Tag Archives: tucson

Top 20 Movies to Watch Over The Summer

10 Jun


Shannon’s Picks                                                              Chrissy’s Picks


 The Bourne Identity                                                          Dracula Untold

PicMonkey Collage


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows                       Bridge to Terabithia



How to Train Your Dragon                                            Lion King



The Hangover                                                                    The Intern



Cast Away                                                                            Sense and Sensibility



The Sandlot                                                                         Howl’s Moving Castle



The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey                           Harry Potter



The Shining                                                                         Shrooms


Romantic Comedy:

The Wedding Singer                                                         The Ugly Truth


Science Fiction:

iRobot                                                                                    Blade Runner


Chrissy’s Summer Reading List

10 Jun

Summertime,  the most relaxing word a college student can hear, say, or think. Summertime opens up a plethora of opportunities that are not available during the school year: sleeping until 1pm, going on random road trips, and of course reading fun books. I don’t know about y’all, but I find that during the school year I am way too busy reading the various assigned readings to  actually get any fun reading done! So, I made a list during the school year of all the books I would like to read during them summer and I am now steadily working my way through them! Here are my top 10 books that I would like to have read by the end of the summer. I included short summaries of the books that I found on the publishers’ websites.

Please note that most of these contain adult themes and violence. Please read at your own discretion. 

10. Ella Enchanted: Gail Carson Levine

How can a fairy’s blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it’s hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!

But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse—and live happily ever after.

Ella Enchanted.jpg

9. Dracula: Bram Stoker

During a business visit to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, a young English solicitor finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents. Jonathan Harker is attacked by three phantom women, observes the Count’s transformation from human to bat form, and discovers puncture wounds on his own neck that seem to have been made by teeth. Harker returns home upon his escape from Dracula’s grim fortress, but a friend’s strange malady — involving sleepwalking, inexplicable blood loss, and mysterious throat wounds — initiates a frantic vampire hunt. The popularity of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror romance is as deathless as any vampire.  Its supernatural appeal has spawned a host of film and stage adaptations, and more than a century after its initial publication, it continues to hold readers spellbound.


8. The Blood of Flowers: Anita Amirrezvani

Both a sweeping love story and a luminous portrait of a city, The Blood of Flowers is the mesmerizing historical novel of an ill-fated young woman whose gift as a rug designer transforms her life. Illuminated with glorious detail of Persian rug-making, and brilliantly bringing to life the sights sounds and life of 17th-century Isfahan, The Blood of Flowers has captured readers’ imaginations everywhere as a timeless tale of one woman’s struggle to live a life of her choosing.

The Blood of Flowers.jpg

7. The Iliad: Homer

Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace

The iliad

6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: Philip K. Dick

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.
Emigrées to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn’t want to be identified, they just blended in.
Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

Do androids dream of electric sheep

5. 13 Reasons Why: Jay Asher

You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

13 reasons why.jpg

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.


3. Brave New World: Aldous Huxley

The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley’s most enduring masterpieces.


2. The Other Boleyn Girl: Philipa Gregory

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.

the other boleyn girl.jpg

1. Poison Study: Maria V. Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dusté and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear—.

Poison study.jpg

There’s a First Time for Everything

4 Apr

Spring Fling is a U of A tradition that most students take part in their first year on campus. My first year however, I was pretty awkward and I did not feel comfortable walking around alone, and none of my friends wanted to go. I promised myself I would do it my Sophomore year, but once again I lost my nerve, I ended up talking myself out of it by claiming I had too much homework. This year will be different. For starters, I have a few friends that are very excited to go with me so it looks like I will finally go to my first Spring Fling.

Spring Fling 3.jpg

There are a few things I am really excited for, one thing is cotton candy. I have never had cotton candy before, and I know I can go to the store and buy it, but I am sure there is something different about carnival cotton candy.

Spring fling 2.jpg

The bands look pretty cool, I read the description of a few of them, and the Score looked like it could be good. Also, there are quite a few A Cappella groups performing on various days which could be good.

Spring break 4.jpg

I don’t know if I will ride any rides, I have seen Final Destination and I am not sure if I am down with that. I might ride a Ferris Wheel so that I can say I rode a ride, but I am not a huge thrill seeker.

Spring Fling 5.gif

Moreover, I am really excited to spend some times with my friends relaxing and not worrying about school.


Ah, the Wilderness

29 Jul

One of the most unique qualities that Arizona has to offer is the outdoors. Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon, numerous national parks, Sedona, Mount Lemmon, and rivers and lakes to last for days. Lucky for those of us in Tucson, outdoor paradise is right in our backyard.


There are four man-made lakes in Tucson that are stocked regularly with fish from September to June. If you are looking for some fishing, locations are not too far away. Don’t forget to get a fishing license! You can purchase them for a day or a year, and you can get licenses from Wal-Mart or you can purchase a fishing license at https://azgfdportal.az.gov/. If man-made lakes are not your thing, head to Rose Canyon at Mount Lemmon!

Rose Canyon is not all Mount Lemmon has to offer – you can also go camping! The Campus Rec offers rentals for sleeping bags, tents, canoes, lanterns, propane, and much more at https://rec.arizona.edu/outdoor-adventures/equipment! Mount Lemmon is several degrees cooler than the campus, which allows an opportunity to escape the heat while enjoying nature’s beauty. If you are not much of a camper, you can always take a day trip up to Mount Lemmon. Always remember to pack water and sunscreen as the higher elevation means that you’re closer to the sun and the air is thinner.


Patagonia Lake in Nogales also offers fishing, camping, and boating opportunities! Patagonia is a little bit further than Mount Lemmon, however it allows you and your friends a chance to take a nice road trip! You can reserve a camping spot for Patagonia Lake or Mount Lemmon at http://azstateparks.com/Parks/PALA/index.html. Different times of the year are busier than others, so it is always best to reserve early.

Interested in hiking? Romero Pools located at the Catalina State Park has a hiking trail that gives you an exquisite view of Tucson once reaching the top. It take several hours, but you can turn back and go down whenever you see fit. If you are interested in going, directions on how to find the trail can be found at http://arizonahiking.org/index.php/about-azh/85-tucson-area-and-southern-arizona/441-romero-pools-hike. Romero Pools is a tough hike, but reaching the top makes you realize just how strong you are and reminds you how much beauty is still in this world, even with all the chaos life throws at you.


Outdoors may have never appealed to you before, although I suggest that you get out of your comfort zone. Several months ago I thought fishing was the most boring activity in the world, but then I went and caught a tiny fish. Now fishing has become my new favorite hobby! I can vouch for each and every one of these sites recommended to you in this article. If you cannot tolerate to be outside in the heat for too long now, just wait until it cools down in the fall. Don’t let time pass you by – get out there and experience everything in Tucson (or close by) that you possibly can!


#MightyMay: A Summer in Tucson

6 May

The end of the semester, the end of the academic year is upon us people! How am I celebrating the end of the semester? With. More. School.


Yes, I know… when will I have time for a break?! I will be taking a course during presession that will go towards my Spanish minor. In all honesty, I am looking forward to the course’s curriculum simply because it will help keep my Spanish speaking skills on point! Although at this point the only thing I want to do is nap and cuddle with my favorite blanket, one more course wouldn’t hurt? Right?

freaked out

This is where the whole “think positive” concept comes in. My fear is whether or not I will pass the class but will I even have the enough bit of motivation left in me to go through another course right after completing spring semester? Then I think,

“Maddie, it’s only 3 weeks chill out!” At least that’s what I have been telling myself for the past week.

I do however have a month long break until I take another course! While we all dream of extravagant vacations and “the best summer of our lives” there are times where you just have to take care of business. And if that means taking two courses of the summer, then so be it. We all have to do it at some point in our lives plus I always have to be busy, keeps me entertained.

By now you’re probably thinking my summer is going to suck but don’t be fooled I have a few ideas of fun up my sleeve. For starters, I plan on heading to San Diego with my best pals and just relax the days away. It’s not too far, and not too close. Plus a nice tan wouldn’t hurt either! There’s nothing like a cool breeze and the feeling of warm sand between your toes.


Last but certainly not least, I recently acquired an internship position here at the university’s McKale Center! It’s been a goal of mine to have the opportunity to work with Arizona athletics in some shape or form. Luckily, there are some summer openings available and you already know I like staying busy!

I have high hopes for this summer. I plan on completing those last few courses and getting back to my normal fitness routine (maybe amping it up a bit). Most importantly, I am looking forward to another summer to take the time and reflect on the previous year. I still cannot believe I completed my second year of college! Boy does time fly.

So, if you are staying in good ol’ Tucson this summer, don’t get discouraged. Reflect, unwind, and use the time to strengthen yourself up for another memorable year at the U of A!

All best,


#AdventurousApril: Adventure is What You Make of It!

20 Apr

As it may be apparent by this point this month was about adventure! But what adventure can come out of April?? All there is is school, school, and more school! Unlike other peer mentors, I wasn’t the star of a show nor did I roller skate my way to epicness… I simply lived and that’s an adventure we sometimes forget to have.

What do I mean adventure in living? We all are alive, breathing, and going. Think about it. A lot of us go day-by-day just performing our daily routine in hopes of getting through without much mental effort. Most days consists of just routine. How often do you stop and appreciate a beautiful flower or stroll through the grass with no shoes on just for pleasure?

If you’re anything like me, a senior with 100+ commitments and little time for anything, you usually just get things done and don’t do much for personal pleasure until the weekend. But why live like that?

So my personal adventure for the month of April was to do things that I loved to do and not because I have to do them.

1. Pictures of the beautiful flowers blooming. Seriously, take a second and just look at them!

PicMonkey Collage

2. Walking on the grass barefoot. Best, most relaxing feeling ever!



3. Diamondbacks game. What more can I say?

PicMonkey Collage


4. Crafts! This was both a personal as well as an RA-related task. Either way, very invigorating!

PicMonkey Collage

5. Tucson Botanical Gardens! I walked through a room filled with butterflies 🙂

PicMonkey Collage

6. Nature walks with my favorite boy, Keeno.

PicMonkey Collage

7. Spring Fling 😀 All that food and the rides were definitely a great break from routine!

PicMonkey Collage

Yes, these are subtle things to do that don’t necessarily induce fear or excitement, but the importance in adventure is not the extremity, but how you alive you feel! All these activities rejuvenated my being and made me realize the beauty of being alive, breathing the wild air. These adventures help me conquer routine. Find whatever adventure suits you, whether it’s big or small… and just live!

– Lucero


Wildcat Tradition: Spring Fling!

3 Apr

The sun is shining bright, the flowers are blooming, and the sweet smell of summertime is in the air. All this change can only mean one thing: SPRING FLING IS HERE!

For all you new kitties out there and even more mature cats who have not yet experienced this, Spring Fling is 3 days filled with rides, food, excitement, and pure Wildcat awesomeness! Whether you’re there for the rides and thrills or to get your grub on, we guarantee you’ll have an epic time!


But how did a carnival end up on Wildcat turf?

It all started in 1974. The Associated Students of the University of Arizona (aka ASUA) decided that the UA needed a creative way for clubs to fundraise! Thanks to that brilliant thinking, Spring Fling has developed as a prime fundraising opportunity for clubs and organizations on campus. Talk about combining fun and business!

Now, Spring Fling is the largest student-run carnival in the nation and 7th largest event in Tucson. Over 25,000 people attend it!


All this magic just doesn’t happen over night. Nine student directors are hard at work year-round to plan all the details. Talk about commitment! There are also numerous volunteers who help before, during, and after the event. So all Wildcats are on board with this one!

If you’re looking for some fun right on campus, don’t miss out on Spring Fling! With over 35 rides, 20 different food booths, and awesome music from the band Small Pools… this event is one you won’t want to miss!

Spring Fling Hours of Operation:

April 10: 4-11pm*

April 11: 11a-11pm*

April 12: 11a-6pm*

* Admission closes 1 hour prior to carnival closure.

– Lucero

#NovembertoRemember: The Fabulous Roadhouse Cinema

25 Nov

For #NovembertoRemember, I had no idea how what I was going to do to make a lasting memory. I have lived in Tucson for most of my life and I have pretty much done everything there is to do in this smallish town. Luckily an old theater that had closed down has reopened to become one of the coolest theaters in town.

photo 1

From what I heard this movie theater was a completely different experience. Movies in style. You pre-order the seats which turn out to be big reclining lazy-boy chairs. I really wanted to enjoy this experience so I chose to watch Interstellar, because there was no way I was going to watch a 3  hour movie in crappy theater seats. Not only do you get to watch your movie in complete comfort, you get to order anything off of their full menu and eat at your seat. You have no idea how amazing it was to watch a movie and receive food via call button. I wanted to spoil myself that day and I ordered a burger, fries, and dessert.

photo 2

The Roadhouse Cinema has become my new favorite movie theater. I felt spoiled and had one of the best movie theater experiences ever. It really is a college student’s dream! And you would think that all this food plus a movie ticket would be expensive, but it’s not unreasonable! You can get a seat for about $10 and each entree is about $10 also. You aren’t skimped on food or service, and I promise this is an experience like none other.

photo 3




Wildcat Connections- New Year, New Semester

7 Jan

Wildcat Connections- New Year, New Semester

Happy New Year Wildcats!!
2014 brings new and exciting things just for you. This edition of Wildcat Connections reflects on the great achievements of 2013, but also looks forward to the opportunities and adventures ahead in 2014. Be sure to check out all the sections to get ready for another great semester! We cover everything from preparing for the semester ahead to providing you with ideas about what to do in Tucson in the last week of break! Enjoy!

Student Affairs Outreach: Our Winter Bucket List

13 Dec


December has to be one of the most beautiful and enjoyable months in Tucson. The heat is nowhere in sight, which is lovely, even if it’s fifty degrees and windy outside. Campus becomes an Instagram-frenzy with everyone taking breathtaking  pictures. And when I say everyone, I include myself. I don’t mean to brag, but check this one out 🙂


However, December is also the month we all seem to wish wouldn’t come because we have to complete finals. But hey, let’s not stress, Wildcats. Finals don’t last all month, and winter break is soon approaching.

Some of you will be going back to your home states to get cozy with your pets or see friends from high school and visit your old hangout spot that you love.

There are many things to look forward to if you’re going back home for the break, but not all of us are from out of state, or even from out of city, right?  And not all of us can go home for the break. Well…this blog goes out to those of us staying in Tucson.

Your Outreach Facilitators wrote a bucket list for winter break activities in Tucson. Even though Tucson doesn’t experience much snow, we do experience lots of December awesomeness. Below are our top four things to do in Tucson this winter break.

The Outreach Facilitators will try to complete this bucket list this winter break, but we need your help. 

Share your #5  (or all five, if you’re really in the spirit) from your winter break bucket-list items and use the hashtag #winterbreakbucketlist. We’d love to see what you’re up to.

1. ZOO LIGHTS – December 23 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm @ReidParkZoo


Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo is guaranteed to put you in the winter spirit with jingle bells, twinkling lights, animal-light sculptures, and, yes, desert-Wildcats, falling snow. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children and children under the age of two are free. There will be free cookies and $1 cookies. How could you not attend this wildly wonderful event?

2. Winterhaven Festival of Lights December 14-28 at Ft. Lowell & Prince


This will be the 63rd year for the Winterhaven Festival of Lights – one of the longest running festivals of its kind in the country. The Festival of Lights celebrates the holiday season in Tucson and is visited by hundreds of thousands of people from all over southern Arizona. Moreover, the Festival is one the most important events for the Community Food Bank in Tucson. According to the Festival’s website, in 2012, over $20,753.00 and 33,905 pounds of food were donated to the Food Bank through the Festival. You know you want to attend this magical festival and give back to the community. We do! Just be sure to wear warm clothes, as it can get chilly strolling through the neighborhood. 

3. Mt. Lemmon  Year-Round off the Catalina Highway

Mt.LemmonFor those of you who need more than zoo-snow, we’ve added Mount Lemmon to our list. Getting to Mount Lemmon is a little difficult if you don’t have the appropriate vehicle because it’s the highest point in the Catalina Mountains, and depending on the weather, you may need four-wheel drive–check the reports beforehand. However, you can always carpool there with some of your friends if they are willing to drive up the Catalina Highway. The scenery is beautiful. Plus, you can take snowboarding and ski classes at Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley. Click on the image to find out more information.

4. Gates Pass – Year-Round off W. Gates Pass Road 


Gates Pass is the popular sightseeing area known as Tucson’s best sunset-viewing site (and date spot). It’s one of the vantage points to watch the sun drop out of sight over West Saguaro National Park. Gates Pass has recreational areas for picnicking, hiking, wildlife observation, nature studies and camping. Get your phones ready to Instagram lots of fun sunset pictures. You know I will 🙂

Of course, there’s much more awesomeness going on during the winter break in Tucson. Click here to see a master calendar of all the events happening in Tucson.

Keep a lookout this winter break for our fun and quirky photos on our little (but very magical) bucket list adventure!

Make sure to follow us on: Instagram Twitter Pinterest | Facebook

On behalf of the entire Student Affairs Outreach team, we want to wish you a fun and safe winter break. Bear Down, Wildcats!


–Valeria Martinez