Winter Break Bucket List

As a senior, I’ve seen relaxing winter breaks, ones where I’ve worked way too much and come back to second semester burnt out, and others where I just did not accomplish everything that I had hoped. THIS year I’m taking a stand and making sure I create the winter break of my choosing, starting with a handy-dandy to do list. Although the things you want and need to do may be different from mine, this list should give you some ideas of ways to be productive over the break!

1. Update my LinkedIn account

As I apply for post-grad opportunities and spring internships,

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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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“Come together, right now, over me.”

– The Beatles, ‘Come Together’

On Sunday afternoon, I headed over to campus to represent Radio 1851 at the Fall View open house. I’d never been to one of SJU’s open houses before today; after I applied as a senior, my family and I took a guided tour and, more or less, decided on the spot that St. Joe’s would be my new home for the next four years.

As I woke up that morning to the brisk morning air coming through my window, the only thing on my mind was snuggling back into my blankets.

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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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Cheese Curds and Kinship

I had the honor and privilege this past weekend of representing SJU at the Alpha Sigma Nu Centennial Triennial Conference at Marquette University, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Alpha Sigma Nu is the international Jesuit honor society, with a chapter at every Jesuit university in the United States, as well as in Canada, Korea, and now Spain. Membership in Alpha Sigma Nu is based around three tenets: scholarship, service, and loyalty to Jesuit values.

As Chapter President for Saint Joe’s, I and two other members of our executive board of the SJU chapter were able to attend the conference this weekend.

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“How can we not raise a voice against the madness?”

– Crosby, Stills & Nash, ‘Raise a Voice’

Northern Arizona University. Texas Southern University. Umpqua Community College. Community College of Philadelphia.

What do students of these four schools have in common?

They all experienced some form of gun violence on their campuses within the past week.

St. Joe’s students were given a taste of this fear this past week, after discovering a threat on the site 4Chan directed at “Philadelphia area schools” posted over the weekend. It spoke of a “beta uprising” that had begun on the West Coast would continue on the East on Monday.

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