A window inside life at Augustana College

Lacrosse season is upon us

Earlier this week I worked the men’s lacrosse home-opener inputting live stats from the pressbox at Thorson-Lucken Field. That chilly evening saw the Vikings set several records in their 20-1 win over Dubuque. The single game record of 31 points was upped to 33 as Augie scored 20 goals and assisted 13 of them, which also rewrote the previous record of 10 assists in a game. Andrew Miller scored seven goals which was also a new Augustana men’s lacrosse single game record surpassing the previous record of six held by four players.  Here’s the story I wrote following the game: http://www.athletics.augustana.edu/news/2014/3/12/MLAX_0312142136.aspx?path=mlax.



First Day of my Internship!

It has been awhile since I have posted a blog but for anyone that is reading this post there will be a lot more where this is coming from. One of the academic requirements for my internship is to keep a blog regarding what I am up to at my internship as well as my reflections on experiences. My internship this term is in the sports information department here at Augustana, where I will be taking on the responsibilities of covering everything pertaining to men’s and women’s lacrosse.

Anyone reading this can expect to see links to press releases that I have written and perhaps even some pictures or other releases that I have come across and find interesting. I did not write the releases for the games played over spring break because I was in Louisiana working with Habitat for Humanity, therefore the link in this post is the first lacrosse piece that I have written (http://www.athletics.augustana.edu/news/2014/3/10/WLAX_0310141600.aspx). However, I was also responsible for writing the swimming stories this past winter which can be found at these links: men’s swimming and women’s swimming.

My duties on the first day of my internship included continuing work on what I call the “Hall of Fame Project”. This project has spanned months because of its size. The Augustana athletic department refers to its Hall of Fame as the Tribe of Vikings which adds new members annually through a voting process. Any athlete that earned a varsity letter and graduated between 2000 and 2004 is eligible for induction and therefore all of their statistics and records are recorded by student workers (that’s me!) onto the nomination ballot so that voters know the accomplishments of each athlete. Clearly this is a larger project but I look forward to working and completing the list because of the great sense of accomplishment that it will bring.

Reflection of a College Spring Break

Hey everyone,

My first college spring break has come and gone like sand through my fingertips. Each moment hanging with friends, cherishing time with family, or just relaxing the day away seems like it happened a whole life time ago. Like most people, I wish I had traveled somewhere where there isn’t snow and the sun shines like a hot summer day. Alas, I had the simple pleasure of staying here a week for the Track Conference Meet, which was a blast, and then proceeded to head home to the sweet town of Geneva, Illinois. Though as much as I was that I had traveled, going home was nice as well. It’s great to have home cooked meals, a bed to sprawl out on to get quality rest, and not having to wake up before 10 each morning. Now that spring break is done, I am ecstatic about this spring term and all that awaits!

Hope everyone had a quality spring break and has a great third trimester!

Takeshita-dori, Temples, and Tons of Fun!

This spring break, I traveled over 6000 miles with the Augustana Symphonic Band to Japan! We spent an amazing 12 days on tour (well, really ten if you subtract for travel) exploring Osaka, Kyoto, Hakone, and Tokyo! I don’t want to overload you all with a giant picture dump, but I have a few that I’d love to share for right now.


This temple is literally covered in gold foil—over 40 pounds of the stuff! Although you can’t go inside the temple, the band walked around the gardens and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.


A stunning view of a few of Tokyo’s skyscrapers! The Tokyo Metropolitan Govt. Building had an observatory on the top floor that gave you a 360 degree view of the city. I have a ton of pictures from this building, but this is one of my personal favorites.


A lot of these gates were burned down during WWII, and I think this one was rebuilt slightly after the war. I can’t even begin to explain how large this was; the picture doesn’t do it any justice!


Thunder Gate! One of our tour pieces is called “Bookmarks from Japan” by Julie Giroux. The fourth movement is called Thunder Gate and it was amazing to see it in person. I couldn’t get the song out of my head the entire time I was there! Past the gate was a street lined with tons of shops selling local goods and food. I picked up a lot of souvenirs here and some ice cream for myself!


The famed Takeshita-dori! This is the place for fashion in Tokyo, and it had been my dream to walk down it for years! You can probably notice how packed the street is; it was intense! Many Japanese girls dress up in lolita fashion and walk down this street, hoping to get noticed by an agent and snag a modeling job. I looked around several world-famous lolita shops including Wonder Rocket, Bodyline, and Closet Child. If only I had saved more money—everything was so cute! I did manage to pick up some clothes, though. And, come on. I walked down Takeshita Street! Even if I didn’t get any clothes, I still would have been just as happy with the experience alone.


An inside look at the Field Museum

This spring break, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Members Night at the Field Museum in Chicago! I am a big museum fan, especially when it comes to the Field Museum (don’t get me started on their animal collection) so it was like Disney World to me! Apparently, I’m not alone in my excitement for this awesome night as a lot of my friends and family have been turning a little green with envy from my tales, so I decided to share them right here!

The evening started at 5pm, but we decided to go to the museum early for their new White City exhibit on the Chicago World’s Fair (my parents are obsessed with the World’s Fair so it was a must-see for us). Since we were already at the museum, I got to watch as the lobby trasnformed from its usual grand opening to a bustling performance area with live music and wandering puppets.

The sides of the lobby became home to tables filled with some behind-the-scenes parafanalia like the museums 3D scanner and 3D printer! That’s right! I saw a 3D printer with my own eyes. With this technology, they were able to take a CT scan of a Peruvian Mummy and print 3D copies of the small trinkets inside, all without unwrapping a single layer! WHAT?!?

Downstairs hosted tables of animal dissections. The Field Museum has samples upon samples of deceased animals in their freezers that they skin, dissect, and preserve for research purposes. In fact, only about 10% of what the Field Museum owns is on display. Scientists from all over the world make their way to Chicago’s Field Museum to study the thousands of specimen that are stored in the museums archives on the top floors.


Along with this cougar was a red fox, a grey fox, a badger, and a beaver

Speaking of top floors. Guess who got to go there! That’s right! This girl!

Yea, I Snap-chatted it to all my friends.

Yea, I Snap-chatted it to all my friends.

Upstairs we found birds…. lots of birds. And some of the museums ornithologists (people who study birds) were there to tell us about their research. It was amazing to have a chance to talk with people who were so passionate about their studies (and so excited to be at work after hours!). The bird archives included more dissections and provided us the opportunity to hold some “reject” specimen.

Reject Owl

Reject Owl

Reject Osprey

Reject Osprey

The insect archives also gave us some furry creatures to hold. Except this time they were alive!


Finally, up on the top floor was the design studios and set construction workshops. It was incredible to see how much work went into getting an exhibit from an idea to the final presentation you see in the museum.


Overall, it was an incredible night for a nerd like myself. Just this one night alone was definitely worth the membership, and I can’t wait until next year!

Top Reasons To Study Abroad In Africa

As you may already know, Augie provides many destinations to study abroad each year. Spring Term 2015, they are offering a trip to Africa (an awesome place and happens to be the program to which I’ve been accepted). The application is STILL OPEN and will be open until further notice.  Hopefully, even more students students will apply and enroll. Many are overlooking this AMAZING opportunity for whatever reason(s). In those emails, they don’t add too many words because then it may seem overwhelming.   Here, I will explore the top reasons why you should apply to Africa Term.


Live in Africa for a whole term!


Live in Ghana: one of the friendliest and welcoming countries in Africa.

Live in a house, not a hut!

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There won’t be any huts or camping out. Let’s defuse the stereotype! There will be actual houses. Perhaps that what’s making people hesitant to apply? Here you will be living with a family and a fellow Augie student.

Fulfill PA, PH, PP perspectives and G Suffix + Learning Community (Internship!)

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There are three 3-credit courses offered in Africa, which are all taught by Augie professors. You can take either 2 or all 3 of the courses provided below.

Art 342: Studio Art of Africa (PA, G). Taught by Dr. Rowen Schussheim-Anderson

History 375: West Africa Past & Present (PP).  Taught by Dr. Todd Cleveland

Music 342: Music & Culture of West Africa (PH, G).  Taught by Dr. John Pfautz

The internship you get depends on your major. The professors at Augie will be making their best efforts to get you an internship that fits.   This service learning internship will earn you 2 credits at Augie and is an awesome thing to add to your resume!

Open To Any Augustana Student Who…

…is currently a first-year, sophomore, or junior of any major!

The Following majors/minors are recommended, but is definitely not NOT LIMITED TO: Africana Studies, Anthropology, Art, Art History, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Communication Studies, Environmental Management, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Graphic Design, History, Landscape Architecture, Music, Music Ed, Secondary ED, and Women & Gender Studies (Source: Augustana College International Programs, Dec. 2013)

Cost less than a spring term on campus


The tentative cost of this trip is $15,500 (includes insurance, tuition, ground transportation, airfare, lodging, meals while in homestays, and excursions). With Augie Choice, this program costs less than a Spring Term on campus! AUGIE CHOICE IS OPEN TO CURRENT FIRST-YEARS, SOPHOMORES, AND JUNIORS, TOO!

Many Free Meals!

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Unlike some study abroad programs, most of the meals are included in the cost! Your host family will be providing you will their own heart-warming and belly-filling cuisine. This includes all breakfasts and dinners.

Side Trips

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Take a safari. Visit historical sites like the slave castles.  Go to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean Visit national parks and more!

English is the official language

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Don’t be afraid to make a mistake ordering your food and don’t be worried about saying anything offensive; English is the official language! All the preparation you need will be during Winter Term in ISS 302: Seminar on African Culture. This one credit course will provide you will all types of helpful info: from the best way to carry money, to African customs to communication with family at home… it covers it all!


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Elephants, moneys, etc.! There aren’t many opportunities like this. Be surrounded by nature and feel more connected to Earth. For me, this is something spiritually rejuvenating. While it’s still feeling like winter in Rock Island, it is feeling great in Africa. Your friends will be jealous. Ha. :p

Cultural Exchange and Bonding

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Experience the many parts of the culture hands on. The arts and music won’t be limited to the classroom. There will be music, dance, history, arts, crafts and more. The family you stay with will make you feel like part of their family and there’s nothing like learning from the source him/herself. African people are known to be some of the warmest and most interesting people in the world. Exchange your culture with theirs. Get mutual understanding and feel the warmth.

The Personal Experience

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You will leave understanding both the tragedies and many accomplishments of the African people. You can live a better person and will more culture competence. This will have you happy, but sad to leave people you have connected with. Understanding a culture that may be completely opposite from your own takes commitment. Patience can be gained and with that comes strength.  If you can connect with them, you can connect with anyone.

Other Perks

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This is a great conversation starter and wouldn’t look too shabby on your resume. Plus, one of the most difficult interview questions is “What is the biggest challenge you faced and how did you go about it”. The perfect answer could be about the one time in Africa when you may have had culture shock… or something of that nature. That one answer could earn you a job.

A typical day in Africa

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Ghana: Wake up and eat a delicious breakfast while chatting at the table with your new family. Depending on your work schedule, you may be on your way to your internship. Maybe you’ll be working with children in a classroom, maybe you’ll be evaluating patients in a clinic, or perhaps you’ll be collecting water from Lake Volta. Afterwards you might be on your way to lunch with a fellow Augie student, then classes and dinner in the evening. On the weekends, there will be side trips with professors and other students.


Applying is easy as 1, 2, 3!


Go to www.augustana.edu/plus/ to apply NOW!


1.      Complete a brief section that’s asking for info like your name, languages you’ve taken, and your campus involvement.

2.     Complete a one page personal statement about your academic goals and how this trips fits and what not.

3.      Complete a budget narrative and submit!!!! Don’t forget to submit you $300 deposit to the Business office. If accepted, the deposit goes towards the program. If not, it will be refunded to you fully. 

Note: If you’re looking to apply for Augie Choice, there are three short answers to complete afterwards. Then you’re all done.

Remember: you’re chances of getting accepted are pretty likely since there are some spots left. Don’t wait until the last minute and miss out!

For more information, visit http://www.augustana.edu/academics/international-programs/trimester-abroad-programs/ghana-and-tanzania or contact Dr. Pfautz (Music), Dr. Cleveland (History) or Dr. Schussheim-Anderson (Art)

P.S. Though both Ghana & Tanzania are part of the program, I chose to only focus on Ghana. Depending on how many more people apply, that can determine whether we go to both or not. If we only go to Ghana, it will still be 10 weeks and the internship will be 10 weeks instead of 6 as well! If we do Ghana & Tanzania, there will be 6 weeks spent in Ghana and 4 in Tanzania (The internships are in Ghana only).

Someone Might Read This

I imagine Augustana student Dan Murray reading this in his bathrobe. He’s got a fresh cup of hot cocoa with some marshmallows melting upon it and some sprinkles of peppermint to give it that perfect hint of Winter coziness.

He’s clean shaven at the moment, but he’s considering not shaving to appear more mature to all the ladies at Augustana. The ladies at Augustana that might talk about him to the higher ups at Hot Guy Magazine. Were both not sure if it exists, but men can’t be certain that it doesn’t.

He’s spent hours on Facebook not really soaking up anything, but he’s contemplating what he’s going to do today. He remembers he enjoys a good giggle every once and again, so he decides to check out this blog before he heads off on the adventure of his day.

The blog reads.

1. 184 lb Augustana Wrestler Thomas Reyhons leads dual life as National Qualifying stud muffin and actor Clive Owen. He’s a chocolate chip stud muffin, with all the multivitamins one needs for daily nourishment.


2. Billy Mays sold me a genie in a bottle post mortem. I feel cheated but at the same time immensely impressed at the salesmanship of the bearded purveyor of good I believe I need, but ultimately don’t because food, shelter, and human companionship are all I truly need. With the genie in a bottle, I wished for three wishes. The genie said that comes standard. I argued with my genie for about an hour, 34 minutes of which were spent arguing about whether I can wish for even more wishes than three. I settled on three wishes and a burrito from Illegal Pete’s. If you don’t know about that kind of burrito I suggest you hop in a ride with me on my way to Colorado this summer in my lovely green truck that I’ve yet to name but love dearly. Their burritos might change the way you view Mexican food and the social hierarchy of America. With the first wish I asked to become a better writer. I’m still terrible so I guess wishing didn’t work. My second wish was for world peace, I then began laughing hysterically and said just kidding. I got a second wish back and used it to get the cast of St. Elmo’s Fire to do a combination theatre piece combining Erin Brokovich with Hamlet. I might be the only mind that can fathom how great it was. I wrote a review of it on Rotten Tomatoes.com that simply stated,

“I was riveted by the acting of Rob Lowe, my mom met him once. My mom is the most beautiful woman in the world. I know because my dad told me that more than I could count as a kid”.

My third wish was spent on finding out what happens at the end of this wonderful season of True Detective. I can’t tell.

3. There are a lot of movies used as references in this blog. Google them, then watch them you troglodyte.

Q. I am using a letter here. I don’t have to follow my own rules. If you truly want to break free from the establishment proudly say, “get shelved like a lost toy me”.

Shelved is a new “thing” I’m trying. I’ll work it into sentences when I feel like it or don’t feel like it depending on how controlling I am of myself.


So, Dan Murray  decides to get on with his day. He texts Gary Miller, “Hey I hope your Sunday is fantastic”

It sure is Dan!



Spring Break in Minnesota

So we Augie students are currently on spring break. I know what you’re thinking, “Spring break in February?!?”, and I agree, it’s not exactly the most ideal time for spring break. However there are pro’s to this timing. Apparently going on trips to warm places is cheaper during our spring break versus other spring breaks, but I wouldn’t know that because I’ve never been on a spring break trip. Honestly, the only spring break information I can pass on is how I’ve spent my spring breaks in the good ol’ frozen tundra of Minnesota aka: Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, Land of Ten Thousand Potholes, Land of 8ft Snow Drifts.

Freshman year: I spent the two weeks sick in bed. It was miserable. I had tonsilitis, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t do anything. However I did knockout the whole series of Army Wives. The highlight of this break was making a birthday card for my friend Alli, who was in Brazil, and then taking a picture of it and emailing her the picture. Oh, there was also a snow day in Minnesota during this break and that definitely contributed to my overwhelming joy with spring break. But the snow day allowed me to get together with some of my hometown friends since their colleges closed. Oh, I also went to the Mall of America one day and we found a bat living in the bushes next to the swings in Nicklodeon Universe.

The card that I made Alli during spring break freshman year.

The card that I made Alli during spring break freshman year.

Sophomore year: I had 8+ doctors appointments in 2 weeks. I mean what could be better than countless blood draws, two types of allergy testing, a CATScan, and new glasses? Honestly, not much. I love going to the doctor. I love needles. And going to all of those appointments got me out of the house when I couldn’t hangout with friends. Over this break my TV of choice was Doctor Who. Oh, I also caught black ice on the dirt road on the way home from an appointment and I got stuck in a field. Then my stepdad came to help pull me out and he got stuck.

Both stuck.

Both stuck.

Junior year/This year: My boyfriend came home to meet my family so that was pretty major. I still had two papers to finish and submit so while he was here I spent a lot of time writing papers while he shoveled. On the first, full, day we were at home, my brother, Zeke got his car stuck on the way to school. My Mom, Joey and I went to go get the car. We had our friends help pull out the car with a tractor. The tractor got stuck. Then a snowplow came by and got stuck. Mom went back to get the car keys for Zeke’s car. In the mean time we used another tractor to pull the tractor with the car attached to it out. Mom come back but she got her car stuck. Then another plow came to pull out the first plow. Finally everyone but mom was out of the ditch so we got home and Joey and Zeke pulled her car out. Later that night, Carl, my stepdad, got our truck with a plow on it stuck in the driveway. It took us approximately 3 hours to dig it out. The rest of break has been rather uneventful. Tonight I’m going shopping!

Zeke stuck, waist deep, in a drift in our driveway.

Zeke stuck, waist deep, in a drift in our driveway.

Four Things I Never Realized I Learned from Greek Life

Have you read the article shared by the Greek Life Facebook page titled: Examining the benefits of Greek Life?

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend doing so. It got me thinking of how four years in Greek Life has benefitted my own education, and since it’s almost time for Augie’s Greek Population to grow, I thought now would be a good time to share them.

Of course, everyone hears the stories of “I found my support group” and “I became a leader” so I’m going to stick to the things we Greeks probably don’t even realize we’ve taken away from our chapters. So here it is,

Four Things I Never Realized I Learned from Greek Life

  1. Keeping Commitments

My sorority quickly taught me that simply “having a lot of homework” is NOT an excuse to miss an important event. However, this is an excuse I hear all the time from students, and I gasp every time I hear it/read it in a text or email. Now, I’m not talking about last-minute plans like, “I would love to go on an impromptu Whitey’s trip with you, but I really want to finish this paper.” I’m talking about using homework as an excuse to get out of events that you have known about for a good amount of time. For example, “I know we scheduled this group project three days ago, but I just have too much other homework to come”. We are all students, we all have homework, and we’re all busy. We should also be able to manage our time properly to work around a schedule.  Imagine using this excuse in the real world, “sorry Mr. Bossman (yep, that will be his name), I can’t come to the staff meeting today because I just had so much filing to do.” Okay, it’s obvious I have no idea what businesses are like (I’m going to be a zookeeper), but you get what I mean. Overall, breaking plans is like breaking a promise.

You said it, Mr. Bossman



2. The Horrors of the Bystander Effect

For those not familiar with psychology (or is it sociology? Whatever), the Bystander Effect happens when people pass responsibility off in a large group assuming that somebody else will do it, or has already done it. A large sorority like mine is definitely not safe from this effect. I know I’ve been guilty of sitting awkwardly, avoiding eye contact while a girl in our sorority asks for “one more person for our IM team.” Once I realized what was happening, though, I started stepping up more. Sometimes all it takes is one volunteer to inspire people to step up as well. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have done this. It has given me so many more opportunities to do great things, not only for my sorority, but for the school and community as well. My Advice: never pass responsibility off to someone else if you know you can handle it yourself. You never know what adventure will come from stepping up and taking responsibility.


I had the best time stepping up and joining our Camp Kessem Trivia table: We didn’t win, but we definitely won “Most Attractive Table”


3. How to deal with disagreement

Imagine a group of 100+ girls being asked to decide on the best Whitey’s ice cream flavor. Obviously they are not going to all say the same thing (even though it’s obviously Mississippi Mud). That is essentially what happens all the time, but maybe not with something as trivial as ice cream flavors. Maybe at first it’s overwhelming to be so confidant of an answer only to be outnumbered; have a majority of people disagree with you. But it’s going to happen, and the first time, you may take it a little personally (maybe not). Either way, it’s OKAY! My sorority stands on the value of individuality, so we disagree about everything, but in the best way possible. From my sorority, I’ve heard so many opinions, ideas, and thoughts that I could have never dreamed of. I’ve learned to never look at disagreement as an attack, but a new viewpoint or idea. You could learn so much from hearing an opposing viewpoint. It could change your mind or make you value your own opinion even more, always cherish that.


Just don’t try to change my mind about ice cream…




4. YOU are important 

Like I mentioned before, I come from a BIG chapter. Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you don’t stand out in a group of 100+ girls let alone a society of billions of people. My sisters are so talented, smart, and downright beautiful. They offer so much to Augustana and the world and sometimes I feel like the ugly duckling when I compare my little old self to them and their successes. However, from the constant support of my sisters, I can learn to love myself and see that my place in the sorority and the world is an important one. I may not be the smartest or most successful, and I’m definitely not the most athletic, but I am the only one who can offer exactly who I am to the world. There is truly nobody like me, and my sisters provide a constant reminder that there is nothing better than being exactly who you are.

And it doesn’t get much better than this



To the Person Leaving Letters All Over the Library

Hello! I just have a short post for today:

To the person leaving letters all over the library,

I just want to say Thank You. Thank you for making other people’s days a little bit brighter, especially since it’s finals week. Thank you for proving that people still write in cursive (remember when we were all taught that in 2nd grade? How much we HATED it?). Thank you for proving that people actually read my last post (“The World Needs More Love Letters”).