Busted Halo
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March 11th, 2013

Spring break is coming up, and for many young adults that means time away from hectic work/school schedules and a much-needed week of rest and relaxation. Whether you’re traveling somewhere tropical, hitting the ski slopes, or simply staying home, don’t forget your faith! We are in the midst of Lent, after all — a season dedicated to spiritual reflection and deepening our relationship with God. Here are a few tips for nurturing your faith while on vacation (or staycation):

Help out around the community
Yes, you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on an all-inclusive resort for spring break. But what’s one less day poolside with a piña colada when you can be helping others who may not have the means or the…

March 7th, 2013

Exactly one year ago, I was in the middle of a 40-day Facebook fast for Lent. Naturally, I found a new obsession: compulsively checking my email. It was the final step in a long process. The test was taken, websites combed over, e-applications submitted, and emails with an “.edu” extension opened immediately. Now, it was time to decide where to go to graduate school.
I did the “safe” thing and applied to a lot of schools (eight, in fact). I wasn’t sure if the admissions staff would buy my story: Theology and psychology undergrad major who taught English for three years, worked for an economics department for two, and then decided to pursue … public health? Of course, it all made sense to me. Was it going to…

March 5th, 2013

Planning for spring break is a big… deal – beach or ski trip? All-inclusive resort or local hostel accommodations? Hurricane relief work or volunteering at a local shelter? Bet you didn’t see that last one coming.
For the 2-1/2 years that I have been in college, it has always been a goal of mine to participate in a service project. At Fordham University, where I’m a student, one group that offers such trips is Global Outreach (GO!), a cultural immersion and service program that facilitates students learning about issues of injustice around the country and the world. Teams of students are sent out every winter, spring and summer break to work with 

February 27th, 2013
Download and distribute our free Survival PDF to share with the high school grads you know

The next few months are anxiety-filled times not only for students but for parents and high school educators as well, as they begin finding out about college acceptances, financial aid packages, and everything else surrounding the move from high school to college. As the authors of a book about how to make a smooth transition to college life, we have become intimately aware of how stressful and exciting (and all the emotions in between) these next few months can be.
When The Freshman Survival Guide was first published in April 2011, we were confident that — after years of research and feedback from the online versions we’d posted on Busted Halo — the information, insights, advice and real-world…

February 12th, 2013

Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent begins, has long been one of my favorite days of the year. Mostly because, for all of my childhood, the day before Ash Wednesday (when I went to church and had some weird, dark substance smudged on my forehead) was dedicated to eating delicious, fattening food.
On Fat Tuesday the pink- and white-speckled countertops in the kitchen I grew up in were loaded with my (unhealthy) favorites: Spinach dip loaded with fresh artichokes and spinach, teeming with globs of sour cream, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Rotel dip with ground beef swimming in canned Campbell’s cheese soup and Rotel diced tomatoes. Red velvet cookies topped with syrupy, sweet cream cheese frosting. Hot wings…

January 29th, 2013

One thing that has stuck in my head since I was a child I learned from my mother who was a nurse. She came home from a continuing education class when I was about 12 years old with a tidbit that astounded me then and still astounds me today. The instructor communicated that researchers had discovered the frontal lobe of the brain, responsible for our creativity and imagination, is also activated when we pray.
Since learning that, I have always believed that there must be a profound connection between prayer and creativity. It also makes sense to me since prayer is the doorway to communicating with the Creator — me communicating with God and God communicating with me. One of the connections I have made is that being…

January 24th, 2013

Is anyone else out there as deeply disturbed by current events as I am right now? I know we’ve always had war in various places of the world, plus poor people shunted aside and ignored, plus victims of racism, homophobia, and violence to nature and humankind. But somehow, this year, these sad and bitter parts of human behavior feel like an iron cloak on my shoulders. I cannot even read about Syria anymore it is so upsetting, particularly after reading the luminous book, The Bread of Angels… by Stephanie Soldana, which tells of the monastery outside of Damascus headed by an Italian priest who tried to stay neutral and provide sanctuary for both sides in the conflict. He has since had to leave the country.
Today I ran around

January 22nd, 2013

We knew we were in trouble when the shoes floated down the hallway. My brother was the first to notice water leaking through the floor of our garage. He and my parents managed to heft the really valuable furniture, my deceased grandmother’s china closet and buffet, on top of my mattress, where they would be saved from the ravages of the flood. Even so, my family wasn’t prepared for how fast the water spread throughout the house, rising to six inches, enough to make buoys out of the sandals I kept under my bed.

January 15th, 2013
Reflecting on body image and acceptance

One day while browsing Tumblr, I came across a blog post from Humans of New York, a website that showcases the daily lives of strangers around New York City via photograph. One of these pictures was especially striking; it was of an NYU student named Stella Boonshoft, posing in her underwear. The picture, taken from her personal blog, is a testament to self-love and body acceptance. Stella, standing proudly and smiling, is celebrating her body, the way God made it, imperfections and all. The picture garnered national attention, not just on social networking sites, but on national television news networks such as NBC, which aired a Today Show segment on Stella.
Body messages
As a young person admittedly influenced…

January 6th, 2013

When you turn on the radio you’re inevitably going to hear one thing and one thing only — mainstream music. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a handful of these mainstream artists. However, I’ve noticed a 180-degree turn in the content and inspiration for their music. Nearly every song that gets airtime today is about the collapse of a relationship.
Take Adele for example. “21″ was an award-winning, best-selling break-up story. Some songs from the album are filled with sorrow, some with anger, but all center on the painful break up with a long-term boyfriend. But when those drums begin pounding and Adele’s signature soulful singing hits, we can’t help but turn up…

January 5th, 2013

You may have read about the conversation between Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Stephen Colbert held at Fordham University on September 14 and moderated by Fr. Jim Martin, S.J. — but chances are you didn’t hear about from someone who was actually there. Due to the media blackout surrounding the event, no major news sources were present. Lucky for you, we, the Busted Halo interns, study at Fordham and were able to attend “The Cardinal and Colbert: Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life.” We’re here to provide an eyewitness account of the discussion, the events preceding it, and how it affected us…

December 21st, 2012

For one month each year, I get to work with Santa. The real. The one and only. Santa Claus. You see, I’m a seasonal employee at Macy’s Santaland in Herald Square in New York City. And at Santaland, we are not focused on making money during this highly profitable financial quarter. (Note the fall… Christmas ads, Black Friday sales cutting into Thanksgiving, and year-round Christmas layaway plans.) In fact, on my first day of orientation, a manager told me: “We are not here to make money. We are here to make memories.”
All I want for Christmas
After watching hundreds, probably thousands of visits with Santa Claus, I’ve realized there’s a pattern in what people want for Christmas as they grow up. The young

December 19th, 2012

In the time it takes to read this article, I expect you will be distracted. You may receive an email at work, the phone might ring, your baby could cry, a colleague will sneeze, your dog may fart, and thus — I lose your attention. You may come back to the article, or in many cases, you may move on to cater to one of the many noises, sounds or smells we come across in our daily lives. If that point is now, thanks for reading and I recommend you stop feeding Fido leftover Indian food.

December 17th, 2012

“Early on Tolkien had a car, he drove like a manic,” explains Daniele Lucas to a group of 20 people taking her J.R.R. Tolkien Tour in Oxford, England. “Tolkien endangered everyone’s life who was in the car with him, including his own. Soon afterwards, he completely lost his taste for driving anything motorized.”
In Oxford, Tolkien tours are common and tourists make daily pilgrimages to such sacred spots (scroll down for some photos) as the colleges that Tolkien taught at, the pubs where he met with the Inklings (his informal writing group), the sidewalk where he read early excerpts of The Lord of the Rings to children and the house where Tolkien lived when he wrote The Hobbit.… (The first film of a three-part

December 17th, 2012

Three-fourths of the way through Advent, I lived a parable. We were in the middle of finals week, and the only things standing between me and Christmas vacation were 1) a pile of research papers from my composition students, and 2) a corresponding pile of portfolios from my creative writing students — all waiting to be graded. About halfway through each pile, my computer stopped connecting to the internet.
Granted, the prospect of a day without checking my email 47 times is horrifying enough. Add to this the fact that grades have to be plugged in electronically, and you can imagine my consternation.
I lugged my decidedly not-lightweight laptop to a nearby coffee shop and tried using their Wi-Fi. Nope.
I trudged…

November 27th, 2012
Accompanying each other through grief

Young adulthood is often a season full of firsts: first move out of student housing; first time buying a car; first real dining room table; first full-time paycheck; first health insurance apart from parents’.
It is also a season of celebrations, as nearly every other weekend, April to September, is the wedding of a childhood, college or graduate school friend. There are passed-the-Bar-exam parties, medical school coat ceremonies, first promotions, and Saturdays spent helping friends move and celebrate their first home. There is a spattering of baby showers and adoption parties as friends begin to start families of their own.
Amid the excitement and right-of-passage firsts, young adulthood is also…

November 21st, 2012

The following is an excerpt from What’s So Funny about Faith: A Memoir from the Intersection of Holy and Hilarious by Jake Martin, SJ (Loyola Press 2012).…
Since the age of four, when I would sneak downstairs, way past my bedtime, to the family den hoping to catch a glimpse of NBC’s cutting-edge sketch-comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” I had dreamed of going to New York and becoming a comedian. This was followed by years of classes, shows, and auditions; of waiting tables and answering phones to pay the rent; of going to sleep hungry and watching my friends pass me by while I bided my time in Chicago, hoping to catch that one break that would finally bring me to New York, with all its attached fame and glory.

November 20th, 2012

In kindergarten, I vividly remember my teacher dividing our class into two groups at Thanksgiving: the pilgrims and the Native Americans. I was a Native American, and in the days leading up to our Thanksgiving feast, I meticulously colored my headband (which had feathers attached) and a paper grocery bag that would be the papoose I carried on my back.
Our school Thanksgiving feast was served on mint green Styrofoam trays that squeaked when they moved. We dined on sodium-saturated green beans, dry macaroni and cheese, rubbery sliced turkey, a buttery yeast roll dripping with honey, and stuffing topped with cranberry sauce and breadcrumbs.
My classmates and I sat at a long table facing one another and ate together.…

November 14th, 2012

A few weeks ago I had the chance to walk through two cemeteries within a week’s time. As I strolled through the beautifully landscaped grounds and in between the headstones I looked at the names and family relationships that were etched onto the stones: mother, father, husband, wife, baby. I began to wonder what kind of lives these people led, what they did for work, how their families were. Some dates reached back into the early 1800s. “Two hundred years from now, will I be remembered?” I wondered. To me they were fading shadows of lives long ago, but back then they were important to someone. Someone grieved their deaths.
We all know that losing someone is hard. Loss comes with feelings we may never have experienced…

October 31st, 2012
Busted Halo-ween Costume Contest!

Are you dressing up as one of the Avengers this year? Do you make the scariest Dracula or spooky saint on the block? Are your kids the cutest pumpkins at school? Break out your best costume for the first ever Busted Halo-ween Costume Contest!
The tradition of wearing costumes on All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) has its earliest origins in 19th century Scotland. Children went door to door in guises on that day offering entertainment in exchange for various gifts (similar to our custom of trick-or-treating today). Show us how you celebrate this tradition by sending us photos of your best Halloween costumes!
Here’s what you do:
#1 Tweet us @BustedHalo… with a photo of you, friends, or family members (this includes pets!)

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