186 South College

grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

Month: April 2014 (page 2 of 3)

A Break from the Traditional Break

This past spring break, I decided to veer away from the sunny beaches of Florida and apply for a UDaB trip, which is UD’s alternative break program for those who are unfamiliar with the infamous acronym. Originally, when I applied for UDaB, I envisioned going halfway across the country to New Orleans, or even traveling somewhere outside of the United States. So when I found out I would be spending my highly anticipated spring break working with Habitat for Humanity in Vineland, New Jersey, I was pretty bummed that I would be staying the week in my home state. As the days leading up to the trip passed, I actually became less and less excited about going because I just could not fathom why everyone was so crazy about UDaB. Little did I know that the day we departed for Cumberland County would be the start of my absolute favorite days of college thus far.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 11.21.08 AM The first time I saw the house that we would be working on for the week, I was a little disillusioned simply because it appeared almost finished from the outside. When I used to think of Habitat for Humanity, I would think of literally erecting a house from nothing within one week, not just putting the finishing touches on one that is already basically complete. After spending just ten minutes inside the house, I quickly realized that there is a lot of work that goes into the most miniscule of details. For instance, two other girls and I worked on one window frame for an entire afternoon! Although getting the measurements wrong one or two (or five) times was extremely frustrating, the outcome was something that made us prouder than any ‘A’ that we could have earned on even the most brutal of exams.

I have to admit, on the first day, as our three vans traveled just a measly hour across the Delaware border, I found myself wondering if I would even make any friends within the group of 19 students who were selected for the trip; everyone just seemed so quiet and reserved at first. However, by the end of the first night at our lodge, I’ve never seen a group of strangers have such an amazing time together. I have no idea how it happened, but the group just meshed so perfectly it was astounding. Needless to say, there were innumerable tears at the end of the week when we had to return to real life and split from our newfound group of tightknit friendship.

Not only did we return to UD with some pretty handy hard skills, but we also learned a lot about ourselves along the way. I honestly did not think I would even go near a power saw over the course of the trip because I’m usually too afraid to use machinery, but after just the first day I ended up being the one that my fellow volunteers would turn to in order to have a piece of wood or siding cut for them.  By the end of the week, I even rapped in front of the entire group (and if you know me, you know I would NEVER do that). The bottom line is, going on this UDaB Habitat for Humanity trip taught me not only how to be confident around others, but how to be confident internally, and that is something that cannot be taught in any classroom.

All Your Dreams CAN Come True

There are not many things that will make me want to get up at 5AM. Getting to go to Disney World? Duh. Watching the Royal Wedding live? Of course. Having to work University of Delaware Decision Days? Without a doubt, yes!

Now yoUDecide!

Now yoUDecide!

The past two weekends I had the very fortunate opportunity to showcase my love for our lovely university to admitted high school seniors during our Decision Day open houses. These are the days I absolutely love and remain some of my best memories so far. I love being one of the first faces people see, screaming at them saying, “Welcome to Delaware!” I love when families come up to me asking for directions to Gore Hall, when they are, in fact, right in front of it. I love getting free UDairy ice cream at the end of the day because they had extra. I even love waking up before the sun and already being exhausted by the time current students wake up for brunch.

From working at parking, to giving tours of the residence halls, seeing the prospective students trying to picture themselves here was such an eye-opening experience for me. It is so weird to think that just two short years ago, I was in the exact same place as them trying to decide where I should go to school. Reflecting back at how much I was wracking my brain trying to pick between Boston College and UD Honors, I honestly do not envy high school seniors at all. It’s such a stressful time! How do you know you are making the right decision? What if you pick the wrong school? What will people think of my decision? These are some of the many thoughts I remember going through when making my final decision. Looking back on it now, I honestly wish I could go back to my Decision Day and shake my younger-self silly! I wish I could tell myself to listen to my family when they told me not to stress over the decision. I wish I could tell myself that UD will turn out to be the perfect fit for me and never second-guess it. And, I wish I could tell myself to make the decision I knew all along and pay that deposit as soon as possible!

I remember I finally made my decision to come to Delaware right after Decision Day. However, I was worried that people would think the only reasons I picked it were because I wanted to be close to home and because my sisters went here. Yet, those aspects were just like icing on the cake. I made my decision because I loved it here. It’s as simple as that. Main Street made UD feel like a small, quaint town, almost like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. The campus was gorgeous and really looked like the quintessential college campus. But, what really made UD stand out from the rest was the Honors Program. I loved the feeling that it was almost like a school within a school, with a small community of faculty and students that made my transition from a graduating class of 55 girls to a grade almost 100 times that seem less daunting. And I loved the fact that Honors would allow me to challenge myself in many different ways, from academics, to leadership roles, to just having the reputation as an Honors student. Simply put, the Honors environment just felt right.

Thankfully, the second I stepped on campus that Decision Day two years ago, I knew I was home. Hopefully, these past two weekends, even more seniors felt the same way! And so, to those lucky admitted seniors finally coming to the best decision they will ever make: Welcome Home!

~Hannah Tattersall

What You Need to Know for this Summer’s World Cup

I cannot wait for summer.

Yes, I know that pretty much every other human being shares this feeling, but let me elaborate.  This particular summer excites me even more so than usual because the world will unite for an epic event that only occurs once every four years.  Of course I’m talking about the FIFA WORLD CUP!

June 12th-July13th: Experience the world's game at its greatest splendor.

June 12th-July13th: Experience the world’s game at its greatest splendor.

Ask anybody, and they’ll tell you that I am a huge soccer nut (yes, I know that the rest of the world calls it “football”, but I live in ‘Murica).  I love watching it on TV, and even moreso playing it in my dorm room (the trick is to not hit my roommate’s lamp).  Naturally, my loyalty lies with the U.S. national team, and I am beyond stoked for this year’s tournament.  Jürgen Klinsmann, the team’s coach, has put together an exceptional squad, and they are poised to take on the rest of the world.  Despite the talent of players such as Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan, and Clint Dempsey, the U.S. will need its other players to step up and deliver.  The U.S. drew an especially difficult group draw for this year’s tournament.  Along with the U.S., the group known as the “Group of Death” contains Germany, Ghana, and Portugal.  While many in the international community have already written the U.S. off, I can confidently proclaim that we will prevail!

The location of this year’s World Cup, Brazil, currently struggles to deal with controversy.  Last year the country experienced nationwide protests by demonstrators who accused the Brazilian government of spending more money on the World Cup than on helping the poor and needy.  To make matters worse, at the time of this article’s publication, the Brazilian government hadn’t even completed all of the stadiums to host the matches!  This has caused FIFA, or le Fédération Internationale de Football Association, to consider other venues for this year’s tournament.

Regardless of where the games will take place, I know that when the U.S. game comes onto play, I will plant myself in front of the TV screen, cheering my heart out for the Red White and Blue squad.  My one hope for the U.S. team (besides ultimate supremacy) will be to win another close game on a crazy goal.  This dream of mine came to reality during the 2010 World Cup match between the U.S. and Algeria.  Landon Donovan’s come-from-behind game winner solidified itself as the greatest sports moment I have ever witnessed, and has been coined the most dramatic moment in U.S. soccer history.  In addition, sports commentator Ian Darke’s famous call of “You could not write a script like this!” sends shivers down my spine to this day.

So, this summer, while you’re hopefully lounging about and relaxing, make certain to follow the action down in Brazil and cheer on our boys to bring home the gold!

Silly Walks

I briefly considered writing a deep, soul-searching post about my impending graduation, but then I thought, “Nah.” All I will say about the matter is: I picked up my cap and gown a few days ago, and I can’t really process that fact. The cap and gown are still wrapped up in fancy plastic, delegated to their original Barnes & Noble bookstore bag…which will be their permanent home until the end of May.

Here is the troublesome bag itself, with its unspeakable contents.

Here is the troublesome bag itself, with its unspeakable contents.

The other day, when I was walking down Main Street with the emotional aforementioned bag, I was also balancing my fairly large laptop bag over my shoulder and a Starbucks latte in the other hand. As I was juggling these three objects, I felt strangely out-of-whack. Suddenly I realized what made me feel off-kilter: I wasn’t talking on the phone.

Usually, when trekking from my apartment on the far end of Main Street to class or elsewhere, I call either (a) my mom, (b) my dad, (c) my sister/best friend, (d) another friend, or, occasionally, (e) my grandparents, which is amusing because my grandparents don’t always understand phones. Sample: my grandparents left me a voicemail one time that went a little something like this:

Nana (F.Y.I. I call my grandma ‘Nana’ and my grandpa ‘Papa’): Ed, you have to turn right!

Papa: Lee, I know where I’m going!

Nana: No, you should have turned back there!

Papa: I’m following the GPS! The GPS said left!!

Clearly, they didn’t realize that they were leaving me a three-minute voicemail about traffic directions…but that’s what happened. I called them to clarify in case they wanted to talk about something important, but they had no idea that they called me at all, much less left a voicemail. They’re the best.

Since I had no free hand to hold my iPhone last Thursday, I was reduced to people watching. I guess I enjoy talking on the phone on my various 15-20 minute walks throughout the day to feel like I’m accomplishing something during that “wasted” time. I very rarely run into someone who’s heading in the same direction that I am (as opposed to a passing “Hi, how are you?”), but when that happens, it’s a welcome change. Otherwise, I’m not going to lie, I get bored. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I hate having time alone to think. But, with several walks throughout the day, sometimes I reach the point where I simply need to do something else.

Anyway, in my impromptu social experiment, I gazed around, confused about what other people typically do while traversing the great distance from Main Street to class (and back). I discovered the following:

(1)  A significant number of people listen to music – or at least pretend to listen to music – based on the overwhelming presence of headphones.

(2)  Some people walk without any sort of technological distraction, and these people tend to walk in a hurried fashion. I even noticed one guy in a suit, clutching a briefcase, and he was on a mission.

(3)  Some people do talk on the phone. There were, however, less people on the phone than I thought – at least during this particular Thursday afternoon.

So, readers, since I’m curious – and would rather think about the subject of distracted vs. focused walking as opposed to other matters (i.e. the future) – what do you do while you walk around campus?

sillywalksNote: Sadly, I don’t have any pictures that I’ve taken while walking around campus to add to this post…which is probably due to the fact that I’m usually on the phone (*shrugs coyly*). Instead, I’ll close with a picture from Monty Python’s ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ sketch. 

A Gentleman’s Guide to a Jaunt in New York

Those faithful readers who have been with me since I started writing for 186 over a year ago (ah! old! no!) know that, as tradition has dictated for the past three years, I take a trip into New York with my mom the Wednesday morning of my spring break. Tradition did not fail me this year, which meant I was up bright and early last week to hop the bus into the city.

Tradition also brings me into the city during UD’s gloriously long winter break, although I have to admit, I prefer spring break’s trip. That’s because the first thing my mom and I do when we arrive in the city is wait outside on line at TKTS for discounted tickets to a matinee Broadway show. And let me tell you, waiting outside in the morning during the winter in New York? Highly unpleasant. I’ve never been so convinced that I’m contracting and dying of hypothermia as when I’m waiting in that line in the dead of winter.

photo2-2Our trip last week, however, was a definite improvement on the winter version: warm, but not too warm, and with only a touch of rain which we somehow managed to avoid. After a serious internal debate over which show to choose (you would not believe how many amazing musicals and plays are on Broadway right now), we finally settled on A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, purchased our tickets, and made our customary Times Square Starbucks run. It was even warm enough to get an iced coffee, rather than a hot chocolate just to help feel my fingers again!

Now, here is where my mom and I stray from tradition a bit. One of my mom’s favourite churches in the city is St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and if you haven’t seen it, I (as someone who has toured it enough times that I’d need a third hand to keep count) would highly recommend walking through sometime. However, St. Pat’s is undergoing restoration right now, and we came across the Church of St. Mary the Virgin and chose to explore that instead; founded in 1868, the Church is home to some amazing artwork and an astounding sense of history.

photo3-2After we finished our tour of St. Mary’s, my mom mentioned she knew of a historic tour through Radio City Music Hall (is it obvious yet from whom I inherited my nerdiness?). Radio City is another building full of artwork and history I knew nothing about before that tour; my favourite fun fact is definitely the fact that even the carpets have deliberately designed patterns (abstract art musical instruments!).

Gentleman’s Guide, which we saw after a delicious lunch at Café Metro, is a wonderfully witty musical that follows Montague Navarro as he tries to kill off the eight other people in line before him for the place as the Earl of Highhurst. That doesn’t necessarily sound like it would be funny, but trust me, it was; Gentleman’s Guide has all the charm of a live, singing version of Clue, with the murderer as the star. It’s fair to say that this Gentlewoman’s Guide to a Jaunt in New York was easily the highlight of her (read, my) spring break!

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