Author: Raven Icaza

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!

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!

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!

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.



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?

Interviewing Journalist Carol Marin

Interviewing Journalist Carol Marin

For my internship this week I was asked to profile the commencement speaker for the SoC graduation, Carol Marin. Marin is a local print and broadcast journalist.

Marin is a political columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, a political editor at NBC5 and a contributor at WTTW’s  “Chicago Tonight.” Yeah, she is pretty legit.

She invited me to NBC studios right off Michigan Ave. for the interview and I got to sit in on a political meeting, met a number of important people,and saw some of the background operations.

The interview went well, and despite being a little nervous, she complimented me on my preparedness!  Though my internship has allowed me to meet some really great people around campus, this was my “big story,” and I’m very excited to add it to my portfolio!

I’ll be sure to share the article once it is up on the SoC website.

Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum

As I’ve mention before, my friend Natalie is a member of the Field Museum. And in being a member she has the total hook-up! Tonight we were able to explore and participate in special activities just for Members’ Night!  This is sort of the behind the scenes look at some of the items in storage, offices, library, laboratories and parts of the museum you don’t get to see every day.  It is a super popular event as a lot of people were there.

There was even live Mongolian dance and music performers to celebrate the new Genghis Khan exhibit.

Highlights of the night include holding a very poisonous live tarantula… Just kidding! Not poisonous at all and in fact very friendly!

Seeing unique artifacts in storage that have not been seen by human eyes in decades! Well, that’s not true, but they are not part of the main current exhibits.

And taking home a real dinosaur bone souvenir! Or the cast replica, but it still looks pretty convincing!

My Heart Will Go On

My Heart Will Go On

And hopefully so will this school year!

So I’ve managed to get super behind in a lot of my classes. It doesn’t matter much to me because “Titanic 3D”  just came out and of course I had to see it.  It was amazing!  The silly thing is, everyone is asking me how it was, and I’m thinking, well it is the same movie, just in 3D… there is no surprise ending or anything!

Anyway, one more day of classes and then it is home to the good ol’ burg for Easter break, which is also an opportune time to catch up on all the readings, papers and whatever miscellaneous items that slipped away before heading into the home stretch!

I could also use some sleep.  In my opinion, however, Easter break is really not long enough.  It’s more like a long weekend.  Sure, we just had Spring break, but in lieu of my circumstances, I could definitely use more time!

So now I must be off  to start what is going to be a late night for me!

I’ll never let go…

All the Cool Kids are Doing It

All the Cool Kids are Doing It

Graduating that is!  Today was the graduation fair at WTC, where the conquering graduate can purchase all the necessary frills and thrills that come with the passage of graduation.

Like many of my fellow senior friends, I could not resist tearing open the neatly packaged cap and gown, promptly placing the tasseled cap upon my head.

But instead of giving you one of those ridiculous bathroom mirror pics, here is a much anticipated preview of four years of higher education symbolized in one accessory:

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!