5 TV Shows you should Binge Watch over Winter Break

We all know that our main motivation for finishing our finals in the next few days is to be able to be lazy once again. We feel like it has been ages since we had a day to do absolutely nothing.

Trust me, I get it. I’m an over-involved Albion student as well. What I am looking forward to most this holiday season is the opportunity to sit on my butt, in the dark, for hours at a time, binge watching my favorite television shows. ‘

Here’s a little guide for the rest of you – five shows you should watch while you cuddle your bag of Tostidos with your queso resting delicately on your chest.

1. SCREAM QUEENS 

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Scream Queens is a Satrical Horror/Comedy featuring some our favorite childhood stars, like Emma Roberts, Keke Palmer, Nick Jonas, and our favorite “cool mom” Jamie Lee Curtis. Honestly, this show is incredibly hilarious. The premise is based in a sorority house at Wallace University where a serial killer called the “Red Devil” is slowly picking away at the sisters in the house. Sounds bloody – and it is, but in the funniest way. Like any other Ryan Murphy TV series, the show has no filter, and the gifs are 100% Tumblr worthy… Or great replies when your friends from home won’t text you back.

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You can find the whole first season here.

2. HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER 

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You may have heard about HTGAWM earlier this fall when lead actress, Viola Davis made history as the first woman of color to win an Emmy for the lead actress in a television drama, (see her emotional acceptance speech here). However, the fun has only just begun for this show. With the first season now available on Netflix, now is the perfect time to get sucked into this incredibly screwed-up, but brilliant tv show.

The first episode of the second season leaves you with enough plot for an entire season. The show features a group of Law Students in Philadelphia working for their professor at her law firm when they get mixed up in a murder plot. The show is a trendsetter for all things new in TB – to a leading lady who happens to be a woman of color, a monogamous gay couple living with HIV, characters portraying bisexual people, as well as transgendered representation. The show is truly not afraid to make a statement. It also features fellow Michigander, Jack Falahee, who plays Connor Walsh, and Dean Thomas from Harry Potter – otherwise known as Alfred Enoch or Wes Gibbins on HTGAWM.

Oh, and future law students – this one’s for you.

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3. The United States of Tara 

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Any Toni Collette fans out there? No… just me? Alright, well this show is one of my all time favorites. Although relatively short-lived (The show only ran 3 seasons from 2009-2011) it hilariously demonstrates the way a family can deal with mental illness in a completely normal way.

Tara, the leading lady played by Toni Collette is living with dissociative identity disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder. Tara has three other identities that regularly interact hilariously with her family. The first is Buck, your the perverted country type. Buck his hilarious in his many schemes to land Tara in trouble. Next is T, the flirty teenager constantly trying to seduce Tara’s husband (confusing, I know). Lastly, there’s Alice. Alice is depicted as a 50s housewife always attempting to discipline Tara’s two kids. While the show is drop-dead funny, it always has bits of seriousness mixed in as well. It demonstrates the hardships mental illness can have on people, as well as showing that all families aren’t perfect. Just watch it, you won’t regret it.

And when it’s over, and you’re crying alone in your bed, here’s this.

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4. ONCE UPON A TIME 

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This show will fulfill all your childhoods dreams and fantasies. The way that all our favorite fairy tales are twisted into this impeccable plot will blow your mind. From Peter Pan and Pinocchio to The Wicked Witch of the West and Elsa, they’re all here and all have storylines explained in ways you could have never even imagined. All you have to do, is believe in the magic.

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Warning: Be prepared to become attracted to all your old favorite villains and heroes.

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5. BROAD CITY 

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Amy Poelher is the Executive Producer of this show… Need I say more?! Broad City follows Abbi and Ilana through their misadventures and ridiculousness throughout New York City as any frivolous 20-something should. Like me, Ilana tries to avoid any sense of real life and is constantly searching for ways to get money or strike a bargain. The show is absolutely hysterical and has no boundaries. Abbi and Ilana definitely have no filter.

The show will make you feel like you can do anything. Please don’t.

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Get ready for a whole lotta this…

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Alright, that’s all I have for you all, now hit the books, so you can watch even more tv over break!

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Grey’s Anatomy Explains the 10 Phases of Finals

If you’re anything like me, the experience of finals is pretty much the same every year. From your first year to your last, the emotional unraveling process is generally the same for us all. It probably looks something like this:

Phase 1: You know finals are a couple weeks away. You know it is going to be stressful, but maybe this is the year that you will flawlessly keep all of your ducks in a row. With this hopeful thought in mind, you put on a brave face.

Phase 2: Around the same time as phase one, before your professors have even discussed what your final exams will look like, your stress and anxiety begins to quickly rise, but you try to jokingly shake it off.

Phase 3: Your profs give you the study guide, and you question if you really learned anything throughout the semester.

Phase 4: You knew finals were coming, and that the end was near, but you didn’t fully realize how much more effort you’d have to put into the semester before it ended.

But you shouldn’t feel bad, because everyone in your class is in the same, sinking boat. Nobody knows where they might end up.

Phase 5: Panic. (It won’t be the last time you freak out before you’re finished, but it’s a start.)

From here on out, this is your day-to-day motto:

And any extra assignments your profs put on your plate have you like:

Due to the stress, your sense of humor has become sub-par.

Phase 6: You question if you’ve done anything right this semester, and you think about everything you could have done differently to prepare your grade for the potential blow of finals.

But you know that you need to get your act together and get busy if you want to have any chance of succeeding. As any college student would, you reach out to your friends to bond over the stress in the best way you know how.

And you have a mutual agreement with them to not be offended if one of you gets a bit hostile.

Phase 7: There is less than a week left before finals: you’re finishing up last minute assignments, studying like crazy, trying not to think about wanting to go home, and probably trying to carry out the rest of your responsibilities in groups that your involved in on campus. Basically, your life is feeling like this:

But you still do your best to maintain the appearance of composure, and if people to ask you to hang out, you’re likely to calmly and respectfully decline.

The stress and exhaustion continue to take a toll on your emotions, and this:

Quickly turns into this:

(Told you the first panic wouldn’t be the last.)

Phase 8: It’s cram time. You don’t know when the last time you showered was, or when you got more than two hours of peaceful sleep in a twenty-four hour period. Even though there isn’t enough time in the day, you need to eat if you want your brain to function. When it comes to personal hygiene, you’ve seen better days.

You continue to grow more exhausted, stressed, and irritable. Delirious, you begin to question if any of it is worth it, and giving up seems like a reasonable option.

Especially if/when any of your friends decide to grace your brain with the knowledge that they have no finals this semester. Your response is valid…

Phase 9: You’ve lost every ounce of motivation, just in time for the finals you’ve dedicated the past couple weeks of your life to. Your friends and professors may notice your lack of energy, which has all but disappeared. If they ask you how you’re feeling, you don’t hide the cold, hard truth.

Most likely, they give you the last little push you need to make it through the chaos.

Obviously still overwhelmed, you gain just enough inspiration to make yourself believe there is a chance that you can succeed.

Phase 10: It is time. The night before your exam, you get your last-minute studying in. You go to bed with the intention of waking up and getting ready in the morning, because the “look good, feel good” approach works, and you need all the help you can get. So, you think you’ll look like this:

Let’s get real. Due to your exhaustion, you end up sleeping longer than expected. Disheveled, you run to your exam so that you’re not late. When somebody asks what happened to you, you’re less than composed…

At this point, you just want to take this test and go into hibernation for a few years. If your prof is even one minute late to the exam, you don’t know what to do with yourself.

Then it’s over. You take the test, along with the rest of your final exams. For the first time in what feels like forever, you can finally breathe.

Relieved and stress free, you hang out with your friends and pack up for a well deserved break.

You’ve made it. You’re 95% sure you didn’t fail the class, you brilliant warrior, you. Well done.

Thanks for reading my blog post! I figured everyone could probably use a little, humorous study break. …You should probably get back to the grind, though.

Good luck, Brits!

Io Triumphe!

Senior Athletes: This isn’t the end.

As fall sports come to an end this month, Albion athletes must cope with the blank spaces in their schedules from the absence of practices and games. This lack of activity can be especially devastating because, for many, it marks the end of their athletic career.

As a graduating athlete myself, I thought it would be relevant to ask my fellow Britons, class of 2016, what they will miss most about their sport. I was curious to get other opinions on how it feels to be graduating from nearly a lifetime of team bonding and how they plan to cope with the “silence” of retirement from athletics.

According to an NCAA study, less than two percent of athletes will continue with on with a professional sports career. That leaves most of us seniors at the end of an era of the sport we’ve participated in all of our lives.

Erin Snapp, graduate trainee of counseling at Albion College Counseling Services, is working with athletes this semester and gave some insight about the transition graduating athletes must undergo during this difficult time in their lives.

“It’s a big transition because it’s an identity,” said Snapp. “It’s a lot about recognizing where you want your future to go and what you value most about athletics. Recognize what you value the most about it and who you are as a person because that is something a lot of people don’t differentiate between: who you are and who you are as that athlete.”

Snapp also emphasized the importance of keeping an active lifestyle and trying new things to cope with the absence of organized athletics.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” said basketball player Jordan Herron, Lansing senior. “I know it has to come to an end, however, I don’t want it to. The good times I’ve had with my team and the experience I’ve had as an Albion basketball player are memories I’ll carry for the rest of my life.”

Many students, like Okemos senior Halle Thom, said they also plan on staying involved with athletics after graduation. Thom shared her future plans with volleyball.

“I plan on trying to coach at some point in the future,” said Thom. “I would love to stay involved in the sport and continue to play in rec. leagues.”

Snapp also recommended both taking athletics to the league level or combining athletics with future career goals.

“Athletics can be combined with all careers: marketing, coaching, medicine…” said Snapp. “That’s what I’m doing with psychology.” Snapp, a former collegiate athlete, recognized the feelings that come with ending your sport and the courage it takes to move past it.

Courage. All athletes have felt this in one way or another. I personally cannot believe I crossed my last cross country finish line just a few weeks ago. Having the courage, strength and determination to be a student athlete throughout my four years at Albion has taught me insurmountable lessons about what it means to be a team player, to work hard and to stay determined and motivated in everything I do.

Like many other athletes I interviewed, I will miss my team the most: the laughter, the nerves, the support and the memories. The people at this college have shaped me into the individual I am today and inspired me to be even better with whatever life brings next.

Shout Out to Baldwin

The saying is definitely true: you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. If somebody told me at the end of last year, “you’re going to miss having a meal plan next semester,” I would have laughed. It’s no secret that most students don’t exactly have an all-loving relationship with Baldwin when they are on-board (term for having a meal-plan). However, I am here to tell you that if you are on-board, you’ve pretty much got it made.

Due to living in the Mae, and being a broke college student, I’m on a strict diet of eating whatever I can find to make my stomach stop growling. I have my friends guest pass me into Baldwin and the Eat Shop way more than I’d care to admit.

Allow me to give you a few reasons why Baldwin is a blessing.

Convenience: I definitely didn’t realize how time-consuming making food is until I had to make the time to do it every day. Meals that are healthy (other than salad) tend to take at least thirty minutes to an hour JUST TO MAKE. Who on this campus has time to set aside to make food? The real reason behind microwave meals and Ramon Noodles: Ain’t nobody got time for that! On-board students: appreciate that you can grab cooked, healthy food in a matter of minutes.

Variety: We may say that we’ll cook ourselves a variety of different foods and we may dream of delicious meals, but the reality of the matter is I’ve eaten a bowl of rice with some vegetables for quite a few of my meals this year. If it isn’t rice, it’s canned soup. If it’s not canned soup, it’s a peanut butter and jelly. Unless I really put effort into planning different meals for myself, my daily options for sustenance are far less varying than what I had in Baldwin.

No Dishes: Any time I eat, I have to take care of my dishes. More time is used up in preparing and cleaning up my meals than I actually spend eating them. In Baldwin you can just put your dirty dishes on a conveyer belt, walk away from them, and grab a cookie on your way out. In the Mae, I put my dishes in the sink, wait a few seconds for them to disappear, and then accept the fact that I need to make the time to clean them (even if it is just rinsing them off and putting them in the dish washer).

Community: You can usually find someone to go eat with when you’re on-board, and it’s likely you’ll find someone to sit with even when you go alone. There is a community of people eating together in Baldwin. Not to mention, a lot of the Baldwin staff are fun to talk to. Living in the Mae, I eat when I have time to, and usually it’s alone (unless my friends swipe me in to eat with them).

Long story short, I miss Baldwin. It was way better to me than I realized when I had it. Other people who are off-board may not agree with me, but from my personal experience: love Baldwin while you’ve can, because buying groceries, cooking food, and cleaning are way too much of a hassle for my taste.

Io Triumph

D3 Swimming: One Big Happy Family

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As I have stated in previous blog posts, this is my last year at Albion. Of all the groups and organizations I have been involved in Delta Tau Delta, Union Board, FYE Mentor, Residential Assistant, Interfraternity Council, just to name a few… The Albion Swimming & Diving team has been, by far, my most valuable experience.

I began swimming competitively at the age of seven. I have always been extremely natural in the water, having grown up with a log cabin on the lake in Northern Michigan. From early on, I excelled in the water and found myself absolutely loving the sport. Upon coming to Albion, I believed my swimming career wouldn’t exceed past high school. By some odd mistake, I came to an Albion visit day where I was supposed to meet with the coach of the Equestrian Team, but instead was greeted by the former head swim coach, Keith Havens.

Being the shy and awkward person I once was, I decided to say nothing, but instead just go with it and spend the day with the swim team. This was by far my best decision I had made in high school. I was immediately comfortable with this odd group of humans. I even ended up skipping my tour of campus in order to hang out with them longer. Who knew watching The Lorax with 15+ people in a small dorm room could have solidified my decision to continue my swimming career.

Coming into freshman year, I figured I’d give it a try and if I became too busy or it was too stressful then I would just quit. I never realized that this team would become my family. These people have been with me throughout everything, they are the only people who understand how hard it is to swim and go to school at the same time. These are the people whose room I pull my mattress into and marathon Law & Order between practices while we’re stuck on campus swimming during winter break. These are the people whom I spend my Spring Breaks with, exploring the Sleeping Bear Dunes and playing endless games or Cards Against Humanity. These are the people I have chosen to live with at Albion. These people are my family.

Over the course of the past four years, I have watched this team grow to become what it is today. I may not be fast enough to be placing in the top 8 at MIAA Championships but being with my team is all I really need. These are the people that have shared my 5 a.m. morning practice crabbiness, my tears through hard sets, my joy as I dropped 8 seconds in the 200 fly that one time, and the best four years of my life.swimming

Animals!

Anyone who knows me knows I love taking pictures. Whether nature, people, or in this case, animals, I’m there. This week, Union Board sponsored an event where students could play with exotic animals for the afternoon. From tarantulas, to foxes, to even alligators, I had a pretty eventful afternoon photographing both my peers and these creatures. Here are some of my favorite shots. Enjoy!

The F Word

Let’s just get right down to the nitty gritty and talk about the F-word.

No, no. Not that one. The F-word I’m talking about is Feminism, which, in my personal experience, is heard much less frequently than the actual f-word. Why isn’t it said or talked about as much? I’m guessing that’s due to the negative stigmas that are associated with feminists and feminism.                  

I know! It’s crazy to think that people avoid using a word just because of some negative or false stereotypes that have been formed around it; and if these people can’t even use the word, they definitely aren’t associating themselves with a movement that benefits everyone. But it’s true.              

Unfortunately, there are people I know, women included, who don’t identify as feminists. From what I hear from others, a lot of people avoid associating with feminism. Before we continue, let’s get one thing straight: feminism is the belief of the political, social, and economic equality of the sexes.

FEMINISM IS NOT MAN-HATING.

                                       In fact, feminism couldn’t be further from the concept of women hating men; it’s not a war between the sexes. Feminism is an understanding that gender equality is necessary and beneficial in the lives of both men and women. I repeat: gender equality is necessary and beneficial in the lives of both men and women.

Sexism (prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex) perpetuates hypermasculinity (psychological term for the exaggeration of male stereotypical behavior, such as an emphasis on physical strength, aggression, and sexuality) which negatively impacts the lives of boys and men throughout their lives. Feminism is a means to end sexism, and therefore a means to end hypermasculinity. 

All goofy Disney gifs aside, there are a plethora of reasons why the feminist movement is beneficial for everyone. It is important for everyone to understand why feminism is necessary. 

Feminism encompasses many serious issues that are present throughout the world, and they are definitely issues that need to be resolved. 

Throughout this week, Albion College is celebrating Women’s Empowerment Week. There will be tables in the KC every day where people can come and talk about the different issues that feminism addresses. There will also be different events throughout the week.

If anyone has questions about how feminism benefits all genders, I highly recommend that you attend the Women’s Empowerment Roundtable at 7 p.m. in Upper Baldwin on Thursday, Oct. 29. Albion College faculty and staff, as well as members of the Albion community, will be leading an open discussion with students. Anyone is welcome on over to the event and either join in the discussion, or just listen.

Hope to see you there! 

Io Triumph

For the Love of Fall

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Photo taken during my drive to the Western Barn for practice.

Luckily for all the fall lovers out there, including myself, there is no shortage of fall activities in Albion. Nothing compares to admiring the rich pallet of fall colors outside your window, while driving down an Albion back road, or heading to a tailgate to grill out before the big game. Fall in Albion is so quintessential college and highlights my favorite attributes of this town and school.

The mood during this time of year is like none other. Everyone is ready to be back on campus. No one’s burnt out on the academic scene quite yet, and we are all thoroughly enjoying our freedom after a summer at home. Better yet it slowly converts into sweater weather, which ultimately symbolizes the beginning of our favorite fall activities.

If you’re ever in need of ideas to enhance your fall experience at Albion — I’ll share a few of my favorites that I have compiled throughout my years here. As a fall loving senior, this list is not going to include how one must get the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Biggby to thoroughly enjoy fall. We will go beyond that; although, I must admit Biggby’s “PSL” is absolutely delicious. My list instead is compiled of my favorite outdoor activities; we need to keep in mind that we only have so many days to enjoy this weather until the inevitable return of the Albion Tundra.

The first on my list is a visit to the apple orchard, Sweet Seasons, which is located a mere six miles from campus. Upon arrival, one can consume all of the apple-themed delicacies one could desire ranging from apples, apple cider, donuts, and carmel apples. If eating these treats isn’t your thing (which is weird), take a walk around the apple orchard to enjoy the scenic panoramas.

An apple orchard may seem obvious for a list of fall activities, yet here’s a senior secret to enhance and put a spin on the Cider Mill: rent a bike from the Kellogg Center and bike there. It is a perfect alternative to driving if one does not have a car, or if one desires a bit of an adventure. Despite the physical exertion required, there are a lot of up-hills, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking making the trip worthwhile. One can even make a day out of it, and pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the many open spaces along the way.

Another classic activity is going to the Nature Center. The trails are well maintained and extensive, and the Kalamazoo River runs right through the center. In my opinion, we simply don’t utilize this space enough. It’s the perfect place to escape to break from a busy campus schedule, and I can guarantee nothing is more relaxing after a long week of class than this.

Upon arrival one can rent a canoe with their friends or even do so solo. If exerting this much physical labor is not your thing, yet you still enjoy being outside, I have a more relaxing option: bring an ENO hammock (I promise someone on campus will have one) and hook it up among the trees. For some extra bliss, bring some cider and donuts from Sweet Seasons to feast on while hanging in the trees. From there one can read a book or simply chat amongst friends.

Another personal fall favorite of mine is going to the Equestrian Center. It is tucked away in one of Albion’s most beautiful residential areas and is a nationally-recognized facility. Although I may be biased in that I ride horses, I am confident in saying anyone can appreciate the beauty of this facility. One can once again enjoy their apples from Sweet Seasons and feed them to the horses. If one has eaten all these apples, which is easily done, they can instead visit the college’s mini horse, ACE. Anything “mini” is guaranteed to brighten up one’s day or at the very least be a source of entertainment

 

3 Essential Apps for Every College Student

There are many useful apps which help connect, start a conversation, inform, and entertain people while on the go. Many students turn to apps first thing in the morning, in-between classes, and as a distraction while studying.

While at Albion College, three apps in particular have truly made a difference in my safety, education, and helped me be more financially responsible and I believe these apps can positively affect students no matter which college or university they attend.

These three apps include:

  1. Companion: Never Walk Hole Alone
  2. Quizlet: A Simple Free Learning Tool For Students and Teachers
  3. Venmo: Share Payments

Companion

Companion is an app for students made by students. This app is designed for a friend or family member to virtually walk/watch a student from their point A to point B. After the student user enters their destination, the companion, or person selected to walk them home, will be notified as to how long it should take the user to make it to their end point.

If something goes wrong on the trip and the user begins to run, doesn’t make it to their destination, changes direction, stops for an unusual length, has their headphones yanked out, or if their phone falls on the ground, their virtual companion will be notified after 15 seconds. This app also allows for students to report areas where they feel unsafe on campus through the “I feel nervous” button which then is sent to the college or universities campus safety anonymously in hopes of increasing safety around that area, along with an emergency button which is linked directly to the nearest police station. The virtual companion will also be alerted when they have reached their end destination. Also, the virtual companion does not need to have the app to walk someone; they will receive a text message and they can follow the user’s path by clicking on a link which takes them to a map.

Quizlet

Quizlet is an app which allows for students to study on the go through online flashcards. After students sign up for a free account, they can make classes and add their terms and definitions. Once this is inputted, they can quiz themselves using flashcards, generated practice exams, match terms and definitions, and use the audio feature to listen to the terms. The best feature is that you can share or receive classes full of terms and definitions with anyone who has an account. Also, since there is no paper flash cards being made, Quizlet is very sustainable from an environmental and financial standpoint.

Venmo

Venmo is an app which allows users to pay their friends or family for dinner, rent, drinks, activities, etc. by sending and/or receiving money using their debit or credit cards without the hassle of figuring out exact cash. Since Venmo utilizes a bank-grade security systems, users input their bank information, which then allows for money to be deposited to any bank overnight without much worry. Also, the user can request money from those who haven’t paid, decreasing the chance of conflict that can arise from people not paying others back.

I strongly believe that these three apps can have a positive effect on every college student and I encourage everyone to download Companion, Quizlet, and Venmo.

P.S. All three apps are free on iTunes and Google Pay!

Event Planning – Show Your Best

Something big is coming to Albion this year. This Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Chamber of Commerce and City Hall are putting on a trade show at the Albion Community School called Show Your Best.

I have had the pleasure of working on the planning and organizing of this event through my internship at Albion City Hall this semester. What started out as a marketing internship quickly grew into an event planning internship as I helped Special Projects Coordinator, Marie Macone, plan this unique trade show for the city of Albion.

This free event allows businesses to show off what they can offer the community and lets community members and college students to see what is happening in the Albion area. More than 50 organizations are already registered to participate, and there’s room for more!

Each institution will have its own table with information. Some businesses are offering free giveaways that will be raffled off later in the day. The event also includes an awards ceremony, water aerobics for seniors, activities for kids such as open swim, face painting, and play areas, and a French lunch available for purchase. Albion College President, Mauri Ditzler, will even be in attendance, introducing the new Albion city sign at 3 p.m.

An event with this many fractions was not an easy thing to organize. For each organization in attendance and mini-event happening throughout the day, numerous phone calls, visits, and documents needed to be made. I quickly learned that there is a lot more that goes into a six hour event than I originally thought.

I am excited to see the event come to life this weekend. For more of an event preview, check out the event’s trailer on YouTube! Hope to see you there!

Mon professeur favorite

Maybe its because she’s been my advisor since my first semester of my freshman year, maybe its because her passion for learning and discovery is a force that overcomes you whenever you stand in her presence.

Either way, Dianne Guenin-Lelle, French professor here at Albion College, has left such an impact on my life in just three years, and although I am sometimes late to her 8 a.m. class, I hope she knows how much I appreciate her.

I remember meeting her at DASP, or maybe it was SOAR. Either way, i was interested in French, and she encouraged me to start at the 300 level. I also found out that day i had been placed into her freshman seminar so I would have her for two classes. I didn’t think much of it then, but it would end up impacting my college career immensely.

For that FYE with Dianne, we traveled to France, and not only did that allow me to get to know her better, but I had to rely on her for most of our transportation and day to day agenda. She also encouraged me delve deeper into my study of French language and culture, and pursue a French minor.

Three years later, she is still my advisor, still my French professor, and might even be one of my thesis advisors next year. we meet regularly to chat about life, or talk about more academic endeavors. Whether she knows it or not, she leaves a big mark  on my life at Albion.

Albion College Bucket List

As you may know, time flies when you’re having fun. Here is an Albion College Bucket List to ensure you do not miss out on some special things before four years at Albion fly by!

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Blues at the Bohm

I had the honor of performing with a band full of talented people, Cliff Harris (chemistry professor), and my friend, Nicole Schnabel. It was an incredible experience, and there were a lot of community members in the audience. I’ve never sang in that kind of an environment before, with the band behind me and two people singing with me. To say that it was exhilarating would be an understatement.

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I’ve always been comfortable in front of crowds, so Nicole and I danced around the stage and entertained people with our goofy dance moves (potentially more than with our voices). We were on stage for 10 to 20 minutes, and it was some of the most fun I’ve had all semester. Harris offered for the band to learn songs that Nicole and I want to sing, so you can bet that we will be back there every month.

To any students, staff, faculty, or community members who can sing / play an instrument: I highly recommend getting in contact with Cliff Harris to book at time to perform during Blues at the Bohm.

To anyone who enjoys music: come watch Blues at the Bohm! Students get in for free. It’s a great place to relax and unwind from the stresses of our daily lives, and it’s definitely filled with a positive, fun atmosphere.

Blues at the Bohm is from 7-10pm every first Monday of the month. Hope to see some fellow Britons there in November!

National Hazing Prevention Week at Albion College

Last week, many Albion College students involved in Greek life changed their Facebook cover photos and painted the rock with the words: “These hands don’t haze.” These activities are all due to members of Albion Greek life actively participating in National Hazing Prevention Week. 12033362_10153670430944936_93580133_n

According to HazingPrevention.org, National Hazing Prevention Week is celebrated on college campuses during the last full week of September across the United States to raise awareness about the problems of hazing and educate campus organizations about hazing prevention.

Associate Director for Greek Life and Student Organizations Jonathon Collier explained why this week is so vital on Albion’s campus. “National Hazing Prevention Week is important because it allows the topic to be spotlighted yearly and serves as a springboard for reaffirmation of organizational core values,” said Collier. “The week serves as a reminder that the purpose of new member education is to make women better women and men better men.”

Albion College recognizes a zero tolerance no hazing policy. No forced or uncomfortable action or activity inflicted on a member or a new member of an organization is tolerated at Albion. Sometimes, people defend acts that are defined as hazing because these actions considered “tradition” by an organization or club. President of the International Fraternity Council at Albion College and member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, Brett Cunningham stressed that when it comes to doing what is right, students need to be the change.

“Just because it’s tradition doesn’t mean it’s not flat out wrong,” Cunningham said.

Furthermore, member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Jessica Anderson, also thinks National Hazing Prevention Week is essential to Albion College Greek life.

“I think that hazing prevention is important because we go to such a small school where over half the campus is Greek, that it is best to focus on the positives of Greek life,” Anderson said. “Albion is a hazing-free campus and it is great to remind people of that and encourage people to join Greek life.”

Ruchi Ahluwalia, member of the Delta Gamma sorority, agrees.

“I think education about anti-hazing is important because everyone should feel comfortable and appreciated in their house, and be able to have the full experience of going Greek rather than having to worry about being judged and hazed,” said Ahluwalia.

In context of National Hazing Prevention Week, Ahluwalia made a slideshow of Albion Greek members expressing their thoughts on how to prevent hazing here on campus. This slideshow can also be found on the Albion College Panhellenic Council Facebook page.

Anti-hazing education is very important. By recognizing National Hazing Prevention Week, once again Albion did a great job of spreading the word about why hazing is wrong and unacceptable.

The Union Board Water Bottle

_DSC0614It comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. It bears many uses, both as a place to hold your favorite beverage, and as a calendar of events to keep you “in the know” throughout the semester. You probably have at least two of each style, and you’ve probably lost at least one at a football game or a party at some point in your college career. The famous Union Board water bottle is something every Albion College student needs, something that can be seen on campus at least 20 times on any given day, and something that connects each and every Briton together.

The Union Board water bottle has many personalities. Sometimes its spotted with a large cap, strapped to a backpack ready for some long hours spent at the library. Sometimes the old UB bottle is relaxing on a porch near a game of corn hole and some stereos. Other times the bottle is abandoned, strewn on the floor of a hallway, these are usually old models with faded text and worn out handles, truly a sad scene to witness.

This year’s version is taller than most, styling a nice grey strap and push-to-open lid, perfect for that refreshing ice cold water, or whatever else you fancy to take with you after your meal at Baldwin. So far these bottles have been known to hang out in both lecture halls and the occasional fraternity party. They appear to be just as hard working, and just as stylish, as the students they accompany each day.

The Union Board water bottle is just as much of a Brit as the rest of us. It goes where we go, it does what we do, and it keeps up hydrated along the way. So Brits, treat your fellow Brits, no matter what the shape, size, height, or color, with respect. Thank your Union Board water bottle for sticking with you since day one, since Briton Bash, or since you acquired an extra one that one Tuesday of last year. Thank goodness for the Union Board water bottle.

 

It’s good to be back Albion

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Above is a photo of my friend and I climbing trees in the nature center freshman year. This was one of the activities/places that I missed the most while abroad.

All I can say is Spain has treated me right–my year abroad has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. As much as I love and adore Albion College I can’t deny that returning back to campus after a year has caused me a fair share of anxiety and nervousness. The trifecta that has been the source of my uneasiness include: the inevitable culture shock I am bound to face, seeing classmates friends and professors and the bitter-sweet return to a jam-packed schedule. Not to mention the fact that it is my senior year; the last time I will ever get to enjoy all the luxuries and disadvantages of being an undergraduate.

However despite all of these anxieties, my nervousness has been greatly outweighed by my excitement and restlessness to return back to the irreplaceable charm and hominess provided by Albion. If there is anything that will make you appreciate Albion–try being away for a year. It has caused me to long for the little things here like walks in the nature center, Victory Park, and throughout the quad. Or even the pure bliss of knowing that I do not have to walk everywhere, and could easily be accommodated by the security of campus safety to drive me anywhere on campus free of charge.

Not to mention Albion’s culinary options consisting of Rellie’s pizza, my beloved fajitas from La Casa or on the rare occasion that I have a desire to be healthy—a chef salad from Gina’s. Most shocking of all is that I actually missed Baldwin. Yes I just said that—how can we deny the deliciousness of make your own omelets and stir fries, or the comfort of the always genuine and maternal-like greeting from Mary upon our Baldwin entries? You just cannot beat it, nor find anywhere else—that I can assure you.

So now that I have been back to campus for a week, I can happily say that my transition back into Albion life has been seamless. Not to imply that I have not transformed drastically from my experience abroad, but there’s something so easy and accepting about Albion College that has allowed me to easily integrate back into life here. Although it has just been a week since my return, it feels good to be home with my Brits.

Briton’s Business Boutique: Step In, Stand Out

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It’s mind-blowing to me that I have officially entered my final year as a Brit. I’m filled with mixed emotions as I watch the school fill with the largest incoming class in years. One one hand, I’m elated that Albion is getting enrollment up and becoming a force to be reckoned with. On the other hand, I’m terrified of change and the school is changing immensely to support the student body.

One thing that has continually stayed the same throughout all this change is the relationships made with the staff here at Albion. I am so proud to be a part of a school where college students are trusted by professionals to start up a program or get involved with a professor’s research. I was recently asked by the Career and Internship Center to launch a start up program that would allow for students to borrow business professional clothing for whatever occasion arises. This program has cleverly been renamed: Briton’s Business Boutique.

This program is designed to allow Albion College students, and eventually the Albion community, to come into the Career and Internship Center if they find themselves in need of business professional clothing for a job/internship interview, or career fairs. What I have discovered in my three years here at Albion, is that 1. Business professional clothing is absurdly expensive. 2. College students have no money (I can hardly afford and ice cream cone at McDonald’s). 3. College students do not have business professional clothing in their wardrobe. So my goal is to provide these services to students in need. They will set up an appointment and be personally styled for their interview by yours truly. There’s nothing more important in a interview than looking like you have your “stuff” together.

With the help of some other student employees in the Career and Internship Center, we brainstormed to come up with the name for this program. There is a lot I would like to accomplish with this program. Other schools in the United States have programs such as this one, however, none quite as thorough as I would like Briton’s Business Boutique to be.

So here’s the stitch. There is a lot that needs to be accomplished before I can officially launch this program. The biggest obstacle – CLOTHING! I am looking for any sort of donations ranging from pencil skirts and flats to pocket squares and tie clips. Once I have a pretty good inventory of clothing and all the other supplies I need to get this start up launched – it will be open to the student body. If you are reading this and have some stylish business professional clothing, do not hesitate to send me an email at JKD11@albion.edu!

As you can see, I am extremely passionate about this project. My professors might not want to hear this, but this project has been taking away from my valuable homework time because I care so much about it. So don’t forget the name! Briton’s Business Boutique: Step In, Stand Out. 

Wesley Memories

As a senior, I often miss the halls of Wesley, were all my friends could be found in one building, when college was still new and when life was (almost) carefree.

As a senior, I now have to start worrying about life after graduation, where I’m going to live next year, where I will find a job, and other real world problems that I am definitely not ready for yet.

So, Albion first-years, before you complain about being a freshman or living Wesley, take some advice from a senior, and enjoy it while you can. Your college experience will go by quicker than you think.

Three years ago I compiled the best of what Wesley has to offer in a slideshow for my journalism class, and now I wish to share it with you. Enjoy.

Must Haves for College Move In

Wesley Room

Hello all!

Move-in is just around the corner, which means everyone is probably packing. So I came up with a list of things that people tend to forget about in the hectic process of moving from home to school. Most of these items are normal items from around the house that we don’t think about not being readily available. Either that, or they are items that we’ve never needed before coming to college.

Can opener 

When I went shopping in preparation for my first year of college, I bought a bunch of canned food that would be readily accessible to eat in the event that I didn’t feel like going to Baldwin for food. However, I didn’t consider the fact that a can opener is necessary for opening most cans. So, be sure to include a can opener in your packing list if you’re stocking up on canned food for the semester.

Trash bags (Pro-tip: Store your grocery bags)

You could go pick up special trash bags that fit inside of your little trash can, OR you could save money and collect old grocery bags, which fit into the trash can just as well. Either option is fine.

Humidifier 

The air in dorms tends to become somewhat dry in fall and winter. To avoid all of the trouble that results from a dry room, I suggest investing in a humidifier. It doesn’t have to be anything super fancy.

Fan

The dorms are pretty hot for the first few weeks of school. You may think that you won’t need a fan, but from personal experience I can tell you that you will. One year I even went out and purchased a second fan in an effort to cool my room down!

Flip Flops for the shower

Everyone has probably already packed their supplies for the shower; the shower caddy, the shampoo and conditioner, the soap, etc. You should also remember to bring flip flops for those community bathrooms/showers. You never know what you could be stepping on! Protect your feet.

Bottles that will fit in your mini-fridge

These can be used water bottles, or reusable bottles, just be sure that they fit in your fridge. (Pro-tip: Use these to stock up on pop and juice from the cafeteria instead of buying it from the store.)

Lamp

You don’t necessarily need a lamp, but if you are easily bothered by fluorescent lights, you are going to want one. The main source of light for all of the dorms is fluorescent, so if you’re prone to headaches, I recommend investing in some sort of alternative light.

Your favorite snack food from home. 

We all get homesick. Be sure to pack yourself some type of comfort food that will remind you of home.

I hope that at least one of these items is helpful for each of you in your packing endeavors! Can’t wait to see you around on campus. If you’re a First Year, welcome to Albion! It’s going to be a great year.

Io Triumphe!

 

Blues

Two seconds. I dare you.

That’s how long it will take before a smile spreads across your face so big, you feel like you’re kissing your high school sweetheart at junior prom all over again. It’s how long until you realize Albion is not dead.

They play in a restored theater. It was paid for with grant money and heralded as the comeback of the city. But everyone knew it wasn’t. It was a shell, and the fear in the back of everyone’s mind was that unless they filled it, it would remain just that.

Blues

But tonight as that smile spreads on your face, you know that Albion is not dead because Albion still has soul. The house knows it. They’re an unusual bunch. You see two of your college friends across the aisle, and also the the photographer who’s at all of the city council meetings and wears the same sweaters as your grandma. There’s a man with curled hair and a mustache that keeps walking in and out of the show from the bar across the street- you know this because you just saw him there before you arrived. They all tap their toes as they eat home-cooked BBQ. It’s electric.

The birdman on the harmonica knows it. He flaps his arms as he bashfully digs into his instrument. The man on bass knows it. He’s humble about it though, and only takes one solo. The guitarist and the drummer both know it, and are content letting their instruments do the comping for them. The beer-loving Methodist pastor on the keys knows it, it’s religion after all. But the man who knows it the most is the guitarist you’ve nicknamed Old Blue. He wears a company polo and stands slightly off center. He’s good and he knows it, but doesn’t need anyone to tell him.

To me, he is Albion, those huddled masses that have never been and never will be tired or poor, because the flame is alive in him. You know this, because as the set finishes and the crowd cheers he just smiles to himself and laughs. His friend in the audience stands and shouts and the man in blue just shakes his head, laughs, and says, “You see what you made me do?”

Albion is going to be just fine.