Tag: Professors

Giving Thanks For LUC

Giving Thanks For LUC

I feel bad for Thanksgiving. This perfectly good holiday has become overshadowed by the upcoming Christmas season. Rather than serving as a pause and time to give thanks with our loved ones it has become the perfect long weekend to get the best deals on the perfect presents and set up the Christmas tree. I’ll admit that this year I was out shopping on Black Friday and had been listening to Christmas music since the week before, but I still think that Thanksgiving should be given the credit it deserves.

I want this holiday to receive the credit that its due, because I for one have so very much to be thankful for. My thanksgiving weekend was filled with quality family time, reuniting with high school friends, and of course good food—all of which I am insanely thankful for. But I’d like to send some thanks Loyola’s way because it too has brought me plenty to be thankful for in the last 2 ½ years.

LUC thank you for…

  1. The city. I’m grateful that you have given your students the city of Chicago to explore. You’ve never tried to keep us hidden on the Lake Shore Campus, but instead encourage us to enjoy all the exciting things our neighborhood and our city offers us. And I’m always grateful that we’ve got a UPASS to get us around, plus a campus right in the middle of downtown.
  2. Jesuit values. Before I started school at Loyola I didn’t even know what a Jesuit was, but now that I’ve seen them in action I’ve become grateful that it was upon their values our school was founded. Our mission for social justice is one that seeps into nearly every course I’ve had and is certainly a message I will carry with me far beyond my college years.
  3. Experiences abroad. I quite honestly would not have become the person I am today without having spent a semester at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center. LUC thank you for encouraging your students to take a leap of faith and spend time abroad while we are in college, and thank you for making that opportunity so easily accessible to us.
  4. Caring for the environment. You were not given the title of “The Greenest University in the Midwest” on accident. The initiative you take to make our campus one that will leave a small footprint on this planet is widely appreciated by your students. Thank you for recycling bins, water bottle refill stations, and geothermal powered buildings; your efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
  5. Our professors. The reason we are here is to receive a high quality education and that would not be true of this institution if your professors didn’t strive to meet that standard. I’ve seen professors teach classes of 200 and still show us how very much they care and each semester I have a professor that blows me away with their knowledge, expertise, and ability to inspire.

Thank you Loyola, for all that you do.

Life Lessons from Anthropology 101

Life Lessons from Anthropology 101

Walking into ANTH 101: Human Origins in late August I didn’t have high expectations of the course. I assumed that by attending weekly lectures and studying for exams I would sneak out with an A and some new found knowledge on evolution. Honestly, I didn’t want to be taking this class at all. Walking out of ANTH 101 in early December I was blown away by how seriously I had misjudged this course.

There’s no doubt that my professor, Dr. Calcagno, was the best part of anthropology. Teaching the largest anthropology class in the history of Loyola is no easy task. But from the beginning Dr. Calcagno made it clear that he would do his best to teach the class as if it were an average sized classroom. I’m not quite sure how he pulled it off, but our class always felt small to me.

We covered the basics of anthropology, studying evolution, primatology, human origins, and modern human variation and behavior. Lectures always lasted the full 50 minutes of class and were always interesting enough to pay attention too. Plus, I never wanted to miss the one-liners Dr. Calcagno would often slip into his lectures.

I never doubted Dr. Calcagno’s passion for anthropology or education. He often reminded us of the importance of making the most of our education and truly appreciating the opportunity to attend Loyola. Receiving a college education is something I think we all know is something to be grateful for, but the sincerity of our professor’s reminders made us all a little more appreciative.

During his last lecture Dr. Calcagno wrapped the course up by giving us three final evolutionary thoughts.

  1. Golden Rules. An important rule in many religions, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. We were reminded to focus on acting out the message, not fighting over who the messenger is.
  2. Go forth and put out small fires.” A spin on St. Ignatious’ “Go forth and set the world on fire” and Dr. Calcagno’s comment that he’s not sure if Loyola has given its students enough matches–so instead know that you evolved to be selfish by helping others.
  3. A nod to Dr. Calcagno’s favorite, David Bowie–Even if just for one day, we can be heroes. It is up to you.

This is one course that will stick with me for many semesters to come. Because not only did Dr. Calcagno teach a class that was worth taking, he also managed to put Jesus, St. Ignatious, and David Bowie in one lecture, and that is truly impressive.


Office Hours

Office Hours

Yesterday I dropped in to see one of my favorite professors at the School of Communication, “Admiral” Ralph Braseth.  Making lasting connections with professors is important for a number of reasons.  You will eventually need references, letters of recommendation, or they will have connections that might not be able to make on your own.  Part of the reason I got my internship at the SoC was because of the great things Braseth said on my behalf!  I’m very grateful!

Now, however, I’m seeking more serious advice about post-graduation plans.  What is most impressive about talking with this professor is the commitment he makes to all his students, even those who have graduated.  Since I know I want to stay in the business of journalism, at least in the next couple of years, Braseth offered to help with some of the necessary networking.

I have a few options I need to think about at this point, but I can definitely take comfort in knowing that once I’ve graduate from Loyola, I will still have invaluable resources here.

Moral of the story:  When you are enrolled in a course and the professor is super great, go to their office hours!  Then, stay connected!

Nursing School Problems

Nursing School Problems

Before starting my Spring 2012 semester at Loyola, I had been repeatedly told that it would be my hardest one while in the BSN (Nursing) program at LUC. This past week and a half has squashed any doubts I had about this fact. While I know that I will get through this semester with an intact GPA (my sanity and social life are still up in the air), I can also tell that it’s going to be a stressful time. In order to pep myself up, I thought I’d remind myself of some of the things I have to look forward to this semester:

1. No longer needing to worry about time management – This refers to is the fact that the amount of work given in a night can be exorbitant, no matter how you budget your time. For example, there is no way that I can finish the six chapters of textbook reading, two math units, three skills and an hour and a half online lecture by Thursday unless I get struck by a radioactive meteor and develop the power to pause time. Instead of just freaking out about how to budget my time, or wasting hours looking up the next meteor shower, I simply work whenever I can, while remembering not to beat myself up because I didn’t finish absolutely everything.

2. Making a whole group of new friends – They say that misery loves company; nursing school is no exception. The rate at which I’ve been making friendships has pretty much tripled in the past few weeks. It’s always nice to have more people to smile at when walking across campus, and it’s convenient to have friends in all the same classes as you, especially when “socializing” is really just studying with the company of others.

3. More opportunities to talk to professors – I have found that whether or not I like a professor when they are teaching, I like all of them outside of the classroom. You can clearly tell they are hard on us because they really want us to pass the NCLEX and be the best nurses possible. As more and more of my classes become focused on nursing, I’m finding that the opportunities to talk to my professors comes up more often. I appreciate this, because who better to answer my questions about working as a nurse than actual practicing nurses?

4. Remembering the importance of mental health – It’s extremely easy to forget about your mental state when focusing hours and days of your time on studying, comprehending, and memorizing facts. While going partying every weekend isn’t a great idea, don’t beat yourself up for “taking time off” to go to a movie or hang out with friends for a few hours. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider it to be “taking time off”; taking care of yourself can be just as important as taking care of your workload.

5. Don’t forget to laugh – It’s easy to get completely overwhelmed during this semester and by this whole process.  However, it’s important to keep a smile on your face, and remember to enjoy yourself once in a while.  My favorite study break is to visit NursingProbs, because it’s a great place for nursing students to make fun of ourselves and the occasional ridiculousness of our lives.

Some of the more funny NursingProbs, as compiled by my friend and fellow nursing student, Christina Reckard
Talking to My Professors

Talking to My Professors

Something I recently remembered from Freshman year: talk to your professors in their office hours.

I used to to this all the time. Here’s the deal, professors want to help you. If they had the time and energy they would give everybody one on one attention, they would. Because it is so rewarding for them to give in-depth help to individual students and watch them grow. They have a lot of experience and they are excited to share it with you.

Every professor has office hours, and I’ve never once been into a professors office and walked away unsatisfied. Whether you just want to learn more about something or are struggling with an assignment, professors at Loyola all seem perfectly happy to bend over backward to connect with you and make things work out.

Just this last week I was reminded of that. I used to make it a policy of mine to visit each professor at least once outside of class before the semester ended. It helps you get to know them and helps them get to know you. Recently I’ve been slacking, but now I’m back into it.

I stopped by my capstone director’s office to discuss my project with him and make sure we were on the same page. Not only did we come up with some very good directions for my paper, but I walked away with some really handy career advice from a seasoned PR guru. I’m looking forward to having his guidance as I leave college.

On the way out I ran into a professor from my last semester. She taught me Public Service Communication. In fact, she had just shown my group’s project to her class for this semester as an example. Her and I caught up and I learned more about her work with Africa Circle of Hope Foundation. I had just written a press release for the School of Communications (as a part of my internship there) about an exhibit they’ve co-sponsored at LUMA.

Then I stopped by another professor’s office, who also happened to be in and have a moment to speak. I had taken a class with her previously, and am in her class again now. We talked about the assignment I’m currently doing for her class, and it was really helpful. She also gave me some really good sources and ideas for my capstone project, and we talked about preparing for the future. I have a great rapport with her and always enjoy our conversations.

So seriously, talk to your professors. You will profit in ways you won’t expect, they will be happy to get to interact one on one with you, and your relationship with them will grow. Many professors I have had are still valued contacts, long after class ends.