AJ

Hometown: Wadsworth, OH
Class of 2014
Education

Weekends at Walsh

Hey Cavs!

So I don’t know about you, but I have been loving all of this awesome weather lately! It has been a little windy and rainy, but if it is warm enough to rain and not snow, then I’m content!

I just wanted to update everyone on all of the awesome events that have happened at Walsh recently.  It’s getting to that stressful point of the semester where deadlines are quickly approaching, but there have been a ton of weekend events to give everyone a break from their studies.

Last weekend was jam-packed!  Last Friday, Josh Gracin came to campus for a free concert for students! Non-students were welcome to come as well for only $5! Unfortunately, I was not able to attend because I was on duty that night as an RA, but I heard from many friends and residents that he was great! They had a really fun time jammin’ out and dancing with friends!

Then on Saturday night, UPB hosted its annual Spring Formal dance; this year’s theme was The Walsh Gatsby!  The dance was right on campus in the Barrette Center  and dinner was provided.  Tickets were only $15 but when one of the options is steak, steak and a dance for $15 is practically a steal!  Like previous years, the Barrette Center was packed that night!  The annual formal is the perfect opportunity for students to enjoy a great night of music and dancing with their friends!  Plus, who doesn’t love a reason to dress up and act fancy for a night!

This past weekend was a weekend of firsts for Walsh! Friday during the day was the first annual Battle of the Buildings.  I had a previous commitment and was not able to attend, but I heard from my friends that did get to go, that it was basically a ton of obstacles, inflatables, and games that teams from the different residence halls had to complete in an olympic style competition.

The previous commitment I had was to be a part of the first annual WU Dance Marathon!  WU Dance Marathon was organized in order to raise money for Akron Children’s Hospital.  Basically, participants raise funds from family members and friends to support them while they participate in this event.  At the dance marathon, participants are encouraged to dance but required to at least be standing the whole time.  Doesn’t sound too bad right?  Except the marathon was 17 hours long!  The marathon started at 8 pm on Friday night and went until 1 pm on Saturday!  The event was 17 hours long to represent the 17 million children that Children’s Miracle Network helps every year.  Akron Children’s Hospital is a part of the Children’s Miracle Network, which is where our money was going to.

The WU Dance Marathon was a blast and a huge success! Close to 50 students from Walsh and Malone danced/stood all night long!  There were different themed hours of music playing, such as Disney, Broadway, Boy Band, Girl Power, International, and many more.  There were games to play, food to eat, and a Morale Dance that a friend and I taught a little part of to everyone each hour of the marathon.  The moral Dance ended up being 13 minutes long!  Saturday during the day some kids who have been helped by Akron Children’s Hospital came to dance with us and share their stories.  It was an awesome experience and in the end we raised over $6000! I cannot wait to do it again next year.

Have a great week Cavs and enjoy that sunshine!

Sunday, April 6th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

A Catholic University of Distinction

Hey Cavs!

So this past week was Eucharist Week on campus and it got me thinking a little bit.  I’ve written blogs about classes at Walsh and programs on campus and all the sporting events, but I’ve never mentioned anything about the religious side of Walsh.  Which amazes me because my faith has been such an integral part of my experience at Walsh.  And don’t worry, I’m not going to lecture you about religion the whole time, I’m just going to share with you how Walsh has helped my faith grow.

A good part to start is the weekly masses at Walsh.  It is never required to attend Walsh, but anyone is always welcome to come!  There are two masses offered on Sunday and I usually go to the night mass as 8:00 pm because I have always been a proud supporter of sleeping in on the weekends.  Plus, there is always a free dinner and social offered after the night mass.  Yes, that’s right, FREE FOOD! Who can turn down a free meal?  Mass is the perfect way to kick off the week on the right foot; the songs are upbeat and Fr. Anselm gives awesome homilies that anyone can relate to.

Then, every other Tuesday night, Campus Ministry hosts a non-denominational Praise and Worship session.  Everyone signs and dances to fun, modern praise and worship songs.  It’s the perfect study break on a Tuesday night and another opportunity to grow closer to God.  There is usually a speaker brought in to give a quick reflection or thought for the night as well.  It is very relaxing and always a great time.

What got me thinking about this blog was Eucharist week; more specifically, this past Tuesday there was all-night Adoration available for anyone in the Chapel.  The Chapel was open from after Praise and Worship at 8:00 pm until mass the next morning at 7:30 am.  I signed up to attend from 3:00 – 6:00 am to make sure that someone was there at the late hours, but it was not necessary to sign up, anybody could come at anytime.  If you are unfamiliar with Adoration, it is basically a time when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and anyone can come to pray and spend time with God.  It was very peaceful when I was there in the middle of the night, and it was just what I needed to talk to God, pray about my life, and be reminded that I am headed in the right direction.

Now if you are not Catholic, I don’t want you to read this and freak out.  Believe it or not, only roughly half of the students who attend Walsh are Catholic.  Religion is never forced on anyone.  Walsh is open to everyone’s values.  If you do practice a different religion, Campus Ministry will help you find a place near campus you can go to attend services and grow in your own faith.  Plus, there is always the Praise and Worship service on Tuesdays.  One of the reasons I have enjoyed Walsh so much is because I have never felt like anyone has thrown religion in my face, but it is so comforting to know that I have so many opportunities available when I do want to grow in my faith.

Friday, March 28th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

Spring Break Approaching!

Hey Cavs!

How is your semester going so far? I can’t believe that I am preparing for midterms already!  Spring semester is once again flying by! And spring break is only a week away!

With the nice weather starting to move in and the end of the semester slowly approaching, it can be very easy to slack off and procrastinate a little more than usual.  Now is the perfect time to step it up and leave for spring break on a good note!  I done some research and crafted a list of the best tips to remain successful as the semester continues on.

1. Create realistic goals.

Everybody wants an A and everybody wants to pass the class.  It can be easier and less stressful if you set little goals along the way to achieve your overall goal in the end.  Basically, instead of just saying your are going to get an A in the course, maybe just aim for getting an A on your next quiz or finishing a paper a few days early so you have time to proofread it.  This also helps because if you miss the mark slightly, it’s still a manageable letdown, it will be a lot easier for you to get back on track.

2. Get to know your professors.

We are so blessed here at Walsh to have such an incredible faculty and staff.  Take advantage of it!  Office hours were created for a reason, use this time to ask questions that you didn’t think of during class or get advice for upcoming tests, projects, or essays.  Show your professor that you care about your grade, their course, and getting to know them on a personal level.  They want you to succeed and will be willing to help you any way they can.

4. Participate in class.

This kind of goes along with the tip above, but it helps to show that you care.  Professors will notice that you are consistently participating.  It also helps you pay attention to what is going on.  You will have a better understanding of the course because you put in the extra effort to ask questions, make comments, and give answers.

5. Skipping class is not an option.

This is Walsh, whether professors give attendance points or not, they know when you aren’t in class.  This tip should be a given, but it’s still worth saying.

6. Don’t limit studying to at night.

This goes for any kind of homework or studying you have to do.  And I’ll be honest, this is probably the hardest tip for me to follow.  Try to study or do work whenever and wherever, even in between your classes if you have time.  If you go to class all day or have a job, by the time night rolls around, you will have less energy and not be as motivated.  Plus, if you wait to do everything at night, you will have to switch from subject to subject which can make for difficult transitions.

7. Disconnect.

Alright, I may have lied a little because this tip is really hard too.  When you’re studying, just study.  Don’t look at your phone, don’t get on Facebook, and don’t do anything that’s not relevant to what you are working on.  It will help your focus tremendously and in the end make your study or work session a lot more productive.

8. Sleep.

This is my favorite tip because I love sleep!  When you get enough sleep at night, you are actually able to function and think like a regular human being!  When you start practicing tip 6, magically your nights will start to clear up, and suddenly you will be able to go to bed sooner!

9. Take time to relax.

Everybody reaches the point when they get burnt out.  Try to avoid reaching that point by taking days off, giving yourself breaks, and rewarding yourself every so often.  It is possible to stay organized and stay on track with your studies but have a life at the same time.

10. Remember that hard work pays off.

This one may seem like common sense, but it’s a necessary reminder. You are smart enough and you can end strong!

I have faith in all of you Cavs! Keep up the great work!

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

This is Real Life

Hey Cavs!

So for my education major, I am in a class this semester called Reading in the Content Area.  It is basically a class that educates future teachers on how to incorporate more english and reading into any type of classroom.  We have learned many different reading strategies that can be used in lessons that help teach not only the main subject of the class, whether it be science, math, or history, but reading and literacy as well.

For this class, I was placed at Mckinley High School to complete my observation hours and field experience.  I was able to observe a math teacher there who taught many different math classes throughout the day— AP Calculus, Advanced Algebra II/Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus.  Part of the requirements for the field experience was to administer 3-minute reading assessments to students in the class to see about what level all of the students were at.  Everyone I tested generally scored really well!  Another requirement was to teach a lesson to the class.  I taught my lesson this past Tuesday, and I was super nervous!

This was the first lesson that I taught to an actual class, as opposed to teaching practice lessons to my fellow students at Walsh.  I was really anxious but so excited because this means that I am that much closer to graduating and becoming an actual teacher!  Another reason I was nervous though was because I had to include a set number of reading strategies in the lesson I was teaching them.  So here I am trying to teach a math lesson (which always isn’t the most popular with students, I’m sure you know) but on top of it telling them that they have to read as well (you can only imagine how excited I thought they would be now)!  I really thought that the students were going to be bored out of their minds and not pay attention at all.

To my surprise, they loved it!  Well, I don’t know if they loved it, but they at least paid attention and participated the entire time!  I had one activity where the students were able to use their imagination to write a short math story, and they really got into it!  I talked with my cooperating teacher after my lesson, and he said that he really thought the students enjoyed the lesson.  It was a nice change of pace for them, so they were willing to stay active and involved in the class.

Overall, it was a great field experience this semester, and it really got me excited to be a teacher one day!  The next year and a half is going to continue to fly by, but I definitely have a positive outlook on my future!

Have a great week Cavs!

Saturday, November 16th, 2013    Subscribe  No Comments »

Every Minute Counts

So, as I’m sure everyone knows already, it is just about time to schedule courses again for next semester.  First of all, I cannot believe how fast this semester is going.  But I say that a lot, so I’ll leave it at that and move on.  Secondly, I am pumped for next semester.  After laying out my plan for the next year and a half until graduation, I realized that I only have to take 13 credit hours next semester.  I am studying abroad this summer and am getting some courses done then, so it frees up my semester a lot!  I will only be in the classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which leaves my Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays completely free every week!  Now I do work some of those days, but that’s not the same as sitting in class.  Needless to say, I cannot wait for next semester to be here.

However, this has got me thinking because as excited as I am for next semester to be here, I am trying really hard to enjoy the rest of this semester as well.  There is still a solid month of school left that I am just wishing away, and I feel like this happens too many times in my life.  I have a stressful day or maybe a busy week coming up, and all I want is for tomorrow come or the week to be over.  I will deem something as hard and then just hope it is over as soon as possible.  It is like I can’t really focus, relax, or have fun until it is done.

As a result, I am challenging you, as well as myself, to take time to stop and smell the roses.  As cliche as that is, it’s true.  We can’t just keep wishing our life away.  Before you know it, it’s going to be graduation day, and you are going to be asking where the last four years went!  So sure, you may have a hard test at the end of the week or a huge project due in two weeks, but don’t let your tomorrow ruin your today.  I’m not saying forget about everything and don’t prepare for your test or start on your project early, I’m just saying plan ahead and leave time to take breaks and have some fun.  It is just as important to get your mind off of school or work for a little bit to rejuvenate yourself.

One game I like to play at dinner when I sit down with a group of people is “Favorite Part of the Day” – pretty creative name, I know.  But how it usually goes is— I sit down at the table and ask, “So, what was everyone’s favorite part of the day?”  And then everyone goes around and talks about their favorite part of the day!  Obviously it’s not a very hard game and there’s really no way to win, BUT it is super fun because it gives everyone a chance to tell of something good or happy or funny that happened to them that day.  My only rules are that you have to pick something that was actually good and you can’t pick something that hasn’t happened yet, so nothing like, “My favorite part is going to be when I get to sleep tonight.”  People try that one a lot, I shut it down right away.  Somedays it’s hard to think of something and other days it’s hard to decide what was your favorite, but everyone has to think of something.  It makes everyone realize that no matter how rough of a day it was, there was still something there that made you smile or feel good about yourself.  The game usually ends with everyone laughing together or just going off on some random, funny tangent, but it is always a successful game.

So, whether it is playing the “Favorite Part of the Day” game or just thinking about the positive things that day before you go to bed, do something to remind yourself that today was still a great day! And hey, tomorrow is going to be even better!

I don’t typically end with quotes but I found this one and really like it, so I figured I would share:

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” -Earl Nightingale

‘Til next time, enjoy your week Cavs!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013    Subscribe  No Comments »

It’s Dodgeball Time!

Hey Cavs!

So I’m pretty excited because we just signed our team up for intramural dodgeball again!  Dodgeball is definitely one of my favorite intramural sports Walsh has to offer.  We really aren’t even that good, but it is still a ton of fun and a nice study break on Monday and Wednesday nights.  Games range from 9 – 12 at night! Which seems late but let’s face it, we’re all college students, we would be up procrastinating from doing homework anyway so why not get a little active?

Dodgeball starting also means the semester is starting to wind down already!  There are only 3 weeks of dodgeball games because we are always done before Thanksgiving. Plus this year we come back from Thanksgiving break on Monday which is also the first day of finals week!  That is crazy to think about!  But to be honest, it’s pretty overwhelming because, I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of projects to do and tests to take before I even have time to start thinking about finals.  So to help us all out in the upcoming weeks to get everything done and not pass out from stress, I researched some time management tips.  But don’t worry, I know you are probably super busy and do not want to read a ton of tips, so I found the top 3 most effective tips from a journalist, James Clear.

1. Eliminate half-work at all costs.

Basically, focus on one thing at a time.  Set your mind on one task and get it done.  When you are writing a report, don’t stop randomly to check your phone for no reason or open up Facebook or Twitter.  This is a hard skill to master, but in the end it will totally be worth the effort.

2. Do the most important thing first.

If you have a hard test to study for the next day or a project due, do it first when you have the most energy.  It will be easier to focus and you will be the most productive.  If you do the most important thing first, then you’ll never have a day when you didn’t get something important done.

3. Reduce the scope, but stick to the schedule.

Maybe your day got really busy from unexpected meetings or homework you forgot to due and all of the sudden you only have 20 minutes left to study for your test in a few days instead of the hour that you had planned on originally.  Instead of deciding that now it’t not worth it to get everything out to study, stick to your schedule and study for 20 minutes.  It may not have been the full hour that you wanted, but it can still be a solid 20 minutes that will help in the end.

That’s all I have for now! I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the success of our dodgeball team!

‘Til next time, I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013    Subscribe  No Comments »

A Little Rain Never Hurts

Hey Cavs!  How was your weekend?  Did your family come visit for Fall Family Weekend?

Every year UPB, with the help of many different clubs, offices, and organizations on campus, hosts a big family weekend for families to visit, do a ton of crafts and activities, go to the Homecoming football game, and just have a great time together!  A few of my family members were able to come down this year, and we had a really great time!

It did rain a majority of the day, but that didn’t stop us!  I was in a cake eating contest to start off the festivities for the family! I didn’t win but I still got to enjoy a really good cake!  Then my family and I waited to get a caricature drawn.  Watching how fast the artist could draw is incredible, and he does it all in permanent marker.  I could only imagine what mine would look like if I tried to do that!  After our caricature, we headed over to the photo booth!  I uploaded a picture of me and my 4-month-old niece for you all! She’s just the best!

Nap-times are the best!

After the activities on campus, we drove over to Fawcett stadium for some tailgating before the Homecoming game!  Walsh was winning when we left! But we weren’t able to stay the whole time because it started to rain, and we didn’t want me niece to get sick.

Sunday morning, my family came back for Pancakes on Parade!  There were some pretty darn good pancakes there.  A few of my favorites were the Pumpkin Spice pancakes, Cheesecake pancakes, and a savory corn and bacon pancake.  Let’s be real, I tried them all and loved them all.  The Cheesecake pancakes were the winner! Congrats to the returning champs, the Finance Office!

After pancakes, there was no better way to end the weekend than Mass with the family!  I had so much fun all weekend and was not ready for the week to start back up today.  Although, just one rough week of midterms and then I get to see them all again this weekend because it’s fall break!

‘Til next time, good luck on any midterms and have a safe break!

Monday, October 7th, 2013    Subscribe  No Comments »

A Late Welcome Back

Hey Cavs!

So I guess the best way to start off is ‘I’m sorry!’  I cannot believe that it is almost October, and I have not posted anything this year yet!  HOWEVER, with that being said, I having finally gotten everything together, and I will definitely make sure that I am posting regularly again.

There is some reasoning behind why I have been so busy lately, so I’ll just kind of recap the year for you all so far.

1. I never left Walsh! Believe it or not, I have not moved back home since I arrived in August of Sophomore year!  Last winter and spring break both I lived on campus and gave tours.  I loved doing it so much that I lived here all summer as well!  I gave probably 20-25 tours a week of campus, but it was a lot of fun working with all the admissions counselors all summer, and I now know thousands of random facts about Walsh!  Did you know the student to faculty ratio is 12:1? Or that we have students from 15 different states and 31 different countries?  I won’t bore you too much, but ask me anything about Walsh, and I bet you I got that question on a tour this summer.

2. I am a Resident Assistant now on the first floor north hall of Alexis Hall!  The last two weeks of my summer were spent in RA training.  We started at 8:00 am every morning and were in training sessions until typically 5 pm or whenever dinner was over.  This may seem like a lot, but we had a lot to learn and a lot to do to prepare for all of the residents to move in.  It was an awesome two weeks, and our Residence Life staff was really able to bond and grow stronger together before the year started.  I know I have an awesome support team now when everything starts to get crazy.

Since the semester has started I have already planned 5 different programs for my floor or building and am in the works of planning a ping pong tournament for this week’s program!  I really get to let my creative side get to work when I am planning programs, making door decs, and designing my bulletin board every month!  I am actually making new door decs and a bulletin board this week for October so I’ll post some pictures later after I get everything lookin’ all fancy.

3. Campus Ambassadors is getting back into the swing of things!  I am still the Coordinator of Open Houses and Shadows for the Campus Ambassadors program.  The past three weeks, my fellow coordinator and I have been reading through applications, interviewing perspective ambassadors, and getting everything ready for a new year of tours, shadows, and open houses!  This week we are starting to train all the new ambassadors on giving tours, and this Friday is already our first Open House!  We took on close to 40 new ambassadors this year.  Our team is now 75 strong! We really do have an awesome group who is willing to help out any way possible.  It is going to be an exciting year for everyone!

4. 400-Level math classes.  Talk about gross.  I am technically in four different math classes this semester: a math seminar, Math in the Environment, Modern Analysis, and Modern Geometry.  The math seminar and Math in the Environment are not hard classes, but they do involve a lot of work.  The other two math classes, Modern Analysis and Modern Geometry, are the two hardest math classes I have ever taken.  Math has never really been hard for me, so this is weird.  Both classes involve a lot of letters and proofs but not very many numbers.  They are basically classes that prove everything in math and why it works.  Up until now we have been told how to do math and what formulas to use, but now we are learning why the formulas work.  You’ll just have to trust me that it’s really complicated and involves a lot of work.

Staying busy is definitely making the year fly by though!  It’s hard to believe that I am already starting to prepare for midterms in my classes!  I have had a great year so far and have loved every minute of it.  I am looking forward to an incredible rest of the year!

Until next time, have a great week Cavs!

Sunday, September 29th, 2013    Subscribe  No Comments »

Spring Spring Spring!

Hey Cavs!

First I would like to apologize because I have not gotten around to posting anything in a while! Spring semester has been just as crazy as always! It has completely flown by too.  Between President’s Day break, Spring break, and Easter break, it feels like we are never in school, BUT you don’t hear me complaining! So a lot has happened since my last post, so I will just try to pick out a few  of my favorites to share:

1. MR. WALSH

So, every year UPB hosts a Mr. Walsh male-pageant competition. This year one of the contestants was yours truly! There were eight guys total competing in four different areas: talent, swimsuit, formal wear, and one interview question. The eight of us also learned a group dance to open the show with. Overall, I think the show was very successful and a lot of fun! I know all of us guys had fun at least! And if you were wondering, I did happen to snag the second place spot.

2. I SPY WU

Okay, RHA hosted an event for the first time this year called “I Spy WU.” It was basically like the game “Assassin” if anyone has ever played that. I had never played though so I thought it was pretty cool. Basically, it was a game that close to 180 people signed up to play. How it was played was each person was given a clothes pin and a name of someone random who was also playing the game. It was your goal to get your pin on your target’s clothes without them noticing. When you did, you “killed” them and they were out of the game. Your new target was whoever they were trying to go after. But you had to be careful because you never knew who was hunting you! The game was super suspenseful and lasted about a week; I didn’t win, but I’m still glad I signed up because it was a ton of fun when I was playing!

3. WALSH HUNGER GAMES

This event was another first for Walsh this year.  UPB put it on, and everyone said it was a lot of fun! Unfortunately, I was not able to be here on the actual day of the games, but I still got to watch as everything played out. How they set it up was if you wanted to play you signed up for the building you live in. Then on the day of the reaping (approximately two weeks before the games) UPB randomly picked one male and one female tribute from each of the residence halls to play in the games.  Later in the week, UPB hosted another night to interview all of the tributes and gave out prizes to audience members who could answer Hunger Games trivia.  Then on the day of the games, the tributes all met in Hoover Park.  The games were broadcasted live onto the screen in the Towers Classroom so anyone could watch the action up close and personal.  Tributes had to try to take the flags off the other tributes belts.  The tributes could also gain sponsors to earn more flags on their own belt.  Walsh students could donate a canned food item in order to reward their tribute with another flag.  The last tribute left with a flag was the winner!  UPB used this event as a fun way to get students involved and collect canned foods to donate to charity.

Overall, it has pretty much been another awesome spring semester!  So I just want to say, it’s been a great year!  Have a wonderful, safe, and blessed summer!

‘Til next year, go Cavs!

-aj

Monday, May 20th, 2013    Subscribe  No Comments »

Discover 2013!

Hey Cavs!

Sorry I didn’t get to write last week, but it was a super busy one!

All week I was preparing for our last Open House of the year. We had roughly 76 high school students sign up to attend.  The Open House was from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Friday.  However, I had to leave a little early because Friday was also the first day of Discover, the all freshman retreat.

I had such a great time last year at the retreat, that I decided I wanted to be on the Discover Core Team this year and help plan the retreat.  Once again, the weekend was a blast!

Discover takes place at Camp Aldersgate in Carrollton, Ohio, so it is roughly an hour away.  It is a great time for freshman to branch out, meet new people, make new friendships, take a break from school, and just have a fun time!  This year was definitely another success.  We had a ton of games, activities, and witnesses planned for the freshman.  It feels awesome being able to be there for support and guidance.  The freshman stayed busy all weekend long, but every moment was memorable.

Discover Core Team 2013

The whole group!

Playing Princess Knight Rider!

This was my small group for the weekend!

Just some GREAT friendships being made!

Before I knew it, it was time to head back to Walsh.  We made it just in time for the Super Bowl!

So, it definitely was a packed but extremely productive weekend.  Discover is always a weekend that brings incredible memories along with it.

For those incoming Cavs, Discover is definitely something you should think about attending. For those freshman who were not able to attend, Shape the sophomore retreat, is always another option next year!

Have a great week Cavs!

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013    Subscribe  No Comments »