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

#UDHC

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?

Cheers,

Chelsey Rodowicz

Still UD

Originally, I was… speechless, about the events that took place on campus Monday night. Living on North campus and having most, if not all, of my time taken up that night by choir and homework, I wasn’t even aware something had happened until the next morning, when everything really broke loose.

There’s no use ignoring it. Monday night happened. The slew of Facebook messages and tweets happened, too; people asking what on Earth was going on at my school, paired with my absolute inability to fathom it myself.

But the more I heard, the more I thought that while we shouldn’t ignore what had happened, the amazing community of the University of Delaware and the city of Newark shouldn’t let it drag us down either. The group of students involved in the events of Monday night was a small number of the talented, compassionate campus we have at this school. And as the chatter started, and continued, what I found was that almost everyone I spoke with was feeling the same: disappointed, embarrassed, but, more than anything else, determined.

Let me put this in context. This week, I started my internship with the Office of Communications and Marketing, and my first assignment was covering and posting about the 9/11 Blood Drive held at Trabant on Wednesday.

And the number of students I saw, and heard about, was incredible. There were groups of students waiting to donate in almost every seat, and I was in Trabant at lunch. The woman running the event mentioned that that morning, there had been lines, and that there probably would be again that afternoon. Standing there, taking pictures for my post, I felt more than reassured.

Last week, the blog team here at 186 wrote about why we chose UD, and I explained that I hadn’t been sure about coming here. And that’s still true. But I also mentioned that I have come to love UD, and this week, even with all its challenges, is one of the reasons why.

We – UD, as a whole – we’re better than this. This campus is full of considerate, thoughtful people. People who take time out of their days to give blood in honour of 9/11 victims. People who hold fundraisers for children with cancer (seen outside Perkins this very same week, I might add). People who care.

Again: Monday night happened. It was an event, and we at UD are probably going to be hearing about it for a while. But it isn’t UD, and it will blow over. And when it does, what will still be standing is the campus, and the community, for which people love this university.

 

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