At McDaniel there are a bunch of different ways to show off your academic skills. There are a variety of forms of “honors” and over the years I have accomplished a few.
1) Phi Beta Kappa – This is the most well known honors society. It is a national society that has existed for hundreds of years, and McDaniel has its own chapter. It is probably the most prestigious, only accepting the top 7% of the senior class and the top 1% of the junior class. I was admitted this (senior) year.
2) Honors in the major. This signifies that you have achieved a good GPA in your major, but also requires completing a project on top of what a normal major does. For Sociology, I completed a research paper (guided by a professor) on top of the general course requirements to graduate. This was fun, but definitely takes up a lot of time considering all that happens is a note on your diploma that you graduated with honors.
3) Honors program! This is a four year commitment to taking honors classes (only for those in the program) and keeping a certain GPA. It comes with housing benefits, class registration benefits, library benefits, and the joys of interacting with the top students in the school. We just had a senior banquet to honor those who made it through the four years, and it was survivor themed. During the banquet we bonded, shared in our accomplishments, and generally rejoiced that we had, in fact, survived the extra coursework and GPA requirements.
4) Honors societies (other). There are loads of other honors societies on top of the ones I mentioned previously. For instance I am also in one for Sociology majors, and was invited to be in one for people studying social science. There are plenty of ways to demonstrate academic excellence.
I have recently committed to being Co-President of Palabras to Words, our ESOL tutoring club, for next year, and I am incredibly excited to strengthen the organization’s presence on campus. Right now, not a lot of people know that the organization even exists, and I plan on launching a campaign to attract both community members and student tutors next year. Some specific ideas that I’ve been turning over for next year include:
Making the club more accessible to women. Right now, we meet on Sunday nights and only have male students learning English. My advisor suggested that this might be because we meet at dinnertime and women might need the time we meet to make sure their kids are ready for school the next day.
Adding a childcare option. We also may have a lack of women because there is no one to watch their kids while they learn English. We are thinking that if student volunteers offer childcare during our tutoring sessions, then more women would be able to take advantage of our services.
Reaching out to local organizations that support Spanish-speakers. Two non-profit organizations, United Hands and Headstart, aid Spanish-speakers who need help settling in the area. Connecting with them would allow us to reach more people in need of English tutoring and help us learn about the needs of the local Spanish-speaking community.
Starting an ESOL tutoring workshop. Currently, we do not have any tools for new tutors to learn how to best interact with their tutees, so my goal is to connect with the graduate ESOL department at McDaniel and try to informational session on ESOL tutoring so that new tutors feel more comfortable with their commitment to teach.
I’ll be sure to update the blog as these goals come to fruition, so stay tuned!
So, a lot of people worry about final papers when they come around in college. They can be long and they can be stressful, but they do not have to be. In thinking about that, I decided to write about a few of the things I have learned help me to make sure my final papers aren’t too stressful.
Tip One, Most final papers are due the week before finals. If you leave them all for the weekend before; it is very difficult to get them all done in time and with a high quality. Plus, if the paper is done early, it is easier to get someone in the writing center to edit it for you. I personally cannot edit my own work, because my head knows what I meant to say, so it is easy to miss mistakes.
Tip Two, keep the page lengths in mind but don’t worry about them when you first outline or draft your paper. A long paper is a lot more overwhelming when you think first about just how long it has to be and not about the content. It is much easier to write a good chunk of the paper and then add or subtract as needed to fit within page requirements. Final papers tend to vary in length, from a little as two or three pages to as much as fifteen. It may sound overwhelming, but it is not as bad as it sounds.
Tip Three, take the time to check the formatting the professor wants. It is an easy fix to change the font and the page margins, so checking the formatting is a simple way to make sure you don’t lose easy points. The format they want is often in the syllabus, but if it isn’t, you can always shoot the professor an email or ask in class.
Tip Four, do not hesitate to ask questions. If you need clarification, help finding sources, or just a little direction; professors are always willing to help. They won’t write the paper for you, but they can offer some direction. Some professors will even read a draft for you and quickly edit it if you have it ready in advance.
Hope these help!
This summer, junior Kev McClellan is running from San Francisco to Baltimore with the organization 4k for cancer to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. Along with physical preparation for the trip, members are asked to raise a minimum of $4,500 throughout the year.
In order to raise funds, Kev organized a “Naked” race, in which participants in the 5k and 1 mile races wore minimal clothes, such as bathing suits and spandex. About 30 people entered in the race, many of whom had been participants in Relay for Life the night before. We spent about half an hour hanging out beforehand, comparing running attire and goofing off.
All of us before the race!
The mile was the first event, and the course was essentially a lap around campus. Members of the service sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma were positioned throughout the course in order to point runners in the right direction. A lot of participants don’t typically run, so it was really exciting to see them cross the finish line for the mile.
The 5k course was very similar to the mile course; it involved two loops around the school. The weather was perfect for running in minimal clothes, and my friends and I enjoyed all the blooming trees around campus as we ran.
Overall, the race was a great time, and by the end people were already mentioning how they were excited to come back and do it next year!
If you’re interested in learning more about 4k for Cancer or donating to Kev’s fund, check out his page: http://4kforcancer.org/profiles/kevin-mcclellan/
So, today was an interesting day for odd reasons. I got absolutely none of the work I wanted to done because of family issues, but I got to cook dinner for a couple of my friends while we did laundry, homework, and tried to be at least somewhat productive. I love cooking and I live in one of the places on campus where I have access to a kitchen, a fact which I adore. I had a bad weekend because my stepfather is very ill, and my friends came with me to make sure I was okay and to see how I was holding up.
So, tonight I made a simple pasta, it was just a big pan of pasta and a couple different sauces people could take. It was easy and not a lot of work, but it easily fed all of us and allowed us to work around the cooking too. It was actually fun though, which was a welcome relief because talking and just relaxing while I was cooking helped to calm me down and helped me stop worrying every second.
I guess it just made me realize how important dinnertime is at McDaniel. It is a time to bond with friends, a time to take in sustenance after a long day, a time to unwind, and a lot more. For a lot of us, it is the one time of day we set aside to make sure we have time for the people around us. Dinnertime is a big part of what makes McDaniel the community it is because whether or not the dinner is chilling in glar, a quick meal in the pub, or a cooked apartment dinner, it is one of the times we have to just be ourselves and get to be with the people we care about. Dinnertime is really important to us all, even if we don’t normally think about it.
Every year McDaniel College participates in American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. At the end of April, we all gather as a community and raise money to stop cancer forever. Twenty teams participated in the twelve hour event. My team, Gamma Sigma Sigma, was the team that raised the most money since the start of the event many months ago. Gamma Sig over the months raised $3,000 for the cause.
The actual Relay event is one of my favorite memories of each year at McDaniel. Everyone comes together to support the cause and have a ton of fun. Every team does an on-site fundraiser at the event. My team did carnival games with silly prizes, but the main events were cornhole, a Texas Hold Em tournament, and Relay Jail. Within the first two hours of Relay Jail, that team had raised at least $100. We started pools of money to get people into jail. The idea was you had to pay the “officer” to get someone arrested, then someone else had to pay to bail them out for an equal amount. Some people went in for $1 (I got put in twice) and others went in for $35. Even our president, Dr. Roger Casey was thrown in Relay Jail. For $26 he was bailed out early on in the night so he could continue walking and supporting the other teams. People in jail would take up donations from the walkers passing by and dollar by dollar they would raise enough money to bail themselves out. It was hours of entertainment and raised over $500 for that team.
The Relay fro Life committee also worked very hard to provide events throughout the night to keep people awake and moving all night. A frozen t-shirt contest, trivia contest, Zumba class, and special ceremonies strategically placed throughout the night kept everyone entertained. They also set up a giant movie screen in the other gym and showed Wreck-It Ralph, Hunger Games, Avengers, and Bridesmaids.
The Lumineria Ceremony was the most touching part of the event, as it always is. We all stood around our bags dedicated to victims and survivors of cancer and lit the lights in honor or in memory of them. We all have a reason why we do Relay for Life and this ceremony is what brings us all together. I relay because my dance mentor battled cancer and survived. She is the strongest woman and I know and an inspiration to all of her students.
The event was once again a success and I am already excited for it next year! All three years I have stayed at Relay all twelve hours and I have one more shot to make it a perfect record. I’ve also decided that I want to be on the committee again next year to help plan the event for the school. It is an event I always look forward to and this year it definitely exceeded my expectations.
Pictured: Committee members, Matt Love (Junior) and Kelsey Dickman (Senior) are the first victims of Relay Jail. Their bail was $11…it’s a good thing they had friends to save them!
Mr. McDaniel is a contest held once every year by Alpha Sigma Tau sorority on campus. This event is always fun since it is the sister event to the Ms. McDaniel competition hosted by the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The events are known for being more comical than serious in comparison to other competitions that go by a similar name, and this year was unique for me because I was selected to compete in the AST’s Mr. McDaniel competition.
Of five competitors, two of my brothers were also selected to compete. There were three Alpha Sigs, one Phi Delt, and one Phi Kapp in total and each of us offered a unique take on comedy. The first event was formal wear, which was pretty basic. As we went onto stage, one of the ASTs hosting the event would read us a question and we would do our best to answer in a way that would appeal to the crowd. A few of the questions were given to us before the event so that we wouldn’t make complete jerks of ourselves on state; but most questions were given on the spot to show how quick we were on our feet.
The competition was more than anything just to entertain the campus and help the ASTs raise money for their sorority. Judged by two students, one randomly selected by the ASTs and the other the current Ms. McDaniel, and a faculty member, the criteria were most visually appealing, crowd appeal, best answers to the questions, and of course, general sense of humor; criteria that brought out the best in each contestant including myself.
In the course of the night, we saw one guy rap, too much speedo during the swimwear portion of the competition, I performed a song I had learned earlier in the day, and one of my brothers brought out a harpoon and stared seductively at the audience…which was interesting. Though I didn’t win, I thought it was a great opportunity and a really good time.
It’s a rare occasion in college that you actually get to go on a class field trip-unless you’re in the Field Botany class. I hear from my friend in that this semester that everyday they get to go hiking somewhere different and plan on how to survive an Apocalypse by surviving the woods. How awesome does that sound?? Unfortunately I don’t quite have time to fit that class in before I graduate in a month. The other class that generally takes field trips are art history classes- they almost always go to an art museum or two once a semester.
Unfortunately, I am neither in Field Botany, nor an art history class this semester… but I am in Digital Photography! And today, we took a mini field trip ourselves- to McDaniel’s farm! McDaniel has a farm? Don’t worry. Every single person in our class asked that question as well, and apparently the answer is yes. It’s about a ten to fifteen minute drive down New Windsor Road, and there it lies, the lovely green farm. Faculty and staff from McDaniel can lease out the houses around it, but we were there for other more artsy purposes: photography! Essentially, after a bit of guidance, we were set loose and allowed to roam the property at will, explore bit of the wood or old barns that too our fancy and climbing up in trees for a good shot.
The field trip was so much fun that our car decided photography trips should be a weekly occurrence in our class. I’m not sure if our professor will go for that, but it’s a plan. I also really like just going off on my own while taking pictures- that way my shots are unique, unlike those that other people bring in. So while most people stayed in pairs or trios, I tended to drift off my myself seeking new and interesting things to photograph!
Here are some shots of the place we went:
A beautiful, tranquil spot in the woods
The corn field, now covered in flowers
All the trees were flowering
This is the time in the semester when people start getting less sleep, drinking more coffee, and taking on more than they thought they would. A little less than a month away from the end of the semester and everyone is starting to wrap things up. This week seems to be comprised on final projects and presentations. For some, like me, there are group presentations and posters to show off to companies and organizations. For others, its Senior Capstone presentations. You can always tell when a senior is near the end of their project because their wardrobe becomes sweatpants and t-shirts, and the black circles appear under their eyes. You know when their presentation was because they pretty much disappear the next day to catch up on sleep and they return looking happier than ever.
Next week will be when final papers begin to be written. Long hours in the library and endless amounts of time searching online and in the library for the perfect resources. The week after that is the last week of classes. Course evaluations, final reviews, and last chances to turn work in all happen then in order for you to focus on the tests that lurk just around the corner.
Then there is finals week, when every student can be found in their room or in the library with a plethora of coffee cups and snacks surrounding their work space. It’s a time for us to remember everything we’ve learned in the last few months and prove to the teacher that we know what we are talking about. Some of the toughest challenges for college students happen at this time. The relief comes once all your stuff is packed up and you are off campus for the summer (it only lasts until you realize how much you already miss your friends).
This year, I get to stay on campus for Senior Week! I’ve heard it’s one of the most fun weeks of the spring semester, but only seniors are invited. I will be helping to run the events of the week so I can get a feel for what they are like so I can plan the Senior Week for my senior class next year. This is not only exciting for me because I get to plan an awesome week for my class, but also because I get to spend one more week with all the seniors that I have come to love over the years. It’ll be tough to let the Class of 2013 go, but the only thing keeping me from kidnapping them all is the fact that it will be my turn next year.
For now, I’m off to survive the rest of the semester and keep all my friends from going crazy. There may be a Disney Movie Night De-stresser in my near future.
April 23rd, the birthday of Mr. Bill Shakespeare.
What better way to honor him than with cake, sonnets, and his plays!
Shakespeare in the Square is an event hosted every year by the English Department in Red Square to celebrate the literary works of Shakespeare. This year students and faculty gathered in the square to hear readings of his sonnets, watch scenes from his plays, and even listen to two seniors read an original sonnet. The creativity that brings Shakespeare’s pieces of work to life is what has kept it alive over the centuries.
And because the English department is never boring, we had our campus improv group, Dangersauce perform as well. They started off by interviewing our English professor, Dr. Wronski-Mayersak (our medievalist) about her life as a professor at McDaniel, her undergraduate career, and her life outside of school. From the information gained in the interview, they put together a series of improv scenes that epitomized her life. As always, the crowd was laughing and having a great time.
Overall it was a wonderful time being outside with all the other Shakespeare admirers applauding his work.
Happy Birthday, Bill!
Two seniors at the end of a reading from The Winter’s Tale when a character faces death by being chased (and we assumed eaten) by a bear. Really Shakespeare?! What’s the point of that!
The “ingredients” of Dangersauce interviewing our professor of Shakespeare before the improv scenes begin.