186 South College

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

Month: March 2016 (page 1 of 2)

The Quizzo Quest by: Anne Grae Martin

Ever since coming to UD, I have wanted to participate in Quizzo. For those of you who don’t know, Quizzo is like group Jeopardy: you get a team and collectively answer trivia questions. The team who gets the most right wins a prize. It’s really not that hard to do, but for some reason I have never done it. Seeing as I have three semesters left here, I have made it my goal to do Quizzo before I graduate. But I do not just want to show up and answer questions and have fun with my friends. I want to win.

I told my roommates my goal for this semester and they all said they were on board. Thus begins our journey. We are all competitive people, so we have decided to begin our training now so that when we finally get to Quizzo, we will crush the competition. Our training includes watching Jeopardy every night while we’re eating dinner, doing timed basic knowledge trivia (for example: list all the states in under 6 minutes), and brushing up on other obscure facts. When we sell the movie rights for our Quizzo Quest, this scene will be a montage and it will be set to “Eye of the Tiger.” We are not messing around.

As of yet, we have not made it to a round of Quizzo. One thing leads to another and we just end up missing another week. For example, last week about half the team had UDAB meetings or Mock Trial meetings or Students for the Environment meetings. Even though we wanted to go do trivia, we had a loyalty to our clubs that overshadowed our Quest momentarily. Then another week we all went to SCPAB’s Betty Who concert in Mitchell Hall. It was so cool to see one of all of our favorite singers in such an intimate setting (another perk was seeing our fellow UDHP classmate, Marielle Kraft, performing as the opener to Betty Who). I hope that when we eventually make it to Quizzo we encounter a Slumdog Millionaire type of deal where all the questions are about Betty Who and the environment. This won’t actually happen, but in the movie version it will.

In our Quest to be Quizzo champs, we will not let life get in the way. In fact, by going out and getting involved on campus we are gaining more knowledge for our eventual Quizzo domination. And even if we aren’t the best team, at least we will have had fun getting there.

~Anne Grae

The Everything Major: In Defense of Communications by Kelly Myers

I love a good everything bagel. In my experienced opinion, they are the most versatile flavor in the world of breakfast breads. Whether smeared with veggie, lox, or plain cream cheese, you can never go wrong with the timelessly savory taste of the everything bagel.

What draws me to the everything bagel happens to be similar to what draws me to my beloved major: Communications. My major is often viewed as stereotypically “insubstantial” and so unfocused that nothing can be achieved with it post-graduation. However, upon my arrival at Delaware, I immediately fell in love with communications, for I found it to be everything that is starkly substantive and focused. Communications here is intense, well-rounded, and highly competitive, which is hardly what anyone expects from it. Whenever I tell any new friend that I am studying communications, I am, without fail, met with the age-old question of “oh, so what are you going to do with that?” Frequently intonated as a curiosity, I know this question to be nothing more than a thinly veiled (albeit usually accidental) criticism from someone who knows that are going to specifically molecularly engineer new limbs for amputees or start the next greatest investment firm. I don’t blame the science or business majors; I blame the “Communications Stigma.”

When asked what I plan for my Communications future, the best and easiest answer to give is “everything.” With a degree in communications, I can go into sales, marketing, advertising, business (whether big or small), media design, art, politics, law, or all of the above. Communications, as opposed a business or art major, is a way to come out of graduation with a large amount of experience in what seems like multiple different majors, because I can’t seem to choose just one. Much like my everything bagel, there are many different flavors and options in our personalized experience, so that we can come out of college with any and all experience needed for a particular “niche” career. We have the ability to tailor our education to whatever we are interested in, from business to design, without compromising the wholeness of a thorough education.

Again, I don’t blame anyone who is clueless to all my major entails; communications majors are often the metaphorical “stage crew” of a production. For example, an engineer develops a robot, but it must then somehow get to the consumer base that it was engineered for. This is where the communications majors come in. We market the robot, give it a name, set up social media accounts for the engineering company, write press releases and reports, and even handle patents. While most credit goes to the engineering company in the end, communications majors don’t mind, for as they are sitting on the sidelines, they know that both majors involved have performed hard work to get the robot to where it is.

I’ll eat a plain bagel if I have to, or even get fancy with a cinnamon-sugar swirl. However, in the end, I will always go back to the versatility of everything bagels. I prefer freedom to customize my bagel experience, or rather, “Choose My Own Adventure.” This is what makes the communications major the Everything Major. Simply a business, marketing, or art major is perfect for someone who has a specific and “cinnamon-sugar career” in mind, but I am going to need multiple layers of cream cheese to end up with exactly what I want out of my bagel experience.

Going Abroad: Exploring a New Place or a Journey Within Myself?

When I first applied to study abroad for winter session 2016, I didn’t really think too hard about it. Going abroad was something everyone seemed to recommend and I figured, ‘why not? – It would be a neat resume builder.’ Throughout the whole process, from applying, to the final pre-trip meeting, it never actually felt like I was going to Fiji. We talked about it all the time, but the reality didn’t sink in until it was the day of departure. Even then, once it was real, I did not expect to come back feeling completely different about the world around me.

I give the power of words a lot of credit, but my trip to Fiji is something I struggle to detail. Secondhand explanations just can’t do it justice. I fell in love with a culture that was just what I needed. I fell in love with the traditional song and dance, with “Fiji Time”, with the complete openness and welcoming nature of the Fijians. Of course it was beautiful, it’s Fiji, but I got so much out of being there besides pretty pictures (especially since my phone was stolen and I lost a good amount of them). Being fully immersed in a way of life so different from my own with a new group of people all unlike me, I learned a lot about who exactly “Maddy Williams” really is.

Fiji in all its natural beauty

Fiji in all its natural beauty

The best way to explain this is with an anecdote: The day I went to swim with sharks. No one else in my group wanted to come with me, but I decided to go forward and do it anyway. I woke up early the morning of to catch a bus traveling a city away. These buses were open to the air with no window panes and full of Fijians staring at me, not used to seeing white tourists take the local transportation. From the next city I took another bus to another city and from there a boat to another island completely. I did my thing, swam with some sharks, and took the return trip all over again. All in the entire trip took all day. I was nervous to take this journey by myself, especially since I don’t even regularly take the buses here on campus. But after it was over? I was so proud of myself for doing something I really wanted to do. I didn’t compromise and miss this once in a lifetime opportunity simply because no one wanted to come. I really came out of my shell, both talking to people on the bus and making friends on the island. I do not regret one second of the excursion.

Now that I am back here on good ole ‘Merican soil, I find myself thinking differently. I miss Fiji and the friends I made there. I think about how my actions and the actions of my country affect the world at large. I feel more mature and sure of myself. Trust me when I say this; studying abroad was one of the best things I have ever done. My experiences will stay with me the rest of my life and it comes highly recommended.

~Madeline Williams

Things College Doesn’t Teach You: The First Installment

The first day of freshman year, I learned that wearing an official University of Delaware lanyard around your neck is a serious social faux pas.

I remember leaving my dorm room in a burst of false confidence, empowered by the fact that I was no longer required to wear a 100% polyester school uniform, inspired by the singing omelet-maker in the Russell dining hall, excited for the prospect of basking in professorial intelligence with one hundred other co-eds.

As I crossed Academy Street at the peak of morning pedestrian traffic, someone behind me muttered “Freshman are so painful sometimes, walking around with their lanyards hanging out. Like, just stop.”

I discreetly ripped the lanyard off of my neck and shoved it into my pocket.

“How to avoid blatantly advertising your first year status” was the first big lesson I learned in college. And it was followed by a series of equally important lessons.

How to make a dining hall salad edible.
How to subtweet.
How to write a 20 page research paper on the media’s sexist depictions of Hillary Clinton and its influence on her overall public narrative.
How to become addicted to Dunkin Donuts pumpkin swirl coffee.
How to use a sledge hammer.
How to sleep in a room without air conditioning.
How to prevent New Jersey stereotypes from influencing your friendships.
How to wear Sperry’s.
How to heal blisters caused by Sperry’s.
How to pretend you know what you are doing when you order your first cheesesteak.
How to pull an all-nighter.
How to remain calm during class registration.
How to make a second home that’s 2,109 miles from your first.

College has taught me a lot. The list could go on. But as I near the end of my undergraduate career, I’ve also come to the conclusion that there are things that I haven’t learned in college, things that I could never have learned in college, simply because I was too caught up in learning the stuff that felt required, the stuff that made all of this possible.

It’s funny how when you take a minute to look up from your day planner and close the mental file cabinet of color coded stressors, you realize that you might have missed some big lessons in the past four years.

Freshman year Erin. Yours truly has come a long way.

Freshman year Erin. Yours truly has come a long way.

So for the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about the things that I didn’t learn in college. The “how-to’s” of this messy thing that can only be described as “real life”. The essential wisdom I wish I had recognized earlier. The stuff that I missed along the way.

I’ve learned a lot in the past seven semesters. But the biggest lesson that I have learned is that school can’t teach you everything. Part of this whole “learning” thing is about you.

~Erin Dugan

Setting Sail on the Disney Dream by Amanda Langell

I am deathly afraid of water. If I am at the beach, I make sure to stay an obnoxious distance away from the ocean. If I’m feeling particularly brave on the day, I’ll plant myself right where the tide recedes, only letting the tips of my toes get wet. I always stay behind as I watch my friends gallivant in the giant waves behind my favorite pair of sunglasses with a book in my hands. I am perfectly fine with the only water in my life being out of a bottle or from a showerhead. Nothing tragic ever happened to me to condone this irrational fear in my eighteen years alive (however, experiences in past lives are unaccounted for), so my mom did not think twice when she surprised us with a Disney Cruise for Christmas.

Another crucial bit of my life—my family has an unhealthy obsession with Disney World and we travel there at least twice a year. I am always looking for any excuse to dive into the magic, but the magic is always on land. My older brother, forever helpful and supportive, told me to “get over it” because we were docking in the Bahamas at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. I couldn’t exactly complain, because come on, it is a Disney Cruise.  I swallowed my rambling thoughts, quelled the nerves swirling around my heart at thought of being surrounded only by an endless sea, and packed my suitcase of summer clothes despite just having a snow storm in New York.

The ship was extravagantly beautiful, from the gigantic twisting staircase and the hanging gold chandelier in the lobby to the highest deck with the Mickey-shaped swimming pools. The vast array of restaurants all eager to serve free and unlimited food was also incredibly enticing. After an hour aboard and several meet and greets with Goofy, Minnie, and Daisy, I completely forgot about my paralyzing fear. The atmosphere was so hypnotic that the lapping waves did not enter my mind once. My first day was full of melting ice cream cones, animated paintings that actually moved, and plays that were Broadway-caliber. I was blissfully happy, void of any worries.

The ache in my chest didn’t return until we were getting ready to disembark at Castaway Cay. I didn’t want to be a bore—after all I was on vacation—but I was resolute in my decision not to wade into the foreign waters despite the protests from my sister. It wasn’t until I had taken in the picturesque scene around me that I felt the shift within myself. There are a few times in life when you experience a rare moment of complete clarity, and seeing the perfect, wave less, turquoise water in front of me was like waking up from a long and overplayed dream. I wasn’t going to sink to my death when my feet could touch the wet sand below; I was going to be fine and more importantly, I was going to have fun. Needless to say, I got over my fear pretty quickly.

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