Spring Break in the 313

Hi all!  Wow, it seems like just yesterday I was posting about college finances in honor of the new semester!  Since then, I have received a scholarship that paid for the rest of semester’s tuition so yay!!! But that’s not the point of the post.  I’m going to share what I did on my spring break!

So for all who don’t go to Marquette, they have a special alternative spring break program called Marquette Action Program, or MAP for short.  Each trip is focused on a certain social justice issue.  My group went to Detroit, where we focused on urban poverty.  We stayed at a Catholic Worker house, and it was overall a really awesome trip.

Now, when I told my family I was going to Detroit for spring break, I was met with the same concerns.  “Can’t you go somewhere else?” “What neighborhood are you staying in?” “Do you want me to buy you pepper spray before you go?”  While yes, the crime rates don’t lie, no one in my group was harassed or mugged or anything of the sort while we were there, and I actually felt really safe while we were there.

Basically the schedule was pretty much the same each day.  We woke up and went to the soup kitchen for the morning to serve.  The soup kitchen was really rewarding work, and by the end of the week, we were all really sad that we had to leave.  One of the patrons actually came up to me, gave me a hug, and told me that she would miss me.  In the afternoons, since we were living in a community house setting, we did chores.  I actually learned a new life skill: steam cleaning carpeting!  After some trial and error (which included me spilling dirty water on the carpet because I hadn’t realized how to keep the tank on the machine) I steam cleaned a room and one flight of stairs worth of carpet.

On Thursday, we had the whole day off, and we were able to both sleep in and explore some of Detroit.  Now, I have family who live in the suburbs of Detroit, so the area wasn’t totally new territory, but pretty much my knowledge is from going to sporting events and that’s it.  So it was cool to explore more areas of the city.  Specifically, we went to the Detroit Institute of Art and Bell Isle, an island on the Detroit River.  Bell Isle’s main attractions were closed except for the conservatory, but that was still really nice, considering they keep it 90 degrees in there for the plants!

All in all, I’m really glad I went on the MAP trip.  I learned so much about Detroit, more than I have known my entire life of having family who lives there.  I’m also really glad that I was able to really immerse myself in the city while also doing service.  I definitely recommend all college students taking advantage of an alternative break program at least once in their college career!

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Vegetarian Lasagna prepared by five college students!  (We concluded that five college students equate to one mom, seeing as how moms whip up lasagnas in what seems like no time and we took about an hour and a half to put everything together)

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Pretty flowers from the Bell Isle Conservatory

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A panoramic view of downtown Detroit as seen from Hart Plaza


We Need More Strawberries!

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE TABLE: It’s been so long! We’re so sorry! We won’t make excuses though, those are pointless. We’ll just apologize for slacking and get back to it…

Hey guys! Guess who I saw!?


Anissa!! I visited her at Dartmouth over my spring break and it was a blast!  It was one of those things you always talk about in high school and then a lot of times it just doesn’t happen.  But it did! I was there for four days and I brought her birthday gifts because she turned 19 this past Friday!

The journey was pretty long: 1.5 hours in a car then 2 on a plane and then 3 on a bus.  It was my first time flying alone which was exciting! I’m a really good traveler too so I don’t mind long trips.

While I was there she showed me all of her favorite spots on campus and took me to all the food places.  It’s a lot like Valpo in regards to size and student population and the feel, but Dartmouth’s buildings are cooler because they’re so old.

Day One I met all of Anissa’s friends, who were nice, and I had Indian food for the first time which tasted good.

Day Two I went to Chemistry class with her, which everyone thought I was crazy for. But being a Creative Writing Major I don’t have to take any of those big science lecture classes so it’s not like I sit in them everyday and get bored.  It was one and done and I wanted to get Anissa’s full college experience.  That night we went to the Dartmouth v. Princeton hockey game and I LOVED it!  I had no idea watching hockey was so fun! So I asked her if we could go again the next night and we did.  Dartmouth won both times.  This is us at the game sporting school spirit!


Before that we took the bus to the store to get baking supplies because we like to be domestic together.  So on Day Three we made Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake with this recipe:  http://www.southyourmouth.com/2014/07/strawberry-cream-cheese-icebox-cake.html

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It was really, really good, and very rich.  Also super easy to make and nice if you want something that’s no-bake. Too bad we ate too many strawberries while we were mixing and kind of ran out at the end…

But anyway, back to Day Two.  We ended the night at a frat house (my first time at a frat!) but we didn’t go for a party, we went to see her friend perform in an A Capella show.  Opening for them was an Improv Comedy group (fun fact: it was the group Mindy Kaling was in).  Both performances were phenomenal.

It was then, at 1:00am, that I realized Anissa was about to royally screw up my sleep schedule. So I spent four days living the night life of my friend, and let me tell you, it’s exhausting.

So on Day Three we made the dessert, we went to the hockey game, and we went to see Still Alice at the movie theater.  Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her part as a mother and esteemed professor with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. It was a really emotional movie based off a book I read.   I recommend both to anyone interested in a realistic depiction of the disease.

That night we stayed up late (really late) working on our novels!  They’re technically separate novels because she has hers and I have mine, but it’s more complicated than that because they share some characters and events so we have to work on them together.  But anyway, that’s a whole different blog post for a different time.

Day Four was when I had to go home, but we got breakfast at a cute diner called Lou’s first.  Unfortunately, there was a point in the meal where I may have tried to hit Anissa and in the process I may have knocked over my full glass of water instead. Karma I guess.

I had a great time.  It was absolutely the highlight of my 2015 year thus far and I hope to visit again in the future.  My favorite quote from the trip was from one of Anissa’s friends as she watched us bicker.  She said, “I’m a fan of this relationship.”

Me too.  I’m a fan of it too.