Category: Life At Loyola

Such a ‘Bler: WE ARE THE HOPEFUL

Such a ‘Bler: WE ARE THE HOPEFUL

As mentioned in my previous post, We Are the Hopeful is a 2-week Second Stage Design-Led Exploration about mental health. Second Stage Shows are student proposed projects that run for either 2 weeks, 5 weeks or 12 weeks and are performed in the basement of Mundelein – a rather smaller but cozier space compared to the Newhart. This does have its benefits and has proven to allow a large extent of creativity and experimentation for the students as it is a black box theatre space. 

We Are the Hopeful was created by sophomore Molly Cornell, a fellow Sophomore majoring in Theatre and minoring in WSGS and Studio Art. And I feel so so blessed to have been given the opportunity to work alongside her on this incredible project!  

HERE IS SOME MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SHOW: http://artsevents.luc.edu/event/9f3b5c0cfccaf3db5839902bacce5faa 

Within two weeks, nine designs scripted, directed and designed seven performances each touching on a different area of mental health. Lab and rehearsal times took place both after class hours and on the weekends. My partner was sophomore Gianni Carcagno – a very very talented designer – and our piece “playing pretend” focused on Derealization Disorder. Derealization Disorder is the repeated perception or experience that the world around you is not real. It is the feeling of being ‘not there.’ The piece consisted of three experiential spoken word poems written by me and was recited by freshman Faith Hood amongst atmospheric and stimulating sound and lighting design. We crafted a piece of abstraction, in hopes to introduce a less talked about reality.  

Other topics, including anxiety and eating disorders, were explored through movement, personal writings, and even audience participation to create the feeling of claustrophobia. It means a lot that we got this opportunity to not only raise awareness about a topic so often stigmatized but also explore our relationship with it as humans and artists ourselves. 

We had the chance to tinker with a lighting and sound board and their respective design programs. We were visited by our design professors as well as other professionals in the lighting and sound design fields. We got to audition and work with enthusiastic theatre majors and non-theatre major performers. But most of all we all stepped out of our comfort zones. Many of us were freshmen or production newbies who had never come close to cue sheets let alone a tech board. I personally am a playwrighting and directing focused theatre maker. Design wise, I was more experienced in costume and sound design coming into the project. Although I was lucky to work with an experienced tech master like Gianni, we coordinated so that we were both exploring new areas. I took on the challenge of lighting design – a venture I had also found less comfort in during the Design II class I was taking during this same semester. 

This was probably one of the most challenging experiences for me as a writer AND DESIGNER (!!!!) I spent many days simply sitting by the lighting board, turning on and off every single light and relearning techniques. I felt quite overwhelmed at times but with these talents, their patience, silliness and encouragement, it felt also rewardingly comforting. I never saw fear in asking for help. And I felt less absent. 

Dissociation isn’t a new friend of mine, and I am grateful for this exploration because art is what keeps me present when I feel like I am not. I’m still learning about derealization disorder – I hope you are too. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: Teamo

Such a ‘Bler: Teamo

There was this time during my senior year of high school when mum went to Europe for a month-long business trip. I lived off of occasional dinners I’d cook for my dad and brother, but mainly bubble tea (how am I still alive?) So you could tell how ecstatic I was when Loyola announced the brief visit of Te’amo Boba Bar. 

Don’t get it wrong, I love the drink available from campus – everything from the best coffee at Center Stage Café in Mundelein College to healthy smoothies at Rambler Express. I often go to Tbaar if I had a specific craving, which was only a ten-minute walk from campus. This is fine, but less convenient during busy back to back class days. Hearing that bubble tea would now be available at Rambler Express was some exciting news.  

Te’amo is very different from any bubble tea brand I’ve had in Chicago thus far. It currently comes very close to Bingo Tea (my favourite, that’s all the way in Chinatown.) Appearance and variety wise, it is superior. The staff were also very friendly and quick even with the tsunami of excited students. It also gave me more reason to pass by the Damen Student Center – a hot spot I spent much of freshman year in but rarely visited now that I live on the other side of campus. 

I also appreciate that there was an appearance of a more traditionally Asian treat on campus, even if it was only for a little while. I get quite excited to hear thoughts from my non-Asian friends whenever they try a new flavour and being able to tell them all that I know about it. What really surprised me was that this pop up was so well greeted by our campus that the partnership actually ended up getting extend til the end of the academic year! 

I’m not sure if Te’amo will be back Fall 2019, but I do hope so. I heard it may be an added feature of one of our new dorms?? But if your cravings are like mine, here’s where you can find it for now! 

  1. Lao Sze Chuan restaurant bar area, 520 Michigan Avenue 
  1. 1115 E 55th St 

Teamo. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: Summer in the City

Such a ‘Bler: Summer in the City

Hi there, it’s my first Chicago summer! 

I’ve successfully secured an Artistic Administration/Dramaturgy internship at Lookingglass Theatre for the next three months, an apartment for junior year and am beyond ecstatic to continue sharing my Loyola lens with you. It took some time but since orientation, I’ve been told that I NEED to spend at least one summer in the city. Without the chills and snow, Chicago is a completely different scene. Towards the end of sophomore year, I already spotted tulips blooming everywhere! More importantly, despite living right next to it, I’ve only gone to the beach twice in my two years at Loyola. And that is unacceptable. 

There’s a huge line up of summer events as well, including the Chicago Blues Festival, Lollapalooza, Chicago Food Truck Festival, Chapter II of the WNDR Museum, Volta Cirque Du Soleil, Les Miserable’s Chicago showtimes and Pride Fest! (Honestly, you yourself should spend a summer in the Chicago!!!!!) 

I compiled my list from the links below. Make your own list and make this summer the best yet! And if you’re away, you can still get to see plenty of action through my upcoming blogs right here. I can’t promise that I will be attending every single event, but I am on a mission to experience as many as I can. Who knows when my next summer here will be? 

  1. https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/reich/ct-ent-fest-schedule-1030-story.html?fbclid=IwAR2sMYdLI_Rc4D1Jzbp6ljSpEYimrLtJP3YRifKg4m0Udo59iAZv3REypbw 
  1. https://www.facebook.com/events/565127213958979/ 

I also plan to do a lot of throwbacks to sophomore year. I know I disappeared for a while, but a lot of exciting things still greeted me in the last few months and I still want to share them with you. For instance, MY HAIR IS PINK! WHAT?????? 

Speak soon. Happy Summer! 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: Goodbye Marquette South

Such a ‘Bler: Goodbye Marquette South

It’s odd how much one can feel looking back at a simple little room.  

I remember asking “Am I ready 1806?” leaving Mertz Hall as a freshman. However, I somehow felt heavier leaving my sophomore dorm this May. Perhaps it is because I’ve grown a lot more – experiencing and not experiencing a lot more. Frankly I spent the majority of my second year at Loyola in this space (also frankly because it had majority of what I needed – bed room, study room, kitchen room, bathroom.)  

As a sophomore you also have more say over your time. Being well aware that your schedule is now more hectic, and your mind is more independent, RAs are more flexible with bonding activities. I appreciate the occasional round ups and applaud the life-saving snack carts. My favourite is the announcement boards that seemed to tap right into what I craved each turn (spots to explore in Chicago, internship hunt tips and self-care reminders.) There was a very comfortable and supportive relationship. 

MS 509 was so perfectly placed on campus. Seven minutes away from Mundelein and three from DeNobili Dining Hall. The Granville Station also lived close, along with Aldi and the mail room. I’d also find myself at Summer Noodles or Dak if I didn’t feel like cooking. Though cooking was a lot of what I did.  

I didn’t get out much. I didn’t want or really had to. Perhaps such luxury can be rather dangerous. 

I used to beat myself up for friending such a comfortable spot but thinking back now, I have little regrets. It was a nice hideaway place and I’m no longer shy to admit that I needed one. Sophomore year isn’t easy. You always feel like you should be and/or could be doing more. I really pushed myself this year with 18 credit hours, an on-campus job, a theatre 2-week exploration and an e-board position in Diminuendo Literary and Arts Magazine. Sometimes a hibernation day or a dorm cooked meal alone is needed. 

I am grateful. But farewell 509. I’m ready. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

My advice to you all before I graduate tomorrow

My advice to you all before I graduate tomorrow

For many of you, I’m sure the past 2 semesters were successfully a breeze, and for others, it may have been a tough adjustment from the all the summer fun. Whatever the case is, it is important that we don’t repeat fall semester and always leave some room for growth. Whether you had a good semester or a bad semester, my perspective on it, is that it can always be better and there will always be room for improvement.

A lot of what I struggled with was time management with my classes as a commuter. I had two difficult science classes and I had a hard time equally studying for both, as well as my other core subject areas. I found myself prioritizing one subject over the other, either because of my interest in one subject more than the other, or the difficulty of the subject. I believe I still did well in all classes; however, it could have been better and because of this, I find myself striving to do better this semester. It is important to have this mindset with anything in life because we naturally become used to a daily routine or what we already are “used to” that we barely leave any room for improvement. It can be either really easy, or it can be quite difficult to manage time, but if you force yourself to make a plan, it will definitely be better than “winging it”.

Regardless of what you’re struggling with or looking to improve, make a plan. What I plan on doing this semester is force myself to study within the first 1-3 hours of the classes rather than pushing it off a couple of hours later. If your classes are back to back or you don’t have time right away, at least review before going to bed. I didn’t believe in this at first, but it made memorizing content so much easier and it felt good knowing I actually retained and learned something. You don’t have to do this for too long, but a couple of minutes to an hour is sufficient to excel in a class.

I also struggled with catching up with readings, and tend to put them off last minute. I made sure I did not do that this semester because your upcoming semesters only get more challenging, and the class content/material is a bit more intense, so try to read as much as you can before your next class or after a class, so that you can focus on paying attention during lecture without feeling lost.

Another key thing you should do is get a planner and write out all the exam, quiz, papers, and final exam dates. This is extremely helpful because I found myself managing my time better and knowing when is a good week to go out or plan accordingly. Just looking at a syllabus is not going to help because you have to consider all of your other classes and make sure you are aware of instances where important tasks may overlap on a day. Finals week schedule is also important, making sure which classes have a final exam and when each are, so that you have enough time to study and not cram all the material.

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Issa Wrap!

Issa Wrap!

What a semester! Can you believe the 2018-2019 school year is near its end? Its hard for me to imagine that graduation is in a few weeks! For many of you, I’m sure the fall and spring semester were successfully a breeze, and for others, it may have been a tough adjustment from the all the summer fun. Whatever the case is, it is important that we don’t repeat the mistakes made and always leave some room for growth. Whether you had a good semester or bad semester(s), my perspective on it, is that it can always be better and there will always be room for improvement.

A lot of what I struggled with was time management with my classes as a commuter. I had two difficult science classes and I had a hard time equally studying for both, as well as my other core subject areas. I found myself prioritizing one subject over the other, either because of my interest in one subject more than the other, or the difficulty of the subject. I believe I still did well in all classes; however, it could have been better and because of this, I find myself striving to do better this semester. It is important to have this mindset with anything in life because we naturally become used to a daily routine or what we already are “used to” that we barely leave any room for improvement. It can be either really easy, or it can be quite difficult to manage time, but if you force yourself to make a plan, it will definitely be better than “winging it”.

Regardless of what you’re struggling with or looking to improve, make a plan. What I plan on doing this semester is force myself to study within the first 1-3 hours of the classes rather than pushing it off a couple of hours later. If your classes are back to back or you don’t have time right away, at least review before going to bed. I didn’t believe in this at first, but it made memorizing content so much easier and it felt good knowing I actually retained and learned something. You don’t have to do this for too long, but a couple of minutes to an hour is sufficient to excel in a class.

I also struggled with catching up with readings, and tend to put them off last minute. I made sure I did not do that this semester because your upcoming semesters only get more challenging, and the class content/material is a bit more intense, so try to read as much as you can before your next class or after a class, so that you can focus on paying attention during lecture without feeling lost.

Another key thing you should do is get a planner and write out all the exam, quiz, papers, and final exam dates. This is extremely helpful because I found myself managing my time better and knowing when is a good week to go out or plan accordingly. Just looking at a syllabus is not going to help because you have to consider all of your other classes and make sure you are aware of instances where important tasks may overlap on a day. Finals week schedule is also important, making sure which classes have a final exam and when each are, so that you have enough time to study and not cram all the material.

Last but not least, be confident in your abilities! We get so overwhelmed with how much we need to do still or we tend to compare ourselves with others, but that is only a challenge to slow us down in the race. Be confident that you’re going to get an A in that class, don’t settle for a B, because it allows you to push yourself and achieve a lot more than you think you are capable of.

Be happy and always let yourself grow ~

Why Education at Loyola University is at the Top

Why Education at Loyola University is at the Top

Loyola University Chicago is a Catholic and Jesuit University where ethical and spiritual values are central. These values are expressive of human wisdom, informed by the traditions of American higher education, and animated by contemporary ideals of the Society of Jesus.

Although I do not identify myself as a Catholic, Loyola involves students and patients, faculty and staff from so many nations and neighborhoods, religious backgrounds and ethnic traditions.

Loyola University is one of 23 Jesuit universities and colleges in the United States.

Here are five “characteristics” that explain the Jesuit method of education at Loyola Chicago that makes it incredibly inspirational.

The first characteristic of Jesuit universities is a passion for quality. Jesuit universities set demanding standards for both students and faculty. If it is worth doing at all, it is certainly worth our very best. Whether it be a medical or law school, business or liberal arts college – Jesuit education has, in every age, aimed at educational excellence.

A second characteristic of Jesuit universities is the study of the humanities and the sciences, no matter what specializations may be offered. Loyola wants our students to be able to think and speak and write; to know something about history, literature and art; to have their minds and hearts expanded by philosophy and theology; and to have a solid understanding of math and the sciences with a liberal education.

A third characteristic of Jesuit education and so of Loyola University is its preoccupation with questions of ethics and values for both the personal strength and professional witness of its graduates. Family values, personal integrity and business ethics have always been important. In recent years, this characteristic has taken on added dimensions. Spurred by papal encyclicals and the pastoral letters of the American bishops, Jesuit institutions have tried to focus attention on the great questions of justice and fairness that confront our age: economic inequity, racism and unemployment in our own country; the global imbalance of economic resources and opportunities; and poverty and oppression in the Third World, to cite some examples. These are not easy issues, nor do they have any certain and universally accepted solutions. But Jesuit institutions today feel compelled by our tradition to raise these questions for our students, not through sloganeering and political maneuvering, but in a way that is proper for higher education: through learning and research, reflection and creative action.

A fourth characteristic of Jesuit education is the importance it gives to religious experience. Religious experience is vital and must be integrated into the educational process so that a student has the opportunity to grow in both knowledge and faith, in belief and learning. As a Catholic university, we try to open this all-important horizon of faith experience for all our students, whatever their religious tradition may be. Faith in God is not an obstacle to learning; indeed belief can often sharpen and focus one’s intellectual search. Prayer and liturgy are no threat to knowledge; they help form and strengthen an educational community in the fullest sense.

Finally, we come to the fifth characteristic of Jesuit education: it is person – centered. No matter how large or complex the institution, each individual is important and is given as much personal attention as humanly possible, both in and out of the classroom. The reason for this specific care for the individual is that, for so many faculty and staff at Loyola University and in our sister institutions, teaching and patient care are much more than a job – indeed more than a profession. They are a way of life. This is true not only for members of religious orders but for so many lay men and women of different religious backgrounds who look on their work of teaching or administration as sharing in God’s handiwork, as service to others in the ministry of education and health care.

We believe that the real measure of our Jesuit universities lies in who our students become, so we engage them with real-world problems and promote social justice through academic and service-learning opportunities.

Loyola lets you do AWESOME things:

Loyola lets you do AWESOME things:

 

As a Sophomore at Loyola, I had the opportunity to take the EXCM 101: Introduction to Exercise Physiology course as did many others. This introductory exercise science class is a service learning course that connects Loyola students with Chicago Public Schools’ physical education and health teachers. It has been a great experience to observe and work with children who go to underfunded schools and don’t have as many resources as do private schools. It was nice to help out these teachers and also gain a learning experience.

Each student in the introductory class is assigned to a local CPS school and have different tasks depending on what their interest is. These activities and lessons are focused on fitness and health. I volunteered in a health class from grades K-5, but others have volunteered with after school sports programs, recess, or helped during physical education class.

It was nice to see a wide range of ages. The lessons I observed and assisted with was based on sex education, so younger students learned about good touching vs. bad touching, whereas the older they got, they learned about puberty, how the body works, male and female body parts, etc. Of course the reactions were priceless, but it is so important that these children are exposed to this information because they become aware of these important aspects at an early age and know what to do depending on what situation they can potentially be placed in.

Loyola students are helping CPS with the LearnWELL Initiative which promotes physical activity and healthy eating choices in school. Doing so allows Loyola students to fulfill their service learning hours which is a requirement by the University. it is easily done and also helps the school meet their students’ needs.

“It does vary,” said Karen Berg, director of clinical placements and experiential learning at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “At some schools, we are supporting after school sports because that’s really the best fit for Loyola students to be volunteering. In others, we’re in the classroom supporting the health education teachers. We’re supporting PE instructors, and we’re also supporting recess. It really is identified by the school themselves—they’re identifying what is best for them.”

Stephanie Wilson, director of the Exercise Science Program says “They truly find it rewarding. These children really count on the Loyola students to show up. They almost look for these students on the day and the time that they’re supposed to come. I think our students recognize that and are confident and proud in the end that they have given something back to the community.”

These are the little things that go so far in our community. Loyola has done a great job in connecting with the community and offering a helping hand. It allows students’ to step out of their comfort zone sometimes and be able to have a hands on experience. This exercise science course has allowed Loyola students to have the chance to give something back and also gain insight for future plannings.

Take Advantage of the Target across the street!

Take Advantage of the Target across the street!

Good news! Lucky for those who are not graduating this year, a new Target store has opened just off of Sheridan Road, across from the Loyola Bookstore.

The development, called the Concord at Sheridan, is a seven-story mixed use and mixed-income housing and commercial unit that will also include 111 one and two bedroom apartments, 29,400 square feet of retail space — including a Target store — and 136 underground parking spaces to accommodate residents and shoppers.

Three Corners Development Inc. will lead the construction of the new mixed-use building in a contingent agreement with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), which currently owns the property. The plan to build the structure was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission May 18 in a unanimous decision. The Chicago City Council also approved the plans July 26. Of the 111 units, 65 apartments will be reserved for Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) residents, who are low-income families in need of affordable housing, and the remaining 46 units will be rented out to the general public.

The main 23,000 square foot retail space was leased to Target for the construction of a “flexible-format store,” a smaller space curated to the needs of Rogers Park, which currently lacks outlets that carry clothing and housewares. Along with traditional Target merchandise such as style, wellness and grocery items, the store includes Chicago-inspired apparel and partnerships with local food brands, according to Target’s website.

How convenient is it to not have to take the red line to the Wilson stop to get your household goods? Now students can get snacks, clothing, beauty needs, etc. at a greater convenience.

Alderman Joe Moore, 49th Ward, said he believes the impact of the new development will be extremely positive for the Rogers Park community, especially Loyola students. This estimated to create 450 construction jobs and 70 to 80 permanent retail jobs and is estimated to bring in $650,000 per year in sales and property taxes. 

However, traffic has already been increasing greatly on Sheridan road with this new addition. There is hope there will be greater traffic regulation after the rest of the construction on Sheridan is done.

LUC PSA Wrapping Up the Semester With Service Work in Pakistan

LUC PSA Wrapping Up the Semester With Service Work in Pakistan

Kiran Foundation is a Non-Profit organization that is imbedded in the reality of Lyari, an area that has been through immense pain and turmoil, but is resilient and largely misunderstood.

“We provide education rooted in the awareness and understanding of mental health and wellbeing by building safe and happy learning environments where children and their families can not only heal through their traumas but also flourish.”

“We nurture mothers and caregivers along with their children, and build safe and happy spaces where they are free to grow and thrive together. We develop positive habits in children from a young age, with the aim to nurture them into kinder, more mindful individuals.”

“We go beyond the ideas of conventional education, and incorporate elements that help children as well as the adults develop a deeper sense and understanding of themselves and others, enabling them to regulate their thoughts and emotions. The beauty of our education system lies in the fact that we engage parents and caregivers (especially the mothers) in the learning process as equal partners. Without the active involvement of the mother, our job is only half-done.”

Children give what children get. The abused have the tendency to become the abusers. This is the ‘Cycle of Abuse’ that has plagued the world at large, and areas like Lyari in particular. “We believe that the only way to reverse this cycle is to engage people in activities that help them direct their energy towards a purpose that is bigger than their pain.”

Our visit to Kiran Foundation was an eye opening and enriching experience. Our PSA executive board fell in love with their mission since day one, but visiting the Foundation in person was powerful and meaningful. There were bright colors everywhere, children smiling and laughing while learning and playing cricket, girls battling guys in basketball, and so much more. Kids ran up to us and gave us warm hugs, which melted our hearts.
Alhumdullilah, this has been eradicated and the neighborhood is much safer in present day. Residents are able to go about their normal everyday lives.
Kiran Foundation gives the underprivileged children of Lyari a noble opportunity to learn, along with their mothers, so they can be women the children can look up to. These children are able to go from Lyari to the top preliminary schools in Karachi, and dream of attending some of the top universities in the world such as Harvard and MIT all because of this foundation. We are very excited to support Kiran Foundation and work closely with the children to give them the resources they need to reach their dreams. 
We are grateful for the amazing donations of all these books by Asim Ali and our Executive Board. We cherish members like you!