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Chocolate Chip Cookies and Campus Community

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The ultimate chocolate chip cookie :)

   As I toured colleges with my sister this past summer, I became even more acutely aware of why it is that I chose McDaniel. On those hot, sweaty, summer days traipsing in and out of stuffy, dank dorm rooms all across the state, while wistfully waiting for the cookie or free food that I desperately hoped would reward us at the end of the tour, I thanked my lucky stars for the luxury that was Blanche Ward – air conditioning, new carpets, bright, clean walls, and big windows.  I was also always eager to compare the pastry offerings in other dining halls to the superb oreo pie made by our pastry chef.  I obviously didn’t find a match, as something that decadent cannot be recreated (though I hope to get the recipe before I graduate – never hurts to try, right?). I passed through the academic buildings of other institutions, occasionally old and decrepit, and remembered how thankful I am that McDaniel holds an intrinsic old charm, yet a very certain breath of fresh air.

But while I toured these other colleges, as my sister chose her fate for the next four years, mostly I was reminded that I chose McDaniel for reasons different from all of these.  It wasn’t for the new academic buildings, bright dorm rooms, delectable oreo pie, or even the cookie at the end of the tour.  Something very particular made McDaniel different.  I sensed it in 2011 when I chose to enroll and again as I went through college tours for a second time.

McDaniel has a community unlike any other. People care about people.   Professors reach out to students and invite them to academic conferences, to dinner at their home, to family game nights.   Students reach out to one another, accepting each other for whoever they are, cros1454613_10202484186975759_1931624013_nsing social, economic, and racial boundaries to forge lasting relationships that deeply enrich lives.  I love a good chocolate chip cookie at the end of a tour as much as the next guy, but believe it or not, ultimately it is these kinds of deep relationships between the members of the campus community that truly change lives here at McDaniel.

This is Me – Lauren Hawkins

1904045_10203404118170005_796599007_nHello everyone! My name is Lauren.  I love hoodless sweatshirts, the Sound of Music, the smell of dryer sheets, rainstorm dances, piles of crunchy leaves, laughter, Christmas music, chocolate chip cookies, red shoes, photography, sharks, hugs, and the Freedom Writers Diary.

Now that we have all the important things out of the way – I am a senior at McDaniel and I am majoring in Social Work and minoring in Spanish.  Last semester, I studied abroad in a small town in Italy called Tuscania (more on that later).  Now that I am back on campus, I am occupying my time with 22 credits, tutoring writing, giving campus tours, babysitting, and working at an internship with the Domestic Violence Program of Family and Children’s Services.

Things are busy, but enjoyable nonetheless. I am excited to see what this new year brings!

Leaps of Faith with Outdoors Club

outdoors

Us all wearing our lovely harnesses and helmets.

Hey guys!

Yesterday was Outdoors Club’s first trip of the year, and what a dramatic start it was! We went to a high ropes course in Savage, MD, run by Terrapin Adventures.

Fifteen of us went, including people who seemed to be completely unafraid of heights and people who were trying to conquer their fears. The course had three levels, the highest being 40 feet above the security of the ground. I really fail to understand why we voluntarily do something that goes completely against our human nature, buy boy was it fun!

My favourite part was the small sections that were mini zip-lines. I’d thought about going zip-lining over summer, but it was too expensive, and this was the perfect amount.  Over summer, I had also taken a tumble of fifty feet or so down an extremely steep ravine, and since, I’ve been a little bit more conscious of my surroundings and I’ve been trying not to hurt myself. It was lovely to know that I could fool around and jump and dance around

At the end, we got to choose whether to climb down or to jump forty feet down. All of us decided to jump. Despite knowing consciously that I was at no risk thanks to the harnesses and ropes, it was still immensely terrifying to look down.

It was a great way to get out of my little academic world and to do something fun and physical with awesome people.

Ema

Global Fellows Colloquium

On Thursday, September 11, I went to the Global Fellows Colloquium. The guest speaker was Dr. John MacAloon from the University of Chicago, and we debated the Geopolitics of Olympic Host Cities. This was the best colloquium we have had so far! It was really interactive, and it gave us the chance to show all of the hard work we had done.

Now, I would not consider myself to be an Olympic fanatic, but this colloquium really put into perspective for me all the benefits of having the Olympics. It is a way to bring people of different cultures together in sport. It is very unique in that respect; I cannot think of anything that unifies us in this way except the Olympics.

Through thorough research, we were able to formulate our opinions and simulate being members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in order to choose the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Lots of people contributed and debated, but all in all, we voted to have Almaty, Kazakhstan host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

I am so proud to be a member of the Global Fellows. Every experience has brought me closer and closer to gaining cultural understanding, and it has inspired me to become better and to do better.

Summer Nights at The Ballpark

imageI spent this past summer here at McDaniel. Reason being… I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work here! But that’s not even the most exciting part about the summer. What was best is I spent this summer visiting so many different places along the east coast. But I just want mention my favorite, only because I was something that was off my bucket list.

It was a baseball game, professional baseball that is that is. For most people here at McDaniel it was not their favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles. But it was a Philadelphia Phillies game with my best friend from McDaniel.

There were many fan citing things about the trip. First thing great about the trip was it was my first time on a train. I always have wanted to ride one since watching Harry Potter as a kid. Another thing was it was Philly, so what’s Philly without cheesesteaks? Yeah, I got one of those, but the game was incredible. Although Philly fans are harsh, they made the game more interest.Overall, it was the best thing I did this summer. I enjoyed it more than Sea World San Antonio, going to the Jersey Shore, and even attending a Ed Sheeran concert.