Celebrating Women’s History Month: My SHEROES :) (Part 1)

Happy Women’s History Month, everyone! :D That’s right, besides being my birthday month (because we all know that’s important! ;D) March is also the month that celebrates women’s accomplishments and awesomeness throughout history! (And as a student majoring in history AND minoring in Women/ Gender Studies, you could only imagine how much I love this month! ^_^ )

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to share with you a list of the women in my life who I admire most and who have, in some way, influenced me. I’ll be posting about a different woman (or women) in my next few blog posts, so stay tuned to see who my top female role models are! :D This list is in no particular order, of course, but I’ll start it off with two of my most recent idols,Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! ^_^

Amy and Tina

Best Golden Globes hosts ever? I think so! ^_^

First of all, Tina and Amy are one of Hollywood’s greatest dynamic duos and they’re undoubtedly two of the funniest comedians in the entertainment industry! :D Now, we already knew that Tina and Amy were funny women (who could ever forget their Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton spoof on SNL?!), but to me, it was their 2013 Golden Globes gig that pretty much cemented them as the comedic geniuses that they are! ^_^

Tina and Amy were the perfect hosts for the evening, delivering one hilarious joke after the other and making that one of the best award shows I’d ever seen! How good were Tina and Amy as hosts? Well, they were soooooo good, that they were chosen to host the Golden Globes an additional two more years! (I was beyond ecstatic when I first learned that news!! ^_^ ) Their 2014 appearance also brought on many laughs, and here’s to looking forward to their 2015 gig! :D Though, it’ll be such a bitter-sweet Golden Globes – sweet because, well, it’s Tina and Amy hosting, duh! :D ; but, bitter because it’ll be their last year as hosts… *teardrop* :( (I’m already emotionally preparing myself for the day that the beautiful Fey-Poehler era ends…NO!! We NEED two more years!! TWO MORE YEARS!! TWO MORE YEARS!!)

Leslie Knope and Liz Lemon

Clearly, Leslie and Liz both share my love of food! ^_^

Besides their awesome Golden Globe appearances, Tina and Amy also star in two of the funniest series on TV - 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. Tina’s Liz Lemon and Amy’s Leslie Knope definitely give a new dimension to female characters that’s usually lacking in TV shows. While I admire and aspire to be more of a Leslie Knope – ambitious, determined, dedicated, and optimistic – I can’t lie to you, I’m definitely more of a Liz Lemon! ^_^ (Sometimes I even feel that Tina Fey personally knows me just because it’s so weird that Liz and I have so many similarities!)

Liz Lemon

This should pretty much be printed and framed in my room…

Quirky, awkward, geeky, and an unashamed food lover – Liz and I share many of the same qualities! :D I absolutely love Tina for creating such a character that deviates away from the typical “female norm” (uber pretty, perky, fashionably-perfect, salad-eater, etc.) and instead, embraces traits that aren’t normally shown of women characters on TV. I’ll admit, sometimes I feel weird and even a little like a freak for not dressing up like how “normal” girls should dress (you know, like Forever 21 mannequins… >_> ) or even behaving in expected “ladylike” manners, but Liz Lemon makes me feel less unashamed of myself, and instead, I’ve grown to proudly embrace my quirkiness! :D Seeing a representation of myself in the media definitely makes me feel more confident and happy with who I am, and for that, I thank Tina Fey! ^_^

Tina and Amy

Two of Hollywood’s most amazing ladies!

Needless to say, Tina and Amy are two of my greatest role models! Their amazing accomplishments in the entertainment business and their outside-of-TV endeavors – such as Amy’s Smart Girls campaign which aims at encouraging girls to be themselves (You can find out more about the project here: http://amysmartgirls.com/ :) ) – make Tina and Amy two of the most awesome women role models out there! :D   (And honestly, I can’t wait until the summer, so that I could finally read Tina’s comedic autobiography, Bossypants! ^_^ It’s just sitting on my desk waiting to be read and I’m just dying to begin reading it! :D )

So, now you’ve learned of two of my female role models, and on International Women’s Day of all days! Stay tuned for my next few blog posts to find out who else is an amazing woman that inspires me! :D

(Oh, and if you want to know more of the similarities between Liz Lemon and I…well…this Buzzfeed post pretty much summarizes ALL of them – well except for that Oprah one! And really, all the food ones are pretty accurate…especially #4 and #11! Anyways, enjoy! ^_^ http://www.buzzfeed.com/spenceralthouse/29-reasons-why-you-are-liz-lemon-a078 )

Don’t be a Drag, Just be a Queen ;D

Hey, everyone! Hope everything’s been going awesome for you lately and that life’s been treating you well! :D (Well…despite the fact that some of us may have mid-terms this week… >_>) But, mid-terms aside, it’s nice knowing that spring break is coming up and that the wonderful season of spring will soon be upon us! :D (*Looks outside window and sees gray skies and snow*) Well…at least that’s the hope… >_>

Well, even though the weather may be gloomy and the winter just seems to be dragging on, there is a glimmer of light in our life, folks – of course, I’m referring to the return of RuPaul’s Drag Race!!! :D (*cue excited cheers and applause!*) Season 6 of my favorite reality show has finally premiered and with a fresh batch of queens, there’s no telling what’s in stored for this season! (Though, it’s almost a guarantee that the queens will throw plenty of shade at each other! ^_^ )

Chad Sell Queens

Which queen will become America’s Next Drag Superstar?!
Photo Credit: Chad Sell (If you’re an RPDR fan, then you should totally check out Chad Sell’s illustrations!! They’re wickedly awesome!!)

Yes, I’m a fan of drag queens, and yes, I’ve gotten weird looks from people anytime I’ve expressed my appreciation of them. But, despite those judgmental stares, I’m a drag queen fan and I’m proud! :D Now, I know some of you may be thinking, “Macy, this is a blog about SXU stuff or young adult issues – how does this possibly relate to that?!” Well, my love for drag queens began during my freshman year when one of my professors told me about RuPaul’s Drag Race and recommended that I watch the show. He described the show as a combination of Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model, and since I enjoyed both of those shows, I figured that I might as well give Drag Race a chance.

I thought that I would just “like” it, but I was wrong – I fell in love with it!! :D That first week of summer break, I binge-watched all of season 4 and I was on an RPDR high! (I mean, where was this show all my life?!) So, see – my love for Drag Race has an SXU origin – and it’s all thanks to my favorite professor! ^_^ Last year, I also binge-watched season 5 after my last final, and since then, I consider it a tradition to binge-watch an entire season as soon as summer starts! (Not only that, but I consider it a sweet reward for having survived another school year!)

Sharon Needles

Sharon Needles, THE most awesome goth drag queen ever!
Photo Credit: Sharon Needles

Sharon Needles, Jinkx Monsoon, Detox, Ivy Winters, Latrice Royale, and Willam Belli – all of these became my favorite queens and I’m excited to see which season 6 contestants make it onto my list! ^_^ Even though I haven’t seen the season in which she competed in,  I have seen several episodes of All Stars, and just seeing a few of those instantly made Manila Luzon one of my favorite queens – perhaps my absolute favorite! :D

I love all the queens for different reasons – Sharon for her awesome goth looks, Jinkx for her humor and down-to-earth attitude, Ivy for her gorgeous hand-made gowns (and her awesome ability to swallow fire!), Latrice for being unafraid to rock her curves, Detox for her utter poise (not to mention her sharp cheekbones – I mean, OMG!!), Willam for her sick humor as well as her hot looks, and Manila for her goofiness, beauty, elegance, Filipino pride, and just complete awesomeness! :D (Yeah…I think you could tell that Manila’s my favorite! ^_^ )

Manila Luzon

Manila Luzon is one gorgeous queen!!
Photo Credit: Manila Luzon

A lot of people are quick to judge drag queens for how they dress and what they do, but really, drag queens are incredibly under-appreciated artists who deserve more respect from society. Besides being great entertainers, drag queens aren’t afraid to defy gender roles – and really, anyone who says, “Screw you!” to gender roles is automatically cool in my book! Not only that, but it’s popularly said that drag queens played a highly pivotal role during the Stonewall Riots – the riots that helped the gay rights movement gain momentum!

So let’s face it – drag queens are the three F’s – fierce, fabulous, and fearless! :D I could only wish to have the guts to do what they do and to at least be half as fabulous as them! (When I was younger, I used to want a make-over from Tyra; now, I’d much rather get a make-over from Manila Luzon! ^_^ So, Manila, if for some reason you’re reading this – there’s a girl in Chicago who desperately needs your help!)

Even though many people may look down upon them for doing what they love, the queens don’t let others get to them – they’re unafraid of society’s criticism and, instead of fretting over it, they just brush off any negative comments and continue being themselves! :D Really, there’s something greatly admirable about that, and if anything, drag queens have taught me to always continue being true to myself – even if others hurl negative comments to me about it.

So, now you’ve learned of my love for drag queens – of which I am totally unashamed of! ^_^ It’s funny, a friend and I once discussed when we’d know that we officially “made it” in show business if we ever pursued that path – she said she’d know when SNL did a parody of her; I said I’d know when I’d see a guy in drag as myself! :D Think about it – I’d be following in the footsteps of Madonna, Cher, Diana Ross, Lady Gaga, Jenni Rivera, and Dolly Parton – all larger-than-life women with fans who love them so much, they dress up as them! Isn’t that awesome?! (Well, so long as I don’t lose a drag queen look-a-like contest like Dolly did! O_O Yes, she entered such a contest, and yes, she lost! AND…she also received the least amount of applause in it…ouch…>_>)

Good luck on any upcoming projects or exams everyone – and remember, always remain true to yourself! :)

Peace, love, and live everyday as if you’re a drag queen! :)

(And just as an added treat, here’s a quick cool video of Ivy Winters transforming into her persona and explaining several things about drag! ^_^ )

On the Road to a Healthier Life

Hey, everyone! Hope you’ve been having a spectacular week so far! I know I have!! :D Haha! Just kidding! It’s been a pretty mediocre week… >_> BUT, for the sake of trying to make my life sound super awesome, let’s pretend that my week’s been going incredibly fantastic! (Hmmm…I guess I could make up a fake scenario between Hugh Jackman and I – because I know just how much you appreciated that last one – but, I guess I have to stick with the truth…)

Anyways, this week, I made a big Chinese New Year’s resolution; now, some of you may be thinking, “Macy, there’s no such thing as Chinese New Year’s resolutions.” Well there is NOW! >_< (Mostly because I didn’t make any resolutions when it was New Year’s eve… >_> but now, I’ve got a second chance, so, hooray for cheating the system! :D )

In case the title didn’t already somewhat give it away, my Chinese New Year’s resolution is to exercise more often. Now, I know that that’s the most common resolution anyone makes (and the one that’s usually given up on, by like, week 2…>_>), but I actually mean it! This doesn’t mean that I’m aiming to lose a significant amount of weight – that’s not my goal at all!

Getting Fit

Perhaps this goal is gonna be harder than I thought….

 

My goal is simply to make my body more fit so that it won’t be as exhausting for me to do simple physical tasks; if a bit of weight loss comes with that, then that’s great, but I’m definitely not going to obscure my personal goal with the one that many people associate with exercising. I’m not aiming to lose 30, 50, or 70 pounds by spring so that I could look hot in my cute, floral summer dress – no, I just want to be consistently active so that my body could be at a healthier state than what it is.

Besides, there are many health benefits that come with exercise! Sure, everyone knows of the positive effects it has on our physical health, but did you also know that exercise has a positive impact on our mental well-being? :D Studies have shown that exercising releases “feel good” chemicals in our bodies that basically give us an awesome, euphoric feeling! Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s definitely a plus! :D In addition to that, Good Mood exercise is shown to help people with depression cope with it (now, this doesn’t  mean that it “cures” them of it – it just helps to ease the symptoms); reduce anxiety levels, and even help us de-stress. All these mental health benefits and more could come with something as simple as running for half an hour 5 days a week, so really – what’s holding us back from reaping in on these sweet benefits? ^_^

Like I said earlier in this post, my goal isn’t to lose weight, but simply to be at a healthier state than what I am now. I know that eating all those Oreo Balls, bags of Flaming Hot Cheetos, and fast food meals have definitely had a negative impact on my body and my overall well-being. So, it’s time to get rid of that lazy bug that’s holding me back from exercising and become a fitter and healthier person! Fortunately, Saint Xavier’s Shannon Center has some pretty nifty exercise equipment as well as some awesome fitness programs such as Zumba classes and kickboxing classes to make getting fit a fun experience! (And YES, exercising can be fun! :) )

So,who knows – maybe one day you’ll catch me in the Shannon Center, ummm….you know, pumping iron and feeling “the burn” and what not! (But if you do see me in the Shannon Center – do NOT approach me because that will be an equally embarrassing experience for the both of us!! >_> You hear me – you’ve been warned!!!) But, if you don’t see me in the Shannon Center, just know that I’m still working on my goal in the comfort of my home using my family’s exercise equipment. ^_^

Exercising - REALITY

AND THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULDN’T COME UP TO ME IN THE SHANNON CENTER!!!! JUST LOOK AT HOW I’D LOOK!!!! >_< (And is it sad that I actually DO own a Snoopy shirt to exercise in… >_> )
Artist: Gemma Correll

Here’s to my Chinese New Year resolution and if anyone else has this resolution, let’s all work hard to achieve our goal of living a healthier life! :)

Until next time! :D

Back in Action!!

Hey, everyone! I hope you all had a nice, relaxing winter break and that you’re all ready to tackle on this new semester! :) As for what I did during my winter break…ummm…well, you know – I did the typical backpacking through Europe, ummm…bungee jumping at the Grand Canyon…and…ummm…surfboarding in shark-infested waters near Australia, where I also managed to have a wonderful lunch-date with famous Australian actor – and complete Hollywood babe – Hugh Jackman! :)

Okay, by now, you should all be realizing that that was all completely untrue, but it just makes my winter break sound much more interesting than what it really was, so…could we just go with that version instead? :) WHAT – WE CAN’T?! FINE! I’ll tell you what I actually did during my oh-so-glorious freedom time! As is typical of any college student, I spent my winter break watching TV shows, hanging out with friends, doing some creative writing, drawing, and pretty much being lazy and taking random naps throughout the day. (See! That version wasn’t as exciting as the first one!)

Oreo Balls

Huzzah! I managed to make Oreo Balls!! :D (Let’s just ignore the fact that I almost broke the microwave while trying to melt the almond bark… >_> )

OH! I guess an interesting thing that I did during my break was that I made some delicious Oreo balls all on my own!! :) Now, for those of you who don’t personally know me – and even for those of you who do – I’m not gonna lie – I have absolutely no culinary or baking skills whatsoever! However, because I’ve really wanted Oreo balls for quite some time now (and because Pinterest only further increased my already high desire for them!), I decided that I wasn’t going to wait for someone to make them for me – I was going to make them on my own! :D I mean, the only ingredients needed are a pack of Oreos, cream cheese, and vanilla almond bark – just how hard could it be to make these? I figured that even an unskilled culinary/ baking individual like me could handle making them – and I did! :) My Oreo balls turned out great and now I’m kind of interested in making other delicious things, so, who knows what I’ll make next! :)

I guess I may not have had the most “exciting” winter break (well, at least compared to my fake Hugh Jackman lunch-date one…), but at least I managed to relax and unwind from all the stresses of the previous semester; which is always a plus.

Anyways, I’m really looking forward to all the exciting happenings and opportunities that this semester holds! I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked the spring semester more than the fall. :) To me, the fall semester just feels too rushed – one day it’s the beginning of the school year, the next it’s Halloween, then out of nowhere it’s suddenly Thanksgiving, and then the next thing I know, I’m stressing out about finals!

Now, with the spring semester, life doesn’t feel too rushed; there’s more of a calmness to it. Hmmm…this could be because there’s less holidays to mark that “the end is almost near” (well, I guess there’s Valentine’s Day and Easter…but…who even celebrates Valentine’s Day, right?) or maybe it’s because there’s less seasonal changes than with the fall – in which we essentially experience a bit of summer, all of fall, and even a bit of winter (Ugh! So many changes in only one term! No wonder everything feels so rushed!); but whatever the reason may be, I enjoy the spring more than the fall! :) (Oh! And I guess there’s always that awesome treat of knowing that once the spring semester is over, summer break begins! :D )

Beginning vs. End

Typical college student: Beginning of the semester VS. End of the semester (Spring and Fall – doesn’t matter which semester!)

Reading

All this reading for my classes can sometimes be just a little overwhelming…

I’ll admit – I was a bit daunted with my classes this semester after reading their syllabi, but after the second week of school, I guess I’m now more confident that I could handle this semester – all I have to do is work hard, never give up, and believe in myself!! (<- Wow…those three things came out sounding even cornier than what I expected… >_> ) But, all corniness aside, I’m going to give it my all this semester – (As you should too!!!) – and despite any challenges that may come my way, I’m not going to back down or stop believing in myself – I can handle this and I will persevere!! (<- Gosh! That’s way too much corniness in one paragraph!! I mean, what is this – a manga?! Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve developed this mindset after reading so much of it… ;) )

Anyways, I hope you all have a great spring semester – and remember – don’t be daunted by anything that lies ahead!!

Until next time! :)

Happy Holidays, Everyone! :D

Hey, everyone! I hope you’ve all been basking in the glory that is winter break! :) (Okay…maybe using the words “basking” and “glory” over dramatize winter break a little – but hey, it was a long, hard semester; of course I’m going to be relishing this much needed – and much wanted – relaxation period!)

As with every other winter break, this year, I have no specific plans on what I’ll be doing during this period. But, even though I have no special plans whatsoever, I’m still glad to have a month off to just do whatever I want! :) (And I’m pretty sure we could all agree that that’s always a good thing!)

Nap Time

Hmmm…or maybe I’ll just spend the rest of my break snuggled under my blanket and catching up on all that sleep I lost throughout the semester…

Hanging out with friends, catching up on missed episodes of my favorite TV shows (because at some point, we’ve all been forced to miss several episodes of a favorite show just so that we could study or work on an assignment; come on, I know we’ve all been in this situation!), reading books I’ve been wanting to read all semester long, spending time with my family, and finally getting to draw and write all the creative stories that I’ve been meaning to for quite some time now; yep, these are the typical things that I do during my winter break – along with some other fun, relaxing stuff. :)

Anyways, in whatever way you’ve been spending your winter break, I hope you’ve been having a great time unwinding from all of the stresses of the fall semester! :) What’s more, I hope you all have an enjoyable Christmas and a festive New Year’s! :)

As for me – well, besides celebrating the already mentioned holidays, I’ll also be celebrating Festivus; ah yes, Festivus – the holiday for the rest of us! :) And if you don’t know what Festivus is, then that’s just sad! BUT…since I don’t want you to continue being an uncool person for not knowing what Festivus is (AND since I’m such a nice person, of course! ;) ), I suggest that you watch the video below to learn of Festivus’s oh-so-beautiful origins! :) (Admittedly, the video is 11 minutes long…but…it’s winter break! You have all the time in the world now, so hurry up and learn of Festivus’s origins! :) )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F73sMmb6CS0

Anyways, Happy Holidays, everyone, and hopefully, I’ll continue writing and sharing all of my crazy-wacky-awkward spring semester adventures with you all!! :)

Take care and until next time!!

Happy Holidays

The Festivus pole! (Way easier to draw than a Christmas tree!)

My Amazing Model U.N. Experience!! :D (Part II)

Hey, everyone! I hope you’ve all been enjoying your Thanksgiving break so far! :) And, just to add even more happiness onto your long weekend (AND because I know that you’re all just dying to know what else happened at the conference!), here’s part II of my AMAZING experience downtown at the American Model U.N. Conference!!

Now, in my last blog post (which I’m SURE you’ve all read by now…right?), I gave you the inside scoop on what happened during the Fourth Committee’s very interesting – and sometimes even entertaining – committee sessions; but when we weren’t caucusing, resolution passing, or just sitting down and listening to delegates go on and on and on about their country’s position on the peaceful uses of outer space (that’s right – I’m calling you out on that, Ethiopia!!); we were spending our time relaxing, meeting new people, and exploring the beautiful city of Chicago!! :)

Things to look forward to in this blog post: our group’s food escapades, my time exploring downtown, and the moment when I found love; that’s right – LOVE!!!! (….okay…maybe I exaggerated a bit on the “love” one – BUT, that moment was still pretty cute, so look forward to that!)

Anyways, during our first night at the Sheraton; Aleta, Carleigh, and I planned on going out to grab something good to eat, so of course when our first committee session ended, I was super excited to be going out, walking around downtown, and exploring Chicago’s nightlife! Of course, if we weren’t able to find somewhere good to eat, settling on a McDonalds was supposed to be plan B – but either way, I was super excited!! :) This was going to be my first time being out on my own in the big city, so you could only imagine the immense amount of enthusiasm I felt!! :)

Unfortunately….our first big night in the city didn’t really go exactly as planned (or as I’d even imagined it would…) Now, I already knew that it was going to be super cold outside during the days that we’d be there, but geez louise – even with all the warm layers I was wearing, it was still freakin’ freezing!!! We left the hotel with the glimmering hope of eating some delicious downtown food, but, we pretty much came back the way we left – with empty stomachs (oh, and our hope was dead…so…I guess that changed…). However, we knew that we couldn’t go a night without eating anything, so, we tried braving the freezing winds once more and this time we at least made it to a nearby Dominick’s where we were at least able to buy a few snacks to get us through the night. A bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos, a pizza Lunchable, and a mini Gatorade – yep, that was my first “grand meal” (sarcasm! -__- ) downtown. *sigh* Yeah, it was pretty sad…especially considering that the other girl group in our Model U.N. team ordered and had Giordano’s delivered to them (why didn’t WE do that! >_< ). But, oh well…even though our first night wasn’t exactly as glamorous as I thought it was going to be, we still had 3 more days downtown :) – and they couldn’t be as bad as that night was, right? (Don’t worry – they weren’t! )

Red Pit Stained Dress

Some of you may be wondering, “Ummm….what’s up with the weird looking bunny???” Well…I could easily answer that question, BUT, since I want to shamelessly self-promote my other blog posts, you’ll have to go to my blog post before my Model U.N. experience to find out! Bwhahahahaha! (<- Pay no attention to the evil laugh…)

Well…moving on to other highlights! :) Oh! On Tuesday, I almost ruined my favorite business dress because I ran down 25 flights of stairs – that’s a highlight, right? :) (Well…maybe not a good one…but it’s a highlight!) Anyways, the story behind that was that Aleta and I were tired of waiting for an elevator (remember – elevator traffic!), so I told her that I could beat her down the stairs before an elevator even came to pick her up. Since I was running down 25 flights of stairs – AND with a lot of warm layers on me because we were going out for lunch – I obviously started sweating and what happened when I started sweating – well…the dye from my cute red blazer started to seep onto my dress’s white blouse and…my blouse ended up with red pit stains! :( (Maybe this is over-sharing a bit, but hey, it was an important moment during the conference!) Of course I freaked out over this (because this was, after all, my favorite dress!) but just like with any other fashion emergency, mom knows best – so I called my mom, asked her what to do, and she gave me instructions on how to wash off the stains. I pretty much spent a whole hour in our room’s bathroom with my hands soaked in cold water rubbing soap on the “afflicted” area. (Oh the amount of elbow grease I had to put into that…) But the good news is that I managed to salvage my dress!! :) (Oh, and I also forgot to mention that I won the race – that’s right, I beat the elevator! Almost at the expense of my dress…but I beat it, dammit!)

By now you may be thinking, “Macy, you’ve had a mediocre first night AND you almost ruined your favorite dress because of a stupid race – how could you possibly say that you had an amazing experience at this conference?!?!” Well…I had some great moments too! Like…like for instance! I had a great time talking to the hotel receptionist that night! :) BUT then again…I was only there because I couldn’t get into my room O_O (we were unknowingly switched from our room to another one that night…soooooooo….that’s why I couldn’t even get into it… -__- ) So, even though the whole “getting locked out of my room” part was annoying, the hotel receptionist was super understanding of the situation and we even talked casually – and, you know, he complimented me several times *cough* no big deal *cough* – as he was fixing the problem (It also didn’t hurt that he was very good looking – so, I guess I didn’t mind the whole “getting locked out” situation, especially if it meant having a nice conversation with a cute guy! ;) ) So there! That was a negative situation that turned into a positive! See, there’s a good moment that happened! :)

But now, time to move on to one of my absolute FAVORITE moments during this conference!! :) That’s right – the LOVE moment! (Okay – maybe I shouldn’t call it that, BUT, it gets people’s attention!) Anyways, it was Monday morning, and since I’m kind of an early bird, I had a little bit of time before our first committee session started, so naturally, I decided to go to a nearby Starbucks to get something. I left my roommates a note and made my way to the elevators – which surprisingly came in a fast manner and actually weren’t packed with loads and loads of people! Anyways, I was all alone in the elevator when another fellow Model UNer came in – a cute, somewhat lanky, red-headed boy wearing a nice navy suit that really complemented his hair. (Hey! I notice these types of things, okay?! That’s not creepy of me at all!)

Anyways, it would’ve been awkward to be going down 30 floors without acknowledging the kid or something, so I started talking to him about how his committee was doing in getting resolutions passed. To my surprise, he was also in the Fourth Committee, so now, it was definitely easier for us to carry out a conversation. We reached the lobby and even though he was going to go to the coffee shop at the hotel and even though we were already slowly going different directions, when I told him that I was going to Starbucks, he quickly came back and said that he’d go with me! Now, I was pretty surprised that anyone would want to accompany me anywhere – especially since it was a cute guy – but, I didn’t question the situation and I just went along with it! :)

Lovey Bunny

I sometimes like sketching out my emotions after anything big has happened and this was pretty much what was going through my mind after my little encounter with Uzbekistan boy. :)

We were pretty close to each other on our way to the Starbucks and as we were walking, we got to know more about each other. Anyways, when we finally got there, he got a coffee and I ordered a scone, and even though he already saw that I had my wallet out to pay for my purchase, he paid for my scone and handed it to me with the cutest smile I’d ever seen on a guy!! I’m pretty sure that I saw a twinkle in those beautiful dark brown eyes of his and I’m positive that I must have blushed like crazy!!! If my life were anything like my favorite cheesy telenovela, I’m pretty sure that would’ve been the moment when a beautiful Spanish love song would start playing out of nowhere as we both closely gazed into each others’ eyes.  (OKAY!! This is beginning to sound like a lame $2 bin romance novel, so I’ll start wrapping up this story now!)

Now, I’m not saying that I suddenly fell madly in love with Uzbekistan boy (his school was representing Uzbekistan) because of a scone, BUT, I will say that that was THE cutest gesture that a guy has ever done for me! :) I guess it’s also kinda important to note that Uzbekistan had a resolution that they wanted to pass and when we had to vote “yes” on their resolution, well, I’m pretty sure that I was the first one to fling my placard up in the air! To make this even more dorky…I was kinda worried that not everyone was going to vote for the resolution and I kinda…sorta…kept wanting people to raise their placards! Luckily, the resolution passed and I was super happy for Uzbekistan! :) (Oh, and just an FYI: the resolution did benefit Ghana – so it wasn’t just me voting on something because I was smitten by the guy proposing it; that wouldn’t have been a very delegate-like thing to do!)

I guess the last significant thing to happen to me was my time spent exploring Chicago! :) Now, I’ve been downtown before (at least 2 or 3 times) to go shopping with my friends on State Street, but I’ve never really been there on my own and with the ability to just do whatever I want. On Monday, we had a 5 hour block in which we could check out the city, and boy did I take advantage of it! (I called it my “Freedom” time…) After eating Thai food for lunch with the rest of Team Ghana (which was the first time I had ever tried such food, and yes, I enjoyed it :) ), I went off on my own to do some shopping! :)   (I know, it may seem selfish to be going by myself to do things…but…sometimes, I’m just a bit of a lone wolf and I appreciate solitude here and there; that doesn’t mean that I hate anyone though! Well…unless I actually do…but a majority of the time I don’t, I promise!!)

Anyways, during my “Freedom” time I did a whole lot of things! I went shopping at the Water Tower Place, got lost trying to look for a Barnes & Noble and had to return back to the Water Tower to NOT be lost anymore, walked down the Magnificent Mile and ran into a couple with the most adorable English bulldogs I had ever seen (and yes, I hugged and petted them like crazy – with the couple’s permission of course!), watched people skating at Millennium Park, went shopping at various stores on State Street, saw the ABC News being broadcast, ran into the Ford Oriental Theatre and squealed when I saw all the “Wicked” signs surrounding it (unfortunately, it wasn’t being shown that night! :( I’ve been wanting to see it again!), got approached by a creepy person who I’m pretty sure was trying to enroll me in a scam organization (I told him my name was “Maria” because…well…stranger danger! >_< And is it lame of me to kinda be disappointed in choosing the most stereotypical Mexican girl name as my alias; I mean, out of all the names I could’ve chosen, I chose a boring one! Could we re-do that moment, only this time I state a cooler name?), AND walked a whole lot just to reach the Barnes & Noble at the DePaul Center. At the Barnes & Noble, I bought a book which I’ve been wanting for a long time now – Allie Brosh’s “Hyperbole and a Half” book (which is a super amazing book that I highly recommend buying! Her little drawings inspired me to draw my bunny illustrations and her story on depression really resonated a lot with me! You could check out some of her awesome stuff here if you want :) : http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/ ) as well as another book that caught my attention. I’ll consider those two books souvenirs of my time spent at the Model U.N. conference… :) (you know, even though the Model U.N. conference was actually selling official souvenirs and all…let’s just ignore that fact…)

Downtown Collage

4 moments from my “Freedom” time: Thai food, super adorable doggie (yes – I HAD to take a picture of at least one of them!), ABC News broadcast, and of course, Wicked! I looked like such a dorky tourist taking all these photos…but no regrets!

At "The Bean"

We kinda had a difficult time thinking of a non-cheesy way to pose in front of The Bean. Aleta said that to take a good picture with The Bean, we must “be” The Bean – whatever that’s supposed to mean. O_O In the end, we just ended up taking cliche selfies! Special thanks goes out to Carleigh for taking this photo! :)

The next day, I was super excited to be going to The Bean! :) This may come as a huge surprise to some, BUT,  I had never been to The Bean before, so you could imagine how uber excited I was to see it! :) Even though I would always think that it was super cheesy and cliche for people to be taking selfies at The Bean, I ended up doing just that! On my way back to the hotel that day, I ended up stopping at the Art Institute’s gift shop to see if it had any cool things pertaining to my favorite artist (which I’m pretty sure you all know who by now! ;) ), and I found a little Frida finger puppet!! Ah, another souvenir for this little trip! :)

I’ll admit, I had such a fun time at the Model U.N. Conference, that during our last two days there, I would sometimes say that I didn’t want to go back to the “real” world; I was a Model UNer and caucusing and resolution passing was what I was meant to do!! But…I guess all good things must eventually come to an end. :(

I had such an amazing time bonding with my roommates, making fond memories, and I’ll admit, I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up missing some of the people that I met at the conference: China – who was always funny and adorable with her spunky attitude and even listened to me when I was pretty down over a certain situation that happened (We weren’t even in a committee session when that happened! She just kinda came out of nowhere when I was sulking and heard me out on my dilemma! O_O Really, a person never forgets when someone’s there for her, so, I won’t forget that China! :) ), Colombia – who may have seemed like a hot-shot at first, but once you got to know him a bit, you’d realize that he had a funny side to him as well; like when he and I would both snicker when the chair called out Djibouti’s name (it was funny hearing him say “booty,” okay?! And here’s the part where I realize that apparently Colombia and I share the humor of a 9 year old…) or when he jokingly called out China for giving everyone around her mini-Snicker bars except for him (“Do you know how hard it is to see you all eating Snickers and you don’t even offer me one! And I’m sitting right next to you!”) Mauritius and Zambia – who were the first students we talked to, got to know, and even spend a lot of time caucusing with; and of course, how will I ever forget Uzbekistan boy; Oooooooohhh, Uzbekistan…

Returning to the Real World

Dramatization of me leaving the Sheraton Hotel. This TOTALLY happened – evil vortex and all!

So, as you could already tell, I really, really enjoyed being a part of Model U.N. and now I’m just hoping that my schedule next year isn’t hectic so that I could be a part of it again! :)

Oh! And last lame point in this post: When we were all being dropped off at SXU, I suggested to Aleta that we all get a tattoo saying “Model UNers 4 Life,” with a skull in the background…BUTshe wasn’t quite fond of the idea… O_O Well, there goes that idea…

Well, that’s all I have for you this week, readers! Thanks for putting up with my super LONG post and I hope I didn’t bore you to death with it! Good luck with any upcoming assignments that may be due soon and also good luck with your finals!! :)

Until next time!

My Amazing Model U.N. Experience!! :D (Part I)

Hi, everyone! I hope all’s been going well with you and that you’ve been enjoying these last few days of the semester! (Yep, no more weeks – just DAYS!) Now, some of you may be thinking, “Hmmm…I wonder what Macy has been up to these past few days,” (Or maybe some of you weren’t even thinking that at all… -__- ) BUT, for those of you who were wondering that, well it’s your lucky day because I have a super awesome experience to tell you about!!! :)

So, in case the title didn’t already give it away (or in case you just didn’t even notice the title…), from Saturday to Tuesday I was downtown participating in the American Model U. N. Conference. Now, when I first signed up to be a part of SXU’s Model U.N., I didn’t know what to expect and I kind of also wasn’t sure what we’d even be doing. (Some of you might be thinking, “Macy, WHY would you sign-up for something that you weren’t even that sure about?!” Well…I’m a weird person and I sometimes make spontaneous decisions; this may be an insufficient answer, but oh well! :) )

All I remember when I was signing up was that I was really curious as to what Model U.N. is and that I really wanted to find out more about it! (This curiosity could kind of be partially blamed on my high school – I mean, I knew we had a Model U.N. team, but I don’t ever recall being told by teachers to sign-up for it or anything. Hmmm…maybe it was one of those “exclusive” organizations that only certain people could join…) So, when Dr. Costello mentioned Model U.N. during his World Politics class, I had to sign-up for it! (So take that, McAuley! < – Of course, that’s said in a jokingly manner…kind of…)

Ghana

In case any of you were wondering where exactly Ghana is located. Of course, I already knew about it because of the World Cup – so thank you, soccer, for expanding my knowledge of other countries’ existence.

Saint Xavier was going to be representing Ghana, and I’ll admit, the only thing that I knew about Ghana was that its national soccer team made it to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup and ultimately lost in an epic match against Uruguay (Yes, I’m a huge World Cup fan and yes, I remember super intense soccer matches – the Ghana vs. Uruguay match was one of my favorites and definitely one of the BEST in the whole tournament! I was cheering for Uruguay during that match…so ummm…no harsh feelings, Ghana?). Seeing as I didn’t know much about Ghana, I was pretty excited to learn more about it and I was also really excited to be a part of a team that was going to be representing this country at a big conference. (Up until now, I had never really been part of a team…well…unless I count all the soccer teams I was in when I was little – but even then, the girls in the team were treated differently from the guys, so does that really count as a team experience? I think not!)

Throughout the weeks leading up to the conference, we’d research the topics which pertained to our committees; I was part of the Fourth Committee which dealt with the peaceful uses of outer space and the effects of atomic radiation – two pretty cool and very interesting topics. Dr. Costello would also tell us more about what we could expect at the conference and during our last few meetings, he’d even have a mini-simulation on how the committee sessions were like.

Despite all the research I had prepared and all the practicing we’d do, I was still pretty nervous about the conference! I mean, just what type of students were going to be there (Would they be snooty, pompousy kids who only spoke using giant vocabulary words?!) and more importantly – at least to me – how was I gonna feel about being away from my home for 4 days! O_O (Believe it or not, besides my high school Kairos retreat senior year, I had never spent a weekend away from my family – I know, that might be hard for some of you to believe, but tis the awkward truth!)

Finally, the day of the conference came and despite all the little worries I may have had, I was kind of excited packing my bags and knowing that I’d be experiencing something totally new and completely different from what I’m used to. Yeah, I was still a little nervous about being away from home for a bit, but the way I saw it was that I was gonna be spending 4 days in a pretty swanky hotel downtown in one of the most beautiful cities in the country – dare I say – world!! What could possibly be better than that?! :)

Hotel Room View

Best hotel room view EVER!!! We could see the Chicago River, the Trump Tower and even the Tribune Tower from here! :) It was magnificent!

All nervousness about being away from home definitely subsided when my roommates – Carleigh and Aleta – and I saw the view from our hotel room! It was one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen and just knowing that I’d be waking up to that for the next 4 days made me feel like one of the luckiest girls in the world! :) We spent at least 5 minutes taking pictures of our hotel room (and you know, sharing our pictures on Facebook for all of our friends to see…*cough* because that’s important to do *cough*).

I guess we remembered why we were even there in the first place when Dr. Costello told us to get ready to go to the rules and roleplaying session and to also be ready to go to our committee session afterwards. Yep, it was game time! And while some nervousness came back, it kind of subsided a bit once I saw how cute and professional-like I looked in my awesome, hot dress! :) (This isn’t me being vain or anything! It’s just that a good friend once told me that when we dress good, we feel good and we even get a bit more confident; and with that dress on, well boy did I look good – so you know, I felt pretty confident! ;) )

Ghana Placard

The Ghana placard! I didn’t know if it’d be uncourteous of me as a delegate to be taking pictures in the session room, but I quickly took this one! (Even IF Aleta thought I was a total dork for taking a picture of the placard!)

As our group was waiting to go into our committee sessions, Aleta and I started talking to the delegates representing Mauritius and Zambia and suddenly the fear of being surrounded by students who I once thought would be somewhat snooty and even three times more intelligent than us quickly subsided – these students were just like us; they were also nervous and a little insecure on their research! Suddenly, the worry that I’d previously had just seemed completely silly once I got to know more students. It was pretty exciting when the doors to our committee’s designated ballroom opened and we all rushed in trying to find our country’s placard – seeing the Ghana placard on the table was a little surreal; I mean, it was only a few weeks ago that we were talking about the conference and now we were there! This was it!!! :)

Even though Dr. Costello had done some simulations in our last few meetings on how the committee sessions were like, I still didn’t know what to fully expect in this committee session. I gotta admit, I kind of freaked out a little when a delegate from another country passed a note to Aleta and I (Thoughts that went through my mind: “What was this?! Were we even allowed to pass notes?! There wasn’t any note passing during our simulation! Aaaaaaaaahhhh!“) but it turns out that that was just a normal way for delegates to communicate with each other when we weren’t suspended from the session to caucus freely.

It was pretty fun listening to other delegates go up to the microphone and state their country’s position on the first topic we were discussing – the peaceful uses of outer space. Now, you would think that power countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, or Russia would be owning that mic, but in reality, they weren’t! O_O (Russia wasn’t even there!! Psssshhh…so much for being the first country to send a human into outer space! But then again, that was when it was the Soviet Union…so…should I really be holding this against them?) Instead, we had countries like Ethiopia, Colombia, Lithuania, and even the observing state of the Holy See going up to the mic and dominating the floor!

It was great when the meeting was suspended for a few minutes and the delegates got to caucus with one another. I never thought that I’d feel so confident just going up to random unknown people and starting up a conversation with them! (I’m telling you – it was that cute outfit’s doing!!!)

Even though we pretty much had to behave like courteous delegates throughout our whole session, there were a few funny moments here and there in which a few delegates acted, well, less than courteous. Favorite uncourteous moment: when the delegate from Saudi Arabia totally BURNED the delegate from Egypt!

Okay, here’s what happened: we were trying to pass a resolution that pretty much everyone agreed on, however, the delegate from Egypt had an issue with a specific word in the resolution; he considered it sexist that the word “mankind” was used over “humankind,” and thus, he didn’t want to pass the resolution. When the delegate from Egypt was taking questions from the other delegates regarding his position, Saudi Arabia went up to the mic and said, “Well, I think it’s pretty odd for the delegate from Egypt to be having an issue over this matter seeing as his country’s record on women’s rights isn’t exactly the best!” And that’s when the whole committee burst out in snickers and a bunch of “Ooooooooohhhs!!” were let out!! Egypt certainly needed some ice for that hardcore BURN!! (But then again, Saudi Arabia shouldn’t really be the one pointing fingers to Egypt about women’s rights…you know, especially since women can’t even drive cars in their country – BUT, it was still an awesome burn nonetheless!) The chair had to frustratingly call order to the committee and remind us that delegates had to act in a courteous manner at ALL times; but even though the chair’s expected to pretty much be emotionless during the session, I’m pretty sure he was laughing on the inside too.

Kelso BURN!!

First thing that came to mind during that mini Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt showdown! Pretty sure that BURN would’ve been Kelso-approved…just sayin’

Other committee session moments that stood out: when the delegate from the Bahamas motioned for the meeting to end 5 minutes early so that we could avoid elevator traffic (And who could blame him?! That elevator traffic was mad – MAD I say!! Pretty sure that motion would’ve been approved by everyone, but, apparently, he couldn’t even do that motion…darn!); when we finally got a resolution passed – especially since it took forever to do that!; when the delegate from Iceland slammed his placard and angrily burst out of the room when his resolution failed to pass (Dude…take a chill pill, ‘kay?); when the delegate from Lithuania wanted to pass a resolution dealing with how the human race would deal with aliens if we ever encountered them (even though a lot of us said we’d support his resolution, by the time it came up, we were all so tired that we just knocked out any pointless resolution that was getting in our way from discussing the 2nd topic), and when Aleta and I received an anonymous Doctor Who-inspired note dealing with the alien resolution! (Because of course Doctor Who had to be brought up during this whole alien and space talk! :) )

Doctor Who Note

Ummm…could I say “Best note ever”? It was kind of fitting to get a Doctor Who note, what with the 50th and all! :) (And I know that I was supposed to continue passing this note to the other delegates, but how could I not keep a Doctor Who note?! That would’ve been blasphemous of me to do!)

Even though we only got to discuss the 2nd topic which I was in charge of researching – the effects of atomic radiation – for only 30ish minutes (and I could thank the delegate from Libya for making that douche move of motioning to discuss topic one again – even though Libya was the one who kept wanting to move to topic 2 since day one!! What the frak, Libya – why would you out of all people motion for that?!?!) I still had a great time interacting with other students and seeing how this whole resolution making and passing process is like.

So, that’s pretty much the most memorable things that happened during the commission sessions, BUT, I still have so much more to talk about during my experience at the Model U.N. Conference! :) Look forward to reading Part II of my beyond amazing experience because trust me, there were some pretty awesome moments when I wasn’t busy caucusing with other students! :)

Until next time!

My Dream is…to Travel the World!

Hey, everyone! I hope you all had a great school week and that you’re enjoying this much needed weekend! :) As corny as it is to say this, it actually is pretty hard to believe that the semester is almost coming to an end! It really does feel like it was just yesterday that my professors were handing out their syllabus to the class (and, of course, everyone was still in summer-mode back then!).

This semester has definitely been one roller coaster of a ride – it’s had its ups and its downs, its twists and its turns, and at some point, the roller coaster even got stuck during the ride and an emergency crew had to come in to get it to function again (okay, maybe that one was a bit of an exaggeration…maybe!). But despite just how much of a crazy ride it’s been, I can’t say that I haven’t been enjoying my fall classes!

Two classes which I’ve been really enjoying are my Geography class with Dr. Raymond Taylor and my Intro to Latino Studies class with Dr. Olga Vilella. (I’ve been enjoying my other fall classes too, BUT, for the purposes of this blog, I’ll focus on these two. :) )

Now, I’m not gonna lie to you – before taking Dr. Taylor’s course, I never had a geography class in my entire academic life! (Yikes!) Of course, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t know where certain countries were located on a map or where other important rivers, mountains, lakes, etc. were also located; it just meant that like a majority of Americans, IGlobe didn’t really know the history, culture, and economic and political status of certain regions in the world.

Thanks to Dr. Taylor’s class, however, I can now proudly say that I’m more knowledgeable on the various issues that are impacting different parts of the world. It’s been an immense joy learning about the world’s various regions and really, this has only reignited my dream to one day travel the world!! :)

If I had been asked in high school where I’d like to travel, the answer I would have given would have been someplace in Europe – most likely Paris, France. (Pssshhh…typical American answer… -__- ) NOW, if you’d ask me that same question, well, I wouldn’t know what to say! Latin America, Eastern Europe, South or East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa – I just wouldn’t know where I’d choose!! :)

Thanks to my Intro to Latino Studies class, I want to travel all across Latin America and become acquainted with every culture in the region! Puerto Rico and Cuba are now on my “go-to” list of places to visit, though I’m not really sure if – as an American citizen – I’d even be allowed to visit Cuba O_O (Hmmm…I’m pretty sure Beyoncé got in trouble for doing that…but, I’ll look further into it!)

Latin America

My heart belongs to…Latin America! :)

Even though I’ve already been there multiple times as a child, ever since taking Dr. Vilella’s Women in Mexican Culture class last spring and her Intro to Latino Studies class right now; I’ve been really, really wanting to go to Mexico sometime soon! I haven’t been to the “mother country” since my freshman year in high school, and it really does frustrate me to know that it’s been 5 years since I’ve last set foot there. Throughout my childhood, my family and I always went to Yuriria, Guanajuato, Mexico during my Christmas vacation and it was always such an amazing experience to relax and unwind from all the stresses back home.

I truly do miss those wonderful experiences – the relatives we’d visit, the food we’d eat, the beautiful sites we’d see – and I’m really hoping that we’ll be able to go again someday. However, when I do travel to Mexico again, I feel that my experience will be somewhat different than from in the past; when I was little, going to Mexico meant nothing more than visiting several of my family members and getting away from the Chicago winter for a few weeks; now, going to Mexico would mean getting in touch with my roots, immersing myself in the beautiful culture, and just appreciating the country which I’ve been learning so much about these past two semesters. (I know that one of the sites which I definitely want to visit again is the beautiful cathedral that’s pretty much THE landmark of Yuriria, Guanajuato. I didn’t know this as a child, but, apparently it was built in the middle of the 16th century! :) As a history major, I find that to be very interesting and now I’m just dying to go inside a structure that’s even older than…well…than the United States itself!)

Yuriria, Guanajuato

El Ex-Convento de San Agustin – the most significant structure in Yuriria, GTO. (Kind of how the Sears Tower – or Willis Tower if you’re not a real Chicagoan – is the most significant building in our city.) When I was little, I used to want to get married in that church – and I kinda still do! :) (Mexican churches are just way more beautiful than American ones, so could you really blame me?)

Motorcycle Bunny

I often represent myself in my little cartoons as a spinny-eyed bunny, kind of how Hiromu Arakawa – creator of Fullmetal Alchemist – represents herself as a bespectacled cow. Anyways, here’s a picture of me on a crudely drawn motorcycle (which I’m sure any art professor would laugh at…) traveling across Latin America!

I know I jokingly said this to my friends, but, if I could, I would buy myself a motorcycle and travel all across Latin America on it!! :) (Of course, if I’m going to be doing any traveling on a motorcycle, I’ll need a hot leather jacket! You know, to give me a certain “coolness” ;) ) Visiting all the countries in Central and South America would certainly be an experience of a lifetime! I want to visit La Casa Azul de Frida Kahlo (one of my ultimate idols! :) ), pay my respects at the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero, climb all the way to the top of the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, and even participate in Brazil’s Carnival!! :)

The world is definitely waiting for me to further discover it and I certainly can’t wait for the day in which I get on a plane and go somewhere I never thought I’d ever set foot on! But until then, I have to do my best in my studies here so that one day, I can afford to go to all those wonderful places that I thought I’d only see in textbook pictures. It’s about time that this spunky Latina girl from Chicago got to see the world. :)

Well, that’s all I have for you this week, everyone! Until then, keep working hard in your classes and try not to let the stress of these next few weeks take away the smile from your face or the happiness in your life. :) Good luck with any upcoming assignments/ projects/ test/ etc!

Until next time! :)

Happiness is…Reading Some Manga!

Hey, everyone! I know that I was M.I.A. last week (and for that, I am deeply and sincerely sorry!), but sometimes, there’s just certain things and moments in life that you can’t control, and yes, sometimes they end up getting the best of you. I’m not going to go into full detail on what’s been going on and all (but who knows, maybe in another blog post, I will!), but what I can say is that this period has made me do a lot of reflecting and just trying to surround myself with things that I know will lift my spirits up.

I Love Manga

Great way to express my love of manga… :)

So, what have I been doing to resuscitate some happiness back into my life?

Well, ever since I was in middle school, I always loved reading manga, and as you may recall from my first blog post (which I’m sure you’ve all read! ;) ), I’m a huge manga fan! There are so many different mangas that I love, and it’s hard to choose which is my absolute, absolute favorite! My favorites shift from time to time – one day, I could be a huge Yu Yu Hakusho fan (which was actually the first graphic novel I ever bought – and that was such an exciting moment!), but then, one day I could be a huge Fullmetal Alchemist fan (LOVE FMA! And meeting Vic Mignogna – the English voice-actor of Edward Elric – at ACEN a few years ago was such an incredible experience! :) ).

Right now, since I’m trying to get myself into a “Never give up!!!”-type of mood, I’ve turned my attention back to Naruto, possibly the manga I always turn to during tough times. I know that Naruto gets dissed here and there within the anime community (Apparently some people think it’s “too mainstream” and all…Pssssh – they’re loss!), but I think it’s an amazing and inspiring story!! (Here’s the part where all the Naruto haters facepalm and say, “Oh my gawd…she did NOT just say that!” But, oh well…haters gonna hate! Bwahahaha! :) )

For those of you who are not familiar with the story, Naruto is basically the tale of a boy ninja who wants to grow up to be Hokage, who’s essentially the greatest/ strongest/ coolest ninja in the village. Throughout the series, Naruto encounters a lot of obstacles and makes a lot of self-discoveries on his journey to become Hokage. (If you want a more in-depth synopsis, then you could totally just check out the Wikipedia page on it – BUT, don’t read too much because, well, spoilers and all!)

There’s just so many things about Naruto that I love, and it’s kind of hard to choose which ones to tell you about! Well, I guess for one, I LOVE the characters! If someone were to ask me which was my absolute favorite Naruto character, well, that would be one of THE hardest questions I’d ever have to answer. (I kind of have a top 10 list of my favorites – and for those of you who want to know, in no particular order, they are: Naruto, Minato [the 4th Hokage], Kushina, Jiraiya, Tsunade, Orochimaru, Gamabunta, Gamakichi [yes, I like the toads!], Itachi, and Gaara. :) This list of names kind of meant nothing for anyone not familiar with the manga…)

Obviously I love the titular character – Naruto (…no duh) – because of his “Never give up!” attitude! :) It’s inspiring to see that even when the odds are totally against him, Naruto still gives it his all and he never loses hope that he will somehow win in the end! I think that there are so many great Narutomoments in the manga that captivate this, but my favorite moment is when Orochimaru (the main bad guy in the first part of the series) is telling Jiraiya (Naruto’s super awesome sensei and Orochimaru’s former teammate) that Naruto will never amount to anything because he doesn’t have “natural talent”; but then, Jiraiya totally shuts up Orochimaru by saying that a real ninja is one who endures no matter what and that the only thing that matters to be a great ninja is to have the guts to never give up!!! (And then there’s this super cool shot of Naruto getting punched in the forehead! :) I know, it sounds pretty weird and lame when I say it like that, but, trust me it’s cool!!) The rest of that manga volume was super awesome (it’s vol. 19, in case you want to check it out!) because Naruto totally shows what a badass ninja he is!! :)

That volume also focused a lot on one of my other favorite characters – Tsunade – and showed just how much of an amazing ninja she is. Sure, a lot of girls might think Wonder Woman is the most awesome female heroine ever created, but I think that Tsunade is the top dog when it comes to heroines! (And yes, it may be somewhat unfair to compare comic characters with manga ones, but that’s besides the point!) Tsunade Will of FireI admire Tsunade for a number of reasons – her superhuman strength (which I wouldn’t mind possessing!), her prowess as a medical ninja, her badass “Don’t-mess-with-me!” attitude, and a lot of other reasons; but my TOP reason for admiring Tsunade is because she was able to conquer an “inner weakness” – her fear of blood. (Kind of ironic for a medical ninja to be hemophobic, huh? Well, read vol. 18 and you’ll know why! :) )  Despite having it for years, Tsunade wasn’t going to let that weakness have control of her life anymore. Right now, I’m at a point in which I could feel my inner weakness returning and trying to take over my life (and maybe I’ll be more open in sharing what that thing is someday); but even when I’m most down, I always have hope that I will be able to conquer my inner weakness, and just like Tsunade, I’ll be able to kick it in the face and show it that I’m stronger than it thinks!!

Because I admire Tsunade so much, last year, I bought a necklace identical to the one she used to wear (before she gave it to Naruto), and while it may be lame and cheesey, wearing that necklace kind of made me feel and even reminded me that I could also be strong like Tsunade too! That necklace has since broken (And I did buy a replacement one…BUT…it also broke… :( ), but even though I’m not wearing it anymore, I still try to tell myself that I am stronger than my inner weakness and that better days are ahead! So yeah, even if some people may think it’s weird, lame, and even cheesey of me to be inspired by fictional characters, that doesn’t really matter to me – sometimes, fictional characters are just a stronger source of inspiration than real people!

Tsunade Necklace

Efforts at fixing Tsunade necklace = unsuccessful. Maybe I should just add a new one to my Christmas list…

I just gave you one of the reasons why I love Naruto so much, but trust me, I could name so many more! I won’t further bore you with that stuff – I’m sure I must’ve lost or confused a lot of you who may not read the manga – but I will say that Naruto will always be one of my favorite mangas ever and that it will always be that manga I go to whenever I’m feeling really down. It gives me strength, hope, inspiration, and let’s face it, because of it, I’m kind of expecting to find the Minato to my Kushina (I could go on and on talking about those two – but  I’d need another blog post to do that!! I’ll just say that because of them, I want to find the person attached to my red thread of destiny too. :) Read vol. 53 to know what I’m talking about! :) ).

Well, that’s all I have for you this week, folks! While I may not know what’s ahead for me for these next few days and weeks, I will say that just writing this blog post has reignited that feeling to never give up – and that’s always a good thing. (And I guess you also got a small glimpse on my super huge Naruto fangirl side. :) )

I hope you all have a great week and remember – always stay strong!!

Until next time! :)

Thinking about Minoring?

Well everyone, it’s that awesome time of the year again – time to register for spring semester classes! :) (Cue sarcastic “YAY!!”). It’s hard to believe that the fall semester has been going by so quickly, and it’s a bit nerve-wrecking to know that it’s almost coming to an end. (“Yikes!” That one was not intended to be sarcastic…) At the same time, it’s also exciting to plan out next semester’s classes and to just know that there’s going to be a “fresh” start come January.

While I’m sure that many of you will be taking classes focusing on your major (that’s kind of the point of “college”), it never hurts to take a few classes that could eventually lead up to a minor. I know that when I first started at SXU, I had no intention of minoring in anything whatsoever. However, the electives that I took during my freshman and sophomore year made me realized that I did want to minor in a particular area – and that area was Women and Gender Studies!

Even though I went to an all-girls high school, I never really felt that a particular focus on women’s history – or women’s achievements in general – was really stressed. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love my high school (as is apparent in my second blog post :) ) and I definitely became a more confident and empowered woman because of it, BUT, there just wasn’t a particular class that focused on the feminist movement, women’s issues, or just women’s history in general. (However, I am glad to say that a women’s history course has been added to the school’s curriculum – only wish it was offered when I was there! :) )

Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst was one tough suffragette! I never would have known about her if it weren’t for the Women in European History course!

Of course, you’ll learn soon enough that the great thing about college is that it offers a variety of courses on issues that may not have been particularly focused on during your high school years. So, even though I wasn’t interested in feminism, gender issues, or women’s history during high school, those certainly became my main interests as soon as I took the Women in European History course during my freshman year! (I’d also like to point out that my professor for that class was absolutely beyond amazing! His energy and passion for the subject definitely made the class a worthwhile experience!)

In addition to exposing you to a lot of interesting things, another great benefit of pursuing a minor is that it makes you become a more well-rounded individual. I know that if someone had asked me during my high school years if I was a feminist, I would have given a very hesitant answer – mostly because I wouldn’t have known what feminism was all about. Now, if I were asked that question, I’d give a resounding yes! Some of the classes that you’ll take will definitely change your views on things and may even change you as a person.

Tough Soldadera

The soldaderas played an important role during the Mexican Revolution. Learn more about them by taking the Women in Mexican Culture course!

For instance, during my sophomore year, I took a wonderful course – Women in Mexican Culture – that definitely changed my appreciation towards my Mexican heritage. Sure, I’ve always been proud of my Mexican heritage, but, there was just something about that course that totally changed the way in which I now view it. I learned so many valuable things in the course – from the role that Mexican women have had in the culture to just Mexican history in general (my first exposure to it!) – that now I’m just highly interested not only in Mexican culture and history, but also the history and cultures of other Latin American countries.

That course was what made me become interested in pursuing a minor in Latino/ Latin American Studies and also what led me to take the Intro to Latino Studies course this semester (which I’m also loving!). The professor who teaches both courses – Dr. Olga Vilella – is a beyond awesome professor! Her enthusiasm for the subject and the way she presents the material definitely keeps the class interesting – well, that and the funny anecdotes she tells on occasion! (I highly recommend taking any of her classes! :) )

So, you never know how your views on certain things will change after taking certain classes! But, it’s always great to be exposed to new stuff and to just gain a better understanding of different subjects which you may not have known much about. And hey, if you become really interested in a subject after taking a certain course, then I highly recommend looking into possibly pursuing a minor for that particular area. Here’s a link to a list of minors that SXU offers, you know, in case any of you already want to get a head-start in knowing more about any minors offered: http://www.sxu.edu/academics/undergraduate.asp

Have fun choosing your classes and let’s hope that we could survive the rest of the semester! (We’re almost there!)

Until next time! :)