“Rising” in the Aquinas

For as long as I can remember, probably since high school, I’ve wanted to be a part of a school newspaper. Unfortunately, as a college freshman I never got around to it. After being accepted into the a cappella group last fall, school and singing were my two main responsibilities. I was already ecstatic to be a member of Octaves so I kind of put my desire to be a writer for The Aquinas, the University’s student newspaper, on hold.

However, this summer I received a text from one of my fellow singers Emma, the editor of the Arts and Life section for The Aquinas, asking if I wanted to be writer for her section! Knowing I love to write and having read a number of my student blogs throughout the year, Emma thought I’d be a great fit for position. I immediately accepted the offer and couldn’t wait to get started back at school!

Just like in Men and Women for Octaves, the students who run the newspaper are great group of peers to be around. Although editing articles, compiling photos, and designing the layout for all of the sections (such as News, Arts and Life, Science and Tech, Business, Forum and Sports) can be a tedious, stressful process, everyone in the office is always smiling and having a fun time. When I’m not writing articles for Arts and Life, I spend my time copy editing pieces and working on Campus Comment – a segment of Arts and Life that involves asking ten peers a question of the week, taking their photo and placing their quotes underneath. I’ll post a picture soon!

A new edition of The Aquinas is issued every week, but between Campus Comment, school work, singing, etc. I’ve only been able to write two articles: “Students Rave About Local Scranton Restaurants” and “The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket Debuts during Family Weekend” (a University play review). But I don’t plan on stopping there! I’m looking forward to publishing more articles throughout the semester! As silly as it may sound, seeing my name printed above a completely original piece, with the exception of quotes, was a really incredible moment.

Now that I mentioned it…two weeks ago The University Players debuted their first play of the semester: “The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket”. I haven’t witnessed a Player’s production since fall of last year so I was excited to head into the Royal Theatre for an afternoon. Since I’m someone who’s more interested in musicals, I have a tendency to underestimate how entertaining plays are. The Player’s always prove me wrong! And although the play itself was different from what I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed the production. It is evident that the students, whether they are actors, stage managers, or costume designers, put in countless hours of hard work every week for the show to come together as well as it does. Bravo! I’ll definitely be making a concerted effort to attend more plays this semester.

Hope you all had a lovely Tuesday, and despite the forecast for rain, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week! 🙂

Delicious Dishes

As I’m sitting at a table, under an umbrella in front the DeNaples Center, sipping my Starbucks Refresher with my lovely roommate, I could have myself fooled that summer is just beginning. Considering it is currently 82 degrees I think that makes sense!

Unfortunately, as much as I adore warm weather, I’m a little bummed it isn’t quite time to break out my hoodies and sweaters just yet. But cooler weather will be before I know it! Scranton has experienced some chillier days here and there, hopefully it’s consistent.

Sunday night, my roommate Courtney, our friend Jillian and I decided to go out for dinner. Since Jillian is a commuter and has her own car, we had the luxury of choosing an eatery that’s farther than walking distance! After a week of craving hibachi, to no surprise, we dined at Kabuki: a Japanese restaurant a few towns over. I’m pretty sure the last time I ate hibachi was at my surprise birthday dinner my junior year of high school, so this was definitely a treat!

My dish!

My dish!

When we finished our delicious plates of shrimp, steak, lo mein and sautéed vegetables, we still had time to spare before heading back to the dorm to finish our homework. There are actually a number of restaurants and stores in the towns surrounding Scranton (I was surprised when I noticed this this last year). The three of us thought it would fun to roam around Target! Target is one of those stores I always tend to forget the size of; it’s huge! And it offers just about anything a person could think of. From Halloween socks, to K-Cups, leggings, books, etc. I wasn’t shocked when I looked at the clock and noticed we had been there for two hours.

Of course being on campus is great, but it is always nice to hop in a car and drive around with friends. Nights like that remind me of being back at home with my high school friends. I love how I’m able to partake in similar activities while I’m at school with my best friends at the University; it makes school feel like home!

Going out to dinner was the perfect way to end the week. Between classes, quizzes, a cappella practices, and writing/editing for The Aquinas (the University’s student newspaper), down time with my friends was absolutely necessary. 

Mangiare a La Festa!

Although September is the first month of fall, this past week could fool just about anyone into thinking we’re still in mid August. Of course the official first day of autumn isn’t until the 23rd, but I’m still surprised with the consistent warm weather Scranton has been having. I can’t seem to recall if it was still in the 90s this time last year. However, despite not remembering the heat of the outside, I do distinctly remember the stuffy, humid, heat of the inside. Specifically my dorm.  Don’t get me wrong, Driscoll Hall with forever hold a special place in my heart, but the air conditioned life beats it by a mile. Don’t worry freshmen, you only have to suffer for a couple weeks out of the whole year, and unlike most schools, you’ll have AC once sophomore year comes around.

I find I’m REALLY grateful for the AC after a long day of walking around campus or taking a stroll into the city; after trudging up the hill my dorm building greets me with a rush of cool air!

This rush of cool air was especially welcoming after walking back from dinner with my friends on Sunday. We devoured delicious bowls of pastas, plates of fresh bruschetta, even a couple of fried Oreos! But this wasn’t the average DeNaples dinner. This weekend was the city of Scranton’s annual La Festa! La Festa Italiana is an event that occurs at the end of the summer every year and lasts about three or four days. In these few days hundreds of local residents, as well as visitors from all over, are lucky enough to experience signature dishes from over 80 food vendors! From pasta, to pizza and even Greek gyros, there’s something for everyone. Although food is most definitely the main attraction during this time, the festival also includes jewelry/clothing stands, live music, and contests (In fact, this year was the 4th annual cannoli eating contest!). I wish I could have gone all four days.


My friends and I after we finished our yummy bowls of ziti and penne vodka!

Since I had quite the meal on Sunday night, I was glad I was able to fit in some exercise time on Saturday morning. Although I’m still in the process of creating a gym schedule for myself, I decided to take advantage of another athletic facility on campus: The Byron Center. The Byron is the home to the school pool, basketball courts, saunas, volleyball courts, etc. Last year, I definitely didn’t realize how much the Byron offered. It even has racquetball courts! And that’s exactly what my roommate and I decided to play after grabbing brunch. I had no idea we had these courts until the very end of last semester; Now that I’m a “seasoned sophomore” and I know I’ll be spending much more time in the Byron than last year.

If only the three-day Labor Day weekend didn’t have to end!

So It Begins: Sophomore Edition

Hello again! Hopefully some of you remember me. But if not, well hi 🙂 My name is Catie Bombard and I’m a sophomore at the lovely University of Scranton. It’s funny to think that this time last year I was writing my first blog as a freshman, sitting on my bed in Driscoll Hall. This time around I’m relaxing at my desk, looking out at the amazing view I have from my new room in Condron Hall (room 702 to be exact, top floor!). I’ll be posting some pictures once my room is fully decorated, but until then I can fill you in on these past three months.

Now when most people hear the word “summer”, they automatically think warm weather, the beach, vacation, etc. just to name a few. Unfortunately, when I reflect on my summer, those words don’t necessarily pop into my head. Every time someone has asked me, “Catie! How was your summer?”, I have the same response: “It was good…went fast…I really just worked”.

However, as bummed as I was that I never got to tan on the cozy beach sand, I can’t complain! This summer I was lucky enough to have an internship with Topcon Medical Systems in Oakland, New Jersey (only 15 minutes away from my house!). TMS is a subsidiary of Topcon Corporation of Tokyo, and specializes in creating and selling ophthalmology equipment. (in simple terms, they make a lot of the machines you see at the eye doctor’s office.) The department I interned in was Product Planning and Management. There, I wrote up announcements on product updates, created PowerPoint presentations, administered the company’s learning management system, and even got to record product training sessions. The internship lasted around 10 weeks, Monday through Thursday from 9AM to 5PM, so I still had Fridays and weekends to sleep in and catch up on whatever I needed to get done at home. This is the majority of how my summer was spent, but it was TRULY such a great experience. Despite some of the slower office days and getting up early, I received generous pay and had the friendliest coworkers. The best part? I worked with my best friend every day! Out of the three internship spots, we were lucky enough to fill two (that also means we filled two cubicles…diagonal from each other.) From carpooling, lunch breaks, and hanging out in the copy room, my best friend I had a blast working together. Having an internship after only my freshman year was such an incredible opportunity; I wouldn’t have traded it for anything!

Alas, while pretending to be an adult in the real world is fun, I’m now back at my second home! Back to reality. I must admit getting in the swing of things has been a little rough. These past two weeks have been packed with meetings and events, but I’m sure I’ll be settled in soon enough. From a hefty course schedule, to a cappella rehearsals, and now writing for the school newspaper, this semester will present a number of challenges for me. And I’m actually excited about that!

In my very first blog as a freshman, I focused on the idea of opportunity. I whole heartedly believe that freshman year is the time when you realize that the world is your oyster. You are now in a new place, able to do whatever you want and be whoever you want. (This can really be true at any point in life, but you get what I’m saying). And yes, freshman year was definitely still filled with a number of challenges. However, this is now the year of challenging myself. Overcoming obstacles while pushing myself beyond my limits. To a healthy extent of course. 🙂 I’m no longer just a freshman trying to figure out the basics and I’m ready to step outside my comfort zone a little bit more. I’m lucky enough to admit that my first year here ended incredibly well and gave me a great foundation for the next three years.

Well now that it is finally September, school is really in session! With that being said, I’m off to finish some homework. I’ll be back next week to update you on my Sophomore* Scranton Experience. 🙂

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the week!