Energy, Emotion, Excitement: Wazobia 2016

Last Friday, I attended Wazobia.

The event was organized by Loyola’s African Student Association to celebrate African cultures and heritages and the belief that beauty comes in all forms.

Wazobia featured incredible food with even more incredible live performances. If you went, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You can still taste the jerk chicken, and the dancers left you speechless. If you didn’t go, you missed out on one heck of a time.

Since I know you are regretting your decision not to attend, here’s a quick recap of the night…

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Preparing for Lent

It’s hard to believe that Lent starts Wednesday, but it does!

For Catholics, Lent is the time leading up to the Easter season. It’s a time of preparing our hearts, minds, and souls to celebrate Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. It’s a time of sacrifice and mindful reflection. Every year we’re supposed to give something up (or add something new to our lives). It’s basically the Catholic version of a New Year’s Resolution, but these “resolutions” are supposed to be focused on enhancing our spiritual lives. I remember giving up after school snacks, ice cream, and social media when I was still living at home. And then last year I gave up ice cream because it’s way too easy to get ice cream every night at Boulder.

Last year, instead of giving something up for the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, I decided to add something.

I wanted to make Lent a more spiritual time for me. So I told myself that I was going to say the Rosary every night as a time for reflection and prayer.

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I had varying experiences with this addition. Some nights, it was amazing. I was able to focus on the spiritual mysteries of Jesus’ life and it calmed me down. Some nights, it was a source of stress. It was the last thing I did before I went to bed, but I felt stressed out because if I forgot to do it, I felt like I was failing at being a Catholic that night. And some nights, it straight up put me to sleep. The rosary calmed me down so much that I woke up with my rosary either in my hand, under my pillow, or strewn somewhere on the floor.

I doubt that I would ever try to make the “Say the rosary before you go to bed” thing my Lenten devotion again—especially not during college—but I think I have a few ideas for Lent this year…

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A Day in the Life: Kelly

Loyola student bloggers offer a glimpse into the day in the life of a Loyola student— which, like our students, is anything but typical.

 

8:15 a.m. My alarm goes off

Waking up this early is always a struggle after sleeping in during the winter break, but it’s time to face the music, so I tumble out of bed to get ready.

I dress warmly for the walk to the Quad, and then head up two flights of stairs to the classroom where my first class meets…

Seton Courtyard

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Making an impact through Spectrum

Spectrum is Loyola’s LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, +) club on campus.

We are comprised of a strong and growing group of members and allies of the LGBT community who advocate for understanding and recognition on campus, in Baltimore, and on a global scale.

In our diverse and changing world, Spectrum aims to expose and inform Loyola’s population on LGBTQIA issues to promote awareness and acceptance.

As students at a Jesuit university, it is our duty and privilege to be able to educate and advocate for inclusion of all people, no matter their sexual orientation, gender, race, or anything else.

Spectrum

I have been a member of the Spectrum since my first-year at Loyola. Being part of a club that makes a difference on campus and its culture and climate is unique. It’s also pretty powerful.

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Surviving the Snowpocalypse

As the snow continues to melt on Loyola’s campus, revealing cars, trash cans, and everything else buried by the 29 inches that hit Baltimore over three days last weekend, I felt called to document the craziness of the last week.

Being a senior, this was the first major storm to hit Baltimore during my final semester at Loyola. It was beginning to look like we weren’t going to have any storms at all this winter. Then Jonas came storming across the East Coast and every major city on the coast got hammered.

Baltimore has been covered in a (heavy) white blanket for the better part of a week…

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Braille Literacy Month

Despite my profound hatred for the month of January, which really feels like 30 straight days of cold, dark, and gloomy, there is one thing I love about it: January is National Braille Literacy Month!

More than 150 million people around the world today use Braille  for a multitude of reasons.braille letters

January was chosen for this celebration because it is the birth month of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille code, which was developed nearly two centuries ago.

The idea that our nation dedicates an entire month to advocating this system of communication amazes me. Braille has a special place in my heart, not because I am able to read it, but because as an infant, there was a great chance that I would have had to some day.

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Your blizzard, my flurries

"Winter is coming"

Everyone is acting like the second Ice Age is coming this weekend.

All activities have been canceled and classes on Monday are tentative. On top of that, people are running to Giant stocking up on Ramen, Pop Tarts, and canned cheese.

My dad texted me and told me to “refrain from going outside this weekend,” which is a little over the top, if you ask me.

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The Robots are Coming

Mark Zuckerberg has done it again.

Actually, he’s still doing it.

Every year, the social media magnate posts a resolution on his Facebook page announcing an activity the billionaire plans to undertake in the new year.

Each of his goals is something that, if met, every person could benefit from…

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The Best Lessons I Learned in 2015

It’s been a tough year for me.

This time last year, my whole life was flipped upside down in an unimaginable way.

One day, you’re walking about the world, looking at everything a certain way, feeling a certain way, and expressing yourself in a certain way.

Suddenly everything is different. How you think, feel, and see the world can never go back to the way it was before. It’s scary. And it’s so hard. And it’s constantly changing, even today.

On Dec. 26, 2014, one of the best people I have ever had the privilege of knowing left us in a sudden and tragic way.

Colleen was so many wonderful things. A few weeks shy of 21 years old, she was vivacious, she was hilarious, she was kind, she was thoughtful, she was brilliant. She was one of my three best friends at Loyola. I loved her and continue to love her so much. She was one third of my sun at Loyola. And then suddenly she was gone. As a result, my whole world got dimmer.

You find ways to patch together little glimmers of light here and there, but the light you once enjoyed can never be fully restored.

This new world is the one I must live in every day now, and I am trying to live the best life I can without her.

For her.

Colleen and Rachel

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This Christmas, a Special Thank You

People constantly ask why I spend so much time in the library, or why I care so much about my grades.

The answers to both of these questions are simple…

I want to succeed. And I want to make my parents proud.

There is nothing more important to me than seeing the smile on my parents’ faces after I tell them I am doing well scholastically.

“Your parents may not be perfect, but they are the most precious gift life can give,” is a saying that, since I started college in September, I have truly come to understand. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized how hard my parents work to make Loyola possible for me. They have sacrificed so many things, and I can not even express how eternally grateful I am for this.

That is the reason I strive to succeed. I want my parents to know that all of their hard work isn’t being wasted, that I am seizing every opportunity I can to make them proud, and to prevail in life with all of the tools they gave me.

My parents are a support system, my best friends. Without a doubt, they are the people I am most thankful for.

Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today—nor would I be going where I hope to in the future.

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