Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Goodbye Forever

Hello All, 

I'm somewhat sad to report that this is my last post of all time.  

The year ended with lots of work (part of being a double major), and I cannot describe the feeling of handing in the last final of junior year.  

This summer I was offered a job as an AmeriCorp VISTA summer associate...I will be working with Gannon University (another university in the area), and one of the after school programs in Erie.  Next year will be my senior year, and since we will not be keeping in touch, here are some things that will be unfolding: 
  • Writing and presenting a research paper at the national criminal justice conference in Dallas, Texas.  
  • Applying to graduate schools, hopefully winding up in a large city (New York City being my first choice)
  • Continuing to do volunteer work with the Erie community.  
This is my life, I'm glad I had the opportunity to share two years of experience with you.  

All the Best, 


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Drop Knowledge So Heavy

April Greetings to Everyone,  

I hope everyone is doing well, I know I'm certainly happy it's April, and (fingers crossed,) it probably won't snow anymore this year in Erie.  Before I update you on my weekend, I'd like to wish my mom, a very happy Birthday!  

This past weekend, I went to Altoona, PA for the Pennsylvania Association for Criminal Justice Educators conference.  This time, I went to present a paper that my friend Nick and I had been writing.  I was pretty nervous to present the paper, but it payed off-- our paper won first place in the undergraduate competition!  I've fallen in love with this process of was different and rewarding to be the one sharing knowledge with others, after being on the student side for three years.  
They gave us a plaque!
This week is short, with the upcoming Easter holiday, and after all of the excitement of March it is a welcomed break.  My morning class was cancelled this morning, leaving me time to work on an essay and bake pita bread!

My apartment smells wonderful, 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Campaigns and Conferences

Hello Friends,

I'm sitting in my room now with a few hours before class, amazed that my head has not exploded from all the excitement that's recently been in my life.

Last week I focused my time on catching up on work I missed in New York (it's finished!) and helping my friends Jeremy and Joe campaign for the Mercyhurst Student Governments election.  Sadly, despite their dedicated work ethic and admirable platform, they did not win...but we all had fun campaigning and I'm sure the winners will do a fine job.
Excellent Work, boys.

The other excitement I have coming up is the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Justice Educators (PACJE) conference, which is being held this weekend.  I've written a paper on the abuse of prescription medications, and this weekend I will share it at Penn State, Altoona!  I'm a little nervous for this, however, I know I will have a splendid time and gain a lot of experience.  

I have two classes today, both of which are in the afternoon. (Criminal Justice Ethics and Contemporary Sociological Theory).  On schedule for next week are a couple midterms, and Easter at the end of the week.  Spring term, and thus Junior year, is coming to a rapid close.  

Reading my paper to an imaginary audience for practice, 

Monday, March 19, 2012

New York, New York

Hello All,

I wish I could've updated you sooner, but I was in New York City, and did not have the internet access I thought I would.  Anyway, it is with joy that I will now share my experience with you, as it is an opportunity for me to relive what was arguably my best week since freshman year.

The event that took me to New York was the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS,) national conference.  This was an opportunity we organized through Alpha Phi Sigma, which is the criminal justice honors society (just another opportunity within the major!)

We departed last Tuesday, and after a rather long van ride finally arrived in the Big Apple.  

Basically, the conference is set up with a series of panel presentations running throughout the day, and one can pick where she wants to spend her time.  My favorite one discussed community policing and police legitimacy.  After the conference was over, I took the opportunity to explore the city with my friends.

This is me on a bridge in Central Park.  I want to live here.  (NYC, not specifically this bridge).

When I was little I loved the movie, "Balto," and approximately 14 years later, my dream of seeing this stature came true.  The gentleman on the left helped me find Balto, he is a 70-year resident of New York, he gives tours of the city now.   
The rest of the trip was mainly filled with the conference, while I wanted to see as much of the city as I could, I also wanted to hear as many presentations as possible...thus a return to New York is in order.  Below are some other fantastic things I got to do while I was there, which I gladly am posting to delay the game of catch-up I am not playing since I missed four days of class for the conference.

Construction of the Freedom Towers

Now back to catching up, 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Term, New Classes, New Developments

Hello, Friends, 

As I have a few hours before my classes begin for the day, I wanted to take the time to familiarize you with my new schedule for the spring, and discuss some events that have me absolutely thrilled for life.  (Classes, being part of that development, as per my nerdy usual).  

This term I am taking four classes, resultant of the first development I'd like to tell you about: I am now officially, a double major in Criminal Justice and Sociology, still keeping my minor in the Psychology of Crime and Law.  The reason for this (the Sociology addition,) is my realization that I enjoy Sociology as much as CJ, and with the overlap in content, it really was not too great of a burden.  Both departments are filled with skilled professors and dynamic coursework, the combination thereof has proven to be a inspiration for all of my future endeavors.   

I'm posting the links to both departments, if anyone is interested: 

Anyway, my schedule for the spring is as follows: 
  • Drugs and Human Behavior- One of three more classes I have left to complete the minor, this class is exploring the effects of various drugs on the mind and body.  It's interesting to get a different perspective on drug abuse than what would be presented in a class geared towards law enforcement, and therefore jibes nicely with my belief that there needs to be dialogue between disciplines in addressing widespread societal issues. 
  • Criminal Justice Ethics- This is a requirement for the CJ major, our professor explained the purpose of the class by describing that most classes help you get a job, whereas CJ ethics will help you keep said job.  It so far seems like a class that offers opportunities for discussion and learning from my peers, which is often my favorite kind of class.  
  • American Classics- This is one of the last requirements I have to fulfill in the liberal arts curriculum.  Lacking familiarity with the course, I selected it almost entirely based on the professor, who I had freshman year for College Writing I and II.  It was nice that even at a university, an instructor would remember me from previous classes, even though I am not in that major, I think this is probably the rule for most of the faculty here.  
  • Contemporary Sociological Theory- My first sociology class as a double major, and although having been to only one session, I can pretty much say with certainty that this class has serious potential.  I might even go as far as saying it was one of my favorite first classes ever.  It's a small class, so we all went around the room and discussed our reason for being a sociology student and discussed our home communities.  It was a small exercise, but that amount of engagement during what's colloquially termed, "syllabus week," and the information gleaned from my peers reassured me that I love sociology, and want to know more about it (I might have proclaimed my love for my academic path too much in this post).    
Seeing as this is a pretty lengthy post already, I am going to save my other news for a later post, (within the week,) as to not diminish the importance of any of these splendid developments.  Also, I don't know if anyone can handle this much delight at one time.  Here's a preview of coming attractions however- two Criminal Justice Conferences in one month. (See, the wait was necessary.)  

Until next Time, 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's Finals Eve!

Hello everyone, and Happy Finals Eve.

As you've probably gleaned from former posts, finals in my world are a pretty big deal.  Sometimes I feel I place too much importance on these tests, and my learning process is certainly more important, but I do find myself measuring a correlation between self-worth and the grades I receive.

I currently am faced with two finals tomorrow: Global Issues and Buddhism, which will both be equally challenging.  My day today is to be spent studying.  In preparation for this lengthy endeavor, an occasion for which I created coffee cubes.  Simply by freezing coffee in ice cube trays, I can enjoy iced coffee, without watering down the flavor!  Furthermore, when the ice cubes melt, it's like your cup is being refilled by itself.
Here they are! 
I feel terrible that I've not been blogging as much this term, I think the winter really gets me down sometimes.  However in these last two week's I've been trying to make a personal and emotional comeback of positivity.  Mercyhurst has a lot to offer for social and spiritual development, and in the spring I'm making a resolve to make better use of these resources, after all, I want to graduate with more than memories of studying and papers.  Spring term I think, will be a lot better, and I look forward to sharing more with you then.

Wishing you well,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Only Bears Should Hibernate

Hello All,

I think this might have been my longest disappearance from social media, which is by no means an attempt to justify my absence, just an observation.  I find "going off the grid," is somewhat of a guilty pleasure, but it's not okay, given that I have so much of my life to share with you.

Overall winter term has sped by, filled with the reading, homework, and exams.  My courses this term, as I'm now realizing I have not even shared, include: Buddhism, Sociology of Law, and Global Issues.  I took Buddhism after realizing my affinity for Eastern religions in Hinduism.  Sociology of law is a requirement for my major (hence, I love it be default) and Global Issues fulfills a college core requirement.

In addition to classes, I am working on a research paper on prescription drug abuse, which I will present, along with a classmate, at a conference at the end of March.  I'm really excited for this opportunity, as it represents my gradual entrance into the professional world.

As I start to think about my future, I am both ecstatic, yet with reservation and a certain amount of anxiety.  Because of this, I made an appointment with the Career Development Center, who works with students here to build resumes and eventually find internships and jobs.

I'm sorry I've been gone for so long, hibernation is for bears only.  In fact, the last time I wrote, I was attending a college....and as I'm sure how my fellow bloggers have informed you, we are now Mercyhurst University.  Pretty impressive, Mercyhurst.

Happy February and all the best,