September 2014
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Visiting McDaniel

I still vividly remember visiting McDaniel three-and-a-half years ago. I was sitting in my father’s minivan reading Frankenstein for my senior English class and I was trying to hold in all my nerves. This was the last college tour I would be going on and I was really hoping McDaniel would be the one. Before visiting McDaniel, I had visited Penn State University Park, Penn State Berks, Penn State Abington, Philadelphia University, and Ursinus College, not of these felt like a good match for me. (Also if you could not guess from the schools I had visited, I am from Pennsylvania. )

I was having a real life Goldilocks and the Three Bears moment. This is too big, this is too small, this is too close to home, and this is too far away. Then I got to McDaniel.

I toured the entire campus starting in Lewis Hall of Science where my future biology lab professor stepped out of his office and gave me a tour of the lab–which made me feel so appreciated. We ended at Alumni Hall, McDaniel College’s theatre. Ironically enough I would call both of these places home within a year’s time of my tour.

After the tour, I got home and called my high school counselor and said that I loved it at McDaniel. I described my tour of the biology lab, how helpful the tour guides were, how welcoming the staff was, and how open the campus was to me exploring after my tour if I wanted to see more. I was so excited in a way that I had not been after any of my other campus visit days. I knew McDaniel was the one for me.

Reflections and Adventures

Here is another post that focuses more on my reflections after the Balaton trip:


In addition, if you are interested in reading more about McDaniel students’ adventures in Balaton and other study tours, here is a link to the other blog:

While I was studying abroad in France, one of my friends from Ukraine immediately raved to me about Lake Balaton once she discovered that I was studying abroad in Hungary. So, with her small introduction, I was already looking forward to the school trip to the Balaton region. When we received the itinerary for the trip, I immediately googled each location and site listed and read some of the historical points in order to gain some basic knowledge. And while I enjoyed every minute of the trip, there were two moments/excursions that were exceedingly remarkable for me.

The first “most memorable” moment took place when our professor led everyone to a monument dedicated to a group of people who perished in Lake Balaton (Pajtas tragedy). I passed by this monument earlier that day and it instantly impacted me because of the striking visual of a hand reaching out of the monument.  However, the first time I passed it, I was not able to understand the meaning of the monument because of the Hungarian description.  When I visited the monument again with our professor, the story behind the monument was even more forceful. Our professor explained that this monument is dedicated to the individuals who drowned in 1954 and that the communism system at the time covered the tragedy; citizens could not discuss the event.  Recently, there has been an increase in discussion and monuments are in the process of construction in order to assist in the creation of a shared memory. Our professor mentioned that Hungarians in general are not accustomed to talking about these tragedies because silence was such a habit; with much effort and organization, there have been initiatives to foster dialogue and discussions throughout the country.

The topic of memory and constructing a shared memory is an immense topic that has such controversial and differing ideas- how does this process begin? In my Holocaust and Memory class, we discuss the construction of memorials and monuments and it was interesting to see the depth and reach of this topic. It was also fascinating for me to compare this idea to the American perspective and culture where discussing feelings is more often than not encouraged and even expected at certain times.

The second event in our trip that I found memorable was our trip to the Herend Porcelain Manufacturer. This unique experience enabled us to see each step in the porcelain making process- from the basic molds to the elaborate painting. Before this trip, I had absolutely no idea about this delicate process and I could not help myself from gaping at the immaculate details in each piece of porcelain. This tour gave me an entirely new respect for the artists and the porcelain manufacturers. Although the art pieces were well beyond my financial means, watching the artists paint was a priceless experience.

After each excursion, I was able to reflect about these events on the bus ride and I could analyze each experience with the beautiful scenery as a backdrop. I can truthfully say that each site we visited enabled me to learn something, whether it was a piece of history or insight on culture.

Best Study Spot on Campus

CAM00355I think perhaps the hardest thing for me this year has been finding a really great spot to study. Last year, I used to study on the entry floor of the library with friends, but as much as I love my friends, I never get any work done when I am around them. Hence, my problem was finding a place where could study and not see anyone I know.

While this may sound like an easy problem to solve, it most definitely was not for me. I tried sitting in Caseys’ Corner, different office areas, even the Honors Lounge, but do you know what all of these spaces have in common? There are wonderful, friendly, interesting people that I cannot help but talk to.

Luckily, one day I went to study with Kara on one of the library’s quiet floors. Down there, I found the perfect study space! It was perfectly hidden away from people so that I could hide there and do my work. Even while Kara was studying with me, I was unable to get distracted because we had our own little cubicles.

Today, I went to my cozy little spot and read half of my assignment for Spanish. This spot is extremely helpful! Now the trick will be making sure no one else finds it too.

Sports Talk: Green Terror Sports Across the Decades

Hey guys!

Today, there was an alumni panel on sports across McDaniel. I learned some interesting facts.

  • The first sport at McDaniel was Club Swinging.greenterror
  • This sport was started by William Roberts McDaniel, our namesake. Since he ran that, and later, bicycling, he was kind of like our first athletic director.
  • The second sport was bicycling. They used Penny-Farthings.
  • In our first gym, you had to run 34 laps to run a mile. It was considered the best gym in Maryland at the time.
  • We lost our first football game in 1891 to Pennsylvania College (now Gettysburg.) The score was 0-64.
  • We won our second football game in 1891 against Pennsylvania College. The score was 61-0.
  • The name “Green Terrors” came about because our football team wasn’t green at all–they were like terrors when they came running down the field!

I’m not much of a sports person, but I really enjoyed hearing about more McDaniel history and seeing the alumni.


My Favorite Dorm Snacks

When you’re as active on the Hill as I am, it’s hard not to get hungry between meals! To combat hunger, I always keep plenty of snack on hand. In the past, I’ve devoted an entire plastic under-the-bed tub to snacks and food I can eat in my dorm room. This year, I’m living in a college-owned house, and my room just so happens to be equipped with two cabinets perfect for food storage.

By living in a campus house, I have a kitchen this year, but I haven’t always had kitchen access during my time on the Hill. Traditional and suite-style residence halls on campus don’t have communal kitchens, but each dorm room in these types of halls do come equipped with a spacious mini-fridge and a microwave, allowing students who like to eat in occasionally to stock up on food and get creative when they’re cooking.

Even though I have a kitchen now, there’s still plenty of dorm-friendly snacks that I enjoy–no kitchen required!

Apples with Peanut Butter and Chocolate ChipsApples with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips

I’m totally down with eating apples plain, but I was practically raised on apples with peanut butter and chocolate chips. When eaten in moderation, they’re not too bad of a way to get in a serving of fruit, a big of a protein fix, and a chocolate fix. McDaniel students are allowed to take one piece of fruit out of Glar every time they eat there, and a piece of fruit is also included with every Pub meal exchange, so apples aren’t hard to come by on campus.

They’re relatively simple in execution. Simply slice your able, being careful not to cut yourself, and add peanut butter and chocolate chips to your liking! Voila!

Get creative! Other yummy fruit and sweet stuff combinations include strawberries dipped in Hershey’s chocolate spread and bananas sliced and dipped in caramel.


All Sorts of Other Fruits and Veggies

If you have a lot of space in your fridge, stock up on fruits and vegetables to your heart’s content–plain apples, peaches, oranges, grapes, strawberries, and carrots are all easily stored in a dorm room. If you are tight on fridge space though, bananas and clementines are delicious and they don’t need to be kept chilled. Also, dried and freeze dried fruits are another way to enjoy fruit in your dorm. I love freeze-dried strawberries, and I recently learned that I can get them at Walgreens, which is walking distance from campus.
Granola Bars

I highlight granola bars specifically because not only are they delightful dorm snacks but also because they are among the most convenient on-the-go snacks (and sometimes breakfasts!) a college student can have. A lot of professors on campus permit students to eat in class, provided that the food isn’t terribly messy and its packaging isn’t too noisy–and granola bars fit that bill perfectly. And because there’s a zillion different types and brands of granola bars out there, you’ll never get bored with them!

While we’re on the subject of granola–here’s another dorm friendly meal or treat: granola and yogurt–yum!
The List Goes On…

I’ve mentioned a lot of relatively healthy foods in this post. But I’m a sucker for junk food too, and my food cabinets are proof of that! I always have pretzels on hand for late-night hunger pangs, and as far as salty and savory snacks go, I’m also a fan of Old Bay peanuts, Annie’s Homegrown Snack Mix bunny crackers, and Saltines. I keep Nutrigrain bars and mini muffin packs on hand for mornings I’m running late, and other sweet treats I stock up on include Girl Scout cookies and Milanos–I love the pretzel Milano thins that Pepperidge Farm recently introduced.
Where to Buy

You have lots of options for getting your hands on dorm food–your job is to figure out which options best suit your needs, your budget, and your level of mobility (some, but not all, first year students have cars on campus, and many students who don’t have cars their first year continue not to have them). I already mentioned that taking fruit from Glar, and Pub is permissible in certain circumstances. Another easily-accessible place to get fruit and other snacks is in the Green & Go, McDaniel’s convenience store. Food Lion and Safeway are the grocery stores closest to campus. Students will walk to Safeway, and if that’s something you’re going to do, I recommend going with a friend, as there is always safety in numbers. McDaniel’s shuttle bus, affectionately known around the Hill as The Pickle can also take you to places that sell food. If you really don’t feel like leaving campus to buy groceries, Amazon and other online retailers can be great places to buy pre-packaged goods. And if your parents are ever in town, it’s never a bad idea to ask them to take you grocery shopping.