Category: Felicia Seybold

“Turning Back the Clock on Tech” by Felicia Seybold

Being a college student in the age of Canvas modules, 11:59 pm deadlines, and digital coursework means we must live our lives on the computer. Unfortunately, there is no way around it. A certain amount of our time each day must be spent staring at a screen, even though the overwhelming advice is to lessen our daily screen time. To add to that, the allure of the phone screen is too strong. I always find myself hopping from my laptop to my phone to my iPad to my phone to my laptop to my phone to my… ok you get it. We all tend to do that. It’s so hard to pull ourselves away from super entertaining apps like Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube. I also don’t believe these kinds of apps should be vilified either. They provide us with incredible content, connect us with our friends no matter the distance, and give us a wealth of free information. And yet, a healthy balance remains difficult to achieve.

When I find myself in one of these technology binges for too long, the days blur together and I lose touch with the real world around me. The only thing I have found that relieves the cycle is spending time doing something a little more analog than digital. Recently, I have found a new thing to soothe that disconnected feeling I have on the computer all day. I’ve been rediscovering a nostalgic low-tech device from my childhood.

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“Nearing the Summit” by Felicia Seybold

Back when times were simpler, I used to plop down on the couch with my Nintendo DS and my troubles would melt away as I became completely absorbed in catching Pokémon or destroying zombies with my botanic army. I had a tiny world in the palm of my hands, filled to the brim with memorable characters, dazzling worlds, and soundtracks that pull on my heartstrings to this day. Some time last year, I decided to buy a Nintendo Switch Lite for myself in an effort to replicate the simple joy I had as a child while playing DS games. I had acquired my Switch Lite at a time where I was at the end of my rope trying to survive a global pandemic and go through college online. Social media was no longer cutting it as an escape route; too often it bombarded me with the endless deluge of tragedy occurring every day, tiring me further when I needed rest. So, I decided to take a cue from my childhood, and once again plop down on the couch with a cozy video game rather than scroll mindlessly through my phone. Though I was turning to video games to forget my troubles, I could find myself relating to the struggles that my video game characters had to go through, and in some ways it helped me to cope with my own while in college. Out of all of the games that I have played, none has showcased this more than the game Celeste.

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“Heirloom Cooking” by Felicia Seybold

After working for two hours straight on an Honors project worth a substantial slice of your grade, your tummy rumbles. “Just another paragraph before I get some dinner,” you say to yourself, but your stomach insists. You click “Save” on your Word document at least twenty times before clam-shelling your laptop and walking to the fridge. A solitary incandescent bulb illuminates half an onion, ketchup, and a cheese stick once you open the door. You close it, check your pantry as a diversion, and come back to the fridge, half-expecting a magical grocery elf to summon a three course meal, but that sad trio greets you once again. “Perkins it is then,” you think to yourself, though this is the 10th time this week you’ve ordered out.

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“A Bookworm’s Advice” by Felicia Seybold

Click. The rumble of boiling water sounds as the electric kettle goes off. I plop a bag of chamomile tea into my favorite blue mug, pour the steamy hot water over it, and indulge in the calming herbaceous aroma. I snuggle up with my tea and Kindle e-reader in a warm blanket on the armchair, which is tucked into the secluded alcove in the living room. My roommates and I have created a reading nook there, complete with a side table, a faux fur rug, and twinkle lights. It’s any bibliophiles’ ideal respite from a long day. 

All is well until I’ve gone through my Kindle library and found nothing I want to read.

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“Holding Knowledge in My Hands” by Felicia Seybold

I looked down at a box-like scientific instrument, called a transilluminator, glowing with ultraviolet light. On the viewing panel was the representative product of my whole semester of study: a single, floppy, square piece of polyacrylamide gel with a few blue-stained bands of proteins on it. An experienced laboratory technician probably runs several of these acrylic gels a week in a process known as SDS-PAGE, but this was the first time I ever did this technique myself. The Fall 2021 semester marked the beginning of my junior year here at the University of Delaware, as well as an exciting part of my course work in molecular biology: upper-level laboratory classes designed for hands-on learning. As insignificant as this gel was in the grand scheme of things, I still remember the accomplishment I felt at that moment and how the career path I had picked out my freshman year finally started to unfold before me. 

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