Take a look at what students residing in Illinois State University’s various Themed Living-Learning Communities have been up to since the beginning of the spring semester.

Starting the spring semester sweetly

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade—or better yet, make them taste like lemonade. With the help of mBerries, also known as “miracle berries,” the residents of the Honors TLLC on Manchester 7, along with Resident Assistant Zuzi Sulcova and Faculty Mentor Craig McLauchlan, did just that by altering their tastes buds to change sour to sweet.

A protein in these miracle berries, called miraculin, sticks to the sweet receptors on your tongue and causes them to respond to acidic foods. A lemon will taste as sweet as lemonade, vinegar as delicious as a milkshake, simply by dissolving a miracle berry tablet on your tongue first.

The group of residents gathered to-go boxes of various foods from Watterson Dining Commons and put the berry tablets to the test. According to Sulcova, the apples and lemons worked the best.

“The apples tasted extremely sweet, and the lemons tasted like lemonade!” she said.

This unique program allowed the students to come together to research a topic and have a shared experience they won’t soon forget all while interacting with their faculty mentor.

Students dancing

Students attended the Hot Jazz on a Cool Night event at University Galleries.

Hot Jazz on a Cool Night

What beats the winter blues? A night filled with music, dancing, good food, and spectacular art might do the trick!

On January 22, students from the Fine Arts TLLC took advantage of the opportunity to beat their winter blues and attend Hot Jazz on a Cool Night at the University Galleries in Uptown Station. The event, hosted by Friends of the Arts at Illinois State University, featured a performance by local artist Glenn Wilson and the Jazz Maniacs as well as works of art by Illinois State faculty, including the Fine Arts TLLC’s very own faculty mentor, Nancy Fewkes.

The students enjoyed appetizers and the swinging sounds of jazz as they perused the galleries, soaking in the beautiful works of art created by our talented faculty members. The students of Manchester 10 may have been among the youngest in the crowd, but that didn’t detract from their excitement for the event and their passion for the arts!

Residents even took the opportunity to bust a few moves as they were energized by the music. The group thoroughly enjoyed the chance to immerse themselves in the culture of Normal.

Honors students attending the Illinois State hockey game

Honors students attending the Illinois State hockey game.

Honors hockey night

Students from the Honors TLLC attended the Illinois State hockey game at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum on January 23.

The Honors Program provided students with free tickets and transportation to the game. The event was the perfect opportunity for students to mingle in a relaxed atmosphere.

“It was a lot of fun because we had residents from all three Honors floors attend and other Honors students attend as well, so it was really nice to have different groups of students meet and interact in a non-academic setting,” said Sulcova, the resident assistant.

Spreading the wellness

Together with their resident assistant, Ben Hunt, the residents of the Wellness/Substance Free TLLC came together and made a collaborative decision to spend a day spreading wellness and community at the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal on January 29.

The students spent their time interacting with children while playing games such as basketball, football and tug-of-war, helping with arts and crafts, playing computer games together, and watching a movie.

“Many of the residents felt connected with the local community better, and it also furthered some cultural understanding as well as responsibility as a role model,” Hunt said.

The experience helped residents learn about building community outside of the campus environment and using their time and talents to make a positive impact on those around them.

Students from the Teacher Education TLLC work with bulletin boards.

Students from the Teacher Education TLLC work with bulletin boards.

Practice makes perfect

Students from the Teacher Education TLLC learned just exactly what it takes to build a proper bulletin board.

Faculty Mentor Kyle Miller and Resident Advisor Morgan Snead came together January 31 to teach the residents about planning and executing a bulletin board that will aid students in the learning process and measure up to a principal’s standards. After a period of discussion, the students tried their hand at crafting their own. They completed every component from backing the board with butcher paper—no easy feat—to organizing content and layout.

After their first attempt, the students came together to assess their work and decided it would not pass principal approval. They worked together to rebuild the board, correcting the aesthetic mistakes they felt were unacceptable. After successful completion of the board, the residents discussed what was difficult about the process and what they learned.