Archive for September, 2015

Jamie For Jamaica ’16

Posted on: September 28th, 2015 by jmahoney No Comments

I have chosen to study abroad in Jamaica in January, 2016. Here is my philosophy behind studying abroad: I have chosen to study abroad because of the amount of time I will be working directly with members of a different culture. Intercultural communication is very important to me, hence why I am minoring in Communication Studies, and understanding intercultural communication will help in practically any business and/or personal situation I encounter. On this trip, I am not studying history and architecture, I am immersing myself in a culture. This international experience will better prepare me for global non-profit work, relating to my international studies minor. This relates to my future career aspiration of starting a non-profit organization that I wish to spread to other parts of the world. I need to not only learn about but experience what injustices people of all cultures of the world are facing. Then, and only then, will I be able to better understand the mission of a global non-profit organization. Experiencing a foreign culture will better prepare me for global non-profit work. I want to better understand cultural diversity. I need to learn and experience what injustices people of all cultures of the world are facing. Then, and only then, will I be able to better understand the mission of a global non-profit organization. I also want to learn more about my own culture. Not only do I learn the specifics about that culture I will be experiencing, but I become more aware of my own culture. By stepping out of my “comfort zone,” or my cultural norms, I am able to recognize what aspects of myself- my identity, values, beliefs, mannerisms, behaviors, etc.- are shaped or influenced by culture. By becoming more aware of these influences, I will be able to excel in various aspects of my life when it comes to setting goals and expectations, reacting to different situations, and most importantly, communicating cross-culturally, which relates to any type of career path I choose.

10 Interesting Commuter Challenges

Posted on: September 28th, 2015 by jmahoney No Comments

Commuters share a very special bond at Elmhurst College. Sure, we can always complain about getting stuck by the train, walking from the tennis courts, or stalking people for their parking spot… but I am going to guess that we have even more challenges in common than you may think. I do have a slightly different daily schedule than other commuters (I will leave my house at around 7:30 am each morning, travel to and from activities, meetings, work, school, and eventually, more night classes to eventually return home at some point after 10pm or 2am if I want to go out). With that in mind, there are simple basic needs that I seem to have challenges fulfilling when commuting to Elmhurst… but maybe that’s just a personal problem!

  1. Finding a refrigerator to keep my food cold. There used to be one in the Leader office that Student Activities would let me use, but that is no longer an option. The only place I have found so far is in the Honor’s Lounge. Here’s a few problems with that- first, I risk other people eating my food, and two, I need to coordinate walking all the way over to the library, checking out the honors key with my Jaypass, and going upstairs to the back of the library. I have also tried just carrying my cooler lunchbox with an ice pack or two, but it never stays cold. I have even resorted to calling a friend on campus and asking if they could store my food for me while I was on campus for so long.
  2. Finding a microwave to warm my food up in. I have two that I use- one, again, in the Honor’s Lounge, and two, in the CPE. Yes, the cafeteria is always an option as well.
  3. Finding a place to freshen up.  There are those special occasions when I will be on campus and for whatever reason, need to “freshen up.” Maybe I was outside at Taste of Elmhurst and got unreasonably sweaty. Maybe I was running late and had to skip a shower. Maybe I forgot to put on deodorant during the day. I have gone to the extent of posting a public service announcement on Facebook asking that I use someone’s shower in their dorm… and it was successful.
  4. Missing hours of operations, office hours, and on-campus events. This is probably more common for most commuters, but not everyone always thinks about it. On top of just plain missing the hours, how many times I have gone to an office during their posted hours and tried to get very urgent questions asked and everyone is at lunch or out of the office? Then I try calling and emailing and get no response? It is so hard to catch people in person most times!
  5. Finding a quiet, comfortable place to nap. Again, something you see quite often. So far the Honor’s Lounge is once again my go-to option! I have also considered just falling asleep on the mall… but I’m always afraid the sprinklers will turn on.
  6. Not bringing enough food (due to reasons 1 and 2, perhaps) and not having enough time to run to a grocery store, so having to resort to paying slightly higher for slightly unhealthier options.
  7. Carrying tens of pounds of books, bags, and belongings. I hate having to run back to my car for things. But I suppose people in dorms might feel this way as well.
  8. Having to strategically coordinate all of your buildling visits into one trip to campus as to not waste gas, time, and money driving out to campus for every little need.
  9. Not strategically utilizing your on-campus locker so you forget and leave your books in your locker over the weekend.
  10. Trying to plan ahead for the always changing weather- do I bring an umbrella? Rainboots? Rain jacket? Scarf? Hoodie? Sunglasses? Do I just keep these items in my car so I can grab them while I’m on campus, similar to someone who lives in a dorm?

Despite what you think about these challenges, I love being a commuter. I have such amazingly dynamic days by only traveling to campus for things that are important to me. I’m able to balance a lot of outside interests, jobs, hobbies, and passions. I hope some of you reading this can relate to any of the above. It is in no way meant to discourage anyone from choosing to commute!