Viva La Vida

Archives: Out in the Community

Big Lu at the Honors Conference

by JD | November 1, 2009


My group and I just got back from Washington DC today after a week full of presentations and seminars. Not only did we all successfully present a diverse number of projects to other honor students and faculty from across the country, but we also attended a series of seminars from which we learned from other colleges on how to develop a proactive and intellectually-stimulating honors program at our own university.


I highly encourage ambitious underclassman here at Lynn to submit a proposal for next year’s NCHC conference which will be held at Kansas City. It would be great to see a continued presence of Lynn at these conferences, and it is an effective method to have any ideas or projects to gain exposure out in the academic community. At the conference I saw other students present ideas on how to solve our global population’s most pressing problems, such as energy and environmental dilemmas that challenge humanity to arrive at a consensus without advancing any detrimental effects on Mother Earth.

For example, our own science department at Lynn through their own research explored the question to see how safe commercial cough syrups really are.

A New Method for the Detection of the Toxic Diethylene Glycol Contaminant in Cough Syrups

"A New Method for the Detection of the Toxic Diethylene Glycol Contaminant in Cough Syrups"-with Katrina Jiskrova and Dr. Villa on the right

As far as my own presentation, I performed Richard Clayderman’s Ballade Pour Adeline along with my classmate Timea Varga who danced along beautifully  to the music.

Tomorrow I will blog about the other presentations from my group, as soon as I get their pictures… the way I never realized how much I kept my hands in my pockets as I speak- which is a bad thing! At least now I know!

Honors Conference Part One

by JD | October 30, 2009

At just a couple blocks away from the Smithsonian Museum and our Nation’s Treasury Department, I am here blogging from my blackberry making good use of Starbuck’s free wireless internet access.

So far, the conference has been enriching and it is a pleasure to hear my fellow classmates from Lynn present their hard work to hundreds of other honor students and professors from around the country.

Well the wireless card from my laptop broke and apparently the Grand Hyatt charges a hefty fee for their wireless internet, which is why I am here blogging from my blackberry at Starbucks! Therefore, it’s hard to go in depth and talk about our experiences at the conference thus far. Too bad for me though that I could not use that excuse for the big presentation I was about to miss this past Tuesday from my
Communication Law class, which is why I had to call a friend from DC and ask if he could bring his laptop which had a webcam so I could deliver my presentation through Skype-but hey, it all worked beautiful and it felt like I was back at Lynn for that class!

Anyways, I have a number of posts and pictures that I am planning on sharing with the Lynn community. I have a couple stories as well-like how we almost missed our flight away from Florida since there has been a miscommunication on the lynn van which missed the memo of taking us to the airport, nevertheless as Lynn honor students we showed decisive action at 5:30 on Tuesday morning and quickly jumped on a cab-all seven of us including luggage-and made it just on time!

More to come…..

Gearing up for the Next Congressional Race

by JD | October 22, 2009

Today I attended a Greater Boca Raton Democratic Club meeting at Boca Pointe. Today’s meeting was especially exciting on account  that Congressman Wexler will retire from his position thus leaving an open seat in Congress. There were two democrats present today who are looking forward to compete for that open seat. Current State Senator Ted Deutch and Former Broward Commissioner Dr. Ben Graber each presented compelling reasons on why they are running for Congress and why they think their experience best propels them to meet the demands presented to a United States Congressman.

It should be noted that Congress’s current disapproval rating is among the highest its ever been for a very long time- probably because of all of the heavy partisan bickering and lack of effective legislation getting passed when the American’s need it the most.

Nevertheless, Senator Deutch acknowledged this dire trend and promised to induce transparency and proactive legislation if elected. During the Q&A, I threw him a couple questions on Free Trade- an issue that Democrats are known to be particularly tough on. This question came as a curve ball to the Senator because most of the questions that night where concerning health care (for obvious reasons). But even if I did not get a full, comprehensive answer that I was looking for- I did agree to his position on treating any foreign policy issues through a bi-partisan manner.

Senator Ted Deutch

Senator Ted Deutch

I sincerely wish both candidates the best, and I am sure that South Florida will begin to see a very enriching and competitive campaign in the coming months. By the way I urge Lynn students to contact any candidate’s office and get involved with their respective campaigns. A lot of help will be needed- and remember that there is no better way to truly comprehend the relevant issues facing our community and nation today than to participate in civic engagement.




3 Questions for you…

by JD | September 21, 2009

Answer this:

1) Who actually won the US Open (tennis) this year?

2) Did President Obama actually push for a “public-option” in his last speech to a joint-session on Congress?

3) Which musical video actually won the “best video” category at the VMA’s this year?

If you are like most people in America (including myself) then you probably can’t answer these questions accurately and without doing a quick ‘Google’ search. But instead, I bet that you can actually recall:

1) What Serena William thinks a tennis official should have for dinner tonight

2) South Carolina Senator Joe Wilson’s true impression of our President

3) Kanye West’ personal opinion on what he thinks is the best video out right now

The point here folks is that the media has a tendency to focus on not really what is important, but rather what is ‘news-worthy’ (but we all know that). And soon after we see media ridiculing itself on how much it paid attention to the meaningless topic it helped promote. I call this phenomenon the inevitably shameless media loop.

So next time you read something written by another imperfect human being (nobody is really infallible), just make sure you ask yourself what else is happening that you are not being told directly.


Wonderful World of Wine

by JD | September 14, 2009

This weekend I brushed up my knowledge on the provocative and sophisticated wonderful world of wine in a wine tasting event hosted by Sommelier-in-residence Charlie Arturarola in Bloomingdale’s located in the Boca Town Center Mall. Vibrant red glasses of Pinot Noir wine  straight from the vineyards in Napa Valley was savored among new friends at our table as delicious hors d’oeuvre were passed along only to be concluded with additional  glasses of  french chardonnay.

The most exciting part of the evening however was finding out that all of the wines sampled today cost below $50.

I was suprised to hear that such great tasting wines were so affordable- a humble reminder that we should not always categorize having wine in our every day lives  as a luxury experienced only by the wealthy. My personal favorite glass of wine that day was a Moscato by Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge 2008. This Moscato had a very gentle aroma of peach while leaving a delightful aftertaste of white flowers.


I encourage my readers to brush up on their knowledge on the intricate world of wine and how it is produced, aged and adequately served to complement even the most flavorful demanding dishes of our time. Wine is also integrated as a  major component to global religions such as Christianity, Judaism and even Islam as it is part of various ceremonies and cultural rituals. For example in Iran, wine has been a central theme for poetry for over several centuries.

In Homer’s The Odyssey, as Greek hero Odysseus returns to his kingdom in Ithaca from fighting the Trojan War, several of his hosts who offered him warm hospitality all had one thing common: they indulged the great hero in endless wine.

Nevertheless, before I venture too far into history, I have to conclude this post and get ready to coordinate next week’s adventures and classes.

Distinctly Yours,



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The powers of Travel…

by JD | June 28, 2009

Jetting out of Florida

Jetting out of Florida

So what does Marco Polo, Ernesto “Che” Guvarra, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark all have in common among countless of other extraordinary historic figures? They were all very curious, they were all daring and adventurous, simply put they all logged down countless kilometers of travel during their lifetimes. Traveling in it and of itself makes you a better person; the concept of traveling could be analogous to the idea of getting out of your comfort zone and jumping into the world while accepting new challenges.

My journey towards New England I hope will not fall short of my ideal  concept of what it really means to travel. In the next few days I will be attending events from New York City to Washington DC, and I will make sure to go about these events with a high degree of curiosity.

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In Washington DC

by JD | June 28, 2009

@ the entrance

@ the entrance

This week I attended a Law School forum in Washington DC sponsored by the Law School Admissions Council. I visited many prospective schools that I plan on applying after I graduate from Lynn University, although I have to admit that is still much early in the application cycle. Nevertheless, I also took advantage of the event to visit my friend, Tom who is a senior at Georgetwon University.


@ Georgetown University

I visited many great schools-and I made sure that my list of schools were geographically diverse.

Berkley Law

Berkley Law

Overall it was a great experience, and I got to meet alot of other applicants. It was interesting to see that the prospective students weren’t all in college. I saw many adults who seemed that they have allready spent a number of years out in the workforce. I also met many uniformed soliders who were planning on attending law school after their service to our country.

I spoke to many representatives from law schools, as well as officials from LSAC as well. All of my conversations seemed to resonate with similar commentary- how this year it seems that there has been a dramatic increase of interest to law schools. I could tell that this was so just by seeing how many people attended this forum- hundreds of attandees from across the nation.

I believe it’s great though, that law schols will be seeing an increase in applicants- that means that a law degree is in high demand at the moment. Furthermore, an increase in applicants means that the admissions process will be more selective- which is yet another positive attribute. This is great, I think, because this means that there will be a higher standard among law school students- and consequently a higher standard among lawyers throughout America. I believe that if there are more qualified lawyers- then we all win because that means that our justice system will inherently improve itself.

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