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Articles by Josue Ortiz

The Grand Finale

Well, here it is. What was just a constant theme in my blogs throughout this year has now arrived. 

I remember walking onto DePaul’s campus for the first time filled with excitement at what the future had in store for me. Four years, 12 quarters, and countless final exams later and here I am excited once again for what the next chapter has in store. 

DePaul University, you’ve been good to me. 

Graduation
Thank you to everyone that has helped and supported me throughout these past four years. Thank you to all the clubs and organizations that brought me in, taught me valuable lessons, and enriched my college experience. Thank you to the readers that visit this site weekly and check out our works. 

Lastly, thank you to DeBlogs and everyone behind the scenes making it possible to have our content shared and read by students, faculty, and more. I’ve been with DeBlogs since my freshman year and have somehow managed to find something to write about every single week for 120 weeks (if my math is correct). When creativity lacked, when studies were difficult, and time was limited the DeBlogs crew worked with me and helped me stay on track. Having a weekly blog due made me go out of my way to explore DePaul and my city more than I may have without it. 

I developed personally and professionally from freshman year to senior, working on communicating with the DeBlogs team and maintaining what was expected of me. DeBlogs is also the only program I took part in, aside from my scholarship, for all four years at DePaul. So for those looking for a fun, rewarding experience and a chance to build your creative writing portfolio I highly recommend joining the DeBlogs team. 

Along with this Grand Finale blog is a farewell video​ I made talking about my experiences at DePaul. Give it a watch! That brings me to the end of this blog. Thank you everyone, once again, and for the last time…

Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome friends!

Josue Ortiz
Class of 2017   

Rickmobile to Chicago!

Calling all Rick and Morty fans! This blog is for you, well us, but you know what I mean. The Rickmobile will be in Chicago on June 1st for the Don’t Even Trip Road Trip tour. 
Rickmobile

Essentially it’s a giant truck that looks like Rick and is also a store traveling across the U.S. and bringing fans from all over together. The grand journey began May 11th in Atlanta, Georgia and has since made its way to the east coast stopping in Brooklyn, Boston, and more. Wrapping up those locations, the Rickmobile is now making it’s way to the Midwest stopping in Detroit, Cleveland, and a couple other destinations before reaching the Windy City. 

Feeling schwitfy yet? Challengers Comics , a local comic shop on Western Avenue just under the Blue Line stop, will host the event – it will start at 6pm and end at 9pm, according to the Facebook ​page. #Rickmobile has been designated for all Intsagram and Twitter posts from fans as they share their Wubba Lubba Dub Dub experiences! 

I know where I’ll be Thursday, June 1st at 6pm. I look forward to meeting other fans of Rick and Morty as well as attending the event with my 3+3=6 (another Rick and Morty insider) group! 

Thanks for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome! 

Creating

SXMW
 
Anyone familiar to my blog is well aware of how much I like to create. Whether it
SXMW
is a short film that took months of planning or a short vlog sharing some sort of experience – I love to film, edit, and publish on a regular basis. This week however, I was fortunate enough to check out South By Midwest (SXMW) a gallery showcasing the various works of Allie Klawitter and Alexandria Dravillas​ two local photographers studying at DePaul University and always in the creative process. 

The event was held at The Frame Shop in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. There was socializing, there were refreshments, and of course there was art! Several photographs were on display as well as a portfolio with various pieces printed all of which are available for purchase. With the emerging digital era we live in becoming more prevalent, it is always nice to attend a gallery and see tangible, physical works of art in front of you. 
SXMW

I very much enjoyed my time there and am happy to see fellow Blue Demons put in work and continue to be passionate about creating. I cannot wait to see what is next!  


1871

​One would think that after four years of attending DePaul University and having a desire to learn about everything the institution has to offer, one might have at least came close to seeing almost all of it. This past Wednesday, I came to realize just how impossible it is to reach such a goal. Taking a detour from our usually scheduled class time, my PRAD 373 professor decided to use this week as an opportunity to showcase 1871 to us, the startup and entrepreneurial hub of Chicago.

1871 is located inside the Merchandise Mart of Chicago. Conveniently staged around several CTA train lines, or “L” tracks if you’re native to the Windy City, it is easy and fairly hassle-free to get to and from there. With an array of shops, restaurants, offices, and more Merchandise Mart serves as a perfect location for 1871.

1871
Thriving in this melting pot of an atmosphere, 1871 provides various programs, workshops, events, guest speakers, etc. for all members. Here is the best part; all DePaul students have access to membership benefits through The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in the Driehaus College of Business. Students can make a request to use the University’s dedicated space or to attend any of the many events 1871 has to offer. All students have to do is contact the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center.

My friends and I have tried to explore everything DePaul has to offer and yet the more I learn, the more I realize I have even more to learn. It’s a good problem to have, in my opinion. So many resources offered that even in my second to last quarter of being an undergrad I’m still learning about new opportunities for students. Make sure to check out the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center if you’re interested in learning more about 1871.

Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome!

Blue Demon Dance 2017

Blue Demon Dance
“Put your hands in the air like you just don’t care!” Not necessarily a line that was said during the Blue Demon Dance this past weekend but a classic phrase in the music and dance world. 

This year’s venue for the Blue Demon Dance was the Chicago Sports Museum located at the Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago. Packed with a variety of activities, sports memorabilia, and interactive games, there was no shortage of things to do. Not to mention the amazing performance from the DJ and his partners keeping the crowd hyped throughout the night. 

Blue Demon Dance
This was my third and final dance as I prepare to graduate later this year. So I made sure to soak it all in one last time. The energy was high and students were everywhere enjoying everything the night had to offer from food to games and, of course, dancing. With the venue located at the top of the Water Tower Place, the view was incredible and the night-lights from the city added a very intimate aesthetic. 

Overall, it was one of the most memorable moments of my college experience and a fantastic way to finish out my final Blue Demon Week

Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome!

The Chicago Auto Show

Going to the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place has unintentionally turned into a tradition for me and my family. The first year I went was with my dad and siblings as a little kid. I remember being really bored and not interested in any of the car displays. It was not the best first impression.

Years later though, I would end up going once with a friend of mine and three times (including this year) with my family, totaling five Auto Show experiences. It’s quite interesting because I do not feel as though my family and I go out of our way to reserve time off and attend it. Instead, going to the Auto Show has just become something that has sort of happened over and over again, getting to this point that is now kind of a tradition.

Chicago Auto Show
I do love the Auto Show, by the way, don’t get me wrong I can sit in Ford Mustangs all day long as I fantasize owning several, hopefully, in my near future. I just find the growth of this tradition to be more unique than some of our other ones.

As with the previous years, the cars on display were incredible! I saw fast cars, slow cars, and cars that I am not sure can legally be driven on the road, but are still interesting to look at anyway. What was the winning brand? Personally, I think the Ford Mustangs takes the gold this year. I’ll admit I am slightly biased, okay very biased, but there is something spectacular about the Mustang series. It’s a classic and the style for the price, in my opinion, cannot be matched. Though the picture that corresponds with this article is of me posing with a Toyota dressed in Cubs gear (good move Toyota), you will also notice my very proudly worn Ford hat. There’s just something about their brand that I love and that is why I say they take gold this year, and possibly every other year, we’ll see.

Either way, if you’re looking for another Chicago event be sure to check out the Auto Show. It happens every year at McCormick Place and tickets are pretty cheap. Hint, hint the super awesome and amazing Office of Student Involvement (OSI) has even cheaper tickets than the already cheap tickets for all students! Just a heads up if you are interested. That’s all I have for today, friends!

Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome! 

The Little Things

I’m quite the nostalgic person. There are times when I’ll sit around with friends or family for hours talking about memories and reminiscing on life. There isn’t really a “good old days” when I think back on my life – I mean that in a positive way. When I reminisce, I think of positive times and find them in all moments of my life. This doesn’t mean I am oblivious to the hard times and challenges that have occurred, but those thoughts usually come second. The reason I’m writing about nostalgia this week is because there are some moments in life that while experiencing it I know that it will become a memory I look back on fondly. This week had one of those moments. 

9am Monday morning my iPhone alarm wakes me up for the day. As usual I get ready, get dressed, grab a coffee from Starbucks, and make my way to campus. The weather was gloomy and my spirits were on a slightly less optimistic. This week, I felt, was going to be a long one. Then Tuesday came with Wednesday following and Thursday right after, you know how the week goes. I would go to class, get lunch, go to another class, maybe stop by an event on campus, etc. Thursday I had to register for spring quarter classes, which led me to multiple email exchanges with my advisor as I sort everything out for graduation. Oh boy, graduation. Friends and family are asking what I am going to do and what my plans are. I have many plans and by no means feel unprepared in that regard, but the constant questions make me anxious and overwhelmed at times. Finally Friday came and after three long meetings beginning at 11am and ending at 5pm, I found myself at my girlfriend’s house. 

Clue
Her T.V. broke and no one could figure out what was wrong with it. We tried the typical unplugging and plugging it back in, the good old fashion Nintendo blow dust out of the ports, and pressing random buttons for several seconds trying to troubleshoot it. Nothing. So her sister suggested we play board games (millennials not using technology and enjoying face to face interaction OMG). A few moments later, Clue ​was brought out and we set it up. I was Professor Plum, 37, a former professor of Ancient Mid-Eastern Culture that had been funded by Sir Hugh Black, the unfortunate deceased. We played the game, my girlfriend’s family and I, reading the rules as we went along. After I won the first game we all decided to play again. There were laughs, accusations, misleading information, and more. It was a nice relaxing way to end what had been a very fast and exhausting week. 

This was the moment I referenced at the beginning of this blog. All of us playing Clue as we sat around the coffee table and marked items off our lists in an attempt to bring the murderer to justice. I know it’s not the most enlightening situation ever, but it is a little thing that I know one day in the future I’ll look back on and smile. 
​​​

The Farewell Address

“You really love Chicago, like a lot.” Said a friend of mine as I drove us down Belmont Avenue, a street on the city’s north side. There was more to the conversation but that specific quote made me think. Why do I love Chicago so much? There are many cities with skyscrapers, train systems, deep dish-well pizza, and more so what is it about the Windy City that I find so special?

I came to one conclusion and that is the amount of things occurring in the city. I say “things” purposely to be vague because there is such an array of events, occasions, etc. that happen in this city. President Obama’s Farewell Address hosted by The McCormick Place here in Chicago is a prime example of one of those “things.” A couple weeks ago a friend of mine sent a link to a group chat I am in. The link directed readers to a page of the White House website that displayed information on President Obama’s Farewell Address. The very limited amount of information said a ticket distribution would be held on January 7th, three days prior to his speech. No time was given nor an exact location (McCormick Place is a huge event center). Immediately I knew I wanted to attend the event and began asking friends and family to join me on my adventure to get tickets at McCormick Place at a time I was not sure of.

Farewell Ticket
While many said they were interested, most ended up backing out due to the amount of time required. So I, along with my girlfriend and her sister, decided to wake up Saturday morning at 4 in the morning to be at McCormick place by 5 and wait in line for tickets. What an experience that was! On very little sleep but high morale we ventured off into the three-degree morning that viciously challenged our spirits to get a spot at the President’s speech. With several layers on, a scarf around my neck, and a ski-cap I was prepared to wait outside for the doors to open. Luckily, there was only a short 15-minute period of time before McCormick Place officials let us indoors. The rest of the process, though long, went fairly smooth as we waited in line, obtained our tickets, and left back home for the day.

I was happy I decided to wait in line, as President Obama’s Farewell Address was one of, if not the most, historic event I have ever attended. Regardless of politics, he has changed the narrative of American politics and has brought hope and inspiration to so many. There were the chants of “four more years,” standing ovations, and the tears streaming down so many faces President Obama gave his farewell to the American people.

Thank you for reading my blog and until next time, stay awesome friends!

New Year Same Me

Hello friends and welcome back to a new quarter, new season, and New Year! 

I hope everyone had an amazing winter break, I know mine was fairly productive, and for this blog I’d like to focus on family, friends, and relationships in general. This break was a particularly difficult one as I returned from Los Angeles and began to readjust to life back here in sweet home Chicago. It was kind of challenging at first, everyone went about their day working, studying, etc. My courses had a couple final papers that could be submitted via email so I completed them on the road trip back home. That left me pretty free and available schedule wise when I returned. My friends still had classes and assignments to finish for their courses. At times I felt kind of alone, but I found ways to stay busy. I made movies on my YouTube channel, hung out with my dog, played video games, and worked on my resume. 

New Year
Coming into the New Year I have begun reconnecting with friends as they finish their last days of winter break, and as others return to the city in preparation for the upcoming quarter. It’s changed my mood quite a bit and I feel less lonely than before. Just yesterday I got dinner with two old friends from elementary school and we played pool at one of their houses. It reminded me that sometimes people get busy in life but it doesn’t mean they don’t care. With this being my first blog of the New Year, I have to add some sort of transformative twist on it. At least, that’s when I thought as I began to write this. Yet, as I continued with this blog I came to the realization that I don’t necessarily have any resolutions for 2017. There are pros and cons to 2016 but for me, I kind of want to continue to build on what I established last year. I met a lot of cool people and made a lot of cool connections and I want to keep working on them. Maybe something new for 2017 will pop in my head later but for now it’s New Year, same me. 

Thanks for reading this first blog of 2017. I hope this year brings everyone good things. 

Stay awesome friends!

Do or Die

​It was October 18th and the Dodgers had just taken a lead in the NLCS. Cubs were now down 2 games to 1 and Chicago knew that it was go time.

Being in Los Angeles for the fall quarter, my friends and I decided to make a video rooting for our Chicago Cubs! It was a passion project to show good vibes and spirits for our fellow Chicagoans that were in LA for the game, and to support our team in the hopes of winning and going onward to the World Series.

Being down in the series 2-1, there was an unspoken thought in the room as we planned out our shots and locations. What if the Cubs didn’t win? No one actually brought the topic up but it was present in all our minds and since the idea for the video was mine I figured I would have to answer. Luckily I didn’t have to but I played around with different responses in my head, trying to predict my friends’ thoughts and feelings. If the question were to have emerged the only possible answer I would feel comfortable giving is “have hope, have faith, stay positive, and wish for the best.” We would later go on to release #LetsGoCubbies!!! and the Cubs would win 3 straight games to become the National League Champions!

This brings me to our newest video titled #LetsGoCubbies II (World Series). My roommate, Kyle, and I found a cheap round trip ticket to Chicago. The idea was to do another video for the Cubs but this time at home in Wrigleyville right next to Wrigley Field.

With the Cubs dropping 2 games in a row, Cleveland would take the lead in the World Series 3-1. The night we landed in Chicago, the question was finally brought up. “Are you still doing the video tomorrow?” “What happens if the Cubs lose?” Without a doubt I replied, “Yes. We’re still doing the video. Keep up the faith and the positivity we’re still in this.” My friends and I would start our Sunday morning off at 9am and would end our filming at 3pm later that day. I would go onto edit the video and get a final cut completed just before the first pitch. The only thing I awaited was the end result. I came to the decision that I was going to post the video on YouTube regardless of the outcome. Later that night, Cubs would go on to beat Cleveland in game 5, forcing a game 6. The series is now 3-2 and the Cubs are still down but there is still a chance. Go Cubs Go! I am rooting for you, Chicago is rooting for you, and let’s fly that W!

#LetsGoCubbies

#LetsGoCubbies II (World Series)

Thank you and as always stay awesome!

Go Cubs Go!

#LetsGoCubbies

Last October I wrote a blog titled #FlyTheW! The Cubs were playing in the NLCS against the New York Mets and all of Chicago was waiting for our chance at a possible World Series title. 

That was last year but today, this week and this series is the now. The Cubbies played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS and had the lead the series 3-2. Conveniently being in L.A. for DePaul’s LA Quarter, I found it necessary that I take out my Cubs gear and show my support. With the Dodgers having a 2-1 lead and coming back home for the next two games, a few friends of mine and I took action to bring support to the Cubs and fans all around. Thus #LetsGoCubbies was created! 

Go Cubs Go
LA has been good to me and I have enjoyed my time here, and will continue to. However, Chicago is Chicago and the Cubs are the Cubs. The Windy City is my home and will forever have a special place in my heart no matter where I reside. So to everyone in Los Angeles or around the world rooting for the Dodgers I said, best of luck and also, let’s go Cubbies! I hope you enjoyed this blog and make sure to check out this video​. Go Cubs!

Stay awesome! 

Give Chance a Chance

He's taken the music world by storm, he’s a Chicago native, he isn’t signed to a label, and fans everywhere love him! His name is Chancellor Bennett better known by his stage name Chance the Rapper. 

Releasing his third mixtape in May 2016 titled Coloring Book, Chance continues to impress music critics and listeners everywhere. With over 57.3 million streams in the first week it has become the most successful mixtape to date for the artist. This resulted in the Recording Academy, the academy responsible for the Grammy’s, allowing stream-only releases to be eligible for a nomination. Which is a huge game changer for Chance and stream-only artists everywhere.
 
Chance the Rapper
This brings us to Chance’s most recent, unique moment. “Hey, Why Not Me?” Have you heard or seen the question yet? In Billboard’s latest issue the independent rapper is seen posing on his full-page ad. What’s the reason for it? Chance has had tremendous success in the music realm and even more so, he’s done it in unique and completely new fashion. The game has changed because of how he decides to market himself and create. Chance is asking for one simple thing, nominate him. I’m sure the musical star would not shy away from actually winning a Grammy ​but that’s not the goal at the moment. See Chance has always been about taking things step by step and right now the short term simple goal is to get nominated. After that, we’ll just have to wait and see. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Chance the Rapper, check him out! It’s worth it and highly recommended! Even Metacritic scored his last mixtape at an average of 90 (which is incredibly, above average). 

Thanks for reading my blog and as always stay awesome friends!

Chicago Versus Los Angeles

Chicago has the Cubbies, Sox, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Fire, and more. Los Angeles has the Dodgers, Angels, Lakers, Rams, Galaxy, and more. This blog will be focused on the similarities and differences of life in Chicago and life in Los Angeles. 

Chicago vs LA Basketball
Quick disclaimer: I am not saying one city is better or worse than the other, I am simply sharing my experiences in both. 

L.A. has grown on me this past month. I’ve come to love the awesome grocery store that is Ralph’s. The Chicago equivalent of it would probably be Jewel Osco. However, Ralph’s has this amazing rewards program that, in my opinion, is one of the best. Each time I shop there I save about $10 on groceries with my rewards card. The prices are similar, if not the same, to other stores I’ve been to (such as Target and Food 4 Less). Thinking of places in Chicago like Jewel Osco, Strack and Van Til, etc. I can’t think of anything that can match Ralph’s. But! Every grocery store in Chicago does have my favorite brand of Pepper Jack cheese (Sargento) and I have only found it at a Target that’s 30 minutes away from my apartment here. 

Aside from grocery stores, L.A. is much more of a driving city than Chicago. The public transportation is present but not preferred. Many times I’ll GPS a location and it is a 15 to 20 minute drive, and by train or bus it is over an hour. The key difference here is that a lot of times it is preferred to take the public transportation in Chicago because it is actually faster than driving. DePaul is a great example of this with the Loop campus and Lincoln Park campus being one quick train ride away. 

Chicago Skyline
The food scene is amazing in both cities, different, but still amazing. I’ve seen a lot more smaller, independent shops and restaurants here than in Chicago. When it comes to pizza, Chicago takes the gold​, but L.A. has such a huge array of places to eat. Many times you actually feel like you travel to that place as well! Many of the restaurants are in neighborhoods that reflect the part of the world they’re from such Chinatown or Koreatown. While Chicago also has a huge variety, the restaurants are not specific to a neighborhood as much as in L.A. Many times you’ll have the option of pizza and burgers on one side of the street and tacos and chicken fried rice on the other. It is more of this collage of restaurants on a block. 

That wraps up what I have for today. This blog is longer than usual but there is just so much to write about! 

Thank you for reading my blog and as always stay awesome friends!

TOP and Music in Chicago

Chicago is known for many things like pizza, sports, and diversity. The music scene is no stranger to that list.

With smaller venues like the Metro and the Aragon hosting smaller artist and larger arenas such as the United Center and Allstate hosting more popular musicians, there is never a dull weekend in the city.

This past Sunday I took advantage of what my hometown has to offer and checked out Twenty One Pilots (TOP) for their Emotional Roadshow tour at Allstate. It was incredible! To anyone that knows me personally, my love for TOP is no surprise. I first heard them in the summer of 2014 on Q101, a radio station dedicated to smaller more underground bands. The song I heard was Car Radio and ironically it played on the car radio of the vehicle I was driving for work. Now very present in the mainstream, the growth of Twenty One Pilots can interestingly be seen throughout their performances in Chicago.

TOP
In 2013 the band performed on the small, side stage at Lollapalooza to a crowd consisting of a few early followers. Fast forward to 2015, the duo was invited to perform at Lollapalooza again. This time, however, they were at the Samsung stage providing them more room and attention than 2013. Given a performance time of 5:30 PM on Sunday, the band was expected to draw in a decent crowd but nothing larger than what a headliner could attract. What actually occurred took the music festival by surprise. Tens of thousands of fans came to see their beloved duo take the stage. Some spent their whole Sunday waiting at Samsung stage in order to get a good spot. Others ran over from various stages where other artists were performing. After TOP’s set ended the tens of thousands of music listeners headed elsewhere leaving the opportunity for fans of Florence and The Machine to advance to a better viewing spot. TOP’s after Lollapalooza show was held at the House of Blues and would mark the second to last show in a smaller venue that the duo would perform.

Capping their 2015 in Chicago with one last performance at the Aragon, Twenty One Pilots would wave farewell to the underground scene as they broke into the mainstream revisiting Chicago this past Sunday at the Allstate arena. On a personal note, it sucks to have so much competition now when I am trying to purchase tickets for my favorite band, on the other hand, I am happy to see so many people enjoying their wonderful talent as I have done so since 2014.


Utilizing Your Summer

Summer is a wondrous season of warmth, joy, music, and most importantly my birthday. 

This blog, however, is about utilizing your summer to the best of your ability. The end of the school year can seem like the end of productivity to some as students prepare for long days on the beach and seeing old friends. For others, the summer serves as an extra academic quarter where they can take courses in order to get ahead or catch up. 

Regardless of what your summer plans may be, it is important to use this time the best way for you. The summer after my freshman year I worked at St. John Berchmans part time and took two classes that accounted for my general requirements. It was a more relaxed schedule that allowed me to enjoy time with my friends and travel a bit. 

This summer my plans are a little more productive. I have an internship with the Chicago Sky Basketball team; I am looking for a part time job, and will also be taking courses online. Different times call for different arrangements and this break will be dedicated to preparing myself financially and academically for my LA quarter in the fall. I encourage you, my fellow readers, to take a moment and think about what you need from this summer. It can be as simple as relaxing from June to September or it can be busy as I am predicting mine will be. 

Nonetheless, sitting down and reflecting will take you a long way, maybe even write down in a notebook what you would like to accomplish during this 2016 summer break. 


Copa America Centenario

“I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win!” Sound familiar? 

Team USA gears up this summer to take on international teams from South America, Central America, North America, and the Caribbean in the Copa America Centenario! This year marks 100 years of the Copa America​ and the U.S. is hosting the tournament. Chicago will be hosting our United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) and Costa Rica as well as Argentina versus Panama and the Semifinal round. 

All the games will be played at Soldier field home of the Chicago Bears football team. I am super excited because I love soccer! Here at DePaul I play on the intramural teams throughout the school year and in the summer I join leagues around the city. The USMNT had a good run in the 2014 World Cup making it out of the Group stage. They competed with international teams Ghana, Germany, and Portugal. The team would fall to Belgium later on but showed that the U.S. is a force to be reckoning with in the soccer world. 

Josue Copa
Since then, the team has seen rises and falls in their success losing in the CONCACAF tournament that would later be won by rival international team El Tri of Mexico. The Copa America is important for two reasons one head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has introduced a new, younger and inexperience team to the world, literally the world. With veteran players such as Dempsey, Bradley, and Howard the USMNT will both succeed in this tournament and set the tone for the Confederations Cup and later the 2018 World Cup or they will lose and it will be back to reconstruction for our team. 

Only time will tell but for now I chant in support of my USMNT, “I believe that we will win!”  


Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve

79 degrees and not a thing to do on a sunny, Saturday afternoon my brother calls me and asks if I can pick him up from school as he just finished his race. In a lethargic manner I arise from my slumber, get dressed, and drive to my alma mater to get my brother. 

I arrive at Gordon Tech (now DePaul College Prep) and see him playing games on his phone while sitting in the sun. He gets in my car, tells me about his race, and drive to the store to pick up some items. With such a beautiful day at my disposal, my previous craving to stay in all day and watch Daredevil on Netflix had left and all I wanted to do was explore the world. “Do you want to go on a hike?” I asked my brother. “Uhmm, sure why not.” he replies. I call my girlfriend and ask her if she’d like to join us on our spontaneous adventure, she says yes. 

My brother and I pick her up, go to our house, pack some water and snacks, and make our way to Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve​ in DuPage County. As we park, I take notice of others in attendance. This was my first time on a hike and I wanted to see what others were wearing, drinking, eating, etc. I saw these two gentlemen wearing backpacks that seemed to have anything one might need when venturing into the wilderness. There were also some bikers with mountain bikes, water, helmets, and more prepared for the journey ahead of them. My group? Well we had sneakers, water, sunglasses, a small backpack, squished granola bars, and a thirst for adventure! 

We took our first steps into the unfamiliar realm of nature and made our way to a post containing simple directions. “Waterfall 2.9 miles à” it stated. Our crew then began our hike down the path to the waterfall. The experience was one definitely worth the trip. We saw robins, squirrels, otters, and dragonflies. There weren’t any deer sightings but we did find some tracks showing their presence. A passerby pointed us in the direction of a playground just through the forest so we went, for what we thought would be a quick stop by. Playing on the monkey bars, swings, and eating some of our squished granola bars quite some time had passed and we decided to save the waterfall sighting for another day. 

Some might call this a failed mission but considering it was my first time ever hiking, I think it was a huge success! If you’re ever looking to get in touch with nature make sure to check out Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in DuPage County, you won’t regret it! 


Logan Square

Lincoln Park is nice and so is the loop but nothing can compare to my neighborhood, Logan Square. 

I’ve lived in Logan Square for whole life – since I was a little baby until now. It’s a welcoming community with a lot of activities throughout the year. No matter what the weather may be, there is probably something happening in Logan Square. 

In the summer we have the Milwaukee Arts Festival, Farmer’s Market, and movies in the park. The frigid cold of the winter doesn’t stop us as we host Holiday on The Square, a day where participating shops and restaurants offer deals, treats, tastings, and more! Logan Square is known as one of the more diverse neighborhoods in Chicago with 38.2% of homeowners working blue-collar jobs and 61.8% working white-collar jobs. The median household income is around $76,000. 

It is my personal and expert advice that if anyone is ever looking to explore Chicago a little more they should go check out Logan Square. The art scene is incredible, the food variety is like no other, and the local shops give a more intimate and less city type feel. While there are things to check out in the winter, as previously noted, the summer time is ideal to fully experience the neighborhood. 



Spring Events in The Windy City

Having been born and raised in Chicago, I’m pretty used to there always being something happening each day. Whether it is something small like a street artist performing as I walk to the store or wait for the train, or something big like Lollapalooza, there is always some event going on in this city. 
It is almost impossible to not know of something fun happening. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer there will only be an increase of these awesome city events. This brings me to the purpose of today’s blog, go out and do stuff! 

A painting in tribute of Prince
Yes, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon TV, etc. have unlimited content that you could spend hours and hours of your day watching and enjoying; and as a filmmaker I frequently let my day get consumed by those but there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored as well! 

Just a few weeks ago I went to this gallery at a place called the GRAFFITI LOUNGE located at 116 W. Hubbard St. I knew someone that was showing some of their work at the gallery and went to support them. Aside from the incredible artwork, the atmosphere of the place was an experience in itself. The view was incredible, the food was delicious, and the people were really nice. It was one of those moments were I could have decided to have stayed home and catch up on House of Cards or go out and see a part of the city I have never been to before. I think it is safe to say, I chose wisely. 

This was just one event too, there are tons happening every day at different times in the city both indoors and outdoors! So with that being said, please take the time to check out Chicago events happening by clicking on this link. I hope you have an awesome experience and learn something new about the city you live in.

Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome!


Final Countdown Spring Time

​​​​​“It’s the final countdown!” (Mimics guitar noises with mouth).  

That is exactly what I thought as I pondered what to write about for this blog. The Final Countdown is a song created by the artist known as Europe. It’s a pretty famous song and one you should check out if you have not heard it yet. 

Now to bring it back to the blog, I am writing about this song because it is our Spring Quarter here at DePaul. That means fall and winter have passed and there are only a few more courses between me and summer. With the weather getting warmer, the day getting longer, and shorts making their way back into my everyday outfit it can be difficult to focus on classes when all I want to do is go to the beach. However, this blog is to remind you, and myself, that we have to finish strong! 

Chilling in the sun and driving for endless hours with the windows down as your hair flies in the wind is almost here but business is business and work must be completed first. DePaul will be transitioning into the glorious, festive ways of the summer with various events on campus like Battle of The Bands and FEST ​but these are to be enjoyed only after you, and I, have finished the work that must be done. So in conclusion, help me help you help me and let us work together to finish this year strong and earn our fun, relaxing summer!
 
Let’s do this!


Stepping Out

5:00 AM: Alarm goes off. Snooze? No time, I grab my phone and call my friend. “Are you up?” I ask. “I’ve been up, I just got out of the shower,” she replies. “Oh, okay I’m getting my stuff ready then I’ll be on my way.”

5:45 AM: Pack my equipment in my car camera, drone, GoPro, 360-degree camera, and three tripods. I start my car, look at my mirror, check my blind spots, and I’m off. First stop is Starbucks, a necessity when waking up so early in the morning.  “What’s up Jerome?” Jerome is my favorite Starbucks barista; he’s really cool and funny too. “What are you doing up so early?” He asks. “I’m trying to shoot the sunrise.” I explain. My usual drink, when the weather is on the colder side, is a venti peppermint mocha. About two seconds go by from me ordering my drink and me getting my drink, Jerome is fast like that.  “Thanks man, have a good one!” I say my farewells to Jerome and head back to Falcon (side note: Falcon is the name if my car).

6:00 AM: I arrive at my friend’s house and text her, “I’m here.” “Coming,” she replies. Two seconds pass, maybe three, she isn’t as fast as Jerome and she comes to my car. “Let’s go!” I exclaim. I drive off NASCAR style down the street. The sun rises in 30 minutes and we have to drive across town to the beach, park, walk to the spot, and set up my shots.

6:30 AM: Traffic caught me off guard. I didn’t think there would be so much this early in the morning. Getting closer to the lake and I just realized I am not too sure on where to park. I’ve only ever walked and biked to the beach. Also, the sun is starting to peak. “Where do I go?” I ask my friend. “I’m not sure” she replies. Still driving in pursuit of a parking spot and I see an entry that I am not entirely sure I could go into but I do anyway. We find the parking lot, good risk to take; we park, unload, and walk to the spot. Time is not on our side and the sun is ready to rise for the day. The wind whips against my face as I try to set up the shots I need.

6:45 AM: The sun has already begun rising but with a little movie magic I can fix it. All cameras are rolling and my friend and I hide our faces from the wind as it continues to hit us.

7:15 AM: We wrap up, go to Falcon, and head to Jam and Honey for some breakfast.

March 31st, 1:00 PM: I sit in Starbucks with Taylor, my partner in crime and write about the crazy, fun, and hectic experience of going out that day to shoot the sunrise. She’s reading a history book and I am excited to be reliving this story as I write about it for my blog.

March 31st, 1:30 PM add the video to the blog and share it for viewers to enjoy.

Thank you for reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed the video (the video is posted below), and as always stay awesome!

​​​​

ABC - Always Be Creating

Creating things is awesome. From nothing but a thought in your mind to now a physical object that can be handed out and shared. I love to create. 

Here at DePaul I am double majoring in Digital Cinema​ and Public Relations and Advertising​. The Digital Cinema portion of my degree is what I am going to focus on in this blog. It all started when I was in 8th grade. My father had bought me my first camcorder, it was supposed to be for our family but I used it the most, and my sister had just bought the first laptop for our family. It was with these two items that I began making movies. 

I would use the free editing software known as Windows Movie Maker​ and I would film my brother, my family, and anything else I could. I began putting the clips into the editor and messing around with the different functions, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Which, in a way, was kind of nice. I was not told how to edit, how to add clips, or different ways to cut. I simply did it through trial and error. 

That was one of the coolest feelings ever for me to just mess around with something that I had to figure it out. It was a discovery and I was addicted to learning more and exploring more. I started doing little camera tricks like making stuff disappear, making inanimate objects move, and adding music to my footage. The biggest take away I had was just to create. There are no rules - no right or wrong way to go about it, there is just creating. Making something that didn’t exist before is a feeling that I love. 

So to my fellow artists, explorers, and creators I say to you ABC, Always Be Creating.

Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome friend!


360 Degree DePaul Quad

There are many cool things about DePaul and our campus. 

There are coffee shops, events with free food, friendly people, and of course our Quad! This blog isn't much of a blog, but more of an introduction to the video embedded here. See, I just recently purchased the Ricoh Theta S 360 degree camera and it is super awesome! So I decided, why not take awesome thing number one (DePaul's Quad) and awesome thing number two (new, crazy 360 camera) and put them together! 

Thus I present to you my fellow friends, readers, and family (hi mom!) the first 360 degree video of DePaul University's Quad! Feel free to look up, down, left, right, at the sky, at me, at the ground, and whatever else you like! Sorry, for all the exclamation points, I'm very excited if you cannot tell. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this short video! 

Thank you for reading/watching my blog and as always, stay awesome!

"Free Run"

​​​​​

Run, sprint, just go, and don’t look back. Sure, people will look at you like you’re crazy but it’s a feeling that cannot be matched. 

It was the summer of 2014 and I had just completed my first year at DePaul. I was looking forward to hanging out with old friends, playing soccer for endless hours, and going on long late night bike rides. Yet, it wasn’t exactly like that. I got a summer job, enrolled in two courses, and the tires on my bike had to be replaced. It was overwhelming. 

A friend had told me about “free running​.” Sound weird? It kind of is. The idea is to, at any moment and any place, take off sprinting as fast and as hard as you can. Just go and don’t look back, until you’re out of breath and need to stop to catch it. There really isn’t any purpose to it besides the feeling of freedom and the burdens being lifted off your shoulders for that short moment where you feel on top of the world. 

Running, it’s so simple but so impactful. I remember when she first told me about the idea and I thought it was a bit weird and figured I would never try it myself. To sprint for no reason, what if someone thought I stole something? Or thought I was running away from a crime scene? These were the logical, and limiting, thoughts I had at the time. Then one day, after work, I felt it. I was tired, stinky, exhausted, and just felt crummy. I remember walking out of the building and there was an open sidewalk, not a person in sight or a car driving by. I looked to my left and my right, behind me and in front. I just felt it and began, walking my pace quickened and then, I sprinted. Down the side street, jumping over cracks in the sidewalk, dodging fences that people left open, feeling the wind in my face, my short hair pushing against the breeze, sweat gathering on my forehead, my heart pounding, and my legs churning. I ran as fast as I could in my cargo shorts and tennis shoes. At the end of the block I stopped and put my hands on my head as I gasped for air. I laughed and smiled. Not one person was around me, not one car driving by. I had just completed my first ever “free run” and I now understood why it was called that.  


Thanks for reading my blog, and as always, stay awesome! 


Dear Mom and Dad

Dear Mom and Dad,

Blue Demon Week 2016 recently came to a close, I’m in the winter quarter of my third year here at DePaul University, and I cannot stop thinking about how grateful and blessed I am to be here at this institution. My friends are painting their faces, the band is playing music in the student center, and everyone is eating this Rice Krispy treat that turns their mouth blue. Words cannot express how I feel. With all the fun festivities around and the school spirit enriching our days, every thought of mine comes back to you two. My mom and my dad. You are my role models, my inspiration, and my heroes. Your unconditional love and your never-ending support are something I have come to learn is rare, and for that I am forever grateful. Here at DePaul I am thriving and loving every day I am on campus. I have roles in several organizations, I am taking vigorous courses that challenge me every day, and the future feels limitless. This I owe to you. 

The courage I have to yell “selfie” while student leaders pose with our president, Father H., comes from the confidence you instilled in me. The ability to listen to others and hear their story comes from the love you have given me. And the passion I have for everything I do comes from the passion you have for me. Anything and everything I do in the future will be because of you. 
So as I conclude this open letter, I want to say, thank you mom and dad for your love, your kindness, your compassion, and most importantly thank you for believing in me.

 Sincerely,
 Your grateful son


Winter is Upon Us!

​​Winter is upon us. 

Do not let any random warm days fool you, my friend. Soon there will be snow up to our knees, cars will need a few extra minutes to warm up, and even Santa will need help flying through the stormy weather. 

Yes, Chicago winters are infamous for testing the patience and character of all its inhabitants. From neighborhood teamwork to shovel up the streets and sidewalks, to the cars that still drive 60 mph as if snow is a myth, the winter tests us all. 

With the cold heading our way soon, it is important to know what is going on. Unlike summer, destinations need to be planned because no one wants to walk around without a safe, warm place to go to. My recommendation is to make sure to layer up, take a nice hot beverage with you on the go, and plan your adventures wisely! 

Of course the snow and blistering cold isn’t all that bad. Make sure you enjoy the white fluffy beauty of Mother Nature before it is gone for the year. Throw snowballs, build snowmen or snowwomen, and make some snow angels. Whatever your winter goals are and wherever you may be, I hope everyone has an amazing holiday season!

Thanks for reading my blog, stay awesome friend!


FEST 2016 Survey is Here!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas? No. 

The FEST survey is up and being shared all over DePaul social media platforms! From Twitter to Facebook, if you are not following the DePaul Activities Board yet change that now. 

FEST is DePaul’s spring music festival held on the Quad during the last quarter of the year. Every year there are various events held to promote the event from forums to surveys. Just today the DePaul Activities Board released the official FEST survey for FEST 2016. 

With an amazing line up from The Neighbourhood to Chance the Rapper, this year is already creating buzz around campus. So who do YOU want to see at FEST? Check out the survey on the link below. 

Also, if you’d like to read more about FEST and the DePaul Activities Board, click on their website and see what the organization is all about. 

Survey: http://depaul.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bPoQiRwOgkkBeLP

 

D.A.B.: https://dehub.campusgroups.com/dab/home/

 

Thank you for reading my blog! Stay awesome my friends!


Bernadette the Movie

Coming soon to a theater, school, and city near you! Bernadette the movie finished production this past summer and has a target release date of spring 2016. 

Professors John Psathas and Patrick Wimp ventured to create a feature length film utilizing the skill of DePaul students and the opportunity provided by CDM’s (College of Digital Media) Project Bluelight. 

With a dedicated student crew, John Psathas, director and producer, and Patrick Wimp, director of photography traveled all around Illinois to create the perfect suburb for their coming of age comedy. Taking full advantage of local Chicago actors as well as students from the DePaul Theatre School, the teaser for Bernadette has been played over 8,000 times with the Facebook page being just shy of 2,000 likes. Several articles mentioning the film have been released through various news outlets such as The DePaulia​, Reel Chicago​, and the Chicago Tribune​. The film is now in the post-production phase but behind the scenes photos, witty statuses, and other content is being released on their social media sites frequently, keeping fans of the film engaged until the premiere. To keep track of the film follow and check out the links below.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/131947745

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BernadetteMovie

Instagram: https://instagram.com/bernadettethemovie/

 As always, thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did working on it. It is a great display of the talent here at DePaul University and an even better display of what good collaborations can create.​


#FlyTheW!

​​“Fly the W!” “Go Cubs go!” “Cubs Nation!” If you’re in Chicago, you’ve probably heard the awesome news. Cubs are heading to the Pennant for the first time since 2003. 

Dominating the St. Louis Cardinals, the beloved Cubbies took the series 3-1 (best out of 5) and they did it with one win on the road and two in their hometown. Fans all over say this is the year the Cubs go all the way knock on wood

For many fans, this highly successful season comes as a surprise as it was noted early on that this would be a year of progress. The “five year plan” was something Cubs President Theo Epstein came up with. The reason, to give fans a deadline by which he would transform the Cubs from lovable losers to playoff contenders. Criticized, at first, for three consecutive losing seasons, Epstein is now in his fourth year as Cubs president and has shown what he is made of. Building from within, Epstein brought up 3 key players from the minor leagues. These included Kris Bryant​, Albert Almora​, and Javier Baez​. Additionally, the Cubs signed Cuban powerhouse Jorge Soler ​to a 9 year, 30 million dollar contract. Epstein saw the talent and brought them to Chicago - a gamble that is paying off. 

All stats aside, the story of this team is one to remember. With 8 of their players being born in the 90’s, the Cubs are a young team and show potential for years to come. A season that was supposed to be nothing more than another building year, has now turned into the latest chance for Cubs fans to see their team win a World Series. Players built and developed from within the organization have taken charge in the Big Leagues making names for themselves against top teams in the MLB. The Chicago Cubs have been exciting this year for many more reasons than just their record. It’s their story, their players, their fans, etc. This - knock on wood - is our year!

Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome!

Go Cubs! Fly The W!

My Team Blog

“Dance like no one’s watching.” “Live like there’s no tomorrow.” “Live, love, and laugh.” These quotes are fairly familiar as I see them frequently on Tumblr​, Facebook, Instagram​, etc. Though they are used a lot, the meaning and value of these phrases should not be lost. It’s easier said than done to smile when you’re sad, to keep moving when you’re tired, and to think positively when you’re feeling down. However, I’m a firm believer in the fact that we have to do these things in order to continue progressing. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in resting and taking some days off to just relax and recuperate, but eventually we have to get back to the hustle. The world is always moving and it never stops for anything, with 7.2 billion people on this planet (and more coming every day) it is important to take the time you need, but to eventually get back into action. This, as I already said, is easier said than done. I have found myself feeling blah many times in my life. I didn’t want to do anything but sleep or be lazy with my dog, Gizmo.

When in these funks of mine I usually snap out of it with the help of my friends, family, and inspirational videos or quotes like the ones above. A common teaching in film school is to not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I know how to write a script, film a video, and edit it but someone else might be a better writer or editor, and it is okay to ask for help because in the end the movie will better. So aside from film, in those moments of blah I look for my team of helpers to bring me up, and they usually do. A team is important in life because they support you and keep you up when the struggles of life try to knock you down. Even Batman eventually joined the Justice League​. To all those that have helped me through ups and downs, thank you, this blog is for you. For the individuals that are looking for a team of their own, keep going, you’ll find one eventually and remember to ask for help when you need it. Together everyone accomplishes more!   

Thank you for reading my blog and as always stay awesome!

For K.S.

Josue Ortiz​​​


FEST 2015!

“Ladies and gentlemen give it up one more time for [insert band/DJ name here]!” That’s more or less how my night was spent last Thursday at Battle of The Bands & Fest ​Big Reveal as the MC. It was a great time, as always, over at Lincoln Hall ​with the DJ’s keeping people jumping up and down and the bands giving the people a sound to sway to. 

Of course the big thing everyone was waiting for, the reveal! Sound unfamiliar? Well there was a reveal that happened at the event, a BIG reveal, and if you were there then I hope you know what I am talking about. FEST 2015 is on its way! May 22nd is the official day and it is something everyone should go to! When talking about amazing, awesome, fun, incredible, and (I’m out of adjectives) really cool events at DePaul it is essential to bring up Fest. It is the biggest event of the year with thousands of DePaul students attending and amazing artist performing. It is held in the beautiful Quad and students can enjoy it anywhere from front row to the UHall ​patio viewing area. 

Now, for the final part of this blog. Who is going to perform at Fest? Well, hopefully you have already heard as everyone has been Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, and more about it. However, just in case:

FEST 2015 presents:

Opening – Milo Greene​

The poster makes it look a lot cooler!

Middle Act – American Authors​

Headliner – Big Sean​

But wait there’s more!​

After Hours:

Milo & Otis

So if you have yet to get your Fest tickets, what are you waiting for? I will be there, other awesome people will be there, and it is going to be a great time!

Thanks for reading my blog and always stay awesome!

P.S. I want to see YOU at Fest and if you see me come say hi I love making new friends! 


Spring is in the Air

​​​​​Spring is here! Saying something like that in Chicago is always risky as the weather can change from 70 and sunny to 30 and snowy within minutes. However, this spring seems to be a success thus far (fingers crossed) as the weather has been fairly warm and friends of mine seem to be going to the beach to take a lot of selfies lately.

With that being said, make sure to take advantage of all the great things to do in the city when the weather is nice. Millennium park ​is always a beautiful place to walk around, The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool ​is quiet and relaxing, and much more!

With the arrival of spring comes the anticipation of summer. Some notable summer activities include the Milwaukee Arts festival (free), Lollapalooza, Riot Fest, and many more. One thing I always like having is a complete list of festivals in Chicago for the summer. So for people who are like me, or even if you’re not but are still interested in festivals in the summer, you can find a huge list on the website ChooseChicago​.

I hope everyone is enjoying their spring so far! Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome!


DePaul Is My Type of University

DePaul University was the right fit for me because of many different reasons. 
I knew that I wanted to stay in the city when I was looking for colleges and that led me to look at DePaul, Columbia, UIC, University of Chicago, etc. One of the major differences for me was the liveliness of DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus​. I remember walking through and seeing so many students racing from one side of the quad to another trying to get to class. It was the quickness of DePaul life that I really found intriguing as well. There was always some sort of activity happening somewhere on campus, never a dull moment. 

Having had my sister attend DePaul, I visited and saw the campus a lot whenever my parents would drop her off or pick her up. Aside from the Lincoln Park campus, I fell in love with commuting to the loop for class. I remember talking to my family about how cool it felt to be in the morning hustle on the L​ to get to class while professionals made their way to offices and work sites. 

In the end I knew DePaul University was the place for me because it simply felt right.


Vincentian Service Day 2015

“Vincentian Service Day 2015 coming up!” Stated one of the emails in my never-ending inbox on Gmail. The message contained information on the day the event would occur and what was needed in order to register. 

As usual, I plan on attending Vincentian Service Day with one of the various groups I am committed to here at DePaul. It’s really nice to be a part of so many organizations because when events such as these come up I can either participate in it with my scholarship group, my CCM (Catholic Campus Ministry)  group, or my DAB (DePaul Activities Board) group, etc. Nonetheless I am super excited to contribute once again to the amazing service the DePaul University offers. 

I remember when I was senior in high school thinking about all the different things I had learned and accomplished. One of those things I was proud about was joining a club called Mission Awareness, a club dedicated to doing service activities in school and throughout the Chicago area. One of the thoughts I had as I applied to different colleges and universities was, “Am I going to continue this service?” DePaul was perfect for me because it took so many different things
that I learned in high school, such as service, and not only continued them but expanded on them. This will be my second year participating in Vincentian Service Day and I still remember my experience from last year as if it was yesterday. We helped with a community garden on the Southside of Chicago. The lady that overlooked the garden did it all on her own because city budget cuts allowed enough funding for one worker. Any sort of assistance she was able to get was all from volunteers. When the day ended, she was so grateful for our help that she gave us candy! 

I am looking forward to Vincentian Service Day 2015 and I am looking forward to helping someone who may need it.  


NOM NOM Pancake Day

National Pancake Day was the other day and if you go to any IHOP you will get a free stack of buttermilk pancakes. Awesome right? 

My friends and I contributed to the holiday that night. The idea of having a whole day dedicated to pancakes really got me thinking. This has to be one of the craziest ideas ever proposed, right? Well I did a little research and found out that the day is used as a marker for the day before the first day of Lent. In the past, people would follow Ash Wednesday with meals that did not contain meat, dairy, eggs, etc. which usually led to a pancake type of food. Pancake Day is usually a day that precedes Ash Wednesday in either March or February (depends where you are). This made me think of other holidays that may not be as well known. 

Here is a small list of days for the month of March:

•         National Peanut Butter Lover's Day(I’m allergic)
•         Zero Discrimination day
•         Casimir Pulaski Day

The list goes on and on. So, to end this article I would like to say that anything you can possibly imagine as a holiday, probably already is. However, if it isn’t yet a holiday take the chance and try to get it nationally recognized.
 
Thank you for reading my blog, and as always stay awesome!


Get Jiggy With it: Blue Demon Week 2015

In the wise words of Michael Jackson, “Let’s dance, let’s shout. Shake your body down to the ground!” The highly anticipated and very fun event Blue Demon Week is happening this week. It is sponsored by Student
Government Association in cooperation with D.A.B. (DePaul Activities Board), DemonTHON, and the Athletics Department. There will be a huge variety of events going on from bumper cars in the Student Center to trivia night. I hope everyone is as excited as I am! Now is the perfect time to show your Blue Demon pride.

•         Monday (2/23):  7pm Student Center room 120 – We have trivia night
•         Wednesday (2/25):  6pm Student Center room 120 – Speed Demons Bumper Cars
•         Thursday (2/26):  9pm-12am The Ray – DePaul After Dark

Last but not least, Friday (2/27) night we have the Blue Demon Dance! If you know me, I take any opportunity I can to get my jiggy on. The dance starts at 8pm and goes until 12am. There will be food, a DJ, and more. The dance will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel and provides the perfect chance for people to show off their
footwork. I hope to see everyone I know there and cannot wait to get my groove thing on. Tickets for the dance will be on sale throughout these events. Come enjoy being a Blue Demon this week and show off your pride!  


Just Do You

Blue, red, and green are my favorite colors. I like the hit AMC show The Walking Dead. I have a huge passion for soccer, but also like to play many other sports. Can you relate? If not, no worries because those are things that I personally like. You may agree with me that soccer is the greatest sport in the world or you may disagree, and that’s all okay. Today, I’m going to be writing about being yourself.

Many times in life, I have felt as if I had to act a certain way in order to be accepted. I thought that if I talked a certain way and wore clothes that were popular then people would like me. Yet, when I would go home and be in my room alone I knew that the person I was pretending to be was far from who I actually was. This year at DePaul has been a very explorative one for me. I have joined several clubs and have taken part in numerous activities from D.A.B. to intramural soccer. I recently told a friend of mine that I am trying to figure out what I like, the type of people I want in my life, and the way I want my life to go. Whenever anyone has asked me about this year I usually begin by listing all the clubs I am in. This is usually followed with something like “wow you’re a busy person.” I think that’s kind of funny because I think of myself as more of a confused person than a busy one. The reason I go to so many groups and am in all these clubs, aside from the fact that they’re fun, is simply because I need to figure myself out. Which is awesome because it leads to exposure to different people and different ideas, which eventually leads to me deleting or accepting new ways of thinking. Year number two at DePaul is going pretty awesome for me, so far.

So now I think about the people around me. What I see on Facebook, what my friends tell me, and what I hear people talking about with their friends leads me to a realization. No one has any sort of idea of what is going on. That may sound bad at first but allow me to elaborate. 

As confused as I feel with certain things, my parents have seen it all, or at least have seen more than me. When I think that something I’ve experienced is crazy, insane, and has never happened to anyone else my parents laugh and tell me a story of their past. They offer advice to me and even understand that I have to make my own mistakes in order to grow. That’s what I mostly hear from others too. “I did (insert awesome story here) because I wanted to try it.” There should be no judgment or wagging of the finger, there should just be understanding and acceptance. That goes for mistakes as well as good experiences because we have to make mistakes in order to learn and we have fail in order to succeed. For my parents, they accept me for who I am. As for who I actually am, well that’s still being discovered little by little every single day. There is one thing that’s certain, and that is that I am just doing me. Living every day the way I want to and not allowing anything, or anyone, to prevent me from trying something new. In the end, our choices are what define us and I would rather be known as the awesome guy that went skydiving than the guy who said he was going to do it but “never had the time.” 

Thanks for reading my blog, as always stay awesome!


Back to The Future and New Years

Three, two, one, “Happy New Year!” Went everyone as we all embraced in hugs, high fives, and even kisses.

2015 is officially here, or as some of my friends joked, year number -3 since the world “ended” in 2012. With the arrival of the New Year comes new ideas, inventions, events, and more! However, only six days into the New Year and there are already many anticipations. Several of these come from Back to The Future 2.

As the 80’s were coming to an end, the brilliant minds of Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale had to think of what the world would look like in the 21st century. Their ideas consisted of flying cars, auto fit clothing, skateboards that hover, and more. The 1989 film to this day has been a fan favorite and a must see. It has made the year of 2015 famous before people could even say goodbye to 2014. Though many of the fictional inventions have a ways to go, it is always a great feeling to leave an old year behind and have 365 new days ahead.

I am excited to make 2015 a great year and cannot wait to see the Cubs win the World Series (Back to The Future). I hope everyone has had a great winter break and is ready to start the New Year on a good note!

Thank you for reading my blog and always stay awesome!


Check Out Chicago

​New shoes, new friends, new weather, new schedule, and did I mention a new year? Hello everyone, welcome back to a new year at DePaul, and welcome back to the DeBlogs - the best place to see what is up on campus, around Chicago, and more! Today I will be writing about my adventure to Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. 
 
Let me begin by saying that it is completely free! You can see animals such as rabbits, chipmunks, coyotes, and more. The pond has lily pads in it and reflects the sky in a romantic way that would be perfect for anyone trying to impress their significant other and keep their wallet happy at the same time. The pond has a rich history and walking through the cobblestone path you may believe that everything in the area is natural, but it's not. To my surprise, while learning about the history of the area from a staff member, I found out that it was all man made. 
 
If you are trying to find the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, you want to head east on Fullerton going towards the lake. It is on the north side of the street just before Lincoln Park Zoo. The workers there are extremely nice and greet everyone with a smile. If you like photography or just want to get a nice profile picture for your Facebook, it’s the place to go. There is even a little patio type area made of wood where you can read, meditate, eat, or plan your first kiss. Remember this is all for the low price of free! So if you are in the area please do check it out - you will not regret it.  

Thank you for reading my blog and as always stay awesome.