Author: Chelsey Anne Rodowicz (page 1 of 2)

Student Night at the REP

Even our newest readers know, if nothing else, this about me: I’m a theatre buff. I am the “wait on line at TKTS in the winter cold to see a matinee, sit through rush hour traffic to catch a certain musical, act in just about anything” kind of theatre buff.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that one of my favourite events on campus is Student Theatre Night at the REP. Thanks to the Honors Program and our awesome free tickets program for some of the best events on campus, my friend Brian and I got to see Wit last Thursday. Any attempt to express how excited I was about this would do my feelings injustice; I have wanted to see Wit for over a year.

Student Night at the REP actually starts with a meet-and-greet the hour before. The theatre buys snacks and drinks, and all the students get to mill around and chat with each other. There are also a handful of raffles; it turned out to be my lucky night in more ways than one, because in addition to seeing an astounding production, I won at $25 gift card to Deer Park! As someone who doesn’t win raffles very often (and who is made a laughing stock twice a year at family occasions that merit playing seemingly endless games of Bingo), that’s notable. Take that, Mom.

Wit itself is the remarkably beautiful tale of a 17th Century English Literature professor named Vivian Bearing, who discovers she is suffering – and in fact, all but dying – from Stage IV metastatic ovarian cancer. She agrees to an experimental and highly intensive chemotherapy regimen, consisting of eight rounds of radiation at full dosage, and the play details her life during these treatments as well as reveals a series of flashbacks which tell the tale of Vivian Bearing’s life before her illness.

It all sounds quite grim, doesn’t it? Imagine the audience’s surprise when Wit managed to have the room laughing within the first few lines. Vivian Bearing is a wonderfully sarcastic narrator, full of pithy references and comments that make her time in the hospital and her interactions with the people in it far more entertaining than we’d have expected.

What is even more captivating than the witticisms (pun intended!) of the comedic moments in the play is Vivian’s touching and deep character development. She begins Wit as a strong, confident woman who stands at the pinnacle of her field of research at the cost of human relationships. However, at the end of the play, Vivian is a shell of who she once was, and is left wishing she had more meaningful memories, more family and friends and kindness and compassion, to look back on.

I heard more than one person say that Wit “hit way too close to home for me,” and saw several people, like me, wiping tears from their eyes as they left the theatre. Wit really makes you think about where you stand right now, consider what matters to you, and imagine a life without those precious people in it. It was, in a word, stunning.

Bus Trips, Baltimore, and the Book of Mormon!

Although I’m a Junior here at UD I’m ashamed to admit that, until very recently, I’d never been on one of the fantastic bus trips the University sponsors. From what I’ve seen on the Student Center’s website (which is linked here for the curious reader), the bus trips run to amazing locations like the Poconos, New York, Washington D.C., and Baltimore. There’s almost no planning involved on the students’ parts, and the trips provide us with the chance to get off campus and enjoy a day of relaxation at a seriously reduced cost.

photo_4As I mentioned above, I hadn’t taken advantage of any of these bus trips until this past weekend, when, after a bit of hedging, my friend Nick and I went into Baltimore to see The Book of Mormon on tour at the Hippodrome. My mother (and if you’ve read some of my previous blog posts, you know she’s the sort of woman who pokes around on the UD website and finds these sorts of things out) discovered the bus trip and immediately emailed insisting I go, not that I needed much persuading. Nick and I planned to sign up for the trip… Until a rescheduled choir festival put a wrench in our plans.

A few weeks and a twist of fate later, however, and the cancellation of the choir festival put that date back on our calendars. Nick emailed the trip coordinator even though the website said the trip was sold out, and somehow managed to secure us two tickets on the bus, if we wanted them.

If you know or are like me, or even if you know or are like the archetypal Honours student, you know how hard it is to get us to take breaks from studying or working. An entire day in Baltimore, frittering away time on the bus, in the show, and at dinner afterward seemed like an impossibility for me. But our chances to take those tickets had an expiration time on them, and, just this once, I decided to do the unthinkable: take the day off.

photo_1The day of the trip was beautiful: warmer than most we’ve seen these past few months, and sunny to boot. Though I will admit I’m guilty of having read one of my books for class on the bus, I spent the actual bulk of the trip itself doing what I think I’d earned the right to: relaxing. The touring performance of The Book of Mormon, I should add, was just as well-written, thought-provoking, and hilarious as you’ve heard. Paired with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and a trip to the inner harbor Barnes & Noble after the show, and Nick and I wrapped up what we both agreed was a vacation with no planning required. And as someone (read, the Honours student) who plans everything to the T,  that was just what I needed.

~Claire Davanzo

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It seems like just yesterday I moved into my new room in James Smith in my JCrew shorts and tank, basking in the beauty of the blasting air conditioner, a far cry from move-in day in Russell freshman year.  Fast-forward a few months and instead of my AC in the 60s, the temperature outside has far surpassed that and now resides in the 40s and 50s on a regular basis.  There is even snow in Newark’s forecast this week!  In addition, previews for Disney’s new animated feature Frozen are popping up all over my TV, while peppermint hot chocolate is now available at the Starbucks in Smith, and twinkle lights are starting to be strung around Main Street. You know what this means… the holidays are upon us!  And if you are anything like me, you could not be more excited; it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Granted, Halloween was only 13 days ago, and we have yet to celebrate Thanksgiving.  However, I can’t help myself; I just want it to be the holidays already! It is such a magical time of the year. I swear the general public is a lot happier during the season. How could it not be? The holidays encourage us to show love and give thanks for all of the people in our lives and to showcase our ideals and beliefs. Plus, we get to eat lots of cookies and watch movies where there is always a happy ending, which is why I love watching them so much! Either the two leads fall in love and kiss under the mistletoe, or the Grinch-like characters start to believe in the spirit of the holidays. Regardless, they are such feel-good movies, just like the entire season itself.

Courtesy of UD’s Facebook page.

However, I have found that while some people (myself included), are beyond excited for the holiday season, there are some people getting frustrated that the holidays are creeping up on us, just like those Grinch characters in some of those beloved movies. My Twitter feed is a jumble of confusion! Some of my followers embrace the spirit, through watching the Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” or listening to their favorite carols, while some have even put up their trees! Yet, there are those few Scrooges that say it is too early for such antics and that people should not start celebrating until after Thanksgiving. They are almost offended and extremely angry that people are in the holiday spirit! How can anyone be angry that it is almost the holidays?!

To those people that say it is too early to be celebrating: why do you care so much?  So what if people get excited for this time of the year and want to rush it as soon as possible? The holidays provide a sense of hope for people to believe that regardless of what may seem impossible, everything will be okay in the end.  So, as one of my followers, Carrie Kirk, said on Twitter, “If it makes you happy, begin to celebrate whenever you want,” (@kirk_carrie).  Tis the season, Blue Hens!


~Hannah Tattersall


It is no secret that I am in love with my school. I absolutely love it here, as you can probably tell from my past posts. So since this past weekend was Homecoming, I absolutely loved seeing all of the UD spirit come out all across campus from my fellow classmates and returning alumni.  The University provided so many fun, celebratory events throughout the whole week and I love that everyone just got swept up in all of the festivities to celebrate how amazing the University of Delaware truly is.

The UD Football team getting the fans pumped at the Homecoming Pep Rally

One of the highlights of Homecoming weekend for me was the Pep Rally on Friday afternoon.  I originally had to go for another commitment as a Social Media Ambassador with the University’s Office of Communication and Marketing (OCM) to promote the use of the official Homecoming hashtag #UDHC, but I ended up loving every minute I was there. It almost brought me back to my high school pep rallies, which I loved because everyone was so spirited and so excited to root for our school.  While the Pep Rally was originally supposed to be on the Laird turf, due to the weather, it was moved into the newly renovated Little Bob.  With henna tattoos, a photo booth and caricature artists, it felt like UD’s own carnival inside the Little Bob!  The festivities continued with DJ and music numbers by some members of our talented student body, as well as performances by our own dance team, cheerleading squad and mascot team. including the newest addition to the mascot team: Air yoUDee, a blow-up version of our beloved Blue Hen!  The varsity sports team then took to the stage for recognition, and played target practice with the hundreds of students gathered by hurdling free UD swag out into the audience.  In addition to those free spirit towels and frisbees, each student who attended the Pep Rally left with a special UD Homecoming 2013 T-shirt!  Definitely worth the walk to and from the Little Bob in the rain, if you ask me!

Hannah got her friend who was visiting to wear UD colors all day!

Another highlight from the Homecoming festivities was getting to see so many new and old faces on campus.  My sister, Hillary, graduated from UD in May, as did many of her friends, who I also became friends with over the course of the year through the Blue Hen Ambassador program, the Honors Program, and my other activities I am a part of.  So, it was so nice seeing them all back on campus again; it made me realize how much I missed having my sister on campus, not to mention so many of her friends who are equally as amazing and fun as she is!  In addition to running into so many members of the Class of 2013, my friend from high school came down on Saturday to visit and spend the day with me.  She has visited before, but it was so nice getting to show her just how spirited and special the University of Delaware can be, while inconspicuously trying to convince her to transfer from her own school (since UD is obviously the only school anyone should ever go to).  My friend absolutely loved her time here, from laying out on the Laird Campus turf, to celebrating Homecoming in blue and gold on the way to the football game, to walking down Main Street to grab Central Perk in the morning. It is hard for someone not to enjoy a day on campus! She can’t wait to return!

Obviously, I had a fantastic weekend and I hope everyone, from alums to current students had a happy, safe, and enjoyable Homecoming Weekend!

~Hannah Tattersall

Where in the World: London

In case you missed the clue from last week’s post, I said I would write about a city that was in the news a lot this summer (royal baby George) and last summer as well (the Olympics).

This is another one of my absolute favorite cities. I visited London about four years ago, after my junior year in high school – I hadn’t even turned 17 yet. A teacher at my school was setting up a trip with EF Tours and opened the 12-day trip to interested students. After begging for approval from my parents, I took off on my first trip to Europe.

Nervous doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. We took a few different flights to get to London. Our first flight from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. lasted only 30 minutes. We were barely able to turn on our electronics before we had to turn them off again. On our second flight to Heathrow, I sat next to a man who worked as an Ambassador to England, who was currently living in London with his family. (He calmed me down more than once when the turbulence was frightening).

When we arrived in London, we dropped our things off at our hotel and set out to explore the city (without napping). Let me tell you, the city was absolutely beautiful and trendy. Here are some of my favorite things about London:

  1. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

    You can’t take a step anywhere without seeing a famous piece of architecture. Whether it be Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, or the London Eye, this city is chock-full of remarkable and distinguished sites. One of my favorites might have been Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, or the Millenium Bridge. Actually, I don’t think I could pick one, because they’re all so beautiful!

  2. Millenium Bridge with St. Paul’s in the background.

    London is close to so many famous places including Shakespeare’s birthplace and Oxford University. Stanford (where Shakespeare grew up) was full of street performers and vendors (clearly this was a big tourist attraction), but it was a lot of fun! We went to Oxford as well, which reminded me of a scene out of Harry Potter. The students wear robes to class and look so prestigious. Plus, the architecture was grandiose and beautiful.

  3. You can be a tourist, because everyone else is. It’s a bit different from San Francisco in that about 50% of the people, especially in the summertime, are tourists. So don’t feel bad about jumping into the signature phone booth, or posing with a guard, because everyone else is doing it.

There are so many wonderful things about London and the cities on the outskirts, but I don’t have room to explain it all to you here. Have you ever been? What are some of your favorite sights to see there?

Jessica and I with a guard.

Next week, I’ll take you to the land of good beer, breathtaking scenery and a city that appeared in this season of The Bachelorette. Where in the world?


Chelsey Rodowicz

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