Month: March 2012

Celebrity Sightseeing

Celebrity Sightseeing

Living downtown affords many opportunities, especially celebrity sightseeing.  Today was the third time I’ve seen E! host Giuliana Rancic, (also from Fashion Police) wandering about the Water Tower area.  She was with her husband Bill, who went to Loyola.  He was the first winner of the show The Apprentice.

Once, I saw The Edge and Adam Clayton from U2.  I was bummed not to see the rest of the band, but 2 out of 4 is not bad.

I also met Project Runway’s Tim Gunn at a book signing when Border’s was still around.

I had a friend who worked at Border’s and she got to see Vince Vaughn, and he is also known to frequent Blackhawks games.

I’m keeping my eyes peeled and my camera ready for more celebrity sightings!

Mass At Loyola

Mass At Loyola

I come from a Catholic family and while growing up I usually only went to mass when my mom would force me to wake up on Sunday mornings to go with her. As I grew up and entered my junior year of high school, she began to let me choose whether or not I wanted to go. My weekly attendance dropped a little after that but, for the most part, I continued to go; sometimes, just to make my mom proud of me.

So, when entering college and living on my own for the first time, I kind of expected that I would not attend church regularly. Not that living on my own automatically made me less religious, but I thought that without the encouragement of my mom I would choose to sleep in rather than go to church. Fortunately, I was very wrong.

After starting school I soon learned, to my surprise, that many of the friends that I had made went to church each week. After inquiring about it, I decided to join them the next Sunday, and have continued to go almost every week since.

I found out that the church on campus, Madonna Della Estrada, offers mass three times each Sunday: 10:30, 5:00 pm and 9:00pm. This makes it super easy to find a time that fits into your schedule. The chapel is right next to the IC and the library which makes it perfect on Sunday nights to take a break from studying at the library.

Mass at school is also an awesome experience because I attend it with many of my close friends. It is really cool to see each other in a different light while at mass and is a good way to connect deeper with friends. I love it!

Office Hours

Office Hours

Yesterday I dropped in to see one of my favorite professors at the School of Communication, “Admiral” Ralph Braseth.  Making lasting connections with professors is important for a number of reasons.  You will eventually need references, letters of recommendation, or they will have connections that might not be able to make on your own.  Part of the reason I got my internship at the SoC was because of the great things Braseth said on my behalf!  I’m very grateful!

Now, however, I’m seeking more serious advice about post-graduation plans.  What is most impressive about talking with this professor is the commitment he makes to all his students, even those who have graduated.  Since I know I want to stay in the business of journalism, at least in the next couple of years, Braseth offered to help with some of the necessary networking.

I have a few options I need to think about at this point, but I can definitely take comfort in knowing that once I’ve graduate from Loyola, I will still have invaluable resources here.

Moral of the story:  When you are enrolled in a course and the professor is super great, go to their office hours!  Then, stay connected!

Election Reflection

Election Reflection

In the shadow of the presidential primaries, Loyola has been having its own elections. Earlier in the week, the Unified Student Government Association (USGA) held its spring elections, which, among other things, elected the student body president for next year.

LU wolf wanted everyone to vote!

To be honest, I don’t remember last year’s election. In fact, I don’t even think I voted.  However, this year, several of my fraternity brothers (the same fraternity that Tad often references) were running for various positions, so I had much more interest in what was going on.

As someone who would have ignored the elections if they weren’t brought to my immediate attention, I wasn’t surprised to learn that LUC has an extremely low percent of students that actually vote; in fact, only 30.1% of students voted.

It’s sad, but I also think it’s possible to change that number. For myself, once I decided to vote, I took a marked interest in how the elections were run – and was more than pleasantly surprised with what I found.

To make myself an educated voter, I read the candidate statements, watched the WTC and LSD debates and stalked USGAs webpage and twitter. It’s amazing, because I never realized how official and thoroughly our elections are run.

I was more than impressed, and I think if more students were exposed to this part of the elections, they would be too.

I hope that more students get a chance to see how great our election are, but in the meantime, congrats to Julia Poirier and Sarah McDowell!

AfroDescent Performs at MGC’s Triple S Show

AfroDescent Performs at MGC’s Triple S Show

Click here to see the fun! – Triple S Show Performance

On Thursday, the dance group that I choreograph for, AfroDescent, had the opportunity to perform for the Multicultural Greek Council’s Triple S Show. The “s” in Triple S stands for step, stroll and salute, three elements that are very important in multicultural Greek life.

The dance that we practiced very hard for is called the “Azonto,” a style that has emerged out of the cities of Ghana. With the Azonto, one can tell a story while grooving with the down beat of the music. It is a style that allows the freedom of forming one’s own style, while staying in sync with who you are dancing with. The link above shows our take on the new style.

We had a blast performing at this event. Mundelein Auditorium was virtually full of people from different sororities and fraternities from Chicagoland schools and students of the Loyola community. I hope you enjoy our video!

Loyola Weekend is a success!

Loyola Weekend is a success!

This past weekend, Loyola’s Lake Shore and Water Tower Campuses welcomed admitted students and their families for our annual spring event—Loyola Weekend. In total, there were approximately 1,200 students and more than 2,200 parents and guests. Loyola faculty, staff, administrators, and students were also on hand to help with campus and residence hall tours, financial aid presentations, learning community presentations, department fairs, student organization fairs and alumni and current student panels. It was a great weekend for everyone involved.

Some of the highlights included hearing from two of our current students at different events. Julia Philips-Roth, a current junior, excited a crowd with one of St. Ignatius’s sayings, “Go forth and set the world on fire.” Many students and parents commented on how they really enjoyed her remarks and what she has achieved already. On Sunday, College of Arts and Sciences majors heard from graduating senior, Wickel Titalom. He was so amazing that I almost couldn’t go back up to the podium when he finished. I got choked up thinking of him not being here at Loyola next year. I guess we have to let him move onto to Cornell for his Master’s in Healthcare Administration. One parent was so kind that she took a moment and came up to shake Wickel’s hand saying that she wanted her child to come to Loyola and be just like him. What a nice compliment!

So here we are, almost a week after the ‘party.’ I saw Julia on Monday walking through Sullivan and Wickel was giving yet another campus tour on Tuesday. Dr. Johnson in pre-health advising pointed out how they were busy all weekend and Dr. Gitelson from political science commented on how wonderful it is to meet some great students who he knows he might have the privilege of teaching in the years to come. A Wednesday meeting with Residence Life staff members showed they were excited to have met so many students and parents as well. The Loyola community is buzzing with excitement over the Class of 2016. It was truly wonderful to meet and talk with so many students (and parents) who are considering becoming a part of the Loyola family.

I want to THANK our entire Loyola community for their support in making an event like Loyola Weekend happen. I also want to THANK our guests. THANK YOU for taking the time to visit Loyola and more importantly, for considering making Loyola your home over the next four years.

One More Month

One More Month

While looking at my calendar, I saw that I had marked on this day, March 28th, “One month to go :(”.  I can’t believe I only have one month left here in Rome! Time has flown by and I have enjoyed every single minute of my time exploring Europe.

I will be very sad to leave here, as Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center has made a huge impact on my life.  Everyone told me that after this study abroad experience, I would be a whole new person.  I never believed it, but I am starting to see it.  This experience has bettered me and opened my eyes to many things I never knew existed.  I have learned a ton as well as made many new friends thanks to Loyola’s great sense of community at the JFRC.

Although I am sad to leave Europe, I am looking forward to coming home to my family and friends.  Here’s a few things I am excited about.

  1. My mom’s delicious meals: My mom makes the best dinners.  Not only do I miss the food, but I miss sitting with my parents, brother and sister around the dinner table (especially Sundays) all talking and laughing.
  2. My immediate family: As well as my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins.  My family is extremely close.  I have 21 cousins and we hang out all the time, especially at my grandparent’s pool in the summer.  I particularly miss my little 2 year old cousin and beautiful godchild, Paylin!
  3. American food and restaurants/not having to pay for water: In Europe, wherever you go, you have to pay for water, and even bread.  I miss going to a restaurant, being able to drink water for free and eat unlimited bread.  Don’t get me wrong, the food here is AMAZING, but it gets a little pricey, and I’m a broke college student.
  4. American stores: European fashion is great and very stylish, but again, it is pricey, and I miss Forever 21 and Target!
  5. My friends: I have five best friends that mean more to me than anything.  We are all very close and have a ton of fun together in whatever we do.  They are the funniest girls I know. Here’s the two friends I’ve known the longest- second grade and then senior year!

It’s crazy that I have one more month here.  No matter how sad I get about leaving, I will be thankful to make it home to everything and everyone I miss!!

Off-Campus Living Seminar

Off-Campus Living Seminar

As a Sophomore moving off campus next year, finding an apartment is turning out to be a much harder and more complicated process than I expected. Lucky for me, Loyola offers off-campus living seminars. At these seminars, the office of Off Campus Living, go into detail about the steps to take and helpful tips about finding the right apartment.

The seminar helped me become aware of many things that I should find out before signing a lease. Things like bed bugs, heating bills, furniture and the general legal options with in a lease are all examples of things that I learned at the seminar.

Loyola even handed out little books that have everything they discussed at the seminar in writing so I didn’t have to take notes!

My off-campus living guide!
The Hunger Games from a College Perspective

The Hunger Games from a College Perspective

(from this site.)

This will be a quick post, but I just had to share a thought that occurred to me: pretty much everything you experience during your 4 years at college will be influenced by the fact that you are in college. You are in a unique environment with a very specific subset of people.

Nothing made that more apparent to me than watching “The Hunger Games” with a few friends at a crowded theater last night. There is a theater near Loyola called  the New 400 Theater. In any event, it is a pretty fun place to watch movies because of the largely collegiate atmosphere in the theater.

During the movie there were many moments during which the entire audience cracked up when it was obviously not the filmmaker’s intention for us to do so. It just happened to be the result of a perfect combination of maturity and immaturity in the audience that allowed us to be mature enough to see humor in things that may not have been intended to be so, but immature enough yet to still laugh out loud at them.

Oftentimes 1-2 people would laugh and then the whole theater would follow up by laughing at/with them. At them for being immature enough to laugh at some jokes, with them because, let’s be honest, we still thought they were funny too.

The point I’m making is that seeing everything through a college lens is unavoidable, but nonetheless enjoyable. I know it would have been a very different experience watching the movie in a teen pop crowd than it was with almost entirely college students.

Watch the movie too; you’ll love it.

How Semesters at Loyola Work

How Semesters at Loyola Work

Now that we’re into the 3rd out of what I would say are 4 parts of the semester, I think I’ll give a breakdown of how I’ve noticed all the parts of the semesters generally trend:

1. I think the first part of every semester is, in general, a “get to know you” section where the instructors and students learn each other’s style through small individual assignments and lectures. This goes through the first quarter of the semester, usually.

2. The second quarter is a solid increase in student responsibility that comes to a head at Midterms, which is the first major concentrated effort of the semester. Up until this point the instructors are doing the lion’s share of the work to get kids up to speed in the subject. Midterm projects range from the first big paper due to an actual exam and everything in between. Whatever it is, there is a sudden ramping up of effort expected from and given by students that peaks at the end of the 2nd quarter of the semester.

3. After Midterms there is a sharp fall off of effort on both sides; the instructor and students at this point have settle into a comfortable but brisk cruising speed that is a little under halfway between the start of the semester ease and the peak of midterm. This continues for a about half of the 3rd quarter until the next big project due dates become visible on the horizon (usually they are group projects this time around). However, the peak of group projects isn’t quite as high as that of midterms.

4. After the next big peak from the end of the 3rd quarter is a smaller drop off, but then comes Finals week, which is known pretty much universally as “heck week” by many. Later, when the time comes for that, I will try to post a little piece on how to deal with Final’s week stress and successfully navigate the last week and a half or so of the semester. For now, just know that as soon as you clear the 3rd quartile you’re basically always eyeing the end. And it drops faster than a ham on a bungee cord.

That’s basically it. Four different sections that each ramp up the intensity before a drop-off. First comes passive learning while the teacher gets students up to speed, then active independent work to prepare for and take midterms, then an even level of effort from both parties that comes to another head when group projects (or those of similar weight) come due, then one final breath before the charge into Final’s week.