Trying to transition to the professional world

So last week I did a lot of “spring cleaning” of my Internet footprint.  This past week I added a lot of things to my Internet reputation to put myself out there to potential employers.

First, I create a LinkedIn account. 

I’m not sure why I have been so resistant to LinkedIn.  I think mainly it is because I did not know the first thing about being part of a social network geared toward the professional world.   Once I created an account, I was immediately connected to former co-workers from Campus Housing and Student Development Services.  I even was able to connect with  former supervisors and professors.  Looking at the profile of my former co-workers helped me to begin to create a profile that spoke to the duties I had in other jobs, as well as how to tell people the type of employment I am currently looking for.


Secondly, I began to network

As well as connecting to former supervisors online, I also began to connect with former supervisors in other ways. I regularly have lunch with my former mentor from the Cook County Juvenile Probation Office, I recently had a nice run-in with a former supervisor and I have been in e-mail correspondence with another former supervisor.  In every “how to find employment” type article I have read in the past few weeks, all mention the importance of networking.  I must say that “social networking” is a lot easier for me than “professional networking.”  It feels awkward for me to talk about the skills I have instead of what I ate for lunch.  Sometimes I feel a little narcissistic!  Hopefully I will get use to it.

Third, I spruced up my résumés

I know the importance of having different résumés when applying for different forms of employment.  However, I would send in the appropriate one along with a customized cover letter without thinking twice about it.  Because I have been networking more, I have been able to show my résumés to people who are currently in the career field I am interested in.  I have been given some great advice about things I should highlight in my résumés.  Now, when I send in a job application, I try and tweak my résumé just a little bit to appeal more to the specific job I am applying for.




Not going to lie, looking for employment has been difficult, but as my mother always says, “Nothing is going to change if you change nothing.”  So strengthening my professional reputation is my attempt to change.  What struggles do you find when looking for employment?  What has worked for you in the past?

75 reminders for tough times…

Hello UIC!

Now I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve sensed a lot of people around me have been down in the dumps lately. Whether it be a recent heartbreak, a poor score on a midterm, stress, or maybe no reason at all, college takes a toll on everyone. Whenever I am feeling down, a positive way that I try to deal with my negative feelings is to look for inspiration! The words below are an inspirational collection of sayings I found online not too long ago. This list of 75 reminders are saved as a Microsoft Word document on my laptop. I usually look back to the document whenever I am having a bad day. I am sure most of you have heard the majority of these lines in some form or another, but it never hurts to be reminded to keep moving forward no matter how hard life hits you! Most of you have probably also seen the movie “Meet the Robinsons,” yeah? Remember the main message in the movie? KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

  1. You never know how strong you really are until being strong is the only choice you have.
  2. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  3. You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
  4. Nobody is perfect, and nobody deserves to be perfect. Nobody has it easy. You never know what people are going through. Every one of us has issues. So don’t belittle yourself or anyone else. Everybody is fighting their own unique war.
  5. Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you’re alive and full of potential.
  6. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  7. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
  8. Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Let it go.
  9. Making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world. Start small. Start now.
  10. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  11. Never let success get to your head, and never let failure get to your heart.
  12. You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
  13. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
  14. You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.
  15. Give up worrying about what others think of you. What they think isn’t important. What is important is how you feel about yourself.
  16. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  17. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are.
  18. You have to accept that some things will never be yours, and learn to appreciate the things that are only yours.
  19. Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one in the world who’s struggling, who’s frustrated, or unsatisfied, or barely getting by. But that feeling is a lie. And if you just hold on, someone will find you and help make it better. Because we all need a little help sometimes – someone to help us hear the music in our world. To remind us that it won’t always be this way. That someone is out there right now.
  20. Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. Some of your best life experiences and opportunities will transpire only after you dare to lose.
  21. Sometimes we accidentally allow small problems to escalate and dominate our lives. If we get overcharged a few cents, it is irritating, but don’t let it ruin your day. There will always be small issues that irritate us; the secret is to be able to give them the miniscule level of importance they deserve.
  22. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go.
  23. Ask yourself whether each of your relationships drags you down or lifts you up.  Surrounding yourself with positive, loving people is half the battle of living a happy, successful life.
  24. Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress.
  25. There are few joys in life that equal a good conversation, a good read, a good walk, a good hug, a good smile, or a good friend.
  26. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future for too long. Right now is life. Live it.
  27. No matter how cautiously you choose your words, someone will always twist them around and misinterpret what you say.  So just say what you need to say.
  28. In order to be creative, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
  29. Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck.
  30. To be great does not mean you have to dominate others.  It means you have to dominate your own potential.
  31. If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That’s how dreams are achieved.
  32. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  33. Forgiveness is one of the primary keys to happiness.
  34. The best revenge is happiness, because nothing drives your adversaries more insane than seeing you smile.
  35. Stay positive when negativity surrounds you.  Smile when others frown.  It’s an easy way to make a difference.
  36. If a person wants to be a part of your life, they will make an obvious effort to do so. Don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.
  37. Don’t regret intimate relationships that don’t work out. Because they will only help you find the right partner for you, and better appreciate them for everything they do and everything they are.
  38. What lies before us and behind us are tiny matters when compared to what lies within us.
  39. The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists. It rewards people who get things done. And the only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.
  40. Never lie – not even a white lie!  When you steer away from the truth, you steer away from your soul. Be honest, be real and tell the truth. This awareness forces you to make better choices and be a stronger person.
  41. Feelings, good and bad, always come and go.
  42. Don’t get caught up in wasted potential from years past. Potential is all we ever have.
  43. We are not alone. No matter how bizarre or embarrassed or pathetic we feel about our own situation, there will be others out there experiencing the same emotions. When you hear yourself say “I am all alone,” it is your mind trying to sell you a lie so you will continue to feel sorry for yourself.
  44. It is okay to be angry. It is never okay to be cruel.
  45. Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
  46. Mistakes teach you important lessons. Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal. The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  47. Money is a renewable resource. If you lose some money, don’t sweat it. You can always make more. However, if you spend valuable time stressing over money, or lost opportunity, you’ll never get that time back. Time is more valuable than money – time is the greatest constituent of life.
  48. Never let people know that they got to you. Ignore them. Hold your head up high and pretend all their negative remarks don’t even phase you, and someday they actually won’t.
  49. There is nothing to hold you back except you. And there is only one question to ask yourself: “What would you do if you were not afraid?” Think about it.
  50. Life is way more enjoyable when you stop trying to be cool and simply focus on being yourself.
  51. It’s often hard to tell just how close you are to success.
  52. When you spend time worrying, you’re simply using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
  53. No matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.
  54. You must see things how they are instead of how you hoped, wished, or expected them to be.
  55. Even when you feel like you have nothing, someone else likely has far less. Find them and help them. You’ll see why.
  56. Laughter is the best medicine for stress. Laugh at yourself often. Find the humor in whatever situation you’re in.
  57. If you want to feel rich, just count all the great things you have that money can’t buy.
  58. Forgiving yourself is far more important than getting others to forgive you.
  59. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  60. You can press forward long after you can’t. It’s just a matter of wanting it bad enough.
  61. It’s not about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll rarely be 100% sure it will work. But you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Sometimes you just have to go for it!
  62. If it were easy everyone would do it. This is why get rich quick schemes will never be true. If it was so quick and easy then everyone would be millionaires. Accomplishing great things is hard work, but well worth it.
  63. Notice and cherish life’s surprises. Just because it’s not what you were expecting, doesn’t mean it’s not everything you’ve been waiting for.
  64. Be vulnerable. Allow yourself to feel, to be open and authentic. Tear down any emotional brick walls you have built around you and feel every exquisite emotion, both good and bad. This is real life. This is how you welcome new opportunities.
  65. You must create and look for opportunities. Opportunities rarely ever come knocking on the door of someone who’s not seeking them. You have to create and seek opportunities for yourself.  You have to take the initiative to get the ball rolling and the doors opening.
  66. If it’s out of your control, why fret about it? Concentrating on things you can control is how you make good things happen.
  67. Saying “no” to right people gives you the time and resources required to say “yes” to right opportunities.
  68. No matter how much progress you make there will always be the people who insist that whatever you’re trying to do is impossible. Or they may incessantly suggest that the idea or dream as a whole is utterly ridiculous because nobody really cares. When you come across these people, don’t try to reason with them. Instead, forget that they exist. They will only waste your time and energy.
  69. If you spend 80% of your time focusing on the problem and only 20% on the solution, what do you think is going to happen?
  70. No matter how badly you think your life may be going, or how messed up you think you are, there is at least one thing you are doing right in your life or you wouldn’t be alive reading this.
  71. A problem is a chance for you to learn.
  72. The greatest struggle is to be something different from what the average man is.
  73. In times of great stress, it’s always wise to keep busy, to plow your anger and frustration into something positive.
  74. One thing is for sure: Regardless of the situation, life goes on.
  75. Everyone wants a perfect ending.  But over the years I’ve learned that some of the best poems don’t rhyme, and many great stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, or end. Life is about not knowing, embracing change, and taking a moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next.
When life gets stressful, we often forget the things we should remember, and remember the things we should forget. You know who’s awesome? Read the first word of the first reminder again. :-)
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
- Robert H. Schuller

Losing sleep and feeling the restlessness

In order to succeed, there must be sacrifices. It is unfortunate, but that’s how the world works most of the time (for those who are lucky…well, lucky you!). I have never pulled an all-night for college (nor do I plan on that), but I’ve begun to average 3-6 hours of sleep each night just to study for the MCAT and finish homework or studying for my UIC classes. It’s tiring, and my eyes are becoming like that of a panda’s.

So my grades for biochemistry and homeostasis came out….if you recall I had both of those exams on the same day! I had a couple of other students in the same position as me, but I think they put in more time for homeostasis than biochemistry, whereas I did the opposite with the assumption that studying for the 4-credit hour class would be better than studying for a 3-credit hour…

But I should have probably studied more for the 3-credit hour because my grade was quite poor (most of the energy I had in me that whole week was biochemistry), and even though I did review the few first weeks of the material before the rest for homeostasis, it obviously wasn’t enough. I think the overconfidence prior had been superseded by the fact that the sample exam the instructors posted online was incredibly easy (I answered every question correctly), but when it came time for the test it was completely nonidentical. While the content may have been the same, the questions and answered were worded so obscurely that I almost didn’t have time to finish the test! It was almost as bad as MCAT questions (but the MCAT people don’t want to trick you as much as you think, whereas this class definitely wanted to make sure you were paying meticulous attention to every detail). The instructors even said to not worry about the test because “If you came to class every day and took notes, you’ll be fine! It’s not a hard test.” Can you believe the average was 66.9/102? I personally would not be proud of a score like that. I only scored a few points above average and I’m probably at a C right now.

On the bright side, biochemistry rocked! I got 10 points above the average so I’m probably at an A or super incredibly high B! I’m very happy I did well, so all of my work probably shows the correlation between amount of studying and actual performance on a test.

I’m curious about how people are studying in these kinds of situations. My roommate’s boyfriend had three exams last year on the same day (a Friday) just one after the other: biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, and genetics. Talk about STRESS! Thank god he’s naturally smart but of course he still had to study a great deal. Thankfully, the most I have ever had to deal with was two exams in a day in any circumstance (be it during the year or during finals week). Exam piling is so unrealistic.

Well, there’s a month until spring break at least! Before that happens, I will have taken my first genetics exam and my second biochemistry exam (in addition, I will be with HAC presenting health presentations to nearby high schools, yay!). I hope to improve my homeostasis grade by infinity for the second exam that is post-spring break.

March and April are always the most intense months of the semester, so gear up that hyperlearning switch in your brain because you’ll need it! Even though we might have to lose a few hours of sleep, you can use the weekend to recover (it’s been proven that this does help a lot) and take micro-naps in between the day if possible. Some people may rely on caffeine or smoking, but I just eat a banana in the morning to get me awake and ready for the day! Of course, the afternoon classes tend to make me sleepy…but that’s why we have to push ourselves to keep our eyes open, our ears alert and ready.

What’s for lunch?

So this week I had a random thought in my head…what do students at UIC do for lunch?

With about 85 percent of the campus being commuter students, obviously everyone has to eat at some point during the day. Many students flock to the Inner Circle right around noon to eat Subway or Wendy’s. But does’t that get pricey?

I try my best to pack my lunch from home everyday. Each week I go to the grocery store to purchase food that I can easily assemble. With a full schedule of 18 credit hours, an internship and USG, I need food that is quick to assemble and eat. Typically, I’ll make myself a nice sized salad, a piece of fruit, yogurt, a fruit drink, some type of protein and a small sugary snack. During really tough weeks, I’ll pack myself a Healthy Choice frozen dinner, which are typically healthier due to the fact that food is steamed. Not only does packing my own lunch save me tons of money, but it also allows me to have healthier and balanced meals.

Once a week I’ll treat myself to some commercial food. I like to switch it up each week. From Jimmy John’s to Fontano’s for a sub or Taylor Made Pizza for a breaded steak sandwich. I usually try to avoid the Inner Circle.

So I’m curious, what does everyone do for lunch? Any lunch packing tips?

Stuck between a rock and a hard place

Have you ever been torn on something? Whether it’s regarding a relationship, a job, or something as easy as, “I want pizza for dinner but I really should eat the food I have,” or “I really want to watch ‘Walking Dead’ but ‘Shameless’ is on at the same time.” Either way, I’m sure you have had some situation that wasn’t easy.  Part of you feels one way and part of you feels another. Maybe you do what your brain tells you instead of what your heart tells you. Or maybe you do what your heart tells you and ignore what your brain says.  I am in one of those predicaments right now.

Well, what do you do? Do you stay or do you go? Where do your loyalties lie? Do you put yourself first or do you stick it out for the time being in hopes that it will get better soon? I have always…ALWAYS been one to put others before me. I call it my “tragic flaw.” In literature, Oedipus was arrogant and Hamlet was indecisive. Who cares, right? No one is perfect. EXCEPT for the fact that those flaws are what led these otherwise “noble characters” to their eventual downfall. That’s me…right now. Is my loyalty going to bring me to my eventual downfall? How can loyalty be a flaw, you say? I guess it’s unique to my situation.

I’ve been dealing with some issues with one of my jobs the last couple months. It’s been rough.  2013 came and kicked me down right away!  I have stuck it out because I thought it was the right thing to do. I THINK I still think it’s the right thing to do. The other parties involved expressed their “fear of me leaving” due to the changes. So I stayed. Why? Well, because they are good people.  I love the kids and quite frankly, life isn’t fair. Things happen that aren’t controllable.  So, the last few months, I have taken it day by day and rolled with the punches. What are these punches, you ask? Well, less money for starters. But it gets more complex from there. I have taken on other things to compensate.  I’m just tired of working so hard…for so little. And by no means do I think I am the only one that has money problems or job issues. The answer (if there is one) to this predicament/decision is based on so much of who I am as a person. Which is why it’s so troubling.

There have been good days and bad. That’s true for everyone’s job, though. Working in child care isn’t easy. I’ve definitely learned that over and over the last couple years. So, this is where I am at right now…(the rock) I need to look out for myself and put ME first. A friend gave me her advice and said, “You HAVE to put yourself first. You’re not going to get anywhere if you constantly think of everyone else.”  Part of me feels that is true. However, another part of me (the hard place) is yelling, “STOP BEING SUCH A BABY AND SUCK IT UP! Life throws lemons at you, make lemonade!” I just don’t want to get walked all over if there is somewhere else I could be happier and allow me to do the things financially that I need to do.

When I back up from the situation and look at the big picture, it seems like just a bump in the road. My mom said, “This isn’t going to be like this forever.” She’s right. It’s not. In about a year, I’ll probably be student teaching somewhere. And then I’ll hopefully get a job with an ACTUAL salary.

Through the fog…I will get through this. I will do certain things that will prepare me for anything.  As for now, I just have to continue doing what I am doing.

Spring cleaning on the Internet

Spring may not start for a little while, but I decided to get a head start on some spring cleaning.  I really wanted to clean up my “Internet footprint” this year.  As someone who is trying to enter the workforce, it is time I make sure my best face shows up on the Internet.  Here are a few things I did.

1. I checked out my privacy settings on Facebook. 

Facebook privacy settings are notoriously confusing and controversial.  I found it difficult to navigate, but I made sure everything on my Facebook page was set to private.  The only things I currently keep public are my work history and education background (things that employers would see already on my résumé).

In case you didn’t know, every single post on Facebook comes with a little marking that will tell you exactly who is able to see the post.  You can also change your individual post to “public,” “friends only” “only me” or “custom.”  If I make a post or picture public, it usually has to do with an event or conference I attended. (Again, things employers would see on my résumé anyway).

2. I took a blast to the past on Facebook

With Facebook Timeline, it is very easy for you to take a glance at all the things you did on Facebook since you opened your account.  I can only speak for myself, but some of the things I talked about in 2008 are pretty embarrassing to look at today!  Therefore, I went back and deleted a lot of posts, pictures and pages I “liked” that seem childish and immature to me now.

Maybe "I can't touch this," but I CAN click the "unlike" button

3. I Google myself

I Google myself often.  I like to know what potential employers can see at any given moment when they Google my name.  I once found a very old outdated social networking page from high school!  Talk about blast from the past! I really don’t want potential employers to know what was on my mind when I was a 16-year-old band geek! Some people say it is narcissistic to Google yourself … I say it is smart!

I'm on the left as a 16-year-old band geek. I'm pretty sure my Myspace and Xanga pages were all about coffee, SpongeBob and the cute tuba player.

It felt great to go through a spring cleaning of my Internet footprint….maybe next week I will have the courage to tackle my closet!

Need a resume booster? Join Unite for Sight!

Hello UIC! My name is Amruta Bhatt and I am a sophomore studying neuroscience/pre-medicine. While I love to be involved on campus and succeed academically, I also enjoy spending my time volunteering and getting to interact with new people every day! Additionally, as cheesy as it sounds, I want to be an inspiration not only for myself but also for those around me. I have an amazing older sister who is currently in medical school and I truly don’t know where I would be without her. I have followed her footsteps, but I hope to create my own path someday. I want to become a doctor because I am motivated by my experiences and interactions with others that who shaped my life, which has in turn helped me choose the medical field as my aspired path.


Hope the semester is running smoothly! I know I’ve had my fair share of busy and balance! I wanted to take the time to talk about an organization that many of you may be interested in joining! An organization I am currently vice president of, Unite for Sight (UFS), works to improve eye health and eradicate preventable blindness. Our UIC chapter mainly focuses on fundraising and raising awareness towards this cause. Every month, we work towards a fundraising goal. For the month of February, we held a few bake sales.

Diana Yin, our new UFS president, has been doing an outstanding job of meeting our monthly fundraising goals. We are so close to meeting our February fundraising goal — we are halfway there! Our last fundraising event for the month of February will be from 8 to 11:45 a.m. Tuesday in Burnham Hall. Be sure to stop by and ask what we’re all about! Oh, and feel free to donate to an amazing cause and enjoy some yummy treats as well! :-)

If interested in joining Unite for Sight, please feel free to email Diana Yin at!

Intensive studying, commence!

I’ve finally picked out my date for the MCAT. I knew everyone was telling me to hurry up and pick it, “Otherwise, you’ll have to go to Indiana!!!” But for a few months now my mentality was, “If I’m not ready, then I shouldn’t take it…” I was scared that if I picked a date and wasn’t ready for it, then it’d be a waste of money to cancel.

But then I thought about how my attitude towards MCAT studying was currently, and even though I have been keeping up with the readings and attending classes with Kaplan, I was behind in a few assignments and had my focus more towards my UIC classes (especially since I had two exams last week!). Well, that’s all gotta change. After finally taking a full-length test, I was amazed that I went up 7 points higher than my diagnostic score. Can you believe that? It’s only been one month with Kaplan! Seeing such big improvement really made me happy and I’m a lot more motivated and confident now than ever!

Here is the new priority list (not that I had written one out before which I should have):

  1. MCAT studying
  2. Other studying (includes biochemistry, homeostasis and genetics)
  3. Research (qPCR qPCR qPCR!!!)
  4. Health Activism Committee (we’re going to Clemente High School right before spring break and hopefully in April too!)
  5. Getting my medical school application together! (:

So, I hope all of you have your own priority list. I might have to make a poster out of mine (not that I have time though…so maybe I’ll just write it down on a post-it note repeatedly all over my walls…). I’ve decided to get rid of my Facebook app on my phone, my Twitter app too…and all of my game apps. I threw in all of my educational apps on my home screen so I can quickly use them. No more socializing via phone or computer! I need to pour all of my energy and heart into studying for this test. It’s a hermit/recluse time for the next few months!

I wish anyone who is taking a standardized test this year the best of luck! WE CAN DO THIS!!! :D

Interested in being a student leader?

Hey y’all!

This week I am going to do a little promotion for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). As vice president of the organization, I am also the chair of the communications & recruitment committee.

USG currently has about 20 open positions and is seeking undergraduate students who are dedicated to improving student life, have the desire to be a student advocate and learn about university and governmental issues, and who have potential to become a great leader for the school.

For those not familiar with the organization, USG is the official student voice representing the undergraduate student body. USG serves as the connection between the student body and university administration.

Weekly USG membership time requirements include: attend three office hours; partake in an hour-long committee meeting; and attend the Thursday general meeting from 5 to 7 p.m.

To apply, visit and open “Membership Application 2013.” Fill out the application and send to Or, come to our office in Student Center East, Suite 397 (student office area, above the Wellness Center), on from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday to pick up a paper application and meet current members of USG. You will also receive a free ROCKSTAR Energy Drink!

All applications are due by March 1, 2013. Select applicants will be interviewed during the week of March 4. All applicants will be notified of USG’s decision by March 12. Those invited to become members will be sworn in at the March 14 USG general assembly meeting at 5 p.m. Membership is valid until May 2014.

For more information on the committees you can work on, time commitments and other information, please visit or email

Hope to see some of my readers joining USG!

Let’s go Hawks!!

I’m sure just about everyone has heard how great the Hawks are doing this season.  As of Friday, their record was 10-0-3. But for those of you who don’t know, that means they have won 10 games, lost 0 (in regulation), and 3 losses in overtime, in OT or a shootout (which they still get a point for).  However, that is not what determines their standings.  The points they have scored are what determines their placing.  They are first place in the league because they have 23 points scored. The second place team has 19 points.  We’re looking good!!!

I was looking through my phone at old pictures of Hawks games with my cousin and I found this image she sent me:

                                                    It’s funny because it’s true.

I have not been to a game yet this year because most of the games they have played were away.  And let’s be honest, I lack time and money….two things I probably need to make it happen.  I should start a “Blackhawks tickets for Lauren” Fund.  If I were you, I would give to me. It’s for a good cause! I think I have become more nostalgic when I was looking through some my old Blackhawks ticket stubs (yes, I keep them).  Memories!!!

So, what makes this year different than the last? Well, almost every single player has brought something extra this year. Kane showed up sober.  Toews is pretty much doing what he always does.  Crawford and Emery are on fire!! Bickell has been more physical and scored a couple of goals.  Hjalmarsson has been all right on defense.  He switched sides and it seems to be working.  Seabrook…he’s been OK, ya know…except for that whole shooting the puck in our own goal thing.  Sharp, he isn’t doing as well as he did last year.  He has definitely struggled with making goals.  Let’s hope he can turn that around.  It’s still early.  Saad, Shaw and Frolik have been pretty good. Hossa is back from that awful concussion he suffered last year.  The only thing I don’t understand is why he has not participated in a shootout yet.  I heard that maybe he is opting out himself.  I’m not sure if that’s true, though. Nothing much going on with Stalberg.  He has a bad habit of skating so fast toward the goal, that he can’t follow through because he loses control.  So, there are a lot of things at play here.  We just hope, as fans, they can keep this going.  I know they can!