186 South College

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

Tag: enrichment (page 1 of 2)

Upside Down Hammering and Other Stories by Emily Fudge

This past winter session I vowed not to die of boredom. All of my friends were either at UD, studying abroad, or working. I, on the other hand, was doing a whole lot of nothing. Worried that I would wither away into a pile of dust like I (almost) did last year, I wanted to find a meaningful way to spend my time.

Alpha Phi Omega (APO), the co-ed community service fraternity of which I am a brother, provided me a ticket out of the dust pan. Every winter, they offer a service trip with Habitat for Humanity to brothers during the last week of winter session. This was my chance to serve a community while meeting and bonding with other brothers in the chapter. Being a newly initiated brother, I was anxious and nervous to expand my reach in the chapter and meet some new people.

At first, I was hesitant to sign on. I wasn’t sure how comfortable I felt spending a week with people I did not know in an unfamiliar place. Spending eight hours in a car ride to North Carolina with six strangers isn’t exactly my idea of a fun time. Nevertheless, I gave myself a pep talk and submitted the application.

Every morning the thirteen of us would wake up at 6:45 am, get dressed, eat breakfast together, and head out to the work site by 7:30 am. There is something about eating breakfast all together that makes any place feel like home. Some of my favorite memories from the trip include the battle to fight morning crankiness together by knocking back some coffee and scraping our cereal bowls. We would work from 7:30 am-11:30 am, go back to eat lunch, return to the work site at 12:30 pm and finish at 3 pm. Different community groups and members volunteered to make us dinner. The rest of the day was ours to sleep, play games, adventure around, and most importantly, go to a fast food chain called Cook-Out for $3 milkshakes.

Before I go any further, I must make a disclaimer. Though slightly tangential to the image of service I am painting, I must say that just because you are in “the South” does NOT mean the weather is warmer. The temperature stayed in a consistent frigid realm of 30 degrees the whole time, making it colder in North Carolina on most days than it was back at UD. Wearing four pairs of pants, three shirts, two jackets, a hat, gloves, wool socks, and work boots, my fellow volunteers and I dressed work site chic and braved the elements to continue building the house.

With only the basic framework done, we were working with some pretty bare bones. My friend Alyssa and I found ourselves working on the scaffolding close to the roof to hammer some planks of wood to the frame for support. Before this trip, I could count the number of times I have wielded a hammer on one hand. It took us an excruciatingly long (and embarrassing) 45 minutes to put up one piece of wood. We definitely would’ve been fired – effective immediately. I’ll never know if our struggle was noticed or if people needed jobs, but thankfully other crew members began to help us out. Through the power of teamwork we put up the rest of the boards by lunch. I learned that I am very skilled at “upside-down hammering,” a skill which I am sure will come in handy in the immediate future. It’s going to take my resume to the next level, for sure.

Throughout the week, two other APO volunteers and I worked on building a back porch with a Habitat site leader names Mike. If you ever meet a Habitat for Humanity Construction Supervisor in Winston-Salem, North Carolina named Mike, consider yourself extremely lucky. We basically built the deck from scratch and, as you probably guessed, had no clue what to do. Mike led us through each step with patience, understanding, and purpose. He never got annoyed or frustrated with us or the project. Mike truly cared about each project and person that he interacted with. A soft-spoken Southerner, he reminded us that there is “always a chance to be kind, especially since there is so much hatred and violence in the world.”

Unfortunately, we were one railing short of finishing the deck. My heart sank knowing that we wouldn’t be able to see our project through to the end, but I feel honored to have had the chance to contribute to the deserving family that will eventually inhabit the house.

Not only did I learn a lot about the power of helping others on this trip, but I also learned about myself. My life was put into perspective and I have been trying to place some valuable pieces of this knowledge into my daily life going forward. I aspire to serve others every day, both in my personal and professional life. It is empowering to join with others who care; there is always a place in the world for learning together, laughing together, and the warm embrace of a caring community.

There are so many service opportunities here at UD! On February 24 I plan to engage in the MLK Day of Service sponsored by ResLife. I encourage you to look into different service trips and projects including: ResLife, the Honors Program, UDAB, Greek life, and any other RSO on campus!

“Internships 101” by Avery Beer

To put it simply: finding an internship is TOUGH, especially when you’re applying to competitive companies that look at thousands of applicants for one position. However, internships are important: they help you narrow down what you would like to do post-graduation, they help you make connections, and they help you realize your strengths and weaknesses. However, actually obtaining one can be difficult, so I I am going to share my personal tips and tricks for scoring an internship experience for you! 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.

“Officially a Writing Fellow” by Amanda Langell

In addition to becoming an editor for 186 South College, I am also officially a Writing Fellow this semester. I remember sitting in my E110 class on my first day of college three years ago and meeting my assigned Writing Fellow for the first time. She explained what the program was, how we could all benefit from it, and finally how she was going to help us adapt to collegiate writing. As soon as she was done speaking, I knew I wanted to join the program. As a double major in English and History, writing has always been my utmost passion and when I found out the Honors Program employed students to help others become better writers, I was itching to sign-up. Continue reading

Horseshoe Crab Happenings by Audrey Ostroski

This past summer, I volunteered in Dr. Danielle Dixson’s marine science laboratory on the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Delaware. The lab is studying how different types and concentrations of sunscreens affect the behavior and survival of horseshoe crab larvae. This study is important because horseshoe crabs, as a keystone species, are an integral part of the Delaware Bay.  As a keystone species, horseshoe crabs are connected to every part of the ecosystem – even humans. Most famously, they are known for their unique blood and the large amounts of eggs they lay. These eggs become food for the red knot, a shorebird that loses much of its body weight as it flies non-stop from South America to Delaware’s shores, where it bulks up again for the second half of its journey to the Arctic. Horseshoe crab blood contains a special protein that acts as the crab’s immune system because it clots around micro bacteria. The protein is called limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) and scientists have developed a way to utilize it for the benefit of humans. Everything that goes into the human body, such as needles, pacemakers, and hip replacements, is tested with LAL to ensure it has been properly sterilized.  

We should examine how human activity affects the environment for practical purposes, such as ensuring we have access to LAL, as well as intrinsic purposes, such as ensuring the red knots have a means of survival.  Ashley Barnett, a student working on the project, explains that, “The overlapping timing of the tourist season with horseshoe crab spawning aggregations [which is May through July] leaves the shallow sand-buried egg clutches exposed to a variety of anthropogenic pollutants, including sunscreen.”  We have a responsibility to look at how we influence our environment and try to find a solution to the problems we create.  As part of its work, the Dixson team is working to determine the sunscreen that causes the least amount of harm to horseshoe crab larvae.  The team is still analyzing its data, so the results of the study are still unknown, but the team hopes to publish its work.

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