Study Abroad: Fly, Fly Away!

Our student writer, Anna, tells us about her study abroad experience…

Anna---Fly-Fly-Away_Galway_Ireland“Welcome back! Now, leave!” Yes—that’s a real sign here on campus. Can you think of what department would post that? No? Allow me to explain it this way.

I spent last semester out of the US. I lived in Ireland and went to an Irish school (NUI, Galway). I traveled to Paris, London, and visited Brugge and Brussels in Belgium. Yes—I studied abroad. And I would seriously recommend it to every single student if it is at all possible for you to make it happen.

The study abroad program here is fantastic, and I write this from personal experience. You have an orientation along with all of the other UMBC students planning on studying abroad to learn about the process and the various ins and outs of living in a foreign country. And get this: you pick where you want to go. Granted, that country has to make sense for what you want to study, but generally speaking, UMBC will work with you to try to get you where you want to go. Obviously for me it was Ireland. For one of my friends, it was Peru. For my best friend, it was Japan. Where in the world do you want to go?

The purpose of studying abroad is, unfortunately perhaps, studying; however, classes are only a part of what and how you learn. How much have you traveled? If you haven’t traveled a lot, you’ll get used to it, and yes, travelling most certainly has a learning curve. How about navigating possible language barriers? It happens. After all, I ended up in Paris—and I don’t know French. In Belgium I was even worse off—there they speak both French and Dutch. The point I’m trying to make is that when you live abroad, you become so much more aware of…so much. Language, dress, music, food, lodging (we don’t really have hostels in the US), all of which and more accumulate into culture. UMBC loves to advertise its diversity, and you definitely will get a feel for that here on campus. But nothing completely replaces the experience of experiencing another culture firsthand and in real life.

In Ireland, one of the classes I took was the Introduction to Positive Psychology. There I learned that spending money on self-improvement (classes, therapy, certifications, etc.) or travel actually enhances well-being. Spending money on ‘things’ doesn’t. I’m not saying you have to study abroad, but I am highly recommending considering it. From my experience I got to visit five countries across two continents in four months. The other country? South Korea. That is somewhere I would have never expected myself, and guess what? I want to go back there the most. So to summarize the study abroad experience: You’ll never know, unless you go.

–Anna Crow ’16

Anna---Fly-Fly-Away_Paris
Paris — The Eiffel Tower
Anna---Fly-Fly-Away_London
London’s Big Ben
Anna---Fly-Fly-Away_Brussels
Brussels
Anna---Fly-Fly-Away_Cliffs-of-Moher_Ireland
Cliffs of Mother Ireland
Anna---Fly-Fly-Away_NUI-Galway
NUI – Galway
Anna---Fly-Fly-Away_Seoul
Seoul, South Korea

“Are We There Yet?”

Hi everyone! I just wanted to mention something that I found out today about Residential Life. So, you may have already known that there are bus trips that any student can take into Baltimore on the weekends (and if you didn’t…now you do!). BUT did you know that ResLife hosts “Mystery Bus Trips” for residential students? As in… you have no idea where you are going. As in, you hop on a bus with your friends and you go somewhere…to do something awesome. Just thought I’d share!
–Anna Crow ’16

I Go to “Court”

Our student writer, Anna, explores one of UMBC’s intellectual sports…

Anna---I-Go-to-CourtLook at the Student Org list online and you’ll find Mock Trial listed as an “Intellectual Sport.” Believe me — there’s a reason for its inclusion in that category.

A little bit ago I was invited to sit in on a practice with the team to get a feel for what this org involves. (And I should note these guys are a bunch of friends, so I basically just hung out with a really smart friend group!.) It just happened to be a practice devoted to running through questions between attorneys and their witnesses, so I got to learn the case and how they approach it. As I saw at the practice, strategy is an integral—fundamental, really— factor in mock trial. Generally, strategy includes how a team uses the case law, objections, and handbook rules, as well as how they characterize witnesses and what (if any) additional questions or methods they incorporate into their trials. Of course, how they go about presenting the case as a believable story is at the crux of any team. This year, the team had to argue that a casino owner was–or was not–forced into committing an illegal bribe to acquire a second casino. When I interviewed Dylan and he told me that being involved is for people who want a challenge, I think he summed it up pretty well.

Admittedly, my knowledge of legalese is a bit outdated, since the last time I dealt with law was years ago in high school. I will nevertheless attempt to explain a few details about the case to give you a better feel for the sport.

The case was super interesting this year because there were two possible defendants, and so the team has to essentially prepare strategies for two cases as opposed to the typical one. This means that whichever team represents the state (it’s a criminal case, so it’s the state versus the defense) gets to decide which defendant out of the two they want to prosecute in that trial. Tricky, huh?  That means all teams have to be flexible and prepared for a lot of changes between trials. In terms of the charges, the concern here is entrapment. Basically, there’s a government official and an undercover officer who may or may not be guilty of entrapping (or ‘forcing’) the casino owner to illegally bribe someone.. Each side (prosecution and defense) has to demonstrate why their interpretation of events is correct, which thus should result in either a conviction, or a dismissal. If you’re confused, that’s fine! It took me a while to glean all of this info, and I was there in person. It’s a challenge, but don’t worry—

Beyond the rampant legalese, the concentration to detail, and the probing questions raised so as to improve, the practice was goofy. (I was informed that not every practice is as goofy as that one.) Nevertheless, just because they deal with tens of pages (maybe more?) of case law (and if you’ve never read case law, you probably never want to) doesn’t mean that the team is all about work-work-work.  At least, that’s certainly not the vibe I got. For over two hours I was sitting amidst a group of friends who were focused on enjoying themselves while simultaneously learning and practicing something they all wanted to be a part of. It was a balance of work and play, and frankly, it was enjoyable just sitting there in the commandeered classroom and absorbing the atmosphere of the practice and the dynamics of the team.

So, moral of the story? The Mock Trial team works hard, but not at the expense of fun. They’re cool people— welcoming, too. If you’re considering law as a career path, check it out—give being a lawyer a test run. If you’re just interested in law as a concept, or public speaking, or even you simply like thinking critically and strategically, then hey! Check it out. Also, shout out to them for having an awesome season! Congrats!

–Anna Crow ’16

Laugh a Little…

Our student, Anna, discovers the funniest group on campus…

Over the weekend I learned something about UMBC that I never knew: we have an improv comedy group. Cool, huh? One of my friends invited me to join her at one of the shows, so that’s how I found myself sitting in a lecture hall on Friday night (not that it felt a lecture hall!).

I don’t feel like I can rightly explain the show, so instead I’m going to let some videos and pics do that part. I will say that there’s some audience participation (to provide suggestions—you don’t get drafted to be laughed at, don’t worry), and that the room was packed. The improv group, the Dog-Collar Comedy Troupe, is a team of about 10  students who get together to perform—you guessed it!—improvisational comedy. And it’s great. So without further ado…

A roomful of bored people waiting for the show to begin.
A roomful of bored people waiting for the show to begin.

 

 

Improv in Progress
Improv in Progress

 

That man is on a television daytime show explaining how to cook beef stroganoff. His hands, however, are a bit tied up…and a friend is lending him a hand—or two. (And said friend may or may not be having a lot of fun smearing food on his face in the process…)
That man is on a television daytime show explaining how to cook beef stroganoff. His hands, however, are a bit tied up…and a friend is lending him a hand—or two. (And said friend may or may not be having a lot of fun smearing food on his face in the process…)

 

 – By Anna Crow ’16

The Cure for the Freshman 15: Healthy Cooking

Our intern Brittan tries her hand at some healthy home cooking…and it looks pretty delicious!

food1
The ingredients started out like this…

Coming to college holds different excitements for everyone. But there’s one thing about college that pretty much everyone is excited for, new freedom. You decide when you wake up. You decide when you go to bed. Want to watch Netflix until 4 in the morning? No mom to tell you no, so why not? There’s also no mom to cook you your dinner.

Food is pretty much everywhere. Pizza, sandwiches, ice cream. This may seem like heaven, and, at first, it definitely is. You can skip the vegetables and go straight for the waffle fries. But I’m here to tell you a sad truth: filling up on chicken nuggets and pizza actually does catch up to you. I’m sure you’ve heard of the dreaded Freshman 15 but think there’s no way that can happen to you. Reality is, it can and it probably will. It happened to me, this “new freedom” proved me to be completely helpless in the face of unlimited pasta bowls and chocolate cake.

This is not to say that UMBC doesn’t have healthy options, there are plenty. It just took me and mostly everyone I know a year of indulgence to learn the strength to limit ourselves. Okay, fast forward to junior year, most students by now are out of the dorms and into the apartments or, in my case, in houses off campus. So when you finally grasp how to eat properly on campus, you’re thrown into a whole new adult challenge: cooking healthy food without burning a hole in your wallet. It is easy to buy a pack of ramen or Easy Mac and call it a day, but Junior 15 doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

food2
…and became these delicious, healthy red pepper and avocado bites!

Considering that, in the beginning of this year, I had to look up “How to cook chicken”, so you might say I started off this adult thing pretty slowly. I want to share with you my crutch in the hopes that it can soon become a crutch for you too.

*Cue the trumpets*

The Healthy College Cookbook!  Essentially this little guy teaches you how to make pretty much every meal, breakfast through dessert, on a college time schedule while also keeping in mind the college bank account falls down to $2 pretty much every month. Don’t worry, it’s not the only one of its kind. You can pick up an array of healthy cookbooks for college kids at the local library (located 2 minutes from campus) and all groceries at the Giant right down the road.

The meal I made this week was roasted red pepper and avocado bites. It cost me 7 dollars, took me 35 minutes, and was a real crowd pleaser. Doesn’t look like 160 calories does it? Yum!

— Brittan Gibbons-O’Neill ’17

Previous posts by Brittan:

Meet Your Student Bloggers
A UMBC Love Story

American Studies Students Produce Radio Series

As part of the Baltimore Traces: Communities in Transition project, several American studies students produced a radio series about two Baltimore neighborhoods in transition: Greektown and Station North. Baltimore Traces is an interdisciplinary project and collaborative teaching innovation that produces audio and video oral histories focused on Baltimore residents and neighborhoods.

On Friday, May 22, the radio series aired on WEAA’s The Marc Steiner Show. Bill Shewbridge, professor of the practice of media and communication studies, worked with students in Michelle Stefano’s class, a visiting assistant professor of American studies, to produce an audio journey through the East Baltimore neighborhood of Greektown. The project brought students into the neighborhood where they conducted interviews with local residents and workers to explore the identity, history, and complexity of the community.

Read more here:

American Studies Students Produce Radio Series for The Marc Steiner Show | UMBC Insights Weekly.

Real People Profiles: Emily Moroney

By David Hoffman

We’re asking some of the people you might encounter on the UMBC campus, including students, faculty, staff and alumni, to answer a few questions about themselves and their experiences. These are their responses.

Name: Emily Moroney

Hometown: C-I-N-C-I-N-N-A-T-I, OHIO!

Q: How long have you been at UMBC?

A:Since July 8, 2013.

Q: What is your current title (job or student organization position)?
A: Coordinator for Transition Programs (Off-Campus Student Services)
Q: In 12 words or less, what role(s) do you play on campus?
A: Advocate, innovator, collaborator, supporter, challenger, ‘do-er,’ programmer, strategize- ‘r’, friend, colleague, boss.
Q: What aspect of your UMBC role(s) do you enjoy most?
A: – Supervising my student staff (TSN/PACC). They are the best!
– Working with and for the amazing students here at UMBC.
– The collaborations on projects/initiatives with my very talented colleagues.
– Getting to do something different every single day.
Q: What is the most important or memorable thing you learned in college/have learned at UMBC?A: I learned a saying from a previous theatre professor/director that has stuck with me to this day: “To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be late is to be…..[he said dead, but let’s not be morbid].”

People are valuable and time is precious. I’ve learned that respect more often than not is shown through the actions we make, not just the words we say.

Q: What is one way you have worked with others to make a positive difference at UMBC or in another community?

A: I currently work on a initiative/grant funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that focuses on the success(es) and retention of STEM transfer students between 2yr and 4yr institutions. Everyday, I get to work with incredibly intelligent, passionate and caring, administration, faculty, staff and students, in providing transfer specific services and programs to incoming UMBC transfer students. Every semester, I feel such joy from seeing students I met at community college start their orientation here at UMBC. I get even greater joy seeing them show up to events and getting involved as engaged leaders here at UMBC.

Q: Complete this sentence: “I am a big fan of __________”

A: Freshly brewed Iced Tea!
Q: Do you have any UMBC stories, little-known facts about UMBC, favorite spots on campus, or anything else you’d like to share?

A: My favorite spot on campus would be Alumni Office. Located in an old house, I find it fascinating—the bedroom offices to the backyard filled in pool. Every time I visit, I find myself curious about the families that lived there and the history/stories that lie within those walls.

Co-Create UMBC is a blog for and about UMBC, written by David Hoffman and Craig Berger from the Office of Student Life. Join the Co-Create UMBC group on MyUMBC. Like Co-Create UMBC on Facebook. And follow David and Craig on Twitter.
 

Real People Profiles: Emily Eaglin

By David Hoffman

We’re asking some of the people you might encounter on the UMBC campus, including students, faculty, staff and alumni, to answer a few questions about themselves and their experiences. These are their responses.

Name: Emily Eaglin

Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

Major: Cinematic Arts

Q: How long have you been at UMBC?

A:A year & a half.

Q: What is your current title (job or student organization position)?
A: Linehan Artists Scholar
Student Life Social Media Intern
IRC Intern
SUCCESS Program Student Coordinator
Critical Social Justice Student Alliance President
Women of Color Coalition Member
Rock Climbing Club Member
Q: In 12 words or less, what role(s) do you play on campus?
A: I’m a social justice filmmaker and equal rights advocate, here to listen.
Q: What aspect of your UMBC role(s) do you enjoy most?
A: Meeting new members of our community and learning about everyone’s diverse background. I love getting feedback on films I’ve made on various critical social justice issues, meeting people through them recognizing me from my films, and picking it up from there.

Maybe my favorite thing of all is starting conversations & spreading them, in particular, conversations that many people don’t know or think we need to be having.

Q: What is the most important or memorable thing you learned in college/have learned at UMBC?

A: Ask and you shall receive.

Just because something seems highly unlikely or improbable doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it or that it’s impossible. You’ll never know if you don’t ask, and in choosing not to you are likely missing out on countless opportunities. For example, for a web series pilot I am currently producing (“Marylandia”), I wanted to include President Freeman Hrabowski in a sketch about something totally random.

I considered not asking, finding something else, maybe this idea was too big etc. Not only did he agree to star in it, he absolutely MADE the sketch and in doing so gave a great message to all of the UMBC community. If I had listened to that little voice in my head that said “Don’t ask”, that sketch might not have even made the final cut and I would’ve missed out on that amazing experience.


Q: What is one way you have worked with others to make a positive difference at UMBC or in another community?
A: One of my films, “Future Children,” brought the issue of mixed race identity to the attention of the greater/national public. I was a featured commentator on an NBC 4 broadcast (DC/MD); I was interviewed twice on WHUR 97.3 radio and was invited to screen the film in Los Angeles at Universal Studios. Absolutely none of this would have been possible without my incredible cast of 20+ UMBC students, who took the time out of their day to star in, compose music for, and support this project.

Q: Complete this sentence: “I am a big fan of __________”

A: Critically analyzing one’s own personal bias. knitting. skepticism. comedy central shows.
Q: Do you have any UMBC stories, little-known facts about UMBC, favorite spots on campus, or anything else you’d like to share?

A: First of all I’d love to invite everyone who wants to get involved in Critical Social Justice on campus to check out the “Critical Social Justice Student Alliance” Facebook page & come to our meetings!

Also my YouTube/Tumblr page is “EmilyonWishes” just throwing that out there.

The people who work alongside me for UMBC Student Life are an impeccable resource and some of the most genuinely kind & interesting people I’ve met here.

I know I can always have a thought-provoking conversation at the Mosaic Center’s “What’s the Tea?” social justice discussions.

And the UMBC Women’s Center is full of some of the most open minded, beautiful and strong people I’ve met on campus who are dedicated to seeing this school and the world change for justice and equality.

If you haven’t checked out those places or met those people, I’d suggest you get the chance to ASAP. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank them and Freeman for everything that they have done for me and are doing for the greater student population at UMBC.

Co-Create UMBC is a blog for and about UMBC, written by David Hoffman and Craig Berger from the Office of Student Life. Join the Co-Create UMBC group on MyUMBC. Like Co-Create UMBC on Facebook. And follow David and Craig on Twitter.