On Tuesday night the Free Press, our student newspaper, held a recruitment event complete with hot chocolate and s’mores. The goal was to talk to some new people about writing for us and to get ideas for upcoming stories. The event was right before our regular meeting time, so we even gained a few new faces and maybe some new content!
Besides talking about our organization, visitors were able to participate in helping us develop “McDaniel’s Choice,” a new project we are launching in order to showcase the best businesses in the area and our favorite things about McDaniel. We had created categories like “Best Pizza Place” and “Favorite Themed Night in Glar” and let fellow students write in ideas for contenders in each category. We’ll take this data and it narrow it down so that a few options are in each category. Finally, we’ll pick a winner by letting students vote on a survey that we’ll send via email. I’ll post more about McDaniel’s Choice as the semester goes on.
For me, the best part of the night was the chance to chat with some current and prospective writers about story ideas and what they would like to see in the Free Press. Events like these that drag me from my regular routine remind me how many cool people are on campus and how many ideas are circulating among us. The Free Press allows us to be collectively creative and expressive while also providing useful information to the campus. Though I’ve been involved with our newspaper throughout my three years at McDaniel, our event reminded me of the necessary function the Free Press performs on campus and how much potential and power there is in writing for a newspaper.
Interested in checking out our website? Look no further: http://www.mcdanielfreepress.com/
This past week Glar, our dinning hall, has been up to things… New things- Good things! While my recent favorite options have been Mrs. Bobby’s mixed-berry salad, the make-your own pasta station on Wednesdays and the Mongolian Grill on Thursdays, this week has been full of some pleasant surprises.
Monday’s lunch was one of Mrs. Bobby’s famous hand-mixed salad dressings- I always go for the fruity ones, so mixed berry sounded delightful, and it was. It wasn’t until Tuesday that things really started to get interesting though…
Where the wrap station normally is a line of colorful squeeze bottles lined the glass shelf. A bright sign nearby cheerfully announced: Crêpe Station! Crêpes? They only happen to be one of my favorite foods. How they set it up was simple: choose a hot or cold crêpe, then pick out your ingredients. I went for a hot crêpe, because that is always more delicious, and chose to fill it with strawberries and blueberries. Instead of just heating them in the nearby pan like I expected, things got all kinds of fancy with adding sugar and liquors and other mysterious ingredients. Once everything was combined and the berries were bubbling hot, my server folded two crêpes and ladled the berries on top, adding a sprinkle of almonds at my request. Remember those squeeze bottles? They held all different kinds of syrups from chocolate to caramel, mango, raspberry and more. I went for a drizzle of white chocolate. The result? A delicious dessert that I consumed faster than I should have.
My blueberry and strawberry crêpes! (half with white chocolate sauce)
An example of what manicotti looks like
Glar’s second delicious surprise of the week was at Wednesday’s lunch hour. While that usually means I head over to the pasta station, I noticed they had swedish meatballs that looked and just sounded really good. Plus I got an inside tip from a friend that a professor said they were tasty. I got some with jasmine rice and roasted veggies to try for myself and noticed the usual pizza area was full of adorable, personal dishes of manicotti (stuffed pasta). Turns out, everything was delicious today! The meatballs were great, and the personal mini-manicotti was great.
Overall, kudos to Glar this week for brining in some new ideas and succeeding!
I thought my schedule was a thing of beauty. I have no classes on Monday or Wednesday until 6:50 at night, and two classes on Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4:10, with another class on Thursday nights from 7-10 p.m. But despite all that open time during the day, it turns out sleeping in really isn’t worth what I’m missing at night.
Last semester I took Honors Poe with Dr. Kachur – a lovely class taught by a lovely professor. That, combined with another section of Poe class, sparked a burning fever of adoration for this poignant-yet-creepy author. Of course, when a group of people feel such a common emotion, they have to do something about it and the result was a new Poe club this semester. I was ecstatic when I heard about this. Maybe some of you have seen the new show on Fox, The Following, about a cult based around Poe and have been touched by the fever of curiosity to delve into his works for yourself. Personally, I’m just happy they finally have a show where the inside jokes are meant for English majors (we’re not exactly top priority on late night TV what with Grey’s Anatomy (which I do love) and Walking Dead). But then I saw the time. Eight o’clock on Wednesday nights would be the meeting time of the club, right smack in the middle of my night class. Lucky for me those times aren’t set, but there are many other things that are immovable.
This past Thursday was the Ridington Lecture which began during my night class. There are plenty of speakers, Smart Talks, meetings, and inductions that I will miss this semester due to my class (that’s not to mention that it’s also prime TV time, which for me happens to be my best homework time). But this is not simply to play up the difficulties of having night classes and making choices between things (though this time it’s harder than should I have the chocolate or vanilla ice cream at Glar [maybe because I always pick chocolate]). It’s a lesson in time management. Life is not like the world of Harry Potter, where it is possible to be in two places at once (that’s about as far as I got in the books so that will be my last reference to them). As much as we want to do absolutely everything, there are 24 hours in the day. Your decisions for what you join and what you squeeze in are important, because each one leaves you with a little less time.
Being Editor in Chief of the Free Press has some perks. One of those is finding out information before most other students on campus. This week I had the chance to break the news about a change in freshman housing on campus.
For years and years, it was traditional for students to be separated by gender in their freshman year. This fall, the incoming class of 2017 will experience something that other classes have not – coeducational housing. Both Whiteford (previously all girls) and Rouzer (previously all boys) will now be coed by floor and by wing.
This makes McDaniel similar to most other colleges around the country, but does it sacrifice one of those unique ‘rites of passage’ that students have grown to accept, and even like?
Looking back on my freshmen experience, I originally thought it was weird to not live with any boys in the building. But then I saw the boys’ dorm and the constant mess and I was grateful to be sharing with girls only. It didn’t prevent the girls from getting to know the boys, but it helped create more camaraderie among sexes.
Overall, I don’t think the change will be that different and I think that it is a good decision for the college, even if it does eliminate one of McDaniel’s unique characteristics.
Today was a busy day for me! Immediately after my first class of the day, Logic, I headed to the Forum to eat at a luncheon hosted by Admissions for prospective McDaniel students eligible to apply to our Honors Program.
I sat at a table full of high school seniors who were clearly bright, talented, and interested in a lot of different things. While we only had about half an hour to talk and figure out who was interested in what, I enjoyed spending time with them. I did a lot of the talking, so I hope that what I said gave them a better idea of what McDaniel and the Honors Program is like.
After the luncheon, I had my second class of the day, Growing Up in America, in which we’ve been discussing Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I really enjoyed reading the book, and today’s discussion was interesting and useful.
After this class, I went directly to the Room of Requirement, a study lounge just for Honors students, to meet with more prospective students and answer their questions and their parents’ questions. This was a lot of fun, since other current Honors students were there too, so we were all able to give our input on questions and have a fun and laid back conversation. Unfortunately, my time in here was also limited to an hour, since I had to go to my third class of the day, Adventures in Number Theory. This happens to be an Honors class, so we had two prospective students sit in on it.
Between going to class and sharing McDaniel and the Honors Program with prospective students, my day was crazy busy but also a lot of fun! I hope that today’s visiting students got a good feel for McDaniel and that some of them will decide to come here!
So, yesterday was the last day of the HNMUN conference. The last committee session was a lot of fun although none of the four draft resolutions could get enough votes to pass. We passed a lot of amendments on each, but it wasn’t enough. However, I was pleased that the resolution that I worked on almost had the majority required whereas all of the others only had about 20 votes. Ours was 58 for to 59 against, it was very sad but I was still proud that mine almost passed when no other did. At the end of the session, one of our directors sang Heal the World and a lot of people joined him by the end and it was very touching. It was really sad saying goodbye to a lot of the new friends I met there and we are working on getting a Facebook group together so that everyone can stay in touch more easily.
I did not stay for the entire closing ceremony, but several of my friends got awards, which made me happy. We ended up leaving early to get to the airport because the weather looked nasty and we were worried the roads would be bad. We got there almost five hours early and there was then a two hour delay on my flight, so we ended up with like a seven hour wait. However, it wasn’t too bad because it gave me a chance to do homework and also to say goodbye to a few more HNMUN people who I ran into at the airport waiting on their own flights. I have already spent time facebook messaging with some of them, so I definitely think there are a few people I will stay in touch with pretty well.
The flight was a bit turbulent for my taste, but it was short (less than an hour) and I ended up dozing most of the flight. It was 11:30 by the time we got back to campus last night and I was really tired, so I got an early night so that I could start today fresh. The anime club tshirts are in, which was nice and I already delivered a few of them to club members who I spent the morning with. They turned out really nicely and I really like the shirt. It is black with a green design the my friend Breyonna made. Over the next few days, I am gonna distribute the rest because many of the staff members for the con will be wearing them and they take up too much space in my room right now.
Tonight, I have work at the language lab and then another interview at Rite Aid, I hope it goes well since this is the third stage of the interview process and I would really like to get this job. I also have a lot of homework to do in order to get caught up from my five days in Boston, but it was definitely worth it.
There is always that one teacher that expects you to do a huge group project during the semester. And in said group, there’s always one person you have to pick up the slack for. Let’s just say I don’t jump up and down with excitement when I am handed a group project. However, this semester I have the convenience of living with someone that is in the same class as me that we have this big project. There’s always that moment when you look around the room as soon as the teacher says, “you’ll get to pick 2 people to work with on this project.” It’s the look that says, “wanna be my partner?” And thats the deal. There’s no hand shake, just a look. My roommate and I had that look as soon as our professor handed out the assignments. We knew we would work really well together because she is very technical and I am very creative. It would be a perfect match for this project. Then the professor said we needed one more person in our group. So we found a third wheel.
As the project progressed, we found ourselves working on the project a lot more than the third person. However, we ended up having a lot of fun with the project. The goal was to create a grant proposal as a group. We have to write the proposal, give a pitch to the “funding company” and figure out all the details of our proposed idea. To put it simply, it’s been a lot of trial and error. Through our readings for class and workshopping our proposal piece by piece in class, we were able to piece together a professional looking grant proposal. Now comes the time to present our ideas.
We decided to use the online resource, Prezi to create our presentation. Our professor requested animation and special effects to be in our presentation. To do this we had to raise the stakes using the technology available. Prezi may be the coolest thing I have ever used to make slide shows. The features on it are absolutely fantastic and really make your presentation top-notch. I took care of the creativity in the presentation and my roommate took care of the technical revisions in the actual proposal and I think we have pulled together a pretty awesome project! I am really excited to present it next week and my hope is that we will succeed in getting the fictional $3,000 grant (because that means we receive an even better grade!)
This inventive project has been a great opportunity to use the skills we read about in a hands on environment and I feel completely comfortable using this skill set now that I have had the experience actually putting a grant together. Part of the liberal arts experience is not only to explore different areas of study, but also to perfect all the skills you learn in classes in a way that helps you feel comfortable using them in a professional setting. If I ever end up working for a nonprofit organization, I feel like I have all the tools necessary in my tool belt.
This weekend I helped establish and run the first Alpha Sigma Phi pancake sale we have ever had. Taking the idea from Res Life (Residence Life) and their pancake sale last semester, we thought that it might be a good way to make some money as well as get our name out in terms of recruitment. My brother Logan, recruitment chair, and I teamed up to get the ball rolling and through the support of the rest of the fraternity, we were somewhat successful.
The sale was saturday night. I had spent a good portion of time Friday and Saturday during the day making flyers with tear-off numbers that residents of Rouzer, McDaniel, ANW, and DMC (we focused on these residence halls since we figured these building would be most likely to have guys that would want to go Greek and still have time to pledge) could take with them in the event that they had nowhere to write the number down when they saw the flyer, which is usually the case. Students could call in to the number, place an order (two pancakes for $1 = an order), and we would make the pancakes fresh and deliver them to their dorms.
The night started off really strong. We were getting calls right at 10pm when it started, but these were mostly close friends who we had personally demanded call in to the event. We passed the time playing catch phrase, watching family guy, and in general just having a great time. After about 2 hours, we had given up hope, then around midnight the calls starting flowing in one right after another as people were returning from their night’s activities and getting hungry.
All things said and done, we made about $28 over what we spent on the mix and the plates. Not a huge profit but we succeeded in getting the name of our fraternity out around campus and in some great brotherhood bonding among the guys who were there which is sometimes undervalued. Hopefully we’ll make our pancake sale a more regular thing and it will grow in popularity but for now it’s a great memory!
In honor of my birthday, my sister came up (from D.C.) to spend the weekend with me. We kept the Friday night calm, going to the campus showing of Sky Fall. James Bond will always have a special place in my heart, especially those played by Sean Connery. I grew up on these movies (along with millions of other people) and will never tire of the brand. We kept the night quiet though, going to sleep early. But Saturday was an entirely different story. My sister hasn’t spent much time at McDaniel, and to be honest, I don’t venture forth into Westminster and the surrounding area much either. We started with the local mall, which offers a couple key stores including Rue 21 and their chocolate shop.
Also neatly tucked in there is the local Regal movie theater. Identity Thief was playing, and if you get the time, I would highly recommend it. Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy are a hilarious duo that had my sister and me laughing until the end. McCarthy plays the misfit Diana who goes through life ripping off people’s identities and moving on with no strings attached. Bateman plays the mild-mannered businessman who is her victim, but who eventually grounds her as they both find middle ground. I’m not even exaggerating about its comedic value. After the movie was over, the lady in front of us stood up and let my sister know that she had an adorable laugh.
We went back down 140 to the Goodwill, which is most definitely my favorite place to shop. There are treasures untold there if you’re willing to comb through the racks and racks of clothes. I’ve always wanted to do a personal rendition of Macklemore’s song “Thrift Shop” in our Goodwill, but that will have to wait for another weekend. Ultimately, my sister and I both found cute blazers. Blazers are necessary for any young woman, for interviewing, for dressing up a cute outfit, for adding a little class to your day, and for preparing to join the working world women. With less than 100 days left of school, my summer internship is approaching way too fast. But Goodwill will certainly have me prepared for it at a quarter of the retail price.
To round out my day with my sister, I brought her back to campus after stopping for food (it’s Subway’s five dollar foot long month and there is really no sane way to turn that down). In typical fashion, we spent the last night cuddled up under blankets in my room watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Nashville. That’s always how we spend our last night together. Even though D.C. isn’t far (especially thanks to the new transportation line that gets you there lickety-split from campus), I’ve never quite gotten used to saying goodbye and I don’t think I ever will. It just means she’ll have to keep visiting.
This Friday was the 100 days left until graduation celebration. Along with a free cupcake and pair of sunglasses I got a growing dread. 100 days! 100 days… well. There’s a good and bad side to this. I am so excited! I am also so anxious.
The excited side of me has a countdown on the refrigerator. My excited side is planning out first apartments, pets, bill payments, and much more. I am thrilled to go out and use my degree for more education, a job, and life. I also am happy to leave behind silly mundane life such as meal plans and late nights in the library.
The anxious side of me is terrified. No campus safety and people looking out for me in the “real world.” I also am worried about finding a job, apartment, and developing a new lifestyle. I haven’t been out of school since two years old! On top of that how will I get everything done in just 100 days… 99… 98… seeing as the days don’t stop passing I better buckle down and get started.
The school sent us a list of things to do with our last 100 days of school. Maybe I will have time for some of them. Even if I don’t I am still excited! Nervous, but by the time I reach graduation the excitement will outweigh my nerves. I have places to go and once I graduate it will be goodbye Westminster and hello world! Or something like that.