About Ailise

Hello there! My name is Ailise Delaney. I am a Bellarmine University senior double majoring in psychology and sociology and minoring in criminal justice studies and French. I am from Arlington Heights, Illinois just Northwest of Chicago. I am a Brown Scholar, the president of Bellarmine's Pre-Law Society, Students for Political Awareness and Rotaract Club and I am also a member of the Bellarmine University Pep Band.

Reflecting on my senior capstone

With four days left in the semester I probably should be freaking out over everything I still have left to do, however, I am surprisingingly calm. I’m pretty sure that that has something to do with the fact that I completed one of my biggest projects of the semester– my senior capstone.

Since I am part of the Brown Scholars Program, I had to complete a senior capstone. The capstone is supposed to integrate different things we learned while in the Brown Scholars program and specifically highlight civic engagement, communication and leadership.Since I knew I was going to be participating in an alternative spring break in Washington DC working with the homeless, I decided to make my capstone about homelessness.

When I started the project my original plan was to interviews of students where I just asked them questions about homelessness to gauge their understanding of the issue. My theory was that as a society, we are often times very ignorant in regards to homeless– I thought that if people were more educated about the issue they would be more willing to help.

When I interviewed students I found that I was correct– we didn’t know that much about homelessness. But I found when I put all the interviews together, it didn’t leave an impact. I decided to scratch that idea and go a different direction. Instead of having students discuss what they don’t know about homelessness, I decided to talk to people who were actually homeless and hear their stories. The end result was this:

a documentary that focuses on the four main parts that people seemed to the most misconceptions about. If you have a chance to watch it, you should… I mean, I would — though I may be kind of biased. I started my capstone with the hopes of enlightening others and in the end I found that I was enlightened myself.

Enjoy!

Until next time!

Ailise

“Sleep, to the homeless thou art home; the friendless find in thee a friend” -  Ebenezer Elliott

Making Lemonade out of Life’s Lemons

I know we have all heard the mega cliche “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. For those of you who haven’t (or maybe sayings just aren’t your strong point), it basically means taking a bad situation and turning it into a good situation.I’d be lying if I said that that phrase is my mantra– typically I prefer to complain and whine about the lemons I am given and just drive to the store for lemonade (I hope we are all still following the metaphor here…)

Whining and complaining was pretty much my go to, though the past year I have been making more of an effort to come to terms with life’s little setbacks, and see them just as that: little setbacks. I tried to view “bad” things as little setbacks– things that temporarily interrupted the flow of everyday life but things that would be resolved.

This approach to senior year had worked pretty well for me –but don’t get me wrong, I still complained from time to time. I used the past tense (had worked) because around the end of February, life dealt me a colossal lemon.

In February my mom was diagnosed with Lupus. Actually, when I first found out I was dealing with one of life’s setbacks– I had ran over a screw with my car and subsequently need to have my tire replaced. While dealing with the tire center at Costco I got a call from my dad saying that my mom found out she had Lupus. Immediately I hung up with my dad and called my mom, she said that she didn’t tell me herself because she didn’t want me to worry while I was away at school (that’s my mom for you– always putting others before herself).

Now, I’m not sure if you all know anything about Lupus but I definitely didn’t. All the knowledge I had in regards to Lupus was derived from the television show House, and even that wasn’t all that informative.

lupusSO, I took this colossal lemon that life threw at my family and made a colossal amount of lemonade. I started researching Lupus. I found out as much as I could. Lupus is a chronic (meaning there is no cure) autoimmune disease where your body attacks and destroys its healthy tissues. They don’t know what causes Lupus and anyone can develop Lupus. I started sending links to my mom regarding Lupus — what a Lupus diagnosis means, what to expect, how to talk to your family about Lupus. I found that by comforting my mom I ended up comforting myself.

During all my research I found out that there are Lupus Walks (not all that surprising because there are walks for practically everything these days). I found a walk that wasn’t too far away from my house and invited all my friends and family to join my team.

The walk is May 19th– just one more thing to look forward too besides graduation!

That’s all for now, until next time!

Ailise

http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1051445&supId=378120529&extSiteType=1

22 Trips Around the Sun

Today is my 22nd birthday and my 22nd trip around the sun. My original idea was to post a couple of the life lessons I have learned during the past 22 years of my life…. but then I realized it would take the fun out of everyone else learning those lessons for themselves… sooo enjoy this gif of Andy from Parks and Rec instead.

 

My Journey to Law School: The Big Reveal

For those playing at home, I made a post a couple of days ago (and by a couple of days ago I mean yesterday) called “Dun Dun Dun the plot thickens” about how I had decided on a law school. Well the boyfriend ported in Singapore so I was able to talk to him and tell him the news, SO that means, I get to share the excitement with you all…

SO without further ado (drum roll please…)

I will be attending Penn State University starting August 2013.

I know, I’m probably as shocked as anyone. Originally I had decided on another school but this past weekend (well, Thursday and Friday) I ventured to State College, PA to visit the school. When I arrived on campus I just had this gut feeling (though truthfully, that could have been due to the fact that I woke up at 4am and was hopped up on caffeine) Anyway, as I walked around the campus I just had this feeling of belonging– like this was the place I was meant to be. Every little thing that happened I took as a sign– for example, this picture:

This is a picture of the famous Nittany Lion (Penn State’s mascot). After I took the picture I realized that it looked almost as if the sun was shining straight on the statue– of course I took that as a sign. I also considered the fact that the Senior Admissions Director I met with had actually heard of Bellarmine as a sign. Upon meeting Mr. Keener he said “I’ve got a bone to pick with you. Bellarmine was the only team that we lost a ballot to last weekend at the Mock Trial tournament.”  I kinda laughed and said, “yeahhh, our Mock Trial team is kind of a big deal….” Mr. Keener was extremely complimentary about our Mock Trial team and program and even gave me a letter and t-shirt to bring back to the Mock Trial coach, Jim Wagoner.

Another fun story for y’all– as I was walking to the law school to sit in on a class I passed a piece of gum that had been smushed on the side walk. At first I thought it was a penny because it was pretty much a perfect circle. When I realized that it was just someone’s discarded chewing gum I thought “man, if that was a penny it would have been like a sign that I was supposed to go here”. Well, guess what I found no more than 20 feet later — yup, that’s right a HEADS-UP penny. Well played universe, well played.

Superstitions aside, I am reminded of a quote from one of my favorite television characters Leslie Knope (played by Amy Pohler) of Parks and Rec “When you’re in love, everything seems like a sign”. The fact that I took everything as I sign that I am supposed to go to Penn State next fall just reaffirms the fact that I am supposed to be there– I fell in love with the program and the place and I justified my love by finding “hidden signs” hah.

I am very grateful for my friends and family who have put up with me and supported me endlessly through my journey to law school . I’d be lost without them.

Alright kids, that’s all for now!

Ailise

Dun Dun Dun, the plot thickens…

With the school year winding down and graduation fast approaching, I’m faced with the fact that it is time for me to decide what school I will be attending next year and where I will be living for the next three plus years. For those who have been keeping up with my blog/life you’re already well aware of the long journey it has been. After countless hours of studying for the LSAT, multiple personal statement drafts and thousands of miles traveling around the country to visit various schools I have FINALLY made a decision….

I know, you’re probably thinking “what gives?! This is just a picture of a rolled up t-shirt”– well there is an explanation for that one. In previous posts I have briefly mentioned the fact that my boyfriend is deployed– well I’m not sure how familiar you are with deployment but it kinda limits communication.

Well, deciding on a law school is kind of a big deal– a big enough deal that it merits more than an email saying “Oh hey, I’m going to this school. Talk to you later!” Sooooo, I got a little creative. I decided that I would break the news via a t-shirt from the school I will be attending in the fall. Until I have a chance to tell the boyfriend I’m trying to keep things hush hush– but don’t worry, I’ll let you all know in a couple of days!

Until next time!

Ailise

 

Why College Radio?

Last Friday, I was given the opportunity to attend a concert and interview a group called the Soil and the Sun with my friend and co-host Vincent Clark– truthfully he kinda got the opportunity and I went as the plus one and music enthusiast.

The Soil and the Sun (minus one)

The Michigan-based group is amidst of a tour. They played SXSW (South by Southwest for those unfamiliar with the acronym) earlier this month and they have a handful of shows with Kellen+Me before they head back home.

Now, I’m going to be honest– prior to getting the invite to the concert I hadn’t really heard of the Soil and the Sun before, I checked out a couple of their songs and read up on some of their history but I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect. To say I was pleasantly surprised would probably be an understatement. Not only was the group super friendly and down to earth but they made amazing music. When we spoke to them before their set we asked them what genre they were and they explained it as “orchestral/alternative/folk/ambient” I’m not sure what you all imagine when you hear such a wide spectrum of genres put together but I was definitely intrigued.

While listening to their set I had somewhat of an epiphany/light bulb moment. At Bellarmine when you want to become a DJ for Bellarmine Radio you typically have to take broadcasting lab taught by Dr. Kyle Barnett. I took broadcasting lab last year and I remember a moment in one of the first few class periods where Kyle posed then answered the question “Why college radio?” His answer was simple yet brilliant. He told us to think of our favorite song or our favorite artist and said they weren’t your favorite until you found out about them– someone or something introduced you do them and that that is the point of college radio– to expose people to music they may not typically encounter and to help people find their new favorite artist or new favorite song. That being said, Bellarmine radio is responsible for introducing me to The Soil and the Sun– a band that is quickly topping “number of plays” in my itunes, so I am going to pass on the favor and introduce them to you.

Don’t worry, you can thank me later.

That’s all for now, until next time!

Ailise

ps. here is an obscene amount of pictures I took at their concert — if you scroll through them quickly it has the same effect as one of those picture books that looks like the people are dancing — I know, pretty awesome ha

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200481418095290.1073741825.1152360284&type=1&l=bc967041d5

pps I’d include more from the interview but sadly Vincent has those notes not me — I”ll update y’all when I can get my hands on them!

Flourish: Women in Leadership Conference

Yesterday I had the honor of attending Flourish, a Women in Leadership Conference, for the second year in a row. Basically, female students are nominated by faculty and staff to attend the conference. After you are nominated you submit an application to be considered as one of the attendees. Here is some more information from the Office of the Dean of Student’s website — it probably does a lot better job at explaining than I do…

Women in Leadership Conference

The Women in Leadership Conference is a yearly networking event for undergraduate women at Bellarmine.  Each March,  female students are selected to participate in the conference, which fosters personal and professional growth with each young woman in attendance through 5 major themes:

  1. Mentoring: Each participant is assigned to a prominent woman from the city of Louisville who will serve as a small group leaders.
  2. Professional Development: Women gain insight on a variety of issues including professional attire, job search and graduate school processes, effective communication, negotiating compensation packages and tips for successful performance reviews.
  3. Inspiration: Women will be inspired by the shared stories of panelists, mentors, and chosen participants
  4. Leadership Development: Expounding upon the professional development, women participate in sessions designed to enhance their personal leadership development, such as discovering and utilizing personal strengths, evaluating and managing finances and reaching life goals
  5. Exchange of Ideas: Throughout the conference, women will be exposed to multiple perspectives on best practices, tips for success, and leadership skills.

The event originated with the alignment of several factors. Early in the 21st century, Bellarmine University had a vested interest in developing the leadership skills of students as civic leaders, and it was during this period that the idea for the conference occurred. Bellarmine’s increased focus on leadership development was met with the motivation of a graduate student from the University of Louisville working in the Division of Student Affairs.

When the idea of giving specific focus to female leadership development was first proposed to the campus, there was immediate support for the concept, since 65% of the student population at that time was female. At the first effort toward a larger leadership development initiative, the Division of Student Affairs decided to produce the Women in Leadership Conference by forming a committee of ten Bellarmine students, faculty and administrators who began planning the inaugural conference in October 2004.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the committee decided that the conference should occur annually during the month of March. After five months of intensive planning by the committee, the inaugural Women in Leadership Conference took place on March 9, 2005, involving 25 undergraduate female Bellarmine students collaborating with 16 professional female leaders from within the Louisville community. The participants interacted with these leaders through a panel discussion, mentor groups and personal and professional development sessions.

This year’s speaker was Newcaster Charla Young.  I cannot say enough amazing things about Mrs. Young. She was probably one of the most inspirational speakers I have heard. Through her persistence and faith she has overcome so many obstacles and become successful. Her goal isn’t to be the next Oprah– she wants to be BETTER than Oprah. I am pretty much at a loss for word describing her but if you all have the chance check her and her story out– it is really motivating.

I’m glad I was able to attend the conference and that I was able to connect with other leading ladies on Bellarmine’s campus. I even met a kindred spirit! The person I sat next to at dinner is a junior art major who wants to go into basically the same area that I do– advocacy for the mentally ill. She wants to go to law school and everything. It was so weird/cool meeting someone who shared my career aspirations– we definitely geeked out a bit about it haha.

All right, that’s all for now! Until next time!

Ailise

Celebrating Holi

This really amazing picture was taken by fellow BU Blogger, Tatiana Rathke.

Saturday I got the opportunity to participate in Holi, a spring festival that is observed primarily in India and Nepal. Holi is also known as the Festival of Colours– think the color run minus the physical activity (definitely a plus in my book… running isn’t my strong suit).

Holi’s roots are found in an old Hindu story– here is a link to an explanation because I know if I tried to retell it I would mess it up… Holi celebrated the beginning of a new season (though here in Louisville it definitely feels like it is still winter…) The event was organized by the Residence Hall Association but there were also members of campus ministries present.

BASICALLY, we were all given white t-shirts and handed packed of powder paint? (I’m not really sure what it was but it was colorful and powdery) Once everyone was set we just started throwing the powder in the air and around everybody else. People were pretty much covered in color– it was like a rainbow exploded. OH, did I forget to mention the fact that water balloons were also being thrown?? Yeahhhh that part (to my knowledge) typically isn’t a traditional aspect of the Holi festival but hey, it was a nice day out and it made the colors clingy better hah.

I was really appreciative that they were able to put on something like this for the students (and that the weather cooperated). It is really awesome that Bellarmine cares enough to expose us to different cultures and traditions — that is probably one of my favorite things about Bellarmine, that we are able to learn inside and outside of the class room (and I concede that is really cliche but it is totally true so I have no shame making that statement)

All right kids, I have to go actually do some homework (shocking, I know).

That’s all for now, until next time!

Ailise

DII Tournament

image

I’m here in Springfield, MO with the pep band cheering on the Knights in the DII tournament. We are up 37-23 at the half. If we win today we’ll play again tomorrow. For all of y’all who couldn’t make it to Missouri be sure to list to the live stream at bellarmineradio.com!

Inclement Weather: Alternative Spring Break Day 4

So, DC was supposed to be hit by this massive snow storm — some parts may have actually experienced snow but where we were we just had some awkward snow/rain combination. It wasn’t freezing rain or sleet it was like giant snow flakes mixed with fat rain drops. The government ended up calling a snow day so a bunch of places were closed, including the two places we were supposed to do service work at.

Fortunately the other events on our docket went according to plan so the day ended up reviving itself. We ended up venturing to some of the Smithsonian museums during the afternoon — we saw the National History Muaseum, “The Castle” and the American History museum. Museums aren’t normally my thing– I much prefer zoos and aquariums but it was pretty neat. We were able see a bunch of cool historical artifacts like the flag that inspired the star spangled banner, Julia Child’s kitchen, the Hope diamond and a pair of hockey gloves from when USA won at the 1980s Winter Olympics– quite the eclectic mix

After our adventuring to museums we went back to the Pilgrimage and made dinner– all the SNAP families on the trip decided to pull together and have a taco night. Elaine, one of the people participating on the trip and in the SNAP challenge made a delicious bean dip. After just eating peanut butter sandwiches, tomato soup and grilled cheese, taco night felt like a feast.

After dinner we had a speaker, David Harris come and talk to us about his experience and lead us in a reflection of our time in Washington. David told us about his story of homelessness, how he became a father at a young age and dropped out of high school support his new family. He worked a variety of low paying jobs but lacked health insurance– he ended up getting a diagnosis of high blood pressure and heart disease and he became too sick to work and thus became homeless.

He eventually got assistance, obtained social security and was able to afford housing. While homeless he wrote poetry and later, with the help of the Pilgrimage, he was able to  have his poems published. After he shared his story with us he had us participate in our own reflection on our time in DC. He asked us to write something, it didn’t have to be a poem if we didn’t want it to be and then he asked us to share them with the rest of the group. It was nice to have a time to reflect on what we had experience. Our days were typically so jam packed that we didn’t really have time to process what we had done. The time for reflection was much needed — there was definitely a flood of emotions from all the various experienced I had had the past four days.

Tomorrow is our last day in DC, hopefully it will be the best day yet.

Until Next Time!

Ailise