Coming up to the end of semester, this is the fun time of year everyone looks forward to! (Please note my heavy sarcasm). Unfortunately, as is the case with every semester at any institution, a lot of things are due in the final week of classes. I personally have a research paper, an international studies presentation, a Spanish presentation (in Spanish, I should add!), a political science essay, a Spanish composition, a political science test, an Honors essay and a Spanish test all due within 100 hours of each other. That being said, I am a little sad to see this semester come to an end. I’ve really enjoyed this semester of classes. I’ll leave in two weeks nostalgic for the regimen of classes and learning, but eager to travel 10 000 miles home to see my family and friends again. But I’m sure that I’ll return next semester excited to continue this wonderful journey that is Loyola!
Last Wednesday Loyola’s Department of International Studies hosted the Consul of the Republic of Ireland, Aidan Cronin, who presented on the European economic crisis. This is one of a number of talks that Loyola hosts throughout the year, and it was a privilege to listen to such a senior member of the international community. Consul Cronin discussed the difficulty of acting within the European Union, given the significant sovereignty that each nation retained. However, he was also optimistic, both about the recovery of his native Ireland and for the reforms to the European Union, particularly standardized banking regulation. He also showed that he could laugh at himself after a Freudian slip, accidentally describing the only guns in Ireland being used to “shoot peasants.” It was a fantastic presentation, and I look forward to hearing from the other experts that Loyola can bring in. That is one of the great advantages of Loyola’s location in the City of Chicago, which is the hub of the Midwest for many nations’ diplomatic missions as well as attracting many dignitaries and businesspeople.
Also, this Thursday will be the final concert for the Fine and Performing Arts department, which I will be playing in (Yay! More things to do!). Despite the unfortunate timing, I really am looking forward to performing. Next semester, I am registered to take three one-credit-hour classes – Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and Applied Lessons. I was amazed when I came to Loyola and found out that I could take music ensembles for credit. While a common practice in the US, it is virtually unheard of in Australia. I love the fact that something I would be taking anyway I get academic recognition for here! One of the requirements for ensembles is attending a concert of a similar ensemble and writing a review of it. Again, a great benefit of being in Chicago is being able to attend such a variety of events. I was able to see the legendary Kurt Elling, supported by the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, performing the works of Cole Porter, and call it school work. Personally, I loved that. If you’d like, here is a review of that concert to find out more. I also am able to take advanced saxophone lessons from our Jazz Band director, Scott Burns. Scott has performed in so many places, and with so many people, that I can’t begin to describe it. If you would like, you can read about it here, and listen to excerpts from his CD here. I’m so privileged to have this opportunity, and Loyola’s music program, and its situation here in Chicago, makes that all possible.
That’s all from me for the moment. If you have any questions about Loyola life or the university, feel free to contact me!