Month: April 2012

Hello, Dalai!

Hello, Dalai!

So if you’ve been to the LUC homepage, or really any site that has anything to do with Loyola, then you are well aware of the fact that Loyola  hosted the Dalai Lama reccently.  Yesterday, on top of the fact that it was my very last day of classes of my undergrad career, I got to see the Dalai Lama’s lecture on non-violence. Like the Dalai Lama visiting wasn’t cool enough, there was even a brief cameo by Sean Penn, who was in Chicago to receive the 2012 Peace Summit Award.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures, because cameras were not allowed! Despite this, it was a very special experience that I’m very fortunate I got the opportunity to be a part of.

What I got from it: Change starts with you.  A smile.  A friendly gesture.  Any small thing can make a difference.

Though this was a once in a lifetime event, it makes me think of all the opportunities that Loyola and the Chicago has given me.  I cannot think of a more fantastic way to end my time here at Loyola!

Batman Band-aids Solve Everything

Batman Band-aids Solve Everything

Earlier this week, I made the spontaneous decision to give up diet soda. We’re on the precipice of finals week, so I still needed to stay awake well into the night. In order to accomplish this, I switched to drinking caffeinated tea. So, for a few days, I essentially became a compulsive tea drinker.

On Monday night, I had already had 4 cups before determining that I needed some Tazo Black Tea to keep me going.

I ordered some at the IC, slipped my tea bag under the lid, snapped the top back on and headed to my table…

…where the lid promptly popped off, causing scalding hot water to pour all over my palms and hands. I washed them under cool water and bought about every burn product that CVS had, with most of my friends thinking that I was just being a baby in the face of first degree burns.

Until my thumb reddened, blistered and popped, clearly marking that I had in fact given myself second degree burns.

So I was feeling pretty miserable, embarrassed and in a mood for self pity.

Thumbs Up for Batman. Awww yeah.

That is, I felt that way until I remembered my Batman band-aids!

I slapped one on and felt instantly better.

So, morals of my woeful tale:

1. Too much of anything (even if it’s something as good for you as tea) will always lead to heartbreak and despair.

and

2. Get cool band aids for college. Mom isn’t going to be there any more to take care of the ouchies, and if you’re gonna do it yourself, you better do it right.

Enjoying My Residence Hall For One More Week

Enjoying My Residence Hall For One More Week

This year I was assigned to Fordham Hall with the same roommate from my freshman year. We lived on the 12th floor with a great view of the city!

We always enjoyed watching the sun rise and watching the sun set on clear days. The hues of the sky relax us from our stressful days and make us grateful for having the once in a lifetime opportunity to not only attend Loyola University Chicago, but to be in environment where we can observe and enjoy nature.

The tall windows in our room allows the natural light come in and we are also able to look out and reflect.

I will definitely miss living in Fordham because of the large spaces and the kitchen. We both loved to cook! The kitchen also helped us eat healthy and enjoy the food we missed from home during freshman year. We took it upon ourselves to make it on our own!

As this week comes to an end ans as I start my final exams next week, I will definitely take in the days and nights watching the sun rise and the sun set. These are moments to never take advantage of!

Block Par-tay

Block Par-tay

Twice a year, or each semester, the school holds a block party for the Water Tower Campus. They shut down the intersection of Wabash and Pearson.  It’s pretty great.  Normally, they grill out, have dessert, have a band and some promotional stuff.  This semester, however, they really came through with great vendors.  Along the sidewalks there was Qdoba, Potbelly, Taco Burrito King and Connie’s Pizza.

Then there was a live band, which unfortunately didn’t  stay very long because it was slightly rainy.  But the dessert station more than made up for the lack of entertainment.  Case and point:

There was also a photo booth that my roommate and fellow blogger Hannah Colborn took some really silly pics in.  Good food, good times!

As The Semester Comes To An End…

As The Semester Comes To An End…

I truly cannot believe that my sophomore year is virtually over!

I cannot wait for finals to come and go, but I anticipate continuing to find my calling and my way with the time I have left at Loyola University Chicago. I now will be advised through the School of Communication, so I can have the guidance and perspective of those that are active in the field in regards to questions and concerns I have about anything.

This year was very stressful, but very rewarding. While pushing myself to improve my grades and enroll in challenging courses, I was able to balance academics with activities that I am passionate about. I am excited to continue the work I have done to build community on this campus, and I am also excited to explore what more I can do!

I Can No Longer Eat Granola Bars

I Can No Longer Eat Granola Bars

It’s the last week of class.  For me, I only have one full day of classes left, and that will be cut short due to the fact that I’m going to see the Dalai Lama (post to follow).

But why, you ask, can I no longer eat granola bars?  I will tell you.

Most mornings, I roll out of bed after hitting the snooze button a good five to seven times, frantically attempt to groom myself so that I look decent for class, grab a granola bar and make a mad dash for the shuttle.

Four years I have been attending Loyola.  I love it here!  But so help me, I cannot eat another granola bar.  They just remind me of the not fun times of college.

I eat them especially during midterms and finals.  It doesn’t matter if I change up the flavor or the brand, they all taste of sleep deprivation and sadness.

You are probably thinking, uh… why didn’t you eat anything else for breakfast?  Honestly. I don’t know.  I’m sure I’ve had an apple from time to time. Perhaps some Pop-Tarts.  But granola bars were just my go to snack.

The point here is this: School is nearly over.  It’s been real, and it’s been good, and it’s been real good. But if I never eat another granola bar ever again, I think I will be OK with that.

Weekend of Excellence Re-Cap

Weekend of Excellence Re-Cap

This past weekend was the first time I have attended the Weekend of Excellence. The many awards ceremonies and celebrations that Loyola University Chicago holds recognizes students that have been active leaders on our campus.

I was fortunate to be nominated for the Emerging Leader Award at the Diversity Awards hosted by the department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. Although I did not win, I am ever so grateful that I was recognized for the work I do to build community on campus.

Friends of mine were recipients for the Damen Awards and some were inducted into the Maroon and Gold Society. Attending this event was also an enjoyable time because I was able to share the joy my friends had when receiving their pins and plaques.

On Sunday, the last Weekend of Excellence event was the Scholarship Brunch, where I met the donors of my scholarship. This opportunity was a treat, for I was able to put a face to my blessing and I was also able to thank them and show gratitude for their gift.

As I finish this week of classes, my experience this past weekend encourages me to keep working hard so I can follow in my friends’ footsteps and continue to make a difference on our campus.

10 Hikes To Do Before You Die

10 Hikes To Do Before You Die

Being that I will have a year off between Dental school and Loyola I have put a lot of thought into the things I want to cross off my bucket list thatyear. And being that I am a poor college student in love with nature, I think my time might be best used in the wilderness. Here is the list I have compiled of the dream hikes.

1. John Murr Trail, California, USA

2. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

3. Tonquin Valley, Canadian Rockies, Canada

4. Inca Trail, Peru

5. Cinque Terre, Italy

6. Rim-to-Rim Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

7. Petra Through the Back Door, Jordan

8. Patagonia

9. Routeburn Track, New Zealand

10. Mt. Everest, Nepal (while this is still far from being a reality for me and is a bit more than a hike, it without a doubt belongs on a bucket list)

“Studying”

“Studying”

In my experience, studying with friends yields the best results as far as actually getting stuff done.  But, I usually have a blast, which makes up for the fact that I still have a lot to do.

Here is what usually happens. First you gather with friends in a lounge.  Then you casually play some music, just as background music, of course.  Then the requests come in.  The old school Britney song comes on, and so everyone chimes in!

Meanwhile, someone has brought their nail polish collection, so between typing a paper, you delicately polish each nail to perfection.  Then you give up typing because its not worth messing up a nail.

Then someone starts taking webcam pics. These get intense because you have all the various special effects to choose from.  Then you have the re-do’s.  Then you have to brainstorm what ridiculous pose to do next!

In between everything, there are complaints about the homework at hand, even though no one can truthfully say they are actually working on it.

Somehow the TV has been turned on, and so we start watching “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.”  There is plenty of commentary to be had!

Obviously, this isn’t exactly what I do every time I study with my friends, but this is genuinely how one evening went, and it usually is some variant of these events.  Who knew studying could be so fun?

Reason I Love Chicago #3: Celebrity Sightings

Reason I Love Chicago #3: Celebrity Sightings

I’ve lived downtown in Loyola’s Baumhart residence hall for almost nine months now. I have loved being on the Water Tower Campus right in the heart of the best city in the world.

There are always glamorous people around and fun things going on downtown. Yesterday, however, I had my first celebrity siting EVER– some friends and I casually bumped into actor Vince Vaughn and his family strolling down Michigan Avenue late Saturday morning.

I am embarrassed to say that I was more than a little starstruck. A friend and I were mid-conversation when I saw him and his wife pushing a stroller. My first thought was “hey, that guy looks an awful lot like Vince Vaughn.” It took me half a second to realize it was actually him, at which point I punched my friend in the arm, pointed and stared.

I did probably the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do when you want to remain cool in front of somebody famous. We made eye contact, he saw me gawking and uttered a casual “Hey, how ya doing,” and continued walking. The poor man probably can’t even walk down the street with his wife and child without being gawked at, and I just made it worse. I felt terrible!

Vince pictured with Reese Witherspoon in the movie Four Christmases. What a stud! (Photo via TRF_Mr_Hyde/Flickr)