186 South College

grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

Category: Ruby Harrington (page 1 of 4)

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: The Gym

Earlier this semester, I wrote on the blog about the beautiful new “Carpenter Sports Building,” aka Little Bob (aka I just call it the gym). I’m still impressed with this new facility, but also with how well attended it is – I love that the greatly increased capacity has encouraged many more people to work out. However, I know there are still some holdouts out there – may I venture to call them anti-fitness hipsters? Well, I can commiserate – I used to be one of them. Having never been particularly athletic growing up, I was skeptical of the gym and its magical powers everyone talked about. However, just in May I started working out, and surprisingly, haven’t ever really stopped. This persuasive piece is dedicated to all those who need a little inspiration to go to the gym!

It’s great people watching. Though I have an especially designated workout playlist on my iPhone and watch CNN on the elliptical screen, the gym is akin to the airport in that it’s just interesting to see the huge variety in who comes to work out. Every once in a while I see two guys who look like they’re straight out of Duck Dynasty – camo athletic gear, beards, the whole shebang. There’s also usually random children…can’t really explain that one. But everyone’s there for the same purpose, and no matter how much effort you put into putting together a cute workout outfit, everyone is sweaty after a good workout. See, the gym is a great equalizing force!

 

Going to the gym becomes a lot more appealing when your fitness facility looks like this!

But actually, no one is secretly mocking how you exercise. My view that everyone going to the gym was an Olympic athlete used to keep me from exercising, but – while I totally admit to casually people watching – most people, myself included, are too focused on their workout or worried about how sweaty they look to actually notice the details of your workout. No one cares if you’re running slower or lifting less than they are – there’s just an indescribable sentiment that everyone is there to get in better shape, whatever that means to them, so people are not nearly as judgmental as you might think.

Eventually, you’ll feel great.Is it hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym those first few weeks when it hurts like heck and you’re sore afterward? Definitely. Is it worth it to continue? Of course! Most people would agree that the worst part of getting in shape is adopting a routine. Once you’re used to exercising regularly, you’re so (healthily) addicted to the endorphins and confidence exercise gives you, it’s practically impossible to stop.  

 

No more excuses! See you at the gym!

~Ruby Harrington

 

What the Kids are up to Today (Social Media)

Our generation has been called, among other titles, “the social media generation.” It’s hard to dispute this label, because most of us spent a good deal of time with accounts on social networking sites in our formative teenage years. However, the social media landscape seems to have shifted, and here’s what I think about the three dominant social networks right now.

Facebook:

Maybe it’s just me projecting my own hopes, but I feel that as we grow up, we start to realize that it’s not beneficial to spend so much time crafting a purposefully modified version of ourselves. We realize it’s equally detrimental to form a perception of others based on their online profiles, rather than their real-life personalities. To Mark Zuckerberg and the vast majority of college students who use Facebook, I hope this doesn’t offend. I’m currently off Facebook, but I’ll admit I haven’t deleted my profile, just deactivated it. I guess that makes me a hypocrite! And don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook can be a great medium for keeping in touch with friends, planning events, advertising, etc. However, on the person-to-person level, I do feel like Facebook has become a social network dominated by proclaimed achievements, one that makes it too easy for users (myself included) to sit and criticize people they knew years ago in high school. Wow, that rant made me feel old.

Twitter:

I have mixed feelings about Twitter. I personally don’t tweet very often- maybe once a week, and usually that is a retweet of something I found important and funny. I actually prefer to use it to follow interesting people, entertainers, news sources, etc. It’s a great forum for, say, the rapper Macklemore to post information about his new music videos, concert tickets, appearances, and more.

However, Twitter makes it easy to post thoughts instantly, which has the ability to offend people or make the tweeters themselves look thoughtless. Also, while Twitter is a useful way to inform the public about stories as information becomes available, I do think it has increased the media’s tendency to report on stories before they even have the basic facts, out of an urge to be the first to “break the story.” This really damages their credibility.

Instagram:

My inspiration for this post came from a conversation with a friend. He’s just a year older than me, and we were discussing how people our age generally still have Facebook profiles, but don’t use them nearly as much as they used to. Then he told me that of the freshman high school boys he leads in a church group, just 2 of 15 have a Facebook profile at all – their preferred social network is instead Instagram. I found this really interesting, especially since I just set up my own Instagram account a few months ago. I personally prefer this social media site to all others because it is simpler and less cluttered with advertisements, and visually it’s more appealing to look at photographs (many enhanced with the infamous filters) than photographs amidst tons of text. Of course, there’s the fact that hardly anyone posts a photo depicting something awful that happened to them that day or the particularly unappetizing meal they had for dinner. In my opinion, social media will always lack authenticity, but then there are posts like these that make you realize its ability to portray almost any aspect of the human experience:

~Ruby Harrington

From Russell to Writing…

 

(Disclaimer: I was not asked by anyone in UDHP to write this! I’m just very happy with this activity and would encourage any invited students to look into the WF program!)

This title probably made no sense at all, but something like “My First Round of Writing Fellow Conferences” likely wouldn’t have caught your attention. Here at 186 South College we love to share our personalities and this time in our lives even when it’s not directly related to college, UD, or UDHP. This week, however, I’m discussing a specific Honors Program activity I am involved in, the Writing Fellows Program. Get it, I was a Russell (Fellow) last year, and now I’m a Writing (Fellow)?! Yeah, not my best.

The Writing Fellows (WF) are a group of UDHP juniors and seniors selected and extensively trained to serve as writing tutors to Honors first-year students in all colloquia and some Honors English 110 courses. The wonderful Mr. Peters oversees this program, and teaches all students selected into the program in a semester- long seminar class focused on theories of writing and tutoring writing before they become official WFs. Because colloquia and E110 courses are mandatory for all Honors freshmen, Writing Fellows encounter a broad variety of majors, interest in writing, and comfort with writing among their tutors.

As referenced above, I recently finished my first round of Writing Fellow conferences (tutoring sessions with our assigned students). I knew I was prepared, but it was still a little nerve-wracking. However, after a few conferences it became clear to me that not only do I enjoy being a Writing Fellow, but that the job helps to develop some important professional abilities. The WF training class was great at refining my own writing and critical reading skills, but so far in my short WF career, I have especially seen how the conferences improve my interpersonal communication skills.

Especially in the first round of conferences, we’re encouraged to talk to our tutees about where they’re from, their majors, how their college experience is going, etc. I’d like to think that these conversations made a difference because they made the tutees feel comfortable and less scared of an upperclassman who is (constructively!) criticizing their papers. It was exciting for this Southern Californian to learn that just among the nine students I am tutoring this semester, one is from right next to the tiny Connecticut town in which I have family, and another is a San Diego native! Furthermore, establishing a rapport is hugely important in creating an environment in which the tutees are receptive to suggestions, and willing to converse with me about their concerns with and goals for their papers. I’m sure this skill will be immensely useful as I prepare to enter the workforce! In short, the Writing Fellows Program is a great asset of UDHP, both for tutees and Writing Fellows.

~Ruby Harrington

Ruby Reviews the Renovations

 

These freshmen don’t know how good they’ve got it…UD has unveiled some pretty amazing renovations and brand new buildings this fall. While I’m so jealous that the Class of 2017 gets four whole years to enjoy them, I do appreciate that I get one. We can all agree that the renovations are stunning improvements, but here’s my review.

Little Bob (The Carpenter Sports Building) – The gym expansion was probably the most hotly anticipated among the changes to the UD campus. I started going to the gym at the end of junior year (it’s never too late to start), and looking back on it the amount of cardio equipment available then was incredibly inadequate for a school of 16,000 undergrads. The new gym is gorgeous, with a ton of fancy new machines that I have no idea how to use and will probably never know how to use. Nevertheless, I highly endorse the elliptical machines with built-in TVs! My only complaint is that there are not enough lockers.

ISE Lab (Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Lab) –  As a Political Science major, I probably can’t fully appreciate this entirely new “194,000-square-foot facility [which] brings together students and faculty from various disciplines to teach, learn and conduct research in a collaborative environment,” as the UD ISE Lab website states it. I’ve heard that the lab classrooms are pretty amazing, though. Much of the first floor is a huge open study space with couches, tables, and of course Einstein Bagels; I think this area is perfect for studying and especially meetings.

Alison Hall – It seemed like this academic building was under renovation for years. It still looks like a high school inside, but a much nicer high school! However, I am not at all a fan of the new furniture in the classrooms. The desk-chair combos on four wheels are very unstable, and it always feels like you’re going to accidentally knock into a neighbor when you sit down.

Redding Hall – I recently visited this brand new freshman dorm, which mostly houses Honors freshmen, and it was all I thought it would be and more. This is probably the renovation I am most jealous about, because I lived in the Honors freshman dorm last year as a Russell Fellow – meaning I just missed out on a huge room in Redding by one year! Russell was already pretty nice, but from the countless spacious lounges to huge hallways to a kitchen with an island, it’s safe to say Honors definitely got a dorm upgrade with Redding. Enjoy it while you can, freshmen!

The new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building

What’s your favorite UD renovation?

~Ruby Harrington

I’ll Never Forget that Day in 4th Grade

 

I suspect that most college students instinctively knew what my title references. That speaks to how ingrained the memory of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks is in the minds of my generation. As I’m writing this, it’s September 11, 2013, the 12th anniversary of 9/11. My day progressed with a cognizant recognition of the date’s meaning, but it wasn’t until a relevant article on a news website caught my eye early in the afternoon that I realized I’ve lived more years post-9/11 than pre-9/11.

 

That has been true for some time now, actually. I was in 4th grade, just nine years old, when 9/11 happened. I recognize that nine is pretty young, but my reflections on the event as well as conversations with friends make it apparent than in our young minds, we did recognize that something awful had happened and that our country was overcome with grief. In the days and weeks and months of news coverage and overhearing adults’ conversations that followed, we started to develop a tenuous understanding of terrorism, and more generally, the evil that exists in the world. The evil that every parent wants to shield their child from for as long as they can.

 

Every American thinks of that day and collectively remembers the victims in their own way, and of course that’s okay. For me, 21 years old now, I choose to never forget.

 

I don’t want to ever forget the significance of this day; the lives that were lost and the innumerable number of lives that were deeply affected by the losses. I don’t want any 11th of September to pass without bearing witness to some sort of memorial, either in person or on TV or online. Though it will be tough to sit through, I want to watch the film about the United Flight 93 heroes – the ordinary Americans who, after learning that the nation was under attack, saved countless lives by rushing the cockpit, thereby preventing an attack on the believed target of the United States Capitol. It’s so important to never erase the tragedy from one’s memory, because to do so would be to forget the innocent victims of this nationally – and globally – transformative part of history.

 

A year and a half ago, I visited the Flight 93 National Memorial in southwestern Pennsylvania, where the plane crashed into a field. Though fairly new at the time and not yet completed, the Memorial was incredibly moving. Standing so close to the site of impact while learning about the lives and brave actions of the 40 passengers and crew personalizes the tragedy in an indescribable manner.

The Flight 93 National Memorial.JPG

Flight 93 Memorial

 

While we must always hold the utmost deference to the victims’ families, I feel that a discussion about remembering 9/11 is incomplete without mention of America’s immediate response. From the courage of the first responders to the average citizen donating blood or money to aid the recovery, we showed the beauty of America. Because of those overwhelming displays of unity, resilience, and patriotism, I know we’ll Never Forget that we are America Strong. 

~Ruby Harrington

 

Older posts

© 2019 186 South College

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Subscribe By Email

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Skip to toolbar