Archive by Author

#NovemberToRemember: How Tempest DuJour Gave me Life

24 Nov

Have you ever heard about Retro Game Show Night? Until I went to Hotel Congress on Saturday night, I hadn’t either!

From what I had seen on a flyer, this show was going to be a game show with a twist. “Hollywoodish Squares” to be exact.

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My friend and I walked into Hotel Congress at around 6:15pm. Mind you, the show didn’t start until 7:15ish, so we had really jumped the gun here. The room was dimly lit and smelled like moderately priced cologne and pleather. I was digging it so far. As time went on I felt myself becoming more and more nervous. First things first, I have to tell you that I really didn’t know what to expect. Was I going to be selected out of the crowd to go up and participate in the game show?  Was I even going to enjoy this show?

Despite a few of my own reservations on what this night would hold, I was not disappointed!

Out came Tempest DuJour: big hair, gorgeous makeup, and a sparkling dress that instantly caught your attention.

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Flawless

 

No doubt about it: I was caught of guard by how the humor of the show matched mine almost perfectly. It was bold, colorful, and full of vulgarity and I loved it!

I’ve always wanted to see an event that involved men in drag and get a glimpse into that particular style of entertainment. I think deep down in all of us lies a man in drag. However, some of my friends disagree, but such is life. Nevertheless, Tempest DuJour allowed me my moment to let loose and enjoy the sassiness she was giving. I loved every minute of it! It made me realize that I might take her unspoken advice: be yourself, be true, and be fierce!

-Ciara

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But did you die?

7 Nov

Maybe this semester was a little crappy. Maybe you saw your ability to keep up with your class assignments dwindle over time. Or maybe you have realized that there is no way for you to revive your grades to A’s or B’s. Such is the life of a college student.

But you know what is worse than not doing well in school…Letting your academic struggles ruin your personal life!

Let’s be real: if your grades were plummeting, there is a chance that you forgot about your daily responsibilities. And I don’t mean remembering to brush your teeth or do your hair every morning. I’m talking about your attitude with people and your home life.

What is most important is that you don’t let your social life fall to the wayside. Don’t become a person that people no longer want to be around. It’s not their fault that you had a rough semester, so don’t get angry with them. During this rough time think about the wise words of Mr. Chow:

Be sure to maintain your relationships and have a positive vibe even when the going gets rough. These will be the people who care and want to be there for you.

And don’t forget to take care of your home life too! It can be easy to come home from a long, disappointing day and not want to worry about cleaning up after yourself.

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Don’t give in to the temptation! Fight the urge to become a slob.

Moving forward, remember to stay classy, stay fresh. And keep things in perspective by keeping your responsibilities in check.

-Ciara

 

 

#OutrageousOctober: Something Old, Something New at Biosphere 2

31 Oct

What happens when you give two friends the opportunity to run loose in the Biosphere 2? Lucero and Ciara made the adventure through Biosphere 2’s Discovery Nights and compared their fun experiences for Outrageous October!

Oldie Perspective

As a person who feels quite comfortable in the Biosphere-having spent about a week there for a summer course – returning was very nostalgic. I was flooded with memories of my first time exploring the facility, learning its importance, being so intrigued by the engineering and effort put into making this place one of a kind. Plus, I always feel like I am on the set of my fave movie: BIODOME!!! Which I guess I am…since parts of the movie were filmed at Biosphere 2.

I was so excited to bring Lucero along as well.  As I drove along Oracle, I was deep in thought, planning on what areas of the Biosphere 2 I wanted to make sure we saw. Once we we parked, the fun began.

I felt like we were little kids gearing up for  a great adventure. We had our smiles on and an open mind as we walked through the area.

One of our first stops was to a few of the reptile tables that were set up inside of the building. Now I know that these tables were probably intended for little kids but I couldn’t resist. I absolutely love snakes so I immediately took the opportunity to hold one. However, Lucero was not as comfortable with the opportunity as I was.

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But then, things got interesting. The guy at the table had this box with MY name on it! Freaky…What was inside the box you wonder? A really tough looking Gila monster.

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We walked through what felt like every inch of the Biosphere 2. Towards the end, I realized that even though I had been here before, everything felt brand new.Without detailing all of our encounters (especially with those pesky cockroaches and creepy crawlers) I had so much fun the second time around. It made me appreciate how you can make any experience new and exciting by bringing along good vibes and awesome friends. I challenge all of you to make new memories with the people you care about and bring out your inner kid!

Newbie Perspective

For this adventure, I took on the role of the newbie—inexperienced, unaware of what is to come, unprepared. In my defense, I was the best newbie partner EVER and I’m sure Ciara would agree (maybe)!

The excitement began right off the bat. I jumped in the car looking ready to head to the beach.

Mistake #1: I was wearing shorts to a location where it would be cold and infested with mosquitos and bugs. Mistake #2: I hadn’t brought a sweater. Luckily, Ciara had my back and lend me a sweater, which I managed to have difficulties with. Look for yourself:

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Struggle bus from early on!

As the adventure continued on, I discovered that what I thought would be a drag of a ride (I was so excited and impatient) turned out to be a most memorable venture! The mountains, clouds, and wind in my hair… the perfect combination for any drive. I might have gone picture crazy since I took a numerous amount of pictures in this short 40-minute drive. From the many, I caught the most beautiful sunset picture:

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So worth it!

After a million pictures and me annoying Ciara with “Almost there?” statements, we had arrived at Biosphere 2.

After about 3 hours of exploration, I managed to take away from the experience the following:

1. I have a keen sense of smell when it comes to squids! I can smell them a mile away… Ciara can confirm this.

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2. Sea urchins (the not poisonous kind) aren’t as scary as I thought them to be. We became instant friends!

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3. Biosphere 2 has massive scales that hold volcanic material that undergo different manipulated environments… or something like that.

4. Snakes are and will continue to be scary. Enough said.

5. I’m like a little kid when I’m in a new place!

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6. Cockroaches will rule the world! (The amount of cockroaches at Biosphere 2 is insane!)

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7. Any experience can be the best experience when shared with an AMAZING person!

My experience at Biosphere 2 was definitely outrageously fun!

-Ciara and Lucero

#StudiousSeptember: The Art of Origami

6 Oct

For our #StudiousSeptember, two of us chose to work together to learn a few different origami folds. We have always been fascinated by this art medium because it is easily accessible; anyone can gather the materials and learn how to create something beautiful. The first few animals we tried to make came out beautifully and gave us confidence to take on more difficult designs.

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As the instructions became more elaborate, our execution became less accurate, but our individual determination never weaned. After the third or fourth try making the correct fold became one of the greatest satisfactions of doing origami because it showed that defeat was never an option. In the end, the origamis we are most proud of are the ones that we struggled the most with, like the stingray and shark.

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Slowly and deliberately, we checked and double-checked that the edges aligned perfectly before the final crease was made. Each fold in the process must be done with patience and precision to ensure that the final product looks clean and crisp.

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This is one of the many reasons origami was our challenge for September. It was equally relaxing as it was stimulating as we focused on what we were doing. In doing this project, we became much more aware of how important it is to take things slow and keep order. While these origami animals are by no means perfect, they represent the time and effort put in, as well as the enjoyment we got out of the task.

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– Erika & Ciara

That One Roommate

24 Sep

You know that saying about how there are only two types of people in this world? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s kinda true. When it comes to living in dorms or apartments in college, there’s you and that one roommate…

#034

My roommate insists on doing EVERYTHING together. I need my space!

When you first move in with someone, it’s common to start the process of getting to know them by going out together. Maybe you start off by grabbing lunch on University Boulevard, working out together, or bonding while washing laundry. Whatever floats your boat.

But, at some point that has to stop. Everyone needs “Me Time” and, to be honest, sometimes having a roommate really limits that. It’s fine that you enjoy each other’s company, but be clear with your roommate when they need to back off. Trust me, the best friendships are those that allow you to have time to breathe. It’s for the best.

#065

I don’t think my roommate knows what personal hygiene is…

Hmm. This is a difficult one because it is near and dear to my heart (and nose). During freshman year, I was paired with a young lady who had a very ‘interesting’ body odor. In fact, this odor became so overwhelming during the summer that it prevented me from being in the same room with her for extended periods of time. Hopefully, your experience isn’t this bad. Nonetheless, a serious conversation needs to be had about your discomfort with your roommates lack of hygiene. Its unrealistic to ask them to smell like roses all the time but  as growing adults, we all should strive to develop a scent that doesn’t scare anyone off–especially our roommates!

#076

My nocturnal roommate… always making noise while I’m trying to sleep.

There are a few things that you should never mess with: a person’s money, food, and SLEEP! This type of roommate is committing a potentially dangerous offense. So we will approach this with a few rules in mind. 

1) DO NOT confront them when you are tired and cranky. This can lead to a whole lot of unnecessary tension and drama. And your roommate might just brush you off as being cranky and not genuinely concerned.

2) DO investigate what it is that they are up to at all hours of the night. Maybe they are studying for a big exam, maybe they have insomnia, or maybe they are obsessed with creating and living  in a fantasy world on The Sims. Who knows!

  • If they are up studying, try to be understanding. School may be more challenging for them than it is for you. You don’t want to add more pressure on them by being mean, so gently remind them to keep it down after a certain time.
  • If it’s a stress related problem that causes them to lose sleep, be there for them! Recommend stress relieving activities: take them to the zoo, share an art project for your apartment, or workout together. Going for a late night workout may help to tire them out when you get home and get them some much needed sleep.
  • If they are just living in a fantasy world where real time and real people don’t exist, you can take that as an invitation to be firm about having quiet hours. Perhaps, you putting your foot down will help them realize that they have responsibilities that need to come before pulling an all-nighter on video games.

#019

They are always asking for favors. Rides, clothes, money, and food! I’m tired of being responsible for them!

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is your roommate under the age of 5?
  2. Did you happen to give birth to this roommate?
  3. Have you, or are you planning on claiming legal custody of said roommate?

If you answered “No” to any of the above questions, this is a sign that you should STOP treating your roommate like they are your child.

Give them a push out of their comfort zone. They have relied on you for just about everything, and at this point, they probably aren’t even trying to do things on their own. You should never be ashamed to give your roommate a kick in the butt when they are slacking on being a responsible adult. Or just give them this word of the day: Self efficacy!

#027

All of our common areas (kitchen and living room) are always cluttered with their dirty dishes and junk…

This roommate is a lot like Roommate #019 and #065. That is, they share a common lack in cleanliness and aren’t proving to be responsible for themselves. When you live with roommates, this is almost always in the back of your mind as a problem that you don’t want to have to deal with. But if you are progressive you can protect yourself from arguing over it. Upon agreeing to move in, write up a contract of dos and don’ts within the common areas. Doing this ahead of time will prevent going back and forth with passive aggressive notes like these:

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 Hopefully, this blog helps you figure out how to better deal with the challenges of living with a roommate. Until then, you can share your roommate experiences with me by following Wildcat Connections on FB, Twitter, and Instagram.

-Bear Down,

Ciara

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprinkles Never Hurt Anyone

23 Sep

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Don’t settle for a plain semester. Sprinkle some fun on your academic adventures, Wildcats!

As we’re moving along in the semester, classes may start to drag a bit. Our Peer Mentors have been there and want to share a bit of their experiences with you. Whether it’s spicing up the semester you’ve already started or planning ahead to avoid boredom in the future, our Peer Mentors have got your back!

Check it out by clicking the image above.

Welcome to Fall 2014!

25 Aug

 

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This is Wildcat Territory!

Welcome to Fall 2014 here at the University of Arizona! We are Student Affairs Outreach and we are bringing you the VERY first newsletter of the semester. Whether you are a returning student or new to the Wildcat Life, click on the picture here to view all of the need-to-know events and dates for the first week of classes! Stay tuned…

Office Hours…Who Needs ‘Em?

17 Apr

I rarely hear any of my fellow Wildcat friends talk about visiting their professors. It’s hard enough to get them to go to meet with their advisor. And if you are anything like me, its rare that you hit up your professors or TA’s office hours without a really good reason to do so as well. However, as much as we may avoid it, office hours have the potential to be very effective. Plus, you aren’t going for anyone else’s sake but your own. So why not take one for the team and get the help you need.

Tip #1

Know who to take your questions to.

Scope out the TA’s who look lazy or just bored with being a TA and AVOID them! For example, the TA who sits in the back of the class and scrolls through their TwitterFeed while the professor lectures, don’t go to that person. They probably wouldn’t be able to answer ANY question.

Try to find the most enthusiastic TA. You know the one that takes the time to answer leftover questions at the end of class, GO to them. Find out if they would have time in their office hours to take some of your questions. If they do, then go for it. If they don’t, you can always ask them if you can speak to them via email or appointment.

If that doesn’t work, or if your question requires expert knowledge,then your best bet is to head straight to the professor. The office hours of the professor should be posted in several places:

Syllabus

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D2L or Blackboard

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or

Department Website

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Tip #2

Dress code.

Once you’ve found the best person to speak to and the best times that work for you, head on over to office hours. But when you get to this point, pay attention to what you wear. I know that the UA is a place where the weather is nice and everybody is chill and laid back BUT I wouldn’t recommend showing up to office hours wearing something like this:

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I’m not telling you to hide who you are or what you believe in but you want to make sure that you leave a good impression. Plus, how awkward would it be if, instead of answering your question about partial derivatives, your professor asks you to explain what twerking is, or what species of flora is printed on your shirt. And unless you are into having awkward conversations with older people, its not worth it. Wear something neutral that day. Something that says, “hey, I’m young and having fun, but I have a serious question to ask”. No need for business casual outfits, just stay away from distracting clothing items like the ones above.

Tip #3

Don’t force a conversation.

Sometimes you need to get in and get out. You aren’t required to pretend like you care about anything else but getting help with your class. If you would like to spark a conversation with your TA or professor about their love of dogs, food, or movies, then by all means go for it. But if you really only care to talk about the matters of your course, then stick with what you are there for. I’ve had plenty of meetings with professors where I have wanted to ask questions about pictures on their walls, their background education and where they came from. However, often times I don’t have the spare time to converse freely about it with them. Instead of starting a conversation and having to cut it short because I have to leave, I just save it for another time. I mean, there are times that you want to go in for office hours for the purpose of socializing and networking with UA faculty. In those cases, keep in mind that there may be students waiting to talk to that professor/TA as well.

That’s it for my tips on office hours. I hope you Wildcats make sure to ask questions, keep studying, and continue to Bear Down!

-Ciara

Fall 2014 and BEYOND!!!

25 Mar

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Here it is! Our first Wildcat Connections edition after a wonderful and much needed Spring Break vacation. We hope that you enjoyed every minute of it! Let’s start this new week off with a Big Bang – see what we did there ;)? Click the pic and begin your planning for your academic future at the UA!

The Metamorphosis of Spring Break

7 Mar

It’s no secret that spring break is a pretty big deal for us college kids. Whether you are a new student to the Wildcat life or if you have been Bearing Down for a couple years now, you probably start the spring semester with a few big things to look forward to, and one of those involves taking part in the most important week for students across the country: spring break.

The allure of having a week off to have the time of your life is extremely exciting. It’s quite possible that spring break could be the biggest moment of your semester, even the highlight of your life. I mean, just think about it.

The possibilities for greatness are endless. Spring break has definitely taken on a life of its own. Like many other students entering college, spring break symbolized a transcendent experience for me—one in which I was finally able to throw down like an adult and do some crazy stuff. And I have to admit, I intended to make the most of my spring break vacations by going out as much as possible.

I came into college thinking about all of the fun that I would have. I was mostly intrigued with the buildup to spring break. I was thinking Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Rico, California, Jamaica, anywhere with a beach, sun, and piña coladas. As a youngin’ (before I was 21) this was exactly what I envisioned.

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or this

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Of course, it never really worked out quite like this picture, but hey, I did my best with what I had. Without giving too much detail about my previous experiences, I would say that I lived up to most of my expectations of what I wanted spring break to be (minus traveling to Puerto Rico and Jamaica). For freshman and sophomore year, I thoroughly enjoyed going out and having as much fun as possible.

But after dealing with some heavy course loads during my sophomore and now my junior year, my view on spring break changed dramatically. I rarely spend anytime back home with my mom. I can count on one hand how many times I was able to make the trip back down to Rio Rico during the entire year. Sometimes all I want to do after a crazy week at school is spend some time with my family and our crazy dogs.

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This is Malika. She likes to sleep like a sloth.

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And this girl is just the most playful pitbull you could ever meet!

But, with the added responsibility that comes with pursing an education, working everyday, and outside commitments, it just didn’t allow me to take much time off for myself.

It’s safe to say that I had reached a boiling point. I started to feel very overwhelmed with school and realized that I had no free time during the year and was desperately waiting for spring break to come around and save me from going crazy.

You might be feeling this way as well.

My response to feeling burnt out was a sense of dissatisfaction once spring break came around. By this point, I was just so exhausted that I didn’t even want to go out that much. This feeling was me coming to the realization that, after spending the whole year trying to keep up with the faced paced university life, the last thing I wanted to do was to try and keep up with the mainstream hustle and bustle of spring break. This spring break, I am going to cruise in the slow lane.

Part of this means that I won’t be out searching for the wildest parties or craziest events. Rather, I am going to take my time and do some meaningful travel with my family–enjoying whatever falls in our path and relieving ourselves of the day-to-day stress that we go through. And I am more excited for the spring break than I have ever been!

I am not in favor of trying to lecture you into thinking about spring break differently by any means. If anything, I want you to do whatever makes you happy during your well-deserved time away from school. Whether you stay local or travel far, this is your time to do to with it whatever your heart desires. All that I am trying to point out is that at some point you will find out what that free time really means to you. You don’t have to go all out during this one week. You might tire yourself out more than you realize.

Plus, how much can you really cram into one week?

If I think about some of the more popular things to do on spring break, travel, beach fun, and nightlife come to mind. The traveling and finding a spot along the beach take up a lot of time. And why drive all the way to California, for example, and not take in all of the beautiful sights along the way? Or stop by a fruit stand and get some fresh oranges, maybe even dare to take a nibble at some of the street food, or talk to a few locals in a new place.

From my perspective, its the small things that count.  So if it feels right take the time slow down for a few minutes. I promise it will be worth it.

 

–Ciara