Back to the Basics

If you were to ask my family how I studied for exams and presentations during elementary and early middle school years, they’d probably cringe at the very thought of those oh so memorable years, right Mom?! You see, many of those pre-test-nights consisted of me bawling my eyes out laying faced down on the kitchen table literally suffering trying to memorize facts and those horrible irrelevant math word problems! My mom (who I’m pretty sure wanted to strangle me a few times during these melt downs) patiently tried to help me figure out new ways to study and when her patience ran out, in came the switch-a-roo and boom!…my older sister was there for the rescue, that was until she’d toss the papers in the air out of frustration and say, “Mom, it’s your turn.” Eventually, I learned my personal style of studying and once high school and college came around, I hardly ever asked for help and was always above a 3.0 GPA.

When I at last figured out writing in sections, dividing questions and answers in parts and circling and boxing in phrases was my style of remembering, I wasn’t surprised since after all, I’m a writer. I learned when I began writing down notes or key words that needed to be remembered, it was imprinted in my head. Once the test or presentation came, I was then able to visualize my study guide and know exactly there had been three key points about that one subject on the left hand side of my notes and four facts about the other topic underneath of it, circled. I remember multiple professors asking me during tests if I was okay since I’d have a burning look within my eyes staring at the whiteboard or at my classmate’s shirt, when in reality all I was doing was visualizing my notes. 

Over these past few months, I’ve had the great opportunity to discuss my personal beliefs on politics and world and local issues with my family that I feel I may be asked during pageant weekend. In my head, I’ve kept tabs on certain key points I’d like to hit just in case I am asked those questions but since almost anything is game, obviously that’s a whole lot of key points I’d need to store in my memory bank! Then, it dawned on me…why not keep a small journal of all my pageant related thoughts, beliefs and facts?! I knew this was going to be ideal for pageant weekend and I’d “study” and review everything throughout the weekend. Though I will not of course memorize everything word for word, I know having my journal will help reduce the nervousness. My journal will symbolize everything I’ve done thus far to make it to the pageant and it will be the ultimate reminder that I already have all of the answers…for my writing pieces are not ordinary things to simply be memorized;  they are what is written inside of my heart.



Shop ‘Till We Drop

During pageant weekend, we will privately be interviewed by a panel of judges, therefore; we must dress accordingly. During my sophomore year at San Jose State University, I joined Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc., a Latina organization priding ourselves in professionalism. As part of upholding one of our beliefs, we dress in professional wear all day long on our weekly chapter meeting days. During those times, I lived fairly close to campus but was always on the go needing to shoot, film and interview weekly stories for our campus wide news station, Update News*. For me, I found I could achieve all this running around best in perfectly cropped length trousers and a long sleeve buttoned up collared shirt accessorized with a fitted vest. As President of our chapter, I was expected to attend campus wide Greek Organization meetings and report back to my chapter with news and updates. Upon arriving to our meetings, I usually found myself rolling up my sleeves half way preparing myself before presenting to the membership and for unknown psychological reasons, I always felt more confident like that, mentally preparing to get dirty and down to business. As soon as I found out an interview outfit would be required for Miss California Latina, I already knew what my go-to outfit was going to consist of.

The other day my mom and I went window shopping for color and style inspiration. The business look is supposed to be professional yet give a glimpse of each woman’s personality. Though I have the ideal look set in my head, it’s now all about actually finding the pieces of articles. We visited a few stores but didn’t quite find exactly what I’m looking for which led to some disappointment but now that fall is just around the corner, I’m hoping my color choices will be easier to find. Though I do have one gorgeous business dress from Banana Republic that I do consider lucky (simply because I’ve worn it to various interviews/meetings and have always come out a winner) I’m choosing to go with the “men’s look” hoping I’ll stand out showing the judges that I wear the pants in the interview! 

*To view past video projects featured on Update News please visit my YouTube Channel:
Kassie P.





Scored Another One!

!Viva Mexico!…Mexico Lindo restaurant, that is! A few months ago, I had the opportunity to meet the owner, Lino, through a mutual friend. We exchanged contact information as he suggested we could possibly collaborate and both benefit from one another during this pageant experience of mine. After much discussion (and even a job offer) Lino generously agreed to cover the entire cost of my professional photographs and offered to have multiple fundraisers/meet-and-greets at the restaurant, in San Jose. Luckily for me, Lino is quite familiar with pageants as he has sponsored other women who have competed for multiple competitions.

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have all of these sponsors support me through this journey and I’m very excited to start promoting these businesses as much as possible! As of now, I thankfully have all financials covered by my sponsors but that doesn’t mean I won’t be on the lookout for sponsors in other categories, like beauty!

Kassie P.

New Month, New Ideas

To kick off the new month of May (which also means one month that much closer to the pageant) I decided it would be very crucial for me to get out in the community and get more exposure and support! Typing “Latino-related events” in Google’s search engine, I luckily came across many upcoming amazing festivals and events celebrating the Latin culture that the great city of San Jose is offering. I quickly pulled out my 8 x 10 pink 2013 monthly calendar (that goes everywhere with me) out of my purse and grabbed some lime green post-its to start jotting down the names of the events, locations, and times. Thankfully and according to my calendar, all of the events mentioned on the internet (except for four) did not interfere with any prior engagements. By the end of my internet research, I had filled three post-it stickies full of events I could make appearances at and attend.

Though as you know from past posts I have never participated in pageant-like events, I want to make this experience the best it can be and take advantage of all of the opportunities I will have this year. I’m very excited to get out in the community and promote Miss San Jose Latina with grace and class.


Kassie P.