Exploring Baltimore

I have to admit that it wasn’t until recently that I truly started to take advantage of the multitude of activities and attractions Baltimore offers…

I have been trying to get off campus and find out for myself if the phrase that many of the benches in the city have engraved on them, “Baltimore: Greatest City in America,” is true.

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Now that the warm weather is *officially* here, it seems like the perfect time to do some exploring before I am completely swamped with final exams and end of semester commitments and work.

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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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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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Springtime in Baltimore: Top 5 Things for College Students to Do

After what felt like the coldest winter Baltimore has seen in quite some time, spring has finally arrived. And as the weather gets warmer, the opportunities to get outside and get involved in activities around the city increase exponentially.

As someone who is not originally from the area, I will tell you that at first, it was difficult to figure out things to do beyond the Evergreen campus. However, I started following the advice I received from older, wiser students, and I eventually became familiar with the downtown neighborhoods.

The amazing thing is, aside from the things I am about to suggest to you, there is so much more to see and do.

Let’s start with my top five ideas for fun, low-cost ways to spend the remaining weekends of the spring semester in Charm City…

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Tis’ the Season of Love

February 14 is the season of love and everyone is either preparing for a chill night with friends or a date with a cutie. Valentine’s Day is not just a day to spend with a date or a boyfriend but it is a day where you can show your loved ones that you love them. Or even just do something nice for a stranger. Continue reading

A November Night on the Town

November started off with the Charm City Fringe Fest. From the 3rd to the 10th, Baltimore celebrated performance art in true Baltimore fashion: on the down low. You didn’t hear about the event? Well, I’m not surprised. It took me at least a 30-45 minutes of intense internet surfing, which began with a simple quest for live music in Baltimore, to find out anything was even happening, and by the time I was planning to attend, there were three days left of the eight-day event.

Still, solid choice. Continue reading