Month: September 2012

Sports Fan 101

Sports Fan 101

Something I have come to appreciate over the course of the past two plus years here at Loyola is the diversity of classes that are offered.  In fact, I find myself writing this fully willing to admit that my favorite class this semester is something that I picked spontaneously after I realized I would have to drop another class for time conflict purpose.  The class: is called Communication 364 Sports Journalism, but it may as well be called Sports Fan 101.

As made apparent by some of my earlier posts, I would consider myself a sports fan.  Though, I am partial to St. Louis based teams, I always enjoy a good game, even at the expense of my favorite teams.  So, I felt like sports journalism would be a good class for me to take, as I might be able to gather an understanding of how the trade works.

I knew from the first few minutes in class that I would be enjoying this section very much.  My teacher is Dan McGrath.  If that name sounds familiar, it is because he was the sports editor of the Chicago Tribune for 13 years.  One of my philosophies is that when teaching, first-hand knowledge of the field is nearly essential.  It does not get more first-hand than Professor McGrath.

Professor McGrath began by outlining the purpose of the class: to learn how to analyze a game, write a column, support an opinion, and look for a story line, among other things.  He explained that the format of the class would be mostly conversational, and that homework would include reading and writing articles on various topics.

I do not hesitate to admit that the five other students in the class probably know more about sports in general than I, but Professor McGrath made it clear that this class would meet each student where they are at.  He was also very good to acknowledge we all have different interests and therefore we will be able to choose from an option of writing topics.

The assignment for the first week was to watch the Bears-Packers game and write a column about it.  That’s right.  The homework was to watch Thursday night football.  After watching a grueling game, I wrote on my article on dropped balls and penalties being the reason for the loss.  I felt like a write for a major sports network because I applied to tips he had taught me and followed the format he gave.  I felt good about being able to construct a logical argument about a subjective topic.

Class the following week consisted of conversations about the game, our thoughts and opinions, and a chance to talk about important turning points in the game.  As a sports fan, I felt like I was having a well-informed discussion about a game I enjoy watching; I had forgotten that I was in class.  Those are the best type of classes.

In future classes, we will be covering concussions in sports, steroids, lockouts, and various other sports-related topics and as a sports fan, I am happy I found this class.

Busy Busy Week

Busy Busy Week

The longest school week of this semester thus far is over! Tonight, I’ll finally get a good night’s sleep.

My schedule has been jam-packed with homework, so the sleep rule that I followed the first few weeks flew out the window. I’m hoping that my hard work pays off because I haven’t worked this hard since last year’s finals week. Here’s a brief overlook of my assignments for this past week and next week:

  • 1 Project
  • 2 Tests
  • 2 Presentations
  • 9 Papers
  • 9 Chapters and one whole book
  • Side homework assignments in my classes


Now that I got that out of my system, enough school talk. My agenda for this weekend, other than homework, is to get registered to vote. Though I know nearly nothing about what is going on in politics today, I plan on doing some research, and I hope to make a decision so that I can vote in the upcoming election.

I also think that the zoo is the perfect place to go this weekend. Since the weather looks like it is going to compromise tomorrow, Lincoln Park Zoo, or any zoo for that matter, should be where all the cool kids go this weekend before it gets too cold. I’m hoping to see some lions and tigers and bears, but my weak spot is the monkeys and the snakes, which will be one of the first destinations.

Okay, so since school is consuming my life, I will turn the blog back to my classes and homework. I must say that one of my most nerve-racking moments next week will be when I do my scene performance from the play “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams. I read the play last week, and for those of you who have read it, you know that playing the characters will not be easy because they are so complex. I’ll be playing Laura, and this weekend I’ll be memorizing my lines and trying to get the character down. I will update on how it’s going next week.

I can bore you all with more school details, but I’ll do that later after I get further ahead with my work. Just a bit of advice though for all the hard workers out there: If you have to pull late nights, meet your new best friend Coffee. It holds two very important qualities for a successful friendship- it’s rejuvenates you and is very eye opening.

The Other Reason to Choose a College…Your Social Life

The Other Reason to Choose a College…Your Social Life

There are many reasons students end up choosing a college or university. Often, once a student knows that a particular school has his/her major, a desired location, etc., the biggest factor remaining is knowing what the social life will be like.

High school seniors everywhere wonder about what campus life is like at their short list of college choices:

  • What is there to do outside of class and study groups?
  • Which clubs or organizations are similar to those I liked in high school?
  • Which groups are new or present something different for me to try?
  • Are intramurals or club sports popular on campus?
  • Does everyone look forward to basketball season?
  • Will Greek life be a major or minor factor?
  • Do many of the students study abroad and if so, where?

A typical college Web site will attempt to answer all of these questions. But in reality, the best way to get a feel for student life is to plan a visit or attend an open house.

Here at Loyola, our newest students have kicked off their Loyola Experience by settling into college life naturally—just by being on campus and meeting people.

And the opportunities they encounter are abundant and varied. The Student Development division offers programs that range from diversity to leadership development. The Student Organization Fair can really help students get started ‘shopping’ for ideas. Retreat opportunities, such as the Loyola 360 program held out at the Retreat and Ecology Campus, help students connect while thinking about larger issues. There’s also the Meet the Greeks event that helps students learn about Greek life at Loyola and the many sororities and fraternities that are available.

In the end the choice is yours!

School of Social Work

School of Social Work

Another perk of living downtown is having the convenience of being able to walk just across the street for my classes.  The School of Social Work is located in Lewis Towers, which is right above the Hershey store.  The first time I went in there, the whole building smelled of chocolate.  It was heaven!

The School of Social Work classes are either in the Corboy Law Center or Maguire Hall.  Lewis Towers is mainly professor’s offices and other admissions and financial aid type stuff.  I try to go to professors’ office hours as much as possible, though, because Lewis Towers is an awesome building. (And I like making a pit stop at the Hershey store)

There’s a ton of classes offered downtown, such as business classes, some education classes, and social work.  There’s also core classes offered down here, as well.  I would definitely take advantage of the city and schedule some classes down here!

1,794 Miles

1,794 Miles

As I’ve mentioned before, fall means travel season for Admission Counselors! So far I’ve spent a total of 9 days on the road and I’ve driven a total of 1,794 miles throughout Indiana! That’s an average of 199 miles per day, woah. While I love fall travel and the opportunity to meet with so many awesome perspective students, being on the road does make me miss Chicago.

I specifically miss the CTA or Chicago Transit Authority. The CTA is not only my regular form of transportation throughout the year, but also the 2nd largest public transportation system in the country. (Click here for more fun facts about the CTA!)

After living in the city for 5 years now, I definitely prefer taking one of the many CTA buses or trains instead of driving. It’s nice to be able to sit back and read my kindle or the RedEye, listen to music and watch the stops go by as I near my destination. By relying on the CTA, I never have to worry about navigating road construction, gas prices, car insurance, or finding parking in the city.

The CTA is a great option for Loyola students, as all full time students receive a U-Pass, which gives them unlimited use of all CTA transit during the semester. The red line, probably the most popular train route for LUC students, runs between Lake Shore Campus and Water Tower Campus (the Loyola stop & the Chicago stop). The #147 (Outer Drive Express) bus route also runs between the two campuses on Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue, also known as the “Magnificent Mile“..

The U-Pass is more than just an option for getting between classes, it’s a passport to the city! It will get you to Soldier Field to watch the Chicago Bears, U.S. Cellular Field to hopefully see the White Sox make it to the postseason, Millennium Park, Museum Campus, Chinatown, the House of Blues for a concert, or maybe just a random stop where you can do some exploring! It was definitely one of my favorite possessions as a Loyola student, and I think most students would agree with me.

If you’re up for a road trip yourself, I’d recommend planning a trip up to Loyola University Chicago on October 20th or November 17th for an Open House. They’re a great way to determine if Loyola is the right fit for you, and you can always hop on the CTA and do some exploring in the wonderful windy city!

Tips to Choosing a Major

Tips to Choosing a Major

When I first came to Loyola I had one thing in mind, PRE-MED. Just like everyone else I thought I wanted to be a doctor which meant studying biology. But my journey to what my major now wasn’t smooth. I changed my major 5 times; from  Biology, to Physics, to Political Science, to Philosophy and finally stuck with Biology and Biophysics. I then added minors in math and art. The fact was I had no clue what I wanted to do when I came to school helped me learn something along the way.

Here’s what I learned:

1 – What would you do for free? – This was something that I really did not take into consideration when I first came to Loyola. Sure money is awesome but you can make money in anything if you really love it and you are good at it.

2 – Take advantage of the Core – If the core is frustrating you might be taking the wrong classes for you or looking at it incorrectly. There is so much offered at Loyola and you should always be able to find something that really sounds interesting.

3 – Move away from the parents – I think this is something everyone should do at least one point in their lives. It’s good to fail or flounder on your own. Through those failures you might find what you love.

4 – Don’t be afraid to take something weird – One of my favorite classes I have taken while attending Loyola was a jewelry making class. It was because of this class that I added my art minor and if anyone is looking at Dentistry I suggest this class.

5 – Follow your heart – If you can wake up happy to go to your classes senior year than you are doing the right things!

A Weekend of Visitors

A Weekend of Visitors

As if I wasn’t happy enough living in downtown Chicago and eating three Sprinkle’s cupcakes a day (joking… but it’s possible), my friends from home came to visit me last weekend!  We had been planning this trip all summer, and the weekend had finally come.  My one friend came from her college in Pennsylvania, and my other one came from just down the street- Columbia College of Chicago.

We picked up my friend from the Megabus at midnight Friday.  The Megabus is the best. It’s how I go home to Cleveland because it’s very cheap and very convenient.  If you book the bus as soon as the date is available for booking, its as cheap as one dollar! The maximum it can go up to is forty two dollars, so the max round trip is only eighty four! That’s my random tangent about the Megabus, but seriously, its a great deal!

Anyways, Friday night we stayed at my place, Baumhart Hall.  I was excited to show it off to my friends, and they were certainly impressed.  It was great that we stayed here because it is so close to Michigan Avenue, and we had a long day of shopping the next morning.

On Saturday, we went to a great breakfast place off of State Street called Tempo. Afterwards, we shopped on Michigan Avenue.  Both of my friends are familiar with Chicago, so we didn’t do much sightseeing.  We also went to Sprinkles and said the secret word to get a free cupcake! You have to follow Sprinkles on Twitter or friend them on Facebook, and there is a few secret words a day that you have to say to the cashier to get your free cupcake.  It’s pretty cool for a cupcake enthusiast on a budget like me!

Saturday night we took the Metra to Tinley Park to see our favorite singer, Jason Mraz.  This was my third time seeing him (I’m a superfan) and this concert was the best one yet.  We had lawn seats, but we had a pretty good view and it was the perfect night for a concert.

My friend left the next day, but even though the stay was short, it was definitely a lot of fun.  One of my favorite things is having visitors.  I love showing off Chicago and Loyola to friends and family, and I always encourage everyone to make the trip out here.  The school and city both have so much to offer, and I love that my visitors get to experience what I experience daily!

Birthday Celebration

Birthday Celebration

One of the best things about having a fall birthday (September 19!)  is that it’s one of the first celebration of the year.  Even though I’m a junior, I’m only 20. (I hated driving after everyone… but as the years progress I’m sure I’ll love being the young one!)  Because it isn’t a major birthday, I was just going to lay low. Maybe get some Portillo’s, hang with friends and relax.

I was expecting to come back downtown, get my friend, and head out to lunch,  but I was in for a big surprise.  I came back to three of my best friends in my room with a cake and decorations everywhere.  It was a great surprise to come home to, and completely unexpected.  Here’s a picture of their masterpiece.

For the rest of the day, I hung out with friends, watched movies and ate a lot of Portillo’s. (Best. Italian beef. Ever.)  This Saturday, my friends and I are all going out to eat a place we’ve never been, Quartino.  As you can see, I like to extend my birthday as long as possible!  I’m thankful I have great friends who made my birthday amazing, and I cannot wait until part 2 of my celebration on Saturday!