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.