It opened doors. You could take a kid’s lunch, or even his lunch money and nothing usually happened because most kids wanted peace at any price.”

Emile is one of the more true villains in the story. He inflicts brutal beatings on other kids, and is the physical torment to compliment Archie’s psychological torment to others in the school. Emile is the kid I was always scared to run into when I was young, and still fear to an extent even now.

Another thought Jerry has about the universe and the people within it (about his father in this particular example):

“Listening to his father’s snores, he thought of how his father was actually sleeping his life away, sleeping even when he was awake, not really alive…..What was it the guy on the common had said the other day?….You’re missing a lot of things in the world.”

This strongly sums up how I feel much of this world is, even more so today than I did when I first read it. Jerry sees that his father is worse than just grieving over the loss of his wife/Jerry’s mother, but going so far as to have become an empty shell in life. Part of what makes me a UU is to listen to the life stories of others and hear them talk about their dreams, their hopes, their passions. I’ve met people who, like Jerry’s father is portrayed in Jerry’s mind, have no passion. They are walking through lives as an empty shell. They have no desire, no energy.

Harry Potter teaches us to pity those who are incapable of love (i.e. Voldemort’s of the world), The Chocolate War shows that it’s also the people with no souls & passions for life that need to be loved and cared for as well.

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The Chocolate War resonates with me just as strongly now as it did back in 2001. Many of the life views it shows are ones I’ve been carrying with me for some time now, and will continue to do so.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Thoughts: Life After Vermont

Vermont has been everything that I dreamed it would be. But I am not destined to spend the rest of my life here.

I’m going to start with the positives. Vermont has brought me out of my comfort zone, and opened my mind to new ways of looking at life. I came here claiming it’s the “Wisconsin of the north east” and while I still believe that, there are a ton of differences here that I never envisioned. The hospitality and warmth of the people here is just as much as that famous “Midwestern hospitality” that I grew up with. I’ve met some great folks who have taken me under their wings and shown me some beautiful things about this state.

Vermont’s beauty truly rivals the beauty that I loved so dearly of central Wisconsin. Everything that I thought I would experience as a resident of Waupaca I feel as though I have experienced here. Vermont ended up satisfying the “countyside” in me so much that I’ve started to yearn for a bigger city.

I managed to finally achieve something higher than my high school diploma. CCV was a wonderful experience, and while I didn’t “Bianca Del Rio” it, I came fairly close.

UVM would have been wonderful. But unfortunately things didn’t work out. Two different departments advised me that the only way to get in-state tuition at UVM was if I submitted a birth certificate from Vermont, a marriage license from Vermont, or a property deed from Vermont. Because I didn’t have any of those, tuition would have been $19,000 per semester for me. I applied for private loans, knowing the big hole that would put me in (roughly $82,000 for two years worth of school!) and in the end I was denied. What I take away from the experience was that I was still accepted to UVM, so a public ivy league was willing to give me a chance. For the longest time I never believed I was capable of anything big, at it was a nice glimmer of hope. It gave me a renewed sense to try again.

The gay community here is so much smaller than Milwaukee. It’s also much closer knit than Milwaukee or even Chicago’s was. I can definitely appreciate that everyone knows each other but at the same time, it’s hard to break into that circle. I was also a little disappointed to find that the annual Pridefest in a state that has practically led the nation in LGBT equality was only a single Sunday afternoon, compared to the whole three-day weekend that Milwaukee throws each year. Again, I would imagine that it has more to do with the smaller community than anything else.

So what’s next?

For the longest time I was looking at Portland, Oregon. I made several references to moving there and was following some local news. It seemed like the perfect fit. What killed my interest in it however, were the riots that broke out there after the 2016 election. The fact that so many people would cause so much ruckus and harm over Trump, while they admitted they didn’t vote in the election just left a sour taste in my mouth. The other piece that Portland was missing was the concept of me finishing a bachelor’s degree.

When I came to Vermont, I wasn’t honestly sure how my education was going to play out. I knew that CCV was my first stop no matter what because of my record at Parkside, but I honestly didn’t have a plan for what to do when I got to UVM. Finding out that Business required Calculus just to qualify for the major, I panicked and tried to come up with plan B. Luckily, I really started to enjoy my time at my first hotel, and started to wonder if there was something more too it. When I got to really taste the hospitality industry at the Hilton level, I really started to believe more and more that this could be the kind of career advancement I have been searching for.

I just wanted to quickly add: when I lost my spot at UVM, I definitely had a good long thought about even trying to finish my bachelors. I have been disappointed in myself for not finishing in 4 years, although I’m comforted to know that it’s becoming the national average for 20-year-olds to spend more than 4 years working on their degree. What changed my mind about it was actually a book I read in my final year at Parkside, titled What Is The Purpose Of A Banana? It’s written by a man who went for his doctorate degree, just to prove he could do it. Obviously a bachelor’s degree would open up so many doors for me, but I’ve reached the point in my life where I want to prove to myself that I can finish my bachelor’s more than what the degree can do for me.

All my hotels had planted the idea in my head of going for a bachelor’s in hospitality management. UVM didn’t offer that program, and the closest they could come would have been Parks, Rec, & Tourism. Not a bad program, but considering the price tag it wasn’t going to be worth it. I found out that both of the hotels closest to my heart had founders with colleges named after them. Days Inn, started by Cecil B Day is reflected in the Cecil B Day School of Hospitality Administration at Georgia State University, and Conrad Hilton is honored in the Conrad Hilton School Of Hospitality Management at the University of Houston.

Now, both of these colleges are located in the South. Everyone who has met me knows how important having four seasons is a year is to me, and going to either of these colleges would break a 28+ year mental tradition. While I have absolutely enjoyed my experience with Days Inn, I am more attracted to the luxury of the Hilton brand. Houston is a far bigger city compared to Atlanta. Tuition for the Hilton College of Management is actually thousands of dollars less expensive than the Cecil B Day College. Hilton offers so much more to it’s own employees as well. There’s a reason they have consistently won the Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For award. I keep telling anyone who asks that my experience at Hilton Garden Inn is “my Drag Race” and “this is my going on TV to compete for $100,000.” I think that getting the Hilton College stamp of approval & bachelor’s degree would be me “winning” my “Drag Race.”

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From this, I’ve been doing a scan of the Houston area. I’ve been asking the exact same questions I asked myself 4 years ago about Vermont: Can I live here? Would I be happy here? What does this area have that I don’t have here? What is the purpose in moving there? And so on, and so on. No matter what, I know that when I leave Vermont I want it to be a completely new-to-me area of the country. I want to go through the experience of starting at square one and building myself up again. It’s a challenge that I think has really shaped my ability to be an adult, and I want to grow like that again. I can already tell you which places I’d like to work at in Houston, I have three different apartment finding apps giving me a general feel for the cost of rent, and I’m looking into daily life like grocery stores and gas stations I’d be frequenting. I’m also watching the weather forecasts there regularly enough to get a feel of what it’s really like.

Being Houston, the events I’d want to see would all likely be making a stop there – The Welcome To Nightvale live shows, HUMP & Savage Love Live by Dan Savage, and live performances by more of the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race. All of these big shows that feel so out of reach to me in Vermont would become accessible again. I’ve even peeked in at the Houston UU church to get an idea of what being a regular member there would be like.

Furthermore, with my own political views shifting (note that I consider Milo Yiannopulous to be an icon of mine), Houston would be an ideal spot to grow on that more. Not that Vermont political parties aren’t active, but I feel like I’d have a more involved learning experience in volunteering for the Harris County parties. There’s also much more selection for community theaters in Houston as well, plus a wider range of professional theaters to enjoy. I’ve been patiently keeping my stage management days on hiatus, but I’d like to go back to them someday. Being in a hotel where I’d have a set schedule (of sorts) I also feel like I’m in the right industry to go back into community theater again. I still stand by that it’s a great hobby to stage manage, since it wasn’t going to be a career for me.

In an ideal world, I’d like to celebrate my 30th birthday at the start of my post-Vermont life. Since 30 opens the door to a new decade, I’d like that decade to start in a new location for me.

And that’s where I currently stand on my future.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Inspirations: Michelle Visage

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The show may be called RuPaul’s Drag Race, but it’s honestly Michelle Visage that I look up to more on the judge’s panel. Nothing against RuPaul, but Michelle is someone that I see myself relating to more and wanting to emulate.

Michelle Visage is fierce. Most queens tend to be scared of her more when they first get started because they all know that she will call them out on their crap if they don’t give it their best each and every time. At the same time, she’s also very encouraging to anyone who is showing off their talent. The two moments that particularly stand out to me in her role as a judge are with Chi Chi Devayne and Ben De La Crème. In “New Wave Queens” as Chi Chi was complaining about being poor and not having the money, Michelle stops her excuses and reminds her that the show is meant to lift everyone up, and be the best they can be. She also reminds Chi Chi that you have to put in the work and look harder at thrift stores and other places if you don’t have as much money to pour into your career.

Ben De La Crème is one of the famous “I feel like we’re hiding behind another costume….I don’t think we know who you really are” stories. Michelle calls Ben on it during “Glamazon by ColorEvolution” and expands on this critique during “Drag Queens Of Comedy.” The idea of being vulnerable and versatile is such a running theme of what the judges look for in the contestants, that Bianca Del Rio used it as a famous joke in the episode “Drag Queens Of Comedy.” Both of those two concepts are things I strive for in my personal and professional life, and the better I get at them, the higher I climb.

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Michelle Visage is always able to back up any critiques she has of the queens, and makes hundreds if not thousands of references to various aspects of pop culture going back into the 50’s and 60’s. This comes from her background in radio and the groups she ran with in New York. She goes into great detail on this in her book, The Diva Rules, available on Amazon and Audible.

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Another life aspect that Michelle Visage has opened up about is the plastic surgery she has gone through. She’s expressed regret for how her breast implants have gone wrong and caused medical difficulties for her, but at the same time she does not blast the concept of having plastic surgery as a whole. I enjoy her candid conversations with RuPaul on their podcast about getting cosmetic work done, particularly since I have had one of my own and have been very seriously considering getting another liposuction.

Michelle Visage acts as a mother to the Dag Race cast as they tour the world. She often compares taking care of the Drag Race cast on the BOTS tour to caring for her own two daughters. I see myself as a motherly figure to my friends, and have often see myself as a mother figure to children of my own someday in the future. Michelle is a great representation of the kind of mother I’d like to be.

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Michelle Visage echoes many people who have given me life advice, and pushed me to make a better life out of my own. I cannot express enough how important it is to have that teacher and mentor in one’s life – to get you to grow and do better. That’s the very reason why I document that here on this blog and have a whole category of people and characters who help me to be a better person.

I’ve seen Michelle Visage live once, for Milwaukee Pride 2016. Someday I plan to buy the VIP Meet & Greet package for the BOTS tour and shake her hand to thank her in person.

Thank you Michelle Visage, for being an inspiration!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Reviews: TripAdvisor

This is a collection of mentions of my work on:TA_550x370

Enjoy!

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My Thoughts: Hotel Industry

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I have ambitions of managing a hotel. My background puts all the pieces together to equal a luxury brand. I have worked in restaurants as a host, busser, and trainer for all front of house such as serving and bartending as well. I have worked for a home cleaning maid service, so I understand that aspect. And now I work the front desk at two different hotel chains, so I’m building my experience on that end as well. While my experience and bachelor’s degrees are being built in Vermont, I have plans to move out of state upon attaining my degree, so I’ll be presenting the statistics for my target geographical job areas as well.

Hotel management has a wide variety of options open to me. Hotels have various markets and brands, from economy level for the budget conscious, to the luxury and five star levels. Hotels can also vary from motels (where cars are parked outside of individual guest rooms) to casinos, to managing guests on a cruise ship. Hotel General Managers also often own other rental properties such as apartments and condominiums, which can be another source of revenue for their business. The American Hotel And Lodging Association, a trade association for hotels and the lodging industry claims that in 2013 there were nearly 53,000 hotel properties in the industry. Each one of those properties has anywhere from one to several managers, depending on corporate chain standards to independent hotels that only need the single manager. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that both Vermont and Oregon are in the range of 210-420 hotel management positions in the state. As hotels are more clustered in urban areas, this is also where most positions are available. Because Oregon has Portland, the 24th most populous city in the country, Portland, Oregon has more opportunities than Burlington, Vermont.

Hotel management is less strict about requiring a college degree to perform the job functions. Instead, a bachelor’s or master’s degree will give me the option to negotiate a higher salary with the company that I would work for. The higher I climb in the organization from manager to owner, the more academic skills are necessary to accomplish the job requirements. While a low-level manager might be expected to write the staff schedule and train staff, a general manager or owner would be more responsible for accounting and financial management and marketing of the property. Many of these skills can be attained through on-the-job training in lieu of a formal degree. Payscale.com indicates that the education and experience that is most valuable to increasing salary is budget management. Hotel managers whose strength is budgeting, and more than ten to fifteen years of experience are the managers who push the higher end of all salaries, in the $90,000 to $100,000 annual salary.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2014 median pay for a lodging manager was $47,680 per year or $22.93 per hour. Entry level-education was only at a high school diploma or equivalent. There were more than 48,000 jobs with that title available, and the outlook for job growth 2014-2024 was 8%, which is average for all occupations. While Oregon has more opportunities for hotel managers, Vermont offers a slightly higher average salary outlook. The median salary for a hotel manager in Oregon in 2015 was $57,640 and in Vermont it was $58,630.

Because hotels are generally open 24 hours, evening and weekend work is very common for a hotel manager. Stress is common in this field because of the hours worked, and the pressures of having a manager title. What lays the foundation for my skillset in this field is my background of doing stage management in high school, at my first college for 2 years, and my experience in stage management at a semi-professional theater just outside of Milwaukee for 4 years. Stage management teaches the basic management skills such as time management, effective communication, and file organization. Academically, I am building on that with an associate’s degree in Business management, and plan to get a bachelors degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism from the University of Vermont. When I think of a luxury hotel, it generally has a bar and restaurant inside of the building with the rooms and pool and other amenities. In addition to my experience working the front desk for two different hotels concurrently, I have worked as a host and busser in one restaurant, and certified trainer for all front of house positions in another. I have worked as a maid in home cleaning service for nearly two years. While Merry Maids is house cleaning instead of housekeeping, the skillset transfers over into hotel room cleaning. I’ve worked in every aspect that a hotel can offer for over at least a year in each capacity.

In addition to my work experience, I plan to be certified by the American Hotel & Lodging Association for general management. They offer an online program that I can complete at a discount during my time as a student at the University of Vermont. Having the trade association stamp of approval gives more depth to what potential employers would be looking for from me. Furthermore, my current general manager has offered to help train me in this capacity as well. My general manager is responsible for three properties, two of which fall under the Wyndham brand umbrella, and the third property is independent to Colchester, Vermont. I plan to supplement my experience at the two brand hotels with exposure to the independent hotel and compare and contrast the differences.

What’s the best way to stay abreast of hotel trends? Add a bunch of apps to my phone!

I’ve become very familiar with utilizing the following on a 24 hour notification basis:

  • Direct Bookings using my employer Branded Apps (HHonors/Wyndham)
  • TripAdvisor as the #1 Hotel Review Website
  • Online Travel Agents such as Expedia and Priceline
  • Admin Apps for Expedia Reservations (EPC) & Booking.com Admin app (Pulse)
  • Hotel Meta Search Engines such as Kayak and Trivago
  • Hotel Coupon Sites

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Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie


This post was originally submitted as a Case Study for my Business Capstone course at CCV.

 

What Makes Me A Health Advocate

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My keyword for 2016 (and beyond) is health. I’ve been ignoring my own for a while, and it shows. This post can only cover so many things in one go, but I’ll give it a try!

Issues I care about:

Vaccination

As someone who was vaccinated on time after I was born (plus having a mom whose professional title is registered nurse!), I’m an advocate for vaccinating children on time. It’s been scientifically proven to curb the spread of curable diseases. Vaccines do not cause autism. Raw Story refutes 6 common Anti-Vax myths.

A friend of mine wrote a book on this subject, and she can defend it better than I can. Check out her book here. Mark Zuckerberg has a book from his club that talks about it.

I believe that anti-vaccination advocates are conspiracy theorists.

Obesity, Proper Nutrition & Physical Fitness

Body image is something that I’ve struggled with since 2001. I am obese, and have been since roughly the 7th grade. While I have sympathy for the “body acceptance movement” I do agree that obesity is still something we need to fight against, and the epidemic continues to grow (pun intended).

With that being said, I feel that it’s an ocean of opposing forces working against getting a healthy body. I have personally experienced how difficult it can be to fight sugar addiction, such as not drinking soda any more. This is at the core of why I believe that corruption has influenced corporate food service. It’s a scary thing to realize that 10 companies control almost everything that we consume in the name of food. What’s scarier is that the market for gyms and fitness centers is so focused on profits that it’s not so much about getting people healthier, but just trying to make a profit. There’s an internet meme that says:

Don’t write one more post about obesity until you can explain to me why a salad costs $7 and a hamburger costs $1.

I can completely understand this. My wallet thanks me when I choose to buy cheap junk food instead of pricey organic vegetables. Furthermore, I’m not a skilled chef in the kitchen, so I’m very unaware of all the great recipes for vegetarian dining out there.

I believe in more awareness of local farmer’s markets and spreading great vegetarian full course options.

HIV and STI awareness

STI rates are skyrocketing. And it’s not just gay men. I feel like not just the millennial generation, but the population as a whole has gone completely flazèda when it comes to safe sex. Honestly, I don’t even have words to offer about what to do, since the current concept of “safe sex education” seems to have ground to a halt when it comes to effectiveness.

For gay men over 40, it’s as if we’ve come back from a war that was far away and distant to most Americans even as it was happening — not unlike the actual wars we’ve experienced in this country in the past decade. -Michelangelo Signorile

I think most people under the age of 35 have forgotten the major AIDS crisis, and the number of lives it claimed. There’s a disconnect where today’s generation feels like it’s all just history now.

Proper Sleep

These days it’s too easy to lose sleep. Our several screens are keeping us awake, in addition to the rest of life’s problems that we constantly worry about. It’s occurred to me that even by having a TV in the bedroom also contributes to the problem. It’s so obvious that sleep is very important to each and every one of us out there. Sleep deprivation is a health hazard.

I used to hate the following quote, now I find it not only accurate, but I believe in it:

“I’m very proud if Grindr has forced us to up up our game. To brush our teeth. Comb our hair. Eat right. Go to the gym. Be a healthy person. Cut back on the smoking. Cut back on the bad things and look your best. We’re men. We visualize. We see before we hear, before we think, before we do anything else. That’s how we are. I haven’t changed that. That’s what our evolution has taught us to do. I certainly go to the gym more because of Grindr. I’m competing with the guy a space away from me on that grid.” – Joel Simkhai, CEO of Grindr, speaking to Michelangelo Signorile.

I’m sure I’ll be adding more to this in the months to come.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie