Unexpected Encounters During Class

I remember the best day in grade school was field trip day. No matter where we were going, I knew that it was going to be an amazing day. It was a chance to get out of the classroom and learn something new, something real. It was a real change of place.

In Rome, I feel like I’m reliving this piece of my childhood.

My professors are enthusiastic about incorporating the history of the Eternal City into our lessons, discussing and analyzing the history, art, and culture of Rome. On top of all of that, our professors like to include site visits as a part of their curriculum…

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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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Theatre Thrives at Loyola

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

You’ve probably heard this quote from Shakespeare’s As You Like It at least a thousand times.

For many students and faculty at Loyola, their world really is a stage.

Housed in the DeChiaro College Center, the heart of the theatre department is McManus Theatre. Students from any major or minor are more than welcome to participate in any show, but the theatre majors and minors really drive the department. They serve as student directors, stage managers, stage crew, work studies, and, of course, as actors. And while faculty and staff have participated in the past, in recent years, the casts have been solely comprised of students.

Cabaret

Cabaret performed by the Evergreen Players in February 2014; directed by Natka Bianchini, Ph.D., associate professor of theatre

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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.)

Study

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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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.

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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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My Journey to Ireland

It’s official: I have been to the motherland. I have traveled to Ireland.

Since I am in fact half Irish, this trip was extra exciting. I have always dreamed of traveling to Ireland, seeing the sights, and experiencing the food, the people, the beer, the culture!

Upon stepping off the plane, it almost didn’t seem real.

Years of hearing stories from my Nana and Papa about Ireland and cooking traditional Irish food, memorizing Irish prayers, listening to Irish music on holidays all added to my emotion and anticipation on this trip.

I had dreamed about this trip, this day, for my entire life, and here I was, making my dream a reality…

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Silent Mind

JFDKSLAJFKDLSJFKLSDJAKFAs a junior at Loyola University Maryland, I have come to understand the Jesuit ideals of service and social justice, and the notion that it is all of our responsibility to create a better world.

St. Ignatius Loyola set out to create a world where men and women would be “contemplatives in action,” where we would observe, notice, and take creative action.

The study abroad experience is many things: exciting, inspiring, fun, challenging, eye-opening. It also brings forth tremendous responsibility.

When traveling from place to place, it is easy to get caught up with the adventure in it all. It is easy to only notice the most well-known landmarks. But each destination has its own complicated problems that need to be addressed by and exposed to the rest of the world.

Walking and exploring the beautiful sights of Paris, I noticed dozens of women and children begging on the streets. Passing each of them, I wanted to know their story, how they got there, and if they could be anywhere else, where would they be?

The image of these children and women has stayed with me and led me to much reflection.

Why was I given this opportunity and not them? What can I do? How can my Loyola education help? How can I make a difference?

I wrote this piece for them, attempting to give them a voice.

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The Silent Mind

She sits on a mattress, a child in her arms, burying its face into her breast, sleeping. Her weary back leans against the cold Pont Des Arts Bridge. Her hands shake back and forth as she holds the cup before her. Back and forth, the ringing of the three euros in the cup resonate only in her ears. Around her everyone notices her, a quick glance, a second of pity, but they just keep walking.

A herd of tourist, all wearing red “I love Paris” T-shirts come closer. One lifts a camera, points it towards her, and flashes. Her eyes overwhelmed with whiteness and tears.

She is blinded from the world around her. Her heartbroken brown eyes gaze up at the sky, seeking contact with God. A dirty sheet covers her bruised legs. Love locks surround her and the unknown baby. Irony of Love, from the world to their own world on the mattress.

Her mind begins to wander, envisioning the mattress as a magic carpet, just as Aladdin’s. Now she can escape. She flies on the magic mattress across the Eiffel Tower. Her hand reaches out to touch the top of the shimmering metal tower. She flies onward, over the breathtaking mountains of Interlaken. Switzerland. Then the Great Pyramid of Giza. Then Hagia Sophia. Then the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then the White House.

She keeps flying, running away, observing everything about the world below her. The people resemble ants, she mashes them with her shaking hands. Squishing them on the grounds of the affliction and the pain they have permanently caused her. Now. Away from her fear. Away from her pain. Away from the tourists and their flashing cameras. Away from the hunger. Away from the humiliation. Away.

Another camera flash explodes in front of her brown eyes.

Thanks for reading! Check out my website here for more blog posts and videos.

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Creating Yourself

College students are on an endless search of finding out who we want to become in this vast universe. Our souls go through an unstoppable evolving path of finding ourselves. We are persistently reflecting on what is to come in our near future. Who are we going to become? Where will be in the next five years? What are we called to do with our lives?

College is the start to rest of our lives. Every inch and centimeter of the universe is open for us to explore. This is our time to make mistakes and learn from the consequences. This is our time to discover something new. This is our time to shape who we are as young adults. We will never have this opportunity ever again. Life is short so we must make the most out of it. We must grasp onto the new experiences and opportunities before us. Our moment to create something for the universe and ourselves is now. Not tomorrow. Not in a year. NOW. Continue reading