Month: May 2012



Summer is finally here! I’ve actually been home for two weeks now, but it’s starting to feel like summer because all of my Cleveland friends are coming home.  I don’t have any big plans for the summer; I’m working at the breakfast diner I’ve worked at for five years and I’m hopefully volunteering at some social service agencies.

I am looking forward to this summer, but I always remember and cherish my sophomore year spring semester.  Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made, and I highly recommend it.  I had the opportunity to see many wonders of the world that I’ll probably never be able to see again.

After a great semester, I’m not sure this summer can top it… (I’m not sure anything can top last semester), but I’m excited for new experiences and memories.



I finally made it! Final exams are over and I am headed home for the summer.

This summer I will be working as a receptionist at a fitness center and as a counselor at a day camp. My hours will be gruesome (5:15 am – 10:00 am) but it will be well worth it when I start bringing home the bacon.

Other than working, I plan on sun bathing, reading, sleeping and more sun bathing.

It will be nice to be with all of my friends from back home. My Loyola friends and I, on the other hand, have already begun planning our road trip to see each other. So, between St. Louis, Kalamazoo and Cleveland, we have 1241 miles to cover.

It is going to be a great summer but I will miss Loyola very much.

See you in the fall!

Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year?

Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year?

Sorrryyyyy. I just couldn’t help making that the title of this blog, especially considering that within 48 hours (when my professors have promised my grades will be finalized in LOCUS), I will no longer be a college sophomore.

That’s right, ladies and gents…I’m halfway done with my undergrad college career!

This year was not what I expected it to be at all. My freshman year was the best year of my life. I expected the new, fresh, exciting feeling of college (See: This article by Ryan O’Connell, except with a bit more of a positive ending.) to still be there when I returned this Fall.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

Getting readjusted to college life was hard, but in the end, I got a lot out of this year. After all is said and done…

1. I survived what is considered the hardest year of my program, nursing.

2. I pledged and got initiated into an awesome service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.

3. I got elected to be as part of the e-board, as Vice President of Fellowship, of said awesome service fraternity.

4. I made the Dean’s List last semester, and I’m fairly certain I made it this semester as well.

5. I got nominated to send in an application for Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honors Society. (I’ll find out in July if I get in, so cross your fingers for me!)

6. I got my undergraduate dream job working as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

7. I signed my first lease and am currently getting ready to move out of my mom’s place in June.

8. I took my first road trip sans parental unit, and got to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the process.

9. I learned how awesome the gym, health stores and running are.

10. I was chosen to give the speech at the nursing dedication ceremony for my class next fall.

and finally…

Denali: forever more popular than I am

11. I got to do it all with my trusty cat, Denali, by my side!

I’d say that’s a pretty quality list. Hopefully next year’s will be just as awesome!

A Special Guest

A Special Guest

Lines of cars were backed up along Sheridan Avenue. Traffic in the area reflected more than your typical commute to work during April —end of school year or not. People were scattered outside of campus selling merchandise that proclaimed “Free Tibet.” IDs were checked. Conversations about peace and petitions for peace were plentiful.

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama was at Loyola University Chicago.

I didn’t have the chance to be there in person, but all you had to do was walk around campus and you got the picture. The live broadcast was heard via our own WLUW FM 88.7 and I enjoyed listening to the Dalai Lama’s comments. Our students even had the chance to get in on the action with some thought provoking questions at the end of his remarks. His answers were thorough and insightful.

What did I take away?

First, His Holiness commented that the ultimate source of happiness does not come from money, big cars, fame, power, etc. Peace of mind and joyfulness comes from an inner peace and self-confidence. He talked about how we all come from different religious traditions and philosophies, but we all have the same goals in life: to find meaning in life and celebrate a level of joyfulness and human dignity.

I also enjoyed his discussion on ethics. The Dalai Lama proposed that ethics is not a faith based discipline, because if it were, ethics would not be universal. Regardless of background or faith, he said that individuals ultimately have an inner voice, an inner self discipline that guides what one should or should not do.

Nicole Caddo, a senior anthropology major, asked about what advice He would give to a student who wants to act as an advocate for peace? He distinctly noted that peace starts with oneself, one’s family, and one’s friends. But most importantly, peace doesn’t happen through prayer or meditation, but rather through actions and efforts to educate others. To illustrate, the Dalai Lama commented about people releasing pigeons as a sign of peace. While releasing a pigeon might be a nice thing to do, he stated “a pigeon never brought peace.”

Thank you to our special guest, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, for joining us at Loyola and letting us all take a very much needed ‘time out.’

Final(s) Week

Final(s) Week

There seems to be an overwhelming shortage of new blog posts this week, and I can pretty much guess why: it’s finals week!  The excitement! The adrenaline! The weariness.. the fatigue…

For me, this is also my final week!  One week from now I will be running… I mean walking across the stage at graduation! Let me just say, it is well deserved, especially after this finals week.

I don’t think I have ever been particularly frantic or all that stressed during a finals week.  Or maybe I’ve just repressed those memories.  Regardless, this week has been kind of rough.

On Tuesday, I had my color theory final project due, which required a lot of time and effort to complete. Wednesday was a study break day, which I used to make up sleep that I missed  working on the art project the night before. Then I commenced studying for my contemporary critical theory final, which was very intimidating!  I took that exam today.  I will refrain from commenting on how that went…

Tomorrow I have a five-page paper due, (which I’m currently procrastinating on while writing this post) and an exam for my art history course.  Saturday morning, (Yes!  There are exams on Saturday’s.. in the morning!) is my Spanish final!  I feel like this post is as hopelessly chaotic as my week is going.

But, hey, look! Loyola gave me a stress ball!

End of the Year Banquet

End of the Year Banquet

As a celebration of our last week in Rome, the John Felice Rome Center staff threw us a huge party at a beautiful restaurant.  It was right in the middle of downtown Rome. It was a formal affair, so everyone was dressed to impress.

The restaurant was really cool.  There was an upstairs and a downstairs as well as a huge stage overlooking the entire place.  We had a great dinner of alfredo pasta, meat, potatoes and tiramisu. Following the food, there were awards, superlatives and dancing.  Here are some pictures from the great night.