186 South College

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

Tag: community (page 2 of 11)

“Imagine Anything” by Erin Jackson

Biology is one of my favorite subjects. A huge topic in biology is evolution, and one cornerstone of evolution is that it is a long, slow process – basically, we cannot genetically evolve as human beings in our lifetime. It takes mutations of our DNA to build up over generations via natural selection to come to the true meaning of biological evolution. We have the hard work and revolutionary ideas of Charles Darwin to thank for this idea that most students now take for granted.

Imagine Dragons is my favorite band, and their latest album released this summer is called Evolve. Two weeks ago, I saw Imagine Dragons perform in Philadelphia, and their lead singer, Dan Reynolds, made me want to throw away the biological ideals which I value so dearly and instead believe that we as individuals and as the human population can evolve during our lifetimes. Continue reading

42°F by Jenna Whiting

42°F

Oh, how I am so glad to see you, merciful white numbers,

Old friends who haven’t greeted me in a year,

Floating in the stark cerulean sky of the Weather Channel app

That I scroll through, standing next to my dorm window.

Finally, after the summer’s sun overstayed its welcome,

After its warmth encroached onto the calendar squares of October for far too long,

After I thought the humidity would never cease sticking to the streets and to me,

The feeling of fall is finally in full force.

42°F

The first time that you appear from your summer hibernation

Is a special day.

I can finally snap open my dorm wardrobe door

And squish the well-worn yarn of my well-loved sweaters between my fingers as I search for the day’s attire.

I can pull on my marshmallow coat and maybe, if I’m lucky enough for the wind to warrant such a treat,

I can wrap a cat’s-ear-soft scarf under my chin and nuzzle into its cloth.

The first emergence into the autumn air from the front doors of Redding,

My sweater and coat and scarf putting forth a valiant effort in the name of warmth,

Is one to be cherished.

Oxygen, cold and crisp as a Granny Smith, enters my nose and invigorates my lungs and mind.

I breathe deeply and cherish the scent of multi-hued leaves

That have erupted throughout campus, making UD’s scenery even more beautiful than before.

I can almost taste them in all their crunchy red and brown and yellow glory.

More deep breaths with each step on the red brick paths

As my hands protest the sudden change of climate,

And I bury them into the pockets that are permanently bitten out of my marshmallow coat.

42°F

One of your best traits is your trademark holiday:

Thanksgiving and its accompanying break from school

And family time and pumpkin pie and background-noise football

And the scent of stuffing filling the kitchen and the sparkling cider that is retrieved from the basement shelves,

And curling up in blankets on the couch in front of a movie, tea or hot chocolate steaming beside me.

42°F

Thank you for instigating the lighting of candles that pervade my house with the spicy scent of cinnamon,

The fire prancing around the wax like the reindeer that will land on the roof in a month.

“But wait, watch this,” says the fireplace, competing with the candles

That can’t hold a candle to the warmth and size of the wood-fueled inferno,

And the central heating provides a familiar whir as comfy air is pushed through the vents.

42°F

I trumpet your magnificence to anyone I can.

“You’re crazy,” they all say. “I love warm weather,” they all say.

Don’t pay attention to them, 42.

You’re the best.

60°F

But wait.

How dare you, Delaware.

I love you, but you’re such a liar, as you always are when it comes to weather.

The warmth is back again,

Not as much as before,

But still here.

But I shan’t worry,

Because the cold will soon return

And settle in

Like a bear in a cave ready to sleep.

“Embracing Colder Weather” by Lorraine Capenos

As we progress further into the year, with students’ minds swimming with thoughts about exams, holidays, and spring registration, the temperature outside is getting colder and darker. And admittedly, I used to be one of those people who absolutely could not stand the cold weather and became miserable every time I had to step outside into the cold, complaining and generally annoying everyone around me. But recently, I’ve started loving the cold weather. I enjoy going outside when it’s cold. And although winter will probably forever be my least favorite season, I have learned a couple things that have helped me learn to love—or at least tolerate—the colder weather. Continue reading

Freshman Food Fails by Liv Conlon

As expected, the newest additions to the Honors program are making great strides with the academic aspects of college. However, it’s the general feeding-oneself skill that seems to be a challenge. While you might think that Easy Mac or instant noodles would indeed be an “easy” and “instant” meal, you have yet to witness a particularly disgruntled freshman armed with a microwave and care package full of pre-packaged meals.

Easy Mac Started the Fire!

We open with a particularly interesting anecdote in which one of our own overlooked the importance of the great, universal solvent: water. Instead, she placed a plastic cup of DRY macaroni and POWDERED flavoring in the microwave expecting, two minutes later, to have a hot and EDIBLE dinner. Instead, smoke shot from the appliance with a vengeance, and the charred remains permeated the halls, much to the alarm of the other 600 unsuspecting students.  

Ramen Debacles

While Mac and Cheese was the near cause of the 2017 Redding burn down, ramen has proved itself to be a greater challenge. Thankfully, this brand of noodle seems to have a less severe failure consequence. A fifth floor student managed to successfully follow the package directions (including the correct amount of water) only to crash land the steaming bowl down the hall.  Based on witness accounts, his fall wasn’t much more graceful – featuring a Charlie Brown style crash, with limbs flailing.

I was lucky enough to witness one of my own floormate’s experience cooking for the first time with the classic chicken-flavored ramen and a skillet. The adventure had its complications almost immediately when my floormate couldn’t find a wooden spoon. He unwillingly remedied the situation with a plastic knife, much to his worry about melting the utensil to soup. As the flavoring packet wasn’t enough, he proceeded to dump a generous helping of tabasco into the boiling water and noodle mix. While this definitely added some heat to his dinner, it also set off a small tear gas explosion. Rather than letting all of this absorb into the noodle mix, he dumped the tabasco water down the drain and sprinkled his flavor packet on top. Mission accomplished…I guess?

In other non-noodle related news, an ambulance was nearly called for a student suffering from a poptart induced vomiting fit while another had a close call with a box of rotting fruit. Let’s hope we learn from our mistakes sooner rather than later.

For the Love of the Game by Carly Patent

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a new can of tennis balls, the momentary sense of amazement when hitting the perfect drop shot, the feeling of unraveling a tattered, highly discolored grip, the joy of holding up a single finger to signify that your opponent’s shot is out, or the pressure of a sudden death tie breaker. Over the past few weeks, I have come to realize that tennis is a game that I truly love, no pun intended!

I started playing tennis when I was five years old—about the same time when I decided that it was too scary to move up to a higher level in gymnastics. My mom had played tennis in college, and she encouraged me to give it a try since one of my friends was also planning on taking lessons. After my first lesson, I was thrilled that I could hit the ball by holding my racquet with just one hand and that my ball could reach the rafters in the indoor facility (although I later realized that you didn’t get any bonus points for hitting the ceiling). It was also quite promising that after each lesson, my parents allowed me to get a snack out of the vending machine—because who doesn’t feel the need to pig out after a successful workout?

In high school, tennis was not just a weekly activity. I joined my high school’s tennis team, which had been the goal of my short tennis career. With every tennis lesson that I took, every ball that I hit, and every brightly colored Nike hat that I purchased leading up to it, I believed that I was one step closer to achieving that goal. In my freshman year, I was fortunate to have made the varsity team, and as the years progressed, I continually rose up the ladder. The dreaded August pre-season practices, challenge matches, and nerve-wracking, gut-wrenching, nail-biting third sets were always overshadowed by the inside jokes among my teammates, the bagels after 7-0 wins, the apparel that we all could not wait to wear around school on match days, the end-of-season parties at my coach’s house, and the four varsity letters that I received.

During my senior year, I was paired with one of my best friends—the one with whom I had taken lessons when we were five years old—as my doubles partner. It was crazy to see how we had gone from little girls who pretended to play the guitar with our racquets to teenagers who could work together on the court and derive winning strategies. That year, for the first time in my school’s history, our team won the District Finals, sending us to Hershey to play in the PIAA Girls’ Tennis Championships. For us, this was an incredible achievement, celebrating not only our hard work throughout the season but our commitment to the game as well. Tennis was literally what we breathed, ate, and slept—in fact, our coach instructed us to picture hitting winners in our sleep. We were victorious in our first match in Hershey and advanced to the semi-final round. After an extensive three-set match, my doubles partner and I pulled out a grueling win! Unfortunately, our team lost 4-3. While it was upsetting to come so close to a state title, my time in Hershey encompassed my tennis career; I played with my best friend, my parents surprised me and watched me play since they previously had to hide behind bushes for all of my other matches upon my very strict orders, and I ended my high school career with a medal around my neck—in addition to new apparel!

At times, tennis had been a source of great frustration in my life. After I got back from states, I took a year off from playing the sport. It had been such a time-consuming and mentally challenging aspect of my life, so I decided that a break would be good for me to focus on other things. When I would pick up my brother from his tennis lessons, watching people hit would make me suddenly feel the need to text my coach and ask to set up a lesson, but for some reason, I could never get myself to send the message.

Ironically, during the past two summers, I worked at a day camp as a tennis specialist. I found that my job served as my passage back into tennis. I was on the court every day feeding balls, creating games, running drills, and modeling different shots. My summer life was always consumed with tennis, but what made this different was that it was noncompetitive.

Upon coming to the University of Delaware, I decided not to formally pursue tennis during my freshman year. I did, however, bring my racquet and a few cans of balls in hopes of just hitting around with some of my new friends—that was, if I could successfully navigate the campus to actually find the tennis courts, which I will embarrassingly admit, did not happen until this year.

I thought that I would most likely never play tennis for a team again.  But, my feeling changed earlier this year. Looking to get more involved on campus, I perused the list of different clubs and activities. I wanted something that fit my interests, would help me meet new people, and would be most importantly, fun. I stumbled upon Club Tennis on the list, and it brought back all of my amazing memories. After looking on their website, stalking their social media accounts—because what college student today does not possess FBI-worthy skills—and examining my schedule, I decided to do what any independent undergrad would do: I called my mom. Looking back on our phone conversation that day, my mom tells me that she was shocked that I even entertained the thought of Club Tennis, as she had been my source for guidance when my love of the game started to diminish. She encouraged me to go for it as I had nothing to lose.

I am so happy to say that after practicing my serve every day leading up to tryouts, trekking to the courts at Newark High School, and strategically coordinating my tennis skirts with my Nike hats, I am officially one of the newest members of the University of Delaware Club Tennis team! As I am writing this blog post, I have been on the team for exactly one month, and it has been one of the best months of my college career. Not only has tennis served as a form of exercise, but it has allowed me to strengthen my skills, enabled me to meet people and build friendships, escape the stresses of everyday life, and make me a more confident person. So, as the semester is still just beginning, I encourage you to use me as an example. Try to find something that will bring you as much joy as Club Tennis has for me. There are an infinite number of clubs, activities, and social events available to you. Don’t be afraid to take a risk, step out of your comfort zone, or rekindle a previous passion that you thought you had given up. After all, you may find that your “love” is out there waiting for you to uncover it!

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