Regardless of where you stand when it comes to football, Super Bowl Sunday is a day with something for everyone. You don’t need to be a fan to enjoy the event, the food, the commercials, and the halftime show.
Since we are located in Maryland, 40 minutes outside of Baltimore, Ravens fans were going crazy for the game. Of course, McDaniel felt extra pride, having been the home of their summer training camp for years before the lockout.
Even with the number of friends I have who live locally, only one of my roommates was cheering for the Ravens to win. The rest of us either didn’t care or wanted to see the 49ers win. Together we gathered around the TV with friends and a variety of food, including wings, pizza, and nachos, and settled in to watch the game.
The Super Bowl was a great way to break up the monotony of a typical Sunday. The football turned out to be a good competition, Beyonce killed it during the halftime show, and a number of the commercials were entertaining.
This semester I am taking my first ever art class to fulfill one of my McDaniel Plan requirements.
I did such a great job avoiding them, as art isn’t exactly my forte, for three and a half years. For my creative expression requirement, while other people were taking ceramics, drawing, or jewelry making, I took a creative writing class.
However, I have my first class in Peterson, our “clean arts” building on campus. I am taking Native American art, in order to become a well-rounded student. Although this is not a class I am taking out of extreme interest, it fit in my schedule and I am taking it with one of my roommates so it shouldn’t be too bad.
The best contrast in classes like this one are the combination of students and their interests. My classmates are divided into one of two groups: those are here for an art related major or minor, and those who are here to graduate.
I am learning a lot just from the art students in my class, and I am quite impressed with their knowledge and the information that they know. As I sit staring at the art, just enjoying the lines and colors, my fellow classmates know what certain symbols mean and what it says about the culture.
I am looking forward to seeing where I stand on Native American art upon completing this course.
Jan Term was everything I could have hoped for and more. It was an absolute dream!
For 14 days, I explored all around northern Italy with 30 people, including 13 other McDaniel students, and some alumni. The class was photography and we were all required to have a theme to focus our efforts on something deeper than just the Italian sites. Some examples of people’s themes were dogs, couples, graffiti, doors, and lights.
The amount of territory that we covered and the number of things we saw in those two weeks still amazes me. We traveled to Florence, San Gimignano, Sienna, Assisi, Rome, Venice, Murano, Burano, Vienna, Milan, and Como. Some days we would wake up in one city and go to sleep in another. The price that I paid for the trip and the experiences that I had seem like they don’t add up – I feel like I underpaid for some experiences of a lifetime!
Some of the highlights of the trip:
- An abundance of amazing Italian foods, wines, and desserts, including gelato!
- Exploring the Scavi underneath the Vatican. Did you know only 10 tours a day get to see this? And our group had 3 of them!
- Throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome, which means I will return someday.
- Seeing the Coliseum and Forum in Rome – SO BREATHTAKING.
- A water taxi ride from the Venice airport to our hotel.
- Taking a boat ride around Lake Como, the deepest lake in Europe and home to George Clooney’s villa.
I can’t wait to return to Italy someday!
Whoa. Another semester down. Except for me this is my last fall semester EVER.
But I’m not going to get all sentimental yet. Even though I am finished with my finals, I feel like I have so much left to do before I can actually leave McDaniel for a month and a half.
Instead of flying home, since I will be on a plane for much of January, my father is coming to get me tomorrow afternoon and we will drive home the next morning.
Before then, I still have one last final, an appointment with the Center for Experience and Opportunity so that my resume is ready for job applications, a tour, packing for home and for Italy, cleaning the apartment, and hanging out and saying goodbye to my friends.
This is the fun part of finals week though, when you are done with your academic obligations and you have no real schedule to your day and you’re just hanging out with friends and enjoying the end of the semester, reminiscing on how it was August like, yesterday.
Break seems long before it starts, but it always flies by, and with my break separated by two weeks in Italy, I know mine is going to go even faster. I can’t wait to get home and see my family, see my cat, and see my best friends. I am excited for driving, fridge water, television with DVR, and my own bed and shower.
Since college students leave for break in the middle of December and before we leave we have finals, the holidays get celebrated at the beginning of the month.
Once everyone returned from Thanksgiving Break, it was time to break out the Christmas decorations and prepare for the holidays. This year, one of my roommate’s mom gave us a wreath to hang up. We also have Christmas lights strung everywhere. To decorate the walls, we attempted to wallpaper with wrapping paper, but gave up only half way down the hall. Of course we also have mistletoe hanging in the door frame in between our kitchen and living room.
It is fun to see how other apartments decorate as well. Some people hang stockings, some put up small trees, and some have holiday themed window clings. It is easy to get in the spirit when everywhere you turn there are decorations or someone talking about the holidays.
This year, my apartment even made little holiday cards to send to our family and friends. We took the pictures while we were dressed up for a Christmas party we were attending. My roommate then picstiched them together on her phone and this is what we came up with:
Happy Holidays from my apartment!
So much technology! Our final project for my Multimedia Authoring class is very intensive but so awesome at the same time.
In addition to coding our own website and portal pages, we are also required to code an additional site that will be linked to a scan-able QR code. That site is going to critique an item so the code will be next to it. I decided to critique the layout and design of Glar, our dining hall, so my poster with the code is going to go on the bulletin board right outside of it.
Both of these projects require an insane amount of coding with HTML and CSS. I am so proud of myself to have learned the basics and a little more in just a few short weeks. It is definitely addicting and a skill that I think will be useful in the future.
Besides using our books and tutorials online, my professor was a HUGE help, holding a bunch of class workshops, hours in the computer lab outside of class time, and even coming to campus to help us on Saturdays.
While extremely time consuming, the website I created is going to be something I can use for life. I plan on modifying my site slightly and making it a place where I can put links to my work online and even my resume for future employers.
I would recommend this class to anyone who is interested in learning the basics of coding or to anyone who is just looking for a fun class to expand their knowledge of multimedia. There is a second version of this course, which I am so disappointed does not fit into my schedule for the spring. I wish Dr. Muhlhauser had come here to teach earlier in my undergraduate years!
As a culminating project in my Intercultural Communication class, we were required to interview someone who’s originally from another culture and have them talk about their experiences and compare their culture to America. After writing a paper summarizing what they said, we also were to present to the class about our person and their culture.
For my case study, I did one of my friends, Rula. She is originally from Palestine and moved to the United States in 2001. Her mother is now one of the Arabic teachers at McDaniel. It was fascinating to learn about her life and the culture shock she experienced. One of the biggest differences I learned about what time means to each of us. In her culture, time is not important and it is normal to be one or even two hours late to something. Here, time is very important and even being 5 minutes late can be a problem. For that reason she continues to adjust to America in that sense.
With all of the presentations, it was really interesting to look at American culture through other people’s eyes. Many people in my class had studied abroad and had friends from all across Europe. I liked learning about other cultural norms and hearing about people around the world. This project was a great way to end the semester because it really applied everything we learned and helped us figure out our individual worldviews.
I hope every had a great Thanksgiving yesterday!
I’ve only ever traveled home once in these past four years for Thanksgiving, and after the expensive flights and too short trip, I realized it wasn’t really worth it when the semester ends just two weeks after break. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely miss my family and if there were any time of year when I wished I lived closer to school, it would be this one.
However, I always find a million and one things to do during the break and it always goes by so fast. On both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings I went out with my roommate Stacey from Hanover and her friends. It’s convenient that she only lives 25 minutes away because it means I’m never really alone. She also invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family but I have never liked intruding on such a family-based holiday.
Instead, I got to relax. I spent the day watching football, reading a book, and lounging in bed. I got to FaceTime my family as well, which is my new favorite Thanksgiving tradition. I especially liked seeing my grandparents and my cat!
I spent today (Friday) tackling my massive to-do list and actually accomplishing a good amount of it. I have a variety of things to do, not only for the end of the semester, but also for the Free Press. It’s nice working without distractions like classes, meetings, or roommates.
I like having a break to myself because I am completely free to do what makes me happy for a couple days, which is definitely rare in my life. While my friends and family used to worry about me during these five days, now they understand that is just me recharging and getting ready for the end of the semester.
I am taking a Communication course this semester called Intercultural Communication. In this class, we have discussed everything from worldviews, paradigms, and identity, to culture shock and third cultures. To supplement our readings and class discussions we also have film viewings on different documentaries or movies that show culture consciousness (My Big Fat Greek wedding was one of the more fun selections.)
As we prepare for our own cultural case study on someone from a different background, my professor brought in a guest speaker for us to talk to and ask questions. Dr. Qin Feng is a professor here at McDaniel and is originally from China. It was fascinating to hear all about her experiences and first impressions here in the States, as well as things that still confuse her about our culture.
At a smaller school, like McDaniel, guest speakers have even more power because of the opportunities for discussions and questions. Generally, speakers will be in very intimate settings, like how mine was in my classroom. There is no doubt that you will have your question answered and have the chance to talk to speaker after the lecture as well. I learned a lot from Dr. Feng and am excited to work on my own case study.
Tonight I have a meeting for the Jan Term I will be taking during the weeks between fall and spring semesters. I will be taking a photography in northern Italy trip and I am beyond excited!
We will be visiting Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome, Venice, and Milan, among other cities. This will be my first time traveling out of the country, with the exception of Canada. And definitely my longest plane ride to date.
Jan Terms on campus make it really easy to study abroad because the trips are discounted for students and the price is all inclusive. On my trip we even have a 24/7 tour guide.
The trip will be with a group of 30 students and adults, both from McDaniel and local schools. Among those going are my two roommates, Laura and Nicole, Nicole’s twin sister, and her best friend. Laura’s sorority sister will also be on the trip.
I haven’t been wanting to wish fall semester away by counting down for Italy, but I can’t help but get really excited when I think about it. I’m already putting in extra time at the gym in preparation for all the pasta, pizza, wine, and dessert that I will be consuming.
I can’t wait!