When the people you look up to are good people in real life

One of the many things I enjoy about my role as DJ for WLOY, Loyola’s college radio station, is the opportunity to speak with artists about their music, their lives, and their passions, and to share this with our listeners.

Recently, my co-host/roommate/confidant Kat O’Brien and I had opportunity to sit down (virtually first, physically later) with Allen Stone. Allen Stone is a national recording artist from Oregon, who is soulful and sweet and everything you’d expect him to be from his picture—and more.

We had a great phone interview with him a few weeks before his show in Baltimore.  We dug down deep and asked him some serious questions, including about his hair and his taste in hats. You can listen to the interview here.

Allen has been on an international tour for his new album, Radius, which came out this summer. He was accompanied in Baltimore by Bernhoft, an internationally renowned musician who has been with him for the Southern and Northeast American leg of the tour.

We went to their show on November 11 at the Baltimore Soundstage, a fantastic local venue for anyone looking for known and unknown musical acts throughout the year.

In a word, the show was unforgettable.

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The Ultimate Guide to a Successful First Year: Part II

We live in what can seem like a stressful and competitive world. The tendency is to work hard and play harder, or to burn the candle at both ends until you’re exhausted and can’t do either. Sometimes it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day to do the things we need to do, let alone the things we want to do.

This post is part two of a post in which I share what I have found to be methods to help first-year college students like me have a productive and enjoyable experience…

(You can find Part I of my Ultimate Guide here.)


Even homes is putting some hours in - but is he doing it right?

Let’s be honest: Every college student dreads studying. I can’t think of one person who doesn’t despise the hours spent in the library, taking notes and staring at pages until our eyes glaze over.

More than being prepared for a test, success in life is defined by knowledge, and you will never be able to hold an intellectual conversation without a base of appropriate information.

The most effective way to keep the information locked within your conscience is to study. Here are my top four ways to engage with information while studying…

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Are you in a funk?

Done with everything

Do you feel that weird feeling? You can’t put your finger on it, but something seems off…

You might be in a funk. Yes, a funk.

A funk, according the ever-reliable and enlightening Urban Dictionary, is defined as:

1. a foul odor;
2. a style of R&B music whose artists include James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic (aka P-Funk), and Red Hot Chili Peppers;
3. a depressed mood.

I’m not talking about a bad smell or the Red Hot Chili Peppers here. For the purposes of this post, we are focusing on definition number 3: a depressed mood.

Around this time in the semester, I notice myself and my friends finding it harder to cope than usual with little things… like when you realize every washer is taken when you need to do laundry… or the toaster is broken at the sandwich bar when you have your heart set on a turkey melt for lunch.

On top of these inconveniences that feel like the universe rallying against you, you are drowning in work.

A funk can take you by surprise. A funk is clever. It hits right around this time when the semester is almost over, but not quite. The finish line is in sight, but the path is blocked by projects, papers, and exams. Everyone is sick of school and frankly, sick of each other. No one seems to be in a good mood, and getting a smile out of friends is like pulling teeth.

I’m here to tell you, you’re not a hermit or a misanthrope, you’re just in a funk.

This feeling is normal! It’s like the tide. It comes every semester. What’s more, it’s okay to be in a funk.

The cure for a funk is a simple remedy: Take a break.

Thanksgiving is coming at the perfect time to lift you out of your rut and bring your mojo back. After a few good days of family and friends, food and rest, your funk should be cured.

For now, just do you best to get through this next week. Then go home, enjoy the holiday, take a few moments each day to be grateful and present, and cure the funk. When you come back on Dec. 1, you’ll be ready to ace your finals.

You’re Listening to WLOY Loyola Radio

College Radio is a beautiful art form that many work hard behind the scenes to keep alive.

WLOY is an especially wonderful place filled with love, laughter, and great music.

As Chief Announcer and 4th-year DJ at WLOY Loyola Radio, it’s only fitting that I blog about my time at the station.

Here’s why you should join the movement and tune in…

wloy local business

Let me start with the music. WLOY plays the best music on earth.

We are a rock-formatted station, with the majority of our 120+ volunteer DJ staff playing classic and/or alternative/indie rock during our 24/7 programming. In addition, we have specialty show programming that allows our student body to expand their reach of music genres.

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When You Get Sick Abroad

In most cases, when students decide to study abroad, we daydream about walks on cobbled streets and lattes in European cafes and open-air markets and positive life-changing experiences.

Our thoughts of what it will be like are filled with sunshine and happiness and the thrill of adventure. Then suddenly a rain cloud rolls in.

We did not imagine this scenario when we were excitedly packing for our trip, eager to fill our passports with exotic stamps…

I’m talking about being ill.

Worse, I’m talking about getting food poisoning.

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Memorializing the Jesuit Martyrs

If you’ve walked by Loyola’s Quad recently, you’ve probably noticed the crosses lining the path near Maryland Hall and Sellinger.

Every year, Loyola remembers the Jesuit martyrs who surrendered their lives for their faith during the civil war in El Salvador.

On Nov. 16, 1989, at la Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador, uniformed men gunned down six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her 16-year-old daughter. These men and women lost their lives in this act of violence.

Over the next couple of days, the Loyola community will honor these men and women, along with many others who gave their lives in service to individuals experiencing poverty. Among those honored by Loyola are Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., Segundo Montes, S.J., Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J., Joaquín López y López, S.J., Amando López, S.J., Elba Ramos, Celina Ramos, Barbara Ford, Stan Rother, and Sr. Dorothy Kazel.


In an age where we need to care even more for those around us—and especially for those experiencing poverty—remembering the actions of those who went before us in order to follow their selfless example is more important than ever.

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On Veterans Day

When you think of the word “hero,” who comes to mind?

A parent? A teacher? Superman?

For me, it’s the men and women who serve or have served in America’s Armed Forces.

By definition, a hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. A hero is someone who risks their own well being in order to assist someone else.

When I hear the word “hero,” I think of the people who risk their lives daily for the benefit of our nation and its people, most of whom they have never and will never meet.12232713_10154390853913378_7182479967408467667_o

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I think I just learned what it means to be Jesuit educated

It’s hard to imagine 1,600 people gathered in one room for one cause. And 1,600 young people committed to social justice? This might seem like something out of a movie.

But this was the scene at the Ignatian Family Teach-In last weekend.

The IFTI originally started as a remembrance for the eight UCA martyrs (six Jesuits and two women) who were assassinated in 1989 during El Salvador’s violent civil war. Their deaths—along with the deaths and disappearances of thousands of others in El Salvador—became emblematic for the reality of standing up for peace and justice.

This was my second trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Teach-In. It felt like a homecoming. Last year, the IFTI came at a pivotal time for me. I had heard countless times about cura personalis, Magis, and the Jesuit Core Values during my first year at Loyola.

However, I felt like without action, these phrases seemed like empty words in my day-to-day college life. The Teach-In gave all of those words meaning for me.

For the three days of the Teach-In, we hear from young and old alike pursuing justice and equality. They share the things they are doing in their own lives and communities to give back and pay it forward. The weekend culminates with a day on Capitol Hill, where conference participants have the opportunity to advocate for the issues we spent time learning about and discussing. You have a true sense of purpose when you get to advocate for those issues.

The Teach-In has taught me the what it truly means to be Jesuit educated. Far from having priests as professors, to be Jesuit educated is to learn all things, from finance to philosophy, in the hopes you use your unique skills and knowledge to serve others. To be Jesuit educated means we understand the notion that everyone has the potential and the responsibility to serve others in whatever way they can.

All Jesuit students should experience the lessons of the Teach-In. Seeing other young people doing incredible things in the name of peace and justice can be inspiring, especially in a society that labels teenagers as superficial, self-centered, and apathetic. The Teach-In proves all those stereotypes wrong.

Young people are the present and the future. We have the ability to do true good for one another. We have the ability to change the world for the better.

Love Trumps Fear

That is what the Teach-In taught me.

What will it teach you?

When Dad Comes to Visit

Leaving home for months at a time to live in a new country definitely takes some adjustment. Of course there are things you miss about home: food, routines, your favorite brands of things… and people.

This week my dad came to visit me in Leuven, and it has been great.

First, I need to provide some background information: My father is a complete and total goofball. Before this trip, he had never been to Europe. Therefore, everything that we do together is his first experience.

This is a very special thing, because my dad is one of my favorite people in the world. He has worked hard all of his life to give me the opportunities that I have now, and I am very grateful that I get to experience part of being abroad with him!

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A Thank You Note to RoomRez

Dear RoomRez,

I bet this isn’t a letter you get that often.

You have a pretty thankless job, but when people use you properly, your office provides a great service to the students of Loyola.

For starters, you take out the anxiety of finding the perfect roomie at Summer Orientation by giving students the option of having a roommate randomly selected for us, based on our living styles. That made my life in the Summer of 2012 a lot less stressful, and it helped to take the pressure off at Summer Orientation.

You also ask really great questions that matter when you’re going to live with another person. Room cleanliness and bedtime are not to be overshadowed by someone’s taste in music or poster choices when it comes to sharing a living space.

My group at Summer Orientation in Summer 2012

My group at Summer Orientation in Summer 2012. Fun tip: Make sure to take your nametag off your shirt before you wash it.

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