Picture this: you’re sitting in your ENGL 110 class listening to Mr. Peters explain Flat Earth conspiracy theories when your eyes catch sight of a white speck through the window. And then you realize–SNOW!! IT SNOWS IN DELAWARE!!
This may seem a bit dramatic, but I have seen more snow in the first two weeks on campus than I’ve seen in the last two years in Virginia Beach. I’ve always loved the snow and have always been deprived of it. Hallmark movies have been taunting me with the thought of snow on Christmas while it was warm enough to go swimming at the beach during the holidays. I love everything about snow; the way it falls so softly and makes the world go quiet; the way it reflects the streetlights and makes the cloudy skies glow with warm orange light; and most of all, I love the sound it makes when it crunches under my feet. Continue reading
Winter break was a time of relaxation and relief from a tough fall semester. While we couldn’t travel and see family for the holidays, my family and I still made the most of our time off. I continued to work with the First-Year Fellows, and we organized some amazing programs over the winter to stay engaged with the Honors community while on break. I also participated in the E-52 virtual production of Check Please! directed by Heidi Fliegelman and Christine Marchesano.
But if you’re anything like me, you probably spent most of the winter break sleeping in, playing with pets, and living a mostly unstructured life. I didn’t take any winter courses, which left me no choice but to play Animal Crossing and nap on the couch with my dog. Suffice to say, I haven’t exactly been disciplined in keeping a routine as of late, which was slightly problematic as the Spring semester rapidly approached. Continue reading
This winter, I was fortunate enough to be part of undergraduate research on campus. I learned new laboratory techniques and experienced some new chemistry first hand. I also found out that I really enjoy what winter at the University of Delaware has to offer, and I thought I would share some of my thoughts here.
First, it was an entirely different feeling from fall and spring semesters at UD. The whole campus was much quieter, and most buildings and restaurants around campus had reduced hours. It was a good change of pace, there were less people walking across the green, and shorter lines at places such as Einstein’s Bagels — which I frequented over the winter session. Places that were normally noisy became quiet study spots and the reduced hours for many buildings forced me to be efficient with my time, and to stay organized. I also took advantage of the lack of crowds to start going to the Little Bob more often. I developed a gym routine I liked, and made a habit of going by the time spring semester started.
Second, really focusing on one task was a very valuable experience in my opinion. I was able to put all of my effort into research this winter, without also having to juggle multiple classes. It turned into a morning routine to sit down with a coffee and read from chemistry journals, something I had told myself I was going to do, but never could find the time for until this winter. I learned about the type of chemistry I was involved in, and what my research group was working on, as well as reminding myself of the basics. I understand now why people sit down with a coffee and a newspaper in the morning; it was very peaceful and I felt like I accomplished something before the day even started. On top of that, when spring semester rolled around, I had already been able to dedicate the time to understand the research I was doing, and to learn new laboratory techniques important to the project. I am now more confident in the lab, and it has allowed me to accomplish more this semester despite splitting my time between classes and research.
I also would recommend, if you stay for the winter, to use it as an opportunity to work within your future field. I have already mentioned that I have learned an insane amount of chemistry over these past weeks, but I also was able to learn what it is like to work in an academic lab. I am one of the only undergraduates in my lab, and so I am mostly working with professionals. It was very valuable to see how others with more experience were able to collaborate and problem solve. I learned how best to communicate my ideas, and to ask questions. I saw how others in the lab communicated their ideas in our weekly meetings, and it inspired me to be a good and informative scientist.
Winter at UD is very worthwhile to gain a different perspective on campus and to dedicate your time to something you care about. I hope this encourages others to seek out more opportunities on campus outside of the fall and spring semesters.
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!
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.