Gaining Wisdom by Losing Wisdom

One of my dogs, Lillie, giving me love on my first night after surgery.

One of my dogs, Lillie, giving me love on my first night after surgery.

This semester was a rollercoaster full of thrills and challenges, and I’m proud to say that I survived and received my first 4.0! Now that the semester is over, I’m so happy to be home for a little while. Once finals were over last week, I went in for my first surgery ever. I got my wisdom teeth removed and it sure led to an interesting weekend. For not knowing how I was going to react to anything since it was my first time, I was anxious to see how it turned out. Luckily, my only complication was a bad reaction to the pain medication. It left me really, really sick until it got out of my system. Being stuck in bed for a couple days gave me some time to think, making me realize that there have been many life lessons I’ve learned through this semester, giving me much insight into what life is all about. Check out some of the things I’ve learned.

There is so much out there to explore.
My intercultural class, combined with my volunteer shifts at Ronald McDonald House, afforded me the opportunity to work with so many people from all walks of life that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to. Through my field work, I helped a Somali woman prepare for her naturalization test, a Chinese father and daughter strengthen their bond, a Vietnamese woman simply practice her conversation skills, an Uzbekistan woman share her love of American reality television, and an Iraqi man transition into a new culture. Every session was incredible and unique, as I was always encountering a new situation and having to adapt to different cultures, and I am incredibly thankful for this experience.

Doing good creates good.

I am the first recipient of the Dan R. Ison scholarship. I was able to meet with him today and give him and his family some Christmas goodies!

I am the first recipient of the Dan R. Ison scholarship. I was able to meet with him today and give him and his family some Christmas goodies!

This holiday season has been full of warm feelings for me. I volunteered my December shift at Ronald McDonald House and loved getting to help out the families. Also, my hard work truly paid off as I got my first 4.0 this semester, despite an 18-hour courseload, my internship, and my extracurricular activities. My internship even asked me to stay through next semester, so I will have been there over a year! I gave Christmas cards to my teachers, thanking them for such a great semester, and also sent more out to other deserving people. In fact, I got to meet with my scholarship donor, Mr. Dan Ison, today and bring him and his family a Christmas card and some of my homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Especially at this time of year, it’s important to me to show those around me that I truly care for them.

It’s always nice to be with your family.
Sometimes I find myself so caught up with college life that I get overwhelmed, and it’s nice to know that my family is always willing to welcome me home with open arms.  I love living in the Phi Mu suite with a bunch of great girls, but sometimes it’s nice to just go home and be with my family. I couldn’t be more thankful for all of the help and support they have given me not only though this semester, but in the past week as I have been healing from the surgery. To me, Christmas isn’t really about the tree, or presents, but getting to spend much-cherished time with my loved ones.

Well, that just about wraps up my blog post! (Haha, get it, wrap, like Christmas presents? ;) ) My agenda for next semester is to continue to intern at the Foundation, to enjoy some fun classes, like Marketing and Writing for New Media, and to plan for some awesome Phi Mu events. Stay tuned!

Song of the day: Take Back The City by Snow Patrol. It’s been stuck in my head today! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY_hkrQNAQo

Special Study Spots

For me, sometimes the library just loses its appeal. I have been there countless hours a day for the past two weeks and I’m just tired of being in there. Also, especially around finals, it gets really busy in there. That is why I have a couple special study spots. Can you guess where I am today?

Heine Brothers' Coffee - Douglass LoopIf you guessed Heine Brothers’ Coffee, you’re right! Though I just realized the picture may have given it away… oops. ;) Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to enjoy the smell of coffee, some great tunes, and knock out an Ethics paper. Wish me luck!

Song of the day: Pop Danthology 2012. It’s 8 glorious minutes of mashups from the top songs of 2012. I absolutely love it, and hope you will too!

http://youtu.be/NIie2VLMZn0

Stress Relief During Finals

I must admit that this has been the toughest semester for me so far. It seems like it’s been one challenging task after another. Luckily, this constant sprint is almost over and we will all soon be able to relax! To help you get through the next couple days, here are some of my favorite ways to de-stress during finals!

Puppy Love

1. Get some puppy love. Sandy’s Pet Shop off Poplar Level Rd always has a great selection of animals to go check out and play with. The employees are very nice and friendly too and understand that sometimes us college students just need some puppy love. You can always check out their website and see what puppies they have there, and they normally have cats, rabbits, and other furry friends too! I’m sad that Bellarmine isn’t able to do their “Canine Exam Proctors” like they have the past couple semesters, but I hope they’ll be able to this spring!

Joe Creason Park (As seen on Joe Creason Park’s Flickr)

2. EXERCISE! While the weather is still fairly mild, Joe Creason Park is a great place to go get some fresh air. Whether it’s doing a round of ultimate frisbee with your friends, walking your dog, or taking on the challenging hills, exercise is a great way to de-stress. Also, we can’t forget our wonderful SuRF. Get your warm-up in by walking to the SuRF from your dorm room, then go enjoy all of their great facilities.

Happy Holidays from Phi Mu!

3. Hang out with friends. Don’t forget we’re all in the same boat here! Though it seems like we’ve become antisocial as we bury our nose in studying, it’s nice to get to see our friends and relax. Phi Mu just had our annual Tacky Sweater Christmas Party and it was a great study break and a fun time to just be silly with my closest friends.

And, to wrap things up, here’s one of my favorite study tips: did you know that our brains recognize the highlighter colors yellow and green the best, and actually pass over the colors pink and orange? It helps to color code our study guides, highlighting different concepts with different colors. I know it looks a little weird, but I personally highlight terms in yellow, with their supporting information in green. It has helped me break up my terms so studying isn’t as overwhelming.

What are some of your favorite de-stressers? Have any special study tips? Leave them in a comment!

Song of the day is Don’t Stop The Party by Pitbull. Make time to have some fun and dance during studying! :)

 

Studying For Finals?

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The three of us walking around the zoo.

So today while I was studying for my finals and writing papers due this week. One of my best friends asked me to go to the zoo today. Without thinking about what the consequences I agreed and went to the zoo. Ann Marie, Amanda, and I had a blast at the Zoo. This was my first time going to the Louisville Zoo. Not really sure why I have not ever been to the zoo here and I have lived here for two and a half years. But it was so much fun.

We went at the perfect time. The animals were being fed, the zoo was not packed at all, and it wasn’t too hot or too cold. While there we saw so many cool animals. So instead of just talking about it, I want to put as many up as I can to show you all.

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Here is a really cool, extremely poisonous Komodo Dragon.

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One of my favorite exhibits. It was so cool to see the seals and the polar bears!!

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I thought this was Albert Einstein at first. But then we read the description of this Cotton-Top Monkey!

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The King of Pride Rock himself. This was the best part. The lions were roaring and being so vocal. I have never seen something like it before. It kinda made my want to watch the Lion King.

And that is how I spend my Sunday afternoon during finals week. I cannot believe that I have still not really started to crack down and get to studying for tomorrow or the rest of the week. But this are the moments that I am going to remember when I have graduated. Yes, I want to do well on my exams, but when it comes to five years from now, the grade I have on my finals isn’t going to be what matters. It will be the time spent with the people that mean the world to me. I had such a great day.

To end this blog I would like to say good luck to any college students studying for finals. Happy Hanukkah to anyone who is celebrating the first day of Hanukkah today.

Peace and Blessings to everyone as the year comes to a close!

Finals Week Around the Corner… Need a Good Laugh?

Thanksgiving Break was absolutely wonderful, but way too short. I truly loved being able to spend some time with my family, enjoy several lunches and dinners worth of Thanksgiving leftovers, bake a double batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, catch up on my favorite tv shows (speeding through commercials thanks to Mom’s DVR) and getting to help out around the house. It was so nice simply being with my family and getting to sleep in my own bed that it was hard to leave, especially knowing that there’s a lot of really difficult school work to do between now and when I can go home again after Finals.

It seems like this has been a tough semester all across the board from everyone I’ve heard. With that said, I know we can all get through this and finish the semester out strong! To help you do that, here are some of my favorite study break YouTube videos, that are sure to make you laugh. Enjoy!

My Absolute FAVORITE For The Holidays: Stefon on SNL

or in better quality at http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/weekend-update-stefon/1372904/

Corgi Flop
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glii-kazad8

Lamb Saying Yeah

Screaming Goat

Kittens Inspired By Kittens

Good luck and hope these videos help bring some laughter to your day! :)

So much to do with so little time.

The last full week of classes has approached and there is so much to do around Bellarmine. Everyone is frantically getting their last papers and assignments done, in order to start studying for their finals. Then there are so many ways to end up getting distracted. I cannot believe summer vacation is so close. And with that not only comes the stress I have mentioned, but the bittersweet moments, I am personally experiencing.

This week has been jammed packed full of things I should be doing, writing papers and doing final homework assignments, but also things I do instead to distract myself, like watching television with friends and late night trips to Taco Bell and BAC’s Late Knight Bingo and the public opening of Pottermore (I’m in Ravenclaw by the way). With so many ways for me to not do my work, it is so easy for me to get distracted. All of these fun distractions might have left me up late the past few nights, but they are so much fun how can I say no?

My to-do list is decreasing in size and that is something that I have been looking forward to for a while. All that I have left this semester, is turning in all of my paperwork for Studying Abroad, have a relaxing weekend, give a small presentation, Summer Send Off, Late Knight Breakfast, study like its my job, and hopefully get As on my finals.

Seeing that typed out it is a lot more to do that I thought, but I will make it through it all. One thing I am realizing this week, is that when I leave Bellarmine after finals it will be for a long amount of time. All of my friends will be returning in August, while in August I will be packing to head to Europe. This is something I am going to have trouble with over the next two weeks, these goodbyes are going to be for longer than two or three months. They will be for about nine months. I cannot believe that.

In order for this all to be done and to get plenty of chances to say goodbyes. I should probably get to work now.

I am going to leave you with a saying that has helped me this week getting through things.

“It does not do well to dwell on dreams and to forget to live, remember that.” – Albus Dumbledore

Remember to dream and hope for the future, but to live life in the present. So even though I have so much to do, it will get done, those late night runs to Taco Bell are worth it.

 

Chillin, Finals, the Sweet Smell of Summer!

I know it is that time of the year to be stressing out and worrying about papers and exams and presentations. But I have realized the importance of just taking a break from all of that and hanging out with some friends doing the random stuff. For example last week, my friends, Meghan and Jim, and I literally just sat in Meghan’s room and watched TV until 4:00am. We didn’t do anything fun, we weren’t watching anything special. We just sat there watched TV and had a long life chat. And I know that the next day I was so tired, and I complained about getting three hours of sleep, but it was so worth it. Those are the nights you live for in college. When I am older and I look back, yeah I am going to be so pumped about having a degree from Bellarmine University, but I am not going to remember what I got in my Human Health and Disease class. I am going to remember the night that Meghan, Jim and I just sat there an talked and enjoyed life together. It was so much fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I wish there were more days for nights like those, where we could just sit there enjoy each others company and do absolutely nothing. But with there only being 21 days left until the summer (not that I am counting) there is so much to do in such little time. This is crunch time, get the last round of assignments done before finals week. But it is all good. This is what college is for, to learn something every once in a while. With such little time left though it is so hard to get my mind in gear. I can see summer vacation. I can see the Kentucky Derby Festival. It is so hard to focus. But I know I can do it. I just have to really put my mind to it.I cannot believe there is such little time left in the semester.

This is such a bittersweet moment. With there being such little time left, I just keep thinking about all of the awesome things that are coming up in my life. Over the summer I will be working for Group Mission Trips. I will be traveling around the country putting on service trips for high schoolers. It will be such an awesome experience. Then in the fall, instead of returning to Bellarmine University with all of my friends, I will be studying abroad at a school in Switzerland!!! I am so excited for the opportunity to study at a foreign school and live in a country where I can grow and learn so much.

Well I have rambled on enough for today. Sorry I will start posting more often so that I don’t have long posts like these past ones have been anymore.

Happy Spring Everyone!