Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Almost-2011!

Well, we made it through finals (mostly) unscathed. I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Photo by me
Now that I don't have school to worry about, I'm listening to the top songs of 2010, both separately and together. Listening to mash-ups is one of my favorite things to do at the end of the year and it's made cooler by the fact that DJ Earworm (the king of mash-ups, in my opinion) visited Fordham last year.

If you haven't already, check out DJ Earworm's mash-up of the top 25 Billboard hits of 2010. His mash-up from 2009 was AMAZING, but I think that DJ 'Dark Intensity's' Pop Got Us Falling in Love has him beat for 2010. Which is your favorite???

Here's to a peaceful, joy-filled 2011!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Hate Finals

Everyone hates finals. To celebrate, I'm highlighting some of the best finals-hating statuses posted on Facebook this week:

Ryan: is doing that thing he does, where he thinks out an entire future and idealizes it in order to procrastinate and/or justify his actions.

Moira: well i WAS on a roll....

Joe: Still outlining my sources, no thesis yet, and the paper's due at 10 AM. This is what I get for choosing to research demonology: God punishes me for seeking knowledge of evil and Satan screws me over.

Steve: My take home finals are offensively difficult.

Kristin: Oh good. An hour and 4 minutes to write 6 pages. Good.

And, last but not least,

Ryan: Good morning Oversleeping and Feeling-Like-Sh*t,
Go screw yourselves and then make me cereal.
Love, Ryan

What's that saying about laughing in times of trouble???
Best of luck to you during these last grueling weeks before the holiday.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

CAB Christmas Market

I just had a series of heart palpitations. After writing about various Christmas markets for the Travel Tattler, the monthly travel newsletter that I edit for my internship at Let's Travel!, I have fallen for Christmas markets. And I've fallen hard. I've covered them for two months now and they seem Utopian: people gathered together, twinkle lights, warm food, hand-crafted gifts and live music. sums it up best; above a photograph of happy people mulling around a beautiful statue reads "Christmas Markets: Sweet Gingerbread and Hot Mulled Wine."

Excuse me, when is the next flight to Berlin?

You can imagine my sheer joy when I learned that CAB, Fordham's Campus Activities Board, is hosting a Christmas market on campus. Really, an actual Christmas market with vendors, music, Santa, and probably even lights of some kind. I will get gifts for everyone (Asian Cultural Exchange table, here I come!). I will  belt out carols like I'm in the shower. And, to top it all off, I will eat Belgian waffles topped with everything.

My friends, here comes a reason for the season.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stay Tuned: Lessons and Carols

This is just about my favorite Fordham event of the year.

The Festival of Lessons and Carols features the Fordham choirs singing Christmas music that isn't blase. Tired of your local radio station's Christmas playlist already? I assure you, this is music of a different kind; it makes for a welcome change and a beautiful segue into the Christmas season. (Preview the magic by clicking the listening sample links at the bottom of this page.)

If you're within a reasonable commuting distance, I highly recommend attending! The concert is free, open to the public, and offers an intimate look at a Fordham tradition. Plus, I'll be there; this is my first year not singing in the Liturgical Choir, so I will be a giddy, first-time audience member!

 The Festival has two performances: one at 8 pm on Saturday, December 4 in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle and the second at 3 pm on Sunday, December 5 in the Fordham University Church on the Rose Hill Campus. Seating is first-come first-served. In lieu of an admission fee, all are welcome to support Fordham Big Brothers/ Big Sisters annual toy drive by bringing an unwrapped, non violent gift for a child between the age of infant to 12 years old.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Favorite Things

If you watch Oprah, you know that she just had her Favorite Things episode, during which she gave away lots of her favorite loot to hand-picked audience members. I missed the show, but it was apparently so good that it's now officially titled "Oprah's ULTIMATE Favorite Things."

In any case, it inspired me to think about my favorite things. If I had billions of dollars, what would I give away to an audience that my PR reps deemed deserving? What makes me happy on a daily basis?
It's a long list, but here's a glimpse of what I came up with:

My comfy suede/sheepskin flats by Lei ( mine are purple)
The abstract painting above the fireplace that brightens up my room
Hallelujah Here She Comes by U2
Sausage, Beans and Broccoli Rabe Soup by Rachel Ray

Sealy's posturepedic Encompass pillow

It is, of course, unnerving to place importance on material things. However, day-to-day happiness is sometimes about the small stuff: toasty feet, a amazing pillow, a great song. By no means do any of these things make college a great experience, but they bring me moments of joy throughout my days. If you're preparing for college, consider what you can pack along that will bring you bits of happiness, too. Often times, the small stuff makes all the difference.

Here's hoping that you're giving thanks for things big and small this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What's Cooking

Photo by Ellie Miller
The joy of owning my blog is that I can now include things that don't necessarily pertain to Fordham life. Like cooking. Though cooking is not directly related to my school or location, it's very much a part of my life and even more a part of how I enjoy college (my own kitchen stocked with delicious things? Yes, please!). I'm elated to be able to share what I'm brewing here; some recipes are just too good to keep to myself!

Take, for example, Aran's butternut squash soup on Canelle et Vanille. I don't have the rights to her beautiful photographs and thus can't post them here, but PLEASE take a moment to check them out! Oh, but before you do, grab some napkins- you'll need them to wipe the drool from your chin.

Also, Friday was my night to cook dinner for my house community. I went for Road to Morocco Lamb with some minor changes: I added eggplant, rubbed the lamb the night before, and let it simmer for 1.5 hours. It. was. AMAZING.

Next up is Paula Deen's calorie-filled Steak and Pie; we'll see how it goes!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's New: Opus

This past Thursday, Fordham was the humble host of the Opus Prize, a $1 million faith-based award given annually to recognize unsung heroes solving today’s most persistent social problems. And, boy, did we celebrate! We had an array of Malawian and Ecuadorian food to honor the sites of the two recipients, awesome music and hundreds of well-decorated sugar cookies. Who could ask for more?

Awesome Opus earth-cookie, c/o Clare Gray-Lewis

Even cooler than the ceremony, though, was the Globalization and the Ecology of Caring symposium that Fordham held the day before the prize ceremony. The symposium featured Fred de Sam Lazaro, who reports regularly for the PBS Newshour and Ethics Newsweekly on grass-roots efforts to improve the lives of the world’s poor. Using clips from his work, he and other panelists reflected on social justice issues around the world while highlighting the work of the Opus recipients.
But what did I get from all of this, you might ask? Well, aside from great discussion, I now have a new book on the top of my reading list, thanks to panelist Jacqueline Novogratz.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Where in the World Is Catholicism?

The Center for American Catholic Studies requires that we write a monthly reflection on our service. Thought I'd share:
Image c/o

"I have a question: why do we always worship a white Jesus?" a high school student in the youth group asked this past week. Her question becomes particularly poignant when considering that she attends a predominantly Mexican parish, and even more so when remembering that her house is cluttered with images that portray a Mexican mother of Jesus.

Moreover, her question necessitates an answer that is much too big to explain fully in youth group. The real answer to her question would explain why I spent most of my life worshiping a white Jesus without thinking to question it, and why my Italian-American family doesn't recall that our Sicilian ancestors worshiped black saints.

Sam, the leader of youth group, circumvented the long answer. He explained that religious imagery has often been portrayed according to those who funded it and spread it, and then he allowed her to own Catholicism much more than Mexicans ever have in America's white-Jesus history. "Catholicism is, largely, thriving in Latin America and Africa," he replied. "In 500 years, I suspect we'll all worship a brown Jesus."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Biking NYC

Photo courtesy of Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Everything was looking up when the day started. After my music class at Lincoln Center (in Manhattan), I walked down to Central Park Bike Shop and rented a four-hour bike for $30 (only $5 cheaper than renting it for the entire day!). I then proceeded to walk my bike to the Hudson River Greenway, a charming path next to the Hudson River on the West Side. A word to the wise: if you are ever biking in NYC, this is a beautiful place to do it! You can even check out the gorgeous boats on the Hudson as you whiz past!
You can check out the scenery, that is, unless you're me and you're terrified (as your life is contingent on the mere two wheels on which you're not balancing well). And if you're decent at steering. And if you're not bothered by constant visions of yourself drowning pitifully in the Hudson. Maybe I'm offering a little too much detail here, but I can't be the only one with these biking concerns, right!?!?
Needless to say, my four-hour rental quickly dwindled to two hours. I rode past 104th St, then back down to 45th, then I walked the bike back to the shop because, alas, I could bike no more. Surprisingly, even my halved biking time bore benefits. There were occasions when I dismounted and actually enjoyed the waterfront view. I also slept remarkably well that night (though I'm still in mild pain). In the end, I would even recommend biking in NYC, as long as the biker is slightly more agile than I am. Chances are, this applies to you. Because, let's face it, just about everyone (everywhere) is more agile than I am.

A New Year

Photo courtesy of google images

And we're back! I haven't had time to do properly resume blogging, so I'll just say that junior year is going strong-- and SO busily! New housemates, new RA position, new classes, the list goes on. Here's to a new year and new beginnings. I hope your fall is refreshing you, too.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Reflections on Balance

I'm in the library basement right now, uploading William Byrd onto my iTunes for a final paper due next week. It's 7:30P.M. and I'm starving after a long day of studying and five finals still to come. The computer room is jammed with people just as stressed as I am. To every college senior reading this: WE ENVY YOU!!!!
My last post mentioned the shabbat that I had the privilege of attending, a Jewish meal that encourages fellowship, peace and balance. Nowhere more than in this very computer lab is the difficulty of balance evident
. I tend to operate according to a go-big-or-go-home motto, pushing out papers hours before they're due, living off of these oatmeal orbs that sustain me for exact periods of three hours, and employing more procrastination than is healthy. The other day, my housemates and I reflected on the tenets of our house and evaluated where we've failed and succeeded. Unsurprisingly, balance fell into our do-better-next-time category.
Fordham has challenged me in ways that I could not have imagined: socially, academically, spiritually. It has pushed me and forced me to produce good work. Yet, the shabbat reminded me that college is about so much more than working and socializing. College is about learning, making friends, having fun, and taking on life with balance so that we can appreciate what it's worth!
I'm leaving the library now. I'm going back to my apartment to sit for a while and to eat real food (rather than the trail mix in my backpack that I've been snacking on). Soon it will be summer and I, too, will enjoy the same lazy, hazy days that high school seniors currently hog!
Happy (early) summer to you. I hope that your last days of high school, or junior year, or wherever you are right now, are filled with joy, peace,
balance. And I hope you take the time to be with those you really care about, to tell them that you love them, and to cherish where you are and who you're with in a moment that will give way to many moments even more beautiful.

Friday, April 30, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again

For the admissions office, this week is huge: it's the final push, the last days, decision time. If you are a prospective student still deciding on a school, the best advice I can offer is to be critical and honest with yourself about this decision. This is, indeed, your life, so do what feels right for YOU!

Having said that, the rest of this post will not be particularly persuasive. (If you're looking for hardcore decision-discussion, Adam does it eloquently and thoughtfully at After all, what about the high school juniors reading this post, simply curious about the wildly interesting life of a college student? What about my ex- high school English teacher who occasionally drops by; better yet, what about my mother? For them and seniors alike, I will blabber on about my life in the form of an almighty list, leaving you to decide if it's wildly interesting.

Cool Stuff That Has Happened Lately

1. The Birth of Big Air-- TriBeca Film Fest Drive-In at World Center Financial Plaza. Huge screen, Mat Hoffman, movie on the water at dusk with homemade snacks at twilight. My brother visited this weekend, and we had a blast at this event! Plus, it's totally free and had a BMX DEMO afterward (also free!). Mat Hoffman, I officially love you and don't know why I haven't been obsessed with you heretofore. 

2. Shabbat Dinner with Fordham's a Jewish Student Organization. Did you know Fordham has a JSO? Neither did I, until I attended their Shabbat dinner. It was great! Free, delicious food, prayer, and lots of learning. Who knew Judaism has over 600 mitzvot!? Who knew YOU could take part in one????

3. Hildegard of Bingen. A scholar gave a great presentation on Tuesday about Hildegard of Bingen, ranging from her music, to her philosophy, to her bizarre life. Coincidentally, Steve Forbes also visited on Tuesday; Hildegard wins not only because she wrote the first-ever opera, but also because she was the one of the earliest people in the church to investigate natural medicinal processes. She is an all-around phenomenal woman. 

4. Spring Weekend. Known to be the best weekend at Fordham. Free concerts, free food and, right here on our turf, DJ EARWORM!!! I absolutely love him. Mike Birbiglia, we love you and look forward to hearing -and laughing with- you, too. MGMT, well.... at least you're free.

You might have noticed that there is a recurring theme throughout this post. Perfect segue for our next
How To Love College Tidbit:
Find free stuff. Love free stuff. Take advantage of free stuff- all the time.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

From the Pews in the Back

I just got back from a lecture put on by Fordham's American Catholic Studies program. However, this was not just any lecture, this lecture was insightful, emotional, truthful, challenging and definitely blog-worthy.

So here it is. A bunch of women wrote essays about what it means to be a modern woman in the Catholic Church and they were compiled into a book. The editors -the guests of the lecture- had amazing insight and brought up challenges that we Catholic women can't help but grapple with: how to raise Catholic kids, how to stand up to an institution that makes women inferior and, most of all, how (and why!) we're staying Catholic amidst our issues with the church! A panel of Fordham students (who were also Catholic women) shared their thoughts, and they, too, were great.

I've written before about how Fordham is Catholic, and it's something that I'm always sure to bring up on tours, to prospective students, etc. But what does it mean, really, to be a Catholic woman in a church where women cannot be ordained, where they are not included in the second Eucharistic prayer, where they (we!) are ignored in the petitions??? We are too smart to not notice any of this. And we're way too smart not to care.
In the good spirit of caring, and of critical discussion, I ask YOU:
What are YOUR thoughts/opinions on this????

For more about the stuff of tonight's lecture, check out
and for the video of the actual event!

The Garden

Today the Bronx enjoyed eighty-degree, sunny weather, and I celebrated with a trip to the NY Botanical Garden (free on Wednesdays!) and lots of camera-love. Granted, I was a sweaty mess by the time I got to work at NOON, I don't think the morning could have been more beautiful....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Few of My Obsessions

If you are reading this, you should know that I rarely discover cool stuff. Either people tell me about cool stuff, or the rest of the world gets together, declares that something is cool, and then I find it (hence, it is not a discovery.) Today I was checking out one of my absolute favorite blogs,, and heard an amazing song that sounded somewhat familiar. After some research, I discovered them: Vitamin String Quartet. Wikipedia calls them "widely known" but, luckily, I have spent years of my life being taught that Wikipedia is illegitimate.

To Fordham-ify this: Ryan went to Fordham, his assistant went to Fordham, and he often shoots at Fordham. Plus, Fordham grads and students obviously have an awesome musical taste (and some happen to be amazing photographers, too!)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Travel School: The Study Abroad Experience

Last year I stumbled upon a travel radio show that soon became my internship. (Fordham sends out a weekly email with tons of internship opportunities- luckily, I got the fun one.) I've since worked for Let's Travel! to improve the social network, publish the newsletter, and help with the show. Over the summer, I came up with the idea to produce a show that marries travel and education. After meeting study abroad students, doing some research, and writing a script, it finally happened!

as most college students spent the afternoon sitting in classes, eating in the caf, and studying hard, I spent the afternoon hosting a radio show that I produced.
Take a look-- or a listen:
(and feel free to check out our awesome website)

I am not a communications major, but I am in love.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Fever and a Woman from St. Lucia

Walking to St. Martin of Tours on Friday, I found myself behind a woman carrying grocery bags. When I got closer behind her, she turned around, I smiled, and she laughed out loud. "I wanted to make sure that it wasn't anyone coming up behind me at night," she said.
We walked down the street together talking about church and the Bronx and Lenten services. She told me that she is from St. Lucia and that she came to the Bronx some time ago. As I'm learning, this is the epitome of what the Bronx is: people from different places coming together to call one place theirs.

The next morning, the neighborhood couldn't have been more friendly- or more crowded. Everyone (and their siblings and parents and children) came out to celebrate the first sunny day of what is now -hopefully- spring. Mr. Softee trucks and street ball and loud music accompanied pedestrians with jackets open, sun-brushed cheeks and babies in strollers. I have yet to spend a summer in the Bronx, but I'm told that it is, in every sense, spectacular. Summer is the time when this city, its residents and its rich culture, come to life. After a long, drab winter, this kind of change could not feel more welcome or more monumental.

Friday, February 26, 2010

We Got Hit, Baby, One More Time

When I wrote my last post, it was raining in the Bronx. That rain turned to snow. Then to sleet, then to hail, and back to snow again. It came down for thirty-six hours straight. Here is the aftermath:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Raining in the Bronx Tonight

Let me make a long story short.
When I was in middle and high school, my friends and I used to LOVE listing stuff. Now that I'm older, I realize that humans in general love listing. So, in true pre-teen style, I've made a nifty list.

Things that I've done/learned in the past two weeks:
1. Off-beat museums in NYC are great

The Museum of Sex seemed to be popular for Valentine's Day. Also, check out this list of Niche museums!
2. Fordham does a killer Mardi Gras dessert
Indeed, they must be expecting students (myself included) to fast for forty days. They're right. They're right to serve double chocolate cake AND a cupcake bar. I'll skip the Cajun, thank you.
3. Fordham is a Catholic University (and I like it that way!)
I was invited to Queen's Court for midnight Ash Wednesday mass (that's right, this is after gorging on dessert for dinner- what a day!) I've never been to a Catholic school before, so I've never known the pleasure of gathering with a small group of people to celebrate faith. Even though the start of lent is unavoidably dreadful, I wouldn't have wanted to start it any other way.
4. Going home is so, so nice
Even when college life seems great. There's no place like home, and you never appreciate college more than when you're coming back to it.

I'm taking the rest of the night to catch up on some music reading and to enjoy the sweet sound of Bronx rain. It's still too chilly to leave my window completely open, but I've left it open enough- I'll sleep with a sweatshirt and extra blankets tonight.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Odds and Ends

Back to school today, and guess what greeted us on campus? Lots of igloos, snowmen, etc. I've stolen these pictures from Mike Trerotola's blog (visit him here to see more.)

Also, a quick word about community living at Fordham. There are two options to live in community other than dorms. The first are Integrated Learning Communities, all of which are located on campus and place you with people of common interests: majors, extracirriculars, etc. The second option is an Integrated Service Learning Community, which is where I live. This is the only ILC that is off-campus and the only one that has a service requirement. I also lived in Queen's Court last year, so feel free to email/comment for more info.That's it for now- but, before I end...
How to Love College tidbit #1:
Build igloos. Lots and lots of igloos.

Deliciously Ridiculous

I will start at the beginning. I live in a Fordham-owned, off-campus Integrated Service Learning Community. We call it the Anne Devenney house. There are four of us (all undergrads) plus an AMAZING residential director named Lindy. I came into this community not knowing anyone, as the youngest member, never having done service in the Bronx, and the result couldn't have been better. We ended up being the perfect mix of people who have kicked this community off with a bang.

That being said- today was anything but 'banging.' After a big breakfast, two of us stayed in PJs and proceeded to mope around the house. Kendall actually bothered to change and then moped. Maria gave a spiel about how, at some point, she needs to start her life and get dressed like a normal person. By seven we were all back on the couch, eating and watching Sandra Bullock be clumsy and fight crime. Snow days can rob even the best-intentioned of any and all motivation.

By midnight, Moira was eating tortilla chips out of her robe pocket (Maria didn't hesitate to point out that she looked uncannily like Fran Drescher's mother on The Nanny) and Maria was using nonsensical phrases like flabby-mouthed (she meant loose lips) and deliciously ridiculous (I didn't hesitate to point out that her language was quasi-erotic.) By 1 A.M., we were huddled in our small kitchen in laughing fits, trying to describe each other in three words (a strange task that countless applications require, including that of JVC) and pointing out the ways in which we are "effervescent," "confusing," and just plain nuts. At one point, I was bent over our sink with iced tea spewing out of my mouth and nose. Moira ended the evening with a reflective poem, entitled "Pasta in My Closet and Chips in My Pocket."

I have titled this blog "How to Love College," and I chose this title purposefully. In addition to wittily alluding to the song "I Love College," the title implies that this space is not just for me to ramble, reflect, write meaninglessly. Rather, it is a place for me to describe my entire college experience, both on and off campus. The Anne Devenney house has not just impacted but molded my Fordham education; its people, its mission of service and its integration with the Bronx have made college fulfilling and have exemplified the purpose of Fordham in a way that dorm-life could not. In a bold way, it has held me through my very first steps of learning to love college: embracing new people, embracing everything that is intentional community, embracing the Bronx. Even more important, though, it has taught me to revel in the small moments -college is only four years, so these are frequent, and important!- like when I find myself doubled over the kitchen sink laughing hysterically. And, as a result, I have grown to appreciate the phrase that encapsulates so much of what college is: deliciously ridiculous.