Category: Random Musings (page 1 of 19)

Lessons, thoughts, helpful tips and more

“Nostalgia” by Alaka Deshpande

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them,” goes the quote by Andy Bernard from The Office, a quote that seems to resonate with everyone. Nostalgia is such a powerful feeling: we all reflect on and relive the happiest moments of our past in our minds. We evoke a warm, happy feeling with just a hint of sadness while we yearn to be back in that moment, knowing that it has passed.

Nostalgia is especially powerful under our current circumstances, when life looks much different than it used to before. It feels like our lives have been stripped away of so many things that they used to be full of: the busy and bustling long days on campus full of classes and club meetings, dining hall dinners, and late nights with friends. These have all been reduced down to long days alone in my room, taking Zoom classes from my bed.  Continue reading

Staying Politically Engaged after the Election by Clara Kinken

If you’re like me, this lengthy campaign season and prolonged election cycle has seriously taken its toll. While political burnout might seem easier to succumb to than it has in the past, this year has also helped many of us realize political and civic engagement can be more rewarding than we previously imagined. With the 2020 election displaying record voter turnout, particularly among young voters, students may feel inspired to continue their political engagement. 

Staying involved in civic processes is not a one-size-fits-all. There are a vast number of ways students can remain engaged outside of voting, from formal classroom education to extracurricular peer-led discussions. In recent years, including this one, the University of Delaware has been named a top school for the Student Voting Honor Roll, which not only demonstrates that our student body remains civically engaged, but also indicates that there are a number of on-campus offerings that foster a supportive environment for political awareness. 

While the 2020 presidential election may be over, there are still plenty of other opportunities for students to get involved with politics outside of casting ballots. If you feel civic engagement has been a transformative experience for you and would like to spend time encouraging fellow students to join in the democratic process, then you should check out Make It Count. If you’re interested in finding ways to have safe and productive political discussions or to learn more about political issues, Let’s Talk is another RSO to try. Both of these RSOs are non-partisan, but more ideology-specific RSOs are available as well, including the College Democrats and College Republicans, among others.  Continue reading

“How To: Start Your Own Podcast” by Abhigna Rao

I’m just going to say it: podcasts are the greatest digital media development since sliced bread! Okay, okay, that’s a matter of opinion–and sliced bread isn’t digital media. That being said, the realm of podcasting has been rising in popularity over the last several years, and whether your interests lie in politics, literature, mental health,  sports, current affairs, chat shows, or anything in between, you have likely given an episode a try on Spotify, Audible, or another streaming platform. Maybe you’re an avid podcast listener already, or maybe you’re still looking for just the right one to jump into–or perhaps, you’re even considering starting your own.

Well, guess what? I had the coolest opportunity to have a hand in starting up a podcast just a few months ago (more on that later!), and for anyone who has been thinking about doing the same for a while or just looking to pick up a new hobby over the upcoming breaks, here are my tips on how to get started. Continue reading

“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

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