Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Break

I hope everyone is having a really great winter break. It's always great to take some time and just do nothing but watch christmas movies, sit in front of the fire, drink hot chocolate, play in the snow... the usual winter things. This break I decided that I was sick of doing nothing for a whole month at a time and I really wanted to get out instead. I am taking a trip through the east coast.

Right now I am in Chicago and I am waiting to go to New York City tonight. I have had a really awesome time here so far. I went to Millennium park, the Museum at the Art Institute of Chicago, and ate some famous deep dish pizza from the original Pizzeria Uno. I am leaving for NYC tonight and I am most excited about going to Canal Street, lots of cheap knock off designer stuff, and seeing the United Nations because I think it would be awesome to work there after college. After NYC I am going to Philadelphia, and then D.C. and then visiting my friend in Florida where it will hopefully be a lot warmer than here.

This is a picture of me and my friend at Millennium park. What is everyone else doing for winter break? There has been a lot of snow across the country this week, any favorite winter activities for when we're not all stuck in class?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

Well, first semester was interesting.
I can't help but think that high school didn't really "prepare" me for college like it was apparently supposed to. I'm pretty nervous to look at my grades. Some classes I just feel could go either way. I was pretty nervous to find out if I had passed English 102 or not, but I did. YAY! Now I'm just waiting on my other grades. My last final was today, so I'm not sure how much longer I'll have to wait to find out what I got. Hopefully I did well.
I finally got home today and unpacked my month's worth of clothes and other random things, and am pretty excited for Christmas to come. We're going to my grandparents' house on Friday for dinner and presents. Christmas kind of sucks when you're older though...you ask for fewer and fewer things and you basically already know what you got before you get it. My brother got a queen sized bed, and I got a really nice FujiFilm camera, and I'm sure I'll get some random things that I didn't ask for - probably a Snuggie, because that's just how my family is.
Anyways, I hope everyone enjoys their winter break! I'm sure I will!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Semester Wraps Up

As the semester wraps up I am very ready to head back home to Minnesota. Milwaukee does not feel like home and this rain in December isn't really helping my Christmas spirit! These past few days my family back in MN has experienced 20 inches of snow and the Metrodome's (where the Vikings play) roof collapsed due to all the weight of the snow. My boyfriend was suppose to come and visit but due to the weather Megabus cancelled all of their buses and he is rescheduled to arrive tomorrow.

Thanksgiving was a good break at home and I was so thankful that my family could all be together, even with the Thanksgiving snow storm happening. MN has decided that this year it is just going to snow a ton more than usual! I was able to see my adorable niece and little kids sure do grow up in just a month!! While are home we also celebrated my 23rd Birthday. My 22nd year on earth has definitely been a big one in my life. From doing a 400 hour internship at an elementary school, to graduating from college, becoming a graduate student, moving to Milwaukee and so many more adventures, 23 will include many more wonderful life changes and adventures!
My 23rd Birthday Pumpkin Pie
With my niece Sofia :)

This semester has brought some fun adventures. I spent a day at the zoo with friends and we had a fun time at one of the parks over looking the lake. The other night we went to Lucielle's Piano Bar which was a fun time of singing and watching a good show. There have been other xmas festivities happening as well. I went to a white elephant gift exchange last night and made gingerbread houses the other night with my floor. As much fun as Milwaukee is, I am ready to go home and relax for a bit. My semester assignments are complete, I just have to tutor for work through Weds and then I am home free!

Good luck to all on finals and have a wonderful holiday/semester break with your loved ones! Travel Safe!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Things I would change...

It’s been a long time since my last blog, sorry about that. I just got a new netbook on black friday though so I'm sure you'll be hearing more from me. :-)

The semester’s been off to a great start! Classes are going good, I love Milwaukee, and Sandburg residence hall has been great, but that being said there are a few things I would change about UWM if it were up to me-

1.Lunch time- There have been many a hungry days where at exactly 2pm (the time they stop serving hot lunch in the Sandburg cafe) I have thought to myself “man, I could go for lunch right about now”… Only to find that I have to wait until 4:30 for hot food to be available again. When I went to UW-Eau Claire there were always multiple main dish options available.

2. Food at night- There are very few healthy options available in Sandburg at night aside from fresh fruit.

3. Beeping Trucks- I can’t sleep in, ever. The 8am trash collector I’ve learned to live with, but it bothers me when he comes early, and it bothers me even more when a semi comes to deliver food to the dorms at 7-something in the morning and sits with the truck in reverse for sometimes an hour at a time. Beep beep beep. If it were up to me there would be no deliveries until 8am, 9am preferably.

4. Computers Labs- Computers are always at a shortage, especially in the library and the union. The log in process is so slow and people sit there on facebook, wasting computers. Computers in such busy areas should have blockers to sites like facebook, myspace, gaming websites, ect. in efforts to leave them open for academic work.

5. Cleaning Supplies- Supposedly you can rent out cleaning supplies from the front desk at Sandburg, but after many trips to the front desk and being told “maybe try back later” I’ve given up on the possibility. There is no good check out system in place. People take the supplies and don’t return them in a timely fashion, if ever. This is a problem. My housing fees should not be purchasing cleaning supplies for the first takers.

I don't mean to sound like I think badly of UWM, not at all. I love it here and I have no intentions of transferring, but there's always room for improvement.

Well, I’m off to statistics. I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! Mine was great, it was so nice to see friends/family again, but I’m glad to be back in the city!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

"I'm a poor college kid."

Hi all!

Hope everyone had a wonderful break. Mine was nice. I actually got to go stay at my grandparents' house, which I haven't been able to do in a long time. My best friend stayed overnight, and I got to go shopping and to the movies with my mom. While my friends all went out to see Harry Potter at midnight on opening night, I stayed in my room, a little bit jealous that I had to wait until break to see it with my mother. We go see Harry Potter together every year, and I wasn't going to change that this year. I could've gone and seen it more than once, but afterall, I'm just a poor college kid, right?
I feel a little bad though because every time I come home, I feel like I need something for school, and then my mom or grandparents end up spending an insane amount of money on me.
And of course, there's Black Friday shopping - where my mom, again, spent an insane amount of money on me. But, after spending 3 months being pretty frugal with my money, I feel like I deserved it.
5 days home was nice, but it feels nice to be back in Milwaukee. Every time I go home I get bored out of my mind. Basically, all there is to do here is watch all the TV shows I've DVR'd, and bug my cat, and that gets old pretty quickly.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sleeping at the Airport

Thanksgiving break! Everyone knows I have been looking forward to this week for quite some time now. I decided to go home early because most of my classes were canceled, except two, one which attendance was optional. I left Milwaukee for Minneapolis at 4:00 pm on Saturday. I was super excited to go home and see my family. I was even more excited that I got my megabus ticket for ONE dollar! As soon as our bus pulled into the Twin Cities it started to rain… and in Minnesota in November rain only leads to one thing… ice. We got stuck! The bus literally would not move! After about five minutes of sitting there, and doing tailspins, and 360’s (which could have been awesome under different circumstances), we finally started moving and drove about 5 mph all the way to our stop.

I got off the bus and tried to walk… it was nearly impossible because of all the ice. Even a tiny incline that would otherwise go unnoticed took a lot of effort to get up. I called my dad on the phone and he asked me if I was running, “Nope, just trying to get up a tiny slope,” I told him. My sister was on her way to get me so I just had to wait until she could get there. She called me and said, “Bad news, I just got in a car accident. I’m fine but they closed down the road because there are too many spin outs and accidents.” All of the major highways were shut down, and as I kept telling my friends and family who didn’t know what was going on, “Nothing in, nothing out.”

So there I am, standing on the side of the road, in the middle of an ice storm, wearing nothing but my pajamas and a spring jacket. I decided that the best thing to do would be to get on the lightrail (sort of like an above ground subway). I was really cold and my hands were starting to turn purple so I needed to get somewhere. I knew that the lightrail stops at the Mall of America so I figured I could sit in the parking garage under some heat lamps and eventually someone could come get me.

I called my dad and he told me that I should go to the airport because if I couldn’t find a ride home there, at least I could spend the night in the warmth. My sister called me to tell me that everyone on the freeway is at a complete standstill. People are getting out of their cars and fighting with other people. They just sent S.W.A.T. in to control the situation.The last reports I read said that there are "dozens" of accidents, but I am starting to think the final number will be in the hundreds. My sister has finally returned home, but without me.

I am currently sitting on the airport floor in front of security with about twenty other people. I just want to get home. I’m hungry, I’m cold, and I’m not even supposed to be in the airport because I’m not flying. People are complaining and workers are getting frustrated. I’m starting to think that my one-dollar megabus ticket wasn’t such a great deal after all.

Sweet Dreams from MSP International Airport.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How to find a roommate, and other helpful advice

You’re going to be a freshman next year and you’ve started to pick out a room to live in. You’ve looked at all the buildings online and picked which one is just right for you. Or you’re going to be a sophomore, junior, or senior next year. You want to live on campus but you haven’t made any friends that you would ever consider living with. So how do you find a good roommate? I have had good roommates as well as bad roommates in the past. Here are some tips and advice for places to find a good roommate.

Random match up: when you register for a room UWM will try to pair you up to the best of their ability with someone you will be a good match with. Although I don’t have a roommate this semester, I do have suitemates, which means we share common space including a bathroom. I didn’t know any of them before coming to school here and we get along great with each other. I had two random roommates last year; one of them became my best friend, and one of them I did not like very much. It can be a great situation, but if you are someone who is very hard to get along with it could work to your benefit to try some of the other options listed.

Freshman Orientation: UWM has a lot of events for new incoming students. One of the events that a lot of new freshman will attend is freshman orientation. Not only do you get to pick out your classes and learn about the campus, but a lot of other new students will be doing the exact same thing too. If you think you are the only student worried about finding a roommate, you’re wrong. There are a lot of people looking for someone to share a room with; it’s just a matter of finding them. Freshman orientation is a great way to find someone your age that will most likely be considering the same options as you.

Camp-in: This program is an overnight experience for prospective students. You don’t have to be accepted to attend one of these programs either. You will be paired up with a student who attends UWM. Over the course of two days you get to go to class with them, eat in the dining hall, and participate in activities with other prospective students. It’s very easy to meet people at these programs because there is no pressure and a lot of fun activities going on. I am actually a student host for this program so if you have any questions about it feel free to ask me.

Start a discussion on facebook: Post a discussion topic on the housing website and advertise that you are looking for a roommate. You could post a little about yourself like what times you like to go to bed and get up in the morning, whether you are a clean or dirty person, your major and interests, and then ask other students to do the same. I know a lot of friends who have found their roommates this way and ended up rooming together for two or more years afterward.

Start your own facebook group: Most classes have a facebook group. For example, I am part of the “UWM class of 2013” group. It is a great way to meet people your own age that may be looking for the same things as you. Can’t find a group to fit your needs? Create it yourself!

If you are coming to campus and you plan to live with your best friend I would advise you to be very careful. I know that for some people this is a great option but it’s not always the best situation. I lived with my best friend for a year and things ended horribly between us because we never had time apart from each other to do our own thing and make new friends. One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t need to be friends with your roommate. It is always good to respect them and get along with each other but just because you live together doesn’t mean you are obligated to hang out outside of your room.

I put together a list of questions that might be helpful when looking for a roommate. Feel free to change or delete any of the questions, or add your own.

Preferred housing:
Where are you from?
Do you snore?
Do you smoke?
What time do you usually wake up and go to sleep?
Study habits:
Music preference:
Neat or messy:
Are you okay with people visiting (including significant others)?
Religion/morals/political views:
Do you talk on the phone a lot/do you mind if your roommate does?
Do you like to sleep in warm or cold?
Any daily habits (working out/naps/etc)?
Do you watch TV a lot?
Do you listen to music a lot/loudly or mind if your roommate does?
Do you shower in the morning or at night/how often?
Any strange habits your roommate should know about?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Life in a Nutshell

Remember how I said I was going to work on Election Day? Well after I got the job, I went to training to learn how to do everything. I didn’t hear from the election committee again after training and had no idea where I would be working. The day before I was supposed to work I called the election committee and asked where I should show up in the morning. They said that they didn’t have it worked out yet and were still placing new workers, the took my number and promised to call me back that night when they assigned me to a location. I didn’t hear from them again. I was supposed to be at my location by 6 am, but I had no place to show up to. Since I didn’t work on Election Day, I also didn’t get paid for training. It’s been frustrating because I was counting on that money and now I will have to find other ways to make up for it.

I got around to thinking what I could do to make some money without having to get a permanent job. After coming up with some crazy ideas for odd jobs, I got an email that said I was accepted to be an overnight host. When high school seniors want to visit campus they get paired up with a current UWM student. They get to sleep in the residence hall, participate in activities, and attend class with their host. I’m looking forward to this opportunity because I know exactly what it is like to look at prospective colleges. I am a first generation college student and so I had no idea how to do anything when I first started looking for schools and no one knew how to help me. I am happy to help other kids with all of the things I have learned in my two years of college.

My classes have been continually getting better. For my Spanish 204 class I have to do a presentation on Cuba. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to talk about but I am leaning towards teaching my class about the way the government works and the black market that exists because of it. In my Journalism 201 class this week we are focusing on how to write blogs. I had to start a new blog and write about any topic of my choosing. I named mine Urban Flow, and for each post I will talk about the culture of a different city in the United States. One of my favorite classes though is Floral Design. It’s listed under Sports and Recreation in PAWS. Right now I am taking Floral Design – Special Occasions. We learn how to make all of the floral arrangements used in weddings. My teacher is very enthusiastic and the great thing about it is that I get to bring home three arrangements every class! I am like the Martha Stewart of campus, always handing out new flower arrangements to my roommates and people I don’t even know.

Today is my Birthday! I am finally 20 years old, and with it brings a fresh new decade of life. I think I better start watching out for wrinkles, and pretty soon I'm going to need glasses, it's all down hill from now, right? I'm just kidding, I still feel like a little kid sometimes, I still AM a kid!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My typical Day...

I am finding myself extremely busy! Here's an example of my usual day.

8:15- Alarm goes off and I run around packing books, throwing together a lunch and getting ready.
8:30- Downstairs waiting for the shuttle.
9:00- Attend class til 12:10
12:10- Sprint over to the Union to fight for a table to eat lunch with my friend Patrick.
1:00- Attend a Spanish 103 Lecture so I know what the class is doing so I can make my lessons for SI Review sessions.
2:00- Hold a Spanish 103 SI review Session (Basically a review of all that Spanish 103 is learning that week.
3:00- Tutor Spanish 203
4:00- Tutor Spanish 103
5:00- Tutor Spanish 308
6:00- Catch the bus to head home
6:30- Work out, eat dinner, homework.

Then repeat all week. It looks overwhelming when I see it on paper but somehow I survive and find time for other fun things.

I work for the PASS center where I tutor spanish students and am the SI Review Leader for Spanish 103. It's a really fun job and I get to talk to a lot of different people. It's rather time consuming since I have to attend the lectures, plan my lessons and hold my review and tutor sessions.

Kenilworth had a Pumpkin carving event for halloween. It was was fun and interesting to see how many students had not carvved a pumpkin before! Eric and I decided to spice up the event and dress up to carve pumpkins :)

My Pumpkin I carved
Eric and I dressed up
MY CA and her art.
Last weekend for Halloween I had to go home since my car was going to die. It was a long, boring and painful 7 hour drive but being home for that weekend was worth it. I was able to spend time with my parents, boyfriend and many other friends who I won't see again until Thanksgiving. I got a new car while at home which was really exciting. They have deals where if you are a recent college grad or a grad student you get instant cash off which luckily I was both. Halloween was fun, I dressed up as a peacock and went to a costume party. I love just looking at all the people on the streets in their silly outfits
My new car and a couple Halloween picks... some of us learned parties aren't the best place for wide costumes :)

This weekend I am having some friends from home visit so I will have an update next week about some of the fun places we went to in Milwaukee.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When exhaustion sets in

Ah, college...full of choices.
I know it's early in the year still, but I'm honestly just exhausted. I don't have the motivation to get up and go to classes anymore. I'd rather just spend the day snuggled up in my bed. Mondays and Wednesdays are the worst for me - I have classes for 12 hours straight. 7:30 in the morning to 7:30 at night. :/! And after Halloween weekend...I'm glad Thanskgiving break is coming up soon. I've got a paper and 2 exams left til then, so overall, not too bad. Pretty sure I'm going to bomb my Philosophy 241 exam this Thursday though. :(
Thankfully, I haven't gotten really sick yet while here. I know a ton of people who have just gotten cold after cold after cold. I think I got a short cold in the beginning of the year, but I'm hoping this soreness and tiredness in my body is just from exhaustion and not me getting horribly sick. Especially since I'm going home this weekend! I'm super excited.
First of all, I'm getting my jacked-up ankle checked out, so I can maybe actually go up and down the stairs and walk to class without being in grimacing pain. YAY. What sucks about not being at home is scheduling appointments. I've had to call months in advance just to find a time slot that works well with my schedule at school and my home schedule.
My cousin Lisa is getting married on Saturday too, so I'm super excited for that. I get to see my family - some that I would normally see pretty often, but now haven't seen in over a year.
I'm a little worried to deal with my mom though. Being away means that when her and I argue, it's over the internet...and I'm sure we've all experienced the "word vomit" that takes over us when we're on the internet. It's bad.
Hopefully it all works out though. I'm hoping this week gets better, and quick!

Feeling Homesick

Now that we just passed the halfway mark for fall semester, and with Thanksgiving and winter break on the verge, it’s easy to start getting a little bit homesick. All of the shiny feel good things associated with starting a new year at college are starting to wear off, and the workload is becoming more apparent. It gets dark by 6 p.m. and it's starting to get cold outside. All of these things have made me want to hop on a bus and go home for a weekend.

For freshman students on campus, it may be the longest time ever spent away from home. On the other hand, maybe you go home every Thursday night after your last class and come back every Monday morning, having never spent a weekend apart from your family this whole semester.

If you’re a transfer student like me, there is a lot of adjusting to do because unlike being a first year freshman that is just adjusting to leaving home, we also have to adjust to another college, for the second, or in my case third, time.

Returning students may have gotten used to being away from home, but that also means that they have been here for even longer and probably miss their families too.

I found a video of Conan O'Brien on Youtube helping students with advice on how to overcome homesickness. I wouldn’t recommend trying this though.

If you are having trouble with being homesick, and constantly going to visit home, I would recommend that you spend MORE time on campus.The more you are here, the easier it is to get used to your surroundings and get involved.

One thing that has kept me motivated to be here is the promise of a new semester right around the corner. Spring classes have been posted on PAWS and I have already picked out all of the ones that I want to take next semester. I am pretty excited because I can finally take all of the upper level journalism and political science classes that I have been waiting for.

Don't let me fool you though, I'm still counting down the days to Thanksgiving and winter break.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Energy for Thought

Now that midterms are over for me, I feel like I have a little bit more time for myself. But now the whether is getting colder and I’m getting sick of going to class, so I came up with some ways to energize myself to get through these next few months when I would really rather just hibernate in my warm bed.

Rearrange your room - Change it up! Moving your bed can give you a whole new outlook, literally! This past weekend I lowered my loft and moved everything around. My room really does feel like a new place now.

Do something you love – After all the work of studying for midterms, months of homework and reading, and all of those assignments, it’s nice to spend a day or even a few hours doing something you really love. The thing I love doing most is photography, or some form of it. I spent a few hours taking pictures of flowers from my floral design class, but instead of using my camera I found a way to do it with my scanner that almost looks better than a camera.

You can find all of the ones I took at:

Go somewhere new – For one of my journalism assignments we have to design an advertising campaign for a local Milwaukee business. I chose to do mine on Shi Chai, an Arabian restaurant and hookah bar that opened at the beginning of this year. I want to make the campaign as realistic as possible so I’m planning on going there to check it out and enjoy all of the Arabian food it offers! It gives me something to look forward to and helps me to step outside of my comfort zone. That’s one of my biggest goals, trying new experiences that may make me uncomfortable at first, but then I can take my friends there and have that experience.

Reconnect – Whether it’s a long lost friend from high school, or just a sibling you haven’t talked to in a few weeks, you have to admit that it always feels good when you reconnect with someone. I haven’t talked to a lot of my friends from home since high school a few years ago. After we graduated we all went our separate ways and since I was living 1,000 miles from home I didn’t get to stop by for a visit. By the way, reconnecting over facebook or texting only half counts in my opinion. Try calling them on the phone, I bet they will be surprised and equally as thrilled.

Read - I know, reading is SO middle school, right? Yeah that’s what I thought too until I actually picked up a book and started reading again. It’s not my all time favorite thing to do but its nice to have the option to read something instead of doing it for a class. Try reading the newspaper, or a magazine that doesn’t include gossip and paparazzi.

Make a goal - there’s nothing as energizing as working towards something you really want. Everyone always makes goals to get an A in a class, or to lose 10 pounds, but try making a goal to set a whole day aside for yourself, or to do something you like outside of academics. One of my goals is to make it to the post office one of these days to send a package. My friend’s birthday was in August and I still haven’t sent her the present I bought for her! What a horrible friend I am!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Social Justice, Jobs, and Halloween.

This has been one crazy week or two! Last Saturday I went to the Social Justice conference in the Union. It started at 8:30 in the morning and lasted until 9:15 that night. It was such a long day but I’m so glad I went to it. I am not majoring in social work, but I have always been interested in urban social welfare problems, which fits nicely in with my Political Science double major. Did you know that 78% of kids that go to inner-city schools in Milwaukee are 185% or more below poverty level? I learned that in a session called “class act.” It focused on the different classes and segregation in the Milwaukee area. It’s statistics like these that really motivate me to get educated and make a difference. We each went to three different sessions of our choice throughout the day, got lunch and snacks, and had two keynote speakers present. It was so awesome to go to and learn about. I would recommend that students take advantage of this free learning experience when UWM offers it again in the future!

I got my first job in Milwaukee! I have been in need of some extra cash to help pay for things like some books I had to charge on my credit card at the start of the year, and unexpected class materials like a flash drive, all the extra unplanned things in life that have came up! I would really like to get an on-campus job but I know that at this point in my classes, I won’t be able to dedicate enough time to having a job and doing as well as I would like to in school so I have been looking for odd jobs that don’t require extensive time commitment. I applied to work as an election officer on Election Day and I got hired! I attended a 2-hour training this week and I will work all day on Nov. 2nd. If anyone is looking for a job like this, they are still hiring! I found the application by searching Google a few times. I have also been using Amazon to sell my old books on to make some extra cash. It’s definitely an easy way to make a quick buck, but trust me, every now and then you will get a customer who is a huge headache… be prepared for dealing with that.

The holidays are coming up, starting with Halloween. I am not going to lie on this issue… I’m not a Halloween fan at all! It’s just way too much work to get all dressed up and spend money on a costume for one night. As a kid I always had the best Halloween costumes, I went as a crayon in a crayon box, a fly stuck in a flyswatter, no one ever had the same costume as me. Last year I went as a “Jersey girl.” This was before Jersey Shore was popular, and before laundry, gym… whatever the saying is, was invented. (I can’t say I’m a big fan of the show if you couldn’t tell). I thought it was a good idea because all I had to do was wear a lot of heavy blue eyeshadow and tease my hair. This is a picture of me and my friends going out last year on Halloween. Now it’s hard for me to get excited about any holiday around this time of the year, the weather starts to get too cold for me, and I hate winter! I wish it was always summer!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Food, Friends and Milwaukee

Lately my life has consisted mostly of studying and homework and reading. Nothing too thrilling to write about. This past weekend a good friend from home came to visit and we explored Milwaukee. It was a great change of pace from studying for those dreadful midterms!

There was a lot of food eating during his visit. The first night we drove a friend to a bus stop to catch the bus to MN and we got stuck in traffic. The police had blocked off the route that Joe Biden was going to be driving so we just had to sit there but hey, we did see Biden's motorcade :)

We went to Joey Buona's Restaurant downtown which had such good pasta and pizza. I would highly recommend it. We wandered a little bit downtown and due to the motorcade traffic again we ended up going on an adventure to try and avoid it and happened upon a beautiful site of Milwaukee!

I love this picture. The clock in the distance is the world's largest four face clock and is almost double the size of Big Ben. I think it is pretty sweet.

Saturday we went to the Milwaukee Public Museum. We went through the Streets of Old Milwaukee, saw tons of dead bugs, many skeletons, the typical museum things. I really liked the butterfly garden though. It was cute to see all the kids trying to catch them and they are beautiful creatures.

We walked through East Side where Kenilworth is and I enjoyed taking many photos. I love living close to lake Michigan. We ate at a very good Mexican place on Brady Street, Cempazuchi. I had such a delicious burrito, way better than Chipotle or Qdoba!
We found a cute little bakery and got doughnuts from there for Sunday breakfast. Sunday we were looking through brochures we had gotten from the museum and it said the Second Best Chinese Restaurant in the country was in Waukesha so we decided we'd venture out and try it. It was HIGHLY disappointing. It was nowhere near the best Chinese I've ever had so the search will continue for better chinese food that what I've had so far here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just A Small Town Girl

*Living in a lonely world. She took the midnight train going anywhereeeeeee.* (I had to.)

After living in Milwaukee for a little over a month, going back home for the first time was weird, to say the least. My home town has about 14,000 people in it, but there's not much to do. It was extremely unsettling to go from the big city, where there's always something to do, to a small town where you have to strive to think of something to do.
It was nice going home - I got to do my laundry (which was substantially nicer than doing it in the residence halls, mostly because I didn't feel rushed to get my clothes right away, didn't have to worry about bringing anything with me to the laundry room, as it was all there for me already, and I could put things through the wash/dry cycles as many times as I wanted for free. :P) I also got to catch up on the tv shows I've been missing. My roommate has 2 shows that we absolutely have to watch (Gossip Girl and Glee, of course, which I had never watched before but now I don't mind) but other than that neither of us really watch tv that often.
The first thing I did when I got home though, is throw my stuff in my room and went off to find my cat and cuddle with her. If there's one thing I miss about home, that's it. I miss having something fluffy to snuggle with. I even missed my cat frantically pawing at my door at 2 in the morning because she wanted to sleep on someone's bed while my mom was gone (celebrating her birthday with her friends).
I also got my hair cut - another thing I miss about being at home. The local Cost Cutters here is NOTHING compared to the one in my home town. I went all summer without a haircut and had to wait another month and a half to get it cut because I don't trust anyone else to cut my hair. I got 5 inches cut off, and it's now a little past my shoulders. Shorter hair is just easier to manage and looks more mature (in my opinion).
I was glad to come back home to Milwaukee yesterday though. I only stayed at home one night but that's about all I can handle. I was never meant to live in a small town. I craved the city life too much.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Many students around the UWM campus will probably let you know that this week is midterms. This will be my first time taking midterms because the colleges that I went to previous to UWM never gave them. This semester has been one of my hardest, and not solely because its just really hard, but mostly because I am taking the last of my GER credits… you know, the ones you leave until the end because they are so horrible you can’t even imagine taking them by choice? Yeah, that’s what my whole schedule looks like. Typically when I sign up for classes I always just do what looks good on paper, I never really think about how much work I will have to put into them.

This Saturday I am going to the Social Justice Summit held at UWM. It’s an all-day event to help students learn more about social justice through conversation, workshops, and speakers. Aside from being interested in the issue, I think its important to get involved outside of your comfort zone in college… you never know when a question on an application for something will ask you what you have done to enhance your awareness around campus.

Did you know that the UWinteriM schedule has been posted on PAWS? It is classes that you can take over winter break for credit. I have decided not to take any, instead my friend from Korea (who is currently studying abroad in Mexico) is coming to visit me, and we are traveling to Chicago for Christmas, New York for New Years, and hopefully we will be able to squeeze in a trip to Philadelphia somewhere in there. We already bought our bus tickets and are scoping out hostels now.

I have been looking into studying abroad next year. I haven’t taken a trip to the CIE office yet because I have been trying to figure out a lot on my own first. I want to go to somewhere Spanish-speaking, but I am trying not to jump the gun, my parents already think I have done WAY too much because I transferred schools once already (apparently, to them, that means I can’t make valid decisions on my own anymore). I am just taking everything one day at a time...

Good luck on midterms everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What is Home?

So, let's start this one off with a lesson. Stalking people isn't cool, an inside joke just to make that clear. Anyways, onwards to further stories. Last weekend I took a trip back to Madison for the first time since Labor Day weekend. I felt like I was going to an odd place that I wasn't used to. Milwaukee, and Riverview, are pretty much home for me now. First thing I did when I got home was I went upstairs and sprawled out on my bed. While so much softer, ridiculously in fact, I got the same pains in my back from sleeping on that thing. The beds back here may not be super soft, but I can get a good night's sleep on them and not wake up in the morning with any back pain. Never underestimate that fact, or a good night's sleep.

Other than that it's been business as usual over here in Riverview. Another Thursday night with 30 Rock, which is broadcasting live tonight, and the Office here. Probably movies after that. I know Tuesday night we watched Let the Right One In, awesome film. I know last night I was over at Cambridge until almost 1 o'clock helping my friend with a project for one of her classes. I learned something, I can draw slightly better than I thought I could, but after three hours I start to get careless and start getting lazy. I do draw a mean eagle though.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hello to All!! -Jenna

Hi everyone!!
I hope your classes are going well and you're enjoying college life! I've had tests so far in all of my classes, so I know what to expect in that aspect. Sometimes I find it hard to manage my class load with work and hanging out with friends. I like to take a break and talk to my oldest sister. She is exactly like me and she helps to put a new perspective on things. What do you guys do if you feel overwhelmed? Feel free to comment on here!!

Family Weekend was this past weekend and my mom and stepdad came up for it. We went and toured the library which was very informative. I love the renovations that they have done and I know come finals time my roommate and I will be living in there! We had dinner together with my sister and brother in law on Saturday night and then I spent the night at their apartment. They are closing on their first house on the 15th and I have been informed I am theirs for the weekend. :] On Sunday morning we went to The Original Pancake House and I ate so much food!! It was the first time I had had breakfast since leaving for school.

I showed my mom and stepdad around Cambridge Commons and they were very impressed. My mom was blown away by the cafeteria and the choices that we had. She kept saying that she had nothing of the sorts when she went to school! I talked to a lady about how much I enjoyed the variety of foods that were available and I was able to tell her about my stale nacho chips that I had once. She said that student feedback was vital to helping them improve their service. I love living in the residence halls. My roommate and I are starting to decorate our room (okay, a little late, I know!!) I am going home next weekend and picking up a futon and we're getting some posters and things to liven up our room. Since this is basically the place that you spend a majority of time in, you have to enjoy being in it. Pictures from home have helped a lot as well as the blanket that my mom made me when I was young. Do you guys have mementos in your room that help you remember home?

Last Tuesday was the first meeting of the Pre Vet Club and I had to work, so I missed it. I wasn't very happy that I couldn't make the meeting, but that is life. I am very excited to get involved in this club because I think it will look good on my application to vet school. There are tons of clubs and activities to get involved in on campus. Does anyone have any suggestions for readers or past experiences in these clubs? I am so excited that more people are reading our blogs! I am happy to be a part of this and to give readers an insight into living in the residence halls!!

Have a great week guys!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Traveling Home

Last weekend I went home to go to a wedding. When I went to school in Pittsburgh, going home meant a 24 hour bus ride each way on a greyhound, so needless to say, the idea of 6 hours on a megabus thrilled me. I got my tickets for ten dollars each way about a month prior.

My trip home was awesome. The megabus is like the Ritz-Carlton of transportation for the middle class. I ended up sitting next to this kid who didn’t try to be friends with me at all, didn’t talk, didn’t even look at me twice. For me, that’s perfect. Although I have met some pretty cool people on buses, it’s so annoying listening to someone talk for six or more hours about their life.

The wedding I went to was awesome. It was for a close family friend that I have known my whole life. My sister was in the wedding so I spent the whole day there with her. Me and my sister are very close so it was nice to get to see her again.

Here's a picture of us two at the wedding together.

My bus back left at 7 in the morning on Sunday. When I got to Minneapolis, there was a marathon going on and all the streets were blocked off. I didn’t get to the bus stop until 7:03 and I silently watched my bus leave without me. My friend who had given me the ride said, “I have internet on my phone, give me your credit card and I will just find you another ticket that leaves tonight.” Well later I found out that he had bought the ticket for the WRONG day! I had to buy another ticket so that I could get back to school on time for class Monday, in the end the bus trip ended up costing me over 100 dollars!

Tonight I am leaving to go home again for the weekend. My sister surprised me with tickets so that I could go shopping with her, see my 7-year-old nephew for the first time since school started, and go to a family bonfire. I hope that this trip home goes as well as the last, and that the trip back to school goes smoothly without any problems.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just Another Hurdle to Jump

Let me tell you this: there is definitely a downside to living in the residence halls. Although I love love love it here, it really sucks when your living situation is...not so great.
My roommate and I get along great, and for the most part, we keep our room pretty clean. Our bathroom on the other hand...not so much.
It's hard to keep a bathroom that 4-6 people use clean, but one would think "if you use it, you should help clean it". Right? Apparently not.
I have a severe mold allergy, so living with a dirty bathroom is just not an option for me. I have to take medication every day to even be able to use our bathroom, because people refuse to clean it. I refuse to clean up after other people. I'm not their mother. I did not come to college to spend my time picking up messes that aren't mine. I would be willing to share cleaning duties though. It's only fair.
It literally would take less than five minutes for each of the people in a suite to clean one thing in the bathroom all on the same day. I went out of my way and spent a substantial amount of money on cleaning supplies only for them to sit under the sink and not be used.

I don't mean to bash anyone here. That's really not what this is about. But I can't be the only one going through this. Or does no one else care if their bathroom is gross or not? I have to say, I've been in other peoples' bathrooms here and they're definitely not this bad. This is one of the reasons I would pay extra money to have someone clean the bathrooms here - because nobody really wants to do it, but it kind of has to be done.


AND: today, as my roommate and I were walking into our room, a Hawk landed on our windowsill and just stared into our window for a minute and then my roommate accidentally scared it off. But it was still pretty cool!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Busy busy busy

Update! Here goes-
1. I am now a tour guide in training. Yay for learning about campus!

2. I'm pledging ΦΣΣΡ :) I love my sisters!!

3. Last sunday I went to the Milwaukee Public Museum with a guy from Marquette. Best first date ever.

4. The imax we went to was called Hubble, it was about space repairs to the Hubble telescope.

5. My residence hall room/suite is FREEZING, especially at night. My suitemate woke up fifteen times last night under her blankets.

6. I have 2 tests this week- Italian & Physics

7. This saturday I'm going to an 80s themed murder mystery :) Rock on phi sig!

8. I think I'm going to check out the Shambala Meditation Center with one of my new sisters.

9. I got on the wrong bus coming home from downtown, outran the correct bus two blocks to the next stop and got on. It was pretty stellar.

10. Upon arriving home I hopped off the bus a block early because I felt like walking. I found $19 just laying in the empty sidewalk. Moral of the story? Exercise pays off.

11. Ci sono molti creepers in Milwaukee. (There are many creepers in Milwaukee) Watch your back, especially at night or when you're off campus.

12. I've met some really cool people nerding out in the library.

13. I went on a photo scavenger hunt with Cru not long ago, we did some pretty crazy nonsense. I don't have the photos yet. :-( Soon, I hope.

14. I officially have the bestest suitemates EVER!!!

15. There's a ZOMBIE PROM coming up :-D

16. This Kinesiology student is doodling knee joints with all sort of equations and charts.. I'm a little dizzy just watching him go. And yes, this is a total creeper shot, he had no idea. I was very impressed by his work though! Good going dude!!

My suitemate's awesome diagram for how I'm supposed to dress for Saturday night (80s theme)... She ordered me to go in my room, lock the door, and not come out until she's done. I popped my head out to ask her a question about leg warmers. She yelled at me! lol Then, not even attempting revenge, I wandered into their room dancing to a song my suitemates were playing, neither saw me until i was dancing right between them. It was awesome, such loud screams!! tehehe. Followed by me rolling around on the floor laughing myself to tears.

My pledge shirt :) I designed it me self!

Super awesome live frog at the museum. This little guy (about an 1" long) has enough poison to kill 10 people. So maybe don't kiss this particular frog.

That's it for now, ciao!


Lazy Sundays? I Think Not!

Hello again, I found the first few Sundays here incredibly boring, mostly because nothing ever happens in general, but this last one was a different story. My friends and I headed out on a journey to who knows where at 4:30 on Sunday. After changing our destination multiple times we decided to head down to the Third Ward. Let me tell you this, a group of eight people will take a long time to get somewhere if there's only a rough idea of where it is. We got ourselves by Lake Michigan after a bit. There was a lone kite being flown, dogs being walked, ducks running around, and my personal favorite, a couple having professional pictures done of them that kept popping up where we were. Eventually we said hi to them, rather loudly.

Eventually we hit downtown and followed the color coded signs down to the Riverwalk. Instead of heading north, we headed south. By this point it had started to get dark out, we all had generally good moods. We headed back down the other way, ended up on the opposite side of the river, and finally we found the greatest monument to American culture ever, the Bronze Fonz. Needless to say we were all pretty excited. Unfortunately our Senator didn't make it into the picture seeing as he volunteered to take it.

After that glorious moment we went to dinner at Applebee's where, lets be honest, nothing really exciting ever happens. On Sunday however, we were pretty sure we watched a guy die and be taken off in an ambulance. Not exactly the thing you want to see at dinner, but hey it's life. Anyways, we headed back on a bus after that and resumed our usual activities in our lounge, which we seem to be the only ones using here.

Until next time folks.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Identity Crisis of Home

So a few weeks have flown by with numerous things happening in life. One day I'll post pictures of my apartment, but let's just say that I am not a neat person so that could be awhile before it is presentable!

I went to the Brewers' game with my free tickets from PantherFest. It was a good time of course, minus the Brewers losing. I dropped my camera at the game, which is actually pretty normal since I’m klutzy, but this time it was a drop too many. I was pretty bummed that it broke because I had many photos left to take at the game. When I got home I ordered a new one, because I can’t go anywhere without a camera, hence all my photos on here!

My new orange camera!

Racing Sausages at the game!

I bought a futon as well. I would HIGHLY recommend Ruelle’s Furniture in Milwaukee. It was really cheap and they delivered it and set it up for me for free. The man told me he’d give me a “Pretty Woman Special” of a cheaper price.

I was experiencing a little home sickness of just not being able to see my family when they got together so I went to the closest thing to home I got. Two weekends ago I headed to Chicago to visit my dad’s side of the family. Although it wasn’t really home, it had some of the aspects of home. It was nice to see everyone since I hadn’t seen most of them for over a year!

This past weekend was a very eventful weekend for me. I had been counting down the days. I FINALLY got to go home! My last school was 20 minutes from home and my dad worked there so I could go home whenever I wanted even if it was just for supper. I flew from Milwaukee to Minneapolis where a friend of mine picked me up. I was so glad to be “home,” although all I was was in Minnesota! Just being able to be in the cities was home enough to me. I stayed at my friends’ house and then Friday we headed up for homecoming weekend. I got to stop at my house before headed to my other “home” the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. When we finally pulled up to my house I was so excited to be “home” and again when I got on campus I felt so at “home!” It’s funny how these two places are still homes to me.

My undergrad is actually two schools, St. John’s (boys) and St. Ben’s (girls). Although we have two campuses, one for each gender to live at, we are one academic institution. They are about 6 miles apart and a bus constantly runs between them. More or less you never notice you go to an all girls’ school. Football is a huge part of life at school so I was so excited for Johnnie football. The game was against our biggest rival and they were expecting 20,000 people in the little town of about a thousand people! Everyone was wearing red and the atmosphere was great. I really miss school spirit and the staple of going to Saturday football games! We ate at our favorite restaurants and just hung out all weekend which was just what I needed.

Sea of Red (Student Section)

After we finished body painting the guys

Some of my best friends from St. Ben's

I also spent time with my family, seeing as they are also alums from my undergrad some of them also went to the game which we loss, 27-26 in OT L My niece is turning two next week so we celebrated her birthday along with my mom and brother in laws. I visited with my neighbors and got to see their baby kittens which we only a week old when I saw them last! My family has a small apple orchard which I have missed apple season. I brought back about 30 apples in my suitcase and was so happy when I went to pick some. Seeing the trees by my house made me realize that fall is occurring and I don’t even notice in Milwaukee!

Sofia wearing her Elmo shirt I got her

Fall pictures, and pictures of the kittens

After accomplishing nothing schoolwise all weekend and sleeping on floors and couches I was really excited to return “home.” It is funny that I told my mom I couldn’t wait to go back home (Milwaukee.) As I move from my parents’ house to undergrad to Milwaukee, I feel that I still have more than one home. I get homesick for each one depending on where I am. Eventually, Milwaukee will take over my undergrad home, but there will always be homecoming which will remind me each year why I loved my undergrad home.

The next few weeks will be busy with midterms looming!

Turning Your Beds Into Bunk Beds So There's More Room For Activities

I hope you got that reference. If not...Google it.

Better late than never, right?
Tour of my Sandburg North Suite 70 Bathroom/Room. Booya.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Living With Diabetes

When I was nine years old, I got sick. It started like a cold, and then seemed like the flu, and then I couldn’t walk anymore. This went on for about a month before my parents decided to bring me to the doctor. There, they called an ambulance and rushed me 40 minutes away to the children’s specialty hospital.

I was diagnosed with Type I Juvenile Diabetes. Not to be confused with Type II Adult On-set Diabetes. (Something people don’t typically know the difference between, which can lead to offensive assumptions.)

A pancreas is the organ that produces the hormone insulin. Insulin breaks down food and turns it into energy when you eat carbohydrates. In Juvenile Diabetes, (called that because typically it happens before adulthood) the body thinks the pancreas is a foreign object and kills all the cells that produce insulin. There is no way to prevent it from happening, and typically it is genetic.

So what does that mean?

Diabetics have to test their blood glucose level, as well as take insulin injections daily. As for me, I check my blood and take an injection every time I eat any food, as well as after I wake up, and before I go to sleep. I always have to count how many carbs I eat, but after ten years, its so natural to me I barely even have to think about it anymore.

When I got to school, my first concern was finding a pharmacy to fill my prescriptions, finding a local doctor I can go to (once every 3 months!) and making sure that I had everything I needed in Milwaukee to survive. I’ve gotten used to all of that, but with all the new changes, it has brought up new problems. One of the hardest things for me is telling people I have diabetes. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, but how do you just put that out there? It’s not usually something that just comes up in conversation all the time. People that don’t know me well tend to treat me differently once they find out. Such as what advice they can give me to help.

A lot of people have told me it’s my fault for getting diabetes. I should have eaten less sugar, or played outside more at recess. Someone in my family once told me that if I had gone to church more this would have never happened. But the truth of the matter is there is nothing I could have done to prevent it.

Things have continually gotten easier over time but it would be nice to meet some other diabetics who are going through the same thing here at UWM.

Famous people with Juvenile Diabetes.

-2010 American Idol runner up Crystal Bowersox

-Nick Jonas

-Halle Berry

-Bret Michaels

Monday, September 27, 2010

*Insert Witty Title Here*

Well another week has gone by and I'm still standing. I hope everyone else can say the same in some way. Life has been going pretty smooth all around for me, and I can't complain about it. I've been hanging out with a good group of people in our lounge. If you live in Riverview, you know which one it is, if not come and find us. We end up watching multiple movies every night, so that's always entertaining. To name a few we've watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Kill Bill Vol. 1, and Anchorman. I know we've watched more than that, but those are the ones that I can pull off the top of my head right now. We went to Get Him to the Greek last night as a floor with our RA. I have to say, it was pretty funny. I'd enjoyed Russell Brand as Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I enjoyed him this time just as much.

Also, there's been a petition going around the building here to do something about the empty lot that's in front of Riverview. They're trying to get a green space of some sort, but just about anything would be appreciated. A friend of mine wants a giant water slide going out there. It'd be nice, but impracticable in the winter.

I'd also like to stress the importance of watching out for yourself and others. I was taking a walk a few nights ago and I was rounding the corner of North and Oakland when a random woman started walking alongside me. She didn't seem quite right in my opinion so I ignored her, but kept an eye on her. She asked me to walk her to the gas station multiple times, to which I gave the worst reply ever, "Sorry. I gotta go do something." She was obviously flustered about it, and I have no idea of whether she really did just want someone to walk her to the gas station or something else. I ended up walking the final five or so minutes back paying close attention to who was behind me. You never know what will happen.

Have a great time everybody.


Jenna- A New Addition to My Family

Hi all,
How are you? I'm doing great!! I headed back home this weekend for my mom's surprise late wedding shower. It was amazing. She really had no clue! I also got to meet my new baby sister. Her name is Mia Faith and she was born on Thursday the 23rd at 10:24 PM. She weighed 7 lbs 7 oz and was 20 inches long. She is the most perfect thing I have ever seen in my life! I held her for so long on Saturday and Sunday. I even went to the store at 12:30 AM and bought her clothes. :] She definitely has a good crew looking out for her.

I got my new tattoo!! Surprisingly it didn't hurt as much as my wrist one! I probably could have fallen asleep! I will post a picture of it on here. I'm not sure about any other people, but I have a busy week ahead of me! Lots of papers, assignments, and tests. I'm just looking forward to going home this weekend and seeing Mia and my best friend. I hadn't seen my mom in 3 weeks, so it was nice to be able to spend a little time with her. I'm hoping to spend some more time with her this upcoming weekend.

Does anyone have studying tips? I've been finding out what works well for myself, but I'm wondering if any of you guys have something to share with our readers that would help them succeed this year. If so, please comment!!