Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's almost over...?

I don't know how it happened. I really don't. But here I am, 2 weeks away from my own graduation, and the end of my academic career at Rockhurst.
Well, my big news stands: I will be attending the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry this fall in pursuit of a Master's of Theological Studies! I ended up getting accepted into 5 of the 6 schools I applied to (including Notre Dame, which was a complete shock to me), and the final decision process was arduous...but eventually everything just clicked in my head, and I'm moving to Boston with no backward glances. Sometimes the right path just shows itself, and I know this was the best choice for me academically and socially.
Until then, though, I still need to graduate! The picture is of me re-presenting a nonfiction piece at the Festival of Student Achievement--I presented it initially at the Sigma Tau Delta National conference in Minneapolis. Most of my large projects are done (including an hour-long lecture my advisor let me deliver to his junior-level Theology class!) and after two finals...I'll have a degree!
This summer's plans worked out exactly as I hoped they would--I'm spending my third and final rotation as a Conference Assistant, a job that I've truly enjoyed the past two years. I also get to keep working in Admissions--yay! My hope is to move sometime in August, but as I'm waiting for housing information to come through, I'm still not sure when exactly.
I'm just happy that I get the extra time to say goodbye to Rockhurst! I don't even know if I'd recognize myself four years ago...this school has given me more opportunities to grow as a student and a person than I would have thought possible in a university. Think it's a coincidence that I'm doing my grad work at another Jesuit school? Think again :-)

Bahamas: Better late than...

Well, it has been awhile...but I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to share my experience in January!
Just before the beginning of second semester, I was able to go on my 2nd international service trip with Rockhurst. The first was to Honduras. This time, I was selected for the group going to the Bahamas. It was a little difficult sometimes trying to convince people we were going there for *service,* but I knew at the first informational meeting that that was the trip I wanted to be on.
We had a week out of the country, and we split our time between two islands--Nassau, the main tourist spot, and Andros, the largest island of the Bahamas. While Nassau was an interesting visit, it was impossible not to fall completely in love with Andros. I'm not an outdoorsy person, generally...but with consistent weather and an apparent immunity to all the allergens of the islands, I was more than happy to enjoy nature to its fullest.
Of our days on Andros, we spent two pulling up an invasive plant species (scaevola! evil!) and one cutting a new trail to a blue hole, a natural phenomenon that can be found in the Bahamas more numerously than anywhere else on the planet. It was tough work, but our group bonded like I didn't believe possible in the course of one week.
Coming back, what have I learned? I learned that it's never too late to make 9 new best friends. I truly saw and understood, for the first time, how environmental damage affects everything and everyone. And I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that no tourist resort, anywhere in the world, could possibly rival what no person built.
If I ever have the chance in my lifetime to return to Andros...I'm going. It and the people there are representative of the best in existence.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Past semester's end!

The semester is over and it has officially gotten snowy in KC! I love cold weather, so I'm not complaining...though I have to say that walking on campus from my house in snow with the wind chill below zero isn't precisely my favorite. At least the campus looks nice!

The semester, happily, ended well for me--and I needed that 4.0, so I'm quite pleased with how finals went down. Of course, there was a lot of stress involved, particularly in the two week period between Thanksgiving and Christmas break. I finally, as a senior, pulled my first all nighter! The sad part is, I didn't really need to stay up all night to finish that last paper...I finished it around 2:30am and decided that it would be fun to stay up until 5. Strangely enough, it was! I suppose that's just a college experience everyone has to have at some point.

My grad school apps are still in progress--most of my information is out to the four big schools I'm applying to, and I'm spending some of the break working on the last pieces for the seminary applications. Both of the smaller seminaries should have rolling admissions, so hopefully I'll hear back from them fairly soon after my application is complete and on file--the other schools don't pass down their admission decisions until March, which makes me think I'll be a stressed out little chica that month. But what can I say? I've put my best foot forward on my personal statements, the GRE went well, and my grades are about as good as I can ask for. I'll just wait and see how everything falls out!

Waiting tonight to see if we get the ice storm they've been predicting for us...only a few days after a really heavy snow! This seems very atypical of KC winter weather, but I'll be happy if we can get one good dump of packing snow so me and my friends can go sledding and build a snowman. (Because really, isn't college just a time to relive all the awesome stuff you did as a kid?)

Updates whenever there's something interesting to tell!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Through October and onto...

Well, to say the past month has been busy would be a gross understatement, but I'll say it anyway! Fall has come to Rockhurst! As you can see...

So what have I been doing? Well, I have one grad application happily finished (for the Graduate Theological Union--I visited in October and *loved* it!) and three more in progress. There are another two schools that I'll be applying to, but their deadlines are much I'm worrying less about them right now.

Classes are crazy and fun! Right now I have about 3 big projects creeping up on me...hopefully I'll be able to head them off this week, which is remarkably less busy than the rest of the month. I never thought I'd say this as a senior, but I'm actually looking forward to the semester being over soon! (Of course, that doesn't mean that I'm ready for my last semester to *start,* but I'm getting there.

Registered for classes a week or so ago--my last semester at Rockhurst is going to be exactly what I would want--ALL Theology and English! I'm taking a lighter load so I can be doing prep work for grad-level study--my Theo profs are going to make sure I've read all the major texts before they send me off. Have I mentioned that my profs are amazing? They are.

I'll be spending a lot of this weekend revamping my personal statement for another school--the almighty Notre Dame! It's so encouraging to have one application off my plate that I'm very eager to get another one gone as's just not a terribly fast process, once you get into it :-P

Anyway, it'll all be worth it in the end (I hope!) I get almost all of my admission decisions in March, though, which makes me rather nervous...since I'll have about a month in which to decide the next 2 years of my life, based on any offers I get. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can we say...busy?!?!?!

Wow, so I'm barely getting this in within a month of my last post...suffice to say, I did NOT realize how extraordinarily busy senior year was going to be! That said, it's still awesome--between 3 great Theology classes, 3 amazing roommates, and 2 nice jobs, I'm having quite a good time. First off, here are me and the girls! The picture is from one of our 'family' dinners, which are fast becoming a tradition for us. So far, we've also been regularly hitting the Farmer's Market in Rivermarket (cheap produce!!), we've been to see a guitarist at an art studio, been out for sushi...and we have a list posted on the fridge of all the other things we want to do as a 'family,' including going the opera, carving pumpkins, and spending a weekend in San Diego. It's just a fact--at college, your friends become family!
As for my grad school search, I've officially begun 2 applications and scheduled the dreaded GRE. I'll also be visiting the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley during our fall break, which I hope will help me get some perspective on where I need to be in my application process now. But between classes, work, and cultural events with the roomies, I'm having a hard time figuring out what to prioritize!
Happily, however, I am getting along quite well in my classes--New Religious Movements is my hands-down favorite right now. Last week we did the Mormons and this week is Jehovah's Witnesses...our prof has done in-depth study in Satanism, so I'm looking forward to that chapter. And of course, the motivation of "I'm really going to need to know this in grad school" is a pretty good way to convince myself to study.
Homecoming is just around the corner here--I'm still not sure if I'm going to the dance, but there is no way I'm missing Jim Wand, the hypnotist that comes to Rockhurst every year. I think he's the best entertainment we book. I'm not sure particularly why, but I always think Homecoming week is a lot of fun...and this is my last one here, so I'm going to make it count!
Well, I do have two tests this week and a paper due next, so I probably should spend some time doing homework...or playing around on facebook while thinking about doing homework...whichever comes first.
Ta all!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Settling, still...

It's official--I'm moved in, and classes are underway! The move wasn't as harrowing as I anticipated, and my new house is beyond awesome. We're still settling and moving things around, but just to give you an idea...

It's amazing. And two of my roommates have serious decorating talent, so when we're finished, this place will be the envy of all Rockhurst students everywhere. It's a gratifying feeling :-)

We've only had 3 days of classes, but this will be an enjoyable semester for me. My courseload is heavily Theology (9 of my 16 hours), and all of my Theology classes are actually focused more on small religious movements and non-Christian religions, which is very exciting to me. (I suppose that actually makes them Religious Studies classes, not Theology classes). It's also a nice preparation for my grad school study, since I would love to do work in comparative religions.

As far as that grad school search goes, I'm finally down to a final list of 5 schools I'm definitely applying to and a handful of maybes. My goal is to go fast and furious on my top three school applications, and then send out any more apps I have time for. I'm taking the GRE in October (can't say I'm looking forward to it, but it's a necessary evil), and other than that my personal statements are going to be dominating my life for awhile. In the meantime, I'll probably be making the rounds in our Theology department asking for advice on how to make my application stand out and what to expect at the graduate level. Lucky me, Rockhurst's Theology staff is second to my opinion, we literally have no professors that are less than amazing. I think it's one of the reasons why so many Rockhurst students end up leaving here with at least a Theology minor.

This Friday is a quiet one for me...tomorrow I'm going to a leadership institute with all our new freshman honors students, since I'm an honors mentor this year. I'm pretty excited about it--our honors program has become much, much more than it was when I began here a few years back, and I love the fact that we're getting freshman involved early on so they can keep this student association going.

That said, I have a decent amount of homework I want to tackle tonight, so I'll sign off.

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What a month!

So it's been a while since I posted last...I was looking forward to July being a relaxing month, but no such luck. Of course, it's not always a bad thing to be busy...and when you have two jobs that you like, it's actually kind of a nice thing.

All of the sudden Rockhurst's campus is shaping up and getting ready for students again. Case in point--the Rock Room. Last week, this is what it looked like---->

Then, suddenly, we come back in and now we have this...
Definitely an upgrade! I was a little nervous when I saw how much BLUE was going in there...but someone in the planning definitely had an eye for color, and it's turned out lovely. And definitely better than the random red carpet wall we had.

We just ended the summer conference season with my favorite conference from last year--Kfest. (Oddly enough, the name of the conference is still KansasFest though they've been holding it in Missouri for years now). Kfest is advertised as "summer camp for geeks," which is a name it lives up to...but in addition to not having nearly as many lock-outs and boo-boos as the other camps (this one is all adults) they're also some of the most interesting people Rockhurst houses, ever. I remembered most of the campers from last year and a few remembered me, so it was like seeing old friends.
Alas, since conferences are finished, it is quickly approaching time to move out of the townhouses. I like the townhouses well enough, and I've lived in three since last May, but I'm definitely ready to get into my new and insanely awesome house. Rockhurst just bought it, and my roommates and I will be the first people to live there. It seems like two weeks ago that I moved into summer housing (and I won't lie and say that moving is fun), but the idea of settling into somewhere for a solid 9 months is very appealing. And I'm trying mightily to not panic about not knowing where the heck I'll be after those 9 months.
Well, hopefully my next update will be within the soon as things have settled down and I'm implanted in my new place.