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Tag: enrichment (page 1 of 13)

Five Things to Do around Campus by Hayley Whiting

This past fall was the first semester I started commuting from home instead of living on campus. While it does offer its own benefits, commuting has the potential to make you feel less connected to campus. So in addition to staying on campus after classes for my job; to attend club meetings; and to study in Trabant, Perkins, or the library; I made a promise to myself that I would make an effort to go to more campus events. Here are five things I did around campus this fall that you can do, too!

1. See a REP play

What is the REP, you ask? REP stands for Resident Ensemble Players and is the University of Delaware’s own professional theater company with its own group of resident actors! I first saw a REP play when it was required for my freshman-year theater class, and I have been going back to see their plays ever since. The productions are always amazing, with incredible acting, set design, costumes, and direction, and each season the company puts on a variety of plays, so there is something for everyone. Also, you get to see a professional play for a reasonable price. This fall, I went to see the drama August: Osage County and the mystery Murder on the Orient Express, which had the most impressive set and production I’ve seen there yet, complete with a moving train and a movie-like screen in the background. For anyone who hasn’t gone to see a REP play yet, I would highly recommend it! 

REP website: http://www.rep.udel.edu/Pages/default.aspx 

2. See a student performance

While the REP is a professional company, there are also plenty of performances put on by student groups, too. This fall, I saw a grand total of three great productions put on by E52, a student theater group: the play Arsenic and Old Lace, the musical Assassins, and their SAST production, which stands for Short Attention Span Theatre and contains six short, completely student-created shows. I also attended a show by the Rubber Chickens, a student comedy improv group, and had a lot of fun watching the group play various entertaining improv games. I also went to see the musical Mamma Mia, presented by HTAC (Harrington Theater Arts Company), which was super impressive from the singing to the acting to the costumes! Finally, as someone who sang in choirs all throughout my school years, I went to a concert put on by UD’s Chorale, which is one of the top college choirs on the East Coast! Watching their performance, I can see why — each song was beautifully performed, and I can’t wait to see another one of their concerts! 

E52 website: https://www.e52theatre.com/

HTAC website: https://www.udhtac.org/ 

The Rubber Chickens Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rubchicks/ 

UD music events: https://www.music.udel.edu/events/calendar

3. See a movie in Trabant

Each Friday and Saturday, Trabant puts on a free film in the Trabant Theater, rotating the films each week. It’s a great opportunity to grab some friends and go see a film you didn’t get around to watching in theaters. If you’re curious about what films are coming up, there is a lit-up poster next to the theater entrance displaying the names of the films for that month. (If you don’t know where the theater is, walk past PNC bank and go through the double doors as if you’re about to exit the building towards Main Street, and it’s on your right.) This semester, I got to see Booksmart and Toy Story 4, which were both super good!

4. Go to a sporting event

If you’re less into musicals, plays, and films but more into sports, there are plenty of sporting events you can go to! Since I played field hockey when I was in school, I chose to attend two field hockey games at UD’s Rullo Stadium, which was a lot of fun. Check out the UD Athletics website below to see the current season’s sports and events and to support your fellow Blue Hens! 

UD athletics website: https://bluehens.com/ 

5. Go to an event put on by UD

I’m sure you get lots of emails on a day-to-day basis, but I think it really is worth it to take some time to pay attention to e-mails about events that UD is putting on, since there are many useful, enriching, and entertaining events throughout the year. For example, in the fall, I responded to an e-mail from the Biden Institute and attended a student town hall with Governor John Carney. It was a great opportunity to interact with the governor in person and hear about his policies and initiatives. Also, since one of my majors is English Education, I took advantage of a Career Center event that gave advice to education students about how to network and apply for jobs in the future, which was super helpful! While it is impossible to attend all campus events, of course, I think it is worthwhile to take advantage of some of the events that interest you! 

Biden Institute website: https://www.bidenschool.udel.edu/bideninstitute

UD Career Center website: https://www.udel.edu/students/career-center/ 

While there are many more things to do around UD, these are just five ways to take advantage of all of the things to do around campus! So, next time you have some free time on a weekend or are looking for something to do with friends, think about one of these five options! 

“Caring for CompAnimals” by Erin Jackson

About one year ago, I lost a best friend: my fifteen-and-a-half-year-old beagle named Billy Bob. Being only twenty myself at the time, that meant that I hadn’t been without Billy Bob since I was four. I had no idea how I was going to survive without him when I literally could not remember what my life was like before he was in it. He completed our family, made every Christmas card picture, and warmed his way into the hearts of everyone who met him. He cured me of my fear of dogs the day I met him when he ran right up to me and licked me in the face, and now I am headed towards a career in veterinary medicine. While I miss him dearly and could write about him for pages on end, that is not what this post is about. This post is about other dogs like him. While there will never be a dog exactly like him, there are countless dogs out there who are full of love and special in their own ways. And unfortunately, a good number of them are without a forever home.

There was definitely a hole in my life after I said good-bye to Billy Bob this winter, and it took me a while to figure out how to fill it. At first, I didn’t want to fill it because I needed time to grieve over my loss. But after a while, I knew there had to be something else I could do to help myself move on. The perfect opportunity came to me in the form of CompAnimals Pet Rescue. I had a few friends who told me they were “pen pals” for some of the dogs who lived there. No, they did not send letters back and forth through the mail like your conventional pen pals. But they did have the chance to form a special bond with the dog they were matched with. The relationship starts out by walking the dog a few times around the park directly behind the shelter. As you grow more comfortable with the dog and the dog more so with you, you can take them on short trips away from the shelter to get them out exploring a new area. The ultimate goal is to even bring these dogs to UD’s campus and other places where they can be seen by the public and promote the shelter or even get noticed for adoption. As a broke college student in an apartment that would not allow dogs, this seemed like the best opportunity to get some quality time in with animals requiring some much-needed attention. 

I sent in my application, and a few short days later I was meeting Charles, an incredible survivor dog from the streets of Baltimore! He ended up at CompAnimals after getting hit by a bus, and he did not arrive in the best condition. Missing fur in some places, his skin was rough from his life on the streets. He was not too social after spending so much time on his own, but he was great on a leash, and I fell in love with him instantly. For the next few weeks, I went and visited Charles at the shelter, watching him grow so much in our short time together. Luckily for him, Charles was quickly taken into a foster home, where he still resides, and he looks more amazing every time I see him. His coat is gleaming, and he is all smiles around everyone he meets. It cannot be long now until he finds his forever home.

Since the start of the summer I have now been volunteering at CompAnimals once a week, getting to meet so many animals and see so many of them into new homes. CompAnimals really emphasizes making sure their animals that get adopted stay adopted, working closely with the more difficult dogs to train them and ultimately make the perfect match. I am sad that my schedule does not allow time to continue volunteering next semester, but I look forward to finding a new pen pal! To all my fellow dog-lovers out there, I highly recommend looking into CompAnimals Pet Rescue. They are only ten minutes down the road and are always looking for extra help. There are dogs out there who need love, and they are only ten minutes away from a school of almost twenty thousand students! If we all work together, I think we can make a huge impact on the quality of life for these wonderful animals. Even just one walk goes a long way.

“Rewards for Participation” by Chris Hope

Tear-off flyers and pamphlets. You see them all the time walking around campus: in Trabant, in the Little Bob, even in some classrooms. Most pass by these sheets of paper without a second glance, or even an initial one. “Take this survey,” they say, or “Come to South Campus and sit around for a bit and answer questions.” They seem to range between extremely minuscule and exceedingly out-of-the-way. One day, however, I decided to actually look into one of these research opportunities.

Thrice a week I make the trek from Caesar Rodney Dining Hall to Main Street where, behind one of the buildings (you know, down an alley and into a parking lot), I have my Linguistics 101 class. Strange location aside, it’s here where I’m greeted every day by various studies being advertised by the Department of Linguistics & Cognitive Science, or that of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Coming into class one October morning, one of these flyers caught my eye — Nap2Learn. So I thought, why not?, and took a tab. Two weeks later I found myself on a shuttle to STAR Tower to take part in a five-hour study.

Now, what could possibly motivate me to willingly take five hours out of a Thursday to take part in a study all the way on south campus? Three factors: the study is related to linguistics (my major), there was an advertised fifty dollars in Amazon gift cards at the end of it, and I knew I’d be bored that day — my only class that day was the last UNIV of the semester, so my schedule was pretty free. The study itself was detailed in the paper pinned to the corkboard outside my Ling101 classroom; I’d be taking part in a five-hour study wherein I would answer some questions about sounds, take a nap, then answer more questions.

The study itself was neat — I had to distinguish between some sounds not found in English and got an EEG cap put on me before I was told to take a nap for the next four hours. I don’t tend to take naps, however, so really it was an hour of me sleeping and three of me sitting in bed in a windowless room. Afterward I distinguished the same sounds and was asked to complete some sets of shape and spelling tasks. And it was done; I was handed my fifty bucks and went back to take a shuttle up to Morris.

I hadn’t really thought of taking part in any studies prior to this experience, but I’m glad I decided to go through with it. It was interesting being able to take part in research related to my major, even as a subject rather than as one of the researchers. If anyone reading this has the opportunity to take part in studies based around their major, or really any studies at all, I strongly recommend them. Yes, there’s the monetary incentive or—in the cases of two studies I’ve taken part in since—extra credit, but taking part in such studies was a nice experience for me. Again, if you ever get the chance, take part in one of these if you can; money’s good, but getting experience and possibly even connections within your major is an excellent asset.

Picture from: bernardon.com (http://www.bernardon.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Bncrft-UofDTower-4199.jpg)

“A Trip to the Big Apple” by Lauren Wrightstone

My friends in Redding and I had been wanting to take a trip to the “Big Apple,” or New York City, for a while now. It was originally just timing and money holding us back—buses are expensive!—so when we found out that the English Language Institute was sponsoring a bus ride there and back for only twenty dollars, we hopped on it. 

There were way more people than we had expected, and the crowd filled five or six coach buses. We boarded at seven in the morning and arrived just before ten in NYC, where they let everyone loose on the city. This wasn’t before handing out instructions on what to do if you got left behind at the end of the day, which wasn’t super reassuring, but I guess some information is better than no information. 

Having never been to the city before, it was way bigger and more crowded than I was expecting. Our small group nearly got lost several times. Everywhere we wanted to go was incredibly crowded, to the point where some places had lines out the door. Luckily, most of the places we really wanted to hit were touristy, so were built to accommodate huge amounts of people. 

Our first stop was the Rockefeller Center, every NYC visitor’s goal during the Christmas season. We then migrated to Central Park, and Times Square, and even a cute open-air Christmas market near the park. We also wandered through a mall with some… questionable statues apparently called “Adam and Eve.” You can look them up yourself.

I think the coolest thing about the day was just the excitement about being able to wander around a new place with friends. My original group was just people from my section (including my RA), but we were joined by two people from another floor. It was nice to get to know people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise met. 

That’s actually something I enjoy about living in Redding. Everyone there is an Honors student, so we already have something in common. Plus, we often have classes together, so we see each other everywhere. It’s just nice being part of a community. 

While we were in NYC, we had to work together to figure out where we were going. My friend, Amanda, was in charge of directions, but we still ended up taking a few wrong turns. Near the end of the day, we were just searching for things to do, as we had run out of ideas and our plans didn’t account for having extra time. We decided to search for a bakery, but after encountering three with lines out the door, we decided to get dinner instead. This proved to be its own challenge and we debated back and forth for a while, until finally just getting Chipotle. 

Overall, the day was really fun, even if the temperature was in the twenties all day (I really wish I’d brought gloves). I exchanged Instagram handles with the two people I’d just met, and then we all slept on the way back to UD. 


Pictured from left to right: Avery Houle, Tara Cain, Galen Nare, Me, Abbie Pierson, Amanda Reed (in the back), and Kya Lomax (in the front)

“Becoming a Tutor” by Jenny Gloyd

This semester I tried something new. I became an online tutor for AP Chemistry, and it has been a super fun and rewarding experience. It started off as a way to use my talents to make some extra money for the semester, and I quickly figured out that I enjoy teaching, and that I was learning a lot myself. I decided it would be fun to share what I have gained from the experience.

I was re-learning the information. Every Wednesday, I sat down and re-read my AP Prep Book, and I was then expected to teach what was written. I am a believer in the theory that you only really know material well if you can teach it to someone, and so putting what I had learned to the test really helped me to solidify my chemistry basics. I began to remember small details that I otherwise would have let slip through the cracks, and my student asked questions that I may not have considered when I was in her place. I began to see the effects of the sessions in my own classes. I was more sure of my fundamentals, and it helped me to approach classes like organic chemistry with more confidence. It was entirely a win-win situation, both my students and I were scoring higher on tests!

I became a better tutor. I learned that to be a helpful tutor, you not only need to know the content, but you need to know how to explain it well, and it is entirely possible that you may need to explain a concept entirely differently than how you learned it. It was important to check in and see how my approach to the content was translating to my students’ understanding, and their overall success in their class. And, not only did I need to know the material backwards and forwards, but I needed to be a cheerleader. I believe that a positive attitude helps you to do well. If you are encouraged and excited about the content, it is easier to get through. On the business front, I learned to keep track of lesson plans, tailor them to the student goals, and to keep on a schedule. I started to notice it was less important to write things down for myself and more important to communicate my plan clearly. 

I enjoyed being a mentor. Not only was I making some spending money for the semester, helping both myself and my students to do better in school and honing in on my tutoring skills, but I also made a friend. I always enjoyed actually checking in on my student, making small talk, and cracking nerdy jokes, and I think it actually helped to take the approach of being more of a friend than a teacher at times. I became personally invested in someone else’s success and it was amazing to watch them improve and succeed! 

I would recommend this job to anyone. It has greatly improved my semester, and if you are willing to put in the work, it is a job that you can gain a lot from. I plan to continue to teach next semester, and maybe even branch out into new subjects. Posiblemente, pueda enseñar español.

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