Over the weekend, I got to drive to Washington, D.C. to attend a Redskins game with my family
McDaniel is located in Westminster, Maryland, a suburban area with a rural touch. Personally, I love it. Even though I like the city atmosphere, I enjoyed being in the beautiful countryside Carroll County has to offer. With that being said, there are times where I feel the need to visit the city just so I can get s feel for it. Guess what–McDaniel is in the perfect geographical location to do that.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to take a drive down to our nation’s capital, since I wanted a change of scenery for the weekend. It only take about an hour and 15 minutes to get to D.C.; I went via car, and I’ve been told the travel time is about the same using the metro system in Owings Mills, MD.
The weekend turned out to be great. My family was attending the Washington Redskins game against the Tennessee Titans, so I was able to have some family time in the process. I left here Saturday night and came back Sunday evening. You can’t get that at every college across the east coast. Unless the school is primarily in the city, you rarely see the convenience of being able to take a short commute to a major U.S. city.
I have the rare and wonderful privilege of having one of the best jobs on campus–I’m a peer writing tutor at McDaniel’s writing center. Most of the work I do as a writing tutor involves working one-on-one with students who sign up to use our services–we help students brainstorm, research, and revise their written work in all disciplines.
Our friend the cardboard robot went out in a blaze of glory!
Tutoring is fun and rewarding, but there’s other aspects of my writing tutor job that are fun as well. On Sunday, my boss Josh, the writing center director, had all of the writing tutors over to his house for what I guess can be best described as a working dinner. Josh ordered lots of pizza for everyone and while we pigged out, we discussed what’s going well in the writing center and what we can improve upon. Apparently, the in-dorm tutoring that we host in first year student dorms (Whiteford and Rouzer) once a week have become quite popular–overwhelmingly popular, in fact. We discussed ways we can tweak our system to accommodate the unexpected increase in demand for our residence hall tutoring, but I’m really happy to hear that first year students are taking advantage of this.
Our discussions were fun and useful, but there was also non-work related fun to be had. Josh and his wife had a baby over the summer, whom I’d gotten to meet back in August, and now that he’s three-and-a-half months old, he’s at that age when just about anything can make him smile. He’s a genuinely good baby and his parents are super lucky to have such a cool, easy-going kid. And once official business had been completely taken care of, we had other important business to tackle: we needed to burn the giant cardboard robot that we had made as a tutoring staff last semester. As much as we loved the robot, he was starting to fall apart and he had been taking up a lot of space, so in the end, burning him was much more fun and entertaining than it was sad. Fortunately, I have plenty of good pictures to remember him (and his death) by.
As a tutoring staff, we had always had work meetings and we had always had parties before, but this was the first time we had combined the two into one. I’d say it was a complete success. Because we had a business agenda, it was one of the most well-attended tutor parties I had ever been to, and it because it was at a party, it was probably the most fun work meetings I had attended–though when you get a bunch of McDaniel writing tutors together, anything can be fun!
One of the many fabulous things about Residence Life at McDaniel is the events they throw, in particular the late night events usually held on Thursday or Friday nights. This past Friday saw Late Night Breakfast and Bingo.
We set up a griddle and were flipping pancakes all evening, and we also had cereal, milk, and juice. I tried butter syrup for the first time–I’m a golden syrup New Zealander myself, and the idea of something already so sugary flavoured with butter amused me. It didn’t exactly taste bad, but I’m still not a pancake eater. Cooking them is half the fun, in my opinion!
One thing I particularly enjoyed about this event as opposed to others was how people stayed for most of the time to play bingo instead of coming for only half an hour or so. I feel like I really got to actually interact with other attendees from other grades that I hadn’t met before. There were prizes of gift cards, candy, DVDs, and even speakers to incentivize the game.
At the end, we had a really intense game of musical chairs that got very competitive but served as a lovely closer to the night.
Another one of ANW’s fabulous events happened last Thursday. “Put your stress in a ball” was an event designed to relieve stress post-midterms and to open dialogue about how residents can manage their stress before the end of the semester papers and tests hit.
We had a station set up for making stress balls using rice, balloons, and funnels. Many of my residents got the knack of making these relatively quickly. I, however, had a lot of issues transferring rice from the funnel to the balloon, and I might have caused myself more stress in the process of making my stress ball. Once I had finally finished, I gave it a face and promptly named it after our head RA.
We had s’mores cookies, hot chocolate, and music playing so people could stay around and chat. Together, we made a lovely poster board of the various ways ANW decreases stress, and it was a ton of fun.
There are hundreds of extracurriculars to get involved in on campus, from intramural sports to sports teams and clubs to campus events. It’s a great way to meet people, share ideas, learn, and spend some free time doing something other than watching Netflix.
I’m involved in plenty of things outside of my classes that I really enjoy, and I’m always looking to add more things to do.
I’m the copy editor of the McDaniel Free Press and a Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative for the women’s cross country and track and field teams, which I also compete for. I’m a note-taker, peer mentor, and E-Ambassador, and I work study at the public library. I also participate in Contrast and am looking to get involved in a few other clubs, such as Humans VS Zombies and a ballroom dance club that is in the process of being formed on campus. To finish that off, I’m a member of the Honors Program and the honors society, Alpha Lambda Delta, which have events throughout the year.
I’m also working on a paper for a conference, an article for a magazine, and the application for a Critical Language Scholarship.
As you can see, there’s enough things on campus to keep you as busy as you want to be. There’s even a Happiness Club now for anyone that just wants to goof around; last I saw them they decorated Red Square and surrounding sidewalk with chalk.
My extracurriculars make my time here a lot better than if I was just here for the work, even though they take up a significant portion of my time.
Some Green Terror women participate in the cross country meet at Shenandoah.