Author: Antoinette Isama

My name is Antoinette Isama and I'm a senior at Loyola. I was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, and I am also a first-generation Nigerian. I'm majoring in journalism with minors in international studies and anthropology. This year I am winding down my time at Loyola and exploring the resources available to help me reach my next step after undergrad! Being involved on campus and exploring the Chicago were (and are!) full of great experiences that has made my time at Loyola worth while.
Sam Lim of Scholarship Junkies Visits Loyola

Sam Lim of Scholarship Junkies Visits Loyola

Today I had to opportunity to collaborate as a social justice advocate through Loyola University Chicago‘s Empowerment Pipeline program and with the first year students who participate in the STARS Lead Program. We, along with the department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, invited Sam Lim, founder and executive director of Scholarship Junkies, to speak with the students I mentor, along with my fellow advocates, about the process of applying for scholarships.

Lim told his story of how he was able to completely fund his college education himself, by solely through scholarships. As a recent Fulbright scholar, he strives to go around the country and share with high school students (even college students) of how it is never too late to appeal to private scholarship opportunities to fund expenses from books, laptops, study abroad programs, and room and board.

I encourage incoming and prospective students who read this blog to check out his website! There may be some very helpful information there!

Giving Up Meat Is Not That Bad After All…

Giving Up Meat Is Not That Bad After All…

For the second year in a row, I have decided to abstain from eating meat during Lent completely, not just on Fridays. I take these 40 days to reflect on how I have been doing in regards to my faith life, and how I can improve in my relationship with God, but those around me.

At first, it can be hard because I always feel hungry, but I know that this brief sacrifice is worth it.

Over the weeks, I have found meatless options just in case I am not up to cooking my own meal. Oysy is a sushi bar off of the Grand L stop. The restaurant offers an interesting lunch special that lasts until 5:00 p.m.! For $13, one can get miso soup, vegetable tempura, edamame, six pieces of sushi, salad and a grilled seafood or meat.

I chose to go with the grilled eel and I thought it was delicious, filling, and definitely cost effective. The ambiance is very relaxing, and the service was great. If I could have meals like this until Lent is over, it comes to show that giving up meat is not that bad after all.

A Cool (and Free) Exhibit

A Cool (and Free) Exhibit

The Chicago Architecture Foundation houses free exhibits open to the public that explore spaces, places and structures that shape Chicago and all communities. The Chicago Model City exhibit displays its 320 square-foot model of downtown. It is the only accurate and up-to-date three-dimensional portrait and it enables visitors to see it as they have never seen it before.

I found this exhibit very cool because it helps me understand how modern the city is, and it also helped me understand the orientation of Chicago, being that I am not from here.

This exhibit is free (that’s always a plus), and it has been extended due to popularity for the public. I may have to go there again!

Midterms: Difficult, but Worth It

Midterms: Difficult, but Worth It

To me, the spring semester and I have a love/hate relationship.

On one hand, the courses that I am enrolled in spark my interests and I was able to fit them in my schedule. On the other, it seems like I have been writing paper after paper and taking test after test.

My last two midterm exams are tomorrow, and I am almost hitting a wall to the point where I have no energy left. Thank goodness for vitamin water’s energy flavor.

One thing that is giving me the push to keep going are the grades that I have been getting back. Although studying has been taking the place of sleep, those late nights have reaped the rewards of good grades.

It also comes back to remind me the whole point of midterms: to see if I know the material I am learning so far in these courses, and if I am able to understand the material in my own way.

Even though midterms are difficult, they are definitely worth the hard work and late nights. Wish me luck on my last two!

Interesting Panel Discussions

Interesting Panel Discussions

During my time at Loyola University Chicago, I have come to realize how many cool panel discussions and screenings the academic departments offer to students and community.

A panel that I recently attended for my feature and opinion writing class was through the department of International Film and Media Studies titled, “Women and Documentary Film.” The panel featured documentary film makers Ruth Leitman, Danielle Beverly, Bren Murphy and Elizabeth Coffman.

Trailers and clips of documentaries were shown for each of the women and they were given the opportunity to discuss the purpose of their works. Questions were also open for the audience to ask throughout the event.

I found this panel interesting because it put perspective into what goes into making films. The speakers talked about the passion that is needed in film making and going with whatever draws one to use the camera to tell a story.

Panels such as these also help me be more open to learn about different fields Loyola offers to study. These events also are offered throughout the academic year, ranging from all spectrums of fields of study.

Argyle Eateries

Argyle Eateries

This delicious bowl of pho hits the spot but doesn't hit the wallet!

One thing that I really appreciate about Chicago, especially the Rogers Park area, is the diverse cultures that one can learn from. A way that I like to learn about people’s culture is through the food.

Off of the Argyle el stop are many Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants that are authentic and affordable (and delicious). A restaurant that has become my favorite is Tank Noodle at the corner of Argyle and Broadway.

Tank Noodle is well known for its generous helpings of pho (beef noodle soup). They also offer different kinds of pho, such as chicken noodle soup, or egg noodle soup. I also enjoy the smoothies with tapioca balls and their Thai iced tea.

This past Saturday I ventured there with friends to take a break from catching up with readings.

About Me

About Me

My name is Antoinette Isama and I am a sophomore at Loyola University Chicago. I am seeking a degree in journalism with a minor in International Studies. I was born and raised in Silver Spring, Md., and my family is originally from Nigeria. I am also the youngest of three in my immediate family, but I have always grown up to know my many members of my extended family as well.

I have always loved reading, writing and telling stories. Growing up the news was always on tv in my house, so I think that is a huge contribution for my interest in journalism. I have also taken an interest in learning about other people’s lives, different cultures other than my own and becoming aware of national and international issues.

Coming to Loyola all the way from the east coast comes with a lot of independence and opportunities. Even though I miss my family at times, my endeavors that I am involved in on campus help me reflect on my journey here and that my distance from home will be worth while.

These endeavors include participating in the many cultural and social justice based groups that Loyola has to offer. I am social chair of the Black Cultural Center, event coordinator of the African Student Alliance, and a social justice advocate in the Empowerment Pipeline program through the department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

These extracurriculars have enhanced my leadership skills and my ability to work as a team with fellow students, as well as sharing the importance of preserving and learning about black culture and African culture with the Loyola community. I have really enjoyed collaborating with other cultural organizations to reach this goal together too.

When I am not in class or in my extracurricular activities I enjoy exploring Chicago. My favorite things to do so far at my time at Loyola have been going to festivals, checking out different restaurants, visiting museums and attending concerts. Being a student also has its perks with these activities too with the discounts!

With the time I have left at Loyola, I hope to have a better sense of where I would like to be in terms of my career as a journalist. I am also very grateful for the resources Loyola offers its students to guide that aspect of the college journey. I also hope to be more involved with the social media and student run publications, such as The Phoenix.

With this blog I hope to share what I do and how I see Loyola. I also hope to put a lot in perspective through my experiences that I go through on a day to day basis.