The Countdown!

And so the countdown till Long Weekend starts right now! 7 more days exactly and I can not WAIT to go home and see all my friends again. One of my friends, Ben, is in the military, and while away in Georgia, he had an accident where he broke his back and couldn’t walk. Luckily he got surgery, so he’ll be on his feet in no time if he already isn’t, but I’m thankful that he is able to do just that. He’ll be coming home in a couple of days, so that will definitely be my first stop on my way home from school.

This past weekend was SNC family weekend and that was great as always. Friday night, the STAR group and I all went to Appleton for a night of unlimited laser tag, arcade games, batting cages, and mini golf that our hearts desired. Then some of us took a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings, so I would say we had a pretty successful night. Because I am on the Track Team, I was one of the fortunate one that had to wake up at 7am the next morning and volunteer at the SNC Challenge Run.  Sure it was cold, but it was cool to actually watch a 5K on our campus. People asked me why I wasn’t out there running. Yeah, I don’t do that whole running long distance thing. Definitely not my definition of fun. For the rest of the day, I enjoyed the festivities going on at campus. I went for a boat ride with Tori’s family and got to get a tour on the carriage rides from Alex! The first year students, who are on the KnightRiders project, and I had a fundraiser for our project. Let’s just say puppy chow is a huge sensation at SNC!! We sold out and make over 225 dollars in 3 hours. Nice start SGA getting ahead of the game! Saturday night of Family weekend, I graced the community with my beautiful voice (not really though)! We had our family weekend choir concert and it was amazing to say the least! The songs we sing are beautiful and I’m even stunned with how amazing we sound as a choir and the different voices that surround me (I promise I’m not crazy!).

To end family weekend, I went to mass with Alex and his family and had brunch with Sean, Chaz, and the rest of the Topacio clan. I’m so glad I got to see Momma T and Dad!! I also took my STAR mentees out to lunch at Nicolets in De Pere. Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon… and then there was track practice. It was our first practice with the coaches present so I was nervous. Coach would realize how much I have slacked off this summer, BUT I did a lot better than I thought I was initially going to do! No sprains, injuries, or crying, and I finished the workout and looked good doing it. This might actually be a good year. This next week will be very long, and Bridgit, my STAR supervisor, is out of the office getting surgery and recovering from a torn ACL, so Maria and I are on our on for the next two weeks! I know I got this for sure, but like I wrote in the card, Come back SOON Bridgit! Long Weekend, where are you?!

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Although I take 7 classes, have 3 jobs, constantly have a track season to worry about and am involved in everything under the sun, my highlight definitely come from being an education major. This week I finally started working at the boys and girls club again with Tori, Alex, and my roommates and I am EXCITED to be back!! All day Monday I couldn’t contain how excited I was to see my “kids” and when I finally did I just exploded. They are a handful, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve grown so much and they were just as excited to see me, too. Being at the BGC is like my relaxation time from life even though I’m running around the entire time. For my Role of Play class (learning to incorporate play into your everyday classroom environment) and Music and Movement class (using music and movement in classrooms) I get to try my lessons each week on the students in the Sensenbrenner child care center at SNC. I work with one student, Grayson, and he’s a great kid. He’s a new student so he’s getting use to being at the child care center, but once you get him warmed up, he is ready to go. The first week we played this game where we learned facts about him and we learned he loves “Go, Diego, Go!” So the next week, we simulated a scavenger hunt with him in the daycare center with stuff animals and pillow pets and he loved every moment of it. It was also fun making a completely fool of myself, making animal noises and acting out animal impressions. I just think kids are so much fun with all their energy, creativity, and it’s great seeing them learn and grow. It’s a teacher thing!

This week is family weekend at SNC and I’m excited. This past weekend, we performed a “flashmob” for the donors of SNC during a dinner they had in Michel’s Commons. It was a huge success and for family weekend we have our first concert. I have this fear of singing in front of people that I am slowly getting over. I’ve gotten a lot better in the last year. I really wanted to try out for a solo in Men’s Choir, but I’ve had a sore throat for the last 2 weeks and couldn’t sing. I tried out, but it was….a little off, let’s just say. I hope Dr. Rosewall doesn’t think I can’t sing =/  I get to work the bounce house and tye-dye area for the SNC day on Saturday, so this should be fun!! If you are in the area, come on down. Literally EVERYONE is welcome. When you’re here, you’re family! I know that’s the Olive Garden slogan, but it works in this situation so let’s go with it. Well let’s see what the rest of this week has in store for me and I’ll keep you posted SNC! Until next time…..

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This week has been full of surprises and at the end of it has left me DEAD TIRED! Nap time should not have stopped in Kindergarten, that’s for sure. My highlight of this week is always my STAR group. It’s good seeing everyone together each week. and normally STAR has been a semester long each year, BUT since the organization has received a HUGE GRANT ( $61,000 to be exact!), we can now do programming for the entire school year. We can also do more activities as a group, but the only catch is that we only have the money for this school year. NOT A PROBLEM! My mind is racing with things to do. I am definitely the person for the job! I was thinking things like Haunted house and corn maze during Halloween, secret santa for Christmas, a STAR retreat, a trip to a high ropes course, laser tag, heritage museums, and whatever else comes to mind. So pumped for this opportunity!

This week I got offered to be the Emerging Leaders mentor for the new Student Government first year students. Elections for 1st year student rep were this week and they were really close. I got to call everyone who won….and those who didn’t win. How do you tell someone they didn’t win elections? It’s a very awkward conversation. I’m excited to work with the new representatives on the KnightRiders project though, promoting school spirit at sport events! Shout out to the STAR mentees, Everette Berchmans, Bryant McCray, and Alexandria Staskiewicz, Amanda Klitzke, and Mitch Kronberg for winning the elections. It’s gonna be a good year.

Classes are keeping me busy already, but at least they’re interesting. My music and movement class and my role of play class, both early childhood classes, will be working in the childcare center in Sensenbrenner Residence Hall this semester, and I’m so excited. I love kids, hence why I’m being a teacher. Both class are applying our teaching methods on the students we work with and all I have to incorporate music and playing into my lessons?! This is gonna be a breeze! The Boys and Girls program at Fort Howard Elementary School in Green Bay starts up next week and I can’t wait to see all my students again. Tori, Alex and my  6 roommates will be working and volunteering there with me throughout the week for the rest of the school year. My roommates and I have to put on programs about building character and being young men and having fun with the boys we work with and have fun. The saying if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life MUST BE TRUE!

This weekend has been great for bonding and SLEEPING! Friday night I went to the first Brother to Brother program, which acts as a safe zone and time to hangout with other men on campus. I also went to the Knight Owl to hear my friends Sean Topacio, Malorie Imhoff, and Maddie Cremer, sing. The best part about the event was getting a ride home from Father Sal! I hung out with my friends from down the hallway, Mackenzie, Karl, and Cole, and it’s always a party when we get together. We also celebrated my good friend, Mackenzie Hazen’s birthday with cake and dinner. I didn’t cook BUT I brought the Capri-Suns and washed dishes.  I know what you’re thinking, real man right here, I know! Saturday, the track team all went to the SNC high ropes course, behind Gries Hall and had a morning of team bonding, rope climbing, trusting and laughs. From 8-2pm we went through different stations, just building our team up and having fun. It’s a good thing we bonding so well because we will be having fun with Packer Clean Up tonight(Sunday), cleaning Lambeau Field RIGHT AFTER the Packers play. Joy…  I went to sleep at 9PM Saturday night. Hopefully I can do that again tonight. This upcoming week should be busy as always. Track workouts start, Barefoot Volleyball for Zambia Project, Emerging Leaders Retreat, and a surprise for the SNC donors/alumni dinner with the regularly outbreak of song and dance here at SNC! You know, the usual!

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As you can tell Alex, Tori,and I are excited for our reunion and for sophomore year to start. Everything about being back at SNC has gotten my excited! I just feel more in my element and at home at SNC. Miss my friends in Illinois  lot, but nothing beats college The best part about being back at SNC is probably being a coordinator and mentor for the STAR program. Initially it’s an early arrival program for first year students to help them get acclimated and prepared for college and throughout the school year, we have weekly meetings which is more of a check in with our students to make sure everything is going all right. I have to lead meetings once a week as well as weekly dinner and tutoring sessions. The only one thing NOT in the job description is that the job would be THIS FUN!! The program has grown from 5  to 42 first year students in four years, and the 42 first years students I work with are a riot!! Our first week being at SNC was so much fun between the ice breakers, our trips to Bay Beach, late night fun with the ALIVE Team and Zesty’s, and our journey to the farmers’ market. BEST FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL EVER! Now during the school year, we meet once or twice a week, but I can honestly say I miss seeing everyone in our STAR group every day. My mentees are awesome so I’m glad I took the job!

The school year just started, but already it has been jam packed and busy. On top of being a STAR mentor, I’m Vice President of College Affairs for Student Government. I’ll be helping the new SGA freshmen student representatives continue to promote school spirits around SNC during sporting events which includes the Knight Riders Hockey Fan Bus! I’m also an Emerging Leaders mentor for the same first year students, helping them to become better leaders, plan campus programs, and get involved around SNC! I also auditioned for Chambers Singers, which I made!! I was incredibly surprised and happy because my audition was completely spontaneous and on the spot a.k.a. peer pressure from my STAR mentee, Zephyr Ciesar. I wanted to audition anyway, but I couldn’t get up the nerve to do it so I’m glad she encouraged me. I’m still doing Men’s Choir this year as well as being a tour guide for admissions and working in the multicultural Student Services Office. This year I am doing services with my 7 roommates at Fort Howard Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Club. Of course, I am still running track this year. I couldn’t give that up even if I wanted to! We just had our first packer clean up this weekend to kick off the fall season. This is for sure gonna whip me into shape. On top of everything, I am a student here at Saint Norbert and very involved as you can tell. A lot of my classes this semester are Education courses because I am Education major with a Early Childhood minor, which will be a lot of fun.  I honestly can;t wait to start working with children as a teacher. It’s going to be an experience for sure! My life as always is extremely busy, at times hectic, incredibly spontaneous, but 100 percent enjoyable. With a great sense of humor and a positive mentality, I’m sure I got this, no problem. Round Two: Sophomore Year BRING IT ON!

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This summer has been two things: TOO LONG!! Don’t get me wrong, I did tons of things this summer. I went to visit tons of friends who graduated from high school. I forgot how long graduations are, but they were nice. Initially I lounge around this summer BORED OUT OF MY MIND! But once I actually stated to hangout with my friends, I began to have fun. I forget how much I actually miss people till I am with them! Sean Topacio, who also goes to SNC with me, is from my area of Illinois, so I stayed with him all summer long or at least it felt like it. Lucky for me, he’s one of my best friends or he would’ve gotten sick of me! This summer Sean and I were camp counselors together with our peer ministry group from home at Camp Wow. I love going to camp because I’m with so many important people in my life  and being in the middle of no where with no technology, I feel at peace. Plus, my campers were great and I got to be incredibly loud, so whats not to like? I also went to on an annual trip to Six Flags which was just as good as last year. Sean and I talked all summer long about how we missed Norbs, but this was definitely a bittersweet summer saying goodbye to our best friends, Emily, Melissa, Maggie,Robert, Cayana, Kim, and Becca as we all went our separate ways and school started for all of us. Then I ended my summer with a trip to New York City.  I got to see my family and be reunited with some childhood best friends who are like family, so it was a great week. It was In fact I would say this was another great summer for the books, but I missed SNC so freaking much while I was away.

The best part of summer was probably coming back to SNC in June to be a First Year Experience Mentor. Alex and I were reunited for this short time during the summer and got to be Summer FYE mentors and roommates again! The FYE mentors bonded so much between sleepovers and boat trips at Devan Lenz’s house, crashing the local pool with the gang, or parading around as superheroes on campus. FYE was so much fun! I’m kind of upset I couldn’t be a mentor during the fall,but I soon got over that fact real quick when I became a  STAR mentor. Those were also the longest weeks in terms of sleep deprivation. The first year students were wired with excitement and some wanted to pull all nighters, but we had been going to sleep at like 2 or 3 in the morning and waking up at around 6 or 7 AM! Some of us(ME) were real cranky by the end of the two weeks. Overall it was one of the best experiences of my life and definitely wished that didn’t end.  The best part about summer FYE is that every time I hear the song “Call Me Maybe” I think of FYE since us mentors performed our opening dance and flash mobs to that song. Gotta love college! One things for sure, the Class of 2016 is going to take Saint Norbert College by storm for sure!

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Being the first freshmen to touch the bell at Convocation Ceremony must have really brought good luck because this year summed up in one word is perfect. I’m not sure if it was celebrating our conference victories as a team, or watching all my friends slowly leave campus one by one, or watching the seniors walk across that stage at graduation, or take one last look at my room as the RA took our keys and closed the door, but it hit me that freshmen year is finally over and I’m going to miss SNC a lot! This year has gone by so fast and I don’t know about the rest of my class, but this year was amazing! I feel like I have grown so much over the past year. I have become more confident in myself and my abilities and I feel like I can do just about anything. I never thought as a freshman I could win Vice President of my school or run track on a collegiate level. I never thought that I would sing in a choir and for other people or be so good at meeting people and making friends. I never thought most of all, that the people I met this year would change my life as much as they did.

I know we talk about Communio a lot at Saint Norbert, but I never thought it would be so easy to get so involved in a community and have it become your home in one year. It was great being on the track team and traveling to different states to compete. I’m going to miss being in a track family with Katherine Larson, Andrew Hull, and Danielle Krause. I’m going to miss hanging out in Mad/Lor with Tori and Alex and yelling around during intensive quiet hours during finals week or jamming out in the campus center or playing Blitz ball with Sean, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Danny, and Becca. I know I have three more years of college ahead of me, which during the time will feel long, but if this year is an indicator of how those years are going to go, it’ll be over before they even begin!

School being over isn’t all negative. Been waiting for it and it is finally here: SUMMER! I need a break for sure. This summer is going to be a blast. I’m going to use the rest of May as a month for relaxation and can’t wait to go see a bunch of my friends graduate from high school! For a part of the summer, I’m going back to SNC to be an FYE mentor! I’ve been waiting for this ever since I went to orientation last summer as a freshman. Then I’m going to be a camp counselor at a summer camp called Camp Wow. Also, taking a trip to New York, visiting family, and going camping with friends. This summer is going to be fun, but I’m not going to get any sleep. 2012 bring it on! Sophomore year’s going to bring some big things to come and I’m ready for them…..I think = ?    Well until next year, readers enjoy the summer, don’t tan too much, and stay out of trouble. ENJOY!


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Track and the Easter Bunny

This past week provided an excellent transition into the weekend. I ended the week by being the first new admissions tour guide/student representative to finish their final steps for training! Greatness in the making for sure. On Thursday, SNC had our FIRST EVER home track and field meet down at the new Schneider Stadium! It was exciting to have people come out and see us race. Even with the cold winds, I would say it was definitely worth it. Since the beginning of outdoor season, I’ve been getting over injuries so I’ve been taking it easy so far. At the home meet though, I felt like a million bucks. I ran the 4 by 1, and the 200 and did well. I FINALLY got to run my first 400 METER DASH of the season and I did okay for a first time. I broke 52 seconds with a 51.68. Compared to my high school times, I’ve ran faster but it was fast enough to guarantee a first place win AND the title of stadium record holder for the 400. It was a rewarding night for sure. Everyone on the team did phenomenal that afternoon, despite the cold weather. We’re trying to show everyone, nothing will keep us down for long!

Easter Break was a nice four day weekend of relaxation. I went to visit friends for the first night, but I spent the majority of break at home, which was a surprise to Chris who had no idea I was even coming. We spent Easter with some family friends, eating a huge meal which was delicious! I caught up on sleep too which, for this college kid, was much needed. We got that Friday and Monday off of school which was nice. On top of that, we also had advisement day this past Thursday. Sure we pick classes and talk with our advisers, but it means a day without classes, projects, or tests, sign me up ASAP. I actually don’t have my advisement meeting until next Wednesday, so after 6AM practice, I went straight to bed AGAIN. Tori, Alex, Gabbie, Chantre, and I went to see “The Titanic” in 3D together which turned out to be good. Tori LOVES that movie (like cries when the previews come on and Celine Dion sings My Heart Will Go On!) so it was a nice treat for her. Basically, a great start to a “productive” day! This next weekend, the track team has a meet at Wisconsin Lutheran, so hopefully all goes well. Big things are in store for the team as the school year begins to wind down. On thing I’m excited for is my birthday, April 16th!! You only turn 19 once, so I’m gonna hopefully live it up big! Let’s see how that goes =)

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First Outdoor Meet and Plans for Next Year

This past weekend, the track team got started up again and we had our first outdoor meet at Ripon and WE DOMINATED! Both the girls and guys teams took first place overall at the meets and we had a lot of great individual and relay races. My knee had been bothering me all week leading up to the meet, but it wasn’t anything really big. At the meet though, let’s just say I saw EVERYONE that I was running against cross the finish line. Coach should’ve probably said don’t let everyone pass you, let alone one person. I had to drop from my 4 by 400 meter relay team because of my knee which sucked because I hate giving up or quitting, but my team was right. I’d rather not run this one race than not run for the rest of the season. It’s fine now so hopefully I’ll be good for Carroll next week!

I just realize I am excited for the next school year to start. True, this one’s gone by so fast, but so much is happening next school year. I am working in Admissions as an OFFICIAL Student Representative. Now I’ll get paid for all of the things I’ve been volunteering for previously! I was told there is a packet to memorize. No, it’s more like reading the dictionary, but I actually think I nailed everything already. I’m ready to go and start every tour I have with “Here at St. Norbert College…” I’m going to be a pro at this. I’m also working as a S.T.A.R. mentor/coordinator next year, which if you weren’t able to tell from previous blogs, makes me excited. Then on top of all that, I can still do Student Government and work as a Connections tutor! Also, Alex, 6 other track guys, and I are all planning on living in Michel’s Service-Learning Hall next semester as roommates. I could not have asked for a better group to be rooming with. This is gonna be fun!

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Spring Break

The week before Spring Break seemed like the longest week of my life and the week after Spring Beak went by way too fast! Time is just not on my side, but Spring Break was amazing so I can’t complain. These last couple of weeks, I’m glad I got to spend with friends. My friend Ben, is going off to Basic Training for the National Guards, so I got to spend time with him before he left. I also went back to Mooseheart to talk about experiences and successes in college to the juniors and seniors. It was nice visiting with my old roommate Brendon and my family teacher Jenise from high school. I also got to spend time with Kaitlyn Miller, Danny Haggerty, Danny Egan, Rebecca Liming, Nick Kemmler, and Sean Topacio( friends from St.Norbert) and went to a soccer game, had a bonfire, went out for Chinese, and toured Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day. Some Chicagoans don’t know how to act on St. Patty’s Day. There were so many people drunk off life in the park, it was amusing to watch. Good old Chicago! I had more bonfires with Sean and our friends, Maggie and Melissa then I can count. All this good weather only has me focusing on one thing: SUMMMER!!! One more month to bear through and I’m home sweet home. I can’t wait!

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Indoor Track & Field Conference Chamionship

This past weekend was both disappointing and exciting at the same time. So the track team went to Illinois College for Conference this weekend. Love all the perks that come with that: Thursday and Friday (No Classes!), AMAZING FOOD (Olive Garden, Jimmy Johns, Long Horn Steakhouse), hotels, and bonding time with the track team! I just hate the pressure that comes with everything else: the 400, beating Monmouth, scoring points! I didn’t do as hot as I wanted to in the 400 meter dash. I felt good, but like always, I got stuck on the cut in after the first lap.9th place overall. My 4 by 400 relay team was on fire though. We ran hard and our efforts got us on the podium, third place. Not bad for a first time. Both the guys and the girls teams placed 3rd place overall at conference and A LOT of people “podium’d” this weekend.  Justin Johnson and Mike Verfuerth got 1st and 3rd in their hurdles. Hannah Andrekus got 3rd in her race. Mackenzie got 2nd in both the 3K AND 5K. This past weekend I felt I grew tremendously. I didn’t realize how attached I’ve gotten to the team.  On my way back from conference on Saturday, this was my status on Facebook.

I don’t need beer to make me die from laughter
I don’t need drugs to make me high off life
I don’t need a frat to have a brotherhood/sisterhood
You’re loses have become my disappointments too
And you’re wins have filled me with overwhelming joy

Honestly All I need is my SNC track team!

I AM SO PROUD of everyone this past season. Some of you may not be happy with your performances at conference, but that didn’t stop me from screaming my head off for you guys and losing my voice from excitement. If I took anything from the past weekend, it’s that we’re more than a team, but a family. We motivate each other to be our best all the time, and we celebrate each other’s victory as if it were our own. You guys are amazing and I can’t wait for another 4 years, 7 more seasons, to be with a team I count # 1 every time. You guys are awesome! Outdoor Season= Clean Slate, New Opportunities for SNC Domination! Let’s show ’em what we’re made of!

I really can’t wait for what the future holds for our team. These are the moments when I remember why I love college and SNC so much!

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