Category: Student Activities

Come Explore Pakistan at LUC’s Explore Pakistan

Come Explore Pakistan at LUC’s Explore Pakistan

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The Loyola Pakistani Students’ Association strives to recognize and alleviate the struggles endured by those in Pakistan, while raising awareness about its culture and beauty. Setting new goals every semester to raise money for those who are underprivileged in Pakistan, PSA decided to help provide for the Dam Fund in Pakistan.

This year, The Loyola Pakistani Students’ Association decided to dedicate all of its fundraising money toward the Kiran Foundation located 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.”

Known for one of our biggest events of the semester, on March 22 from 6:30p-10p, PSA will be holding Explore Pakistan: Rangon ka Bazaar, which literally means a ‘store/shop of colors.’ The theme is a traditional Pakistani open market with live stalls that bring the vibes of Pakistan alive filled with colors. There will be Pakistani food for dinner, performances, live food stations and an open dance floor! It is encouraged to dress to impress! Formal attire is required. Traditional clothing is preferred. All attendees must have a ticket to enter.

This is a very proud accomplishment of not just the Pakistani Students’ Association, but for Loyola as well. Loyola University creates learning communities that reflect the rich diversity of our global society and this is what truly makes the learning experience one of a kind.

A Series of Firsts: My First Spring Break

A Series of Firsts: My First Spring Break

Me and my ABI peers under the St. Louis Arch.
March 2018.

Hello everybody! Sorry for the short hiatus, this semester has been very busy for me! But I’m back from Spring Break, refreshed and ready to finish this semester strong!

After spending a week in sunny Cancún with my family, I keep going back to what my first Spring Break at Loyola was really like. As my first semester at Loyola went by my Peer Advisor, Kristi, had mentioned that if we wanted our experience at Loyola to be fruitful and to feel align with Loyola’s Ignatian values that we should consider going on an Alternative Break Immersion. ABIs at Loyola are a kind of mission trips organized by Campus Ministry in which students fully immerse themselves in a community for a short period of time to learn about the issues that these communities face, ranging from environmental issues to urban poverty and lack of education. What Kristi said resonated with me: I wanted to make the most of my Loyola experience, and I wanted to learn more about the issues that U.S. society has to face. This way, I decided to go on an ABI for my first Spring Break, and I soon learned that I had been placed in the group that would go to East St. Louis, IL, right next to St. Louis, MO.

I did not know what to expect from my ABI, as I had no clue where East St. Louis was located in the first place. However, Campus Ministry organizes ABIs in such a way that students going on the same trip have the opportunity to get to know each other and their Leader at least 2 times before the trip begins. As we met with my peers, we talked about the issues that we would see East St. Louis residents: the persistence of food deserts in the area, a great amount of poverty and homelessness, and the lack of good public education systems. We discussed how we wanted to avoid the “savior complex” to present itself during our trip, that we were going to East St. Louis to offer as much help possible without thinking that we would solve all their problems in 5 days. This is when I realized that my ABI would be a learning experience, especially for my peers and me.

The ABI itself was an experience that opened my mind, my heart, and my soul. As we settled down in the house that would host us for the week (shoutout to the students from Creighton who shared the house with us),  Responsibilities for us volunteers included helping at a soup kitchen and visiting a family at their temporary home. However, I chose to volunteer as a teacher assistant at the Catholic School in the neighborhood we were staying at, helping the First Grade teacher, Mrs. Mattern. I was there to help them with their class work and to do the little tasks that Mrs. Mattern might need help with. However, the kids were eager to play with me and learn about where I came from, and they always wanted me to be “it” while playing tag. They made me feel at home, and it was very hard to say goodbye on the last day.

No matter the role we partook in, everybody in my group was always with the members of the community of East St. Louis. Everybody I met was so kind, and always asked if I found myself alright and if I needed help with anything. Can you believe? Me, a volunteer, being asked if I needed help. It struck me like lighting. We were in a community that was given little by the government and outsiders, and yet, they had everything to give us: their hearts and their homes. Just like in Mrs. Mattern’s, we were surrounded by kindness and love for the neighbor throughout our week in East St. Louis. And as the ABI experience is all about reflection, every night we would come together and reflect on what our mission in East St. Louis was, and what we had learned that day. Through journaling and daily examines, I started getting a sense that my ABI trip was not only a mission trip, but also an experience of self-discovery and refleection on our mission at Loyola and in the world.

Yes, my first Spring Break did not fit the stereotype of what this kind of vacations look like: it definitely wasn’t sunny, and I didn’t have the chance to see my family nor spend time with my friends. However, my ABI trip to East St. Louis was so much more than I could’ve asked for. I was able to get to know my fellow peers, a group of young and value-driven people who supported me throughout our time at St. Louis and. But most importantly, I got to meet some of the people of East St. Louis, who showed me a side of the U.S. that as an international student I had never seen. And despite the conditions that the community found itself in, I could see there was hope for things to get better: I saw it in the parents who dropped off their kids at school, I saw it in the teachers and staff of the school, and I even saw it in the children, who shared with me their hopes for the future.

My ABI was an eye-opening experience, to say the least, and I hope that what I learned in East St. Louis will allow me to help others, now and in the future. I still think about the children at To learn more about ABIs, go to this site.

Such a ‘Bler: Being in My First Theatre Design Project | SECOND STAGE LABORATORY

Such a ‘Bler: Being in My First Theatre Design Project | SECOND STAGE LABORATORY

WE ARE THE HOPEFUL!  (That is the name of the first 2-Week Second Stage Show that I will be involved in.)

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 Molly Cornell, a fellow Sophomore majoring in Theatre and minoring in WSGS (the bright eyes you see at the bottom.) 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 ( GET YOUR TICKETS!!!): http://artsevents.luc.edu/event/9f3b5c0cfccaf3db5839902bacce5faa  

Our team of designers gathered in the theatre library on the 13th floor of Mundelein for the very first meeting! The actual 2-week doesn’t begin until April 1st but it was important that we got to know each other as well as began finalizing ideas for the pieces that will be showcased in the show. This way, the 2-week period can be filled with the actual intense designing process! After homemade cookies, zodiac sign reveals and way too many inside jokes, it felt like we were really a family. It also isn’t wrong to say that we were already coming into this project because of the vulnerability and optimism of the focus. I personally really appreciate the department’s decision to allow Molly to direct such an idea because it gives the exploration of such a personal topic more inviting. 

I can’t tell you much yet, but stay tuned for many behind the scenes snippets and progress updates!!!  Stay hopeful.

 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS!

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST:

Such a ‘Bler: Failure: A Love Story by Alumni Philip Dawkins

Such a ‘Bler: Failure: A Love Story by Alumni Philip Dawkins

At the beginning of this semester, my design professor Rachel Healy recommended that I applied for a design position on Failure: A Love Story – a play written by Loyola University Chicago’s alumni, Philip Dawkins. She then recommended that I auditioned for the play. I did audition, and being not much of an actress, did not get casted (it’s okay I saw it coming, but HEY AT LEAST I CAN SAY THAT I FINALLY AUDITIONED FOR SOMETHING!) and had too much on my plate this semester to join the design team.

The reason Rachel was so excited to get me involved was because the show featured music, beautiful costumes and PUPPETS! Context: Rachel was my Storytelling Design via Puppetry Spring Semester of freshman year. Rachel then became my theatre mentor and well, she knew I couldn’t resist a production with both music and puppets. Leading up to opening night, images from the show popped up all over Loyola’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts’ socials and I regretted more and more about not being able to contribute to the production. This especially kicked in the night I was going to see the show.

Before the performance, I and other theatre students got the chance to chat with him. He actually got inspiration for this plot from a night at a cemetery with a group of friends. They found a bunch of tomb stones all having the last name “Fail” and became both curious and convinced that he needed to write a play about them. What had happened to the Fail family? Hearing this really showed me that inspiration can come from really anywhere, at any time! 

(READ MORE ABOUT THAT IN MY OTHER BLOG POST) http://blogs.luc.edu/uao/2019/02/27/such-a-bler-pizza-with-the-playwright-alumni-phillip-dawkins/ 

Sitting down to watch the play, I tried to not keep too much of this information in mind, but I guess in a way it made me understand the theme of the piece more – as well as made me wayyy more emotional. I was simultaneously giggling because I’d actually never seen the use of puppets before. The huge snake that my classmate from Design II made was controlled by two actors at one point. They danced and swerved the puppet up and down in order to mimic the slithering motion of the creature – it was incredible. Other puppets included birds equipped with quirky voices and a wonderful beagle that seemed so real resting on the arm of one of the actors though its voice was presented by another actor standing next to them. I came away feeling equally unsettled, warm and inspired. Such an intimate theme played peekaboo through rather whimsical storytelling devices, making it easier to take in.

Though already having an idea in mind, I am now currently drafting a project of my own for Loyola’s second stage laboratory at full speed. Hopefully you will see it during my senior year. I guess this entire experience empowered me to push my involvement in the Loyola theatre community even more.

Such talent walk and have walked these walls. It is amazing to be among them.

 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS!

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST:

 

Girls and Weight Training?

Girls and Weight Training?

A lot of times, there is a stigma placed on women who lift weights– associating them with ‘manly’ characteristics. This misconception that women should not lift weights and put on muscle mass is still largely existent today and is completely wrong. There are a lot of long term benefits to doing so, and solely doing cardio to lose weight can have deteriorating effects. As a Freshman at Loyola, my goal was to lose weight, but I depended a lot on cardio for that. I used to go for runs every day, and solely go to Halas for the cardio machines. However, I noticed that I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. In addition to the goal of losing weight, I wanted to reduce my anxiety. As I faced a challenging Sophomore year, I began to take on a different academic route, and developed an interest for Exercise Physiology at Loyola. Developing my knowledge in this field, I began to experiment and try weight training, and it has significantly changed my life (literally). Here are 7 things that have benefited me, and can benefit you as well!

1. Lose Body Fat

Weight training builds muscle, as lean muscle increases so does metabolism. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories all day long. Studies found that the the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. For each pound of muscle you gain, you’ll burn 35 to 50 more calories per day. That can really add up over the long term; for example, 4 extra pounds of muscle can burn up to 10 extra pounders per year!

2. Gain Strength Without Bulking

One of the most common reasons I used to avoid weight training as well as women in general avoid weight training is because they are afraid of “bulking.” This is a misconception as it physically can not happen. Women simply don’t have the testosterone to build muscle like men. Women have 10 to 30 times less testosterone than men and have a much harder time gaining size from strength training.

3. Decrease Risk of Osteoporosis

Weight training not only strengthens muscles, it strengthens your bones. Weight training increases bone density, which reduces the risk of fractures and broken bones. Research has also shown weight training can increase spinal bone density to create a strong and healthy spine. (Nowadays you see a lot of elders at Physical Therapy clinics, because they are attempting to increase their bone density!)

4. Reduce Risk of Injury

Weight training also increases strength in connective tissues and joints. Strong joints, ligaments, and tendons are important to prevent injury and can relieve pain from osteoarthritis. Strengthening muscles and connective tissue will make injury from daily tasks and routine exercise less likely, and can even improve sports performance.

5. Burn More Calories

Weight training has been proven to raise your metabolism for up to 24 hours after a workout. The more intense the workout the more calories are burned. After an intense workout there is more Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC, meaning there is an increase in oxygen consumption, helping break down fat stores in the body.

6. Improve Posture and Reduce Back Pain

Weight-training will strengthen your back, shoulders, and core, helping to correct bad posture so that you can stand taller, with shoulders back and spine straight. A stronger back and core will also prevent lower back pain

7. Enhance Mood and Reduce Stress

Exercise and weight-training release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression. An increased in endorphins naturally reduces stress and anxiety. Endorphins also stimulate the mind, improving alertness and boosting energy. Weight-training can brighten your entire day or help you combat a bad one.

 

I encourage you all to step away from this negative connotation of lifting weights, and consider it in your everyday lives. It helps short term and long term, and will make your workouts worth it, trust me.

 

LUC PSA raises over $1500 for Dam Fund in Pakistan

LUC PSA raises over $1500 for Dam Fund in Pakistan

The Loyola Pakistani Students’ Association strives to recognize and alleviate the struggles endured by those in Pakistan, while raising awareness about its culture and beauty. Setting new goals every semester to raise money for those who are underprivileged in Pakistan, PSA decided to help provide for the Dam Fund in Pakistan. 

Since the recent election of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan has created a mission to raise as much money as possible for the dams in Pakistan. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Pakistan will dry up by 2025. Pakistan touched the “water stress line” in 1990 and crossed the “water scarcity line” in 2005. The initial fear was that the country would reach the absolute water scarcity line by 2025 if the right decisions were not made at the right time. That time passed long ago. Water availability per capita in Pakistan has depleted to an alarming level. Past governments did little to deal with this massive crisis as it approached. 

Through many service events, PSA has raised over 1500 dollars and recently donated this to the Dam Fund in Pakistan. Just this past semester, events such as ‘Biryani Party’, ‘Lassi sales’ and the well known ‘Shaadi Mubarak’ contributed to this and through the help of its many members, were able to accomplish this goal. Shaadi Mubarak (Happy Wedding day!) was the largest event here at Loyola in November with around 200 attendees that recreated and experiences a ‘mock’ Pakistani weddings, ranging from the decor, food, dances, rasms (Pakistani wedding traditions), to even having a bride and groom play as actors! The purpose of this event allowed for students of all backgrounds to learn about the Pakistani wedding traditions and experience the excitement of it. It was a night to never forget, filled with colors, elegance, and love.

This is a very proud accomplishment of not just the Pakistani Students’ Association, but for Loyola as well. Loyola University creates learning communities that reflect the rich diversity of our global society and this is what truly makes the learning experience one of a kind.

Servicing in Exercise

Servicing in Exercise

 

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.

Such a ‘Bler: LU Wolf’s Birthday!

Such a ‘Bler: LU Wolf’s Birthday!

This past weekend, we celebrated a very special Rambler’s birthday: Loyola University Chicago’s very own mascot, LU Wolf!

The campus buzzed with excitement. Not only was it game day in Gentile Arena, but of course a party thrown to celebrate LU. Gathering in the Den of the Damen Student Center were all his friends = from students, faculty to other mascots!! There were games, treats, singing and of course a birthday cake for wishes.

LU Wolf is a member of the Loyola Spirit Team. He is an essential part of the cheer during our athletic games and travels with the Loyola Cheer and Dance team to tournaments. I would say that being LU is honestly an significant honor as he represents the passion, integrity and enthusiasm of Loyola and Loyola Athletes. It’s also takes a lot of responsibility and skill, but if one embodies the spirit of the Loyola student promise, I’m sure the gloves fit 😉

Fun fact: one of the “LU”s actually lived on my freshman year dorm haha.

 

Read more about LU Wolf and the Spirit team here:

https://loyolaramblers.com/sports/2017/5/25/ot-loyc-spirit-html.aspx

https://www.luc.edu/nsp/aboutus/loyolatraditions/luwolf/?

 

Happy Birthday LU! I’m so glad to have you around and it is always so exciting to see you around campus. Here are some memorable shots of the day from the Ramblers Cheer Instagram story!

 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS!

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST:

 

 

4 Year Plan –> 4 Year Journey

4 Year Plan –> 4 Year Journey

It feels like it was just yesterday where I was sitting in UNIV 101 stressing out about my 4 year plan. “How is it possible to plan my academia life in 4 years?!?” Well, here I am! Being at Loyola University was the best thing for me, mentally and academically. I look back and imagine my mindset then, and how much I have grown, and it is an incredibly proud feeling. So, you should be proud of your accomplishments too! Often, we get so caught in the moments of stress, and we forget to appreciate and acknowledge our own self work. Freshmen year was all about making friends, fitting in, and figuring out which path to take on this journey.

Freshmen year was so exciting for me because I became friends with such a diverse group of people and I was not used to such flexibility in class schedules, so I was living it! Unfortunately, my GPA wasn’t at its strongest, and I had a lot of external stress and pressure. It was so hard to understand how to study, which professor is the ‘good’ professor, how to have the best schedule, when can I have fun, etc. We’ve all been through this, and its okay! In the moment, it may seem overwhelming and you may even see your grades first semester compared to the straight A’s you were probably getting in high school and are like…. uhhh?? Again, ITS OKAY. This is that early turning point that allows you to fix that right away without being totally screwed for the next four years. Luckily, I was able to recognize this and act on it right away.

Sophomore and Junior year, I was able to let myself grow immensely. There were many downhill moments and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I lost friends, made new friends, joined new organizations, and was able to find the real me. I was able to find a new passion into weight lifting when I was no longer allowed to play soccer, and my mental and physical health were at a much stronger point.

Now here, as a senior, it is definitely bitter sweet. Of course, I kind of just want to graduate and begin my career, but the memories made, the friends, and the struggles, were all part of me and who I am today. Although senioritis is trying to catch up to me, I am definitely trying to stay strong and push through these next few weeks. I cant believe the semester is almost over and I look forward to what is set next for me.

 

Such a ‘Bler: I have a show on WLUW!

Such a ‘Bler: I have a show on WLUW!

And so another adventure begins.

During my college search, I came across a video tour of Loyola’s School of Communication’s Convergent Studio, and well I was hooked. I wanted to experiment, to create and to be immersed in a hands-on academic experience and there it was. I could see myself in this beautiful space and I could see myself at this beautiful university. One baby ‘Bler year later, I’m here. I have a new show on WLUW!

As stated on their official website, http://wluw.orgWLUW is the student-run radio station broadcasting from the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago. WLUW is dedicated to broadcasting independent music and informative talk programming and is a source of learning and growth for Loyola students. WLUW broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is streaming worldwide.

My show is called “Hyperlinked” – in reference to my hyperlinked brain – and it’s going to address a myriad of topics surround human interaction and relationships. And no, I don’t just mean the romantic kind. One of the areas that I hope to explore with my Communication Studies major, and well my Theatre and Creative Writing minors as well, is how individuals communicate, depend and not depend on one another. How do we perceive someone else, how do they perceive us? And why is the way we are present or not present in someone’s life so powerful?

February 13th was the first training day for the ‘Second Wave’. We are the second wave because our shows will be broadcasted on WLUW’s website rather than the actual 88.7fm channel itself. That way we are able to have more flexibility with our playing of music and discussion topics. The Second Wave is also for the more talk based or podcast based of WLUW’s shows. There’s everything from the purpose of spotlights in the Film and giving spotlights to queer artists. And I’m ecstatic!!!!

Our shows don’t begin airing until after Spring Break but I will definitely keep you posted. Wish me luck!!

 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS!

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: