Written by Gladys Onoh, intern, Loyal University
Monday, Feb. 29, 2016
It’s a small world – Sr. Mary Paschal and Gladys, both from Nigeria, are from the same tribe!
My name is Gladys Onoh. I am in my final year at Loyal University Chicago studying Health Systems Management. I am privileged to have my internship with the Little Sisters of the Poor. While at St. Mary’s Home, I have had the opportunity to work in several departments to experience firsthand what it feels like be in a professional setting.
My supervisor, Peter Harley, the Home’s volunteer coordinator, asked me if I could work with the Development Department to help with their event called “Travinia” Saturday evening. The name I found out is a combination of trivia and Ravinia; trivia being a game or competition where contestants compete to answer questions about interesting but unimportant facts in many subjects and Ravinia, “the oldest outdoor music and picnicking festival and concert in the United States.” St. Mary’s Home has been holding its Travinia fundraiser for five years now to raise much needed funds for the Home.
Having never been to a trivia event, this was my first experience. When I arrived at Travinia, I was first asked to greet the guests. I was given a list of names to check and when these people arrived, I checked off their name on the list and gave them a name tag. As I was checking the names, I noticed that most of the people already knew each other on a first name basis and were bringing in their own food and drinks into the auditorium—similar to Ravinia where people bring their own food and drinks to the concerts. I saw them bringing in pizza, salads, other dishes, chips, sodas, beer and wine which all looked so good.
After everyone was seated, the emcee Rex Albrecht asked me to help distribute question sheets to each of the teams. Even before the game officially started, people already were having a great time socializing with each other – visiting each other’s tables.
Trying to figure out the answers to the questions as I listened to Rex ask them from the stage, it didn’t help that I was familiar with the topics, because I did not know the specific details for some of them. For example, one of the questions was, “What Asian harbor is named after a chrysanthiumm?” Of course, Sr. John Elise from Singapore smiled because she knew the answer, but it stumped the rest in the audience.
The energy was very festive as I walked around the tables and saw people laughing, eating and drinking. I would love to come back next year because I learned a lot and met some really nice people.