Have any plans for this summer? How about next semester? Advising starts this week and it’s time to start doing what most college students can’t: plan ahead.
This time of the semester is the fresh beginning for college students, the first glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re planning for next semester already then this one must be almost over right? Not exactly. Midterms have barely even passed and we’ve still got a long way to go, but why look at the sometimes bleak road ahead when we can look at the destination!
Advising sneaks up on us every semester, but it’s an extra couple hours of work I always welcome. Seeing what Loyola has to offer next semester and looking into what I’ll be learning is a great feeling; it’s the rush of academia without any of the actual work.
The best part about attending a liberal arts university like Loyola is that we get to take classes in subjects we’d never get from our majors or minors. For instance I’m planning on taking a women’s studies philosophy class as a mass communications major. Who says gender studies and journalism don’t mix?
You can’t just take whatever you want though. I don’t know about you, but four years of college loans is enough for me so I’m sticking to a fairly strict plan. I meet up with two advisors every semester to plan out my major, minor and to stick with the Honors program. Luckily, the courses available change every semester so if I don’t see anything I’m interested in from the English department I can wait a few months and give it another shot. As long as I’m on track and every class plays some role in me graduating I sleep easy at night.
You’ll probably want to talk to your friends to see what classes they’re taking too. The future looks a lot brighter when you know you’ve already got a dedicated study buddy.
So make sure to set up an appointment with your advisor; NOW. Setting up a meeting with your advisor could be the most important thing you do every semester. When it comes down to it we’re all here to study and earn a degree and no matter what you do along the way the first step is to register for classes.

Leave a comment | Permalink »

Twice a year, about 60 members of the Loyola student body go out of their minds planning the most awesome retreat that this city has ever seen. You guessed it- Awakening. If you haven’t seen the fliers, banners, and the tables set up in the Dana Center advertising the retreat weekend… well, you’re blind. Awakening is March 9-11, costs $30 (scholarships are available!), and if you haven’t gone yet, you need to go!

I’ve attended Catholic schools my whole life, so retreats are not anything new for me. But Awakening is a breed of its own. It’s magical, reflective, inclusive, and has a way of affecting you for far longer than just the weekend. I can’t reveal too much about what goes on during the retreat (I don’t want to ruin the surprises!) but I can say there is never a dull moment. Are you looking for thoughtful insight on relationships, people, faith, and love? Awakening has that. Have something you want to talk through with someone not intimately connected to your life? Done. Need some moments of quiet introspection? You can do that. Just dying to get off campus and learn a little about what it means to live in community? Awakening makes that possible.

I went on Awakening for the first time in the fall semester of my sophomore year. I attempted to go during freshman year, but other obligations and a less than optimal stomach bug prevented it from happening. For some serendipitous reason, I went on Awakening at just the time that I needed a break from the real world, some perspective on petty drama, and a chance to breathe in fresh country air. The weekend itself was amazing- its crazy how such a random group of people made me feel so at home. But I didn’t feel the real effects of Awakening until I got back to school. Again, I can’t reveal exactly what went on, but I experienced a profound sense of peace that continues to influence my everyday life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Awakening community. Awakening is silly. It’s intense. It’s calm. It’s random. It’s whatever you need it to be and always more that you expected. This semester, I’m returning to Awakening as a staff member. I can’t wait to pass on my experience to all the new retreaters!

What are you doing this weekend, March 9-11? Are you ready to be Awakened?

Leave a comment | Permalink »

Dear World, created by Robert Fogarty, will be visting Loyola this Tuesday and Wednesday.
Dear World is coming to Loyola to encourage the Loyola community to their messages out to the world. All students, faculty, and staff are encourage to participate.

Dear World was inspired by and created in New Orleans. The goal of Dear World is to change how people respond to major issues, especially natural disasters. It is a new direction of art and journalism shared through social media.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20 and 21, photos will be taken in the One Loyola Room on the First Floor of the Danna Center from 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm.

The Keynote Presentation will be held on Thursday, March 22 at 7om in Nunemaker Hall. Make your reservation for the keynote presentation here.

To learn more about Dear World’s past projects and to see photos, visit the website at http://dearworld.me/

Leave a comment | Permalink »

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March, but really you’ve got no reason to be worried about March 15, unless your Julius Caesar, in that case you should watch your back (and front). But just like Caesar, it can seem like everyone is conspiring against you some days; consider each of these days your personal Ides of March. With a flurry of exams, papers, projects and everything else life can throw at you in one day you might wish Brutus and company would show up and finish you off, but you’ll probably live through them, so it’s better to try and see these days coming so you can be prepared.
Don’t do what Caesar did and listen to the Soothsayer, the warning signs of these days are always there. Professors generally tell you what’s coming and if they didn’t the syllabus did. Sometimes things do pop up in the last minute though and that’s why it’s so important to get done what you know you about early.
The hardest part of any project is taking the first step. If it’s a paper, it’s writing the intro. If it’s a test, it’s cracking open your notes. But once you’re going you can build some kind of momentum and keep it going. Just seeing progress is usually enough to inspire someone to keep going.
First thing’s first, stop thinking and start doing. Planning isn’t a bad thing, but most plans don’t stick. If your plan isn’t going to stick anyway, don’t waste too much time over thinking it. To get the best results you should embrace when things go awry and adapt instead of panicking anyway.
More often than not, you’ll hit a snag in your work. When this happens you’ll have to make a decision: right or wrong. It really doesn’t matter which as long as you’re making one. Being stuck is the worst thing that can happen when you’re trying to get something done, but you can avoid that by taking action.
Now that you know how to get work done, it might be best to get it done before hand. If Caesar had listened to the Soothsayer he could’ve taken care of the conspirators before the Ides of March and we’d still be sitting in roman sauna’s drinking wine, so learn from his mistake!
I’m sure you’ve realized that the Ides of March for you have come, but not gone. Well, they aren’t going anywhere any time soon. So start picking up these habits and stay on top of things or end up like Caesar.

Leave a comment | Permalink »

This semester I am taking my first science class of my college career, a course taught by Dr. David White entitled Human Ecological Sciences. Our first task involved going to this website and calculating our footprints on the world. My results were extremely embarrassing- if everyone on earth lived like me, we would need 7 earths. Wow. That came as quite a wake up call. I don’t consider myself an eco-concious individual, but I never imagined that I lived a life of such conspicuous consumption. My next step was obvious: make an effort in my daily life to live a more sustainable life. But how?

Step 1: Invest in a water bottle. Bottled water, while readily available in the C-store, is SO BAD for the environment! Did you know it can take between 450 and 1000 years for a bottle to decompose?! Is it really worth it? I bought myself a nice, durable bottle (like this one) and I have since started decorating it with stickers! A way to help the environment AND be fashionable? I’m all over it.

Step 2: Get involved on campus. Loyola Association of Students for Sustainability  (LASS) has hosted a “Green for Green” competetion where students presented ideas on how to make Loyola more environmentally friendly. The winner received money to implement their initiative! They have a very strong presence with the student body and I expect more great things from them!

Step 3: Shop locally. Loyola students have the luxury of local produce being brought right to campus. How easy is that? We have organically grown fruits and veggies right at our finger tips with a weekly farmers market that sets up by the Iggy statue.

Step 4: Get educated. I’m learning more in my Human Ecological Science class than I have in any other science class I’ve taken. Did you know that the golf course cause hundreds of tons of chemicals to be dumped in the water in Audubon park? What about that the ducks there are only seasonal and throw the park into a little bit of chaos with the amount of food they eat and amount of waste they produce? Knowledge is power, and I am feeling powerful!

There are few topics more near and dear to the Loyola student population than sustainability on campus. With the recent wave of student- led activites promoting environmental friendly changes at Loyola, the pressure is on for the administration to implement some key new policies to lesson Loyola’s footprint on the world. We have a recycling program in place, but I know we can do more! Loyola will only change its ways if we, as a student body, let them know that being green is important to us. Who’s with me?

Leave a comment | Permalink »

If you are a admitted student here at Loyola, this Saturday, March 17, is not just about St. Patty… It’s about you, too!!

President’s Open House is a great place to make your final decision on whether or not Loyola is the right place for you; I know it helped me to make my decision.

From the tours of campus to the meetings with the deans, President’s Open House really is the time to discover the great things about Loyola.

For me, President’s Open House was really the place that made my decision. I had toured the other schools on my list, and had already weighed the pros and cons of each. Seeing Loyola and being able to witness the dedication of so many students and faculty was definitely what made my decision to come to Loyola.

President’s Open House is a great time, so if you have the opportunity to make it, you should definitely come. Can’t wait to see all of you there!!

Leave a comment | Permalink »

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I get confused by the concept of Daylight Saving Time. My first mistake was calling in Daylight Savings, it is not plural, just Daylight Saving. However, that is what most people say so it can actually be found in the dictionary as the plural form.
Also, I also can never remember when we move forward and when we move back, but google taught me a catchy phrase to remember it: “Spring forward, fall back.”

So, this Sunday at 2 am, our clocks will move forward an hour. My question has always been why though?
Don’t get me wrong, I like that extra daylight during the summer, but I have never really understood that whole concept.

The implementation of Daylight Saving Time has been quite a controversial issue since Benjamin Franklin first conceived the idea in 1784. The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time is exactly what it’s name suggests: To savor the daylight and make the most out of that time.
The main rationale behind Daylight Saving Time was the use of electricity. People figured that if they could make the most out of their daylight and save the electricity for the dark months of winter.  The concept has faced a great deal of opposition, but mainly because people complain about having to adjust to a new sleep schedule.

Regardless of the amount of controversy, the government created the Uniform Time Act, so everyone would change their clocks on the same day and at the same time.

Do you think Daylight Saving Time is necessary?
Do you find it hard to adjust your sleep schedule?

Don’t forget to set your clocks back this Sunday, March 11!!

Leave a comment | Permalink »

On top of all your other commitments—your hours, your clubs, your jobs—why would you voluntarily give yourself more work? Why should you also take on temporary service? I wondered all of these things when I made my schedule last semester and saw that I had an opportunity to perform service learning. The logical choice seemed to be taking a different section of the class. However, I’d heard so many positive reviews from my friends who’d done service learning that I decided to try it out. I’ve found that service learning is a voluntary time commitment. However, I already find my experience so rewarding, and I’m not even finished with my required hours yet.

In most cases, you get to pick the site that corresponds with your interests and your transportation abilities. Right now, I’m working at a domestic violence women and children’s shelter, and I love the two or three hours every week I spend there. My tasks are simple—I clean, I organize, and I play with children’s groups. However, I get to witness the great work that the shelter does, and it feels wonderful to be a part of that. I know how important service is to the Jesuit way of thought that Loyola holds at its core, but sometimes I need a reminder to realize how important service is and the impact that it makes on others’ lives. My service learning has truly impacted my perspective and my goals. Sometimes, I find myself becoming shortsighted. I get that sometimes it’s okay to have a goal of just getting through the day and making it to tomorrow, but service learning helps me remember my long-term goals, like my desire to make a difference in the work I do after Loyola. Learning in a real world setting also reminds me just how tangible my goals are. I’ve experienced such a renewal through my work.

I know that time becomes rarer and rarer, especially as you get older, but I’ve found service learning very much worth my time. For a few hours a week, I get out of my stressful college environment and find fulfillment in doing concrete work for others. If you get the chance, I highly recommend taking a service learning course. The change of perspective and work for others can make you feel very good at the end of the day. And who knows? You may learn other things about yourself. Reach out to your community and see what happens.

Leave a comment | Permalink »

Living at Loyola isn’t just about getting the New Orleans experience; it’s about getting an international experience. With over 40 countries represented on campus, and a push for that number to grow every year, Loyola is practically a country unto itself.

Loyola celebrates its diversity this week with International Week. International Week isn’t just for international students, it’s a chance for students looking to study abroad to star their journey, it’s a chance for students looking for jobs abroad after they graduate, but most importantly it’s an opportunity for national homebodies like me who haven’t left the country to experience other cultures and learn about international issues.

With events such as a traditional Iranian dinner featuring Iranian poetry, dance and a look into issues facing Iran and the Middle East students who have never left American soil can get an international experience.

The ultimate goal of International Week is to promote international understanding both within our community and around the world. Right now about 30% of Loyola students study abroad. Loyola’s plan for the future is to raise those levels to 70%, but until then the international experience on campus is excellent.

Celebrating the international culture at Loyola isn’t confined to just one week. Loyola promotes intercultural understanding year-round with events such as the Middle East Peace Conference held in the spring or the annual Country Fair held in November where students can see all the countries present at Loyola represented in song, dance and food.

During my time at Loyola I’ve met people from all over the world that I would’ve never had a chance to otherwise. I lived with a Japanese opera singer and now as an RA I have residents from China, India and Central America. Without Loyola I never would have had the chance to be so close to anyone from so far away and that’s what International Week is all about: bringing together people from other cultures.

Leave a comment | Permalink »

Our forefathers have contributed to the United States of America…

                             We are all a part of mankind…

                                                            Today is her time to shine.

Which sentence sticks out from the rest?

                                                    Why may you ask? — Gender differences

Common words and phrases engrained into the English language eliminate the influence that women have graced our planet with in the past.

Gender has been a decisive quality since the beginning of humanity, not mankind, and the time of our ancestors not our forefathers. Among many other battles, women have fought for the right to vote, privacy rights, and equal pay in the workplace. Women continue to fight every day.

Many men and women have fought for equal rights for all throughout history including Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

She sums the meaning of Women’s history month by saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men AND women are created equal.”

This American phrase from our Declaration of Independence implies a God. A “creator” that established our unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness could have been in the minds of our ancestors. Yes, these were men, but every person is influenced by many other people.

Two Jesuit values promote the message behind Women’s history month. The Equality and Solidarity of All People and Dignity and Value of Each person show that differences are neither right nor wrong and provide important distinctions. Combined variety can amount to beautiful new creation. Dignity for all people was established in the documents that created the United States of America, but minorities were suppressed because of a hierarchical way of thought. Humans are not perfect beings; however, the values of love and equality are utopian when put into practice by all people.

The United States began celebrating Women’s History Month in March 1987.

Face the facts:

According to the United States Census,

  • 29.9 million women over the age of 25 have at least a bachelor’s degree. Women were awarded 1.2 million more degrees than men.

              However, women receive 77 cents for every dollar a man is receives.

  • 157.2 million women live in America. Women outnumber men by 4 million.
  • 73 percent of American women assert their right to vote by registering.
  • 14% of our beloved armed forces are women, and fight for our rights each and every day.

A few Loyola women that I have come in contact with that take risks and make a difference every day include: Ms. Sarah Smith, Ms. Bonnie McCullar, Ms. Laura Beatty, Ms. Amy Boyle, Dr. Terri Bednarz, Dr. Sonya Duhe, and Dr. Laura Tuley.

We are all leaders because each person inspires one another. The question remains: will you be a positive leader or a negative leader?

So I ask you, what is wrong with differences? Why allow these characteristics to separate instead of unite?  Differing opinions allow for growth, so feel free to disagree, but add your own addition to the piece. Also, please feel free to add Loyola women that inspire others and any contributions that women have made worldwide to the blog.

Leave a comment | Permalink »