“Traveling, traveling, traveling. Looking for something, what can it be?”

– Joni Mitchell, ‘All I Want’

This may be the most cliché statement I’ve ever typed, but here it goes: sometimes, it seems, you learn the most valuable lessons in the least likely places at the most inopportune times. Sometimes they’re lessons you didn’t even know you needed to learn.

I’m typing to you from Melbourne, Australia, which is roughly 10,285 miles away from Hawk Hill. Two weeks ago, I left the United States with four Beatles pins, three stuffed bags, two pairs of glasses, and a broken laptop in my backpack.

You read that right: my laptop decided to stop working a mere two hours prior to my flight from New York to Los Angeles.

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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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“And everything I had to know, I heard it on my radio.”

– Queen, ‘Radio Ga Ga’
(Before I begin this post, let me just say: WOW, it feels so good to be back! I’ve had to take a bit of a break from blogging lately to focus my energy on other endeavors; last semester, my classes required me to spend all of my spare time studying and working on group projects, and this semester’s internship has changed my sleep schedule — and my life — completely. But I’ll get to that.)

Monday morning, 3:45 AM. One of the four alarms I have set on my phone begins blaring what would normally be considered a fairly pleasant tune;

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Filmadelphia

I have always been a big movie buff. I love everything about them–the creation process, the cinematography and, most importantly, watching stories come to life before your eyes.

And this year I was lucky enough to volunteer at the 24th Philadelphia Film Festival. Last year, as a freshman, I found out about the opportunity through my first semester English professor who recommended it to us.  It was such an awesome experience last year that I had to do it again!

The festival ranged from October 22nd through November 1st.  It featured a whole array of different films including documentaries,

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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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Areas of SJU’s Library Defined

 

It’s inevitable that as a college student you’re going to spend a lot of time at the library meeting with groups, printing papers, or finishing up a last minute assignment. Each area of the library has a distinct personality, it’s helpful to know what area is best for what to make the most of our library!

 

First floor new side:

It’s almost guaranteed that if you sit here you won’t get any work done whatsoever. Sit down and suddenly you will see everyone you have ever met at SJU and they will all be feeling really chatty.

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“You could throw a rock and hit Canada”

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the Mid-Atlantic conference for the National Association of College Activities (NACA) with my fellow Student Union Board exec members.  The conference was held in Buffalo, NY (I had never been there before) so I was really excited to road trip with other surrounding universities.

“NACA is the recognized leader in higher education providing knowledge, ideas and resources for campus life, providing our members with programs and events focusing on student and professional leadership development, program planning, concert management, diversity and more.”

I joined the exec board as a freshman last semester and was able to plan and execute some really cool events.  

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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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“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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If Not Me, Then Who? – 10/14 Safe Zone Training

I never want to stop going to school.

 

Life-long learning, to some, might sound torturous. But school is about being more than just a student. (I am not going to use the word “magis.” Sorry.) Learning is about opening your mind to new experiences, and about developing the ability to evaluate every second of every day in terms of what you can do to make the world a better place. Maybe even a safer place.

 

Safety has definitely been on my mind the past few days. I know I’m not alone.

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