st josephs university
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,
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,
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.
On Friday I ran the Student Union Board‘s (SUB’s) first late night event of the semester!
The event was First Friday, which features numerous galleries and local artists from the Philly area!
“First Friday is a unique cultural event in Philadelphia and one of the city’s most popular evening escapes. Held the first Friday night of each month, this arts community ‘open house’ brings together city dwellers and suburbanites, contemporary arts and antique collectors, aficionados of classical and contemporary design, and theater and performance buffs.”
And added to that list was Saint Joe’s students!
It’s Saturday night and I’m currently in my dorm room, listening to the new Beach House album, doing my homework for Tuesday (does that make me lame?) [nerds are hip, right?].
Recently, in my Civic Media class in the Communications department, we had discussed social capital and whether it had been declining or not and also digital media’s role in this decline or incline. Then, when I went to do my Sociology of Migration homework that same night, I started reading the assigned book, which had started to discuss social capital and its relationship to Migration-Trust Networks.
– The Beatles, ‘The Inner Light’
Well, not exactly… rather than travel over 12,000 miles round-trip in an afternoon, I journeyed to the North Lounge of Campion to attend a lecture called “The Land of Genghis Khan: Then and Now.” The lecture was sponsored by the Asian Studies program, the History Department, and the International Relations program.
I initially decided to go because it was an opportunity to receive extra credit for my history class, Forging the Modern World. This event in particular appealed to me because I might have some familial roots in Mongolia;
It has been two weeks since I got back from my journey to the Appalachia Region, specifically Neon, Kentucky. Neon is about an 9 hour drive from Saint Joe’s campus (12 hours counting all of the pit stops).
As a freshman, I was very reluctant to sign up for the Appalachian Experience (APEX), because I did not know what to expect, I had never done a service retreat to that high of an extent, and I was not sure if I could handle more time away from my family and friends back at home.
If you missed it, here’s a link to my last post about using Twitter as a news source.
My last venture into Twitter left me feeling a little bit dissatisfied. I really thought that I would delve in and immediately come out as a modern and enlightened citizen of the online world. Instead, I just felt dumb and even more out of the loop. I’m pretty sure that my dad is better at using Twitter than I am.
So, I resorted to the thing that I am good at: academia.
– The Beatles, ‘Two of Us’
APEX has just recently come to an end. After spending my spring break doing service work in Hazard, Kentucky, I set foot once again on St. Joe’s campus this past Saturday evening. I was exhausted (I still am) after getting around a collective 20 hours of sleep during the weeklong trip. My muscles were sore from tearing up boards, hammering nails, swinging a sledgehammer, and crawling under a house to fix leaky pipes. I spent my break physically drained, hyped up on coffee and sugary cereal.
And it was one of the best weeks,
– The Beatles, ‘I’m Only Sleeping’
Friday night, 9:04 PM:
It is then that the cognitive dissonance sets in, filling my mind with conflicting thoughts and potential FOMO. My heart knows that I’m thoroughly craving curling up in my bed, smearing on an indulgent face mask, and reading a book or working on my writing. I want to listen to Bruce Springsteen and drink oolong tea.
I want to be alone.
But my head is screaming, “That’s not the college experience! You need to go out whenever you can and do everything!