Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When in Rome...

Before I went to Rome, our advisers told us that there are four stages of cultural adjustment: 1) predeparture stage, 2) honeymoon stage, 3)culture shock, and 4)acceptance

Everyone, I am definitely experiencing the honeymoon stage.
There are so many things I love about this country that I don't even know where to begin. As the cliche goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is just a round-up of pictures from the last few days.

The view outside of my window

  Picture from the surrounding neighborhood of Monte Mario

Bus ticket

 Trevi Fountain

 Victor Emmanuel II monument

The Colosseum

Orientation at Marcuse beach

 Dinner and a walk along the Tiber

Five weeks doesn't seem like it'll be long enough. I'm loving my time here and don't want to leave. I wish I could write more, but I need to go to class soon...ciao!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

One-Piece Swimsuits

I prefer one-piece swimming suits over two-piece ones. It has nothing to do with my body image, and it's not about wanting to be more conservative or anything. It's just that there are some really cute one-piece suits coming out. Bikinis will always be in style, but this year, I'm loving retro one-piece suits !

@ J.Crew, $118
This is my dream swimming suit. I love the one-shoulder style and the bold colors. I'd definitely get the suit in red if I could afford it...but the J.Crew suit is $118, which is a little pricey for something I'll rarely wear.

@ Modcloth, $89.99

Here are some vintage-styled pieces from Modcloth, but they're still a little too expensive.

@American Eagle, $29.99

This suit from American Eagle is a great price, but the site describes the suit as "pink" when it clearly looks like it's red on my computer. I don't want to order this online and receive some eye-bleeding super neon pink suit instead. Plus, it's a little plain...and the model doesn't look happy in it at all. At least to me.

@ Target, $34.99
Here it is, my dream swimsuit at a decent price. Alas, it was sold out on Target.com and I'm pretty sure my nearby Target won't have it. Why oh why is everything I like always sold out?
@ Target, $24.99

I liked this suit too from Target--it's a decent price and it's cute. I'm just worried it'll look a little too juvenile on me, so I want to go to Target and try it on as well as look at their other suits.

As you can see, I'm a little picky when it comes to buying swimming suits. But what girl isn't? Do you guys have any suggestions or know any places that sell great (and semi-cheap) swimsuits?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Something to Think About

I had to take sociology this semester, which is the study of how different societies are created as well as their structure. In all honesty, it was probably one of the most boring classes I've ever taken, BUT once in a while our ancient professor gave an interesting lecture.
He spent one lecture talking about the disparities between our urban society (Chicago) and the societies of the rest of the world. Some of the statistics he gave were truly shocking, and I think everyone should be aware of them. These statistics all come from the World Health Organization.

  • When you look at the world's population, 80% live in substandard living conditions
  • 1/6 of the world’s population is unable to read and write
  • 50% of the world’s population suffers from malnutrition
  • Only 1% of the world’s population has a computer
  • Over 1/2 of world’s population exist in relative poverty
  • 1/7 of the world’s population (1.1 billion people) live in absolute poverty (meaning no food, just trying to survive)
  • 7 million +  in US have no jobs
  • The majority of world’s population live on less than $2 per day
  • 6% of the world's population own 59% of the wealth in the world
  • 1 million people in the world will not survive until the end of the week
  • We are richer than 75% of the population if we have a roof over our heads and a place to sleep
  • If you have money in the bank, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy
These statistics really put things into perspective for me. I'm assuming that if you're reading this, you have a computer. Therefore, you are part of the top 1% of the world. Next time I complain that I don't have something, I'm going to come back to this post and realize what a lucky person I am, compared to the rest of the world.


Friday, May 18, 2012


Hi everyone! 

By the time you read this I'll be on a plane to Rome. I have no idea what the wifi situation is going to be like when I get there, so I probably won't be able to post any pictures of my trip for a few days. I've scheduled a few posts in advance while I'm gone, so I hope you enjoy them! I'll also try to keep up as best as I can with commenting on all of your blogs.

I'll update you all on my travels soon!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Italy: The Preview, Part 2

I don't think I've mentioned this on my blog before, but one of the big reasons I'm going to Rome is that I'm Catholic and Rome is THE place for Catholics to visit in their lifetime. My college requires us to complete two religion courses for graduation. In Rome, I'm taking the religion course "Theology of Pilgrimage". 
The idea behind this class is that we will be visiting The Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome, three of which were made official by Pope John Paul II during the Great Jubilee of 2000 (jubilee=really special Holy Year). Catholics who visited four of these churches in the middle ages believed that they would receive an indulgence (a "pardon") from all of their sins. The theory still runs true today, but I really don't think I've done anything too terrible that I need to visit all of these churches for God to forgive me. Still, just THINK of all the pilgrims who have visited these churches before me!

I don't know how the heck we're going to see all of these, and I'm sure they're all going to blend together after a while, but here they are!

The Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome

1. Santa Croce [Wednesday, May 23rd]

2. Giovanni Laterano [Wednesday, May 23rd]
3. Maria Maggiore [Wednesday, May 23rd]
4. San Paulo [Monday, May 28th]
5. San Lorenzo [Friday, June 8th]

6. San Sebastiano [Friday, June 8th]

7. San Pietro [Friday, June 8th]

Jesuit Pilgrimages
Since Loyola is a Jesuit school, we're also going to some institutions that somehow represent the Jesuit tradition.

San Andrea [Wednesday, June 6th]
Gregorianum [Wednesday, June 6th]
First Jesuit University, yeah!

Il Gesu [visit for the first time on Wednesday, June 6th; class mass Monday, June 18th]
The Jesuits' "home" church
San Ignazio [Wednesday, June 6th]
Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
Rooms of St. Ignatius [Monday, June 18th]
Preserved rooms of where St. Ignatius lived and prayed

Orvieto and Assisi: TBA

I've already talked about Assisi in a previous post. On June 9th, the entire Loyola community goes on a day trip to the medieval town of Assisi. However, my Theology class professor will be taking us on a separate excursion there, as well as to Orvieto. Orvieto is interesting in that it has an underground city (cool, right?), because the town was once the home of the papal residency and it needed an escape route for the pope in case the town went under siege.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pinteresting Wednesday (2)

Follow Me on Pinterest

It's time for another week of "Pinteresting Wednesday!" For the past few weeks I've been pinning mostly DIY ideas for moving into my apartment (okay, officially it's a dorm, but calling it an apartment makes me feel more independent) next year. I've been pinning a few random things too, though!

Source: mydeco.com via Becky on Pinterest

Source: fabfitfun.com via Becky on Pinterest

Source: google.com via Becky on Pinterest

Monday, May 14, 2012

Anatomy of a Carry-On Bag

I'm trying to pack as light as possible, but I still need some things to entertain me during the 10-hour flight to Rome. Here's what I'm planning to take in my carry-on as my "in-flight" entertainment:

For fun:

  • Rome travel guide: my parents gave me an Eyewitness Travel guide for Christmas
  • My journal
  • Embroidery floss to whip up a few friendship bracelets
For survival:
  • One water bottle: they only allow you to bring one on the flight, I'm told
  • Pens
  • Gum: My ears always get plugged during flights, so I've learned that chewing gum does the trick to "unpop" them
  • Ear plugs: Pretty self-explanatory. I'm hoping I don't get stuck to a crying baby for the whole flight.
  • Inflatable neck pillow: so I can perhaps catch some shut-eye during the flight
  • Nook Color: loaded with my reading assignments for class as well as a movie or two (any suggestions on anything new that's come out?)
  • Cell phone
  • iPod: loaded with all of my playlists and some Rome podcasts.
Well? Do you guys have any suggestions on what to bring for the long plane trip? Specifically books, movies, etc.?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

I'm typing out this post as my mom and I watch "Downton Abbey" on Netflix. My sister is out with friends, my dad is on a trip, so it's just me and my mom. And that's okay, because we are each other's best friend.

Since my dad travels for a living, my mom, sister and I naturally grew very close. I can't imagine how hard it was for her to raise two little girls basically on her own. The life of a pilot's wife can be lonely, but my mom preserved.

She taught me to read when I was four years old, holding up flashcards of the letters of the alphabet and taking me to the library every single day to check out a new picture book. There were many outings to the park, trips to the zoo, and days spent at the lake, just the three of us. Once my sister and I were in school, she volunteered every chance she could. We were never embarrassed when she went on field trips with us--we loved our mom and wanted to be with her as much as possible.
See that dog in the pic? She walks her five miles every day. That's dedication, my friends. I'm so proud of her.

Now that I'm in college, my mom and I still text every single day in order to keep up with each other's lives. I try to come home as often as I can to see her.

 For mother's day we're giving her a pretty corsage and taking her out to brunch. Afterwards we're going to one of Wisconsin's state parks, Devil's Lake, to enjoy the weather. Happy mother's day everyone, and I hope you all have a great day!