186 South College

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

Month: October 2013 (page 2 of 6)

Time for Some Shameless Plugs

I’m going to rant about the weather for a second. COLD!

In all seriousness, though, I’m in the middle of Pearson for my Thursday office hours – Oral Communication Fellow for the win – as I write this/go on Buzzfeed (Anyone need help with a speech? A presentation? Not today? Okay…) and it is FREEZING right now.

NOTE: This is only the second day I’ve dealt with an empty office since officially starting up my Oral Communication Fellow hours. So, this whole “being alone” thing is actually somewhat rare for me.

But back to the current temperature: for the reader’s benefit, below is a selfie, taken while typing this blog, in my winter coat, huddling by my laptop.

Some in-between fall weather would be perfectly copacetic. Delaware seems to be all about extremes, though: it’s either warmer than usual or below average, with no middle ground. I heard on the news that it’s about ten degrees below normal today – not okay. Rant complete.

So, the point of this particular blog is not actually the frigidness of the outside air, but instead, theater! Insert applause here.

I wanted to be an actress when I was younger, and a small part of me still clings to that dream. I was the four-year-old who volunteered to be the “star” of her preschool Christmas pageant. My mom still has the home video – in wonderfully outdated VCR form – to prove it. (I sang “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” by myself as all the other preschool children behind me played the other reindeer. There are no words.)

So far, I’ve acted some in college. My favorite role to date would have to be a witch – specifically Witch #2 – in Macbeth during the spring semester of my freshman year. I got to pretend that I was possessed and insane, and got to say (part of) the infamous “Double double toil and trouble” speech. My face was even on a poster!

Anyway, it was a ridiculously fun role…and, thinking about it, Macbeth is an appropriate topic considering the rapidly-approaching witches/ghosts/ghouls holiday.

Speaking of E-52 (See what I did there?), there’s a student-run show in Pearson this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.! (I’m doing the hair and makeup for the production.)

Disclaimer: this is where the shameless plug part of this blog gets really shameless.

E-52 is putting on A Streetcar Named Desire this weekend! It’s that classic Tennessee Williams play where one of the main characters yells, “STELLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAA!” a lot. I explained this to my roommate in the exact same way when asked for a description of the show, and the whole “Stella” thing didn’t ring a bell for her. So, don’t worry if you don’t get the reference. To provide a more detailed account, as an audience member you will experience the following: comedic Southern drawls; actors eating real chicken wings onstage; poker games with a character named Pablo; and, oh, yeah, serious dramatic themes that will potentially make you cry at the play’s conclusion.

Stanley and Stella in E-52’s fall production of A Streetcar Named Desire

To wrap things up, recommendations from this post include: visiting the Oral Communication Fellows if you need help with a speech/presentation and seeing A Streetcar Named Desire this weekend.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by Hair & Makeup Artist, Theater Aficionado, and Public Speaking Tutor Caitlyn Goodhue.

Annoucement: Halloween Dance (We Came for a Good Time)

Because at the Honors Program, we work hard, but we play hard, too.

On November 1st, the UD Honors Program will host its annual Halloween Dance and costume contest.  Located in Bacchus Theater (in the basement of Perkins), the dance will feature live music provided by DJ Z, a yummy candy bar and create-your-own-cupcake station, and catered refreshments.  Winners for the costume contest will be judged in the following categories: Candy Themed, Scariest, Super Hero / Super Villain, Group, and Most Original.  Prizes will be awarded for winners!  Got any questions?  See the accompanying flyer.  Come on out for a night full of tricks, treats, and fun!

Taking Too Much On: Learning to Say “No” to Opportunities

UD students are engaged students. Some do research. Others partake in extra-curricular activities. Many work. Everyone owns an individual part of the university through their involvement.


However, students can get greedy. They may want more than one college experience. They want to make as many memories as possible.


It seems that I’m the type of student who falls into this category. I want more than one piece of UD- I want to live the full college experience! I stretch myself between three registered student organizations and two jobs. I have not one, not two, but five college “stories.” I’ve gotten exactly what I’ve signed up for.


But then, my activities ask for a part of me, and I can’t reciprocate. Can I edit seven articles to send to corporate? Can I make an outside improv opportunity to perform? Can I film on Thursday, during my roommate’s birthday dinner?


Sometimes, you have to say no. I’m learning that now. I’m learning that what I’ve taken for myself is sometimes too much.


Artistic rendering of “too much”

This is not a unique situation. Many of my friends experience similarly conflicted schedules. We complain about being overly-involved, asking if our professors get together and plan tests on the same day on purpose. We blame organizers for not spacing events out enough, conspiring that someone is out to get us.


The reality is, we’ve set up a schedule that is out to get itself. We must turn some things down, even if we want to be a part of it. We want to volunteer to help students apply to colleges. Of course we want to become a Peer Mentor- it’ll fit somewhere right?


Not always.


We must learn to treasure the opportunities we took. It’s okay to not apply to be a Writing Fellow! Enjoy being a tutor at the Writing Center. It’s ok to miss Ag day on South campus for a Frisbee tournament! Cherish the winning catch rather than ruminate on the missed UDairy. Love the moments you got in the first place.


We must also learn that there is no shame in saying no. Perhaps someone is afraid to turn down an opportunity for fear they might be seen as weak. There is pride in being able to balance a full load and shame in showing stress. This, however, is all self-imposed.


I am not weaker by turning down a producer’s part in an upcoming filming. I am not a bad student for crunching in a policy event report last minute. I am not a bad friend for not being able to get lunch because I need a nap.


We are not weaker students by saying no to opportunities. We are strong students with wonderful stories to tell as is. And while taking a lot on our plate might be our nature, it is not a requirement.


Learning to say no is part of growing as a college student, and boy are we growing.

~Shannon Poulsen


“In my life, I’ve loved them all.”

I’ve had a lot of trouble deciding to talk about in my first blog post. I wanted it to reflect all of the great times that I’ve had here, to accurately depict my UD story, but I had no idea where to start. It wasn’t until last week’s Homecoming game that I realized what one of the most integral, fundamental parts of that story is – one of the reasons that I came to UD and the first reason that I fell in love with this school: the UD Marching Band (UDMB).

When I started my college search I was pretty opposed to UD. My older sister went here before me and I wanted my own life outside of her shadow. She played clarinet in the marching band, so all throughout high school I would come down to visit her and watch their shows at the football games. Coming from a high school where marching band was an obligation, with 60 or so haphazard marchers with questionable talent and an all time low morale, seeing a band that was not only skilled but had such an apparent and contagious love for each other and for their school stuck with me throughout my college search. Ultimately, it was one of the main reasons that I decided to apply to (and later attend) UD.

My two years with the UDMB were incredible ones. For those that are unaware, the season begins a week before students return to campus, with grueling 8 AM-11 PM daily rehearsals in the intense August heat. Yet, throughout all of the sweat and exhaustion, there are never complaints (even when we faced tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes my freshman year!). The bonds formed during this time are invaluable; some of my closest friends are from the baritone section freshman year – including all five of my roommates.

Which brings me back to Homecoming.

In addition to all of the other Homecoming festivities, last week’s football game marked the arrival of the alumni band, a day to celebrate all former members of the UDMB, ranging from last year’s graduates to those that graduated forty years ago. Even forty years later, they still encapsulate the Fightin’ Blue Hen spirit and love for UD. It was with this incredible group of people that I was able to watch UD’s full show for the first time this season at postgame.

If you’ve never stuck around after a football game to catch the UDMB’s postgame show, you’re missing out on an unforgettable experience. The field is abuzz with energy and excitement, despite the band having been practicing and performing continuously for eight hours prior. As you watch all of their hard work and dedication come to beautiful fruition, you’ll find yourself mimicking them; you’ll stand a little taller, your chest out, your ribcage expanded, and your eyes shining with pride. For any prospective student or musician on campus, I highly recommend the UDMB. For me, my friends, and for everyone else that passes through the organization, the UDMB becomes your family, your sanctuary, your home. They will be with you whenever you need them, and in my life, I’ve loved them all.


“Hey…can I take your picture?”

“You’re, like… really busy this semester, right?”

I couldn’t help but laugh when these exact words left a friend of mine’s mouth the other day, for two reasons. The first, because who isn’t really busy this semester? It seems harder than ever to coordinate friend’s schedules for something as simple as lunch. The second, because I don’t think I’ve ever had a relaxing semester. As in, ever. But to keep busy is to keep focused, and that’s just the way I like it, so I’m not complaining.

One of the things that has been keeping me “like… really busy” this semester is my internship as content manager at the Office of Communications and Marketing. Content manager, in my case, means tweeting from @BlueHenSays, UD’s for students Twitter, and posting from its accompanying Facebook page, Blue Hen Says. I do that from the office (which is fun, saying “oh, yes, I’m just coming from the office”) in the middle of the day Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This wouldn’t be so exhausting if I wasn’t always thinking in “intern mode.” One of the most important parts of running the Blue Hen Says media is posting pictures and content of events and students across campus; basically, the idea is to give the student perspective of life at UD. A lot of times, this perspective comes in the form of pictures, like Spirit Stations in Trabant or the Banned Books event outside of Memorial (two of my favourite events I’ve covered so far).

But this constant need for pictures and content means I’m always thinking about my next post or tweet. Which means I’m grinding to a halt in the middle of streets, turning awkwardly the wrong way at the drop of a hat, or standing, poised, with my iPod, waiting for the light to shift just the right way as a guy walking behind me shouts, “Instagram!!”

Somehow, remembering at every moment to take a picture of the sky or campus if I think, “huh, that’s really pretty” gets to be rather exhausting… But the more interesting part is photographing people. When I starting photographing for Blue Hen Says, I just sort of blushed and murmured, “Can I take your picture?” to large groups of people at important events. Needless to say, it was a bit awkward initially, but isn’t it always when you take a picture of someone you don’t know? I’m pleased to say now I hardly bat a lash, HONY Style.

So far, the internship’s been a wonderful experience, even though it’s made me even more dependent than ever on social media, and I’m looking forward to the rest of my “like… really busy” semester.

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