Archive for March, 2015

5 Unusual Reasons to Love a Small Class-Size

Posted on: March 31st, 2015 by jmahoney 1 Comment

You have probably heard the benefits of having a small class size…. things like great one-on-one time with your teacher, getting to know your peers, and having more meaningful class discussion on different topics. But over the past 3 years of having small class sizes (at my school I transferred from as well) I have come to realize that I absolutely love small class sizes for the following reasons:


1. I can sit in the front row and still be able to talk to/see the students in the back row. I love sitting in the front row because I can see if I forget my glasses, I can see the notes better, and the teacher can read my facial expression if I am confused. In a small classroom, that is great because I can still engage with the students in the back of the room without having to yell across a lecture hall.


2. If someone brings in food, there is enough to share with everyone. Small classes can get donuts, bagels, and even pizza parties for relatively cheap because of how few students there are.


3. There is no fight over outlets to plug in my laptop. With nearly two outlets on each of the four walls, I have fairly good odds of being able to plug in my laptop during the entire class. If I had more students in my class, there would definitely be fights for the outlets!


4. Because I have a close relationship with my teacher, she/he is able to accommodate me in desperate times when all of my classes are piling up. Although some people might think it is a bad thing if a teacher notices that you are absent from their class, I believe it is an excellent thing. Almost all of my teachers have noticed when I am absent and have always sincerely asked if I was doing okay and if there is anything they can do to help. There is no way that could happen in a larger class.


5. Not only am I able to get awesome letters of recommendations, I am able to land internships professional connections, and even collaboration on my independent research projects- all that I am able to discuss with my professor after class. I have and countless AMAZING opportunities from my teachers just from being in their class. They are able to notice my passion for involvement and dedication to working hard and have consequently nominated me for endless opportunities. The best part, however, is being able to discuss it with them after class. I do not have to make an appointment during their office hours.

Perfect Timing

Posted on: March 25th, 2015 by jmahoney No Comments

I anxiously awaited my blogger login to begin telling the world all about my AMAZING adventures at Elmhurst College. Today could not be a more perfect day to blog about. Yesterday I just returned home from the Habitat for Humanity Alternative Spring Break Trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was truly an unforgettable experience. I have volunteered with Habitat before at my last college and fell absolutely in love with home construction. However, nothing could compare to the construction I did last week. Previously, I had hung dry wall, painting, hung outside siding, power washed a fence, and installed a second story on a house. This time, I was starting from the ground up… literally. When our group arrived, the cement foundation was laid and everything was planned, measured and marked. Here is a brief overview of some of the highlights from my week:


Day 1: Traveling via coach bus Saturday/ Sunday

I surprisingly slept the majority of the night with little pain. The rest stops throughout the night were timed just right. We awoke in the morning in the middle of Tennessee and stopped to have breakfast at at Waffle House. I ordered eggs, cinnamon raisin toast, and bacon with a side of GRITS. Yes, I had to Google what grits were… overall, pretty delicious. We arrived at our first church some of us were lodging at in Charlotte around 3:30 PM. I stepped off the bus to stretch and was mesmerized by the beauty! There were tiny purple and lavender colored flowers poking up from the grass, everywhere I looked. It was stunning, for they were my favorite colors. Once I arrived at the church I was staying at, I was very thankful for: having a room with a cot and mattress pad, balcony, and bathroom (although it was drafty, the walls were cracking, and the carpet smelled moldy).


Day 2: Exploring Charlotte

The day started off right away with a tour of Julia’s Coffee and Book Shop. It suddenly became my new favorite place. I found Gone Girl on CD so I can listen to it while I drive and three daily meditation books, one called Daily Meditations for Women Who Do To Much. How perfect. I also found something called The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Vegetarian Feminist Critical Theory, and another called Reasons Why It Is Socially Acceptable to Punch You In The Face. Both pretty interesting. We toured the Restore shop and it was great. Apparently they also work off of Amazon, so that is cool that I could order books straight from their site. Unfortunately I don’t remember their seller name.


After that tour, we continued to yet another tour, this time of Charlotte. College student Scott cam aboard our coach bus as we traveled around to Amelie’s French Bakery where I had a delicious apple turnover, to the rooftop of Farenheit, a restaurant where we can see the skyline, and to Imaginon, a children’s library. Once the tour was over, we were dropped off at 7th Street Public Market where I ordered THE BEST FOOD IN THE WORLD- a chicken curry crepe. I also bought a peanut butter and goatcheese triple berry jam sandwich- that I LOST somwhere downtown :(.


Next  a small group of us traveled aimlessly down the streets until we gave up and sat in a small business park in the warm rays of the sun. It was so much better than the snow we heard we were receiving at home. We were suddenly interrupted by an older man, asking us for money to buy minutes for his phone… we gave him some change and sent him on his way. After being lied to by the tour guide about Charlotte having 96 FroYo places, we spent an hour trying to navigate our way to one.


Day 3: First Work Day


Day 4: Hardest Work Day


Day 5: Best Work Day


Day 6: Most Uncomfortable Work Day/ Traveling Home





Pictures can be seen here –>>> EC H4H Alternative Spring Break 15 Charlotte, North Carolina