Mercy in music

I headed up to the retreat house this past weekend for the annual Chapel Choir retreat.

As always, it was a wonderful weekend of music and love and fellowship.

This year, our theme was “Into the Heart of Mercy.” And let me tell you, I definitely received a lot of mercy this weekend, something all of us so desperately need.

Technically the reason for this retreat is so that we can have more rehearsal time for Lessons & Carols (which is not to be missed, so mark your calendar for Friday, Dec. 9, at 5 p.m., and get there early to get a seat!)…

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Spiritually, it’s a chance for the members of Chapel Choir to build a community and talk about our faith journeys and our struggles.

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Why I’ll always be happy I joined Loyola’s Honors Program

The Honors Program only encompasses a small percentage of each class, but I believe that it is home to some of the best and brightest students that Loyola has to offer.

I made the decision to apply to the Honors Program pretty early on, because I knew that I need to be challenged in order to reach my full potential. And boy am I glad that I applied.

I have made some of my closest friends through this program and I’ve developed good relationships with professors that I would have never made otherwise.

Honors students quickly learn how to survive in a high-pace classroom environment.

Within the first month of my first Honors class I had already read the Odyssey, the Iliad, Herodotus’ History, and parts of Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War. That’s a lot to take in—and it was definitely overwhelming while I was doing it—looking back, I now know that I could do it again.

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Jumping into junior year

Hey, everyone! My name is Kelly, and I’m a junior classics/history double major from Cleveland, Ohio.

(Everyone: “Hi, Kelly!”)

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I’ve gotten that sentence down-pat because I’m an Evergreen (Orientation Leader) here at Loyola, which means I’m very used to giving people a quick summary of my life.

(If you were wondering, my fun facts are that I can whistle through my tongue and that I know more about figs than most people care to. Side note: This is what happens when you’re a Classics Major. You pick up a bunch of “useless” information.)

What do Evergreens do, exactly? Well, in addition to helping plan and run Summer Orientation and Fall Welcome Weekend for new students and their parents, I help my group of first-year students at our weekly Enrichment Sessions, where we talk about ideas such as diversity and justice while also addressing common issues for new college students, like time management and homesickness.

I love being an Evergreen because I love being able to help new students find their way here and helping them to see why I love Loyola so much.

The beauty of Loyola is that it’s a small, liberal arts school in the Jesuit Tradition, where the people who work here are in your corner, and will push you as much as they support you. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

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Lessons from My Sophomore Year

The semester is finally winding down, and my second year at Loyola is coming to an end. I’ve definitely learned a bunch in my classes, but it wouldn’t be a school year at Loyola if I hadn’t learned some life lessons along the way…

While I learned Greek and read Paradise Lost, I learned how to be silent. While I wrote countless research papers and tried to learn physics, I learned patience. I met countless wonderful people and reunited with old friends.

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So, what have I learned this year that won’t receive a grade?

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An Open Letter to All High School Seniors

Euphoria.
Freedom.
Responsibility.
Stress.
Under-prepared.
Torn.
Contemplative.
Excited.
Nervous.
Joy.

These may be some of the emotions you’ve experienced this school year, first as college acceptance letters start to roll in… then as you started visiting campuses… and especially now, as you prepare to make “the big decision” and enroll.

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Celebrating Light and Life in Baltimore

We got off the bus, not really knowing what to expect, and as we walked towards the Inner Harbor, we were overwhelmed by the crowd, the music, and the lights.

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My friends and I trekked down to the Harbor for Light City on Thursday night, so we weren’t expecting too many people. It was a school night and a work night, after all. We thought we might bump into some other Loyola students, since it was “Loyola Night.”

To our surprise, there were thousands of people walking around the Inner Harbor enjoying the festival. I’ve never been so happy to see so many people in one place, all celebrating Baltimore…

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Good Food Friday

Easter. A time when Catholics around the world celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection and eventual Heaven. A time of religious and commercial fervor, especially as families meet to celebrate.

In almost every family I’ve ever met, there’s some tradition associated with whatever major holidays they celebrate. My family is no different.

Every Good Friday, the women on my mother’s side of the family get together to make Fiadone, an Italian ricotta-filled pastry.

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Taking a Stab at Honoring History

Each year, Loyola’s Classics students celebrate the Ides of March (March 15) by stabbing Julius Caesar on the Quad.

“Hit the brakes… THEY’RE STABBING PEOPLE ON THE QUAD?!”

Well, not quite. We reenact scenes from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in an attempt to remember this major turning point in Roman sociopolitical history, while also reaching out to the larger Loyola community.

Let me make very clear that no one gets stabbed during this reenactment (although there was a bruised knee this year).

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Light City: Celebrating Baltimore through Art, Music, Innovation & Community

Light City is happening in Baltimore next week!

You may have heard about Light City, either by word of mouth or signs on Loyola’s campus. Or if you’re like me, you first saw something advertised on the napkin dispensers in Boulder Cafe and Iggy’s. Greyhounds, keep this on your radar for when you come back from Easter break.

The first large-scale, international light festival in the United States, Light City “will provide a backdrop for the celebration of ideas, ingenuity and creativity through art, music and innovation.”

Translation: Baltimore is hosting a really cool art festival that features visual and performance art throughout the city, along with a conference series discussing social themes such as justice, equity, innovation, and sustainability.

The festival, which runs from March 28 through April 3, is going to be a major event for the city AND for Loyola, because Loyola is one of the sponsors.

This is going to be an amazing opportunity for Baltimore to come together and celebrate the arts, innovation, and community that is Baltimore, so make it a priority to get downtown for this festival when you can. A few things you definitely won’t want to miss…

  • The festival opens on Monday, March 28. If you’re already back on campus from Easter break that afternoon, the opening parade starts at 7 p.m.

There will be live music, floats, drum lines, and stilt walkers. I recommend planning to be back on campus as soon as you can, so that you can head downtown for this opening ceremony. Loyola students will be marching in the parade to kickoff the week’s events, and it should be really cool.

  • More than a mile of incredible light art installations: all free and open to the public every night.

From the south shore of the Inner Harbor to Harbor East, festival -goers can explore 1.5 miles of world-class installations.

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Loyola shuttles will be transporting students downtown in order to participate in this amazing festival celebrating the city all Loyola students call home (at least, our home away from home).

This is a chance for Loyola student to get off campus on a spring night and to do something cultured, something original. Light City Baltimore is the first festival of this kind in America, so it’s bound to be something you’ve never seen before. What better thing to come back to school after Easter break than a major art and music festival downtown?!

Details on Loyola Night can be found here!

  • Check out Light City’s performance, light, and music schedule for more details about what is going on each night.

Roller ballet. Dance. Human dioramas. Concerts. Music fusion. Live performance painting. Choreography around LED exhibits and fire. Yes, fire. A giant illuminated interactive puppet show. Do I need to go on?

  • You can also get more involved with the events by volunteering.

What better way to contribute to this festival than to volunteer? Light City needs a ton of volunteer help, and this is sure to be a rewarding experience.

If you can’t make it downtown for the festival, fear not…

  • Many individual neighborhoods are also participating in the magic of this event, including Hampden. So even if you can’t get all the way downtown, you can head over to Hampden or any of the other neighborhoods participation.

Check out the profiles of the different neighborhoods to see what amazing things are being done by different parts of the greater Baltimore community.

For more information on the event, visit the Light City website. Follow Light City on Facebook (event), Twitter, and Instagram. And learn how Loyola is involved with Light City!

Defending the Apology

Like many of my fellow Greyhounds in Humanities classes, I was assigned to read Plato’s Apology over spring break.

“Why are these kids reading this?” some might ask.

The answer: Loyola’s Humanities Symposium.

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Each spring semester, representatives from the Humanities and social sciences departments choose a text to discuss and engage with academically.

A week in February or March is dedicated to the exploration of the text and broader topics by students, faculty, and other academics, who gather to discuss the themes and issues the text addresses, trying to flesh out what this text meant to those who originally read it as well as those reading it now. At the end of each week, a keynote address is given, tying the event of the whole week together while inviting further examination of the text.

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