Author Archives: Kandyce Baker, Criminology, Law and Justice

Nothing could top last week

Back in October, when I first introduce myself to you, I had a blog entitled “Nothing could top last weekend”  I was happy to do cool things like meet celebrities, receive some recognition at work, and of course….to begin blogging.  I am happy to say that my final blog is ending with some pretty amazing news as well.

After two years of a lot of hard work, I finished my master’s program.  When I looked at my grades I was surprised to see STRAIGHT As!  I haven’t had straight As since 2009-2010, when I was a sophomore in my undergrad years.  I worked hard, but I thought for sure I had a B in there.  It was a great way to finish off the program.

Last Monday, I received a call from a job I interviewed for, and I am happy to say I GOT THE JOB! Because of that, I will be leaving Chicago and moving out to Aurora in the fall.

After finals, I went straight to D.C. to see my mother!  She came back temporarily from Afghanistan.  It was great to see her because the last time I saw her was in July.

Once the group fitness summer program at UIC is over in August, I will be leaving this place for good. I am so grateful for everything I learned and gained at UIC. Six years is a long time to stay in one place, at least for a military brat it is.  I am happy to be leaving on a very positive note.

Thank you, UIC.

The Top 10 best things about UIC





It’s officially summer!  All the papers are in!  The nerve-wrecking presentation went better than expected, and you fell a rush of relief after you finished that last exam.  For many UIC students, this is just another summer.  Most will be working in the city or suburbs to make some extra cash or working at a cool internship to gain experience in the field.  

For others, this is a very exciting time.  They recently found out that they have been accepted into UIC as well as other schools.  As these students make a big decision about where to spend the next four years of their life, I present to them the Top 10 best things about UIC.

10. Tropical Smoothie.  Have you tried the Kiwi Quencher?  If not, it will change your life.

9.   Au Bon Pain.  Need I say more?

8. The football team.  We’re undefeated!  I think that’s saying something ;-)

7. It’s famous!  Did you know “Stranger Than Fiction” and “Candyman” were filmed at UIC?

6. Campus Housing.  Campus Housing was great to me for four years.  There are many different styles of living and types of communities.  Whatever your needs are, UIC Campus Housing probably has the style of living you need.

5. It’s always evolving. UIC is never stagnant and constantly keeps up with the times in order to serve the next generation of the UIC community.  Last week I talked a lot about how UIC has changed since I was a freshman back in 2007.  Although UIC is not the same place it was in 2007, all of the changes I can think of have done nothing but enhance UIC.

4. The resources.  Because UIC is such a diverse campus, there are many resources that can help all students, as well as teach the rest of the UIC community about culture.

3. The opportunities.  I have been employed all over campus.  Campus Housing, Building Management and Campus Recreation have been great employment opportunities for me.  I have learned valuable skills that I can take to the workplace. I’ve been a part of organizations that have been accommodating and sympathetic that I was a student.

2. The city.  Being in the city was an important part of my decision to come to UIC.  I love that I can take what I have learned in the classroom out into the city and vice versa. I am constantly learning and engaging in discourse.

1.  The community.  I spent four years of my UIC career living on campus.  I met people from all walks of life who were nothing but kind and engaging.  When I moved off campus two years ago, I was nervous about how much I would be able to engage with the UIC community.  I found the change different, but I still found it easy to engage with people.  The people in my cohort became very close.  I enjoyed movie nights and crazy conversations during the bus ride home.  Because I do not have any family in the Chicago area, my cohort became my pseudo-family.

I will always be UIC

I cannot believe I reached the end.  Today is the last time I will be in a UIC classroom.  I received an e-mail yesterday from the Gender and Women’s studies department that I can pick up my concentration certificate.  Eventually, I will receive that large envelope in the mail that will contain my diploma.

When I finished my undergraduate program, I was not exactly ready to venture out into the real world.  However, my graduate program experience has been very different.  As I did some light reading in the quad, it was very obvious to me that I am the old timer.  There is an entirely new generation of the UIC community on campus.  They were not here when Lincoln and Douglas halls were older looking buildings.  They were not here pre-Dunkin’ Donuts and Tropical Smoothie.  They were not here when UIC closed its doors due to the snowapocalypse of 2011.  I was here for all of that.

My generation of UIC has since moved on to various graduate schools across the country and new places of employment.  I am ready to join the ranks of my generation and leave UIC.  UIC will always have a special place in my heart, but now it is time to take everything I have learned at UIC in and out of the classroom and apply it to the world.

The truth is I have been in Chicago for six years, the longest I have spent in any one location. There were times when I was frustrated and felt as if I would not make it. I was ready to move back to D.C., Georgia, or Hawaii.  But I am glad I stayed determined and kept going.  Now I excited to enter the next phase in my life.  I not sure what it will be yet, but I do know a marathon is in my future.  ;-)

How to slim down for summertime Chi!

We’re right on the cusp of the end of the year!  To get everyone prepared for swimsuits at the lake and fun summer clothes, I decided to share with you some of my favorite exercises that get your heart rate up and your muscles working!  Be sure to check with your doctor before you start a fitness regime. 

For your abs: plank jacks (medium to hard)

Plank jacks are a great way to work your abs!   Come down on your forearms and come into a plank.  Make sure you have a straight line from your neck all the way to your feet (you should be looking down to achieve this).  Next, you will move your feet as if you are doing a jumping jack, but be sure to keep your glute muscles low as your natural instinct will be to move them upward.  The faster you go, the harder you work, but aim to keep going for 1 minute straight. Rest and repeat 4 more times.

For your arms:  side-tricep pushups (medium to hard)

My classes hate this exercise, but everyone agrees that the triceps really get worked. Lie down on your side with your top hand coming down by your bottom shoulder.  Next, use your other hand to hold yourself. Then use your hand touching the floor to bring your entire upper body off the ground.  Next, slowly come back to the starting position, but only tap your body on the ground.  The second you feel your body touch the ground, use your tricep to squeeze up for your second repetition. Continue these repetitions for 45 seconds. Then switch arms.






For your legs: single leg dead lift (easy to medium)

This exercise can be done with or without weights. Weights make it more difficult. Put all your weight one one leg. Bend over and have a straight line from your neck to your feet. Once in this position, squeeze back into the starting position. Repeat for 45 seconds, then switch legs.



To get your heart rate up: bosu burpees (hard)

Burpees are already hard!  The added element of a bosu will really crank up any burpee you are already familiar with. Hold a plank with your hands on the bosu. Jump and bring your feet close to the bosu. Stand up and hold the bosu above your head. Come back to position 2 (with feet close to the bosu). Repeat. Complete for 45 seconds. Rest 15 seconds, then repeat.  This exercise can be modified a number of ways.  Feel free to NOT use a bosu at all, and/or stick with positions 1 and 2.

These are exercises I do with my class on a weekly basis.  I hope to see you this summer. Even though I will have graduated, I will still be teaching at campus recreation!  I hope you check out some of our classes!!! 

My thoughts on Boston

On Monday April 15, as I was watching TV, the program was suddenly preempted to go to a special news report.  I watched in horror as the news reporter said there were “two explosions” at the Boston Marathon.  People were being carried out in wheelchairs; everyone had blood on their faces.  The images were too similar to the horrific morning of 9/11.  All last semester, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to blog about not one, but two marathons I was able to run.  My blood, sweat and tears went into training.

2012 Honolulu Marathon








As I was running, I saw the many supporters who took time out of their day, some of whom woke up as early as 4 a.m., in order to make signs and cheer on random strangers.  How tragic it is that on a day where communities come together, where random acts of kindness and encouragement are endless, that this year’s Boston Marathon will forever be known as the “Boston Bombings” and “Terror at the Boston Marathon?”

Unlike most many marathons, the Boston Marathon is unique in that the runners must have a certain time in a different marathon (e.g. the Chicago Marathon) in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  With that said, for some of these people, running is their life.  Their friends and families look up to them because of their running achievements, and I bet some of their children want to be just like mom and dad and run marathons as well.  All of that is to say that this tragedy felt a little too close to home.  At first I was in shock, and then thought, “that easily could have been me in Chicago, that easily could have been me in Honolulu.”  Now, I feel it is time to make a difference.  I plan on donate what I can to the Red Cross.  Secondly, I plan run the Chicago Marathon next year with the Red Cross.  Who knows, maybe I will even be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon next year.  Just as marathons are a time for communities to come together, now is a for a nation to come together.

2012 Chicago Marathon

End of the year at UIC

As the semester winds down and before we become wrapped up in finals week, I thought I would highlight some great events going on at “home.”  UIC has some things going on to finish up the year.  So in case you missed the Annual UIC Fashion show, or Campus Recreation’s Zumbathon…fear not! It’s not to late to take part in UIC events.

1. UIC Theatre’s production of “Time of Your Life”

When: 7:30 p.m. April 19-20, 25-27; 2 p.m. April 21, 28; noon April 24

Cost: $11-14

Support the arts and check out UIC Theatre!

“In the time of your life, live — so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world…”
UIC’s landmark theatre season closes joyously with William Saroyan’s true American classic “The Time of Your Life.” The first drama to win both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critic Circle Award when it premiered in 1939 toward the end of the Great Depression, it remains eternally contemporary and optimistic through its spring awakening-plea to live life “so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.”

2. RECESS!!!!!

when: 4-7 p.m. April 24

Where Lecture Center Plaza

Celebrate the end of a great year with Campus Programs and Undergraduate Student Government. One of UIC’s most fun traditions is back on! Visit the roller skating rink in the middle of the Quad, plus free games, tie-dye, airbrush tattoos, giveaways and more! In the case of rain, Recess will be rescheduled one week later, May 1.

I am super excited for this. I am a kid at heart so anytime I take every chance I can to bring myself back to recess.

3.  The Annual UIC White Sox Night

When: April 26th

Where: U.S. Cellular Field

UIC students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends are all invited to a fun evening as the White Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays. Tickets are half price, including $12 and $10 LOWER LEVEL tickets exclusively for this UIC outing!! Also, there will be fireworks after the game! You can buy tickets online at using the code ‘uic’ to get your discount. OR you can avoid online fees and use the online order form.

I can’t believe it is the end of the year again. With that said, we can’t forget the “granddaddy” event of all: graduation! There are graduation ceremonies such as AAAN Commencement ceremony May 10th and the Lavender Graduation May 3rd as well as each of UIC commencement ceremonies. The schedule can be found here.

So how are you celebrating the end of the year?

Not sure? Just ask the manager!

Very short blog this week. But I promise you I have some great information.

Since I left Facebook, I have been more productive. However, there are times I am looking for an Internet distraction. Usually, I do this by checking out the latest articles from Cracked and Buzzfeed. However, recently I came across a blog that I have found entertaining, helpful and I just can’t get enough of it.

The blog is called Ask A Manager. The blogger, Alison, is a hiring manager that answers any and all questions related to the workforce.  Her topics range from job-seeking components — such as cover letters, résumés, and interviews — to advice for people who are already employed, such as dealing with co-workers, performance evaluations and managing others. I have found her advice to be so enlightening.   Once I looked at her tips for cover letters and résumés, I realized there was a lot I needed to change to get noticed. Once I did so, I snagged an interview for the next job I applied for. 

Looking for a job is tough and confusing. Looking at her blog has really helped me to put a lot of things in perspective and organize the many components of job hunting.  Check it out, and if you are so inclined, try asking her a question. I have asked her a couple of things and she has responded very quickly.

The adventure continues….

“The adventure continues…” is a phrase my boyfriend and I constantly said during our spring break staycation.  We planned an exciting getaway together and things just kept going wrong.  Some points we really just had to laugh it off.

1.) First, we booked a room at a bed and breakfast, we meant to check in at 3:30 p.m., but the traffic was horrible.  Right when we were leaving my apartment, we encountered some intoxicated guys watching March Madness games. They were having trouble catching a cab and thought it would be fun to pretend my boyfriend’s car was a cab. One guy tried to open the car door.  I may have said some pretty bad obscenities.  The adventure began…..

2.) When we finally got to the bed and breakfast, the proprietor had issues finding the key to our room.  The adventure continues…

3.) After we get settled, we had issues turning on the TV.  Somehow I turned on the childlock for the DVD player and ”50 First Dates” just kept playing over and over again (how appropriate).   So then we decided to play some Wii.  After spending about 25 minutes trying to hook up the Wii, there is no color on the TV.  We decide to live with it and get our Wii on, but one of the Wii controllers did not work!   The adventure continues….

4.) The next day, after eating a nice breakfast from the bed and breakfast, my boyfriend and I went out to grab a chess set from Walgreens ( I really wanted to learn chess during spring break).  As we were sitting in the car….someone hit my boyfriend’s front bumper.  The adventure continues…

5.) After we made it back to the room and played a little chess, it was time to get ready for a surprise my boyfriend had set up.  I just knew I had to dress nice.  I probably spent about an hour on my hair.  We went outside to catch a cab, but it was SUPER windy and the cabs just kept passing us by.  All the work I spent getting ready was for nothing.  The adventure continues…

Pre-surprise. I decided to even ditch my signature braids for the occasion.


6.) We went to my favorite restaurant, Karyn’s Cooked. Luckily, this was incident free. Afterwards we got into another cab and my boyfriend made me close my eyes.  He wrote down the location where we were going and told the taxi driver “this is a surprise, so I don’t want to say where we were going.” The next thing I heard the taxi driver say is “Oh, State and Monroe, OK!”   I could feel my boyfriend’s anger with my eyes closed.  The adventure continues….

7.) The next part was great. We got out of the cab and I realized we were going to see The Book of Mormon!  Not only that, but my boyfriend bought VIP tickets.  We had an open bar and a semi-private bathroom.  I highly recommend The Book of Mormon!  It was funny and entertaining. The adventure became awesome…..

8) The next day was spent staying indoors.  We played chess, watched cable (we both don’t have it) and relaxed for the first time in about a month.   Life just could not get better until…..

.Someone hit my boyfriend’s car again, really doing a number on the driver side door.  The adventure just keeps on continuing…..

Why I left Facebook


Three weeks ago I made a conscious decision to leave Facebook. It was actually very difficult.  I feel that we currently live in a generation where we not only see social media as convenient, but it is the expected and preferred mode of communication for many millennials.  I recently have found the whole thing very overwhelming, so I decided to leave.


1.  I procrastinated too much. 

A few weeks ago I told you about my workload of about 15 pages of assignments per week. Even though I should have been spent my computer time reading a research article, my eyes were glued to Facebook. I wrote and read no-nonsense posts and played little games.  Since I have been off of Facebook, I feel less stressed about my school work.  Because Facebook does not distract me, I finish my work on time.  I even finish with EXTRA time to catch up on the latest episode of “The Good Wife.”

2. It made me sad.

There have been plenty of articles to suggest that Facebook evokes feelings of loneliness, envy and misery.  Being a mid-20s millennial, I have found this to be very true for me.  It seems as if all of my Facebook friends are starting cool new jobs, beginning to create a family and/or appear to have the most amazing weekends filled with Chicago night life.  Their lives are chronicled through an array of pictures, status updates and check-ins; each one cooler than the last. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for the achievements of my real friends, but Facebook is a plethora of cool accomplishments.  When you are unsure of yourself, between jobs, going through a break up, or just not in a good place in your life, you are forbidden from posting these things on Facebook.  “Facebook is not your diary” is a common phrase that comes to mind.  But what my generation seems to forget is that everyone feels sad sometimes…and that is OK.  If social media is now the preferred form of communication, then my generation needs to allow people to be as authentic with their emotions as they can – even if it is over the internet.  Personally, I am tired of having to explain myself and my achievements.  Even though I do not go out every weekend or have a cool job, I like where my life is right now.  There is no need to project that life on Facebook.

3. I got bored.

I have never been big on routine. Recently, I have found Facebook to be the same thing.  Log on, go through newsfeed, like some posts, say happy birthdays, make a funny post, and come back in 15 minutes to see who commented on my post, repeat!  Really, what kind of life is that? I’m a traveler, explorer, and I love to try new things.  Facebook does not allow me to do that.  Sure, I could chronicle my explorations on Facebook, but then I would be contributing to the same phenomenon that makes me sad.


I do think Facebook can be a great way to keep up with friends, but I was one of those people “addicted” to Facebook.  I did not use it as a leisurely activity; I used it as my primary method of communication with friends.  It feels nice to be unplugged and not constantly connected.

How do you feel about Facebook?  Are you constantly plugged in?

Your spring break staycation continued

Last week, I told you how to start off your staycation with some events going on in the city.  Here are a few more activities! They are not free, but they are affordable and pretty cool!

Thursday, March 28

Analog -This show relives a man’s self-prescribed task of transcribing, by hand, the entirety of the 1954 novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

5153 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Pay-What-You-Can.  (Please support the arts! Normally, Students tickets are $10)

Friday, March 29

Between Heaven and Earth
Walk into a lush bird habitat filled with videos of birds flying overhead and the sounds of birds calling to each other at this special exhibition. It explores the impact that birds had on ancient Egyptian religion, design and the conception of the state and includes 40 artifacts.

Oriental Institute Museum
1155 E. 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Admission: Adult suggested donation: $10
Children under 12 suggested donation:$5

Saturday, March 30

Ebony Fashion Fair
Inspiring Beauty: Ebony Fashion Fair, an exhibition of an American story that explores the show’s legacy, vision and creativity of Eunice W. Johnson. You’ll see priceless garments collected over the fashion show’s 50-year history.
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults – $14.  Students and seniors  – $12. Kids 12 and younger – Free

So there you have it!  How are you spending your spring break?  I’m really looking forward to the exhibit at the Chicago History Museum.   Get ready for spring break pictures in the upcoming weeks!

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