Thursday, January 31, 2013

Habitat for Humanity Auction

As you may have guessed by reading through my blog, at Albertus we do a lot to give back to the community both locally and on a larger scale. To read about other fundraising events I have participated in at Albertus, you can visit my posts about The Giving Tree or our Life Haven Raffle which took place last semester.

This semester, through my Grant Writing & Fundraising course, I get to participate in a fundraiser which is dedicated to the Habitat for Humanity organization. Interestingly enough, back when I was in high school I was involved in the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, so to be able to get back involved with this organization is a real treat!

Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that focuses on re-building communities, in the literal sense! Habitat for Humanity offers a way to give back by helping to fund and build houses for those who cannot afford to build their own.

Albertus is going to be sending some students to Montreal, Canada to build a house. This is going to be an awesome experience that unfortunately I am not going to be a part of. However, because my professor is very invested in the project, she has decided that one of the goals for our Grant Writing  & Fundraising class will be to apply what we learn to real-life organizations and put all the money we earn towards this great cause! I am really excited about this real-life application of what we will learn in this class because it will legitimize what we are learning and will really allow us to use our skills in a professional setting!

Though my class doesn't get to go on the Habitat trip, we are going to be very involved in the fundraising process; our main event will be an auction that will be taking place Thursday, February 28th in the Bree Commons from 4:30-5:30 pm. 

We are currently looking for donations from local vendors, so if you know anybody who would like to donate a good or service to this auction, certainly let me know! If you're not able to donate a good or service, you're still welcome to donate as little or as much money as you'd like... so if donating is something you'd like to learn more about, just shoot me an email at or comment on this post!

Does your school offer any programs where you get to give back to the community? If so, which organizations do you donate to? If not, which organizations are close to your heart that you wish your school would get involved in?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


My Winnings!
Last night I decided to attend Bingo, which was hosted by our Student Government Association (SGA) in the pub. All events put on by the SGA are for the students and are free. They sponsor about 2-3 events a night, so there seems like there's always something going on!

Not to sound like an old lady, but I love going to Bingo! It's a lot of fun and they play so many different versions that it keeps it interesting. Also, they play at least 10 games a night so your chances of winning are pretty high. 

I also like going to Bingo because, like many other SGA events, it is located in the Pub. The Pub has a lot of food for very cheap - only a few dollars for things like nachos, chicken nuggets, etc. In addition, during Bingo, they provide popcorn for free! I really like this because, as anyone who knows me can attest to, I love food and I love noshing on snacks when doing pretty much anything.

Usually, I am one of those people who never wins anything, but this is my second time winning at Bingo! Most of the time the prices are gift certificates to places like Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin' Donuts, Panera Breads...etc. but towards the end of the night the prizes turn into cold, hard cash! I won a $20 Visa Gift Card, so I was really happy with that :)

What about you, do you like Bingo? Do you always win, or are you like me and never win at all? Does your school put on any fun, free game nights?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Blended Courses

This semester I am experiencing a new aspect of Albertus academia: blended courses. Blended Courses are just like a regular class, except for one major thing: each week you meet once in class (called "on ground") and once online via eLearning. This is definitely new for me, but I am really starting to love it!

What initially attracted me to this format of classes was that because the classes only meets on ground once a week, I would have more time to work at my two office jobs. This is a huge help for me because I really rely on my income to pay my rent and bills, so to be able to have those extra hours that would normally split up my work day has really helped me out and put a nice little lining in my pockets!

The only downside to the blended courses is that sometimes it can be hard to remember when things are due; this is when keeping yourself organized becomes crucial. If you forget an assignment because you didn't remember to sign onto eLearning, you have no one to blame but yourself. The lucky part is that you're usually on eLearning everyday anyway for other classes, so it is no hassle to just look at all of your classes and see what is due. I find that a really helpful tool is to use a day planner and just write in a reminder every week to submit my eLearning assignments for each blended class.

The two courses I am taking in the blended format are: Grant Writing & Fundraising and Marketing Research & Strategy. So far, they're going great :)

I know everybody has very different views on online classes, have you ever taken an online or partially online class? Do you like it more or less? Did you have trouble keeping up with the class or was it easier for you?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


You can start your own bowling club!
Sometimes, no matter where you live or what school you go to, it can seem like there is just nothing to do! This is how I was starting to feel a few days ago, so when my friend asked me and my boyfriend to join a very casual bowling league, we jumped at the opportunity! I also joined the team because it is a great way to meet new people and expand your network.

This league that I joined meets at Brunswick Colony Lanes in Wallingford, CT, which is just about 20 minutes from Albertus. It is very informal and really just a great group of people who wanted to have an excuse to meet up every week! What's really cool is that you can start your OWN league for very cheap, which is why I thought I'd blog about it!

The league meets 8 weeks and is $1 a week per player, each team in the league has two teammates, so it's really easy to get your teams started. If you're really into bowling and want to have your own bowling ball at the end of the "season" you can pay an additional $5/week and you will get it at the end of the session!

My boyfriend and I are a team, and we had a TON of fun! We played a team of two guys who were really good; we got murdered, but I'm going to blame that on the fact that I had fake nails on and had to bowl like a 5 year old and roll the ball between my legs. Needless to say I have taken those nails off and I am ready for next week's match... they're going down!!

My boyfriend bowling - what a pro!
If you decide to go bowling at Brunswick, the only think I would warn you against is eating there. We had skipped dinner before going bowling so we decided to just eat at the bowling alley; this was a huge mistake! As could have been expected, the food was sub-par (even for a bowling alley) and incredibly expensive (think: movie theater food, but worse).

What about you, do you like to bowl? Have you ever been in a bowling league? Would you be interested in joining or building your own league?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Religion at Albertus

As you most definitely should already know by now, Albertus Magnus College is a Catholic College in the Dominican Tradition. This is because back in 1925, the school was founded by some Sisters from this religious sect.

Though we at Albertus are proud of this heritage, it does not necessarily show up all the time in the classroom or living experience. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of religious outlets should you choose to engage, such as Campus Ministry, Choir, and the weekly Mass held on campus; but because I am not associated with any religious affiliation (aka Agnostic), I have not sought out any of these experiences and the fact that Albertus is a Catholic school has really slipped by mostly unnoticed for the past year and a half. 

... That is until this semester when I decided to enroll in Roman Catholicism. In an effort to uphold the "and discover truth in all of it's dimensions" part of the Albertus' mission statement, it is a requirement to take at least one religion course before you graduate. There are tons of classes to choose from, such as: World Religions, Religion & Nature, etc. I chose this class not because of any particular interest, but rather because it fit perfectly into my schedule.

To be perfectly honest, I was not too stoked about having to take this class. Because religion does not play a role in my life, I found it annoying that I have to take this class when right now all I want to do is focus on business courses for my major. Also, spending an hour and a half (give or take) twice a week listening to a teacher drone on and on about Catholicism does not sound like my cup of tea.

That was my mindset going into this class, and when I walked into the classroom to find an actual nun as my teacher, my lack of enthusiasm turned in to dread. That was until the nun, Sister Mariette, started speaking. It turns out, Sister Mariette is actually really cool - she prefaced the course saying that she was not there to convert anybody, but rather talk about what Catholicism is and try to debunk and rumors we may have heard. 

Another cool thing that Sister did was give us a check-list of topics related to Catholicism that we wanted to learn more about. She recognized that this class would only be interesting if we all participated and were interested in the topics covered, so she let us pick out which topics we would like to discuss and learn more about for the rest of the semester - sort of like we are building our own, customized course!

Sister Mariette's enthusiasm and candidness with us was like a breath of fresh air. Instead of being locked in a room about to fall asleep listening to outdated, irrelevant preachings (like I thought this class was going to be) it actually seems like it is going to be very interesting. Sister was open to all of my questions and very honest about her life as a nun and her personal take on some of the Catholic teachings. I'm excited for our second class today!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


When the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2012, I joined the rest of the overweight population in American in declaring that in 2013 I am going to be more fit and fantastic then I was in 2012.

Unfortunately for me and about 75% of the other people who took this same pledge, less then 20 days later my motivation has run out and I'm still overweight, unhealthy, and not really on the right path to fixing that (last night I literally ate 5 cookies from Insomnia Cookies.. which I had delivered to my house).

However, I have decided to renew my resolution and I did that today by going to Zumba class! After Yelp-ing for "Zumba in New Haven", I discovered a very cool little place near Albertus called ViVa! Z Fitness. Since the scheduled classes seemed to coincide very well with my work and school schedule, I decided to give it a try... it also helped that the first class is a free trial class, so it cost me nothing to try this place out! 

I absolutely LOVED the class. I used to be a big Zumba enthusiast when I lived in Austin, where the gym I used to go to had exercise classes included in the membership fee; however, since moving to Connecticut I have gone to maybe one Zumba class. But let me just tell you: it felt SO good to Zumba again! I forgot how much fun classes are and how energized you feel afterwards! I am already sore from all of the squats we did in the dance routines.

Anyway, after the class I decided that I needed by buy myself a membership. The membership was only $35 because I got a $5 discount for signing up after my first class. I say "only" because the membership is for unlimited Zumba classes at BOTH locations, there is a location in New Haven on State Street, and another on Captain Thomas Blvd in West Haven. In addition, Zumba is not the only thing they do at ViVa! Z Fitness, they also have classes for:
  • Zumba®
  • Zumba Gold®
  • Zumba® Toning
  • Zumba Sentao™
  • Zumbatomic®
  • Hip Hop & Street Jazz
  • Pilates
I am really excited to go to more classes and think that this will be an excellent way for me to get re-enthused about my workout goals... and it is also a fantastic cardio-alternative to the treadmill (which can get SO boring!).

What about you? Did one of your resolutions include vowing to work out more or eat more healthy? Have you made some good progress, or have you somewhat slipped like me? Do you have any work out tips to make it more fun or any motivational tools to keep you going?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Senior Reflections

Spring 2013 is finally here... which means I am finally entering my last semester of my undergraduate degree!

This has certainly been a long time coming. I have been on college since 2008!! I cannot believe I am finally on the home stretch, I literally could not be any more excited. It's amazing to think back to the beginning of my college career and see how in just 5 short years how much I have changed as a person, and how my outlook on life/the world has changed... I can only imagine what is in store!

Of course, with graduation comes some very real fears; for me, my main fear can be summed up in one, short question: What am I going to do now? I have always maintained that I will move back to Austin, Texas after graduation, but as I move closer to graduation I am beginning to realize that right now, that is not a financial possibility.

So yes, I am so excited about graduating and taking that next step into "the real world" but with that excitement is definitely some very real fear and uncertainty.

What about you? Are you graduating high school or college soon? Do you have any big fears, or are you just excited?! Tell me your reactions to this huge life step, and let me know what your plans are moving forward!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dogsitting 101

Linc, the Boxer
As a broke college student, I am always up for making a little extra cash; just recently an opportunity presented itself in the form of dogsitting! My co-worker at Whitney Management had to go visit her daughter who was having her second child (a beautiful baby girl!). Because my co-worker and her husband were both going to see their new grandchild, someone had to stay home and take care of Linc... and that's where I come in :) ! As you know, if you've read my "About Me" section, I love dogs; so I was more then happy to lend a helping hand, and earn some extra cash while doing it!

Though I have dog-sat in the past, I guess I forgot that dogsitting is not all fun and games. By dogsitting for my co-worker, I have agreed to live at her house for the next week. This has proven to be really inconvenient; I have to pack up all my clothes for the next week, their house is farther from my work then usual so I have to adjust my schedule accordingly, I had to buy extra groceries so I would have food to eat, and worst of all.... they don't have wi-fi. Scratch that, they don't have internet at all! I didn't know that there were still places without internet... but apparently there are... and I happen to be living in it for a week - yikes!

In addition to all of the logistical issues that come along with living in someone else's house... the actual dogsitting is not as much fun as I thought it would be. Please remember, I love dogs and Patch (my pup) is literally the light of my life; however when you live in someone else's house taking care of their dog, that dog is used to how their owner does things... and just because I'm there doesn't mean he's going to automatically adjust to my schedule or behavioral preferences. For example: my co-worker is one of those people who rises with the sun 7 days a week - needless to say, I am not. The fact that I like to sleep in on Saturdays & Sundays doesn't stop Linc from whining at 7:00 am in the morning because his parents normally would have fed him hours ago and he's hungry.

There are also behavioral issues with Linc that I am simply not used to and could really do without. Linc is a Boxer, and for those of you who are familiar with dogs or Boxers know that Boxers as a breed are very energetic and play a bit differently then other dogs. The reason Boxers were named as such, is because when they play they like to get up on their hind legs and "punch" with their front paws. This is how they play with other dogs, and unless trained otherwise, will play with humans. Also, because Linc is only 2 and still has some puppy-characteristics, he cannot control his excitement. When I show Linc even the slightest amount of attention he goes bezerk and starts jumping up and down and trying to lick my face. Not only is that completely GROSS, but Linc is about 20 pounds heavier then the dogs I'm used to playing with, and incredibly strong - and I have no doubt that he, in his excited stupor, he could definitely hurt me without meaning to.

After the first night with Linc, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do the whole week; however, the next day I decided to go buy some healthy dog treats to reward Linc when he's being very good, a marrow-bone to distract him when I just need him to leave me alone so I can concentrate on something, and a spray bottle for when he gets too excited and wont listen to me when I say "NO!"

So far those three tools have done wonders and it's only been two days. Linc is a really good dog, he is just easily excited and used to his parent's way of doing things. I hope he continues to get better over the upcoming week! I'll let you guys know of any other tips/tricks I come up with for dogsitting, so keep posted!

Have you ever dog-sat before? Do you have any tips or best practices to share with me? Let me know, I'm always open to new suggestions!