Thanksgiving Day Holiday!

happy thanksgivingIt’s hard to believe that the Thanksgiving Holiday Season is only a couple of days away, which means that the semester is coming to a close. It feels like it was only a couple of weeks ago when classes first started! There are tons of stuff to do this weekend, especially sense it’s the holiday season. Time to spend quality time with your family, friends and love ones and share good times. For me personally, this break is very special and important to me, because it’s my birthday weekend! So, I will very thankful to see another year and to just be around all of my family and friends.

black fridayOne of the biggest events that will be happening will be Black Friday or Black Thursday, whichever one works for you. Stores will be opening up earlier than ever to gain customers for low markdown prices. This should be an epic event like it always is. I personally, hate being in long lines and I will gladly do my shopping online. I do feel bad for one of my close friends that will have to work during that hectic period!

 

macy's thanksgiving day paradeAnother major event that will be going on, but on the television will be the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It takes place in New York, but it is a huge event with many different acts. This year, the South Shore Drill Team from Chicago will be in the huge parade! Thanks to some last minute donations, the drill be will be able to go to New York and take place in the epic event. You can go on YouTube and check out some of their acts. They are extremely talented and it will be great to see them out there!

 

happy thanksgivingI hope that everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving break and take the time to just enjoy the break and spending time with people, who are important to you!

You Get A Cold!

Hey Everyone…

I’m sicker than a dog right now. Yup, the epitome of health (that’s me, in case you were wondering) has a head cold. My nose is stuffed up, my throat hurts, I can’t stop coughing…so yeah, I’m basically miserable.

Alright, that’s enough negativity for one blog post. I am sick because I suck at taking care of myself. Yes, I workout and eat pretty healthy, but there are a lot of things that I slack on. And we all do.

oprahWith that being said, how can start taking better care of ourselves and avoid getting sick? Sometimes, I feel like this is a task that just can’t be accomplished. It’s hard during the winter season when it seems like everyone and their mother is either coughing or sneezing everywhere. Getting sick is pretty much unavoidable, but there are TONS of ways to build up your immune system and try to fight winter illness.

 

-WASH. YOUR. HANDS.

hand washing.

There’s a reason why I put this in all caps…there are people out there who rarely wash their hands.Which is why I am giving everyone a friendly reminder to keep up their hand washing habits! Because a) not washing them is nasty and b) this is the easiest and most effective way to prevent the spread of germs. All it takes is twenty seconds to do! So next time you use the bathroom, or come home from a long day of school/work, stick those hands under the faucet, soap up, and wash away!!! Oh, and make sure you scrub all around those fingernails, wrists, and thumbs…the parts that most of us forget to give attention to.

-Go to Bed.

kitty!

Who doesn’t love sleep? If I could, I would sleep the whole day away and not even feel guilty at all for missing any of my classes or my work shifts. But unfortunately, I can’t…and neither can you. But what we can do is make sure we have at least 6 + hours of sleep every night! Giving your body the proper sleep that it needs boosts your immunity and helps you fight off sickness. Can’t get the full amount? Take a cat nap during the day to help those hours add up!

-Do not share!!!

Haha get it?

Haha get it?

We all know that phrase, “Sharing is caring”, right? Well it’s wrong. Sharing chapstick, utensils, food, or drinks with another person is the easiest way to transfer germs. So if you want to share with others, go ahead and let them copy your math homework instead. KIDDING! (Not really)

-Hydrate and eat well.

water.

Pretty obvious. In regards to hydration, water is your best bet, but tea and juice are pretty good too. And for a quick and easy way to get some vitamins and nutrients, eating fruits and vegetables are the way to go.

-Disinfect!

lysol.

Did you know your cell phone is one of the germiest things you come in contact with all day? Or that your steering wheel can be carrying billions of bacteria without you even knowing it? Which is why disinfecting the things you come in contact with the most is extremely important. Because when you touch your awesome, germ ridden iPhone to your face to take a phone call….you’re basically setting yourself up for illness. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

Are you surprised by all of my infinite wisdom on this subject? Well, you shouldn’t be! I know I am just sooooo smart and full of useless information, but most of this information is pretty common sense. We all just forget to use our heads sometimes. (story of my life) So stay smart and you’ll be healthy this winter season! Oh, and someone please remind me to do the same!

See ya!

Torie

Keep calm and love on!

Being able to stay calm in a stressful situation is a skill that will help exponentially in life. I have found myself struggling to stay calm since i’ve been in college here at SXU. I stress about friendships, time management, due dates, and exams, and if you catch me when i’m letting myself get stressed- i’m not myself. However, when i’m not stressing about the work that needs to be done, and remaining calm while doing it, I find myself producing quality work, faster. After all, stressing out about things creates another distraction that keeps one from doing what the cause of their stress is.images-2

Staying calm is a lot easier said than done, here are some tips to help you remain calm:

  1. Discuss your frustration. A lot of times, stress that we are feeling is caused or involves other people. Simply just talking to somebody about issues can often alleviate the stress. Even if the stress you are feeling doesn’t involve another person, talking to somebody about stress and frustration that you have kept internalized will often help you see your situation differently.
  2. Find outlets. Work out, paint, meditate, do yoga. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something!! It’s a lot easier to get down to work when you’ve had your fair share of fun. Don’t have too much fun, spending too much time doing things that are for pleasure will not keep you calm when your deadline is tomorrow and you haven’t started yet.
  3. Have a schedule/routine. Personally, I do certain classes homework on the same day every week. This way I make sure that I have all my work done and I can remain calm usually… though I still catch myself procrastinating sometimes.

SXU has a great staff so, over all, keeping calm has actually not been as much of a struggle here as I thought. Remember people, mind over matter:)

 

Adios Women’s Workout World. :(

w3.

On November 15th, 2013, the Chicagoland area lost one of the oldest and most endearing gyms in the history of this city…Women’s Workout World. For 31 long and prosperous years, this gym has served the fitness and nutritional needs of women while providing them with the support and confidence they need to achieve their goals.

Okay, so I am a little bit biased. You see, W3 has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. Not only did I grow up playing in the nursery while my mom worked out, but I also worked there for two and a half years. For this blog, I wanted to honor the place I called home for so many years of my life…and give it the goodbye that it deserves.

 

Told ya I was cute!!!

Told ya I was cute!!!

Now, I don’t remember a lot of my childhood besides how awesome and cute I was as a little kid, but I do remember getting so excited when my mom went to workout. This meant that I would go in the nursery and be able to and play with kids my age outside of school. As I got older and outgrew being babysat, I remember being excited to start working out with my mom at this gym. The only bad thing was that even though I was old enough to stop being taken care of, I wasn’t responsible enough to purchase a gym membership. AKA have my mom buy me one.

 

So in the meantime, I started working out on my own. I began running when I was in the sixth grade and never really stopped; I wasn’t serious about staying healthy and being in shape until high school though. This was when I became the workout queen that I am today. Well, not exactly. You see, I was OBSESSED with working out. And in an unhealthy way. I would run constantly as a junior and senior in high school, doing anywhere from eight to ten miles every day. Not exactly a smart thing to do, especially in cold winter months with snow and ice on the ground. I definitely needed a change of routine and thankfully, Women’s Workout World came into my life when I needed it the most.

 

Myself and my favorite co-workers (and close friends) Kaitlin and Genesis!

Myself and my favorite co-workers (and close friends) Kaitlin and Genesis!

Right before my eighteenth birthday, I went to workout with my mom one Sunday morning at W3. On a whim, she told me to go ask at the front desk and see if they were hiring. And GUESS WHAT? They were! I took an application and filled it out, not knowing that I would get a call a few days later asking me to come in and interview. I began working at W3 Hometown in mid March of 2011 as a class instructor and sales associate. I loved every minute of it! I taught tons of classes, got to know the members on a personal level, and had lots of fun each day at work. I know everyone’s first job wasn’t nearly as fun as mine was, which is why I felt so blessed and lucky to be working there! I got paid to workout for a living…I mean come on, how freaking awesome is that??

 

Yes, I used to wear a heart rate monitor. Told ya I'm obsessed with working out!

Yes, I used to wear a heart rate monitor. Told ya I’m obsessed with working out!

My favorite thing about working here wasn’t just the classes I taught, or the commission I made, it was the women who worked out there. Even though I was the youngest staff member, I connected a lot with the members. Even though most of them were twice my age. They were the ones who kept my spirits up when sales stopped coming in as often, and they were the ones who made me want to stick around through bad management. I missed every member there when I left this past August to focus more on school and my RA job. They were the reason why I came back to help the gym close out once they decided to shut it down due to the lack of revenue being made at this location.

 

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that everyone you meet in life will be important to you in some way, shape, or form. I know that I am a better person today because of Women’s Workout World. I wouldn’t be as positive, empathetic, and as loving as a person without having worked there. W3 gave me confidence, healthy workout habits, and friendships that will last a lifetime. There was something truly special about that place, and I am sad to see it go. But as Robert Frost wrote, “In three words, I can sum up everything I have learned about life: it goes on”. Life is always changing, moving us towards bigger and better things than any we leave behind.

Scary Weekend!

Hello once again everyone! I hope that everyone had a great weekend! I, personally, had a very scared Sunday at least.

tornado

On Sunday, it was a terrible tornado that tore through parts of Illinois and Indiana. I’ve rarely scared of anything or panic about anything, but how vicious this tornado was and how it was ripping through anything in its path had me quite frightened. Where I live at was one of the places under the tornado warning. It was shocking with how much rain was coming down and bad the wind was. With how vicious the wind was blowing at times, I just decided to go hide somewhere that was sturdy and where there was no windows. I sat there just thinking about everything. My life, family, friends, etc. Just imaging that everything in my life could be gone was a very tense and scary experience.

Thankfully, nothing happened and the tornado missed us. However, it was heartbreaking to see so many people who lost everything. Just to see on television how people houses was just destroyed was painful to see. It’s kind of a complex situation. On one hand, you’re grateful that the tornado did not hit you, but on the other hand, you’re sad that it happened to anyone. I’ve learned how to count my blessings and to not to takes things and people you have in your life for granted.

thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is coming up and with everything that is going on in the world, we should just be thankful that we are alive and that things are just things, materialistic. I guess that can be the silver lining in this, which I understand is hard to see. I believe that things like this shows us how grateful we should be and how we shouldn’t take things for granted. This event really made we see that and I realize now more than ever!

 

 

 

Media Services

On campus we have a department that loans students electronic supplies such as cameras and laptops.  The equipment are always the latest electonic equipment on market (which probably means they’re pretty expensive, so I suggest not breaking them…just a suggestion).

If a student is in a video/audio production class, then that student is allowed to rent a production kit which provides a professional use camera, 3 varieties of microphones, and a tripod in order to produce professional videos (or at least make it look professional so we feel better about crappy plots for our stories.  How can they notice I play 5 different characters if they’re to distracted by the High def picture).

I was going to film a lake once.  I choose to be lazy instead and film my dog.

I was going to film a lake once. I choose to be lazy instead and film my dog.

There are many staff members involved in the department.  When renting equipment, students will usually interact with one of the several student workers who will provide them with their requested equipment.  Although, when dealing with media services, there are two staff members students may get a chance to associate with on a regular basis to discuss renting procedures, missing equipment, instructions on electronic uses, and other needs or preferences.

Joshua Van Tuyl is the department’s associate director.  He is usually found in the student lounge area where media services can be located in order to answer any questions students or workers may have about equipment.  He also deals with procedure errors, missing equipment, or problems regarding late rentals, explains why him and I already recognize each other on a first name basis .

This is josh. There are many other joshs like him but this one is ours.

This is josh. There are many other Joshes like him but this one is ours.

Joe Verble is the department’s technical support manager which basically translates to the “fix-it guy.”  Just in case you couldn’t tell by the name, he fixes electronic equipment on campus.  If your computer is slow, got the blue screen of death, exploding, electrocuting all personnel within 5 ft radius, then he’s your guy.

Not so average Joe

Not so average Joe

Be sure to take a stop by media services for all of your electronic needs, and until next readers, enjoy life.

Hello Everyone!

war veterans  Hello everyone! I hope that everyone had a great Veteran’s Day weekend. No words can express just how much gratitude we all have for the people, who put their lives on to represent our country. You all are truly appreciated. I, personally, have a few veterans in my family as well. I can only imagine the stress and pain that the veterans go through only a daily basis. So, once again, words cannot express the gratitude we have for them, by putting their lives on the line for us and our country!

 

sxu logo   I cannot say enough about the great decision that I made by coming to Saint Xavier University! From the people that I’ve met in my short time of being here, to have it is operated, it truly is great to come to class. It’s nice and smooth every time I come and that is the best feeling of all. Not to mention that there’s ton of events, clubs and etc. to get involved in. Just go on the schools website and look up campus events. It something for everyone to enjoy. You get to meet people and build connections that you might need later on down the road. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of that great opportunity. You can also get a workout in the Shannon Center as well as getting yourself something to eat. Saint Xavier University allows you to gain the full college experience!

ice rink    Not to mention, since the university is located in Chicago, there’s always something to do! Downtown is just minutes away and there’s always something to do downtown, no matter the weather. On November 15th, the ice rink at Millennium Park. The last day that it’ll be open is on March 9th. They will offer skating rentals for $10 and the hours vary day to day, so you can check their website to see what the hours are. Always something fun and great to do in Chicago, no matter the season!

 

Here at SXU, Life is Beautiful!

This blog, I decided to things a little differently! Instead of me blabbing on and on and boring everyone to death, I chose to let our beautiful campus do the talking. Enjoy!

BLUE SKY.

Took this pretty shot while coming back from a run throughout the neighborhood. The sky was too mesmerizing not to capture it.

 

CHAPEL.

The Mercy Ministry Center looking GORGEOUS during the first snowfall of the year!

 

GEESE.

Lake Marion on a beautiful, fall day.

 

OBRIEN.

O’Brien…the newest (and nicest!) residence hall. Plus it’s super energy efficient and eco friendly.

 

PRETTY TREE.

It’s trees like this that make me wish fall could last forever.

 

RED CHILS.

LOL JK, fall can’t last forever because two days later it’s snowing. #chicagoweather

 

LAKE MARION.

Word to the wise, no matter how cute the geese look, please do not feed them. This is for the sake of every current SXU student. Y’all know what I mean.

 

QUAD.

Studying in the middle of the quad during warm weather is a great way to get work done and enjoy the beauty of nature.

 

Hope everyone enjoys what’s left of the fall season! 

See ya in a week!

 

 

After Hour Activites

Even as a commuter, I tend to spend a lot of time of campus either working on homework and conducting extracurricular activities but, I also spend a lot of time hanging out with friends on campus.  There is plenty to do on campus after class hours are over.  While many commuters usually come to their classes and then go home, there are others who spend time on campus dealing with their homework using the Mac computers in the library, getting paid to conduct on-campus jobs, or just spending time on campus with friends.

For student’s who wish to engage in some studying after classes are done, the Robert and Mary Rita Murphy Stump Library offers a wide variety of services including upgraded mac computers that can be used to satisfy all student’s academic needs.  There is also a large variety of books and articles that can be used as extra study materials for students or entertainment.

SXU Library

SXU Library

 

If a student is interested in looking for some extra cash and have some free time after classes are over, I suggest attempting to obtain one of the on-campus jobs that the university provides to students, primarily those eligible for work-study.  A student can start applying for one of the jobs at www.cougarjobs.com.  Set up an account and start applying.

cougar_jobs_logo_right

 

Lastly, if a student is just looking for a place to relax, the school offers a university lounge in the below the warde academic center where students can access a coffee shop as well as a comfortable sitting area.  There is also the cafeteria if a student wishes to grab a bite to eat.  Also, if a student has some resident friends, they can join them in their dorm in one of the 6 residence halls.

SXU Diner

SXU Diner

 

There is so much to do on campus that there really is much time for boredom if you can find a way to bind your time.  So have fun and enjoy life

Culture Shock, and Revelation

Hello all! Hope you’re all starting to get out your warm weather clothes!

This week at Saint Xavier our Muslim group had a Muslim culture week like thing going on. I approached their table and they informed me of some common misconceptions about their heritage, and I ended up participating in the week’s activities. The first, is that opposed to what people may believe, men are not said to be any more superior than women- they are simply stated to be the protectors of their wives. This is how men are generally thought about in our society as well, a husband is supposed to make sure nothing happens to his wife. Another really interesting thing I learned is that Muslim women aren’t forced to wear the hijab. But more so, because I kind of already knew that, they choose to do so at whichever extent they feel comfortable in because it is empowering and makes them feel like it results in more of a personal representation as opposed to physical.

For the week I participated in a dawn to dusk fast while in hijab for four days. I’ve never tried to fast before and can I tell you, it was hard. Especially because in Muslim tradition when one fasts they are not

"I am calm, I am peaceful, I am happy"

“I am calm, I am peaceful, I am happy”

allowed anything in their body- yes, water is not allowed. However, it also reminded of the power of one’s will and that perseverance is always an option. I am also a practicing Buddhist, every time I felt too hungry to do anything and like I couldn’t make it I would meditate. It was surprisingly easier to be at peace and still while I was fasting. My brain and body were more than happy to have the opportunity to stop thinking and acting not just to take a break, but because I needed to; it instantaneously felt like a release.

Another thing that I did differently this week to observe and gain insight into the Muslim culture was wear hijab. I do so by wearing my long skirts with some of my more baggy tops. This was interesting because people could physically see that I was doing something differently. I would catch people who were giving me weird looks and some of them even said something. Maybe they weren’t even being mean or rude, my male Muslim friend in passing said to me “wait, I’m confused.” It ultimately did the same for me as it did for others: culture shock.New Hijab Quotes (3) I appreciate Muslim women in hijab so much more now. It is in fact empowering. There is a sense of both being refined and mystery. I had a heightened sense of awareness for, as weird as this may sound, my head; I felt proud. However, there is of course the inevitable judgments of others and failure to understand the nature of our differences.

 

Don’t be afraid to try something new! Especially when it comes to exploring more about the human race from a different spectrum. I find myself appreciating our species and feeling insightful more and more after every expierence I choose to take advantage of!

 

‘Til next time!