Back in the Saddle

And just like that our first break of the semester has come and gone! Surprisingly, I was much more excited to go home this fall break as opposed to last year’s. The semester is flying but each day holds tons to do; no wonder why I needed a break! Besides, there really isn’t any place like home. Being able to sleep in my own bed, devour my mom’s cooking and cuddle with my adorable dog are aspects of home life I will always enjoy despite all the fun I could be having at school. Oh, and being able to munch on late night diner food with my friends! (perks of living in New Jersey). As much as I absolutely adore the University, there are just certain things I can’t have here like I do back home.

Aside from home cooked meals and diner disco fries, what also makes home so special is knowing I can hang out with a bunch of my great friends from high school and my best friend from middle school (who is also a neighbor)!. I’ll never forget my reaction when Katie told me she would be home for the weekend too; I was unbelievably excited, my eyes could have popped out of their sockets! And if I thought it couldn’t get any better than that, I was surprised to receive a text from another friend of mine who goes to school all the way out in Missouri telling me he was also home for fall break! On top of it, I also had some time to grab dessert with a couple of fellow Patriots that attend university locally. Fall break this year has proved to me that when school starts getting a little rough, the most reassuring feeling is knowing my best friends and family (and my dog, of course) will always be there for me.

However, right before I left Scranton, Octaves had its first performance! Last Thursday we debuted one of our mash-ups, “Shake the Scientist” at a USPB Coffeehouse Open Mic Night Event. (In fact, fellow blogger Victoria performed too! And did a phenomenal job singing Vance Joy’s “Riptide”). There were even a few performers who didn’t sing but actually read original poems, so cool!

I must admit, and I may be biased, but I truly think Octaves performed incredibly well for our first gig. It has honestly left me stoked to sing at our upcoming events. Thankfully, I won’t have to wait too long! This Friday we’ll be performing at a benefit concert for Wishmakers on campus, and not only will we be singing “Shake the Scientist”, but two of our other songs as well! (American Pie/Dog Days are Over and Free Fallin’/Wide Awake). The group will be decked out in our uniforms too, all black with different shades of purple ribbons, neck ties and bowties. Hopefully we snap a nice picture!

Well that’s all I have for now. Thankfully only three more days until the weekend! J I’ll be back next week, hope you’re all enjoying this beautiful October!


Semester Midpoint and Tons of Midterms

This weekend marks the semester midpoint! With one midterm town and three more to go, this week has been filled with test prep. Fall break will be much needed!

However, for quite some time I was contemplating over attending the University’s Campus Ministries’ Fall Break Service Trip. This service trip takes place in the local Scranton area; students that choose to attend reside in a hotel for the weekend and participate in a number of community service events in Scranton and surrounding towns. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to attend this year; hopefully next year and maybe during Spring Break or Intercession!

Speaking of campus ministries, the other day I picked up forms for Manresa and SEARCH, two of the many retreats the University offers. After talking to my friend Jen about her many retreat experiences at Scranton, I was completely convinced to give it a try. In high school, I was incredibly involved with my church; from organizing Vacation Bible School, attending retreats, and leading Antioch (an overnight retreat for sophomores), I’ve recently noticed I truly miss being a part of that kind of community. Jen spoke so highly of the U’s retreats, telling me it’s the perfect way to escape campus for a bit and relax among a great group of people. I’m lucky to attend a Jesuit university that offers a number of these throughout the year and I’d hate to miss out on such an opportunity.

Now,speaking of Jen, who’s in Octaves with me, a cappella has undoubtedly had a strong semester so far. Having learned 3 of our songs already, I can tell our future performances are going to be impressive and, most importantly, loads of fun. Over the summer, our directors Jimmy and Genny decided to add a little flare to our set list this semester. Instead of singing 6 or 7 songs on their own, the group will be singing all mash ups! A mash up, as you probably assume or already know, is a musical piece that combines the music and lyrics of two or more songs. So far, we’ve learned “Shake the Scientist” (Shake It Off by Florence and the Machine + The Scientist by Coldplay), “Dog Days/American Pie” (Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine and American Pie by Don McLean), and “One Latch Time” (One Last Time by Ariana Grande and Latch by Disclosure ft. Sam Smith). Although at first I was hesitant about having a set list of ALL mash ups, after hearing them all come together I couldn’t be more excited.

But sadly, college life is more than all the fun stuff. As I mentioned before, these two midterms this week have me working hard and spending some extra time in the library! In fact, in a few minutes that’s exactly where I’ll be.