Back to School!
Wow, summer went by fast! In just 4 days I move back to my second home, and classes start exactly a week from today. I’ve enjoyed my time off, but I’m definitely ready to get back to my beloved SLU!
My summer has been pretty decent, to say the least. After I completed my internship with Dardis, I went to another favorite city of mine, NYC, with my mom and brother during a trip to the East Coast to visit art colleges for Matthew. I got to hang out in Strawberry Fields while local musicians played Beatles songs, see the John Lennon memorial, and visit the Dakota - where Mr. Lennon lived and died - so the Beatlemaniac in me was pretty happy.
John Lennon Memorial
Couldn’t go to NYC without seeing Times Square!
I’m also super excited to have tried something new this summer - aerial silks! I’ve had a fascination with silks since I first saw Cirque du Soleil, and have been wanting to try it myself since I saw cast members of the Cincinnati Circus climb and wrap themselves in them when I took trapeze lessons last summer. So I’m extremely happy to have found Circus Mojo in northern KY, where I took lessons this summer. My instructor Sharon was an amazing teacher, and a ton of fun to work with! I’ll definitely be going back again when I go back to Cincinnati over winter break, but I’m hoping to find a silks instructor in St. Louis too!
It’s been an awesome summer, but I’m definitely ready to start an even more awesome semester at SLU. I’ve dearly missed my dance family, and I’m super pumped to perform with XQ again on Friday. I can’t wait to get back to serving St. Louis with my APO brothers and living with my best friends, too! And as weird as it may sound, I’m definitely looking forward to starting up classes again, so I can truly immerse myself in all the opportunities for educational growth at SLU.
To an awesome summer & an even better fall semester,
I apologize that it’s been so long since I updated you all; my life as a Billiken has been extremely busy lately!
Since we last talked, XQuizit went to Skokie IL (near Chicago) for Prelude Midwest, an urban dance competition. We may not have placed, but we competed with some of the nation’s best dance crews and held our own. It was definitely a weekend full of team bonding as well, and it was amazing to see the different styles and talents of other dance teams in the Midwest!
My dance life didn’t slow down after the competition, though, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. XQuizit had their showcase, titled #XQuizit, two weekends ago. I had the opportunity to choreograph a solo and a duet as well as a group routine for the show, and the audience seemed to enjoy it all! It was amazing to have one last big performance with my dance family and show off all the hard work we put in over the year.
More exciting news: I’m actually writing this blog from a hotel room in Chicagoland. I was recruited by Dardis, Inc. to be a part of their Academy this summer, and after I go through training this week I will be doing a 9 week long internship! I’m so thankful that one of my professors was flexible enough to allow me to take my final early so that I could grasp this opportunity. :)
I’ll be sure to upload videos from Showcase as soon as I get home (Mother Dearest recorded everything on her phone), so be on the lookout for those!
Until then, wish me luck, and I hope you have an awesome summer!
Parades and Shamrocks and Sushi, Oh My!
Hi again! I apologize that it’s been such a hiatus since my last update; it has been a very busy last few weeks with midterms and traveling back to my hometown of Cincinnati for Spring Break. So here we go - I have quite a bit to tell you!
As you may know, St. Louis is home of one of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations, second only to New Orleans. Last year I had a service site at the same time, but I’m so glad I got to see the parade with my dance family for the first time this year!
It was a high-energy sea of purple green and gold, and thanks to a teammate holding me up, I was able to catch 19 strands of beads - which I don’t think is too shabby for someone with next to zero hand-eye coordination!
Butterflies are some of my favorite animals, so I was particularly excited to see this part of the parade. I wonder where she found those wings, because I’m sensing a Halloween costume idea already!
After the Mardi Gras parade that Saturday morning, it was time to buckle down and prepare for midterms week. Luckily for me, I only had one on Thursday and two on Friday, so I had plenty of time to study as much as I needed. And the hard work was worth it, because it earned me some fun-filled time back in Cincinnati during Spring Break!
About 45 minutes north of Cincinnati there’s a “flea market” called Traders World, which I would often visit with my family as a child. We hadn’t been there in years, so my dad and I decided to spend the afternoon there. I had nearly forgotten how huge the place is - there are over 10 full-size repurposed barns full of merchant’s booths, and some choose to set up outside too! They had also definitely remodeled since I had been there last, and I borderline fell in love with the life-sized animal statues at the entrance.
While I loved revisiting my childhood over break, I was also excited to try some new things too! My little brother has been trying to convince me to eat sushi for the last year, but I’ve never been much of a seafood fan and I honestly fear eating raw fish (a trait I may have gotten from my mother). I discovered over break, however, that sushi also comes in the deep fried variety. It turns out I might have a new favorite food, and I’ve also made my little brother proud!
Zinzinnati Cincinnati is well-known for its Oktoberfest celebration, there’s a pretty awesome St. Patrick’s Day celebration here too! I went to Fountain Square downtown with Sean and his family to celebrate his mom’s birthday. There we were, surrounded by various shades of green - including neon green wigs. The celebration included a face painting booth, bagpipe players, Irish dancing lessons, a meat pie booth, and of course, green beer. Only the adults partook in the last one :)
After a 5-hour car ride back to SLU, I settled back in to my apartment before getting Starbucks with my dad the next morning and eagerly accepting his offer to drive me to my first class. I love my hometown of Cincinnati, but I know that I have found another home in St. Louis.
It was good to be home, but it’s good to be back. And I think it’s pretty awesome that I get to leave one home to go to another.
Be at home. Be a Billiken.
Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day!
I hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day weekend - I know I did! It also happened to be Sean’s birthday weekend, so he came to visit and my roommates and I showed him around some of our favorite parts of St. Louis.
We started our Saturday afternoon by taking the shuttle to the St. Louis Galleria. The shuttle is free, and also drops students off at places like Wal-Mart, Schnuck’s, and Target so that we can get our grocery shopping done even if we don’t have a car on campus. Trust me, this comes in seriously handy.
After exploring some of the over 100 stores at the Galleria, we decided it was time to go to the Delmar Loop - a street filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
We treated him to a classic St. Louis eatery, Fitz’s, where you can watch their soda being bottled in the restaurant while you wait for your table.
(My apologies for the poor phone photography of the neon sign)
We all loved the fried pickle chips we had as an appetizer, and I borderline devoured the “Sunny BLT” I had. The sandwich was made of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, cheese, and a fried egg, and it was so good.
I think my favorite part, though, had to be Sean’s birthday sundae. A mug of Fitz’s root beer, 4 scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and coffee flavors), whipped cream, and a cherry on top - YUM!
As you can probably guess, Sean needed all of our help with finishing that, and we were happy to oblige.
After Fitz’s, we somehow managed to still have enough room in our bellies to head down the Loop to St. Louis Bubble Tea, which is one of my favorites! Not only are their drinks and food delicious, but there’s this awesome mural on the wall. I could probably stare at it all day.
Part of what I love about being at SLU is being so close to everything St. Louis has to offer - and my weekend was only a fraction of it!
Be a St. Louisan. Be a Billiken.