THIS WEATHER IS AMAZING, is it not?! This past Friday and Saturday we got to the amazing 50’s! LOVE IT! This week has been a kind of crazy week; it seems that just when I think I can’t get more busy, I do! This past Monday I did not have field experience because it was President’s day! Instead, I started my lovely morning at 9:30 giving tours before class and also after class! I totally got in my steps in for the day!
On Tuesday, I attend the MAP Grant Rally with SXU and 11 other Illinois colleges. For those of you who are not up to speed on what is happening in Illinois, there is a crisis in Illinois due to the Governor not releasing the state’s budget, this meaning that the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) awards needed and promised across the state of Illinois. At this time, SXU has more than 1,600 of our students depending on these MAP funds, which ends up about $6.4 million. (Each underclassmen class is about 500-600 students). This rally was held at the Thompson Center to show that Governor Rauner needs to sign SB 2043 because our state depends on it. There was a great turn out of students and staff members there. Horribly, Governor Rauner vetoed the funds.At this current time, SXU does not have a plan for next year without these funds.
This past Wednesday and Thursday, my Spring Break Service trip group sold tamales and held a bake sale! We are having another day of selling tamales on Monday to help our group meet our fundraising funds! Both Wednesday and Thursday went really well! Our group would of done it on Friday but we also realized that many of our students don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent, so to play it safe, we decided to push it back to Monday!
On Thursday, I had another tour with a great group of students! I always love the students I get to give tours to, but this group of students was fantastic and great listeners! Later on Thursday,we also had our last Spring Break Service trip meeting. I really enjoy these meetings because in these meetings we focus on the how the Sister of Mercy core values which are Red WINE (Racism, Women, Immigration, Nonviolence, Earth) are a part of not only our surroundings but how these issues influence the areas that we are serving. My younger sister Maya also came to visit me from Minnesota for her college music auditions this weekend as well! So it was great to see her and be with her!
On Friday, I had one of my favorite trips to Broadview! The weather made it great; for months, it’s been extremely cold in the morning which does make the experience a little bit more difficult to be fully part of (body freezing is somewhat of a distraction when standing in solidarity). Between 5-10 sisters and brothers were deported that morning, and we stood with the two families who we saw leaving the detention building. On a joyful and happy note, there was a man who had been detained for more than a year who was actually released last week. He came and stood us.
On Saturday, Maya had her music audition and then afterwards we went exploring in downtown soaking up all the great weather we were having! It was great to hear Maya play and just feeling so surprised to hear how much better she has gotten since I have heard her last. Given Maya has always been really great when it comes to music, she has gotten even better since the last time I heard her.
On a complete side note, I also wanted to share what I’m doing for Lent this year! For those who do not know, Lent is the 40 days that Jesus was in the dessert, starting on Ash Wednesday to Easter (see 40 days!) This means that mass goes to an almost-dark place based on our sins and how much we sin. Or at least that’s what I feel like the focus is… So what I decided to do was be healthy in the simplest terms. Going deeper than this would be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. For my mind and those around me, I am working on not being so critical and sarcastic. I realized that I needed to work on this because I have gotten to the point where it’s almost rude and judgmental; I don’t need to do this in life. As you may remember, I have been trying to be healthy by being active and eating right and so I am going to push harder for it this lent by making sure that it is part of my daily life. For the spirit, I am going to be attending Women’s prayer group on a weekly basis, attending the Busy Person’s Retreat this upcoming week, and lastly making sure that every day I have self-reflection and/or praying. What I am also realizing is that I am going to try and journal everyday about what is going on. Not only would this help make my weekly blog posts filled with more details but it also would make sure that I am reflecting and going through everything that had happened that day.
I truly hope this fantastic weather continues! And that you all have a great week this week! And if you are a staff member or student, stop by on Monday starting at 11 am in the Diner to buy tamales, it will be first come first served! We will be ending whenever it finishes! Thanks for reading!