186 South College

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

Month: November 2014

Slut-Shaming Celebrities

I have never been much of a Taylor Swift fan. This was partially because I was never a big fan of country music in general. Another reason was that her songs tended to have a clear theme: relationships. Swift has been criticized throughout her career as a country artist for dating tons of guys and then writing songs about them once their relationship is over. This used to bother me. However, I now see how wrong I was to judge her. It is her life, and she should be able to date whomever she wants without criticism. Why should it matter how many men she has dated or whether she writes her songs about them? She has the right to express her feelings through her art and to explore her sexuality without public scrutiny.

Along with this epiphany came the realization that women get criticized more than men do for their dating life. When a male celebrity goes on dates with different girls, no one seems to notice. It is just accepted as the norm. However, when a female celebrity does the same, her face is in all the magazines and people are appalled at her involvement in the dating scene. Why should men be able to explore their sexuality, while women can’t? Why should Miley Cyrus be ostracized for her famous 2013 VMA performance of “Blurred Lines,” while Robin Thicke isn’t? He took part in the over-sexualized performance as much as she did; it takes two to tango! And he is the one who wrote the song “Blurred Lines,” which includes language that supports rape culture in our society. Shouldn’t he be the one that people think is crazy, not Miley?

I think that society is still so obsessed with the idea that women are supposed to be pure and innocent, that they forget how restricting this is on women. People hold us to such a high standard, and if we do one little thing that may conflict with this view, we are immediately called demeaning names and looked down on by society. Now, I’m not saying that everyone holds women to these standards or treats them so horribly. Of course there are plenty of kind, sane people in this world! However, I do think that a good portion of society just can’t let go of the perfect housewife, Virgin Mary image of women. Society needs to stop slut-shaming women and start accepting the fact that women are human beings, too.

Breakfast Club

~Heather Brody

Eat, Sleep, Drink, and Other Tips to Stay Healthy

Recently, America has been obsessed with news about Ebola, the West African virus that has taken close to 5,000 lives this year.  Several American healthcare workers have contracted the virus, and much of the nation’s focus is on preventing its spread.  However, in all seriousness, the chance of a major Ebola outbreak in the United States is pretty slim.  Americans are much more likely to be stricken by other, milder illnesses.  With that in mind, here are ten things that you can do to help defend yourself against illness.  Sure, they don’t sound like rocket science, but you would be very surprised at how many people fail to do these (and a point of clarification: I am not a doctor)

1)    Limit the amount of things you touch: Germs can and do live on every surface, so the more objects you touch, the more germs you come into contact with.  There are many opportunities for people to limit the amount of things they touch.  For instance, flush the toilet with your foot instead of your hands, or open bathroom doors with a paper towel instead of your hands.

2)    Drink plenty of water: While it is the time of the year for pumpkin spice lattes, consider drinking water instead.  Not only is staying hydrated a necessity, but water also helps to flush out any toxins in the body.

3)    Sleep: Probably one of the most difficult things for college students, sleep is very important for preventing illness because it allows for your immune system to recharge.  Additionally, if you do fall ill, your immune system works predominantly when you are asleep.

4)    Wash your hands: You have heard it since you were a baby, and yet I personally know many people who do not wash their hands…even after using the bathroom.  I feel extremely confident when I say that this tip is the EASIEST thing that an individual can do to improve their chances of not getting ill.

5)    Limit the amount of partying: Excessive partying can affect both your hydration levels as well as the amount of sleep that you get.  So yeah, last night might have been crazy, but you won’t be able to do it again for two weeks because you got sick.

6)    Cut back on the amount of sharing you do: This might sound bad, but especially during prime cold/flu season, be mindful of whom you share your things with.  Couples; it may be cute and adorable to share a milkshake with one straw, but do you know what isn’t cute?  Streptococcal pharyngitis, aka strep throat.

7)    Switch out coffee for tea: Coffee may be the drink of choice for many Americans, but there are some promising studies that suggest that tea may play a role in the prevention of illness.  Whether it be green, honey, or mint, embrace your inner Briton and enjoy some tea!

8)    Eat healthier: Mom always told me, “You are what you eat.”  So, if you eat greasy, fatty, sugary, unhealthy food…well, you can guess what you’ll be.  Healthy foods contain many vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that can help your body fend off any illnesses it encounters.

9)    Exercise: Not only does being active feel good, it helps to keep your body in tip-top, illness-fighting form.  Whether it be a stroll around the Green or an intense pickup game of basketball at the Little Bob, anything is better than nothing!

10) Cut back on the kissing: The human mouth is one of the dirtiest places in the world.  Harvard professor Sigmund Socransky noted that “In one mouth, the number of bacteria can easily exceed the number of people who live on Earth.”  And when you smooch your sweetheart, you are literally swapping both spit as well as germs. 

Good luck, and stay healthy!

Homer didn't listen to Scott's suggestions, and look at how much fun he's having.  Don't be like Homer: heed Scott's advice!

Homer didn’t listen to Scott’s suggestions, and look at how much fun he’s having. Don’t be like Homer: heed Scott’s advice!

~Scott Eisenhart

We’re Halfway There!

I can’t believe how quickly college is going. It seems like just yesterday that I was unloading my car outside of Russell B and strategically choosing which side of the z-shaped room to pick. I can still remember my first day of college when my entire floor went outside to play awkward ice-breakers on the Harrington Beach. We were the epitome of UD freshman….we wore blue lanyards around our necks, seemed hopelessly lost on campus, and did not stray from Russell Dining hall for at least a semester. It is incredible to look back and see how much we have grown up over the past two years.

Now that I am well into junior year, I am starting to think about internships, opportunities, and…dare I say it…the real world! I was reminded of the fact that my class is halfway done with college when I attended the General Honors Award ceremony this past weekend. The Honors Program rewarded all of the juniors that are halfway done with their honors degree. We all received a certificate on-stage and afterwards stayed for a short reception.

When the ceremony began, I was the first person in the entire class to receive my certificate (curse alphabetical order). Oh, and did I mention I am extremely clumsy? One time I fell off the chorus risers as I was walking to sing a solo version of Amazing Grace…it was the polar opposite of graceful. So at the ceremony when I was getting ready to receive my certificate, I was praying that I wouldn’t trip while walking up the stairs to shake hands with the Dean of my college. Luckily, I successfully completely the journey across the stage and back to my seat. The tune of “I’m Almost There” from the Princess and the Frog played faintly in my head. Yes, only I would make a Disney Princess reference about getting my Honors Award.

One of the best parts of the day was that we received formal recognition after our two years of course-work. Another great part was that the whole ceremony was a huge Russell reunion. I got to see so many people from my freshman floor, hear about their accomplishments, and celebrate our achievements together. We have come so far…but we still have a long way to go. It only makes me more excited to see what the next two years will hold!

Reuniting with some of the freshman floor!

Reuniting with some of the freshman floor!

~Amanda Abrom

The Joys of Registration

I love many things: my family, UDairy ice cream (especially All-Nighter), good romance novels and America to name a few. Another thing that is high on my list of loves is course registration. Yes, I am a huge fan of the magical weeks when courses are published and classes are chosen. There are four reasons why this season is my favorite of all.

1). The Anticipation. Towards the middle of the semester, life starts to look a little bleak. Classes and extracurricular activities are in full swing and weeks drag on in a blur of midterms, papers and presentations. At this point, the light at the end of the tunnel flickers dismally. It seems as if there is little to look forward to, that is, until courses for the next semester come out.

The Registrar’s Office never tells the students the date that courses will be available; rather, they quietly update the database and wait for Twitter to blow up with the exciting news. The thrill of hearing that courses have been released is only beaten by the nervous excitement of looking up what courses are being offered and at what times. I admit that this year I perused UD Courses Search while walking across campus, only lifting my head to avoid getting hit by cars or aggressive bicyclists.

2). The Challenge. After the initial elation of searching for courses and examining the offerings comes the inevitable planning of ones schedule. For me, this becomes a puzzle that I spend far too much time trying to solve. It’s fun to play around with the different courses that are offered trying to find a schedule that I deem ideal (early classes with time for a lunch break). Naturally, after I find that schedule, I continue to make countless other options, just in case.

3). The Adrenaline. Now for the actual registration. This is the part that causes me the most anxiety. Will I get into UDSIS? Eventually. Will the system crash? Most likely. Will I get into the courses that I want? I sure hope so. These heart-pounding, palm-sweating moments are stressful, but completely worth it. There is such a sense of accomplishment after completing a schedule and being genuinely excited about the courses that I will be taking next semester. In a time where my current courses are cramming in assignments and information, it is a major relief to have something to look forward to.

Naturally, Rebecca's favorite website.

Naturally, Rebecca’s favorite website.

4). The Community. Never do I feel more like a UD student than on registration day. During registration, social media sites (especially Twitter) thrive as students make jokes and comments about their registration experiences. Reading about others’ experiences while I nervously wait to get into my classes not only makes me laugh, but also makes me realize that I am not alone in this adventure. It is fun to get to share what can be the struggle of registration with my fellow Blue Hens. In fact, I have never gotten more love (i.e. retweets and favorites) on Twitter than I did during registration last spring.

I can only hope everyone is as excited about registration as I am. And of course, may the odds be ever in your favor.

~Rebecca Jaeger

The young, the wild, and the apathetic

When I was a freshman in college, I did something remarkable.

I voted.

It was 2012, a ground breaking year in American politics. It was the year of the lingering Republican primary, the year of billion dollar fundraising, the year of Clint Eastwood talking to a chair, the year of Twitter, the year of not-quite-recovered economy and the 47%. I was 18. It was my year.

Unfortunately, not all of my peers mimicked this remarkable action. In fact, only about half of those ages 18-29 voted in the 2012 election. It was one of the best years for youth voter turnout in recent history. And only half of us sent in a ballot or set aside time in our day to stop by a polling station.

That’s pathetic. And before you tell me about all of the reasons that you didn’t vote on election day, about how you didn’t know where to register, about how you had an exam the next day, about how your vote doesn’t really matter because of the electoral college, let me tell you something:

People in other countries would give up everything to enjoy the privilege that you take for granted.

And before you tell me that I’m being dramatic, that one vote doesn’t really make a difference, that people in other countries would also give up everything to enjoy freedom of speech or religion or the press or even basic modern sanitation, let me tell you something else:

You’re right. One vote by itself doesn’t make a difference, and people in other countries do admire the lives of ordinary Americans. But many votes do make a difference. And part of the reason that we are blessed with clean water and air, with diversity and higher education, with research and technology, with flushing toilets and Reddit, is because of our strong, stable, representative government.

This representative government was not made on its own. It was not intended to function independently. It needs all of the votes that it can get, but in particular, it needs the votes of those of us with new ideas, those of us who are going to inherit this country and this earth. We must take it upon ourselves to participate. We must take it upon ourselves to register online, to obtain an absentee ballot, to make a trip to the polls. We must take it upon ourselves to demand representation, to elect officials that share our concerns about student debt, women’s health, gay marriage, the economy, and national security.

So for those of you who didn’t vote in 2012, I urge you to visit the polls on Tuesday. Because when it comes down to it, voting is a responsibility. Voting is a great way for our generation to ensure that our voice is heard. And finally, voting is remarkable. And shouldn’t we all strive to do something remarkable every 2 years or so?

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