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Tag: spring break (page 2 of 2)

It’s spring break—now what do I do?

So you’re out of school for the week. Delaware’s spring break started after classes Friday, and now you’re wondering what other people are doing. Perhaps this is your first spring break, and you want to know some other options for next year besides being at home. Maybe it’s your last, and you are just enjoying time with no school. Whatever the case, here are some of the common spring break options. My colleagues on this blog have already covered several related topics, so be sure to check those out.
Option 1—the beach

One always-popular option is to take several of your close friends, a bathing suit, and head down to the beach. This year, for whatever reason, Panama City Beach (in Florida, not Panama, interestingly enough) is a very popular destination. Over 1,000 UD students signed up to go, according to a Delaware student representative for a travel company. Presumably many of those students are seniors hoping to enjoy “one last hurrah” before graduation.

Option 2—alternative spring break

Delaware has several non-traditional options for students who aren’t in to partying or want to see new things and help others. The alternative spring breaks students can choose from include a trip to Mississippi to work on oil spill relief projects, a journey to Washington D.C. to help homeless school children, a trip to New Orleans to help in the continuing Katrina recovery, an excursion to North Carolina to help the area in relief efforts for Sandy, and finally, a collaboration with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the poor. These are all fantastic options. Delaware usually announces the trips about six months ahead of time, so if you are interested by any of these, start looking out for the upcoming options come September.

Option 3—travel

Many people like to use spring break to go somewhere they normally would not. Perhaps you and your family decide to go visit New York City or Washington D.C. Maybe several of your friends and you opt to travel to somewhere you have never been but have always wanted to go, such as Chicago.

Options 4—staying home

This is what I am doing. Though it’s not particularly exciting, it is nice to just spend time with family and friends and enjoy not having any (well, much) work for a week. This works really well if the weather is nice, so you are not stuck inside, and if your friends from home are on break the same week. Some students who live off campus choose to just stay in their houses or apartments there, rather than returning home. That works too.

There are a lot of things you can do in this week-long period of no school. Hopefully you have some ideas and can continue to enjoy your break.

~Matthew Bittle


Small Wonder

UD students are enjoying spring break, a short reprieve from exams, papers, and busy schedules.  My break is off to a good start, but it’s different from past spring breaks in that I am spending it in beautiful Wilmington, Delaware, rather than the Orange County, California town where I grew up. Last summer my parents finally fulfilled their desire of returning to the homeland – aka the East Coast – so I am now a Delawarean.

The author at Valley Garden Park in Greenville

With such established residency comes a bad driver’s license picture, a love for Capriotti’s “bobbie” sandwiches, and a deep appreciation for the state that detractors label, “Dela-where?”.  While a big draw of UD is its relative proximity to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and New York City, Delaware itself has its own charms! Today I’m sharing some hot spots in Northern Delaware, (all pretty close to Newark), for when you desire an off-campus day trip.

  1. Parks:  I love East Coast nature, and find that taking a literal walk in the park is a great distraction from school stress.  Valley Garden Park is particularly quaint. Rockford Park hosts a “Flower Market” –a fun community event with vendors, state fair-style food and rides, and, of course, flowers – every year in early May. Alapocas Run State Park is great for runners, bikers, and even rock climbers, and White Clay Creek State Park is a Blue Hen favorite because of its proximity to campus.  My last botanical recommendation, Longwood Gardens, is actually in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, but the huge DuPont-founded establishment deserves mention because it features beautiful gardens year-round at a reasonable student price.

    Valley Garden Park in Greenville

    Cliffs for rock climbing in Wilmington’s Alpocas Run State Park

  2. Museums:  Delaware also offers places to enrich your mind out of the classroom.  For art lovers, there’s the Delaware Art Museum; the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library; and the Brandywine River Museum.  Business or economics majors would enjoy the Hagley Museum & Library, all about the “American enterprise”.  Those interested in anthropology, biology, or simply dinosaurs should check out the Delaware Museum of Natural History. And of course, I have to give a shout-out to the Museum of the Delaware Historical Society, where I interned this past winter!

    Wilmington’s Delaware History Museum

  3. Entertainment:  If you’ve seen one too many $3 movies in Trabant, consider something from this catchall category.  I like the Brandywine Zoo, which is fairly small but cheap and worth the trip.  I have yet to experience a Wilmington Blue Rocks (minor-league baseball) game or a show at the Grand Opera House, but have heard good things about both.  Finally, I can’t forget about the behemoth that is the Christiana Mall, because retail therapy is so much better when it’s tax-free!

It’s clear that one need not venture into Philly for a fun off-campus experience, as the state nicknamed “Small Wonder” offers a lot to explore.  Do you have any favorite Delaware locales?  Share in the comments below!

~Ruby Harrington

Netflix Spring Break

Congratulations, UD: you’ve finally made it. You’ve reached Spring Break. Your midterms are finished, your windows and doors are locked, and mere hours stand between you and an extravagant, expensive expedition or excursion; an exotic exploration of an extremely ex—

What, you mean you’re not doing that?

Trust me, I feel your pain. UD runs some amazing alternative Spring Break trips, both recreational and service-oriented, but with my schedule and budget, those just aren’t in the picture for me this semester. Which is why when I arrive back at home-sweet-Parsippany-New-Jersey-home, I’ll be snuggling up with a big cup of hot chocolate and the beautiful, red wonderland of Netflix. You, too, can manage this with the simple ease of $8 a month and all the movies and TV you could possibly want.

That said, here are my time-sensitive recommendations for your Netflix Spring Break..

I’ll have a few hours here and there. Recommendation: BBC’s Sherlock. This modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective novels is brilliant in ways that are simply elementary, my dear Watsons. Each episode is only an hour and a half, and to date, there is a grand total of six episodes (fans of the show are sometimes called “the Fandom that Waited,” because it takes so long for new episodes to come out). Sherlock has a sarcastic, utterly British sense of humour, and should not be watched sleep-deprived.

I have about enough time to watch one season of a show. Recommendation: Fox’s Firefly. About one season is exactly what you get with this staggeringly captivating sci-fi show (one season, plus a movie). From the mighty Joss Whedon comes Captain Mal Reynolds, a retired army veteran of a war long since ended; his first mate and fellow veteran, Zoe; and the rest of their cobbled-together crew. The show exudes mystery, and although I’ve not finished the series yet (because I’m holding out as long as I can to keep something to look forward to), I hear the ending is heartbreaking.

I will probably be getting cozy with my laptop. Recommendation: AMC’s The Walking Dead. The words I’ve most recently heard used to describe this horror drama are “scary” and “emotionally draining,” so set aside a stable chunk of time this break. The show follows Sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes as he and the remaining survivors of this post-apocalyptic world attempt to survive on an Earth dominated by “walkers,” or zombies.

What is a social life? Recommendation: BBC’s Doctor Who. The longest-running sci-fi show in history (sprinting towards its 50th anniversary next year!) is worth every instant of your free time this break. And I’m not just saying that because Doctor Who is my absolute favourite on this list. The show follows the Doctor (not Doctor Who), a two-hearted Time Lord who whirls around the universe in his TARDIS, and the companions he picks up along the way. If you choose to watch, do yourself a favour and start where Netflix suggests: with the 2005 episode “Rose.”

The author with her sonic screwdriver from Dr. Who


~Claire Davanzo

Olivia Lucas: Alternative Spring Break Leader

by Mike Kerrane

To most people, spring break is a time to get away from the grind of the semester, have fun, and unwind in some warm, exotic part of the world. Last year, Olivia Lucas, a junior Honors political science major, spent her spring break in Newark, New Jersey. And she wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

As a member of the student organization UDAB (University of Delaware Alternative Break), Olivia traveled with a group of 14 other students and three site leaders to partner with Camp Vacamas, an organization that seeks to improve the lives of at-risk youth. The setting was bleak: “We saw entire blocks of boarded up houses. On the corner of one there was a house that was completely burned down,” Olivia said. But in their week there, the UDAB students were able to work with 6 to 14 year-old kids doing art projects and just generally having fun. As you would expect, Olivia found the whole experience extremely rewarding.

In 2012, Olivia will again spend her spring break on a UDAB trip, this time one headed for Washington DC, where UD students will work with Bright Beginnings, a daycare and youth services organization that works with homeless children. And there’s an added wrinkle: this year, Olivia will serve as a site leader.

Being a site leader means that Olivia is responsible for the logistics of her trip and the students on it. It is also means that she is involved with UDAB throughout the year, conducting fundraising efforts and running participant meetings that emphasize group bonding and training. In only its second year, UDAB is already garnering a lot of attention. “We had so many applications this year. It’s really exciting, but it’s also pretty sad,” Olivia said, regretting that UDAB has to turn down so many people who are eager to be involved. She says it’s important for people to realize that alternative break means more than just a rewarding way to spend your time off. “It’s not just about having a great week. It’s about what you’re going to do afterwards. It’s about becoming an active citizen.”

Olivia seems to have taken her own message to heart and says that her experiences last year inspired her. After graduation, she is interested in pursuing a career in inner-city education.

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