A window inside life at Augustana College

Bring on Graduation!

So, probably since the beginning of Spring Term, I’ve been in a funk. I was getting job rejections (but that’s life), I spent just about every waking minute working, I was missing the excitement of my internship and volunteer experiences, and I was just bored overall.

Nothing beats working with these babies.

I also had no clue of where I was going after graduation…. not even remotely. I had job applications pending from Cincinnati to Florida to Illinois. I think just about all my friends are going to grad school: They’re biggest issue was choosing between two colleges that had accepted them while I was trying to find a relevant job. There are far less zoos that grad schools, and far less zookeeping positions that open seats in lecture halls. I had friends saying they ENVIED that I didn’t have to worry about grad school. I scoffed daily at the idea that I was somehow the lucky one.

Anyways, I digress yet again.

I am happy to tell you that I got out of my rut! In just over a week, I can now say that I am ENGAGED AND EMPLOYED. Proving once again that the cloudy days only make you appreciate the sunny days even more! My amazing boyfriend proposed on April 5th:

It was awesome. 10/10. Would Highly Recommend


Right before then, I was contacted by the Zoo director of Santa’s Village in Dundee to go in for an interview. I interviewed on April 12th aaand…. WAS ACCEPTED APRIL 21ST!

I couldn’t be more thrilled to accept the offer! The environment seems very laid back and fun-loving- somewhere I could really fit in! Not only will I be working with farm animals, exotic reptiles, reindeer, lemurs, and a lot more, I will also get to be working directly with the guests during presentations and summer camps.

No joke April has been an amazing month!

One of my best friends turned 16 too… Did I get off topic again?


So for all my seniors/seniors-to-be/anyone who is feeling stuck: Just remember that if you keep pushing forward, eventually your situation will catch up!

Speaking of catching up, I have some homework to catch up on, so I guess I’ll cut this one short. Only 4 more weeks of homework left!

I have a problem…

Last night I had the opportunity to go to the Mallard’s playoff game against Rapid City with a few friends. It was one of the first sporting events I have been to in a LONG time that I wasn’t working/getting paid to attend. As I was sitting at the game I caught myself thinking about how I would write a story recapping the game if I was the person that was in charge of doing so. I realized that hockey is a much lower scoring sport than lacrosse and miles different than swimming and therefore a story would definitely would be a different style than what I am used to. All of these thoughts were flying around in my head as the game was taking place. When I get the opportunity to talk to some other sports information directors or even interns I will be curious to see if they ever run into things like this too. And for the record the Mallards won 5-1!

Today was the day I have been waiting for!

Prior to today I had not heard back from any of the schools that I applied for internships at for next school year. All of that changed when I received an email from the Director of Athletic Communications at the University of Iowa asking when I’d be able to visit Iowa City! As you can probably imagine I was absolutely elated! The days before we walked across that stage for graduation are limited and the idea of living at home (as much as I love my parents) doesn’t really appeal to me. Later in the afternoon I received another email, this time from Associate Athletics Director/Media Relations at the University of Illinois asking my availability for a phone interview! I really have no complaints and sending out all of those resumes and cover letters seems like it is starting to pay off!

Bald Americans

St. Baldrick’s is coming up and many students will be doing their best Lex Luthor impersonations for a good cause! One of these students is Annie Martines. I’ll let her describe what she is trying to achieve in her own words from her link which is posted below.

“Hi everyone! This year I am participating in St. Baldrick’s in order to raise money for cancer research. I am doing this in honor of those, especially the girls and women, who have been affected by cancer. By shaving my head, I want to personally show that beauty consists of so much more than what is shown on the outside. I want to give girls who are affected by cancer confidence and support of what they are personally going through. Please help me reach my goal of $2000, so we can kick cancers butt!

Now I need your help! Will you make a donation? Every dollar makes a difference for the thousands of infants, children, teens, and young adults fighting childhood cancers.”

Feel free to help her and many others by donating to the event.




How I got locked IN Carver Center

Usually my weeks are pretty normal. I go to my two classes and put in between 45 and 55 hours in the sports information office for my six-credit internship/job…this week didn’t seem like it would be any different, until Wednesday night. On that evening the Augustana men’s lacrosse played on the road at MSOE (Milwaukee School of Engineering) and I sat in Carver and watched the game online and wrote the story. Seeing as Carver Center is pretty creepy when you’re in there by yourself at 11 p.m. I usually have one of my friends come keep me company. So I finished posting the story recapping the win on the athletic website and we were getting ready to leave. When we went to leave all of the lights had been turned off and public safety had locked the glass door into the coaches offices…we were locked INSIDE of Carver. When I called Public Safety to inform them that they locked us into the offices I could them laughing on the other end because of how ridiculous the request for them to let us out of Carver sounded. About ten minutes went by and we were set free.

My boss has been sending letters of recommendation on my behalf to different institutions that I have applied for internships at and the following day he sent a letter to Villanova and referenced the incident as an example of my dedication… I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about that one.

Augustana lacrosse programs combine for perfect 5-0 week

This week was great in terms of experiencing the sports information lifestyle…and also a lot of work. Tuesday we hosted a baseball doubleheader at 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. and then women’s lacrosse at 7:30 p.m. the same day. I had the opportunity to work all three events following a couple hours in the office to add up to a 12.5 hour day. In my eyes it bodes well for me that I can work 45+ hours every week and not get sick of my job, I’d like to think that it means I found the right profession to go into. This week I wrote five different lacrosse game recaps as our women’s team had a three game home stand and our men’s program played a couple contests on the road. All games saw the Vikings come out on top. Below are the links to the different stories.

Women’s lacrosse vs. Dubuque

Men’s lacrosse vs. MSOE

Women’s lacrosse vs. Denison

Men’s lacrosse vs. Benedictine

Women’s lacrosse vs. Loras

Writer’s Block

Hello friends!

It’s been awhile huh? Well quick recap of what has been happening since Jan 13. I started my first season with the women’s lacrosse team, I sustained my first concussion, I couldn’t go on spring break with my team, my team has 7 wins of 7 games in 6 states including 2 conference wins, and I am pledging!

So first thing first, concussion talk! I was at practice when I tried to catch a pass that was just out of my reach when it tipped the top of the head of my stick, I looked down to search where the ball went and instead the ball came straight down and hit me. I didn’t think much of it until I had a headache from noon until I went to bed that night (so around midnight-ish). I emailed the trainer and sure enough I had a symptomatic concussion. That was all on Feb 4. I started seeing a doctor in Bettendorf who told me that my concussion was worse than we all expected. With that being said, she suggested I not go on spring break with my team and instead go home…to Colorado. So, I made an impromptu visit to my home and boy was it needed! When I came back it was only three weeks until I got the clearance to start the return to play protocol and I couldn’t be happier right now! I was out for a little over five weeks and I never want that to happen again.

Next on our list of topics is the winning season (so far) of the Augustana Women’s Lacrosse team! I honestly couldn’t imagine being a part of any other team anywhere else. I seriously have the best of the best. We have been lucky enough to have a perfect (so far) record including conference. Our next game will be one of the toughest but I know we will pull through together.

And finally, pledging! I  am lucky enough to be a part of the wonderful Delta Chi Theta. This group of girls is incredible and I really couldn’t picture myself anywhere else or with anyone else.

Now as to why I am writing this post. I have THE worst case of writers block right now and I was hoping this would help unblock me.. It kinda has but not enough for me to crank out a paper. Shoot! Oh well, maybe I’ll write again soon…

Peace, Love, and Lacrosse season is here,

Did You Know That in Kentucky a KFC is Also A Bed and Breakfast?

The weekend before Buckethead I had the opportunity to go to the 38th Humana Festival of New Plays in Louisville, Kentucky. There was an assortment of wonderful theatre, the Louisville Actors Studio was an amazing place to visit. I believe I went there a simple uncultured troglodyte and came back a rational human being with a  greater insight into the human condition. My mind was opened finally. No longer would I live my life in the allegorical Plato’s cave. No longer would I listen to Moby.

A rare side effect of becoming cultured is a Kuato growing out of your stomach.

A rare side effect of becoming cultured is a Kuato growing out of your stomach.

That being said I was a little upset about one thing in particular. Besides my wonderful bourbon fueled adventure through out the city of Louisville, everything went according to plan. I was hoping for a little more action. I love theatre and the experience was quite fun, but I was hoping to get into a bar fight with Civil war reenactors. My goal the entire week was to find a group of southern civil war reenactors and rise my way up their ranks through our shared hatred of the New York Yankees and Slavery. Through the use of a dating app on someone’s smartphone I could then make the northern leader think that he was going on a date. I would then find the southern leader and tell him that the northern leader planned on dating his sister. If he doesn’t have a sister, anything else would suffice. The two factions would then meet at the Down One Bourbon Bar where a raucous bar fight would start, with a bluegrass band playing in the background.


Eventually an Abraham Lincoln impersonator would step into the foray stopping the fight and admonishing us for our childlike behavior. The south would be declared the victors of the fight though, with four score and seven beers to go!

We would then sing Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping” all night long until I had to leave.

That moment didn’t happen.

Anyways, Last Comic Standing is this weekend from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the CSL, come if you like fart jokes I’m sure everyone there has a lot of them. You might even get some professional wrestlers to make an appearance. Heywire will even be performing during the show. Reviews of the comedy group are along the lines of,

“funny” and

“wow, please get me another chocolate milk, that Paul Landahl sure has a pretty face.”

If you go, perhaps the professional wrestlers will make an appearance.


Putting a good spin on not so good things

In the sports information business, as in life, it is necessary that we are always able to find the good in every situation…including a 23-1 loss. Luckily, Augustana was on the 23 side of that game and I got to write a much more upbeat story. However, I was curious how the other side of the story would look though. I was really impressed with the optimism in the story and the fact that there was definitely still a sense of pride for the school and the team from the person that wrote the story. Hopefully the team that I write for will never have to be on the wrong end of a 23-1 outcome but if they are I will without a doubt follow the same path that the Defiance writer did in their game recap against Augustana.

Here’s the link to the Defiance story: http://www.defianceathletics.com/mlacrosse/news/2013-14/3416/vikings-defend-home-field-top-defiance-in-mlc-matchup/

And here’s the link to the story that I wrote following the Augustana men’s lacrosse 23-1 victory over Defiance: http://www.athletics.augustana.edu/news/2014/3/29/MLAX_0329141335.aspx?path=mlax

My First College Field Trip!

Hello, everyone! I apologize for having neglected posting for several weeks now. Spring term is in full swing! Believe it or not, I went on my first college field trip today to the Blackhawk Special Education Center in East Moline as part of my EDUC 340 class.

The school educates children with special needs ages 5-21. This was my first time being in a school specifically for students with disabilities, and it was a great experience! We toured a few classrooms as well as a music and vocational room. The students at the school were so excited to see so many people; we kept seeing little faces peek through the windows to say hi!

The Blackhawk Special Education Center was actually the place where my professor, Dr. Deb Bracke, first worked as a paraprofessional after graduating from college. She’s told us so many stories about her time there, and it was great being able to see the actual places from her stories! We also heard from many of the teachers who work there about their daily routines, as well as skills that they were currently learning. When we walked into the music room, we got to see one of the students playing drums, which was her favorite  instrument. We also learned about a special piece of music equipment for deaf/hard-of-hearing students, which was a beanbag that vibrates to the beat of the music. Although they can’t hear the music, they are still able to enjoy it through the beanbag, which is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

We were there for barely an hour, but it got me even more excited to start my clinical experience tomorrow morning at Glenview Middle School. I get to help out middle school students who have special needs learn math and reading, and I’m sure that I’ll have plenty to talk about in future blog posts. Be sure to look forward to those!