Author: hayleyw (page 1 of 6)

“Theater-Going during a Pandemic ” by Hayley Whiting

Since the pandemic began, one of the things I’ve missed about no longer being able to be within six feet of anyone else is attending theater shows. There’s nothing like grabbing a free REP (Resident Ensemble Players) ticket from the Honors College building for one of their Honors at the Arts opportunities and heading to the Roselle Center for the Arts for an evening of theater. I also really enjoy attending shows put on by E52, a student theater group at UD! Sadly, I can no longer head to the Bacchus Theater or Pearson Hall to see a student-run show, but I have been enjoying theater from both the REP and E52 from my safely distanced couch!

This semester, the REP (UD’s very own professional theater company) is not to be stopped by COVID! In September, they put on a free, one-act, comedic Zoom play titled “Who’s in Charge” that recounted a meeting of all of the REP actors and the REP Producing Artistic Director so that they could decide what they would perform this semester. This play definitely did not disappoint—as always, the actors were spot on, and I was laughing the whole time! I’ve also really been enjoying the REP’s free audio presentation of Dracula, based on Bram Stoker’s novel. I’ve never listened to an audio performance of theater before, but the characters and story really come to life in this perfectly creepy, five-part adaptation—I would definitely recommend grabbing some garlic and taking a listen!

If you want to join in on the REP’s performances this semester, Dracula is still streaming on their website until November 22: https://www.rep.udel.edu/presentations/dracula. Until November 22, they also are currently offering another audio performance called Are you Now or Have You Ever Been, a fictional portrayal of the night in March of 1953 before Langston Hughes must answer to the Subcommittee on Investigations on Un-American Activities during Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt: https://www.rep.udel.edu/presentations/are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been (I’m looking forward to listening to this one!). Later on, in December, the REP will also be offering an audio performance of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to put you in the holiday spirit: https://www.rep.udel.edu/presentations/a-christmas-carol. Continue reading

“Accountability Partners in a Challenging Time” by Clara Kinken

When the initial shock of a pandemic uprooting my time on campus wore off, my next instinct was to look for hidden opportunities to come out of quarantine. I fully expected that within two months I could be cooking gourmet meals, working out everyday, and achieving other lofty goals. And while I certainly attempted to incorporate self-improvement into my social distancing experience, my dinners of microwavable grain bowls and Annie’s box Mac and Cheese offer a glimpse into my eluding success. 

Another significant challenge I’ve experienced over the past several months has been keeping in touch with people outside my immediate family. Maintaining the strength of my relationships over distance and time has always been difficult for me and was one of my primary concerns when I realized the extent of our isolation. 

Over the summer, a solution to both my disappointing track record and my need for more regular human interaction presented itself to me through a text from a high school friend. A fellow French student, who also happens to enjoy testing the limits of their brain’s linguistic capabilities by studying multiple languages at once, had been using Duolingo regularly throughout the semester. He could plainly see that I had not. By abruptly pointing out that I was lagging behind for someone supposedly dedicated to language learning, he inspired me to begin a daily practice with some friendly competition. The exchange motivated me to resume language study outside of the classroom, not just through the app, but through other means as well.  Continue reading

“Thoughts on the Apartment Search” by Lauren Wrightstone

As many first-year college students can attest, the idea of independent living is an exciting one. I have been planning for my very own apartment since I was about twelve years old. So when a few of my friends said they were looking for another roommate, I jumped at the chance. 

My friends and I met in Redding last year, back when all the freshman Honors students lived together. One of them was actually my randomly assigned roommate, but all four of us spent the whole of last year practically inseparable, so I knew we’d work well sharing an apartment. My floor was very closely connected, even if we weren’t all best friends, and I missed living with people my own age. That’s the thing I’m looking forward to most next fall semester. 

Our first step was identifying our building or property management company of choice. We knew we wanted either two or four bedrooms, depending on price. We also wanted two bathrooms. Like most people who have lived in a dorm building, we desired at least a little more privacy than we had there.

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“The Seven Deadly Sins of Working from Home” by Lauren Mottel

With the current fall semester well underway, it’s hard to believe how quickly time has passed, with days upon weeks upon months since March and summer blending together into one purgatorial blur. I truly could’ve sworn that everyone was exchanging frog bread recipes and sharing other spring quarantine hobbies just the other day. However, staying at home for such an extended period of time can definitely have an impact on your behavior, inducing a monotonous cycle of waking, eating, working, and sleeping, akin to how the carefree, do-nothing quality of summer encourages rejuvenating laziness. What’s more, the adjustment period between the end of summer and the start of the school year is only exacerbated by the dull routines of quarantine, in which the sudden mountain of assignments, exams, and projects creates an abrupt change of pace that can leave just about anyone suffering from the whiplash of it all. 

Therefore, as we emerge from this blurred, purgatorial mindset and hit the books to do our best to muscle through this virtual semester, here are (in no particular order) the Seven Deadly Sins of Working from Home you may need to watch out for: 

1. Improper Zoom Etiquette: A Lesson in Hubris

Listen, we’ve all been there, but let’s just cut to the chase: please remember to mute yourselves. There’s nothing worse than to be listening in on a lecture only to hear the feedback noise of a classmate talking to their roommate—or in rare cases, cooking in the kitchen—ultimately drowning out the voice of your instructor. What’s worse is when your professor either mishears it to be a potential question and patiently takes the time to wait (only to be greeted with silence) or stresses for everyone to mute themselves, while you are none the wiser. Wow, I can’t believe people still need to be reminded to mute themselves, one may wonder. We’ve been virtual since March, you may think. Pride cometh before the fall. 

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“Popular to Vote” by Chris Hope

Another semester and a new academic year at the UD Honors College! While Fall 2020 means another round of homework, midterms, and finals, it also means one more thing: the general election. Back in spring I was able to watch debates and Super Tuesday results in Redding’s main lounge, and though I’m not able to do that on-campus this semester, there’s still many important things we can do. That spring I wrote an article about absentee voting, which was not-so-conveniently written immediately following COVID-19’s sending us off campus. Now that we’ve gone several months through these restrictions and that a major election is upcoming, more options are available to voters.

In my previous article, I focused heavily on voting by mail and voter registration. For college students, especially those out-of-state and living on or around campus, voting by mail is the likely option for many. Rules involving absentee mail-in ballots vary by state, so websites such as https://www.vote.org/absentee-voting-rules/ can help in pinpointing what is required in your individual state. I took part in Philly’s mayoral and city council elections last November, and I did so by voting by mail on campus! The directions were all laid out in my ballot, including how to seal it properly and how to make sure it gets mailed off. The former is especially important here in Pennsylvania, where rules require you to place your ballot inside of a provided blank envelope and then into a second envelope from there. Many states also allow you to track your mail-in ballot online, so you can make doubly sure that it gets mailed in time. https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot-deadlines/ is a great resource for finding when your ballot is due to be mailed by, and many states even allow you to drop off an absentee ballot at a county election office. Continue reading

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