They Were In Service

Photo by Thomas E. Franklin

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It is a day in which the families of the slain mourn their beloved dead, and we that do live take pause for remembrance. In a world that every day appears to grow increasingly militant and apathetic, it is the moments of sentimentality and earnest truth that we flock to. And institutions such as Saint Xavier take to heart a pledge to fulfill those truths.

Here at Saint Xavier, mercy and service are words that are as common as hello and goodbye. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, this school has had a long and decorated history in the belief and practice of mercy and service in charity and goodwill to the misfortunate. But what do those words mean in the larger context of the world? What kind of potency do they have in the hearts and minds of people? Words are one thing but do they have substance to suffice the enormous baggage that those words bear, especially on days such as today? We only have to look at the heroism and self-sacrifice of the emergency workers that worked and perished 15 years ago.

Four hundred and eleven. That is the number of emergency workers that died in the largest terrorist attack on US soil. That’s 411 families which lost a beloved. And that does not even begin to account for the number of affected that knew and loved those who passed. Service, a word that has many meanings, according to its context, but one in particular stands above the rest, “contributing to the welfare of others.” When police kept the panic crowds from turning into horrendous trampling rivers, they were performing service to their city and their fellow citizens as expected of any officer of the law. Despite the horrible things we heard regarding the actions of the police that perhaps overreach their authority, we must remember their purpose and role in our communities, selfless service. After all, sixty police officers lost their lives doing the job they swore to do, protecting the people.

When the brave firefighters of the FDNY rushed forth into the burning and chaotic inferno of the Twin Towers, a distinction became clear. When people say those firefighters weren’t thinking of themselves as they rushed into the inferno, they are grossly wrong. Firefighters are human as you and I. They feared for their lives as any person. But what is so inspiring and distinguishes those wearing the black and yellow fire jackets and the citizens they were sworn to protect was the choice. They chose to run back. They chose to cast aside their own self-preservation in the sworn duty of service. Those that perished and those that linger, stricken by illness for their heroic deeds that day are reminders to us all of the importance of service. They should be remembered not as superhuman or the brave exceptional but instead as the valiant standard of which we all should strive as citizens of not just this country but of the world to be.

“Not everyone can be a hero, but we can all take that step toward the life of service.” -Chris Thach 

RA Genesis Reporting for Duty

Week three is down, everyone! Congratulations, and on to another week – here we go!

This past week has been somewhat crazy for me! I had my first exam of the year and had a whole bunch of meetings. On the exciting news front, I had an interview for a new work study position but won’t know for a while. I will update you all when I find out though, so send positive vibes my way!

IMG_1909This past week, I have been on duty in Regina Hall for a couple of evenings. Being on duty as a resident assistant (RA) involves me staying up and going through the building to make sure everything is all good. Part of this also involves answering residents if they have a concern or complaint about really anything. Being a RA means so much more than this job description. I love being a RA. I love being in the hall present for my residents. I love getting to live with our new first year class of 2020. I love the conversations I have had about their lives: how they want to get involved and listening to them share their hopes and dreams. I am truly excited to get to work with this whole building — even our staff is awesome! I feel truly blessed to not only have a great class that I get to work with but also a supportive staff team.

On Saturday, the first Super Saturday took place in Regina Hall. Super Saturday was sponsored by the Transition Peer Mentors (TPMs) program (another job I have). Super Saturdays are events that occur every Saturday while school is in session that gives residents a reason to stay on campus and is open to commuters wanting to get involved on campus. It’s a great way to have everyone come together! Every Super Saturday has a different theme and a different focus. Our theme was “Beach and Chill” and we had a fantastic turnout! There were different games, fruit kabobs, s’mores, and great music. This great and enthusiastic turnout makes all of us staff so excited about this year!

I have also been working on fellow RA Liz and my RA Board of the Month for September. I have never cut and traced so many letters! FullSizeRender (29)But I feel crazy lucky to have my freshman year roommate, Brittany, to help me trace letters! It still took me forever to work on it, but because of her, I saved me so much time. Thanks, love!

I hope everyone has a great fourth week of school. I am truly loving this weather, especially with it cooling off. I hope this lovely weather continues and wish everyone luck with classes. Thanks for reading!

Long Weekend!

Hello everyone! I hope you have all had a great nice relaxing long weekend! This past week has been a lot of new experiences for me!

FullSizeRender (28)For those who followed along with me last year, I try my hardest to eat healthy and to be active. So to push myself to stay at it, so this past week I was a part of the glow run! And I have also joined not one, but two Intramural sports: softball and soccer! Not going to lie, softball hasn’t been a strength of mine since the fifth grade practice when I got a black eye. Since then, I have been afraid of the ball. But I figured this was the time to push myself and play. After the first game, I am not sure I will go back  . . . . IMG_1853But soccer was great! I have played on and off for a lot of my childhood: traveling soccer from middle school to part of high school. Soccer was also loads of fun because we won! So yay! I am a really competitive person, so part of the fun is winning!

I have no idea how people are able to do college sports. It is such a huge time commitment! But doing intramural or club games is my own preference so that I can study, work, and also enjoy college through all the stress! Not saying that college athletes can’t do all of those things, I just don’t know when they would sleep!

For me, and for many others, college is about trying new things. So although I have danced at family holiday parties, I decided to attend a get together for the SXU Bachata dance team. And I am so happy I went because it was so much fun! We will be learning different dances and practicing them! I had such a fun team that the time just flew! I am really looking forward to being an active member!

For Labor Day weekend I went with my boyfriend to visit his family in Davenport, Iowa. We are both from Minnesota but still love Chicago. Our trip was a nice relaxing weekend away from the city life. And the land was truly beautiful! IMG_2963The hills, valleys, and land were actually breath taking! Part of the reason we also went to visit was that my boyfriend’s family recently got a puppy and she was part of the highlight of the weekend for me! She was so cute! We had a little bit of trouble with signal and car issues! But just the same I was on time for my first class so no worries!

I wish everyone good luck on this short week of class! Thanks for reading!

 

Seeing Old Faces

Every year, a new crop of students leaves Saint Xavier and every year a new crop comes in. In my time here, I have seen friends walk across the stage to receive their diplomas while others leave for one reason or another. The rather sizable list of cherished friends that remain here grows thinner each year as they depart. With each graduation, I am reminded of my temporary time here and of such relationships as poignant and yet so rewarding as friendship. For some, they come and go as does the snow of winter, while others stick around like pine sap on one’s fingers. But nevertheless, the sting of time and the cyclical motion of our lives can dampen even the most optimistic and happy-go-lucky person. And yet it seems as if time is convoluted.

Faces I could have sworn had moved on to greener pastures to pursue their respected careers are here before me sitting and chatting with those of us that remained as if they had never left. And nothing is more beautifying of the day than seeing a close friend greet you and offer a seat across the table to chat away the day on the latest happenings and gossip. Every year is different here and yet the feelings, the friends and the daily conversations do not; and perhaps that’s the cyclical habit that I don’t mind keeping.

Every day I enter the bustling SXU Diner, I am confronted by the absurdly wacky and over-the-top residents of the “corner,” the area of the diner adjacent to the Student Lounge lined with sitting booths. It is this place that I call a home away from home. It is here that one meets the people that they will be friends with for the rest of their days. They almost make the sun rise, if I may be so sentimental in my description. Confusingly absurd in their own right, the eccentric and whimsical members of the corner are what make life here exciting. There is not a “normal” person there, myself including. Every quirk of ours is a result of a lifetime of strangeness. Those of us in the corner can have rather strange hobbies and mannerisms to the normals as we call them. And make no mistake, everyone has a rather interesting outlook on life. For myself, I find living life as surprise-filled and as blithe as possible to be a rather fun life to be had. This offsets my dear friend and roommate’s rather controlled and orderly existence. But one thing we can both agree, it’s never boring at the corner. And when I am seeing old faces, I can’t help but feel that warm feeling of both nostalgia and anticipation of what is to come next. Because despite the constant change of time and my love for the unexpected and the noveties of life, I know at least one place remains the same.

Cougars and Cubs

Greetings, readers! The second week of college is in the books for yours truly and things keep looking better and better every week. The first week of school was an introduction on what is to come, while the second week gave me a taste of what I’ll be doing the rest of the year and how much work I will have to put in to succeed. This week was definitely a positive one, and in every way, it went how I had planned. It consisted of a lot of studying and writing, while also coming with a bit of fun and new experiences to help me fit into Saint Xavier.

For one, I have memorized all of my classrooms by heart. It honestly didn’t take that long, and I am able to find my classes without any problems now. My class schedule is another reason why I am enjoying college. In high school, I was always in the same loop, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. My college schedule is a lot more flexible, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy going to my first set of classes at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. every day. I have also found some great spots to study and hangout, such as the diner and near the main entrance of the school.

One of the keys to success in college is to be comfortable with your surroundings. The atmosphere of the university allows me to do so and I am actually more inclined to stay on campus to do things like homework and hang out than to just go to class and go home right after.

Saint Xavier has already given me many opportunities to socialize and get to know people through many different events and activities. I wasted little time by doing so by purchasing a ticket through the school to attend the Chicago Cubs game on Wednesday. Being a huge Cubs fan and seeing a very reasonable price to enjoy another experience at Wrigley, me and a fellow Cougar decided it would be a great idea to go. Although him and I were the only freshman in this large group of upperclassmen, we had no problems meeting new people and making conversations with them. Despite traffic conditions on the way to the game, it was a breath of fresh air to finally arrive to the gates of Wrigley. I have been to numerous Cubs game since I was a child, but this game was especially unique for a couple of reasons. One, I got to experience my favorite team while making new friends at the same time. The second reason being that the Cubs are an exceptionally talented team this year. I enjoyed the environment of the friendly confines, new friends, a big burger and a thrilling 6-5 Cubs win over Pittsburgh.

With all of these experiences occurring only in the second week of college, I can’t imagine what other experiences are to come my way. I am beginning to find my place here at Saint Xavier rather quickly, and I am not only working hard but enjoying myself. I am eager to go to school every week and this was a great way to kick off my freshman year.

Glow Run 2016

Saint Xavier offers a wide variety of events and activities throughout the year to help get students more socialized with each other. SXU’s Welcome Week was a great kickoff to the school year by having a special activity/event each day of the week.

Some of the events that I had attended was the SXU Foam Party held in the quad, having my picture taken in the SXU photo booth, having henna painted on me in the diner and the opportunity to pet some of the cutest dogs I’ve ever seen in the Student Lounge. All of these activities were extremely fun as well as exciting. Although, for me, the best activity was the Glow Run, where I had a blast!

Check out my Glow Run 2016 video!

The Glow Run is a one-mile run around campus that is filled with not only excitement but anticipation. I had a night class that ended at 8:30 p.m. but that didn’t stop me from attending this event. Walking out of Graham School of Management, across 103rd to the Shannon Center, I signed my name up for the run. At the registration booth, they had given out a bunch of glow sticks that people were using as bracelets, necklaces, and even headbands. They also had body paint that you could use to paint on yourself or even other students. My roommate and I had painted little cougar paws on each other not only because of SXU pride but because, you know … Friendship Goals.

At nine o’clock promptly, all of the students in Glow Run lined up and when the signal was given everyone started to make a bolt for it so they could be the ones to finish first. There were students who were sprinting, jogging and walking toward the finish line. One student was wearing flip flops, tripped, took their shoes off and ran barefoot for the full mile. It was truly something to watch, as he was determined to win at all costs. I, on the other hand, took my time heading toward the finish line and when I got back to my dorm, I ate a giant cookie all by myself. Since I did all of that working out, I felt I deserved a treat!

Overall the event was a ton of fun and something I look forward to every year. This event gets me excited about the Cougar 5K held during homecoming week in October. Until then, I will just be focusing on my school work, friends and my light training for the 5K held here at SXU.

Saint Xavier is a great school that allows students to get excited about school functions since they are indeed exciting.