Saturday, October 11, 2008

Judy Collins

On the Dominican home page, there is a link to an article in the Wednesday Journal about Judy Collins' performance. According to the article, many people were extremely excited for her to perform:

"Collins' talent will be on display this Saturday, Oct. 18 in River Forest, when she appears in a much-anticipated concert at Dominican University's Performing Arts Center. Leslie Dominguez, who curates the Performance Center's season, said, "Judy Collins has been on my wish list since I came here. I grew up listening to her music. I think I know every word of every song."
Dominguez and her boss, Dominican President Donna Carroll, both of whom have previously witnessed Collins' virtuosity, are delighted she's coming."

I work phonathon at Dominican, and one alum told me that she was not donating to Dominican this year because Collins is extremely open about being pro-choice. She said she was disappointed in Dominican for inviting Collins to a Catholic institution.

Does anybody have any thoughts about this?

Drinking Games on Campus

Ok so I'm assuming that most of you have either seen or been a part of popular drinking games such as beer pong, flipy cup, circle of death, the list can go on and on. I was recently talking with some friends who live on campus about the way student play certain games in the residence halls. For example, students living in Power Hall will take the closet doors off the hinges and use two chairs to support the door horizontially in order to create a large enough space (i.e. table) to play a decent game of beer pong.

I laughed when I first heard this but it seems to be a popular thing to do. Why can't they host like a beer pong tournament for anyone 21+ so that closets aren't taken appart?

My house is a frequent location that embraces the game of beer pong. We have a great room that really only serves as a beer pong palace. We are actually planning a beer pong tournament and when my sister and I told our mom, she wasn't too happy. She did , however, point me to Time Magazine. A recent article about beer pong was accompanied by a great beer pong video. Check it out as some of the information is really interesting.

Thanks for the heads up, mom!

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ghana: Gateway to Africa

Next week, the students who participated in Dominican's second study abroad program to Ghana, Africa will be giving presentations about their experiences. It will be held in Lewis 310, October 14 at 2:15 p.m.

I was one of the students who went on the first Ghanaian study abroad two summers ago, and giving this same presentation last year was a wonderful outlet to share about the unknown treasures and beauty that the continent has to offer.

If you've ever been curious about Africa, I highly recommend attending your fellow students' presentation.

These are some photos from my trip overseas:

The Dominican students pose for a photo op after having lunch with Ghana's Parliament.

Ghanaian schoolgirls

A tour guide teaches us students about African textiles at the University of Ghana

The students and teachers, dressed in traditional wraps, take photos with a high Priest and high Priestess in the Klikor region of Ghana

Me with some Ghanaian children who live in the compound lead by the above Priest and Priestess

Young boys demonstrate their silk weaving techniques on crude looms.

Taking a nature walk of several miles to see the Wli Waterfall

Me with cutie Ghanaian babies we encountered on the trail

Our group in the mesmerizing Wli Waterfall

At Tamale, in the northern region of Ghana which is primarily Muslim, we met the ladies of the Women's Shea Butter Extract Plant.

Ever wonder where your shea butter from The Body Shop comes from? Right here.

We attended a drum/dance session in Larabanga, dancing and celebrating with the locals

Darleisha, on the right, is a Chicago Public Schools teacher. Here she poses with David, headmaster of the Larabanga School, in front of his classroom

Professor Nkuzi Nnam, down to his last few dollars, is still tempted to buy more things from the street vendors banging on our tour bus windows

Tour guide shows us the dungeons where enslaved Africans were held at the Cape Coast Castle

Mariya Kozlova and I drink fresh coconut, purchased on the side of the road through our tour bus window

The beautiful Cape Coast beach

Dolores Hureta

Yesterday, Dolores Huerta gave a speech in the Lund Auditorium. I spoke to junior Vince Nardiello, who attended the event. "Dolores Huerta's talk was very insightful and offered much in terms of knowing about race and gender," Nardiello said. Did anyone reading also attend the speech? If so, comment about it. I'd really like to know what people thought about this important figure in farm worker's rights.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One last homecoming thought

I wanted to say one more thing about homecoming, this time from the sports aspect of things. Would people feel different about homecoming if the dance and game were tied into a different sport? I'm sure almost everyone knows what a big deal the football homecoming game was in high school. Would people be more excited for homecoming if we had a football team? I'll be the first one to admit that I would be. But I'm sure there are some people who prefer the soccer homecoming. Either way, I want to hear about it.

The Search for Mr. Dominican

Are you one of the two male students that attend Dominican University? OK, so I'm exaggerating but you know what I mean.

Props to the Fashion Club for sponsoring the pageant-like Mr. Dominican Event. The event will include a walk off in a creative outfit, a talent show, and a question and answer interivew...all for the male students at DU. The winner will take the title of "Mr. Dominican" of the 2008-2009 school year. All males are eligable to sign up on Wednesday, October 8 in the Lewis Alcove.

The ratio between females to males has always seemed somewhat off balanced. Why is this? What is it that makes Dominican more attractive to females? Has the number of males attending Dominican gone up or down over the years? This is something I intend to look into in the next couple weeks. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, the Dominican boys should get out there and strut their stuff!

When students don't show...

Last Friday, the Campus Activities Board sponsored a concert featuring the Plan 9 in the quad. The band was really talented and it was an overall good time, but there was one problem: no one showed up.

Throughout the year, many organizations such as the Office of Student Involvement and CAB sponsor musical events on campus. This year, I am on the e-board of CAB and so my perspective is different than last year. On the inside, these organizations work hard and put a lot of time and money into getting musicians to perform here. On the outside, the performances can seem bland and the music does not appeal to the majority of the student body. Realistically, the student body barely shows up at all.

Everybody means well, and even though I am a big fan of campus organizations, I wonder how well they are actually responding to the tastes and preferences of the students. It is the student body that they should be representing, after all. I don't feel that the majority of the students' preferences are taken into consideration, rather it seems to be a select few who choose what kind of music they would want at DU.

I'm not saying this is anyone's fault. I don't know if the students just aren't voicing their opinions enough or it's that the organizations just aren't listening. Maybe it's both. Either way, the two don't seem to be communicating enough with each other.

What are your opinions on this?

A different way to teach

Many professors use lecture as their primary forms of educating. Others prefer class discussion or the use of visual aid. In one specific communications course, the instructor prefers not to show up at all.

The class is Interpersonal Communication. The professor is Ric Calabrese. Every few class periods, Calabrese breaks the students into small groups and has them teach themselves. That is, one student is chosen as the facilitator and Calabrese doesn't come to class that day. Is he lazy? Maybe, but the more appropriate guess would be that Calabrese feels that by not coming to class, his students will be more open and candid with the discussion.

It is an interesting approach to teaching, and so far seems to be surprisingly effective. Students still show up and have a decent discussion about the topic at hand. Of course, cutting the class short by 15 minutes never hurt anyone so these students may or may not have taken this liberty. Still, the class period is by no means wasted and seems to be educational.

It is safe to say that Professor Calabrese learned something in his umpteen years of teaching. While this may not be the most orthodox way of educating the youth of our nation, it seems to give students a different perspective about college and education in general.

Or he could be lazy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Megan Vaccaro, An Athlete You Should Know

Megan Vaccaro has been making a name for herself on the Women’s Cross Country team. Now she is close to putting her name in the conference record books.
Vaccaro, a 4’11” junior from Oswego, was recently named NAC Student Athlete of the week for women’s cross country in two consecutive weeks. Vaccaro stated that she was surprised to learn about winning the awards. She didn’t find out about them from a call from a coach or an official, but from visiting Dominican’s athletics website. “That was really cool,” Vaccaro said of her awards.
Vaccaro also has a shot at breaking an NAC record. She has been coming very close to the best time in a 6k race. In a recent race, she posted the second best time of any runner in the NAC’s three year history. “I would love to break that [record],” Vaccaro said. As for the runner who currently holds the record, Vaccaro says, “I’ve got my eyes on her.”
Vaccaro has become quite an accomplished runner. However, that was not always her goal. In high school she wanted to play other sports. When she did try out for cross country, she was not sure if it would work out. “I was the only freshman girl but I stuck with it…I like challenging myself,” she said. Vaccaro is grateful for sticking with cross country, stating that her teams have been like a second family to her. “Most of my friends I met through running,” she said. However, Vaccaro does wish that the cross country team had more support on campus. “People don’t really know we exist,” she said. She also stated that it’s sometimes hard to compete with larger teams because the Dominican team doesn’t have as many runners. Still, Vaccaro feels that with her dedication, these obstacles can be overcome. “Hard work always pays off,” she said. “It’s not luck, it’s hard work.”
(Photo courtesy of Dominican Athletics Page