I recently applied for a prestigious award called The Duke of Edinburgh Award. To receive this award I am required to fulfill certain requirements to receive my medal. It is an award to showcase well-rounded students. You have to display your dedication to community service, physical fitness, a special talent and an adventurous journey. In order to receive the bronze medal award I must complete three months of community service, physical fitness and a special talent. I must also complete an overnight adventure. Then I will be choosing one of the three elements to continue for another three months. I am honored to be considered for this award and I am excited to begin all my requirements.
I will be using my completed service hours with Gamma Sigma Sigma for my community service requirement, three hours of dance a week for my physical fitness requirement, and mastering family recipes as my special talent. In April I will be completing my adventurous journey by staying the entire night at our twelve hour Relay for Life event for American Cancer Society hosted by the school. After the three months are up, I will have to choose which element I am going to continue keeping track of. I’m sure none of them will completely escape my life, but I will have to choose one to focus on.
I am really excited about the opportunity this award is giving me. It is giving me as excuse to learn all the family recipes I have admired since childhood and it is pushing me to do more with the community and keep myself healthy throughout the school year. I think this award is a great opportunity for any student. It forces them to focus on things other than homework and school in their crazy busy lives. I know my calendar is jam packed already but I’m willing to add a few hours every week to make sure I stay a well-rounded person that can be a role model for future students of McDaniel College.
Midterms is always the week were everyone instantly forgets everything they have learned so far in the semester. It’s like when you see a car coming at you and you just freeze up and forget what you are supposed to do. But what is worse that getting hit by a car? Getting hit by a bus. And that bus would have to be Midterm grades. It is never fun to be hitting refresh on your computer a million times waiting for your grades to show up. Most teachers are nice enough to send you an e-mail to warn you that grades have been posted. The longest ten seconds of my life are when I have clicked the “ok” button and am waiting for my grades to show up. I always have an idea of what I’m going to get and then a million different scenarios run through my head. Did I forget to turn in a paper? Have I missed too many classes? Have I participated in class enough? How much is that bad test grade going to affect my score?
When my grades finally appear my first reaction is usually, “how did that happen?!” Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad. Either way, I always ask myself how. This semester, after all the stressing over last week, I found myself pleased with more of my grades than disappointed with them. This was a comforting feeling because it makes me feel like I really have a grip on the material I am learning in these classes. There was one class that worried me a little. The grade what lower than I had expected so I immediately contacted my professor to ask for help. She comforted me and told me it wasn’t the most accurate score because of the way the assignments are falling this semester. This made me feel better about it and I feel like I am capable of getting the grade I think I deserve in that class by the end of the semester.
Professors are super helpful when grades come out. They are the best person to talk to if you have struggling in a class because they are the ones who understand better than anyone if you are really understanding the concepts and putting forth the amount of work needed to get a good grade. They want to see their students succeed so they will help you in any way they have to, to make sure thahappens. The professors at McDaniel are 100% more helpful than the ones I had at my high school. This is very important because in college you aren’t just going to class to get good grades but you are going to class to learn the skills you will need in the real world in order to be a successful adult.
The week of Midterms can be almost as stressful as Finals Week. Midterms are a time that everyone starts freaking out that everything they have been learning this semester is no longer in their brains and they need to cram it in there for one test that will be a chunk of their grade. The worst part though is waiting all Fall Break for your grades to be posted on Archway. The feeling of not knowing how the test went or if you are doing as well as you think in a class is awful. My Midterms week was studying for one huge test I knew I had on Thursday. I was dreading it. There were too many similar characters from too many books. I started studying for it two weeks early, and I’m still not sure how much it helped. My apartment was a very stressful place for all of us living here this past week.
Earlier in the semester, my Co-Peer Mentor suggested we all have a movie night with our mentees. So I took action. I announced it on our FYS Facebook page that we would do a de-stress movie night at my apartment for anyone who wanted to come. Everyone was super excited about it the next day in class. We decided to watch THE LION KING because it’s supposedly HAMLET and we are the Shakespeare class. While it wasn’t the most educational thing in the world, it was very fun to sit around and eat pizza and sing along to classic Disney songs. We also did some bonding and swapped childhood stories about our first experiences going to a movie theatre and our first Disney experiences.
I think getting to know my mentees is really important. I am here to make sure they are adjusting well to college and doing well in school. To hear them talk about all the fun they are having and fun things that happen in their classes always makes me smile. Seeing that they are becoming a part of the family on the Hill is awesome for me. I had such a great time my freshman year and I only want the same for them. I want them each to find their own place in the little bubble we call McDaniel College. I think they are all doing that quite nicely. I hope the next half of the semester treats them just as well.
McDaniel Theatre Department brought the house down with our run of HAIRSPRAY this past weekend! After having the first set of auditions at the end of last semester, followed by another set during the first week of school this semester, the production team assembled about 30 people to hop back into 1960s Baltimore for a few weeks. It takes so many more people to put on a show than you see on the stage. In addition to the multitudes performing onstage we had crew people, myself included, running around backstage to make sure each piece fit perfectly together and an awesome production team that were the masterminds behind everything. Starting the last week in August and ending the first week in October were some of the most stressful days of my semester. I give everyone that was at all the rehearsals mad props. Almost every night of the week they were huddled in the freezing theatre, working on another dance or another song or more blocking. They put all their time, hearts and talents into this show to make it as good as it possibly could have been. I was honored to be working as the Dramaturg and Assistant Costumer. I had previously done a production of HAIRSPRAY as an actor so it was an amazing experience getting to know the dark side of the theatre world. Get it? Dark side. Sorry, bad joke.
Anyway, production week was a mess of crazy. Adding lights, sounds, special effects and costumes is always a big change for everyone. By the end of our dress rehearsal on Tuesday there were still a few kinks to work out and I was worried how the next night would turn out. The cast did so much publicity for the show and made it known to the entire Westminster community that it was going to be a must-see so we knew everything had to be perfect. Opening night came on Wednesday and we had a few hundred sitting in the audience. The magic theatre gods watched over us and performed a miracle. The show went on without a single problem. The last beat of music played and everyone was on their feet cheering. Then Friday and Saturday came. On Friday, we started the show about fifteen minutes late because at 7:30pm, when we were supposed to start, there was still a line out the door and down the street. Both nights we did sold out shows. It was the first sold out show since ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW was performed in the Fall of 2009.
The entire experience was such an accomplishment. For such a small department, we pulled it together and wrangled up people who had always admired the show and theatre and didn’t know how to get in. We gave hundreds of people the chance to experience a girl have her dream come true in 1962 Baltimore. The community we built over the last few months is one that I hope lasts long after the show is forgotten about. I loved meeting all the new Freshman and the people who had never even thought about doing a show before HAIRSPRAY. I made so many new friends and I love seeing their smiling faces all over campus. You never really can stop the beat.