Hawk-Watcher

This year, I attended the SJU undergraduate commencement ceremony for the first time. My partner was graduating, so of course I was there to pridefully acknowledge that more personally touching occasion. But, as I tend to, I found myself falling into the role of an observer. The fascinated social scientist, reveling in her detachment from the unfolding scene, clinging to the outsider’s island of perfect non-bias. Congratulating herself on her complete impartiality.

 

Only after I had made my final calculations, stacked up my data, and sorted my Excel sheet (…kidding…) did I realize the absurdity of my imagined experiment.

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Hand in Hand Awareness Week!

Until this year I somehow always had a scheduling conflict when it was time for Hand in Hand. This year I will finally be able to volunteer and I cannot explain how excited I am about it. In case anyone is unfamiliar with what Hand in Hand does here is a description along with the events they have planned!

 Hand-in-Hand is an organization that hosts an annual spring carnival held at Saint Joseph’s University. Our mission is to spread awareness, increase interaction, and create unity among the Saint Joseph’s University community and individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.”

Hand in Hand is celebrating “Around the World in Forty Years” and have a ton of events leading up to the big carnival.

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“Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”

It has been over two months—TWO MONTHS—since my immersion trip to Ecuador. As time goes by, I find it harder and harder to process the experience that I had. I flew from Philadelphia to Miami and then from Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s economic capital, with twelve other eager, but anxious participants.

I had never been outside of the country before so I was nervous that I would be so shocked by the culture that I would not be able to fully take in the beauty of the country, while still noticing the extreme levels of poverty. However, I can say that while these fears were definitely rational,

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The Thirst Project

663 million.

The number of people without the access to safe drinking water

8 college students.

Turned $70 into $1700 and founded the world’s largest youth water organization

 

Why: Waterborne diseases kill more children every single year than AIDS, Malaria, and all world violence combined. By providing a community with safe drinking water, disease rates can drop up to 88%, and child mortality rates can drop up to 90%.

 

Where: Swaziland has the single-highest-density population of HIV/AIDS in the world, and even if you have access to medical treatment,

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Thankful for a Different Bird

This Thanksgiving, as food is splayed out on tables across America, we will say our prayers and count our blessings for all that has happened in the past year, and for the family and friends that surround us. We’ll dive into piles of food, laugh (or bicker) with family, and merriment will be had by all around. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and ultimately– the inevitable turkey, the “bird.”

 

And though I do indeed harbor a fondness for turkey on Thanksgiving, this year, I’m especially grateful for a different bird.

 

As a senior who will be leaving this campus in a mere six months,

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Higher Altitudes and Higher-Order Concerns: A Writing Tutor in Utah

What is a “higher-order concern?” For a writer and a writing tutor like myself, the “HOC” term has become an infamous description of what is considered truly important during a tutoring session – organization, content, and style. On the other hand, grammar, sentence structure, and spelling are grouped together as “lower-order concerns:” things to be dealt with as quickly as possible in order to move on to the really meaty stuff.

But it’s all subjective, right? For many people coming in to the SJU Writing Center, especially for those whose first language is not English,

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My Day In Prison

These past two Fridays, I went to Graterford Prison with my Crime, Justice, & Media class. We sat down with several juvenile lifers and shared an intelligent and inspiring conversation about everyday life in prison, and the criminal justice system. Suffice to say, it was one of the most captivating moments of my life to date.

There were a total of nine students and our professor, Mike Lyons, that jumped in a SJU van and made the hour trip to Graterford early Friday morning. When we finally got on the road the van was filled with nervous anticipation.

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A Day of Kindness

The city of Philadelphia is not usually associated with the word “kindness” (we all remember HitchBOT’s destruction a few months prior). However, on October 27th, Philly’s 333rd birthday, A Day of Kindness was proclaimed in the city.

This day also celebrated Pope Francis’ visit to the City of Brotherly Love where he spoke about the importance of kindness, William Penn’s wish for kindness, and the Dalai Lama being awarded the Liberty Medal.

At 5:30 PM on Tuesday, thousands of flags of kindness made by people of all ages, races, and backgrounds throughout the city were dedicated to the kindness mission.

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What’s Up with the 154’s: All About the SJU Big 3 Courses

Students at Saint Joseph’s are all required to take three special courses that are signature to the university. They are Theology 154: Faith, Justice, and the Catholic Tradition; Philosophy 154: Moral Foundations; and History 154: Forging the Modern World. Even though all students take these courses, few know why they have these special number assignments. So why are these GEP signature courses all 154? The answer is that Pope Paul III approved Ignatius’s plan of organization for the Society of Jesus in 1540, and because these courses are apart of the SJU Jesuit education, they are called 154’s.

Let’s tackle these mysterious courses one by one.

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School Pride: the Door-Holding Edition

The time has come for another edition of school pride! Last time I talked about the awesome professors on campus. This time I’m going to comment on the totally weird, but ridiculously cool, door-holding culture we have at SJU.

Haven’t noticed it yet? Don’t worry, you will.

Everyone on campus, students and faculty included, seems to have an unspoken agreement to hold the door open for the person behind them. Yes, it’s a pleasant little action of goodwill but it is fairly notable. But, believe it or not, not everyone in the world will hold the door open for a stranger who is several feet behind them when they don’t have to! 

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