Category: Academics At Loyola

Easter Break 2019

Easter Break 2019

Believe it or not, Easter Break is right around the corner! Many of us are probably at that point into the semester where classes may seem a bit overwhelming with exams, projects, quizzes, papers, etc. If there should be anything that keeps you going and gives you the extra push, it is to look forward to this mini break. However, not to kill the excitement, but it is important to consider lots of studying time during this break because following this, is finals week. Yes, the lovely finals week. A lot of students tend to put off the studying until the last week of class (a week before finals week) but, of course, that is not ideal. You should really use this time to plan your schedule for this intense upcoming week and take advantage of the studying time. It may not be the most fun thing during a break, but keep this as a push because it is a few weeks before summer break! I always look forward to this break, because although it is stressful knowing how close final exams are, it reminds me how close summer break is as well and that keeps me going. Because break is only Friday-Monday, its not long enough to do something super eventful, but not short enough to do nothing, so I take advantage of this time to catch up on lectures, notes, and prepare for what exams I have coming up. Take a look at what your grades are looking like, and what you need on these last few assignments to get your desired grade. Try to also catch up on a normal sleep schedule; I’m sure many of us have pulled all-nighters or have had an off schedule, so its possible to get a good 8 hours of sleep and be productive throughout the day with a balance of studying and relaxing! Make sure to also eat well, because unfortunately, we need to prepare our bodies for what will come forth during finals week. I know this all sounds like obvious things to do, but many of us ignore important tasks like so, and it becomes risky during finals week.

This year’s Easter Break will take place April 19-April 22, 2019.

**Note: Classes after 4:15 on Thursday are CANCELLED.

Also, not many Universities have an Easter Break, so proudly embrace it and plan accordingly, where you can be productive and give yourself some free time!

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.

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: A Poet’s Acting Career (SO FAR) | THTR: 266: Acting I Midterm

Such a ‘Bler: A Poet’s Acting Career (SO FAR) | THTR: 266: Acting I Midterm

Here is a story of how a writer of words learnt to perform the words (I’m honestly shook that I made it out of there alive.)

I am a theatre minor and have been in a THTR 266: Acting I for just over half of a semester now. It has been a rollercoaster because I’ll have days where I’m really exciting to go to class and days, I’m a bit more stressed about being present. Those more nervous days are ones where I have to perform my assigned scene. You see, I am a not much of an actress, a performer maybe, but I am more on the route of a director/playwright in the theatre department. And this week, my midterm rolled around the corner.

I played Corie from Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park and honestly, IT WAS NOT THAT BAD! My scene partner was a guy who has always been based in electrics. During our first rehearsal outside of class, the first thing he said to me was “I am a technician.” I was glad we were on the same page with the assignment because the next thing he said was “I just want to memories my lines and do this exactly how it was meant to be done.”

A few weeks and little scraps of rehearsal time here and there, we crammed two hours in the night before our midterm.  We finally had our lines (almost) down and agree on a simplified rendition of the divorce scene in which Corie throws a shoe at her husband Paul (you really should read the play, it’s quite a treat.)  And well, the next 10:30am morning, we were in front of the class and ready(ish) to go!

We ended up forgetting some lines, but eventually helped each other pull through in a fashion that made our professor, Jonathan Wilson, question “Where did you learn that from?” Frankly, I was quite flattered but also knew that despite not being an actress myself, I’ve had experience directing actors through my scripts and honestly that was probably the reason (other than JW’s incredibly patient coaching) that helped me pull off the scene. Other than an awkward pause in the middle and our unspoken decision to skip two pages of the scene in order to make it through smoothly after that awkward pause in the middle, our professor and classmates applaud the relationship to be very believable! In fact, the only thing wrong with the scene was our lack of rehearsal. I was quite pleased, and VERY PROUD because though we had some scratches here and there, the performance was overall enjoyable aND ACTUALLY GOT SOME LAUGHS!

I guess acting isn’t too daunting anymore (though lines still feel like science equations) and I feel a lot braver after the first half of this course. I also came away with a lot more respect and patience for actors as a director and playwright because after rolling through Neil Simon’s word maze, I understand the importance bUT ALSO THE CHALLENGE that is remember very VERY specific lines. I myself write super specific lines and will be sure to give more props to those who can remember them. It really is just as important to learn in front as it is to learn behind the stage, even if that isn’t where you idealistically want to be.

Here’s to more acting adventures (maybe.)

 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS!

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST:

Loyola Ranks in Top 10 for Female Students in STEM Programs

Loyola Ranks in Top 10 for Female Students in STEM Programs

What is a stem field? College and university degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are considered STEM degrees, and they are in high demand across many industries. It is common to find most male students to typically outweigh the number of female students in most STEM fields; however, recently many colleges have sought to balance this idea by getting more female students into mote STEM programs.

For bachelor’s degree and above, female recipients increased at nine of the 10 largest such programs between 2012 and 2016. In fact, six of those STEM programs now award at least a third of those degrees to women.

We should definitely acknowledge this amazing increase our school represents. About 50% of our Loyola graduates were females in the STEM fields. This is a significant amount and being in the top 10 is truly incredible!

What Makes a Good Resume: 101

What Makes a Good Resume: 101

 

A cartoon hand shakes and quivers while holding a resume.

Many of us may need to start working on our resumes whether it is for a job, an internship, applying to a school, etc. Now what is the function of a resume you may ask? It is a concise summary of your education, work/volunteer/internship experiences and other qualifications relevant to your audience’s needs. Employers use resumes as a first impression and will use it to compare you to other candidates. NOTE: a good resume does not guarantee you a job, it just allows you to be considered. A resume demonstrates the skills and capabilities that the reader would value and it is essential for you to demonstrate your abilities and is showcases a sense of direction in your career.

How to layout and format a good resume:

There are a few basic resume types but lets focus on some things that are particularly helpful –

  • It is recommended to format chronologically so that the reader is able to see organization qualities as well as being able to follow your experience.
  • Aim to fit your resume on 1 page – unless you have more experiences that are relevant to the job, you should limit it to one page because it is a general overview of your skills and capabilities.
  • AVOID using templates as a basis for your resume because sometimes they can be difficult to alter and limits you from standing out if your resume looks just like everyone else’s. (Remember, the person reading your resume is most likely reading soooooo many others.)
  • Use CAPS, bolding, underlining, bullets, and indentation to direct the reader’s attention and separate different sections of the resume.
  • Do NOT use graphics or unusual fonts and colors to “dress up” your resume. It doesn’t look professional and you need to limit your space as well because you only have 1 page remember.
  • Use margins between 0.5″ – 1.0″ which leaves enough blank space on the page so that the document is comfortable to read and enough margin to allow for different viewing software and printers.
  • It would be better to save your file as a pdf before submitting electronically so that it preserves the format.

 

Sections within your resume:

 

Contact information

  • Include your name and email address as well as the phone number and street address you would prefer to be contacted at

Introductory Statement 

  • “Objective” statements are often considered awkward, obsolete, or unnecessary.
  • If you use a summary statement, make sure that your experiences live up to that statement.

Education

  • List degrees in reverse chronological order
  • List the official names of the school you have attended
  • You may list your GPA if it is strong
  • Course Work descriptions: which can include honors and awards (scholarships/fellowships)
  • Study abroad – list school(s), location, dates

Work Experiences 

  • List experiences in reverse-chronological order.
  • Show the name of the organization, your title, and dates of involvement.
  • Be consistent in your formatting of each experience
  • Use bulleted phrases to describe each experience which should demonstrate skills and capabilities – consider how your experiences demonstrate core work skills (communication/interpersonal skills, organization/time management/leadership, analytical/problem solving skills.
  • Use a professional and active voice

Internship, Co-curricular and Volunteer Experience 

  • List experiences that involve leadership or organizational responsibilities
  • Format the same way and be sure to demonstrate core work skills

Skills

  • This section is optional but this includes additional language skills you possess or certifications/licenses
  • This can also include technology or soft ware skills that are relevant to your career.

 

Hopefully this helps many of you! If you need additional guidance, refer to Loyola’s Career Development Center – they have many available resources, including sample resumes/cover letters!

 

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:

 

Such a ‘Bler: Pizza with the Playwright – Alumni Phillip Dawkins

Such a ‘Bler: Pizza with the Playwright – Alumni Phillip Dawkins

Failure: A Love Story was a play written by Loyola University Chicago’s alumni, Philip Dawkins. This theatre season, Failure was produced by Loyola on the main stage in the Newhart family theatre. For me personally, it was a very meaningful event because I was seeing a graduate’s work after their graduation AT THE PLACE THEY GRADUATED FROM – MY UNIVERSITY – how surreal.  

In addition, it was even more special because our Dramaturgy Working Group had some time to chat with the playwright and educator himself about his show and adventures in the world of theatre thus far. I was quite nervous leading up to it but it was nice to see that well, he’s just like anyone of us: hungry for art and hungry take on the world one laugh at a time. 

He shared some things that really helped me, especially during this stressful sophomore and internship hunting period in my life: 

About making a living as an artist: You’re never going to make a living doing theatre, two of you will, maybe (he stressed this). But you need to go into it with that mindset and find a side job. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, you decide how far you want to take theatre in your life. You need to do whatever you need to do to keep your goals alive. 

About playwriting, writings block, artistic anxiousness: Just write, write it all, and then work from there.  

About getting out there and getting somewhere, anywhere: (this one surprised me, but really really helped!!) offer your contributions to theatres that are doing readings, even if you’re not an actor. Get yourself out there, introduce yourself, and then introduce yourself as the artist you are. There’s no harm in being known by another face. 

I then watched Failure that night, and well, I was even more amazed. But more on that in a separate emotional post. 

 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

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.

Such a ‘Bler: A Night of Play-reading in Chicago

Such a ‘Bler: A Night of Play-reading in Chicago

You’d be surprised how many theatres there are in Chicago. My friends from THTR 204: Playwriting and I started out the week with a reading of Emma Stanton’s When the Tsunami Knows Your Name at the Jackalope Theatre on the Thorndale redline stop. It was only ONE STOP away from my dorm! The reading was directed by our playwriting professor Devon De Mayo (so we got in for free haha) and served as part of one of our assignments for the course. We have to see at least two play readings and write a viewing response for them. Frankly, I’m totally cool with that! 

Here’s a little blurb about the play from the event: “When devoted veterinary technician Ruby witnesses one stranger’s tragedy, she finds herself drawn to a new path, making precarious pacts with co-workers, a police officer, and an elegant dancer named Tsunami. Populated by pet-devotees and set in a city by the sea, WHEN THE TSUNAMI KNOWS YOUR NAME explores how unexpected tragedy can expose the beautiful and ugly truths about who we are.” 

Now, I would give you a more personal summary of it but I’m still too emotional – and well the above was beautiful said. But I was blown away. This was not only because the characters were prenominal and wonderfully casted, but because the theme and metaphors were very close to home. 

From my understanding the Tsunami represented a certain sadness that we all feel and how it can be so scary yet comforting. I thought intertwining this metaphor within the tsunami dance scenes of the play made the sensitive topic more approachable for the audience. And the intimate space of the Jackalope Theatre couldn’t have been a better place for this experience. 

I have another play reading left for this course, but my Chicago theatre adventures are definitely not stopping there! 

 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: