Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

This past weekend was my last weekend at school before break, and it was a great one – as usual!  I went to see The Pillowman with my friends Mimi, Summer, and Natalie.  The Pillowman was a play put on by The Scranton Players, student actors affiliated with the theater program.  The show was absolutely incredible.  It truly was the best play I have ever seen.  I was so impressed by the actors’ talent and their commitment to the characters they portrayed.  I wish I could have seen it again, but unfortunately I had to study! Otherwise, I would have gone again, without a doubt.

I came home for Thanksgiving break on Monday night, and it is great to be back!  Coming home for breaks is always fun because I get to see my dog (!!!), my parents, my sisters, and my friends from home.

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to lunch with my friend Rachel from high school at Panera bread.  I am glad I got to see Rachel while I was home because that night she got on a flight and went to Ohio to visit her sister at veterinary school.

I finally got to see my best friend, Monica, for the first time since she started college this year.  Monica, Matt (my neighbor, a senior in high school), and I went to dinner on Wednesday night to catch up and then went to Monica’s house to hang out and see her dog and her mom 🙂

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because I get to see so much of my family (I have a huge family – my mom is one of ten, my dad one of nine, and I have 47 first cousins).  Thanksgiving is always a crowded, loud, exciting affair and I would not have it any other way.  And, of course, all the food doesn’t hurt…everything is so delicious!  Since becoming vegan, Thanksgiving has been a little different for me but I am lucky to have an AMAZING mom who makes me special potatoes, bread, and vegetables. 😀  I do have to admit, I do not usually find myself missing non-vegan foods but Thanksgiving is a big exception to that.  My aunt makes a delicious casserole called pineapple bread pudding, and my mom makes delicious sweet potatoes with nuts and brown sugar – these two side dishes always ended up constituting about two thirds of my plate every year.  So, I definitely miss those, but I am lucky that I still got my fill since my mom is so wonderful 🙂

Today, I went to lunch with my friend Hannah who is a senior in college this year.  This was the first time I have seen Hannah since the summer, so it was great to catch up with her! Hannah’s family goes to my church so I have known their family for a while.  They are all so wonderful and sweet and I am so thankful I was able to talk to her and hear about school and her life in general.  I hope that I am able to see the rest of her family either sometime this weekend or once I come home for intersession.

I have had such a great break so far.  Tomorrow is my cousin’s annual memorial bullroast, where I will see some of my dad’s side of the family (my mom’s side comes for Thanksgiving).  Then I’ll go back to campus on Sunday and start preparing for final exams… eek! Wish me luck!

Tori

Fun Weekend With Friends

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I had a fun-filled weekend with my friends!

On Friday night, I went to see Big Hero 6 with my friends Shannon, Mimi, and Natalie.  The movie was SO cute and SO good, I want to see it again! Plus, the short before the movie was about a dog and it was so adorable and funny.  After the movie, when we were walking back to our dorms, we passed Northern Lights, an espresso bar and café.  Natalie said, “I really want to go there one day; I haven’t tried it yet.”  I said, “Do you want one day to be today?” And alas, we decided to go to Northern Lights! Shannon got a smoothie, Natalie got coffee, and I got tea.  My tea was delicious, and they said their drinks were, too!  Since the café was closing, they gave us leftover pastries (bagels, croissants, donuts) for free, which was so nice! Here’s a picture of us at Northern Lights.

IMG_0010
Mimi (being mysterious), me, Shannon, Natalie

When we got back to our dorm, it was time for the weekly JAM SESH!! Natalie decided to study, so we said goodbye to her 😥 but Summer joined us! So it ended up being me, Mimi, Shannon, and Summer for the jam sesh.  We had so much fun playing and singing different songs all night!

On Saturday, I went to a matinee showing of the Liva Arts Company’s musical Back to the 80s.  The show was so good!  The parts really seemed like they were made for each of the actors/actresses.  I had a few friends in the show, so it was great to be able to support them.  I love the Liva shows – they put on one each semester.  Last fall the musical was Godspell, this past spring was The Baker’s Wife, and then this fall was Back to the 80s.  I went to all three and plan on seeing every show during my time here! I cannot wait to see what they have in store this spring.

On Saturday night, the boys’ basketball team kicked off their season with an awesome win against Centenary (69-54).  I went to the game, of course!  Since they won on Saturday, they had a game on Sunday – against Alvernia!  I went to that game, as well, which was even more exciting.  For almost the entire game, Scranton and Alvernia were neck in neck, but Scranton got the win with a final score of 57-54.  Here is a picture of me with my roommate Mariah at the game!

IMG_0039-3

One more thing – this didn’t happen over the weekend, but I am so excited about it! Last week, my friend Summer told me that she was part of RTN, Royal Television Network.  I thought it sounded really fun so I decided to tag along with her! So far I have been to two broadcasts, with another one happening tonight 🙂 .   For the first broadcast, my friend Max performed and I managed the soundboard.  For the second one, a news broadcast, I operated the teleprompter.  I also went to a tutorial for how to use Final Cut Pro, a video editing software, yesterday.  I am having so much fun already and it has only been a week! I cannot wait to do more with RTN because it has been really fun so far!

 

Have a great week! (One week until Thanksgiving break!)

Tori

Scranton’s Got Talent!!

Hello all!

This past Friday night was the annual Scranton’s Got Talent event, hosted by RHA (Residence Hall Association).  I was so excited about this event… even though I did not know what to expect.  This time last year, I went home to surprise one of my best friends for her junior prom, which was a BLAST, but I missed Scranton’s Got Talent. 😥 I was so excited that I could go this year, since seeing people perform their art makes me so happy.  As a lover of music, this is right up my alley!!

Let me tell you- it did NOT disappoint! The event was absolutely incredible.  It was extremely well attended – every seat was taken and there were people standing too!  It lasted two hours but I would have stayed even longer if it kept going.  Every performer was extremely gifted and did so well, but these were some of my favorites: a trio of girls who performed a piano/guitar/vocal cover of Sara Bareilles’ “Many the Miles” (and ended up winning!), a band called The Soulful Players performing a beautiful medley (that video really doesn’t do it any justice, I was in a trance during the event because it sounded so incredible!), and a freshman named Alex who break-danced.

After the show, my friends (Mimi and Summer) and I were feeling inspired… so I grabbed my guitar and we sat in the lounge for two hours playing and singing songs.  It was SO much fun, we decided to make it a weekly ritual.  I cannot wait for this Friday’s “jam sesh.”

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful, which was definitely nice.  My roommate Mariah went on the USPB Travel & Rec trip into New York City on Saturday, and I laid in my bed, watched Criminal Minds, and did homework 😆  It was nice to get caught up on some work and also just relax!!

I had such an amazing weekend, and I have to say it was my favorite weekend on campus so far this semester – which is saying a lot because I have had some pretty amazing weekends already.  Music and my friends are two of my favorite things in the entire world, and to have them together was everything I could ever dream of.  I was so happy this weekend, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

By the way… in reference to registration which I mentioned in my last post… I got all the classes I wanted! Yay!

I am sorry this is shorter than usual – ironic because of how much I loved this weekend!! This weekend was certainly not as busy with activities as usual… but the couple of activities that I did were so meaningful. 🙂

 

Have a great rest of your week!

Tori

Colour of London

Hello everyone!

Tonight was my second Coffeehouse event of the semester!  Like I’ve mentioned before, I am a member of the University of Scranton Programming Board.  I am on the Coffeehouse committee, so my co-chair Megan and I plan musical acts for the school.

Tonight, the band Colour of London performed for a very enthusiastic crowd!  We had a chocolate fountain and an acoustic guitar raffle as an incentive for people to come, since we are getting at that point in the semester where students have more work than usual and, as a result, a little bit less free time!  Luckily, we had a pretty good turnout and everyone who came seemed to be having a great time!

The events themselves are fun, of course, especially since Megan and I get to see all of our hard work the past few weeks pay off. But, I think my favorite part of having performers is the time we spend with them before and after their performance.  I have been so impressed by how genuine, personable, and down to earth every performer we have had has been (Cover Drive, The Well Reds, Rachel Brown, and now Colour of London). They have all been a joy to be around, so that definitely wins the prize for my favorite aspect of the event.

Megan and I had the pleasure of sitting down with the band and talking to them as they ate dinner tonight in Scranton’s famous all-you-can-eat dining hall! We talked about a lot, from Delaware (where Jimmie Allen, the lead singer, is from), to Nashville (where he lives now), and Taylor Swift! But who’s surprised there? Not me- I bring her into every conversation.  Anyway, it turns out Jimmie was in her Diet Coke commercial!!! He mentioned that he is friends with her guitar player, and I immediately screamed “GRANT MICKELSON?! I LOVE GRANT!” – causing a few heads to turn in the cafeteria. So we talked about Grant for a little while, then they went back upstairs and performed their set.

They were fantastic! They did both covers and originals, and they sounded great.  Something I loved that Colour of London did was ask the audience what they wanted to hear and played those songs on the spot.  They even sang “Unwell” by Matchbox 20 – major elementary school flashbacks!

If that isn’t enough… we had kazoos for giveaways. So now I have a kazoo (or 5) to annoy my friends with and hum songs on.

Here’s a selfie I took with Jimmie!

IMG_9898

 

Wish me luck on registration this Friday!!

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!

Tori