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Why is the Blue Hen UD’s Mascot? By Audrey Ostroski

It’s an unusual choice. Don’t you think? It’s not your typical Knights or Bulldogs. It’s unique and that’s precisely why I love it. My high school had a unique mascot as well. We were the Pandas. What is it that causes these educational institutions to choose such obscure animals to represent them? Maybe it’s because they aren’t that obscure at all.

One would think that the reason why UD’s mascot is the Blue Hen is that it is Delaware’s state bird. But the Blue Hen became our state bird on April 14, 1939 and UD has been using it as a mascot since 1911. The university used it as a symbol before the state did. There must be another reason why UD chose this bird to represent it. The Blue Hen is not a recognized chicken breed, and it’s not native to Delaware. It’s not even native to the United States! So it’s not like someone saw a bunch of wild Blue Hens running around Delaware and then suggested that it be our mascot or state bird. Why would we pick an unrecognized, non-native animal to represent the university that represents the state? Doesn’t seem to make much sense – yet there is a reason.

There are a few explanations for the fame of the Blue Hen. They all go back to the Revolutionary War and a military captain named Jonathan Caldwell. Captain Caldwell was from Kent County, Delaware and bred a chicken known as the Kent County Blue Hen. These chickens were renowned for their ferocious fighting abilities back when cock fighting was legal in the US.  Captain Caldwell claimed that no other fighting chicken could compare to his Blue Hens. Captain Caldwell’s company of men were also renowned for their ferocity during battles against the English. Therefore, they became appropriately compared to Blue Hens. Some also say that the nickname stemmed from the fact that the soldiers used cock fights as entertainment during the war.

Knowing this information, the choice of the Blue Hen makes more sense. Of course, we would choose a vicious fighting machine to represent our students and sports teams. We want our students and sports teams, just like the men of Captain Caldwell’s company, to be known for their ferocity and persistence in pursuing greater knowledge and winning their games. The university has a small group of the birds on campus that they breed, and they have even started bringing three live Blue Hens to football games. “The Birdgade,” as they are affectionately known, consists of Private Poultry, Corporal Doodle-Doo, and Captain Cluckers. Their presence reminds us of our history and that we should uphold the Blue Hen reputation as we fight, fight, fight for Delaware!

 

Sources:

http://www.bluehens.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=29100&ATCLID=210074123

https://www.netstate.com/states/symb/birds/de_blue_hen_chicken.htm

For the Love of the Music by Emily Fudge

According to urban legend (mostly my mom), I have been humming, singing, dancing, and toe-tapping my way through life since I was but a small human. Not a single car ride would go by without me requesting my favorite cassette tape be popped into the car player; I wouldn’t be able to sleep unless the “lullaby tape” was played at night. My parents, both lovers and players of musical instruments, raised me and my siblings in a house full of song. We all play different instruments and no family dinner is complete without turning on our favorite radio station or picking out a CD to play. You probably won’t catch me on campus without some earbuds in ready to take on the day. Not to mention that walking to the beat of a good jam throughout campus can make me feel extremely important and like the star in my own music video. Anyone else? If not, please try it and let me know how I changed your life for the better.

I have been taking a music education class about incorporating the arts into a classroom. As a future educator, I am looking forward to being able to weave various forms of the arts into my lessons. The power of the arts is vast and wonderful. It is far reaching, and affects every single person in a different way. Music is so beautiful because, as some people say, it is the universal language. What words cannot express, song fulfills. The other day I witnessed yet again how music can enrich our lives. On Wednesday nights, UD’s chapter of Yes U Can hosts swim nights, where adults with limited mobility or disabilities work on rehabilitation in the pool. I volunteered to help out, and was paired with a woman that wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do. She seemed like she just wanted to get out of the pool – I don’t blame her, it’s pretty cold in there! After trying a couple of different exercises, we were having trouble getting into a good rhythm. Then, like the sound of angels from above, Fergie’s “Fergalicious” began playing over the loudspeakers. As a Zumba aficionado who had recently taken an “Aqua Zumba” class, I asked the woman I was working with if she wanted to dance. As soon as we started to exercise to the beat of the music, our moods both brightened. We were smiling, laughing, singing along, and ended up forgetting all about the cold pool water. She ended up leading an arm workout to the next song that played and I was sore for two days. I am constantly amazed at how something as simple and wonderful as a song can change a moment.

UD has an abundance of ways to feel the beat. The music department has an event almost every night, whether that be from a senior recital to a faculty jazz concert. Next time you’re looking for something to do, maybe check out your talented peers playing in the symphonic orchestra, band, and wind ensemble. I recently saw HTAC’s performance of Dogfight, where a cruel event in which Marines try to take the ugliest girl they can find to a bar turns into an unintended romance. Completely student run and produced, the RSO’s take on the show was both moving and hilarious, leaving many in tears after the first and second acts. They are putting on Pippin May 3, 4th, and 5th and I think you should definitely come. If not for the wonderfully talented cast and crew, check out the pit (of which yours truly is a part of). Not into showtunes? Tune into WVUD, UD’s student run radio station! All I ask of you is to take a moment to fill your life with music. It brings us together in adversity and celebration, and I think we can all better live and understand each other with the help of a song.

 

Image credit: http://debrahurd.blogspot.com/2015/08/bach-invention-art-painting-abstract.html?m=1

“My RAILE Experience” by Hayley Whiting

Are you interested in honing your leadership and communication skills? Are you thinking about the Resident Assistant position and want to learn more about it? Do you want to become more involved in your community? Then the RAILE (Resident Assistant Internship and Leadership Exploration) Program might be for you! I first joined RAILE back in September because I knew that I wanted to learn more about the RA position, since I was interested in applying. However, you don’t have to apply to the RA position if you do RAILE, and you don’t have to participate in RAILE to apply to be an RA. Additionally, the program has several levels of certification according to how many components you complete, so you can choose how involved you want to be. Also, each participant is assigned a RAILE mentor (an RA) for guidance who is a great resource for any RA or RAILE-related questions. Here are some of the RAILE components that I took part in that I really enjoyed!

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Cold, Cold, and Still Cold by Liv Conlon

So why the heck is it STILL so cold out? We are just a week after spring break, and in the closing moments of March and beginning of April where, by all means, we should be shipping home the winter gear and opting for lighter jackets and short sleeves. Yet, a good portion of this week has been plagued with yet another snow storm.  Questions about our troubling weather patterns are being asked all around, and the New York Times attempts to give some insight as to what exactly is happening here in an article published earlier this winter, “Why So Cold? Climate Change May Be Part of the Answer”.

Not surprisingly, global warming has a lot to do with this global phenomenon.  The polar vortex, a frigid weather pattern normally isolated at the North Pole, has broken free and leaked out across the US, causing record breaking periods of cold temperature.  

While meteorologists can’t pinpoint the exact reasoning and process behind what makes this vortex move, climate change is a key factor in its displacement. The jet stream which keeps this vortex moving in a circle around the north point of the globe is weakening as global warming heats the rest of the world up. The weaker pull is probably the cause of movement, among other factors that influence day to day weather.

Hopefully the cold makes its way out in the next few weeks because, and I don’t know about you guys but, I am so over this campus doubling as an ice rink.  Fingers crossed for a few nicer days this week!

 

Source

 

Fountain, Henry. “Why So Cold? Climate Change May Be Part of the Answer.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Jan. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/climate/cold-climate-change.html.

 

Main Street’s Top Five Eats by Carly Patent

When touring colleges, a few elements were integral. I needed a nice dorm, preferably one that did not have cinder block walls and that did not look like a jail cell (Redding, check!). I looked for a nice gym so that I didn’t gain the stereotypical “Freshman Fifteen” that was mentioned at least once on every college tour (Little Bob, check!). I wanted to feel like I was actually on a campus speckled with cherry blossom trees, grass, and pretty brick buildings (The Green, check!). Clubs and activities were also an important part of my checklist in that I wanted to meet new people and get involved (Alpha Phi Omega, Club Tennis, Honors Blog, check!). Oftentimes overlooked by potential college students, academics were also a significant factor in the main reason why I would be going to college in the first place (#81, check!). While all of these elements were critical in making my decision, there was one factor that seemed to affect my choice even more than the rest: the food. Known as “gourmet girl” by my parents and known for my obsessions with the Food Network, cooking, baking, and Tasty videos—I placed a strong emphasis on the need for the university that I would select to offer numerous options when it came to keeping my stomach satisfied. Now in my sophomore year here, I can definitely say that the University of Delaware campus has pleased my request for a food-filled campus. While most students rely on the dining hall for meals, Main Street is what really got me. The mixture of chains and local restaurants, the variety of options, cuisines, and price ranges, and the overall quality of dining gives Main Street its appeal (check!). So, without further ado, let me present to you one of the most difficult lists that I have ever had to compile: Main Street’s Top 5 Eats (in no particular order because that’s simply just asking too much of me, as if these decisions weren’t tricky enough).

1. Catherine Rooney’s

I feel like it would be sacrilegious for a Blue Hen such as myself to not include at least Catherine Rooney’s or Klondike Kate’s; they’re both classic Delaware favorites offering everything from traditional “kid” food of chicken fingers and fries to comfort food classics. Recently among my friends, however, has emerged the debate of the century, and let me just say that I’m team Rooney’s. I had not actually been there until this year, and boy was that a mistake. The atmosphere of the restaurant is homey and cozy (I first went around Christmastime when the place was decked out in rustic red and green trinkets). My go-to, thanks to a friend’s recommendation, is the Jameson Burger, one of their signature items. Topped with Applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, crispy onions, barbecue sauce, and as if that were not enough, coleslaw, this burger is truly one of a kind. Pair it with their sweet potato fry wedges, and you’ve got yourself a meal that really sticks to your bones—perfect for a cold winter day!

2. Grain

Ah, good ole Grain. My stomach cannot help but rumble when I think about it. Everything is just oh-so scrumptious. This year, it is safe to say that I’ve been here an unhealthy amount of times, making me an expert on the best of the menu. I’d like to start out by saying that if you have not been here and have never had them, the nachos are to-die-for. Unlike a lot of the other nachos found on campus (which I’m most definitely not dissing…shout out to Klondike Kates’s buffalo chicken nachos, especially when they’re half-price on Tuesdays), Grain uses queso cheese sauce instead of the traditional melted cheese that you would normally find. Then, they load the pile of chips dunked in cheese with pulled chicken and all of your traditional nacho toppings—pico de gallo, jalapeños, sour cream, and guacamole. I forcefully demanded that my friends agree to order these when we went there for my birthday, and I can safely say that we almost fought over who was allowed to lick the plate clean (since it was my birthday, I rightfully won this battle). Another of my top menu items from Grain is their version of a Philly cheesesteak. As a Philly girl myself, I’d say that I know a great cheesesteak from a good one. The bread is pillowy, the onions are salty and the perfect amount of fried, the meat is juicy and tender, and the cheese sauce is creamy, gooey, and melty all in one. Pro tip: upgrade your meal with their sweet potato fries which come with a side of caramel sauce, making them almost dessert-like. Grain is one of my top five because of the fun yet intimate atmosphere, and the high-quality ingredients that compose their traditional yet amped-up menu items. And even better, try going in the spring when you can sit on their porch under the twinkle lights!

3. El Diablo

A University of Delaware favorite, El Diablo has become my recent obsession. While I hate to actually admit this, it’s become my Wednesday night go-to this semester after my weekly Butts n’ Guts class. Incomparable to Chipotle (just down the street), El Diablo offers an extreme number of toppings that cannot be found at similar restaurants. At El Diablo, you can pick your type of cheese, add pineapple salsa for a tropical flare, top off your burrito or bowl with jalapeños and pickled onions, and drizzle it with one of their homemade dressings. My classic is a brown rice bowl with chicken, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, sour cream, mild salsa, pineapple salsa, and corn salsa. The quality of the ingredients shines through every time I go—each component of my bowl is fresh and vibrant, bursting with flavor and color. Additionally, for all of the broke college students out there, El Diablo serves enormous portions for such reasonable prices; you can get a burrito or bowl—loaded with as many toppings as you’d like—for around $9.00. Does it get better than that? I only started getting El Diablo this year, but I must say that for those of you that like California-style Mexican food, be careful because it is truly addicting.

4. Newark Deli and Bagels

I feel like it wouldn’t be okay if I made this list and didn’t include Newark Deli and Bagels, better known as “NDB” to students here. For a quick bite in between classes, a quality lunch that will keep you full, or something to bring you back to life on a Sunday morning, Newark Deli and Bagels is where it’s at. Not to diss the dining halls, but for most of the student population from New York and New Jersey, those bagels just don’t cut it in terms of quality. Newark Deli and Bagels, however, offers a little piece of home in their quality bagels and toppings. My favorite is either a cinnamon raisin bagel with plain cream cheese or sausage, egg, and cheese on a whole-wheat bagel lathered in ketchup. In addition to their everyday menu, at times, NDB even has rainbow bagels for when you’re feeling spirited—including a festive green bagel for St. Patrick’s Day! I’ve sat in class counting down the seconds until I could make my way to Main Street for one of their warm bagels and have kept my eyes pressed on their bright green awnings as I darted across Main Street to get there before closing.  There is no greater joy than seeing the chef walk out of the kitchen with a pile of shiny-wrapped bagels and call your number. I think it’s safe to say that I personally could eat a bagel for every meal of the day (the combinations are truly endless), and Newark Deli and Bagels is always there to satisfy my cravings—that is until they close at 3 pm!3

5.Café Gelato

The final addition to my Main Street Top Five is none other than Main Street’s fanciest establishment. I will say that Café Gelato is the place to go when you have family in town who would be willing to treat you to the polar opposite of dining hall food. Café Gelato features an upscale menu and an elegant dining experience. Whenever I walk along Main Street and look into Café Gelato, I see what I still consider “grown-ups,” people who are not my fellow college students running all over the place and eating whatever they can get their hands on first. Going to Café Gelato is a transformative experience. One of my favorite menu items is the four-cheese tortellini in Parma Rosa sauce. The pasta was tender, and I could have licked the bowl clean of the sauce (that is, if I wasn’t in a fancy restaurant!). And, to make it even better, a meal at Café Gelato would not be complete without gelato, of course. Be sure to try the coconut and the salted caramel because you most definitely won’t regret it. Overall, Café Gelato is the place to go for a special occasion, to celebrate good times with good people over really good food!

 

At the University of Delaware, we’re so lucky to have such amazing options right next to campus. Food is such an easy way to connect with people and to make new memories. The options are endless – that is, until you get too full and need to be rolled home. I hope that my Main Street Eats list has been mouth-watering, tummy-rumbling, and palate-awakening!

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