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The next women I’d like to talk about is musician Noname.
She is a rapper out of Chicago with ties to Chance the Rapper who similarly
uplifts the city with realistic and emotional songs that resonate with everyone
no matter their gender. She is a positive influence on up coming artists in the
city and someone whose music I would recommend.
And the final woman I’d like to commend is recent Oscar
winner Regina King. She won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie If Beale Street Could Talk and it is a
tremendous accolade not only for a woman of color but for someone of her
stature and career highlights. Support the women in your life and enjoy the
1,500 hours of original series and movies released by Netflix, getting lost
between the good and bad can be time consuming. I have been able to pinpoint
two series that appeal to me — an accounting and finance major who enjoys cooking.
The Final Table
series is a culinary competition that takes twelve chefs and tests them on an
iconic dish from countries like Mexico, USA, and Japan. With a judging panel of
celebrities and food critics from the country being represented that episode,
the series is fast-paced and continually catching your attention. I have
watched seasons of Chopped my senior
year and was yearning for something new. I always enjoy the types of shows for
learning new dishes and picking up tips and tricks for cooking along the way.
The show mainly focuses on the cooking without the curtain of drama that gets
in the way within some shows.
docuseries explores fraud and corruption at the corporate level in
multinational companies. Right off the bat, the show will reminisce American Greed detailing motives behind
illegal actions and how they did it. As a business student, I am captivated by
this show especially in the sense that I can witness firsthand the material and
jargon I learn in the classroom being displayed on a Netflix series. With
episodes ranging from Volkswagen, to Mexican Cartels using American banks, to
even maple syrup, it amazes me how most of these huge scandals went unnoticed
by me before I developed my accounting and finance background, despite being
within the last decade.
Just as with any skill, you ought to practice in order to get better. As with public speaking, you need to put yourself in uncomfortable situations so that they won’t be so uncomfortable anymore. I do not know how exactly my stage fright came about, but I do remember my first case of a speech gone wrong in middle school. I always dreaded the presentation assignments for school, but it was not until last spring that I saw my potential in public speaking. During the Melvoin Ethics Symposium, I was a participant in an essay competition that included a presentation component. I thought I would be able to rely on PowerPoint for a visual aid, but just minutes beforehand I learned that it was a ten-minute speech rather than a presentation. As you can imagine, someone with public speaking fears, my anxiety went through the roof. Just before it was my turn I remembered the best advice I have gotten for public speaking, “do not be yourself”. I went up there with the mentality of being a Ted Talk speaker and delivered a solid speech that landed me second place. Afterward, I received compliments on public speaking, something I never would think to hear. Since then, I vowed to put myself into more competitive environments and uncomfortable situations to further improve. I would advise to just put yourself out there - outside your comfort zone - and yes, do not be yourself at least until you find your style and become acclimated to the spotlight.
Hey everyone! My name is Sydney and I am beginning my junior year here at DePaul. I am majoring in Public Relations and Advertising (woohoo PRAD!) and am minoring in Graphic Design.
In order for you all to get to know me a little bit better, I figured I would list off some fun facts about myself:
First and foremost, for anyone who is a fan of documentary crime dramas “American Vandal” is a must watch. With the second season having just premiered this past week I have never been so entertained by what might be some of the stupidest crimes in television history. “American Vandal” is a show that attempts to unravel mysteries such as “who drew male genitalia on the cars of a school parking lot” and “who is terrorizing a private school with feces”. What may seem juvenile to some is surely a hilarious watching experience for others.
Another great show you may want to give a try is “BoJack Horseman .” The adult animated series follows an anthropomorphic middle-aged celebrity horse with a drinking problem, navigating a weird subversive Hollywood. It can get very dark and surreal but don’t allow that to stop you from giving it a try. It’s really funny and when it gets serious it’s actually kind of inspiring. I think a lot of animated shows don’t get enough credit for how much meaning and heart they have when you look past the surface, but regardless, these are two of the shows I feel might be enjoyable to all, happy binging and have a great week!
Show some appreciation for your teachers—they
really do work hard. And the thing that makes it all worth it is hearing
students thank me on their way out of our classroom’s door each day. This shows
me that my efforts are worth it—that I really have made an impact on someone’s
learning. That is after all the main
Still, I was thinking back to
my own experience as a high school student and I could not remember one time
that I thanked my teacher on just an average school day. It is crazy to think about how something that
means so much to me now, could mean so little to me then that I did not even
pay the simplest respectful gratitude to my own teachers. That is why I ask you
to give it a try…thank your teachers!
One of the most influential
factors of your own happiness is practicing gratitude. So why not make yourself and your teacher
happier with just two simple words? It can make a world of difference, believe
There is absolutely nothing better than getting unexpected mail. While subscription boxes technically aren’t unexpected, it’s still a nice surprise when they show up in the mailbox every month. Many of these boxes also allow you to customize your preferences and send you products based on what you like. Not to mention it’s a great way to try out new products that you otherwise wouldn’t have tried. Another great pro of many of these subscription boxes is that you do get a lot of bang for your buck. When I was receiving my Birchbox, a subscription box for makeup/skincare, some of the $10 boxes had $50 worth of products in them. Overall they are a fun and convenient way to try new and exciting products.
While there is really no glaring negatives to monthly subscription boxes, there are a few small downsides. One is that the more expensive boxes do put a dent in anyone’s budget when you look at how much you’re spending annually. Another big risk I discovered with these boxes is the difficulty to quit. It was easy to justify spending so little each month in turn for receiving a box full of goodies, and that fact alone kept me coming back month after month. You also risk not liking or having a use for some of the products you receive in your box, but you can always regift!
Overall subscription boxes are a good deal. Be wary that you will probably have a hard time quitting once you start, so make sure to build the monthly payments into your budget. It really comes down to putting in some research and choosing which box (or boxes) are worth it to you.
I hope that everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day, and I challenge you to spread love any way you can next February! :)
Song of the Week: Loving Is Easy- Rex Orange County
When searching Google for the best value food in Chicago, I came across Hot “G” Dogs as a recommendation. Let me first tell you that you will not find any bargains here (with sausage at the eight dollar mark) but you will walk into a restaurant that mimics the style of Hot Doug’s. The gourmet toppings for their specialty sausages are indescribable, but they surely compliment the sausage in an unimaginable way. The menu features some of the same items, even right down to the duck fat fries. I always ask people if they had the luxury of visiting Hot Doug’s in the past, but now I will have to ask if they will go to Hot “G” Dogs sometime soon.
Take an online class: School might be the last thing any student wants to think about over break, but taking a class during winter intercession is a great way to catch up or get ahead on your credits. DePaul even offers a lot of online classes during winter break, so you can take the class wherever you’d like!
Visit friends/family: Six weeks of break leaves you plenty of time to do some traveling. Whether you’re planning a big trip cross country or visiting friends or family nearby, winter break is the perfect time to do it.
Apply for jobs and internships: Late fall and early winter is the perfect time to start applying for spring jobs and internships. Many employers begin posting job openings during this time, and getting a head start on your resume and application process can give you a leg up on the competition!
Volunteer: Volunteering is a fulfilling and fun way to spend free time during break. Organizations and charities are always looking for extra help during the holiday season, and a few hours of your time can make a huge difference in your community.
Make some money: While classes and homework are on hold for six weeks, it’s a perfect time to make some extra cash for the future. So pick up some extra shifts at work or look for a babysitting gig over the holiday, the extra money will come in handy once school starts back again.
Sleep in: Perhaps something that is on every college student’s to-do list over break is to sleep in. Sleep is hard to come by during the school year, so take advantage of the extra time and catch up on some zzzs while you can.
This is the second concert I have attended that was sponsored by Red Bull. The first was a Soulja Boy concert freshman year. These Red Bull concerts are typically really cheap if you sign up for the mailing list. The Soulja Boy concert was five dollars, whereas the Young Thug concert was fifteen if you bought the tickets before they sold out in the primary market. Not only are the concerts really cheap, but also Red Bull will provide a lot of free commodities for those attending. Of course, there will be an ample supply of energy drinks, but you are given a token that can be redeemed for a concert tee or other merchandise branded for that night’s concert. I cashed my token in for a Young Thug concert shirt of pretty decent quality. Red Bull ambassadors also gave out slices of pizza to those of us waiting for hours in line before the show.
While it may be too late to buy tickets at fifteen dollars for artists like Migos (which I regret not buying) you can still purchase tickets in the secondary market- like StubHub. I still have one more concert in part of the 30 Days of Chicago and that is Khalid performing at the Aragon Ballroom on November 21. Check below for the full lineup of artists that will be performing throughout the month.
You’ll fall behind in credits: Many students think that you can only take electives while studying abroad which will make you fall behind in course credits. While it is true that many students decided to mainly take electives, most programs have classes that will fulfill major or learning domain requirements. So even if you don’t have any elective credits to spare, studying abroad is still an option!
It’s too dangerous: In the state of our world today, spending a semester overseas can be scary as far as safety is concerned. That being said, universities are very in tune with what’s happening in the world, and would never send students off to a country they believed to be unsafe. Many study abroad programs also have a very extensive safety protocol so the university knows where all students are at any given time.
You need to be fluent in another language: Living in a foreign country where everyone speaks a language you’ve never heard before is definitely a huge culture shock. Language barriers are one of the biggest turn-offs for students when choosing a country to study in. Knowing the native language of a country is absolutely beneficial, but not necessary. English is widely spoken and understood across the globe, and many programs have a language component where you can take a beginning level class to help learn the basics of the native tongue.
This summer I visited my brother who lives in Arlington, Virginia the week before school started. This weekend I was thinking about all the places I visited when I was there so I thought I should write about my trip for my blog post. A lot of people visit the D.C area because there is so much to see around there so I narrowed it down to a few of my favorite places I visited.
The National Mall is extremely overwhelming. I thought I enjoyed museums until the National Mall but there are way too many museums to visit and it certainly gets boring after a few museums. If I had to pick my favorite building along the National Mall I would say it was the East Building of the National Gallery of Art- mostly because I’m a huge art gallery fan. This was the contemporary and modern art building and I really enjoyed it and I definitely recommend going here if you’re an art fan.
To be honest my favorite thing about the Washington Monument were all the fun pictures that I was able to take interacting with it (I didn’t upload any on this page because my brother is terrible at taking pictures.) But I suggest the classic holding the monument in your hands or casually leaning on the monument like it’s your best friend.
This art museum along the National Mall was super cool because they had a few interactive exhibits. For example, the picture on the right was an interactive outdoor exhibit by a Japanese artist, Yoko Ono, where people can write wishes on a tag and attach it to the tree. There was also one indoors called “My Mommy is Beautiful” and people could write things about their mothers.
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial was the first place I visited and it might have been one of my favorites because my brother kept reminding my mom and me that this is his favorite place. The memorial was very quiet and respectful which is why I enjoyed it so much.
My brother lives in Arlington and this was my favorite place we visited out of all the places I visited from the five days I was there. This was another peaceful and respectful place which made the long walk through the entire cemetery worthwhile because everyone was paying a lot of respect throughout the entire cemetery.
As for the movie itself, it is literally something I had never experienced before. Loving Vincent is the first fully painted feature film. Painted in Vincent van Gogh’s postimpressionist style, the film is a biographical drama that takes place in the weeks following Vincent’s death, with frequent flashbacks to his life. Not only is the movie composed of over 65,000 paintings that are contributed by 125 professional artists, it also features plenty of scenes from a multitude of van Gogh’s original paintings. Some are discreetly incorporated into the film while others are quite obvious such as the implementation of Starry Night as the opening scene. Honestly, the plot may be predictable and cliché, but this is a film you will assuredly appreciate. Loving Vincent is not shown in commercial theatres, but you can see the movie yourself at venues such as the Music Box, ArcLight Chicago, Landmark Renaissance Place Cinema, and Regal Lincolnshire Stadium 15 & IMAX.
As I start recruitment this week, I’m excited to get to know how Greek life at DePaul differs from my initial misconceptions. Meeting each chapter and getting to know the girls who are a part of them is something I’m looking forward to, and I’m hoping that my open-mindedness going into this process helps me to find what works for me, whatever that may be.
Even if I don’t find my “Home away from home” as many sororities proudly advertise, I hope to take some lessons away from the experience of recruitment and learn more about myself as well as the countless girls I will be meeting. Although I am anxious about how the whole process will play out, I also can’t wait to start meeting all of the strong women who represent the 8 chapters at DePaul.
a. With that comes the reminder that sometimes your resume needs to be shifted around/changed depending on the target audience! Same obviously goes for cover letters, and that’s why you should ALWAYS write a new one for each application!
Main idea: just write! The more work you have to showcase the better, and the more choices you’ll have to pick from when trying to display your best work! It’s also just great practice :)
1. It looks like YOU. This is where we steer away from glamour shots or anything that takes us too far away from the real, everyday you. The picture should look how you look on your best day, and should look how you would appear when you walk into an audition.
2. It tells a STORY. There are plenty of great pictures one could take. You look fabulous, you’re smiling wide, the lighting is great….but what else? What are you saying in this picture? What glimmers of personality are we seeing? Where might I see you in the world I know and the world I am imagining? It is crucial that your shot not only say “I’m cute” but also says more about you and what you bring to the table. If you are known for your fire, confidence and sass, and can play lots of characters like that – I should see a glimmer of that in your eyes and in what you chose to wear. If you play more of the shy or goofy person, then I should see a bit of that humor behind your eyes as well. It’s about telling people what you want them to know about you before they get to meet you.
3. There is versatility and variety in your shots. Different shots can be used for different things. For instance, on one hand I can play a lot of commanding roles – people who are in charge and know what’s going on, but I can also the shyer, sweeter, offset-of-ingénue type. Now, when I am auditioning for different roles, I want different photos that showcase those qualities. You only need a couple great shots when you are starting out. They should capture the couple sides of your “type”, and when you nail those down, you’ll be able to use your shots for a variety of roles, projects, and companies. Realize that styles are a bit different in each city, so knowing what you need ahead of time and planning is the best way to go.
1. I was born in Cyprus, which is an island in the Mediterranean.
2. My siblings are quadruplets.
3. I’ve been vegan for a year.
4. I’m planning on studying abroad in Budapest in the fall of 2018.
5. I’ve been to 6 countries (& it’ll be 10 after this summer).
Number of…Classes taken: 45Credit hours: 180Professors taken: 36Independent studies: 2Advisors: 5Online classes: 2Skipped classes: 5Free t-shirts received: 12Research conferences: 5DeBlogs written: 100Internships: 6Families I’ve babysat for: 33DePaulia issues as an editor: 38Places lived: 3Musicals seen: 6Years on the meal plan: 1Student debt: $$$$$Majors: 2Memories: Countless
1. I went to school in Canada my freshman year
2. I’m a dual citizen with Canada and the US
3. I have an obsession with elephants (and rode one once in Thailand...best day of my life)
4. I’ve been making movies with my friends since I was 10
5. I tap danced for 10 years
6. I can quote pretty much every line of Friends
7. I could eat a PB&J for almost every meal
8. I’m obsessed with yoga (and am getting into meditation)
9. I played badminton in high school (it’s a real sport...we went to State)
10. I just went on a 4 day meditation retreat for one of my classes (and I get credit for it!)
Joe Turner's Come and Gone by August Wilson-on
the Fullerton Stage:
I always love when my friends from the suburbs come to visit me in Chicago at the end of spring quarter. It gives me an excuse to walk to The Bean and take silly pictures, and to ignore the fact that I’m still in school.
The only time I curse the quarter system with all my might is inevitably when all my friends get out of school a month earlier than I do. Their freedom rubs off on me, and I get dazed and confused about the fact that I still have to go to a week of classes and finals.
But, it’s hard to be sad when the weather is this beautiful in the city. My friends visited me last weekend, and we spent the sunny afternoon sitting along the lakeshore, attending Chicago street festivals, and eating way too much.
After coming to the sad realization that it’s beach season, and my nonexistent exercise routine that I worked so hard at during the winter has not prepared me for swimsuit shopping, I’ve decided it’s time to make a lifestyle change. No more nightly Kit Kat to reward myself for making it through the day. No more eating out everyday. And, for the first time all year, I even stepped foot into the Ray.
Over the past four years, I have had countless experiences
at DePaul that I will remember for the rest of my life. Aside from making great
friends and getting a high quality education, the city of Chicago has given me
some of the best memories. Here are five of the most memorable things I’ve done
while at DePaul over the past four years:
1. Chicago Jazz Festival
At the beginning of September, Chicago hosts a jazz festival
downtown in Millennium Park. I loved bringing a blanket and a picnic with a
couple of friends, sharing a view stories and laughs and listening to
world-class jazz performances (all for free!) Usually the discover Chicago
class for music students ends with attending a jazz concert – I will miss
laying on the grass, watching sunsets over lake Michigan and being a train ride
away from one of the best and biggest outdoor venues in our country.
If you’ve been reading my blog this year, you know I am
obsessed with bakeries. I have loved trying new places – cupcakes, pies,
cookies, doughnuts – I love it all! I will miss having adventures to new sweet
spots, but I know where I will be stopping first when I come for a visit… check
out my favorites: Dinkel’s, West Town Bakery, Stan’s Donuts, Sweet Mandy B’s,
Molly’s Cupcakes, Bake, Swirlz, Twisted Baker
4. Bowling nights and attending ILMEA
I had the privilege of being the president of the DePaul
chapter of NAfME, or the National Association for Music Educators. I had a
great time road tripping down to Peoria for the Illinois Music Education Conference – not only did I grow as an educator, but it was a full weekend of
spending time with my peers, networking with professionals and purchasing new
music and equipment. We also started a new tradition of going bowling at the
end of the school year at Diversey River bowl – a great celebration of all the
hard work we do each year!
5. All of these things:
Eating Chicago-style pizza, going to Cubs games, seeing the
Chicago Symphony, sitting on the beach, running races downtown, performing in
different venues, teaching in local schools, singing in the church choir at St.Paul’s, traveling to Africa and collaborating with my awesome peers!
Memories at DePaul go way beyond the classroom – Chicago is
Nicki couldn’t have summed up the goal of my summer any better. If you can’t find me and it’s blazing outside, I’ll be laying out by Belmont Harbor. A quick, Bus 77 ride away from my apartment, the walkway along Belmont Harbor doesn’t get as crowded as Fullerton Beach or North Avenue Beach.
While this part of the lakefront doesn’t have any sand, if you don’t mind laying on a towel on concrete, it’s the perfect spot. There are even a lot of rocks along the lake, making some nice, natural, sit-in-the-water seats. My friends and I have titled this place, the Rock Spot.
The Rock Spot is an ideal location to soak up the summer sun and skip all the hot sand. I’ve never been a fan of coming home from the lake and having to dump out the sand in my bag. My inner neat freak is not okay with the residual graininess and stickiness that undoubtedly comes from a day at the beach.
Dipping my pinky toe into the water this Monday morning, I thought I had mentally prepared myself for how cold the lake would be, but I definitely didn’t prepare enough. According to the National Weather Service in Chicago, the temperature of Lake Michigan at the Chicago shore is currently 58 degrees. It was a glacial temperature to say the least.
I’m still waiting for the water to warm up, but until then, I’ll be lounging by the Rock Spot. Hope to see you there!
Sweets and Snacks Expo is a 3 day event filled with….. well, snacks. A new hall was added to the convention center which made the event a whopping 4 acres long. I repeat. FOUR ACRES OF CANDY. Although I do not have the biggest sweet tooth, I am intrigued by the hardier snack freebies.
One of the coolest, and most technologically advanced things I have experienced lately was the fact that this event had a “plan my show” app available. This App was created for show-goers to maximize their time at the expo by creating a personal action plan! As someone who LOVES planning and sticking to a schedule I thought this was helpful, especially because going through 4 acres of product sounds daunting. Basically, the app allows you to compile a list of must-sees for you. You can search through companies by category and easily add them to your agenda. This made it possible for me to make the most of my time at the expo!
DMK Burger Bar: Artisan burgers with truffle fries and thick milkshakes? What’s not to love. I dream of DMK at least twice a day. I went there so many times fall quarter that my server knew when I was ready for my shake. I’ve ordered various burgers from DMK, and have never been disappointed. My favorite is #8. The #8 consists of iceberg lettuce, marinated tomato, pickled red onion, bread and butter pickles, mayo and your choice of cheese. A classic option. But don’t stop there! Order hand-cut russet potato fries with parmesan and truffle cream. Get it for the table, but be ambitious once the plate comes because they’ll go fast. I also always get a peanut butter shake, but ask about DMK’s rotating shake of the month because there might be a better option. Vegetarian? Surprisingly, no problem at DMK. Order #13, a crispy portobello with fontina cheese, arugula, marinated tomato and horseradish sauce.
Dive Bar: Self-described as nautical delights, the items on Dive Bar’s menu allow you to feast like a captain. Fried fish, boilers, raw oysters, and Cajun mac n’ cheese will transport you to a coast far, far away. I would recommend the BOTTOMLESS fish and chips, available on Friday. As the description promises, beer battered and fried to perfection, the fried fish is served with house-made tartar sauce and curly sea salt fries. I’ve only been able to get through three rounds of the fish and chips, which I think is pretty impressive. My goal is four so we’ll see what I can accomplish this quarter. Dive Bar has a special every night, so be sure to check the website to see what delicious discounts you can score.
Hutch: This American bistro is a Chicago favorite that I happen to live a half block away from. It tempts me all day, every day, and has taught me restraint. But when I do save enough money to venture on over to Hutch, every dime is worth it. On the off chance that I have a weekday off of work, I’ll go to Hutch during its Happy Hour. A great deal, Hutch offers 1/2 priced appetizers and flatbreads Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. The lobster nachos, warm skillet nachos, charred onion dip, and meatballs + pork belly are enough to fill you up. If shared appetizers isn’t your thing, try Hutch on Tuesday nights for the $12 steak and fries special.
Next time you’re in Lakeview, hit up my favorite places! All are easy to get to by public transportation and are somewhat affordable for resourceful college students. Plus, these restaurants are great places to bring visiting friends and family, especially when they offer to foot the bill.
Though I’m looking forward to moving out of the city and starting my new job, there are a few things that I will really miss about being a college student in Chicago. Over the weekend I had the opportunity to see The King and I at the Lyric Opera – I hadn’t been since I saw Cinderella in the fall! I grabbed a couple $20 student tickets for Will and I attended a 7pm show.
Just a few days later I attended the annual DePaul symphony concert at Symphony Center. Every spring DePaul’s symphony (the top orchestra) has the opportunity to perform downtown on the same stage as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra – too cool if you ask me! All DePaul students are able to get free tickets to the event, which was an added bonus. It was bittersweet – I loved seeing my best friend, Kelsey, performing in such an amazing venue, but it was also sad in that it could be a while until I see Kelsey perform again or see a symphony concert at all. I’m glad that I will be living close enough to the city that I can get to a CSO concert when I need to be re-inspired to practice…
DePaul Violinists at Symphony Center post-concert!
With only three weeks of college remaining, I’ve started a bucket list of things I want to do before I move away – going to the Lyric and the DePaul symphony concert were two of them! I’m still hoping to find the best Chicago hot dog, attend a couple of shows and go back to all of my favorite places one last time. Trying to stay motivated to get my school work done as best I can!
Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay
The Vic is a popular concert venue located close enough to campus that I routinely
pass it while I walk to get ice cream. When The Vic isn’t hosting a concert,
The Vic becomes The Brew and View, one of the most underrated and
underappreciated institutions in the area. In a pinch, The Brew and View can be
the quintessential cheap date; most nights, you can go watch a double- or
triple-feature for only $5. Where it can become pricey (for me, at least) is food and beverages (shocker).
For whatever reason, The Brew and View sells White Castle hamburger sliders and I can
never say no.
you and your special someone have eaten too many White Castle sliders
yourselves (or you just want to enjoy a nice day), it might be time to finally
try out those blue bikes you always see everyone riding. Divvy Bikes offers a 24-hour pass
for just $10, allowing you to take an unlimited amount of trips for a whole day. The caveat to
this deal is that you can only take a bike out for up to 30 minutes at a time
before you have to return it to any Divvy station (but once you return your bike, you're free to immediately take out another bike!). Divvy bike stations can literally be found all over
the city (as evidenced by the map of Divvy bike stations), so finding a station
is never too much of a hassle.
you and your not-so-secret admirer are both DePaul students, why not spend a
few hours becoming cultured at the Art Institute of Chicago? While tickets for
the Art Institute can usually be a little expensive (especially on a student’s
budget), you can get free tickets just by showing your DePaul ID at the ticket
desk! The Art Institute is home to some of the most famous paintings,
sculptures, and installations in the world. Suggesting the Art Institute is a
surefire way to impress your significant other.
Last week, I was blessed with a cancelled class on Thursday night. As if that wasn’t lucky enough, my friend had an extra ticket to the Cubs game. Fate wanted me to go to that game and enjoy a Cubs win over the Washington Nationals!
Around 7:00 p.m. we walked the four blocks from my apartment to Wrigley. I embarrassingly did not have any Cubs apparel to wear to the game. I once owned a W shirt, but lost it in the wild, wild west, also known as my closet. I wore a dark blue coat instead, trying to blend in with the Cubs crowd. It worked!
I was ultimately surprised at the size of the ballpark. The only ballpark I had been to previously was U.S. Cellular, which seems so much bigger than Wrigley. But perhaps, my memories of U.S. Cellular deceive me as the last game I went to was in middle school I believe.
The Cubs and Sox rivalry is one I am very familiar with. My parents are die-hard Sox fans and have raised me to follow in their footsteps. Unfortunately, my move to Wrigleyville has changed my loyalty, as I found myself sitting in Wrigley Field shouting “Go Cubs go,” on Thursday.
I’ve told my family that my switch from rooting for the Sox to the Cubs is a matter of safety; imagine if I was walking down Addison after a Cubs game let out and I had on Sox shirt. I’m sure that an excited Cubs fan might punch me in the face. It’s easier if I assimilate into my neighborhood and cheer for the Cubbies.
But, ask me to cheer for the Green Bay Packers? Never would I ever.
“Good music is hard to find,” said no one ever at DePaul University.
Here on campus we have tons of talented musicians that dedicate their lives to playing, writing, and performing. Just last week the DePaul Activities Board (DAB) hosted its annual Battle of the Bands, where student bands and DJs come to battle for the audience’s admiration in hopes of getting their vote and winning the grand prize.
The line up this year had a variety of talent from the hardcore rock style of Rotten Mouth to the smooth, funky jams of Walcott. In between bands, DJs performed their sets to keep the crowd going. It was a packed venue over at Lincoln Hall, a venue near campus just north of Lincoln and Fullerton. The winning band was awarded studio time and connections with Music Garage in Chicago.
The winning DJ gets the opportunity to open for After Hours, the EDM DJ performance that happens after FEST in the McGrath arena. As if all this wasn’t enough for an awesome packed event, the FEST line up is revealed exclusively to all those that come first then online for all of DePaul to see. The winners included Rotten Mouth and DJ Affinity. Make sure to check out DePaul After Hours to see DJ Affinity open for Grandtheft! Also, in case you are wondering. The line up this year is Karmin opening, T-Pain in the middle, and The Neighbourhood headlining FEST 2016!
Make sure to get your tickets next week when they go on sale!
One of my favorite things to do in Chicago is explore the different neighborhoods around the city. Did you know there are 77 total neighborhoods? That is a whole lot of places to visit!
Thething I like most about the different neighborhoods is that each neighborhood has its own unique identity and culture. You would get an entirely different experience visiting River North (right near downtown) than you would visiting Lincoln Square (way northwest of the city). Each neighborhood has its own collection of stores, restaurants, and cool places to visit.
Recently, my good friend Jasmine and I drove to Gold Coast, a very affluent and historic neighborhood right near downtown. We wanted to celebrate the end of the quarter and her graduation (she graduated a quarter early!) and she wanted to go the cafe located inside the Restoration Hardware store. I know what you are thinking. A cafe in a Restoration Hardware? That sounds crazy.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. I’m sure this was a favorite spot among many of us as kids. If you’ve already done the classics – Mt. Olympus Waterpark, the Ducks boat ride, and the upside down museum – I’d encourage you to dig a little deeper. Have you ever tried kayaking, photography, or Geocaching? The Dells are a great area for outdoor exploration. If you’re looking for a less touristy area, check out Mirror Lake, just make sure to bring your gym shoes and sunscreen!
Monticello, Indiana. Home of the Indiana Beach Amusement Park for the last 90 years! For $36.99 (cheaper than Six Flags!) you get all day access to 9 roller coasters, 22 classic amusement rides, and the water park. There’s even an arcade, beach swimming area, and a boat tour for those looking for extra attractions. Thinking about making your day trip into a full weekend? Indiana Beach has plenty of cottages, cabins, and camping options.
Although we are at DePaul to get a degree and a career, we also learn the importance of the binary of work and leisure and how the balance of each makes for a happy life J
Multiple Sclerosis involves the central nervous system of
the body. Basically, the immune system attacks the myelin that surrounds nerve
fibers – myelin is a fatty, protective coating around nerves in the central
nervous system. When the myelin is damaged, signals going to the brain are
interrupted, causing symptoms like dizziness, difficulty walking and memory
loss. People with MS often have grey legions on their brains and spines, which
are scars from the damaged myelin. There is currently no cure for MS, which is
why the organization holds fundraisers to help with research, clinic trials and
support programs to help those affected. If you’d like to know more about Will’s
story, you can check out his fundraising page!
Walking 3-miles is not an easy feat for many who have
Multiple Sclerosis, so I’m always unbelievable proud of Will after this event.
He fundraised almost $900 for the organization and was ready to walk more once
we were finished – though not the best conditions, I think the cooler weather
was helpful in keeping us moving. We scored a ton of free bags, tee shirts,
umbrellas and towels… plus I won $10 on a scratch ticket! It was truly a great
day for all.
I’m really glad that I’ll be moving within driving distance
of the city so I can make it to the Walk MS for the 4th time next
You can never get enough of Garrett Popcorn (but
really everyone calls it Garrett’s and I just learned it’s actually Garrett).
There's a reason that there's often a line out the door for it. Garrett Popcorn
is best known for their Garrett Mix (formerly, and more popularly, known as the
Chicago Mix until a trademark kerfuffle forced them to change the name), a mix
of cheese popcorn and caramel popcorn. No one does cheese popcorn like
Garrett’s. Note: ask for extra napkins. If you thought Cheeto dust was hard to
get off your fingers, just wait until you try Garrett’s cheese popcorn.
Embarrassing story: throughout my first year in
Chicago, because I’m stupid, I always heard Illuminati whenever people said Lou Malnati’s and I would wonder why they’re talking about the Illuminati and
pizza. Luckily, Lou Malnati’s has no known affiliation with the Illuminati.
But, they are known for having some of the best Chicago-style deep dish pizza
in all of Chicago. And since Chicago is obviously going to have the best
Chicago-style pizza, that means that Lou Malnati’s probably has some of the
best Chicago-style pizza in the world. Even better, there’s a Lou Malnati’s a couple blocks off of DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus, so it’s convenient as well!
While people will always argue over the authenticity
of different Chicago-style hot dogs, Portillo’s is definitely one of the more
popular and more common places to get a hot dog. Or if you're brave, try out
The Wiener’s Circle, which is right in Lincoln Park. The Wiener’s Circle is
legendary not just for its food, but also for its “feisty” late night interactions
between staff and customers on the weekends.
I'm not totally sure if Chicago has any claim to a
famous dessert, but if it does, it might be the chocolate cake shake at
Portillo's. Hypothetically, that means you can kill two birds with one stone if
you get a hot dog and a chocolate cake shake at Portillo’s. The chocolate cake
shake is exactly what you’d think it would be. It’s literally ice cream and
chocolate cake blended together. What could be better than that? Now Portillo's
is a chain with restaurants all around Illinois, so it may not be a big deal to
people from Illinois, but to this Wisconsinite, it's the biggest deal.
The stage set a beautiful scene, highlighting a fancy foyer with large bay windows. Two double doors on each side of the stage acted as the entrance and exit points for the characters during the play.
The play itself was smart and quick. The characters were outspoken and comical, and all of the play’s lines rhymed, which is automatically very impressive. While I won’t spoil anything from the play, DePaul’s interpretation was marvelous, not that I’ve ever read the original or seen a different version.
I always appreciate DePaul Theater School plays. For only $5, not enough students take advantage of this opportunity. Plus, who knows which future famous actor or actress you might see on stage at DePaul.
Through a twist of fate and luck, my dad and I scored tickets to the Chicago Blackhawks game against the St. Louis Blues. We had great seats on the first row of the third floor, right behind the goal.
Getting lost on our way to the United Center, it was overwhelming when we first arrived into the stadium. The sheer number of people in red jerseys (myself and my dad included) confused us and comforted us at the same time.
The finals score of Game 6 was 6 to 3, with the Hawks advancing to Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs. I scored a win myself as I got a free rally rag imprinted with the iconic words “One Goal” when I arrived at the stadium. (Everyone did, but still…)
Let’s go Hawks!
Like I’ve said dozens and dozens of times, I love walking
around Chicago. Walking relaxes me. I’m a very high-strung person, so I need
all the relaxation I can get. Even though every full-time student gets a
U-Pass, I try to avoid taking the L and try to walk everywhere instead. My
favorite place to walk though is easily Lakefront Trail and I have one
particular route that I take all the time.
Lakefront Trail is an 18-mile-long biking/running/walking
path that runs right alongside, you guessed it, Lake Michigan. Lakefront Trail
(and Lake Michigan) is only a 15-20 minute walk directly east from DePaul, so
it really couldn’t be easier to get to. When I go walking though, I usually
walk north first and enter Lakefront Trail at Belmont Harbor. I do this for three
logical reasons: 1. I can stop at Wow Bao on the way and get a chocolate filled
bao to eat, 2. After I finish my bao, I can stop at Ann Sather and get some
cinnamon rolls, and 3. There’s a dog beach near Belmont Harbor and it makes me
happy to watch the dogs swim around. I highly recommend all of these pit stops,
especially the dog beach.
When I’m lucky, Forever Yogurt, a frozen yogurt shop, will
have a pop-up trailer at the other end of the bridge inside of Lincoln Park.
It’s super convenient because by the time I cross the bridge, I’m usually just
starting to feel healthy and that frozen yogurt stand ensures that I never have
to feel healthy. I usually walk north in Lincoln Park towards the Lincoln Park Zoo. It is important to note that the path in Lincoln Park that borders Lincoln
Park Zoo has maybe the best view of the Chicago skyline that you can imagine.
I’ve probably walked this path 100 times, yet I still take a picture of the
skyline almost every time. And from here, it’s only a twenty-minute walk back
This is totally my favorite path to walk in Chicago. Let me
know if you have anywhere you love to walk!
Enrolling in an advanced internship course through DePaul’s College of Communication, I am now receiving college credit for my marketing internship. Classified as a communication elective and a fulfillment for my junior year experiential learning requirement, I go to my internship as normal and also complete career development assignments for class on the side.
I decided to enroll in an online course with DePaul career specialist and instructor Michael Elias. At first, I was skeptical of the course's assignments. Would setting goals and having my supervisor sign them actually change my work habits? Did I really need to upload a recording of my elevator pitch and receive critiques from classmates?
The answers? Yes, yes and yes.
Michael’s class has helped me not only in my internship, but also in my personal career development. I feel confident about going into my next networking event and introducing myself and my career goals to complete strangers.
Our final assignment consists of making our own online portfolio, in which we showcase our accomplishments and essentially, our personal brand. While the final project is somewhat intensive, the course load itself is very light, not causing students to be overworked with the balance of class and their internship.
Or at least that’s what I told my roommate as I strung him along to look at flowers with me on the ninth floor of Macy’s on State Street.
Of course, the annual show did not disappoint. With the theme, “America the Beautiful,” this year’s flower show took on the task of trying to represent the flowers of America in a space the size of a large apartment.
Did it do our nation’s flowers justice? I have no idea. The flowers I recognized at the show were few and far between. However, Macy’s did identify all the flowers for patrons through signage placed in flower beds and attached to decorated walls. They even labeled grass in case you got confused by the green stringy things growing out of the soil. How nice.
The show celebrated not only flowers, but also recreated various iconic destinations out of flowers. The Washington Monument was replicated from a structure of white flowers, with cherry blossoms lining the pathway. The Statue of Liberty’s fire torch — is that what you call it, I really have no idea — was also replicated using a multitude of colorful flowers.
In case you are wondering, you are not allowed to purchase any flowers at the flower show. Macy’s lists that fact as the answer to a frequently asked flower show question online. Quite ironic considering you can buy anything else under the sun at Macy's.
Perusing the pathways of the flower show gave me the spring break I didn’t have this year. Plus, armed with my Zyrtec, Kleenex, and memories of the flower show, I am now officially ready for spring. Bring on the allergies.
What I love most about the Shamrock Shuffle is the course –
with several major streets shut down, over 23,000 runners took over the city.
There is nothing cooler than running in the middle of the Michigan Avenue and
seeing the Chicago skyline. Even better, regardless of 23,000 people, I had no
issue keeping my own pace and having my own space! There were quite a few
“hills” on the course, which are never easy, but the adrenaline pumping through
my veins made it all seem like a piece of cake.
It wasn’t my best time ever, but I kept my goal of finishing
in less than an hour. I finished the 4.97 miles in 59 minutes and 40 seconds –
putting me roughly at 12:00 minutes per mile. Out of 23,435 runners, I placed
18,215th… but who’s counting!
One of the things I will definitely miss the most about
Chicago, assuming I’m not living here post-graduation, is running by the lake
and through the city. In the last four years I’ve run several races: The Hot Chocolate 15k, Grant Park Turkey Trot 5k, Crosstown Classic 10k, Shamrock Shuffle 8k, the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon and a few other small races that I
just can’t remember! I’ll also be doing the Walk MS 5k for the 3rd
time in a few weeks – I just can’t get enough of all Chicago has to offer for
helping me stay active.
I will miss our tradition of running the Shamrock Shuffle,
but I’ll always keep with me the memories that Kelsey and I shared in all of
our running adventures over the past few years.
As fun as getting all four of my impacted wisdom teeth surgically removed was, I just felt like my time could have been spent more usefully. Laughing gas, pain pills, and Netflix helped to numb the effects of the extraction, but nothing could have prepared me for recovery road.
I’m a worry wort. I worry over things I can and cannot control. So naturally, I worried about my healing mouth for a majority of my recovery. As the words “dry sockets” haunted my nightmares and daydreams, I sought WebMD and the always reliable Yahoo Answers to help me sort through my potential problems. In reality, they just created more things for me to worry about.
However, after days of applesauce, milkshakes, and swollen cheeks, I finally started to feel better. Currently, I am continuing my saltwater rinses, but the pain has subsided. I think I’m going to make it through.
All that time spent resting actually made me feel reenergized for spring quarter. My first class of the quarter went extremely well. With only 11 people in my writing class, the class will give us a chance to really hone in on our writing skills. I hope my next three classes go just as swimmingly.
This quarter is sure to be a busy one. Between school, my internship, nannying, friends, and nursing the newfound holes in my mouth, I’m wondering how many hours of sleep I’ll average this spring. Plus, as the weather starts to get warmer, it will undoubtedly become harder and harder to focus on school. But, like every other quarter, I’m always up for a challenge.
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!
Almost nine years after my first Spanish class, I’ve
officially completed my Spanish major. After I finished my last Spanish class
last fall, I realized that I never have to take another Spanish class again. Pretty bittersweet. Two
months later, my friend, who knows four languages and makes me feel terrible
about myself, told me about the DELE test. Let’s talk about why I’m kicking
myself for not taking a Spanish class this quarter.
The DELE test is basically a Spanish fluency exam endorsed
by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. So when my friend mentioned it, I
imagined it being like the ACT or SAT. I thought I’d casually go in and take a test and
they would tell me how fluent I am. NOPE. It’s no joke. You register to test
for one of six fluency levels and then it’s 4+ hours of writing, reading, listening,
and talking. If you pass, you’re certified at that level. If you don’t pass,
then you just end up wasting $150. That stresses me out. By the time I take
this test, it will have been five months since I was last in a Spanish class. Of
course no one told me about this test when I came back from studying abroad in
Spain and was at the top of my Spanish game. I basically sounded like a
telenovela at that point in my life. Now I can barely pronounce the menu at a
Like a geek, I bought the big study book in order to prepare
myself. A day later, I’m already realizing that I’m in over my head. You may be wondering
why I’m doing this to myself. I’m sort of wondering that, too. In all honesty, I just
think it’d be nice to have an official certificate saying that I’m fluent at a
specific level, rather than just saying that I majored in Spanish. I think it’d be something nice to have on my resume.
Furthermore, since I’m done with Spanish classes, my Spanish is only going to
get worse (unless, of course, I somehow get a Spanish-speaking job or move out
of the country or become famous for my rendition of "Genio Atrapado"). If I do move, the certificate is internationally recognized
and if I pass the level that I’m attempting to test into, I will officially be
fluent enough to enroll in Spanish universities. Since it’s permanent and I’d
never have to take the test again, I might as well take it as soon as possible.
It’s not like I have anything else going on in my life right now.
Fresh off of New Year’s resolutions that included going to the gym and creating more time for myself, the Zoe I was ten weeks ago could have never predicted what lay ahead for me during the past three months.
A career move, a 60 page thesis and a DePaul College of Communications advising snafu (that I am still trying to sort, fingers crossed) pretty accurately sum up my quarter. Did I accomplish my goals of getting in shape and reading more? Nope. Do I feel satisfied with my quarter regardless? Heck yes.
This quarter was the most sleep deprived quarter I have ever experienced. In the midst of morning cups of coffee and 7 a.m. commutes into the loop, I had the fortunate opportunity to do some serious soul searching. At least the soul searching that comes with loopy morning thoughts sandwiched amongst total strangers on the unpredictable journey to work also know as a typical ride on the Brown Line.
While I won’t delve into my philosophical reflections that stemmed from a lack of sleep combined with the ingenuity of someone who ate free birthday cake for lunch at work today, I will say that my quarter has been a quarter of rewards. I’ve managed to work a full five days a week, attend school at night, nanny on weekends and still maintain my sanity (or at least a majority of it). While I certainly had days where giving up sounded tempting, thanks to those around me, I never did.
Something I admire about going to school in Chicago are the opportunities that students are able to pursue. With the help of the DePaul Career Center and programs like ASK (Alumni Sharing Knowledge), finding an internship does not have to be a shot in the dark. I have made awesome connections through DePaul that have led me to take on full time internship positions while still in school.
Tip #1: Be Prepared with Your Tool Kit
Try to purchase the basics - cough drops, pain reliever, cold medicine, tissues, and a replacement tooth brush before or soon after moving to campus. If you wake up sick on a cold snowy day, the last thing you’re going to want to do is get out of bed and go to the Student Center or CVS. I’d also recommend picking your own thermometer. It’s important to be able to track your own temperature and call your doctor if you see it reach above 103 F (Mayo Clinic).
Tip #2: Make a Doctors Appointment
Living in Chicago there are a variety of top notch networks of doctors such as Northwestern, Rush, University of Chicago, and Illinois Masonic to choose from. When making an appointment, first ask if the doctor will accept your form of health insurance. To be seen sooner, ask if you can come for a walk in appointment the following morning. Many offices are willing to see last minute patients first thing in the morning, because they won’t already be bogged down with patients. If you have preexisting conditions or want to be a doctor’s office pro, ask what Integrated Healthcare System the office uses. You’ll find that many doctors and hospitals use what’s called “Epic”. There’s a good chance that your doctor back home and your doctor at school will use the same software – if they do, they should be able to access your medical records electronically! For me, this is extremely helpful because I have a mild heart condition. It saves both myself and the doctor time when it comes to understanding my medical history and increases accuracy.
Tip #3: Know how to seek emergency medical attention
If your symptoms become intolerable or you get that feeling that something isn’t right, you’ll likely need to consider a trip to the emergency room. Illinois Masonic Hospital is the closest hospital to the Lincoln Park campus. In non-life threatening emergencies, DePaul’s Public Safety team will drive you to and from the hospital no matter the time of day. Unfortunately, this was a DePaul service I had to use for the first time last Monday night. The warm cheery vibe the officer gave off was something I was incredibly thankful for at 3:30am.
Tip #4: Notify your professors
If you go to the doctor or the emergency room, be sure to ask for a note for school. You can use this documentation of your illness to complete an Absence Notification through the Dean of Students Office. Although this process doesn’t excuse you from class or assignments, it notifies your professor of a personal or medical emergency, and is a good way to initiate the conversation about what work you might be able to make up.
Tip #5: Clean your space!
As soon as you’re feeling us to it, deep clean your space. Vacuum the rugs, wash your bedding (in DePaul’s FREE laundry machines and dryers), scrub your reusable water bottle, clean all surfaces, and don’t forget to sanitize all of the door handles and light switches in your room or apartment. The key to any contagious illness is to limit its ability to spread. Take Care DePaul!
We’ve also learned how to negotiate sponsorship for events, plan event layouts, and create production schedules. Every homework assignment was created in the hopes that the assignments could be used as work samples on job interviews. I feel confident about the work and feedback I’ve received on my assignments from Anne, and would definitely consider bringing them with me to a relevant job interview.
One of the coolest classes Anne planned was a backstage tour of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. My class and I got to see the symphony’s dressing rooms, practice rooms, instruments, and we even got to sit in the seats behind the musicians that face the audience.
For this specific competition, there were 10 collegiate a cappella groups from the great lakes region. Some of the colleges represented were University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin and Oakland University. Each group performed a “set” of about 3 songs – no instruments, just pure vocals. The amount of talent we witnessed was astounding. I was even more amazed when I learned that each group arranged the music and choreography themselves! I loved the stories each group told through song, and it was clear that every group was excited to share their music with the crowd as much as the crowd was excited to list. (I even caught Will singing along…)
In the end, Oakland University’s a cappella group, Gold Vibrations, received 1st place for their performance, meaning they will advance to the next round of the competition. It was really cool to see how supportive all the other groups were – though I’m sure slightly disappointed after all of their hard work, there seemed to be only scared excitement for Gold Vibrations’ big win.
So, although I do not approve much of Facebook creeping into my Internet usage, I’d say Facebook got it right this time. Had I not seen the sponsored ad, I would have completely missed my opportunity to geek-out at a live a cappella competition. Music is so important in the lives of so many people – and every day I am reminded that becoming a music teacher was the right decision!
Go on a Walk
Whenever I get stressed, I constantly go on walks. I don’t
know if that’s me subconsciously trying to run away from responsibility or me
trying to work off all of the food that I stress eat, but I’m always walking.
Fortunately for me, Lincoln Park is an amazing place to walk around. Who could
blame me for always walking when I get to walk on the beach and see the
Obviously, it goes without saying that going on a walk can
constitute a workout. In fact, I’d be lying to you if I told you that I’ve never
gone on a walk to an ice cream store and then called it my workout for the day
(truthfully, I did this three times last weekend). But still, for some people, walking
outside doesn’t have the same effect as going to gym and jogging on the
treadmill or hitting the weights. Working out can be especially helpful if you’re
struggling to focus or if you just can't sit still and you have to use up some energy.
Treat Yo Self
I feel like I say this in every other blog post: I’m a
stress eater. I always joked about being one, but I recently realized I genuinely
stress eat without even noticing it. So instead of passively letting myself
stress eat everything in sight (the other week I ate a burger, a sub, a bowl of
soup, and three desserts from Sweet Mandy B’s just for lunch), I have started
taking a more active approach. If I feel myself getting super stressed or if I
know that I have a stressful day coming up, I try to stock up on my favorite
healthy snacks and buy only one dessert from Sweet Mandy B’s instead of three.
Take a Break
Duh. If you know that you’re starting to get overwhelmed,
shut it all down for a while. The other night, I was once again stressed about
a different paper that I had to write. I woke up super early (which was my
first mistake) and had been working on it all day. I was getting hangry and burnt out, it was just not a good situation. So I just shut everything down and took a break. I ordered a pizza from
Pizza Hut (they messed up my order, but that’s another story that I’m still
bitter about) and watched The Craft. An hour and a half later, I was back to
working on my essay and in a much better mood.
A lot of people unwind by cooking, baking, drawing,
painting, writing, or knitting. Taking an hour to create something or continue
working on a project can help take your mind off of schoolwork. Plus, some
people find it especially therapeutic to be able to see the finished product or
the progress they’ve made. When you return to schoolwork, you might find that
you can focus on your work much more easily.
Let me know if you have any special ways that you cope with
My trip to Sierra Leone was two weeks long and happened in December of my sophomore year. Instead of "studying" abroad, the purpose of traveling to Sierra Leone was to teach - which is why I like to call it "teach" abroad instead. Over the course of the trip, we visited four different schools – a music academy, an orphanage for the hearing impaired, an all-girls school and a 1st -8th grade co-ed school. We brought recorders for the children and taught them how to play short songs, danced, sang and donated paper, crayons and cases of water to each school that we visited. It was amazing how well we were able to communicate with the teachers and children even though we did not speak the same language – music is such a powerful medium for communication between cultures. We participated in drum circles, attended a soccer game, walked through major cities and engaged with local people – we also ate goat, cassava and lots and lots of rice and oranges!
In 2016, Metra will be rolling out 30 of these cars and based on customer reaction make a plan for future renovations. Dividing seats with armrests will give riders the option to define their own personal space on a crowded train, but the major buzz seems to be around the wall outlets. Finding an outlet in current Metra’s rail cars feel similar striking gold. Access to electricity in the new cars mean you can stream videos and scroll through social media during your entire commute without worrying about wrecking your battery. Look out for these new features the next time you hop on the Metra!
From 6am Thursday until 12am Friday our dancers went anywhere and everywhere in the city where they would have the opportunity to get someone’s change or kind donation For The Kids. The venture began with a kickoff event in Centennial where coffee, bagels, and other breakfast goods were provided to give us the energy for the long, demanding day ahead of us.
Serving as the Assistant Technology Director, I arrived on campus and immediately pulled out my camera to film promotional content for our YouTube channel and Facebook page. Directors, assistants, and morale captains packed into the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) with their laptops writing heartfelt emails to family members, friends, past teachers, and anyone else that might be willing to contribute.
Classes served as an obstacle on this ambitious day and a three-hour depart from my DemonTHON duties had to be taken. However, my adventures resumed at the end of class. Reporting to OSI, I inquired about anything I may have missed and what was next to come. A hospital tour brought me and several dancers to the loop to see what all our donations and hard work do for the hospital.
The day did not end there, and I rushed back to OSI to drop off footage to the Director of Technology so he could edit and upload it for our social media. Switching hats from DemonTHON to DePaul Activities Board, I volunteered as a dealer for Black Jack for our Casino Night themed DePaul After Dark. The event ended at midnight but I was allowed to leave early to join my DemonTHON crew just before the big reveal of our total.
It was back in OSI that over 50 members awaited the final number. Tired and sweaty we cheered and kept our spirits up with chants like “I believe in miracles!” Finally, it was time, we entered the conference room and the countdown began. Everyone in the room was silent and apprehensive to see if we reached our goal. The animation created by our Director of Technology and PR Director began to rise and the final number was revealed, $48,312.99! The room erupted as dancers hugged one another and cried tears of joy. We had accomplished our goal! This was my first experience ever for Miracles ‘Til Midnight and it was amazing.
Rule of Thirds: Essentially, the photos will look better if the subject isn’t centered. That may sound counter intuitive, but it makes for a more interesting composition. Many camera phones come with grid options. Place items of interest onto the intersections of lines for a stimulating photo arrangement. Let’s take for example a horizon. Don’t place it dead center but instead align the subject along the left or right grid line. Pictured on the right is a quick example
Change Viewpoint and Watch Out for Clutter: Sometimes eye level can get boring. Try moving the camera up or down, or even tilting it downwards for a more dynamic and dimensional shot. Also, try to keep one main subject where you want the focus if you’re shooting something other than a group photo.
Resolution: Always take the time to make sure your device is set to full resolution and quality. Also, don’t zoom in with your camera, but rather zoom in with your feet. Your photo will lose heaps of quality if you manually zoom! For better lighting and contrast, make sure to tap your cell phone screen before taking the picture. This allows for your phone’s camera to adjust the lighting. If not, the subject or background might be too heavily contrasted and the photo will turn out unusable.
Shoot Multiple Times: The beauty about digital photography is it allows for multiple attempts and mistakes, you can take multiple shots of the same thing and one of them could, surprisingly, be vastly different than the rest. Try not to delete when you’re out and about because sometimes the photo could look interesting on a computer monitor as compared to a phone screen.
I know many of these tips seem pretty basic, but small adjustments in the way you photograph can make all the difference. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Luckily, the cost of errors on digital cameras is free!
Located in the basement of an unassuming brownstone, this restaurant changed my life in three words: Pizza Pot Pie.
Weighing in at half a pound, the Pizza Pot Pie is not for the faint of heart. I can proudly say that every time I’ve been here I’ve been able to eat the whole thing. I actually harbor secret disdain for those who take home leftovers. You gotta be in it to win it when you go to Oven Grinder Company.
Made from scratch with homemade sauce, a special blend of cheeses, doorknob-size, whole, fresh mushrooms, and delicious sausage, these pies can make any dream come true. For vegetarians there even is a version without meat, and for those who are hungry beyond belief, there is a daring one-pound version of the pie.
However, you can’t go to this restaurant without ordering the Mediterranean Bread as an appetizer. If you do, you didn’t truly visit Oven Grinder Company. The bread comes on a plate that is all too small, so it literally spills over onto the table. But you’ll find that that is half the fun of eating it. Simply delicious, the bread will be gone in the blink of an eye if you’re splitting it with friends, so casually make sure to eat it fast so you get the most.
A quick four blocks away from the Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory, Oven Grinder Company makes for the perfect afternoon lunch date. Check it out when you’ve got an empty stomach and a “can do” attitude. You’ll definitely need both components to finish your meal.
In the wise words of Robin Sparkles from How I Met Your Mother, “Let’s go to...the mall!”
My obsession with dedication to shopping is no secret by now. Neither is my rule to never buy anything at full price.
The struggle is so real on Michigan Avenue as I look longingly at window displays full of glamorous items that cost the same as my tuition. Water Tower isn’t much help either. However, before you get too depressed, realize that the mall of your dreams is a quick hop, skip, and city away.
The Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont gives you access to designer brands for reasonable prices. As someone who is in constant need of internship clothing, the Fashion Outlets present a one-stop-shop for everything professional. By no means is everything affordable, but a surprising portion is for a poor college student.
Not to mention the Fashion Outlets has a Wetzel’s Pretzel in the food court. May I suggest you order the Dog Bites?
I admire the simplicity of the mall’s navigation. The layout makes it easy to visit every store systematically. The more expensive designer stores are on the top level, leaving the bottom level for more affordable stores.
Additionally, the mall offers a free shuttle directly from the Rosemont Blue Line to the Fashion Outlets. The shuttle comes about every 10-15 minutes, but if you’re in a rush, or find that it is too cold to wait 15 minutes at the shuttle stop, an Uber is about $6. If you’re really desperate to save your money for the mall, the mall is also possible to get to by foot from the blue line. If you’re fortunate to have your own set of wheels, the mall offers free parking in the parking garage as well.
Next time you’re in the mood to revamp your wardrobe, try shopping in Rosemont. The longer trip will be worth the wait! Happy shopping!
For my first meal, I scoured Pinterest and found a recipe for slow-cooker chicken pot pie that looked pretty delicious. It took me about a week to hoard all of the ingredients — thank you Target and Tony’s Fresh Market —needed for the recipe. That’s not to suggest that the recipe called for anything extreme. I simply had nothing in my arsenal of spices.
So off I went to gather things like garlic powder, thyme, and three and a half celery stalks to begin the cooking process. I will admit I googled “how to dice an onion” before I began. As an ametuar, I’m not cutting any corners by assuming I know how to do things I don’t.
So after 25 minute of prep and about 4 and a half hours of slow-cooking (on high), my meal was complete.
How did it taste? Deliciously victorious. Or, to put it in the words of my roommate, “You definitely bought this at the store.”
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!
Barn and Company is seriously four or five blocks away from campus (not to mention pretty hard to miss), yet it seems like no one knows it exists. That’s a shame. Barn and Company has some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had. It’s worth mentioning that I once talked to the owner who casually mentioned that Dave often stops by when he’s in town. Who is Dave, you ask? The Famous Dave’s Dave. That Dave. If it’s good enough for Famous Dave, it’s good enough for you. I highly recommend going for their Friday special: the $12.99 Chicken, Pork, and Ribs Platter.
Branko’s Sandwich Shop is absolutely one of the most underappreciated restaurants I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s located directly across the street from the Quad on Fullerton. The family who runs it is comprised of the nicest, sweetest people you could imagine. I genuinely don’t have enough good things to say about them. Branko’s is the greasy diner you’re always looking for. Whenever I have a craving for cheese fries or a Pizza Puff (one of my favorite foods in the world), this is where I go. The unexpected winner on the menu: the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. If you know anything about me, you know I wouldn’t recommend a chicken sandwich if it weren’t absolutely spectacular.
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! is getting a mention because I have such a sentimental connection
with it. I’ve written about my experiences studying abroad in Madrid. I’ve been
back for over a year and I still miss it. One of the things I miss most is the
food. Luckily for me, DePaul is near one of the best Spanish tapas restaurants
in Chicago. Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! just celebrated its 30th anniversary
and trust me, there’s a reason that it’s been around for so long. If you go,
get the croquetas. They are the food I miss most from Madrid and they’re
amazing at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!
but not least, State Restaurant is literally my life. You can ask anyone who
knows me and they will tell you that my life revolves around State. It’s
located a block off of campus and I have their weekly specials memorized. Why would I memorize the weekly specials? Because the weekly specials are amazing. Every Wednesday, almost everything on the menu is $5.99. On Thursdays and Fridays, almost everything on the menu is $6.99. Where else can you get a truffle burger for $5.99!? I’m not ashamed at all to admit that I’m obsessed with State. State also apparently hosts some intense trivia contests (with cash prizes) every Tuesday night and I want to go so bad. Let me know if you’re a walking encyclopedia so I can have you on my team.
What’s great about DePaul’s Honors Program are the opportunities it offers to continue to develop research even after your class has ended. Sometimes it can be frustrating to spend 3875975 hours researching a topic only to get a grade back and never think about your paper again.
This past quarter I was fortunate enough to present my research from my Honors 201 course States, Markets, and Societies at the 2015 National Collegiate Honors Conference. The conference is an event held once a year by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) and invites honors students from across the nation to participate in weekend long activities. This year, the conference was held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Chicago.
The DePaul Honors advising staff suggested that I apply to present in the conference. When my research was accepted, DePaul covered my registration fee, I turned my research paper into a research poster, and the rest is history.
My project was titled “What’s Wrong with the 99 Percent?: The Failure of the Occupy Wall Street Movement in the United States.” In my paper, I examined how the messaging, protest tactics, and outcomes of the Occupy Wall Street movement were different from that of the women’s suffrage movement and the Civil Rights Movement. I made sure to include visual elements in my poster to illustrate the differences present within the movements.
For the poster presentations, students set up their posters in a large room within the Sheraton. We then stood by our posters as other students and faculty perused topics and mingled amongst themselves. I had some very engaging and thought provoking conversations regarding my topic with people from all over the United States. It was also fun to hear about other students’ experience in the city so far. Many of the students I talked to had never been to Chicago and wanted to know what was worth checking out.
The NCHC conference was a definitely a neat experience — but I won’t lie, I’m a total nerd so I dig these types of things. Regardless, the conference proved that you don’t have to be a graduate student to start conducting your own research. With the right resources and guidance, undergraduates can have the ability and confidence to examine and analyze any topic.
On one hand you have a positive and kind act being the response of a negative one, but on the other hand is it a genuine kindness or is it just a different method of revenge?
This is what I like to call, an “either or” type of situation. This means that there really isn’t a right answer it simply depends on what you believe. I like to think that the killing with kindness method, regardless of intent, is a good one. If you try to fight fire with fire, well, you’re going to get a bigger fire. However, if you fight fire with water, that changes the game.
There was an interesting activity I took part in on a retreat once in high school. On the floor laid several candles all of which were lit. The speaker began talking about the significance of everyone and their purpose in life. As she progressed in her speech, she began blowing a few candles out. She continued this until there was just one candle left. At this moment, the speaker told us that we are all lights in this world. The last candle was blown and we sat in darkness. With our hearts beating, our minds thinking, and our senses feeling (my words not hers) we make this world the place it is. The speaker continued her speech and began lighting the candles one by one until the whole room was once again bright.
One light may not seem like a lot, especially when it is surrounded by darkness but together, we shine bright and make the world warmer. This, I believe, is the key. As St. Vincent himself believed oh so many years ago, we must learn to coexist, accept, and love one another because together we are bright and warm and the darkness stands no chance.
Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome.
Sometimes, I like to take a “quick” trip to Anthropologie. While I am not unique in that I love to go smell the candles there just like the rest of the world, I do enjoy sitting on the couches and pretending that I live there. One day, mark my words, my home will look just like Anthropologie. My game of pretend is merely me preparing for the inevitable.
Beyond going to my home away from home, being a Maxxinista, and perusing the aisles of DSW, there is one unconventional shop were I always feel the need to open my wallet. There’s something about the gift shop at the Art Institute that convinces me to buy things like greeting cards with famous impressionist paintings on them, t-shirts with iconic lions, and art history coffee table books.
While I do get a 10% off discount for having a membership, the clearance section is reasonably priced and is usually where I do the bulk all of my shopping. I enjoy buying artsy gifts from the Art Institute for people, and by people, I mean mostly myself.
During my last trip to the gift shop, I bought four large holographic postcards that were 25 cents each. Talk about a deal! That’s a cheaper price than the actual stamps it take to mail them to their destinations.
Next time you’re taking a cultural trip to the Art Institute, make sure to stop by the gift shop for some art you can actually take home with you. But I won't lie ... I've been there many times just to visit the gift shop. Those steals and deals won't buy themselves!
My dad was crucial in this whole process, and I’m so thankful for his help in making this dinner work out last week! He had eight LIVE lobsters sent in a giant box that arrived just in time. I wasn’t at Will’s house when they arrived, but he told me that the FedEx woman was beyond curious about the scratching creatures within the box! As a native of Maine, I knew exactly what to do with them – boil water in a giant pot and start throwing the lobsters in - letting them sit until they turn a bright-red color. It didn’t occur to me that Will’s family had never experienced the full sacrifice of a lobster – not that surprising since seafood doesn’t come as easily, (or cheaply!), around here. Once they broke their emotional attachments with the crustaceans, we put them in the pot, head first, and awaited that bright-red glow.
Will’s mom was extremely helpful in setting up an “authentic” lobster bake dinner. We had melted butter, shell crackers, potato salad, veggies…and plenty of napkins! The lobsters turned out to be “hard-shell”, meaning extremely difficult to crack into – but it made for some good laughs.
Having lobsters packaged, shipped, cooked and served was not an easy task, but it was worth giving Will’s dad a birthday to remember. It also reminded me of home, it’s easy to feel home sick when you’re living so far away! It was really nice to take a break from the craziness of college to celebrate and indulge in one of my childhood favorite foods and pastimes.
That being said, you won’t necessarily go on to developing the conditions your family members have. Try to strive for the healthiest life you can and, if you have the privilege, attend all the preventative screenings that your doctor recommends.
The Health Communication class I enrolled in got me thinking a lot about the topics I just mentioned. We have also been learning about the impact that differences such as gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation have on health care.
It is no question that health and wellness brings about a drastic improvement in the overall quality of your life, so try and make healthy habits a part of your life during college so TRUE adulthood won’t be so brutal.
While my friends’ winter breaks were filled with ski lodge visits and European travels, mine was filled with class, my internship, and the challenge of trying to Christmas shop for others, rather than myself. Needless to say, relaxation and adventure do not exactly come to mind when describing my 6 weeks off – or I guess I should say on.
Although my winter break wasn’t spent hiking through the Swiss Alps or visiting historic castles in London, it was fulfilling in its own way. I turned the big 2-1, finished four more class credits, and picked up some extra work hours.
Putting in some extra class time over the December intercession was a great decision this break. Normally, I spend the six weeks off bored out of my mind without a car stuck in the suburbs, so being able to work towards graduation kept me busy. I took a special topics journalism class with Dr. Jason Martin. Throughout the duration of the course, my class and I reported on the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, also referred to as COP21. We produced original content, graphics, maps, and social media accounts to help our reporting efforts.
This being my first December intersession class, I was a little apprehensive of how much work I would be asked to complete. The idea of intercession is to complete a regular 4 credit, ten week class over a shorter amount of time. In my case, I had three weeks to immerse myself in learning new skills and producing original content.
I remember being told that if I didn’t get A’s and B’s in school that meant I was a bad student. I remember being told that if I didn’t read, study, or act properly I would never succeed in life. I remember being told that I had to dress a certain way and talk a certain way in order to be taken seriously. These things I remember. I also remember the first novel franchise I ever became obsessed with, Captain Underpants.
With mean old, grumpy Mr. Krupp becoming hypnotized by his students, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, Captain Underpants was created to save the world from various villains that threatened our existence. I took an instant liking to the novels written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey.
With the success of Captain Underpants, spinoffs were produced such as Super Diaper Baby. It was no question that I would begin to read those as well, given Pilkey’s talent for entertaining writing. Then one day I decided to take another look at the first novel. Usually I would read a book from cover to cover then immediately jump to the next one, indulging in a sort of pre-Netflix binge of literature. However, this time I went to one of the final pages and saw a picture of a man with text just below the image. It was Dav Pilkey and the text was a message to the reader. I cannot recall the full excerpt but what I do remember is the excitement I felt when I read that Dav Pilkey was not really a “good” student and that his teachers told him he would not succeed.
This changed my world. It is a lesson that I have kept with me ever since that day. We are all unique in our own way and no matter what any teacher, boss, friend, or ex-friend says, in the end all we can do is be ourselves.
It was not the end of the world if I got anything lower than a B. The teachers that doubted me were wrong because here I am today at a world-class university achieving and succeeding every single day.
Who would have known that a superhero running around in his underpants would have taught me so much?
Speaking of food, if you’re anything like me, you’re
currently broke because you spent all your money buying new clothes to disguise
the fifteen pounds you gained over winter break. If that sounds like you (or
even if you’re lucky and didn’t gain fifteen pounds over break), you’re
probably looking for some cheap stuff to do during this quarter. Luckily for
you, I’ve found a ton of stuff to do over the next two and a half months!
I love to write about the DePaul Activities Board’s event
calendar. DAB always hosts events you actually want to go to. You all know what
I mean by that. Unfortunately, by the time you read this, you will already have
missed (or maybe not, I don’t know if you went) what may have possibly been the
event of the year: DePaul After Dark: Harry Potter. Every Thursday night, DAB
hosts DePaul After Dark at the Student Center. Each week has a different theme
with new activities. It’s always free and usually includes some sort of free
food and giveaways. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’ve ever looking
for stuff to do on a Thursday night.
It goes without saying that DAB does way more than just
DePaul After Dark. This quarter, in addition to a ton of smaller events,
including a Superbowl Party and an Oscar Viewing Party, DAB is going to host
two of its biggest annual events: the Blue Demon Dance and Polarpalooza. The
Blue Demon Dance is the culminating event of Blue Demon Week, a week dedicated
to fostering school spirit at DePaul. This year, the Blue Demon Dance is being
held on January 29th at Crystal Gardens on Navy Pier. Tickets are
only $10 and totally worth it.
Last, but definitely not least, is Polarpalooza, DePaul’s
free winter concert! I give DAB credit for somehow always picking acts that get
way bigger right after performing at Polarpalooza (see: Fun., Walk the Moon,
Chance the Rapper). Tickets are free, but limited, so you have to be on your
game if you want to go. Every winter, 600 students fill up Lincoln Hall for a
private concert with an up-and-coming music act. Be sure to check out their website on January 22nd when they reveal the artist who will be
When I told you that I found a ton of stuff to do this
quarter, I wasn’t exaggerating. Check back next week to find out about more free
events happening on campus this quarter!
The days are long but the years are short. I find myself balancing the daily life of a college student, oblivious to the time passing. I wake up, get ready, grab coffee, take the train to the Loop, and head to class. It is a routine, it is my schedule.
As I reflect on my college life thus far, I remember when I was a freshman taking my first steps on campus following the student orientation leader like it was yesterday. I was excited, apprehensive, and even a bit scared. I was entering a new world transitioning from high school to college.
Fast forward, now I am a junior. I am in several different organizations with leadership positions in two of them. I’ve been on retreats with my fellow peers, participated in DePaul’s dance marathon (DemonTHON), planned and coordinated events for the DePaul Activities Board, and more. It has been, and still is, an experience I will remember for years to come. When I think and reflect on the person I am and the values I hold dear, my four years at DePaul will be a major aspect of that. As the days fly by and I continue to go about my routine, oblivious to the time passing, I am convinced more and more every day that I made the right decision by becoming a Blue Demon.
Thank you for reading my blog, and as always, stay awesome.
The holidays are on their way and as usual, people have begun setting up their trees and playing Christmas music. My family has always been quite the procrastinators when it comes to setting up our own. Usually, traditionally, we set up the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. However, in reality, we usually wait until the week of Christmas. Maybe not enjoying it for too long before the actual holiday but leaving it up for a good amount of time after Santa makes his visit to our home. This year, my mom decided to get a head start on Christmas.
I was very surprised a few Wednesdays ago when I showed up with a film crew to my house ready to make a short for my visual design class, and the tree had been placed in our living room. Though bare, the Christmas tree stood tall and invaded the space I needed for my cinematic world. Unable to shoot around the tree, I decided to allow it in our shots. Since the film is set in winter, I figured it could work aesthetically. Friday that same week, I came home late from DePaul to be greeted by a wondrous, beautiful display of flashing lights and sparkly ornaments. It eased the tension from my demanding week and calmed me. Though I was disappointed that I did not get a chance to assist in the setup, my mom explained to me how the train, that goes around our tree and plays music, was still in the box. She was hoping that one tradition would remain the same. So, like every year, my brother and I played Straight No Chaser’s Christmas album, constructed the track for the train, and placed the polar express in its rightful position.
Yes, Christmas in my house came quite early this year but every night when I return from a long day of studying and campus activities; I see the star shining on top and the lights flashing away endlessly. Just for that moment, I forget about the demands of the world and the abundance of tasks that lie ahead of me. Who knows, maybe this early Christmas helped me do better on my final exams.
Though I’ve never been a fast runner - clocking in at about
11:30 per mile - I’ve accomplished some pretty neat things during college thus
far. I started off slow with a few 5k races around DePaul…for any runners out
there; you should know that the city of Chicago has a TON of races. In January
of my freshman year, I decided to take the plunge and sign up to complete a
triathlon during the following summer. I had never really been a swimmer or
biker, but I was up for the challenge. I did all my training at the Ray Meyer Fitness center, which is DePaul’s gym. (You get a membership as part of your
student fees – it’s worth it!) I completed the triathlon that summer, and then
my first ½ marathon the next summer…my mom even came out to run it with me!
Over the past three years, my best friend Kelsey and I have
run some of Chicago’s best races (in our opinion, of course.) We did the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k (about 5 miles) two years in a row, the
Crosstown Classic 10k (6.2 miles) and just last weekend we ran the Hot Chocolate 15k (9.3 miles – Kelsey’s longest race yet!). All of these races took
place down town in the heart of the city – and I don’t know many people who get
the opportunity to run on the streets of Chicago. Though a challenging race for
two people who hadn’t been doing much training, the Hot Chocolate race was
sweet – literally! At the end of the race we were given hot chocolate,
chocolate fondue and a variety of small snacks to dip in the chocolate. I also
ate m&ms and marshmallows along the route of the race…bad decision? Nope!
It was worth the running cramp.
Though my education has been the most important aspect of my
life for the last few years, I’ve found it’s equally important to have hobbies
outside of music to keep me sane! Running became my hobby because it’s on my
own schedule, it’s keeping me active AND I get to unleash my competitive side
(though I’ve never run fast enough to win any prizes…It’s still competition-like!).
My ultimate goal is to run a marathon sometime in the next ten years – and I
have no doubt I’ll be checking this off my list.
You can check out a list of races in Chicago here!