As this year comes to an end, so does my first year of employment in a library. When I first got my job as Government Documents Assistant at Dominican’s Rebecca Crown Library, I was absolutely ecstatic. I came to Dominican University because of their American Library Association accredited Library and Information Science graduate program, and I thought I’d come here for my undergraduate degree as well. Eventually, my goal is to become a law librarian for some fancy law firm, and so landing this small work study job in the library working with government documents was all I could have hoped for!
In the beginning, I found it very confusing and it took me awhile to catch on, but once I did, I started to realize how helpful knowing government classification systems would be for my future job as a law librarian, and began to even read some of the documents while I was shelving them. As a political science major, having access to the congressional records and judicial hearings was exciting and useful. A job in the library, by the end of my first semester, became a really important part of who I am as a person and as a student. Once, last semester, in my introduction to political science class, we were talking about the President’s war powers and later that day at work, I found a document that directly related to that subject. I scanned the document and sent it to my professor. The next class, my professor had copied the document to share with my entire class. While a small thing, it made it obvious that my job as a Government Documents assistant has had an important and integral part of my education, even in this short time.
Besides being supplementary to my education in political science and my future education in library science, it has also taught me important skills in learning to work in a professional setting and how to create important professional relationships with your superiors. My supervisor was very helpful and supportive of my intentions to become a librarian. Her assistance in learning the ropes of maintaining a Government depository, which was essentially my job description was huge. I learned a lot about librarianship and professionalism. And even though she had a child and moved on from Dominican, I expect to stay in touch with her and learn more from her. So, in addition to all that this job has helped with me in regards to my education, it has also created an outlet for mentorship, which I plan on taking full advantage of.
On a last and lighter note, I have made friends at this job. I have fun while I am at work. I do not dread going to the library, and I do not see the ten hours that I work as a waste of time. I have the cell numbers of the people that I work with, and we are friends. I never have to hesitate to ask a question if I’m confused, and I probably laugh at work much more often that most people do. I look forward to spending time with the people that I work with at Dominican, and I think that’s very important.
All-in-all, I believe that my personal work study experience this year has taught me so many useful lessons that it’s an opportunity, that if you, as a fellow or future student, should take advantage of, if you get the chance. You may think that you don’t need the money, or that you’ll be too busy for an on-campus job, but I seriously urge to reconsider because you never know how many great things it can bring to your life.
On February 21st, I attended Dominican University’s talent show, sponsored by the Black World Studies program. There was a $1 entry fee, and beverages and snacks were provided at intermission. By the time I arrived (twenty minutes early, mind you!) it was almost full, and chairs were hard to find. It seemed a popular choice, and for a Thursday night, the turn out was absolutely astounding.
When I got my program, I glanced at it and noticed that a lot of freshman were entering this talent show. That made me slightly proud to know that the people in my class were brave enough to bare their talents at Dominican, a new and relatively unfamiliar place, especially when they knew that they were being judged during their performances. The contestants were mostly singers and musicians, although there was a dancer, a comedian, a poet, and even two mimes. It was very interesting to see not only friends put their talents on display, but mere faces in the hallway, and learn something new about them and what they love to do.
One contestant in particular, Kayla Jackson, caught my attention because she was singing a song called “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran. As an avid fan of his, and just having seen in concert on Monday night (I traveled all the way to my hometown in Saint Louis, Missouri, to see him (and Taylor Swift), I was excited that someone else was taking an interest in his music. I had just heard the live version of “Give Me Love” just three days before, and was excited to see Kayla’s take on the song. She was not performing until Act Two, so at intermission I found her among the chaos that was college students and free cookies, to tell her that I was excited to see her cover Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love”. She assured me that it would not be nearly as good as his, but that she would give it her best. But when her time came to sing, she played guitar and sang “Give Me Love” with as much dedication and originality that I had seen Ed Sheeran do it just days before.
Maybe that’s why, when the time came for the judges to announce the winners, I was not surprised in the least when she came in first and won a grand prize of $200. Coming in second was Justin Wheeler, who sang an impressive version of Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive”. I had seen him before the show and wished him luck: turns out he didn’t need it. In third, Jasmine Brooks and her twin sister captivated the audience with their original and emotional mime piece. There were few dry eyes after their spiritual performance. All in all, I was completely blown away by the talent that is fostered here at Dominican University and lucky to have only paid $1 to see these talents, when surely, someday, they will charging just as much as I paid to see Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. (An amount that shall remain a secret to both you and my bank account, ahem.)
For the first time this year, snow finally made it’s way to Dominican University while I was here to see it. I think that this school is most beautiful when covered in white and walking to class seems like less of a burden when my feet feel snow below them. It’s almost as Dominican was built with snow in mind, because the school never looks more natural than it does right now. I almost hope that the snow takes it’s sweet time to melt away, because I want to enjoy the pretty picture that is snowy Dominican.
While commuters might complain about having to shovel ice out of their driveways, and scraping snow off their windshields every morning, I’m sure that they find it a little more worth it to be driving their car to Dominican, where the snow radiates off the Gothic architecture like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
While juniors and seniors might have gotten used to a snowy campus by now, I can’t imagine walking around at Dominican like it wasn’t one of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever seen.
Recently, I’ve discovered the magic of being away at college and being an avid fan of hockey. Although the lock-out delayed it a bit, it eventually came and I was excited. What I had not thought about was rooting for my home team in a place that was not my home. Being from St. Louis, I’m a fan of the St. Louis Blues and have been my entire life. I grew up watching the games with my dad, and he instilled a sense of appreciation of the sport. For the most part, my entire family has always rooted for the Blues.
Having only watched the games with my family, I have never known another person my age that was equally as passionate about the sport and available to watch games with me. Fast forward to college: my roommate hangs a Chicago Blackhawks poster on the wall. Instead of being eternally bitter that our teams are old school rivals, I was ecstatic. Finding another person that was both my age and a female that loved hockey was like finding gold. Who cares if our teams are rivals, at least she understands what I am talking about! Or at least that’s what I thought until….
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013: the Blackhawks vs. Blues first matchup of the season. Both teams were 2-0, so tension was high that one of our teams losing would result in a smudge on such a good start. Suddenly, the happiness of finding another hockey fan subsided, and a friendly awkwardness set in. Even so, we headed down to our floor’s lounge with chips and salsa in hand and watched the game on the TV there. It made for a fun time, people walked by asking about the score or laughing at our face paint and rivaled color shirts. Soon, people joined, and I even found another St. Louis Blues fan to join in when the Blues scored. Even though the Blues lost that game (barely, mind you), I still think that I learned an important part of the college experience: building a sense of community with people that you otherwise wouldn’t interact with over something so simple as hockey reminded me that college is about keeping an open mind and allowing other people (yes, even Blackhawks fans) into your life for some healthy competition. And if you’re lucky, some long-lasting friendship, too.
As a wild enthusiast of theatre and the arts, I was ecstatic when I heard that DUPAC (Dominican University’s Performing Arts Center) was putting on their own production of RENT. My roommate auditioned and became a member of the cast, so it was was all I heard about for the last three months. It only intensified my excitement. Having just watched the movie version this past summer, the show was still vivid in my mind, the plot, the songs, the characters and their struggles. I was excited to see my roommate and the entirety of the cast putting all their hard work together in the form of such a compelling show.
When I initially found out that Dominican University was putting on their own production of RENT, I’ll admit, I was utterly shocked. A show about the struggles and lives of gay people in the late 1990’s, was not the first show that I thought would be put on by a Catholic university. I was elated that I had chosen a school that was so open-minded and accepting of other lifestyles, beliefs and people. I was proud of myself for choosing a place where differing beliefs could come together and put on such a controversial show. As a new member of Dominican University’s Common Ground (our Gay-Straight Alliance), I was moved by the sense of acceptance that Dominican and everyone responsible for putting on RENT, had. The idea that a Catholic university could put on a show about the struggles of living as gay, homeless, group of impoverished young artists and musicians –a disenfranchised group–was utterly amazing to me.
So as I sat in the fourth row of the Lund auditorium, holding my ticket and waiting patiently for the house lights to dim into nothing, my excitement was through the roof. Looking at the set, I could imagine each character and their own storyline; I could see what was about to unfold on stage. Even more so, I was excited for everyone around me, the audience members whom had never seen RENT or were not familiar with the mission of the show, or the difference it was trying to make. It was as if the stage curtain was holding back a massive amount of love and acceptance, I just wanted it to spill out to the audience.
In the end, the show was everything I expected to be. The hard work that was invested in every member of the cast’s heart was visible on stage, and I did not doubt the commitment of any member on stage. Solos were sung, and dance numbers flawlessly executed, tears were shed, and a boisterous standing ovation was given at curtain call. If you did not manage to snag a ticket during opening weekend, I strongly suggest that you get a ticket for the 16th or 17th, because there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re after a musical with a mission, a long lasting message, acting that will make you both laugh and cry, or want to scope out all the talent that Dominican has to offer, you’ll find every single one of those things in DUPAC’s RENT. Don’t forget to bring a few extra dollars to donate to Vital Bridges, a foundation that helps low income people living with HIV/AIDS. Theatre and a good cause, what’s better than that?
I’ve always thought myself incredibly in tune with politics, even from a very young age. I come from a family that is neither completely Democratic or Republican, so political debate is no stranger to my household. I am an avid CNN viewer and Iam always subject to weird looks when other people my age see what I’m watching. I’ve helped with Rock the Vote efforts and campaigned for various politicians. Even with all this political knowledge, I learned most recently in my Dominican University American Government class that I essentially knew nothing, absolutely nothing. That realization was wonderful.
Becoming a political science major was not a hard choice for me. I’ve always loved politics and the inner workings of the government, so it seemed an obvious choice. When I entered my Introduction to Political Science class at the beginning of the semester, I had a smug, arrogant way of thinking that I knew more than I could be taught. I’d spent my life learning politics from the news and the people around me, what more was there to learn? In the first five minutes of class, I was proved more wrong than I have ever been in my entire life. I was confronted with technicalities that I never knew existed, historical situations that I had never unearthed, reasoning that CNN never provided me. You would think that I was angered and let down by my self-imposed lack of knowledge on the thing that I love most, however it was quite the opposite. Gaining the knowledge that I never knew I lacked was enthralling, exhilarating, and completely and utterly exciting. In fact, knowing that there’s more to learn about the things you love should not give you anything but joy, and joy is surely what I felt.
As the election approaches, I see everything with a new pair of eyes. I see things that I never knew existed because now I know how the Electoral College works, know I know the importance of voting for your local representatives, and most importantly, I know that I don’t know everything. Dominican University, above all else, has taught me this semester that even among the things that I love, I still have tons to learn. In the light of this election, and seeing it as a Dominican University political science major instead of a political enthusiast, it’s a whole new election. For me, it has become less about who will be President and much more about what I can learn about our government and the way it works.