October 19

What I did for Fall Break

By: Kayla Johnson

After the stress of midterm exams and papers, Fall Break was much needed. I was looking forward to some rest and relaxation in the comfort of my home. I got home that Friday afternoon and was instantly greeted by my puppy; he’s a Yorkie named Cooper. It was easy to get back into my routine at home, playing around with my dog and hanging around with my sisters, Brianna and Hailey, and catching up with my ultimate best friend — my mom.

I finally got to see my best friend, George (who I’ve known since I was 5), we talked about anything and everything, like we always do. We binge watched all of the Star Wars movies and downed every kind of candy — maybe too much candy (especially gummy bears, my personal favorite).

My next stop was my grandmother’s house, where I was served up some delicious, homemade Italian pasta with her original marinara sauce paired with meatballs and garlic bread. The perfect meal. It was a basic family night surrounded by my favorite people sharing laughs and never-ending jokes — something I look forward to whenever I come home.

Although it may not seem like much, this Fall Break was everything I needed — a nice amount of relaxation balanced with seeing some of my favorite people. I always look forward to some time to myself without the pressures of schoolwork, but, I also can’t wait until I can come back and see all of my friends. No matter where I am, I always have so much to look forward to and I couldn’t be happier about it.

By Megan Castaldi

Fall Break is one of the most anticipated breaks that we have at The University of Scranton. It is the first break of the year, so I am always eager to go home to visit with my family and any of my friends who may be home as well.

This Fall Break I did not go anywhere exciting or do anything crazy, but rather relaxed and appreciated my time at home. I got to see some of my friends from home, celebrate my sister’s 22nd birthday, watch my brother’s soccer game and bake a bunch of cookies with my grandma.

My grandma loves to bake, so it was nice to do something with her that she really loves doing; she also makes the best cookies you’ve ever had, so that’s an added plus.

The combination of all of these small things made for a very enjoyable Fall Break for me. It was nice to get a break from doing schoolwork and to hang out and enjoy the fall season with family


A Night at the Iron Furnaces: Scranton Bonfire Festival

By: Kayla Johnson

Scranton Bonfire FestivalThis past Saturday, Scranton’s historic Iron Furnaces hosted the sixth annual Bonfire festival. The Bonfire Festival acts as a fundraiser for the Anthracite Heritage Museum and explores the roots of Halloween in good, old-fashioned Celtic style.

Other autumnal festivals and Northeastern Pennsylvania’s industrial history are brought to light and celebrated through the Bonfire Festival. This year’s festival featured tarot card readings, fire twirlers, a Jack-O-Lantern contest, face painting, fire hooping, a balloon artist, stilt walking, a Day of the Dead ofrenda, a fairytale demonstration and plenty of hands-on activities sponsored by the Everhart Museum. There was live theatre, dance performances by Symmetry Studio, a Harvest Display by the Greenhouse Project at Nay Aug Park and — last but not least —the amazing ceremonial lighting of the bonfire.

All were encouraged to come dressed in their Halloween costumes and enjoy the historic site. The crowds enjoyed the activities as the furnaces acted as a picturesque backdrop.

Read more about the bonfire, here!


Step into Reality: The Poverty Simulation

By: Kayla Johnson

This past Friday, the Campus Ministries’ Center for Service and Social Justice hosted the Poverty Simulation, an exercise that allows students to explore what it’s like to struggle to survive with only the bare minimum on a month-to-month basis. The purpose of the simulation is to open the eyes of more than 80 students to the daily battle low-income families deal with, whether it’s being on welfare, attempting to get their next meal or finding child care for children.

“I did this in order to gain a greater insight as to what the real world could be like . . . good or bad,” said Adrian Laudani, a junior who participated in the Poverty Simulation.

The simulation took place in DeNaples and introduced a host of students to the severity of living an impoverished life in this country. The students assumed the roles of more than 26 families facing the harsh reality of poverty. Some of those 26 families are newly unemployed, others are homeless, while some may be senior citizens receiving disability as well as trying to raise their grandchildren. The job of the “families” is to supply basic necessities and decent housing during the course of four weeks lasting 15 minutes.