Two Eventful Weeks

Hello everyone! I apologize for my lack of a blog post last week.  These past two weeks have been jam-packed with fun activities, and I am excited to tell you all about them.

New York City

Two Sundays ago (November 8th), I spent the day in New York City! This was made possible by USPB’s Travel and Recreation committee, who hosted a NYC Trip for just $15, or $25 for a bus ticket and ticket to see Aladdin on Broadway!  I opted for just the bus ticket, and I got to spend the day with two of my very best friends from home.

Shortly after arriving, I met up with my friend Monica who goes to Fordham University.  I was so excited to see her!  We see each other constantly during breaks, and talk every day, but I had not seen her since August.  Here is a picture we took when we first reunited!
We walked through Washington Square Park, got lunch, and walked around the East Village.

Later on, we went to Momofuku Milk Bar, where we met up with my friend Gabri who goes to NYU.  I have wanted to try their ice cream for a long time, and I can confirm it was everything I imagined!!! I got the cereal milk soft serve with cornflake crunch, and Gabri got the cereal milk / “crack pie” twist soft serve with sprinkles.  Monica was full, so she did not get any ice cream 🙁 Here is a photo of our tasty treats:


We spent over an hour sitting outside Momofuku and talking, and before I knew it, it was time to head back to Times Square to get on the bus back to Scranton.  I had a great day with Monica and Gabri, and I am so grateful to USPB for such a great deal!

Comedy… and More Comedy!

Last Tuesday, the USPB Comedy committee brought Geoff Keith to campus.  He put on a terrific show; he was so funny, and he had great energy!  I really enjoyed myself, and I would love for him to come back to campus to do another show.

On Thursday, some of my friends and I attended the MTV Comedy Jam at the Radisson Hotel (about a 3-5 minute walk from campus) to support one very special performer: Scranton’s own Ryan Burdick!! Ryan won this year’s Last Comic Standing (and won crowd favorite!).  His hilarious set scored him a spot at this comedy show, alongside Esther Ku from Girl Code!  I have been friends with Ryan since our freshman year and it was so cool to see him up on stage (he did phenomenally).  Besides Ryan, my favorite performer was Jacob Williams.  He was absolutely hysterical; our entire table could not stop laughing.

Food As Medicine

I think it is pretty clear that I am a very excitable person… but when I found out Dr. T. Colin Campbell would be coming to Scranton, I was truly beyond myself.  I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives (which is based largely on The China Study, co-written by Campbell, and stars Campbell, among others) just about two years ago, and it completely changed my life.   Dr. T. Colin Campbell is a biochemist who has done extensive research in the field of nutrition and has revolutionized the way we look at food.  He advocates for a whole-food plant-based diet, which serves as a natural medicine and not only prevents but reverses disease in the body.  Dr. Campbell’s talk was astoundingly well-attended (the event was hosted in the ballroom, and it was packed), and deservedly so.  I loved his presentation and feel so lucky to have been able to hear such an incredible man speak at my school.

University of Maryland

Last but not least, I spent this past weekend with my family! On Friday and Saturday, I visited my younger sister, Rebecca, at school.  Rebecca is a freshman at the University of Maryland.  With the exception of seeing her very briefly over fall break, I had not seen Rebecca since August, and I had not met her school friends!  That all changed this weekend – and I am so glad it did!  I laughed so much this weekend with Rebecca and her roommates, and I was so happy to spend time with my little sister.  On Saturday, we walked around campus a little bit, but we spent the rest of our time together just hanging out!  I love being with Rebecca because we have fun even when we do absolutely nothing.

Here we are in front of McKeldin Library, touching Testudo, the school mascot:IMG_4364

On Sunday, I spent the day at home in Baltimore (about 1 hour from UMD).  So, I got to see my entire family in one weekend! I saw my parents, my older sister Alexandra, and my dog Molly on Sunday.  We went to church together on Sunday, then spent the rest of the day at home.  Again, I always have fun with my parents and Alexandra (and Molly) when we’re together!  After eating a delicious homemade (thanks, Mom 🙂 ) dinner, I hit the road to go back to Scranton.  I had a great weekend with my family, but, as always, was thrilled to be reunited with my wonderful roommates 😀

I am so thankful for these past couple weeks, surrounded by great friends and family!  Speaking of being thankful, guess what’s next week…. 😀

Until then!

– Tori


USPB Movie and Coffeehouse

Last Thursday, I attended the USPB Movie showing of The Gift.  I am not sure if it was intentional or coincidental that the movie was a mystery/thriller and they showed it two days before Halloween, but either way, that’s how it worked out!  I love scary movies so I was very excited to see the movie.  I sat with my friends Ryan and Jenn, and I have to say… I was more entertained by them than I was by the movie 😆  I found the movie to be pretty bizarre, but their reactions were so funny.  Ryan made some pretty funny comments on the absurdity of the movie.  He made me laugh the most when something came up on the screen, causing the whole audience to scream… except for Ryan; he just laughed and said “SCARY MOVIES ARE SO FUNNY.”  Jenn made me laugh with her sarcastic comments, from “I don’t like you, mister, you are MEAN” to “don’t you dare hurt that dog, I did NOT sign up for that”, and her occasional narration of the movie (such as “Yup. The fish are dead.” when the camera showed dead fish).  They are two of the funniest people I know here and I always have fun with them! So, even though I did not love the movie, I still had a great time at the event since I was with them!

This past weekend was Halloween! I have to apologize for the lack of exciting pictures – I am not a fan of Halloween, so I did not dress up.  However, my friends dressed up as Cruella de Vil and the Dalmatians!!! They looked incredible.  Shannon was Cruella de Vil, and Abby, Cait, Emily, Jess, and Natalie were dalmatians.

There was one more dalmatian – Josephine, or “Jojo”!  Our good friend (and neighbor! – he lives in the apartment next to ours) Kyle’s sister came up to visit this past weekend.  Jojo is a senior in high school and Kyle wanted to show her what it’s like at Scranton.  Anyway… my friends had enough extra materials for another costume, so Jojo dressed up too!  She seemed to enjoy her stay here, and we all adored her. Hopefully she comes to Scranton next year 🙂

Tonight, I attended a USPB Coffeehouse event.  The singer Noah Guthrie, who played Roderick on Glee, performed an acoustic set on the first floor of The DeNaples Center.  He did a phenomenal job!  His voice is very soulful, and reminded me of Gavin DeGraw.  He sang a combination of cover songs and original songs, and both sounded incredible.  I loved his cover of “Valerie”!  Shannon was a faithful watcher of Glee, so she knew who he was prior to the show.  She loved his performance, too.  The event had a great turnout, and it was the perfect way to spend my Tuesday night 🙂

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week.  Happy November!!

– Tori