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February 2013 Archives

I need a study break!

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meg h-g pilates.jpgAs an undergrad my classmates used to make fun of me all the time, I could not sit still while studying! Little did I know that listening to my body was a really great thing!

In a study out of Portland State University in June of 2008 it states that exercise that improves cardiovascular function, such as running and cycling, improved cognitive functioning; specifically memory and attentiveness.

I'm not saying each time you get agitated while studying to start up a game of ultimate Frisbee, however allowing yourself the opportunity to workout while studying for finals can impact your studying.

SC Cribs: Designer Digs from a Dix RA

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I recently had the chance to chat with Kelsey Duchesne, a Dix RA, about how she created "home" here at Simmons.

Kelsey's room 1.jpgWhat is your favorite thing in your room?

I brought a portion of my Buddha collection with me from home, and have them scattered all around my room. Each one has a different place, story or person tied to it, so it's nice to be reminded of wonderful memories every day.

If you had to describe your room in one word what would it be?

I would say my room is very eclectic! There are so many different colors and patterns and nic-nacs, but together it all seems to work.

Kelsey's room 3.jpgHow do you best utilize the space you have?

I have a very fierce rule for myself: keep my room neat. When my room is neat, it can be anything. It can be a comfortable bedroom, a quiet study space, or a warm and welcoming place for my friends to gather. You can get so much use out of your room simply by picking up your clothes and making your bed in the morning.

How does your room reflect your personality?

It's difficult for me to just throw out adjectives that I (hope) people will associate me with. All I know is that everything in my room is there for a reason; I think it's beautiful, or there is a story behind it, or it compliments my interests. Anyone who knows me could come into this room and immediately know that it's mine.

Spring Theater in Boston

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A Raisin in the Sun.jpgIn a crowded apartment in Chicago's South Side, each member of a struggling African-American family yearns for a different version of a better life. An impending and sizeable insurance payment could be the key. Hansberry's groundbreaking 1959 classic drama is an inspiring and fiercely moving portrait of people whose dreams are constantly deferred.

A Raisin in the Sun runs March 8 - April 7, 2013 at the Huntington Theater.

Clybourne Park.jpgWinner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and London's Olivier Award for Best Play, Clybourne Park is a bold new play about race, real estate and the volatile values of each. Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's classic play A Raisin in the Sun (see above), this acclaimed work explodes in two outrageous acts set 50 years apart. Act One takes place in 1959, as nervous community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a home in a white community to a black family. Act Two is set in the same house in 2009, as the now predominantly African American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification.

Clybourne Park runs March 1 - 30, 2013 with the SpeakEasy Stage Company.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.jpgWinnie Madikizela-Mandela was born September 26, 1936 in what is now South Africa's Eastern Cape Province. She was one of eight children and lost her mother at the tender age of eight years old. Winnie grew up during Apartheid, which was a racial segregation system enforced through legislation in South Africa. Despite restrictions to education for blacks, she earned degrees in Social Work and International Relations. With her Social Work degree Winnie worked at Baragwanath Hospital where she became the very first black social worker in South Africa. This is where she became especially aware of the huge gap between the privileged white minority and the levels of poverty that blacks were subject to. This is where Winnie's passion for equality and her political voice evolved.


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snow.jpgThis blog post was going to be about the poetry slam. I couldn't wait to get introduced to people's secrets, their innermost thoughts, their struggles. Unfortunately, the slam was postponed. Snowpacolypse 2013 happened and Nemo (as the storm was so pleasantly named) came at us hard, and shut down the city.

While much of the city enjoyed a long weekend of relaxation and playing in the snow, here at Simmons Team Awesome UNICCO and Team Awesome BARTOL STAFF were working around the clock to make sure that students had enough food to eat and clear and safe pathways to walk on. Even Res Life and OSLA staff were pitching in!

There was a ban on road travel, so Bartol and Unicco staffs were asked to stay in the residence halls. Res Life had already put some rooms aside for the overnight guests so they could sleep in warm beds. Students pitched in and brought toiletries. When it finally came to bedtime, because they are a tight knit team, the Bartol employees decided they would rather camp out in Bartol and stay together.

A Trip to Morocco!

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During winter break this year, I went to Morocco for two weeks I learned about the Moroccan culture and health care, but also had the chance to educate and gave back to people while visiting their villages.

morocco camel.jpgOn Day 1- Friday
In Morocco the people speak Arabic and French. After an 8-hour flight, I arrived in Morocco at 11:15 am Moroccan time which is 6:15 am EST. I exchanged $80 which equals 650 dirham (Moroccan currency). When we arrived, we had beef, chicken, lentils, and a lot of bread. I didn't know that the Moroccan diet consists so much of bread but it was all fresh and tasty. Then we went to souk which is like a shopping market. We saw snake charmers, monkeys on chains,and a whole table of dentures! We saw beautiful shoes, fake American purses, leather bags made in Morocco, traditional Moroccan attire, and tagines, which are what moroccans make their great food in. I bargained a leather bag for my mother for $30 which I am very proud of.

morocco food.jpgDay 2- Saturday
On this day we took a bus for 7 hours through the Atlas mountains with a local college students' rotary club. The road was very narrow and dangerous and there were 25 of us in a tour bus, but we made it. When we got to the village the villagers welcomed us with open arms playing music and dancing for us. Then we ate a delicious dinner made in a tagine. The villagers there spoke berber, a local dialect and not the typical Arabic Moroccan language. That night we slept in the doctor's home. It was very cold that night but that's why we had gone up to that village; there were reports of health problems but because the village is so far and the road is dangerous people never come to help the village.

My Final Swim Team Training Trip for Simmons

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Every year since my first year at Simmons I have participated in the most intense two-a-day swimming training of my life, called the 'training trip'. Typically we have gone to different locations in Florida, or like my sophomore year to Puerto Rico, this past year we trained in Jupiter, Florida near Ft. Lauderdale. These days are filled with early mornings, lots of sun screen, and of course swimming. We swim roughly 5-7 miles a day in a pool, 50meters, which is more than twice the size of our Simmons home pool 25yards.

This past year was by far the best experience of all my four training trips. The team dynamic, the location, and the level of performance by both my teammates and I was inspiring, and reflecting back on that time while still in the midst of the most intense part of our season, we can truly see the results. At our first meets back in yards we were seeing teammates across the board with not only season's best times, but lifetime best times. I was one of those people. Training as hard as I have for all four years, the prospect of my graduation frightened me. What if I still have so much more to give? What if I'll never reach my potential? Never know how good I could have been? I am no rest assured I will be carried by my hard work to the rest of my life the way I am leaving my swim season and my college career, with a bang.