Tag: New Year

2016: Year of the Monkey

2016: Year of the Monkey



Happy New Year! If you already broke your new year resolutions, now’s a good time to start over again!

I’m talking about the Lunar New Year (February 8th, 2016)! Personally, I enjoy this New Year better than the January 1st New Year celebrations. The majority of the Asian countries celebrate the Lunar New Year in spectacular

and cultural style. But for now, since I am Vietnamese, I’ll focus on Viet tradition. To make it easy and simple, I have narrowed it down to two things you cannot have without for this joyous occasion.

Red envelopes. Money. You simply cannot forget this essential aspect when celebrating the New Year. It is customary to wish the older person something very thoughtful such as good health or success in the future. In return, you receive ‘lucky’ money. The more family members you have, the more wealthy you will become!

Lion Dancing & Firecrackers. I personally think the lions are amazing- so fluffy, energetic, and colorful. A couple of train stops from Loyola, Argyle Red Line Station, Argyle St. has annual lion dancing with real firecrackers. The lions go to every store and bring in luck to the businesses. Chinatown can be a little far from LUC, but there’s no excuse not to come to Argyle St. and immerse yourself in Asian culture.

Here’s a good video from Argyle St.:

PLUS! Loyola’s VSA & CSA are doing a New Year party next Monday, February 22, in Regis MPR at 6:30pm! Come check it out!


Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year


As some of you may or may not know, I am Vietnamese. Today, February 19, marks the first day of the lunar new year; in other words, Happy New Year! Along with the Chinese, the Vietnamese celebrate this wonderful day with hopes of prosperity, good luck, happiness, and peace. This holiday is full of meaning and it is quite festive too (just as much as the Holidays and New Years (Jan. 1st) combined). Instead of the typical evergreen Christmas tree, the Vietnamese commonly have yellow/pink cherry blossoms. We hang little gold and red ornaments on the tree as well as “li xi”, red envelopes that have lucky money! Throughout the house, we continue to decorate with red posters that have calligraphy. Outside in the Asian store areas (on Broadway Ave.) , lion dances are held as well. Years before, the city allowed all the stores to do firecrackers right outside their stores. I still remember when my family took me to see this; it was so amazing and cultural!

As we now enter into a new year, the Year of the Goat, I wish all of you a memorable and wonderful year. I hope you get to spend a lot of time with the people you love and most importantly, I wish you great success and happiness in whatever you choose to do.

Goals to Work on for the New Year

Goals to Work on for the New Year


As the new year rings in, everyone including myself tries to improve themselves by coming up with resolutions. Most of the time, words are only words; words do not speak for actions. Although this may be the case, I promise to stand by what I say and try hard to successfully accomplish the goals I plan to work on for the new year.

  • Prioritize. I have finished one semester of college and therefore I have a good idea of how essential it is to prioritize myself. Everyday, I need to have an agenda of what I am supposed to do, organized by time. From there, I can visually see what things I need to do, where I need to be, how much free time I have, and more.
  • Be Respectful & Be Open-minded. Everyone comes from a different background. They have different personalities, views, and preferences. Especially in a college setting, the student body is more diverse than that of high school or grade school (generally speaking). Showing respect and open-mindedness to everyone allows me to develop more good friendships with others and show them what kind of person I am.
  • Push Myself to be the Best. School is important. I must continue to give each class my best effort and do not let other things distract me from being the best student that I can be. There is always room for improvement.
  • Socialize. Looking back to last semester, I had avoided many social gatherings with friends because I am (and have always been) shy and quiet. I would make up excuses to pardon my absence like having to study, having to be home for personal business, and more. Although some of the times, it was true that I was busy and could not hang out with my friends. Nonetheless, I must prioritize my time wisely and make time to socialize with others to relax and be happy.
2014 in Review for LUC

2014 in Review for LUC

On the last day of 2014 it’s time to look back on the year and reflect. For Loyola University Chicago the year has seen all sorts of changes, high points, and tragedy–here’s a few:

  1. LUC is the 4th greenest university on Sierra Club’s list. Thanks to the Institute of Environmental Sustainability–run on geothermal energy, housing a biodiesel lab, greenhouse, and aquaponics system–and extensive recycling and composting programs, Loyola is proud of it’s sustainability efforts and eager to keep improving.
  2. Men’s Volleyball 2014 NCAA Champions. A first in the program’s history, the Ramblers defeated the Stanford Cardinals in 4 sets–a match hosted in Loyola’s Gentille Arena. This is the 2nd national championship title Loyola has won, the other being the 1963 Men’s Basketball title.
  3. November brought the installation of Madonna della Strada’s bells. For both the 75th anniversary of the dedication of the Chapel and the 25th anniversary of the deaths of the Salvadoran martyrs, the bells rang. These bells completed the vision James Mertz, S.J. had when building the chapel in the 1930s.
  4. Opening of St. Ignatious Plaza, Halas Recreation Center, and the West Quad. Loyola’s campus saw some changes in the fall of 2014 with 3 new additions to campus. Students can now enjoy extra green space in the West Quad, an addition to Damen student center with a remolded Halas Recreation Center, more study space, and a new cafe. The south side of campus now boasts the St. Ignatious Plaza, a brick walkway with greenery and benches, closing off part of Kenmore Avenue and making campus safer for students.
  5. The tragic death of student Mutahir Rauf. Both students at Loyola, Mutahir was with his brother in Rogers Park when the two were robbed and Mutahir was fatally shot. The Loyola community came to together in remembrance of him at  a memorial service on December 9th and an interfaith prayer service on the 10th to pray for nonviolence.

The Loyola Community saw highs and lows throughout the year. Each event brought with it lessons to be learned–from eco-friendly practices to remembering our loved ones, 2014 was a year to be remembered and cherished. Looking forward to 2015, Loyola will yet again see challenges and success stories–here’s to making it count! Happy New Year’s Ramblers.

New Year, New Resolutions

New Year, New Resolutions

Okay, so since I’ve covered this Winter Break (past), it’s only fair that I share some of my resolutions for this upcoming year (future). I’ll also share some pictures from this Winter Break that are worthy of my publication in a third short-and-sweet blog.

On New Years Eve, I realized that for the first year in many years, I didn’t have a list of resolutions. Even more than that, I hadn’t thought of any resolutions to even make a list. I felt that a lot of what I wanted, I was already accomplishing, so I gave the list making a rest, and for the last few weeks, I’ve just taken the time to enjoy myself. Now that school has started up again though, I’m beginning to realize that there are several things I’ve been hoping to do, and several more that I want to keep doing. Throw those goals together, and they make up what I’m calling my Resolution List of 2013:

  1.  Train for a half marathon– in junior high, I ran track and field and cross-country, but I stopped when I went to high school. I ran on and off on my own for all the years since leading up to the present, switching between loving and hating running. After a lot of thought (and another change of heart towards being pro-running), I decided that training myself for and running a half marathon between July and October is the perfect goal to try and uphold and accomplish this year.
  2. Score an internship– I’ve been applying to many internships in the last few months, but so far I’ve had little success. The search isn’t easy, which is why I’m going to push myself harder and search and apply more starting now so that I can land an internship for the summer.
  3. Continue eating vegan– several months ago, I changed up my diet and exercise routine drastically, including eating a vegan diet. I’ve since done boatloads of research, and my gut feeling tells me that this is the best path for me. I do have my days, though, when it gets tricky (and I’ll admit I’ve had several slips for cheese), but with the New Year, I know I want to stick to it whole-heartedly.
  4. Start a video blog on youtube- this is a resolution that I want to start by the end of January, although it is still an idea in progress. I’m still deciding on a theme, but I think I know what I want my focus to be. Nevertheless, if anyone has any ideas, feel free to leave a comment!
  5. Keep up with my Loyola blog better- this one is self-explanatory. My university is important to me, and therefore sharing my journey here is important, and this year, I hope to keep up with a minimum of two blogs a week. And more pictures.
New Year, Clean Slate, Chilly Conditions

New Year, Clean Slate, Chilly Conditions

Today is my third day of classes back on campus for the spring semester. It definitely doesn’t feel like spring at all! I am thankful for the sun today, but the wind pulls the temperature down to subzero temperatures.

Other that the less than pleasant weather, I am happy to be able to start the new semester with a clean slate. My new year’s resolutions mostly revolve around being more proactive in getting assignments done earlier (I am usually quite the procrastinator), so we’ll see how that goes!

I am most looking forward to diving into my Photography I class for my Studio Art/Photography minor, taught by Professor James Jensen. He seems to be very enthusiastic and really know what he’s talking about— I learned more in the first two classes about the history and technology behind photography than I did in two years of photo classes in high school! I am really looking forward to getting some assignments and actually being able to go out and shoot a few rolls.

This is the film camera I’ll be using for my Photo class assignments. I’m so excited!