Back from Spring Break!

Happy Spring!! It’s still rather chilly up here in Scranton but the sun has been shining and the snow is almost completely melted!

I am back on campus after a restful week-long spring break ūüėÄ ¬†A few of my friends went on exciting service trips through the school or tropical vacations with their families, but I stayed right at home in Baltimore. ¬†I was forced to – I got knee surgery! ūüėē Over the¬†summer I tore my meniscus ūüė• so I had surgery for that during break. ¬†Luckily, this particular surgery has a pretty fast recovery time so I could walk without crutches within a couple days. ¬†I still have a slight limp (one week out) and have to do physical therapy exercises, but¬†I have no complaints!

Today was the wrap-up of the Fitness Challenge and I received a T-shirt for my participation in it.  The shirt is so cute Рit is navy blue with powder blue writing.

This Thursday night USPB Movies are showing The Imitation Game. I plan to go see it, and I am very excited!  My friend Rachel whom I saw over break told me that she saw it and really liked it.

This upcoming weekend we have Accepted Students Preview Day and I am so excited for it. ¬†One of my best friends from home, Matt, is¬†coming and I cannot wait to show him around!¬†Interestingly, the reason I know about Scranton to begin with is because his cousin Cece went here. ¬†If it weren’t for Matt (and Cece), I may not have gone here because I may not have known about it! I am so glad things worked out the way they did ūüėÄ .

It’s crazy to think that in just over a week I’ll be home again for Easter break! ūüėĮ But after that, I will not go home again until I leave for summer ūüėé This semester is truly flying by. ¬†Before I know it, I’ll be¬†back home wondering where the time went! ¬†Registration for fall classes is coming up¬†in just a couple weeks. ¬†And at the end of this semester,¬†my time here at Scranton will already be halfway over ūüėĮ ūüė• ūüôĀ (I do not want to think about it.)

I hope everyone has a great rest of their week, and enjoy the sunshine! I love how late the sun is setting ūüėÄ … soon enough, it’ll be warm enough to hang out on the Dionne Green again!

Divinely Designed

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. ¬†This past weekend was quite possibly my favorite weekend so far at the University!!! ¬†From Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, I was at the University’s retreat center at Chapman Lake, about 25 minutes from campus.

I was there for a very special reason… I attended a retreat called Divinely Designed! (You may have guessed that from the title…¬†pat yourself on the back if you did.)

Divinely Designed is an all-women’s retreat. ¬†This was the third year it ran, but it went so smoothly you would think it has been around much longer.

I do not want to reveal too much about the retreat, because I went in with no expectations and an open mind and I think that allowed me to get the most out of it. ¬†I will say this, though: I felt miserable, having a fever since Thursday along with other symptoms which came and went – sore throat, headache, cough, stuffy nose. ¬†And I still say with confidence that this was absolutely the¬†best weekend I’ve experienced here this school year, and very¬†possibly the best weekend here period. ¬†I say that not as a way of underscoring the incredible memories I have had in past weekends, but as a way of stressing that even being as sick as a dog, this retreat was so incredible that it still reigns supreme.

The beautiful women I spent this past weekend with absolutely changed my life.  There were forty other women plus ten leaders (also women), for a total of fifty.  I am so grateful to have met many new people and strengthen my relationship with those I already knew.

The attendees were divided into small groups, which were guided by one or two leaders.  The women in my small group, including two leaders and three other participants, were some of the most incredible and beautiful people I have ever had the privilege of getting to know.   Our small group just really connected so well, and I can honestly say that I know the members of my group better than some people I have known for years.  I feel such a strong connection with them and I am so grateful to Divinely Designed for giving me this opportunity.

This retreat addressed major struggles and real-life situations associated with being a college-age woman, and a woman in general.  We reflected on our voices, body image, relationships, family, and spirituality, among other topics.  I loved the array of topics because everyone can relate in some way to the topics, some more than others for sure, but I learned something from each subject of self-reflection.  Whereas body image was probably the topic most relevant to me at this point in my life, I could still add to the conversation about other things as well as think about how they affect my life every day.

I cannot speak highly enough of this retreat. I feel so, so blessed to have been able to spend this past weekend in such a beautiful way: in a beautiful place among beautiful souls.  I felt so much love all around me and witnessed God in so many ways this weekend.  I urge any woman reading this to please plan on going on Divinely Designed.  You will not regret it.

Just one more thing: I could not end this without acknowledging all the hard work the team leaders put into this retreat. They have spent the last year planning this retreat. For hours every week they gathered and planned and sacrificed so much of their time to make this retreat possible for people like me.  I am so grateful to them and will always feel indebted to them for this selfless contribution to the Scranton community.

Spring break is just days away!!! ¬†I can almost feel my dog jumping up on me to greet me ūüėÄ

Tori

Hello March!

We’ve almost made it through snowmageddon – the end is in sight! It’s warming up (I use that term generously) here in Scranton and spring break is just over a week away.

Last Friday night, I attended a bible study for the second time. ¬†The bible study just started two weeks ago, and I just happened to pass my friend on her way there. ¬†She invited me to come, I did, and I really enjoyed it, so I went back this past week! The bible study takes place in one of the lounges in my dorm building, and was set up by an international student Steve from Australia! It is a really relaxing way to spend a Friday night. ¬†The first week, we introduced ourselves and read a favorite bible verse; this past week, we went through the book of John and took turns reading, then Steve asked questions which everyone answered. ¬†My favorite parts have been making new friends and praying together. ¬†Everyone offers up a prayer request in a small group and¬†the other members of the small group pray for that person’s¬†intention.

On Saturday, the men’s basketball team won the Landmark Conference Championship!! I am so excited for the team and so proud of them. ¬†This is the third time in the past four years that they have been champions, and the seventh time total! ¬†Now they go on to the NCAA Division III Championship – wish them luck!!

Speaking of athletics, I mentioned in a previous post that I am participating in the CHEW Fitness Challenge!  It is going well so far, and we are already into week 3! Having completed the weekly challenge (4+ days of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise) the first two weeks, and filling out my activity log, I qualified for prizes! So far, I have gotten a towel with the CHEW logo on it and a jump rope.  If I keep this up for the next two weeks, I qualify for a t-shirt Рyay!!

I am so excited for this weekend, as I am going on a retreat at the University’s beautiful Chapman Lake Retreat Center. ¬†The retreat, Divinely Designed, is an all-women’s retreat. ¬†My friend Faye went on the retreat last year and absolutely loved it.¬†¬†She is a leader of the retreat this year! ¬† I am not sure exactly what¬†to expect on the retreat but I am really looking forward to it; I am confident it will be a great experience. ¬†I hope to¬†learn about myself, grow as an individual, and form new friendships.

The only thing standing between me and a weekend in Chapman Lake is a quiz, an exam, and a few classes… so wish me luck, and pray for nice weather!