Pet Therapy Day & Alpha Lambda Delta

One week ago the Center for Service and Social Justice hosted the best event of the semester, making it the best day of the semester! (This is not up for debate. This decision is final.)

Tuesday, September 23rd was PET THERAPY DAY!!  It was such a perfect day for pet therapy – sunny and warm, but not too hot. On Pet Therapy Day, also known as Canines on Campus, students are invited to come to the Dionne Green from 11 AM – 1 PM and play with puppies.  There are dogs of all ages, but I insist on calling them all puppies.

I miss my dog, Molly, so much when I am at school so I cherish this event!  I am not the only one – all my friends with dogs say the person they miss most when they are at school is their dog.  This is a great event, because the Center for Service and Social Justice knows we all need our dog fix so they host this for us once a semester to bring us joy and help us relax.

Here is a picture I took at the event:

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Look how cute they are!  These two are sisters – golden retriever and labrador retriever mixes.  Their names are Lilly and Dixie, and they belong to a professor at the University.  They are just two of the adorable and loving dogs at this event. My friend Shannon’s mom brought their Portuguese Water Dog named Holly. Here is a picture of Holly at Pet Therapy, taken by Shannon’s mom, Miss Nancy.

holly

I love Pet Therapy day so much! I am obsessed with animals, especially dogs.  Although I think my dog is the best, these dogs come pretty close :).  It is so relaxing to pet them and hang out with them!  It does not matter whether you prefer small, medium, or large dogs, because there are dogs of all sizes to play with… personally, I played with all of them.  The dogs love Pet Therapy just as much as the students because they get treats and attention for three hours, plus they get to meet other dogs!

Pet therapy really is the best therapy.  I am already looking forward to next semester’s Pet Therapy Day!

Pet Therapy was not the only exciting event this week, however! On Saturday, I was inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honors society open to students who, in their freshman year, attained an average of 3.60 on a 4.0 scale and were ranked in the top twenty percent of the class.  This is a very exciting accomplishment for me!  The chapter officers (current students) were present, as well as the three faculty advisors.

During the ceremony, the chapter officers spoke and the new students were inducted.  We walked across the stage, which I did NOT plan on, which definitely caused major anxiety to ensue… but I survived.  Then, Dr. Michael Fennie, a chemistry professor, gave a hilarious and heartfelt speech.  Dr. Fennie’s speech was definitely my favorite part of the ceremony!

A reception for students and their families followed the ceremony.  Since my parents could not make it, I was adopted by my friend MK’s family. 🙂 Here I am with MK at the ceremony!

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In accepting membership into Alpha Lambda Delta, I took a pledge.  In short, I promised to use my education to benefit my community, nation, and this world.  This is something I take very seriously, and I aim to be the best student I can be.

 

Thanks for stopping by… have a great week!

Tori

Family Weekend 2014

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I know I did!

This weekend, my parents came up to Scranton for the annual Family Weekend!! Scranton does a great job of offering family-friendly activities all weekend.  We participated in several events, including Bingo, Scranton’s Got Spirit, Family Mass, and Casino Night.  These are just four of the many events that were offered.  Other events include informational sessions, Men’s and Women’s soccer games, a New York Trumpet Ensemble, The Scranton Players’ “Table Manners”, and a campus tour.

My parents arrived on Friday night and we went out to dinner at a local Thai restaurant called Thai Rak Thai.  It was my first time eating there, and it was so delicious!! As a student of the University, I receive a 10% discount at many local businesses, including  Thai Rak Thai!  After going to dinner, my parents and I headed to late night Bingo on the Dionne Green, a free event hosted by the Family Weekend Committee.  There was free food and amazing prizes, which we unfortunately were not lucky enough to win.  Regardless, we had a great time!! My favorite part was definitely watching the face-offs: when two or more people call “Bingo!” at the same time, they had to compete for the prize.  The bingo caller played a song of his choice, and each person would dance for about fifteen seconds.  The winner was then chosen by the audience – whoever received a louder cheer took home the prize.  It was really fun to get to spend this time with my parents and other families.

On Saturday, my parents and I drove to Lake Scranton, a beautiful walking path about ten minutes away from the University.  The picturesque wooded path is 3.5 miles long and circles the lake.  The fresh air and incredible scenery made for a wonderful Saturday morning spent with my parents!  Here are some pictures from our walk!

Mom and I Lake Scranton  Dad and I Lake Scranton

Don’t let the overcast sky fool you – the scenery is breathtaking at Lake Scranton.

Lake Scranton

Here is a panoramic photo my mom took!

 

After our walk at Lake Scranton, we came back to campus for lunch and Scranton’s Got Spirit.  This was such a fun event!  The dance team, Liva Arts Company, cheerleaders, both a cappella groups, and (my personal favorite) the Urban Beats Crew (a hip hop dance crew) all performed for a full audience in the John Long center.  In between performances, there were lip synching and dancing competitions for both students and guests.  My dad and I each participated in a lip synching competition and won prizes! My dad lip synched to Respect by Aretha Franklin, and I lip synched to Let it Go by Idina Menzel.  It was simultaneously hilarious, fun, and completely embarrassing.   But, hey, I won free stuff, so I would do it again!

We then went to Family Mass, which was held in the Byron Center and was packed!  After mass, we went out to dinner, this time to a kabob grill called Exhale.  The food at this Afghan restaurant was just as delicious as the food at Thai Rak Thai, and we got a discount here too!

After dinner, I head back to the Byron center where I worked at USPB’s Casino Night event! This event was so much fun; upon arriving, guests receive one raffle ticket and tokens to use at the poker, craps, roulette, or blackjack tables, horse races, or slot machines. Then, you can exchange the tokens you earn for more raffle tickets. My dad played poker all night (my mom watched)!  They did not win any of the prizes they entered for, but it was a blast regardless (plus, we had already won prizes just hours prior!).  Some of the incredible prizes included a Wii U, FitBit watch, Pebble watch, Beats headphones, Divergent series basket, Hunger Games series basket, board games like Life, Catch Phrase, and Would You Rather, and other theme baskets such as a cooking basket and nail care basket.

On Sunday, my parents and I went for a walk at the beautiful Nay Aug Park located less than a mile off campus – about a fifteen minute walk.  It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day – perfect for our walk.  Nay Aug has a huge and beautiful tree house, and an incredible gorge with a waterfall.  There are also two playgrounds, not that I adjourned our walk to get on the swings or anything…

Here are some pictures from our hike at Nay Aug!

Nay Aug Family Nay Aug Nay Aug 3 Nay Aug 2

 

After Nay Aug, we ate lunch and then it was time to say our goodbyes. 🙁 It was such a great weekend and it went by so quickly! I had a wonderful time with my parents.  I am so grateful to Scranton and the Family Weekend Committee for organizing this weekend which went so smoothly, just like last year!

 

Stay tuned for an especially cute update next week…. Pet Therapy was today!!! 🙂

Have a great week!

Tori

Back to School!

Hello everyone!

I am so excited to be back in Scranton and equally excited to be a blogger this year! My name is Tori Malstrom, and I am a sophomore at the University of Scranton.  I am majoring in Math and minoring in Criminology.

I am also in SJLA, the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.  SJLA is a program I was invited to join upon receiving an offer of admission from Scranton my senior year of high school.  The program begins freshman year and continues through senior year. As a student in SJLA, I enroll in one or two SJLA classes per semester.  These classes aim to help students grow as individuals by studying philosophy, theology, and literature as well as developing skills through practice. This semester I am taking The Trivium, a class focused on grammar, logic, and rhetoric.  Through daily writing assignments and frequent speeches, I will learn to be a more proficient and efficient writer and speaker.  I love SJLA because it challenges me in different ways than classes for my major do, and because I have class with the same people from one semester to the next.

I am a member of the University of Scranton Programming Board on campus as well.  I am on the Coffeehouse Committee.  My co-chair, Megan, and I plan events for our fellow students.  For example, during Welcome Week, we had two musical guests: Cover Drive and The Well Reds.  Both bands were fantastic!  I am so excited to be a part of USPB.  The events are so much fun to attend and now I am honored to be able to help plan them!! In fact, USPB is one of the reasons I chose Scranton. When I was looking at colleges my senior year of high school, I really wanted to find a school that offered fun and safe activities on weekends.  This is exactly the purpose USPB serves.  They put on events constantly, so there is always something fun to do on campus.  I went to almost every event last year, and plan to do the same this year!

I am living in Redington Hall this year, which is one of the three sophomore dorms. Sophomore year, the housing is quad-style, so I have one roommate and we share a bathroom with our two quad-mates.  My roommate is named Mariah, and she is a Nursing major; my quad-mates are Shannon, a Psychology and Spanish double major, and Holly, an Exercise Science major.  I love the quad-style housing, Redington, and most importantly, my quad-mates!

Even though I have only been back for a few weeks, there have already been so many fun things to do.  Welcome Week, put on by USPB, was packed with activities every day.  My favorite Welcome Week activity was definitely the Fall Out Boy / Paramore / New Politics concert at Montage Mountain!!  This show was the last stop on the “Monumentour”, so it was especially exciting.

Tickets and transportation were available to students for just $15! I went, along with a few of my friends. Here are a couple pictures from the concert:

Mariah and I at Monumentour!

This is my roommate, Mariah, and I!

Summer, Natalie, and I at Monumentour!

My friends Summer, Natalie, and I!

 

This concert was so much fun and a great first-weekend activity.  The concert was on Sunday, August 31st.  Students who bought tickets were bussed directly from Scranton to the concert and back onto campus when it was over. I love that Scranton offers me the opportunity to get off campus and attend fun events.  I absolutely love it on campus, but it is always really fun to go on little trips like this!

Thank you so much for reading my first blog entry!  I am looking forward to keeping you updated this year with all the great opportunities Scranton has to offer me. Every week, I will post about exciting events on campus and reasons why I love Scranton so much.  If you have any questions or comments, let me know in a comment below! Have a great week! 🙂

Tori