186 South College

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

Month: September 2014 (page 1 of 2)

Is It Chivalry? Or Equality?

I recently had a conversation with my friend about whether or not chivalry is dead in our society, and I really didn’t know what side to take on the argument. Maybe chivalry is dead and men should make more of an effort to be kind to the women in their lives. But doesn’t that present women as submissive and in need of a man’s help? A woman should not rely on a man to do what she can do for herself; she should be strong and independent. I went back and forth in my mind and finally came to the realization that maybe we are looking at the question from the wrong angle. Maybe instead of seeing chivalry as a man putting his romantic partner first, we should look at it as people simply being nice to each other.

Let me fill you in on my thought process. I have a boyfriend, and I love when he does things for me that are deemed “chivalrous.” This might mean that he holds a door open for me or he gives me his jacket when I am cold, all of those mushy gushy romantic clichés. However, what I appreciate about our relationship is that he doesn’t stop me from doing those same chivalrous actions for him. He can hold a door open for me, and I can hold the next door open for him. To me, it isn’t chivalry. It is being a kind human being. We need to stop looking at chivalry from such a stereotypical viewpoint and instead add some gender equality to it! A woman can be chivalrous; it is not a job reserved for only men.

Our idea of chivalry must change in order to create a better society. If boys are taught as they grow up that women are trophies to hold by their side and take care of, we are just supporting the idea of a male-dominated society. Women constitute half of the world’s population, so we must be treated as equals to men. A society that supports such stereotypical terms also creates a space in which issues such as domestic violence can exist. Think about it – the norm is that men are supposed to take care of women. Therefore, women are seen as submissive and basically the property of a man. If a woman is then seen as the property of a man, he can do whatever he pleases to her without any backfire. The woman then would have no way to reach out for help because the man is seen as “chivalrous” for “taking care of her” and she is his crazy wife/property. Sadly, this is the reality of many people in violent relationships in today’s society.

So, the next time someone asks you what ever happened to chivalry, say that it isn’t dead; it’s called equality. It’s called helping a fellow human being out for a change. It’s called being a nice person. Do not let gender roles and stereotypes prevail in today’s society. It is an issue that affects everyone, and we must work together to put an end to this gender discrimination.


~Heather Brody

Tiny Triumphs

When I was a little kid, I had a lot of serious aspirations. For a while, I wanted to be a mermaid when I grew up. Then a babysitter. Then a professional soccer player. Then the lead guitarist for a super popular girl band. Then a surgeon. Then a fashion magazine editor.

Turns out that it’s basically impossible to become a mythological creature and then make some kind of career out of that. It’s also pretty difficult to get paid for playing professional women’s soccer. If you’ve never had a guitar lesson, girl bands are out of the question. Performing surgery means spending a really, really, really long time in school. And the fashion industry is for people who value clothes above literally everything else.

I am a certified babysitter, however, so cheers to that.

I’ve been thinking a lot about these aspirations lately, these lofty goals that I didn’t quite accomplish. As a college student, I still have a few aspirations, a few goals that might be a bit far fetched. But I’ve also come to the realization that every dream you have as a kid doesn’t always come true. You can’t live in the ocean, attend hours of soccer practice, have a top 40 hit, attach limbs, and bring flannel back all in one lifetime.

Sometimes you have to make choices and prioritize the accomplishments that are most important to you. Sometimes you have to find a balance between your dreams and your reality.

I am in the process of trying to find this balance, deciding how I am going to enjoy my last four semesters of college while simultaneously working towards my future dreams. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the minute accomplishments, the tiny triumphs, are incredibly important in my everyday life. Little things like completing a 5K, stealing high quality apples from the dining hall, making a funny Facebook status- these little things remind me that I have a pretty fantastic life. There are a lot of things to be happy about. And if I really think about it, all of my childhood dreams involved happiness. I shouldn’t feel this undue pressure to become the person I thought I would become at the age of 18. I should enjoy a run with nuns or a club baseball game or a Panera dinner date with my best friend.

Besides, I’ve swum in the ocean. I’ve played a soccer game in a professional stadium. I’ve learned two chords on the guitar. I’ve worked at a Federally Qualified Health Center. I’ve been to a casting at Teen Vogue. And most importantly, I’ve been a babysitter for seven years. I’ve got nothing to worry about.

It turns out fashion was never really meant to be part of the Dugans' destiny!

It turns out fashion was never really meant to be part of the Dugans’ destiny!

~Erin Dugan

Running with Nuns

On an overcast Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I participated in a 5K race that yes, involved nuns. Specifically, it was the Nun Run, a race that occurs to benefit the Jeanne Jugan home, which is a residential facility for the elderly in Newark. I went with the Catholic Campus Ministry who bussed over 100 students to run. And yes, the nuns do actually participate in the race.

I ran in the Nun Run two years ago, as a freshman, and I was excited to get to participate again. The free shirts that they give out are quite snazzy and its always fun to tell people that I have run in a race with nuns. This year, I gave myself two goals for the Nun Run: to not come in last place and to get a picture with a nun.

I always have many distinct emotions when signing up for and running a 5K. I start off by feeling quite good about myself when I register for the event. I mean, what better motivation to get in shape than having to run 3.1 miles in public? So, I sign up and think about all of the ways that I am going to train. But unfortunately, all I do is think about training. That’s right, I don’t actually do it.

So, race day rolled around and I was nauseatingly unprepared. It was 6:45am and I was questioning my sanity for signing up to run 3.1 miles at this hour on a Saturday. But of course, once I got to the race location, warmed up and got my free t-shirt (it was purple this year), I was feeling much better about my decision.

The race got off to a good start. It was a beautiful morning to run and I felt great about exercising at such an early hour. However, around mile 2.3, things started to get rough; I was feeling the burn with each step. As I started to slow down, I passed one of the home’s residents who was walking the race course. And I thought, if this elderly man can walk a 5K with a walker, then I most certainly could complete this race. So I did. One foot in front of the other, I made it to the finish line. And, I did not come in last; I actually finished in the top 23% of the runners. Not bad for not having run a 5K in almost 2 years.

So that was one goal complete, and as you can tell from the picture below, my second goal was accomplished as well (getting the picture was far easier). As much as I dislike some aspects of running a 5K, the feeling of accomplishment after completing it is unbeatable. I could barely walk, but I felt as if I could conquer the world. I will undoubtedly participate in the 2015 Nun Run and I vow to actually train for it; you can hold me to that!

~Rebecca Jaeger

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

Nightmare on Haines Street

When I reflect upon my last three years as a member of the UD Honors program, my favorite memories and the best experiences all revolve around my freshman floor. Like all freshman floors, Russell D2 was filled with music, laughter, and the altogether too-frequent late night binges of Freddy’s. It was a place where friendships thrived, where romance blossomed (and then died…and then blossomed again), and where 35 bright-eyed and bushy-tailed freshman were able to call UD their home for the first time.

More so than anything else, though, D2 could be summed up by one word: competitive.

Now, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t all love each other and have fun. We just had fun being the best: our athletes were the strongest, our scientists were the smartest, and our musicians and performers were the most talented. That was all put to the test, however, by the biggest (and admittedly, only) major floor-decorating contest of freshman year: the Halloween contest.

Coming off from a crushing defeat at the Russell Olympics in September (which was entirely due to the fact that A1 cheated at both the balloon-shaving competition AND the ninja game-ask anyone who was there, it’s true), we knew we had a lot to prove. We decided on a live performance, taking the judges on a wild ride through the blood-splattered halls of the D2 crime scene. As the chief detective escorted the judges down the hall, past the disemboweled and mutilated corpses of D2 residents, they were exposed to just about every person from our floor. We were scientists, guards, murder victims, police officers, and patients in an insane asylum, and between the gore, mayhem, and hello kitty stickers (the most terrifying of all the decorations, in my opinion) we gave the judges a fright they’d never forget.

By far the best part of our performance that day, however, was the fact that everyone banded together and had a role to play. As with any group of barely-legal teenagers packed together in close quarters and forced to share a grand total of 6 bathrooms, not everyone on my floor became lifelong friends. Different groups emerged, friendships formed, and occasionally, personalities clashed. Yet, this competition crossed every divide and united us all for a common goal. Regardless of who we hung out with on a Saturday night, we were all one unified floor. Whether it be the blood-soaked (read: ketchup) murder victim sprawled out on the floor, the forensic scientist diligently studying evidence (read: glowsticks) from the murders, or the dashingly handsome, daringly clever, and brilliantly-acted guard to the insane asylum that just happens to write for the Honors blog (read: definitely not me or anything), everyone was able to be heard, and everyone’s talents were valued.

Although many of us have gone our separate ways by now, I’ll always look back fondly on that Halloween decoration contest freshman year. It was the first real challenge that brought the floor together, and it was the start of lifelong friendships. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to college.

(also, we wiped the floor with A1. #revenge)

A first place award and a first rate memory.

A first place award and a first rate memory.

~Brian Eiermann

It’s the Best of Both Worlds

While I was reading Heather Brody’s post, I couldn’t help but think of my freshman experience.  It took me awhile to figure out how to live in a college environment, and at times I wondered if I made the right choice by coming to UD.  But looking back on all of the experiences and opportunities that I have been exposed to as a Blue Hen, I know that I made the correct choice.  When people ask me what it was about UD that made me pick it, I usually tell them the same thing: for me, UD is the perfect combination of large and small.  What I mean is that UD has all of the perks and opportunities of a big school as well as a little one.

At over 17,000 undergraduate students, it is safe to assume that UD is a big university.  And with that classification comes certain perks.

  • Familiarity: When I tell people where I go to school, people recognize the name and have actually heard of it.
  • Famous Alumni: The Vice President, Joe Flacco, Chris Christie, and Elena Delle Donne are just some of the famous public figures that have called UD home.
  • Research Opportunities: Undergraduate research is a great opportunity for students to apply their knowledge, and with 75 research centers, UD has plenty of opportunities.
  • Sports: Our football team has on multiple occasions made it to the Division I-AA championship game.  Our basketball team made it to the March Madness tournament last year.  You want top notch sports?  We have them here.

But UD also has many of the benefits of a small school, and this is due, at least for me, because of the Honors Program.

  • Familiarity: With most Honors classes capped at about 30 students, Honors professors are able to get to know students and develop lasting relationships.
  • Fellows: Munson Fellows help build healthy and connected communities in freshman residence halls, and Senior Fellows continue this for upperclassmen residence halls.  And Writing Fellows work with first-year students to improve writing skills.
  • Events: The Honors Program plans TONS of awesome events both on and off campus, and they cover a wide range of interests.
  • High Quality Education: UD gives its students an excellent education, and the Honors Program does that and more.  Your Honors classes will make you work harder, but you will get so much out of them, and graduating from UD with an Honors degree definitely says something in the job market.

So, what I’m trying to say is that when it comes to colleges, UD is the best of both worlds (no, not the Hannah Montana theme song).  As an Honors student, you will have all of the positive aspects of a large university, but you will also have that small school feeling because of your involvement in the Honors Program.  When I first came to UD, I was not aware of this.  But now, I have really come to appreciate the uniqueness of the university, and I intend on getting as much as I can out of my college experience!

Don't these nifty nerds look like the best people ever?! (Spoiler alert: they are!!)

Don’t these nifty nerds look like the best people ever?!    (Spoiler alert: they are!!)

~Scott Eisenhart

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