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October 2014
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Hopefully not my last Fall Break…

Anyone who’s currently a senior in high school will attest that senior year is a year of “lasts,” and this is a bittersweet thing. The same thing happens in college, and right now, I’m finishing up my last day of my “last” Fall Break as a McDaniel student.

Some McDaniel fall foliage as viewed from DMC (Daniel McClea Hall) two years ago.

Some McDaniel fall foliage as viewed from DMC (Daniel McClea Hall) two years ago.

While I’m all too aware that number of breaks and days off from school between now and my graduation in May is dwindling, whenever I start to feel daunted by this fact, I try to put it into perspective. For example, while this is my last Fall Break as an undergraduate, by no means does it have to be the last time I ever have off in the fall. Real world jobs also come with vacation, and the cool thing about that is that it doesn’t have to be used in the summer time. At some point in my career, I might choose to take some vacation in the fall–maybe I’ll even manage to go on a trip with some of my McDaniel friends. I can’t wait to see who ends up where after graduation and to figure out what we’ll be able to do to together.

I also know that since I don’t plan on continuing with grad school right after college, next fall will probably seem like a break in itself since I won’t be working on my senior seminar paper every weekend. I’ll have more time to do fun fall things like bake, go to orchards, and curl up with a good book (that’s not for homework) on crisp days.

The only thing I really know for sure about what next fall will look like is that at some point, the leaves will turn red and orange. But as scary as it is to not know what’s in store, I’m looking forward to finding out and experiencing what life ends up offering me over the next couple of years.

In the meantime, I hope to enjoy the remainder of fall on the Hill every chance I get!

 

Chimney Cakes in Budapest!

I am convinced that Europe is composed of bread. I am not complaining–just an observation! To celebrate this wonderful food group, on Friday, I went with my roommate to the 2nd Sekler Cake Festival. The festival celebrated the famous Hungarian chimney cakes, or kurtoskalacs.

At the festival, there were at least ten different chimney cake vendors selling a variety of different sized and flavored cakes. Words cannot describe the joy this festival brought to my day. Not only was I able to try a chimney cake (coconut), but I was also able to experience more Hungarian culture. There was a Hungarian band playing, Hungarian crafts, and I did not hear too much English, indicating that locals attended this festival.

Chimney cakes, as their name implies, look like chimneys. In order to make a chimney cake, the bakers wrap dough around a foot long metal rod. The cakes are then they placed over a fire and rotated until they are golden brown. The cakes are slid off the rod and coated with sugar, cinnamon, coconut, almonds, etc. My roommate and I ate our freshly made chimney cakes on the lawn and had a great time people watching and enjoying our surroundings. If you are ever in Hungary, make sure to try these traditional treats!

 

10 Hours Driving, a XC Meet, and Great Wolf Lodge

I’m usually home over Fall Break, but this year our cross country team decided to do something new. We went on a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Virginia after a meet there.

We drove down to a hotel near the meet on Friday night, ran Saturday morning–although I was unable to run due to an injury, unfortunately. The women’s team got second, the men’s team got first, and we had at least three people from both teams place in the top ten, one of the guys getting second. Then we drove the three or so hours down to Great Wolf Lodge.

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Once there, we split up to change and head down to their giant indoor waterpark. For anyone that has never been there, the place is designed mostly designed for kids, with mini-parades, story times, and games of bingo where everyone gets to win happening throughout the day, along with more fun activities. The entire building is set up for a game called ShadowQuest, and many children staying there for a while get wands to play. The waterpark itself has a lot of stuff designed for children, but plenty designed for an older crowd, as well, such as a pool with basketball hoops and a slide called the Howling Tornado.

The team went out to dinner with each other, played games at night, and then went to bed. Some people went to the waterpark again the next morning. Others, like my friends and I, chose to sleep in and take it easy. We then spent a couples hours in Colonial Williamsburg to get lunch and look around.

And pet horses.

And pet horses.

It was a long drive back to campus today (4 hours) but it definitely could have been longer. In total, we spent over 10 hours driving, but it was definitely worth it to get away from homework, spend time with friends, and enjoy the first two days of Fall Break.

And I’m actually looking forward to getting some homework done in the morning.

Fall Break

Fall break is a wonderful weekend no matter where you are, if you stay on campus or if you head home for this break. This is a nice time to recoup, catch up on work, and get ahead before the end of the semester begins.

I for one am taking this time to recoup from midterms, and to get to know my family’s new dog, Lester. He’s a greyhound from a rescue local to Philadelphia. I am loving getting to know him and all his quarks. I even got to see his pedigree and some of his races from when he was a race dog on the Internet. He loves to play-race with me!

I am also using this time to get ahead on some school work. Senior year sure is hard, and I need to put in as much energy as I can to receive the marks I am aiming for, as graduate school is in my future. I am spending the time readying assignments such as a presentation on a self help book for abnormal psychology, preparing presentations on organizations for my social work classes, and getting ahead in my reading for my counseling psychology class.

I can’t wait to be home again in about a month for Thanksgiving, but for now I am enjoying the cool crisp air, the changing leaves, and the wonderful playtime I have with my dog Lester.

Academics here on The Hill

Here at Mcdaniel academics are help as very important. Examples of this are our on campus policies where you can only hold an in club office if your gpa is above a 2.5. Other examples of education being held high is out Mcdaniel plan like I talked about last week.
Academics here are supported by the use of our honor code and the supportive nature of our faculty. Our faculty have a very big open door policy here. They have office hours,mare quite to respond to emails, and some even use phone calls and text messages to get much needed communication accomplished.
The greatest strength of an education here is the great professional contacts you make here. Also the experience with learning how to communicate professionally.
Here at McDaniel you can do as well as you set your mind to do. There is Student Academic Support Services with those who need extra help because of learning disabilities or things such as anxiety disorders. There are the deans who work in Academic affairs who are wonderful to contact with concerns from dropping a class and deadlines, to just asking who to turn to for help in different subject areas.
We also have a huge library that has been recently renovated with everything from children’s literature for education minors to the newest DSM for psychology students.
We have everything anyone could need for support academically you just have to be willing to put in the time and energy to look.
We have teaching assistants in quite a few classes and peer mentors in your First year seminar classes that will help you along the way.