Friday, November 2, 2018

Something's different, just may be me?

When I first stepped outside the airport into the English air I was … surprised.

It wasn’t what I expected. I expected to feel a significant difference that would mark the beginning of my adventure abroad. I was disappointed, but that was all soon forgotten as I took in the London streets as they swooshed by through my Uber window.

I told myself later on that it was silly to think the air would be different, and that didn’t take away from the fact London was beautiful and worthy of happy tears. Three weeks later, I’m walking home with my friends one evening and notice something; the air.

It was different, somehow. It dawned on me perhaps it wasn’t the air that was different at all, but rather myself.

I’ve been in England for a little over a month now. Although it feels like I just got here, it also feels like I’ve been here forever. I’m still finding new things to ponder over, while I’m hanging out with people who can pass as lifelong friends.

I have learned so much about myself in such a short amount of time, it’s somewhat baffling. I’ve faced hardships that made me wish I could book a ticket home. I found out I actually really like coffee after years of believing I could only stand it in Frappe form. I’ve gained unconventional friendships and unfortunately lost some in the process.

And to my surprise, found what I believe I want to pursue after graduation.

I was so nervous to come abroad and leave everything I felt comfortable with behind, but I’m more thankful I did with every day that passes. I’m thankful I didn’t run home when things got difficult, because now I’m surrounded by amazing individuals and learning incredible things.

— Elayne Che, a junior psychology major, is studying abroad this fall at the University of Essex in Colchester, England. #HuskyAbroad #ProfessionalU

Monday, October 29, 2018

I might be biased, but ...

Hey everybody,

Three weeks ago was the H Street Festival, which was postponed from September because of Hurricane Florence. It spans several blocks with live music, food tents and trucks, and other vendors. It gave me just a small taste of the Bloomsburg Fair, which I sadly was not able to make it home for. I tried Jamaican jerk chicken for the first time (which was incredibly spicy but absolutely delicious) and watched this cool African band Chieck Hamala Diabate.

The weekend after I went to a Washington Wizards game at the Capital One Arena. It was my first NBA game, and I loved every second of it. We were in the nosebleed seats at the very top section, but it was still a great time anyway. The game was competitive to the last second, but the Wizards lost. We’re going to see them again this weekend when they play Oklahoma City Thunder!

This past weekend was Global Festival at TWC. It’s an event that gives interns in the program the opportunity to cook some of their food from home, and then a talent show to showcase their country. I believe there are over 40 different countries represented this semester from several different regions of the world.

The hardest part about making international friends is how far away they are when the program ends, but it gives you an excuse to make travel plans.

Brunch is a huge thing in D.C. Most restaurants will typically do a two-hour bottomless brunch that includes brunch food, mimosas, and Bloody Mary's. The place we went to is called Bar Charley’s, and I got to see some fellow BU alum living in D.C. and Philly. We went to a Latin dance club in Northwest, and I must have danced for three hours. My legs are actually sore.

I might be biased, but D.C. is the best city in the world. I love the accessibility to Baltimore, Philly, Maryland, and Virginia. My mom, brother, and soon to be sister in law came down to Silver Spring to visit me and grab brunch. Just four stops on the metro, and I was in Maryland. I love how easy it is to get places and see other states with just a quick metro, bus, or Uber ride. If you ever find yourself in downtown Silver Spring, you have to stop at McGinty’s Pub House. Their hash browns were so good.

That’s all for now, it’s finally starting to get chilly down here, so I’m excited to see D.C. in the fall!

— Deanna Campion, a senior dual political science and communication studies major #ProfessionalU

So happy this is my life

Did you ever have one of those moments where you sit in your car and just have a good cry?

Well, that was me around 3:45 yesterday in the school parking lot. I was not crying out of stress or anger, but I was ugly crying because I had to say goodbye to 19 second graders that have a permanent spot in my heart.

Yesterday was my last day in second grade, and I move onto third grade tomorrow. I mean I'm staying in the same school — and when it really comes down to it — I'll see them in the hallways but STILL there I was blubbering like a baby in my car (I'm a rather sensitive person so just bare with me.)

Reflecting on how they started in the beginning of the school year and how they ended yesterday, they have progressed so well in my opinion. I went from saying “shh” 100 times a lesson to giving them a verbal reminder twice a day to raising their hand and turning around in their seats!

One of my students who would cry about something every single day has shed ZERO tears in the last two days! Another student who shows NO emotion whatsoever gave ME a hug and invited me to his birthday party!

I’m tired and coffee is running through my veins, but it was all worth it. The constant reflecting and my 47-page unit plan were all worth it.

I was immersed in topics and activities like:

  • exploring maps and globes
  • the ever dreaded common core mathematics (which actually isn’t that bad and has immensely improved my own math skills)
  • the butterfly life cycle

... and I even got to meet a famous children’s author Marty Kelley.

I can’t forget to give credit to my wonderful teacher who I worked under. She is such a wonderfully organized teacher that I have no excuse NOT to be on top of my stuff when I get my own classroom. I’m just so happy this is my life. I may have grey hairs, but my heart is truly full!

— Carolann Green, a senior early childhood education major

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Wait, you’ve never seen a waterfall?

This past summer I worked at a camp where I met a college student from Illinois. Somehow through conversation I found out she had never seen a waterfall. That’s when I decided we’re going to Ricketts Glen.

Ricketts Glen State Park is a not-so-hidden gem in our own backyard. It’s located about 45 minutes north of Bloomsburg and is full of fun (and free!) activities.

I’ve probably hiked all or most of the 7.2-mile Falls Trail System at least 25 times in my life, and my family visits Lake Jean at least once a year to go kayaking. Hiking at Ricketts Glen is my favorite thing to do. If I’m planning on walking slowly, I make sure to bring my camera along to take some beautiful nature shots.

Ricketts Glen is mostly known for its 26 miles of hiking trails, especially the Falls Trail System — home to 22 waterfalls on a 7.2-mile loop. There are multiple places to begin and end, and you don’t have to hike the whole thing if you don’t want to.

The waterfalls on the Falls Trail range in size from 11-feet-tall, to the monstrous 94-foot Ganoga waterfall. I love seeing the look on people’s faces when I take them hiking for the first time.

The whole time they ask, “Is that the big waterfall?”

I always reply, “You’ll know when we get to it.”

Photos never quite do it justice, either.

Autumn is one of the best times of year to visit Ricketts Glen, because it boasts some beautiful foliage when the leaves start to turn. According to some reports, this year could be one of the best seasons for it!

This year, I found most colorful leaves at Ricketts Glen were on the trails and near the Western Boat Launch of Lake Jean. During the summer though, Lake Jean is definitely the place to be.

There are multiple cabins and campsites, and a beach for those who can’t make it to the ocean over summer vacation. The beach has sand, water and a lifeguard. The only difference between Lake Jean and the Jersey Shore is a boardwalk!

From Memorial Day until Labor Day there is a concession stand and rental station where you can rent boats, kayaks, paddle-boats and canoes. The cabins and campsites are open most of the year, and the lake is open year-round to those with their own boats to go boating or fishing.

Like I said, the park is open year-round. However, hike at your own risk!

The Falls Trail System is the most difficult trail in the park and can lead to serious injury if you’re not careful. Another thing to note is no cell phone service in the park. If you get injured, calling 911 should still work, however it will take responders quite a bit of time to reach your location since there is a lack of access roads for vehicles and ATVs.

— Dallas Kriebel, senior mass communications major #AGreatPlaceToBeYou

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wanderlust tamed in England

I have always loved traveling with my family, but this year I am experiencing it for the first time independently! From the gorgeous views, to the complicated reality of traveling, I am reveling in it all! I come from a very cultural background, while also being first-generation American, but I wanted to venture out and discover some nuances in this vast world.


Spending about four days in London, the capital of the country, has opened my eyes in a tremendous way- I am in utter awe from its culture. Living in Brixton, through the lovely AirBnB I booked, I met very intriguing people, and was in the center of street art and urban life of the younger generations. Venturing out to Central London, my eyes were dry from not being able to miss a second of the views: the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, the Seven Dials Shopping Centre, Piccadilly Circus area, and the British Museum. I took a risk and had some adventures to find the less well known but yet still incredibly intriguing parts of London such as Neal’s Yard; the pub covered in flowers from floor to ceiling, The Churchill Arms; the extravagant luxurious hotel, the St. Pancras International.

Lastly, regarding my career track, I took on new adventures in London. I enrolled in screen actor workshops at The Actors’ Centre in Covent Garden. I got further information about the differences between acting for the stage, and acting for the screen. I was actually incredibly blessed to be able to get perspectives of other acting instructors than the ones I was used to in the U.S. I also saw what was probably the most hilarious mistake-driven show ever- The Play That Goes Wrong. Internationally known, but native to London, this show takes any and every mistake possible with the technical and actor elements of a theatre production, and creates a hilarious show about it! There was the stage manager that ended up filling in for an actor, some props getting lost and sets breaking, the actor constantly wanting the spotlight, and so many more hilarious stereotypical things that can go wrong- and they made it go so right!

Finally, three trains and a bus later, I got myself into what the University of Essex calls, “Freshers Week.” Tune in to the BU Blog in a few weeks, when I share a little bit about the education system in England!

To me, it is a privilege to see and capture the beauty in this world...

— Emel Rasim #HuskyAbroad

So many learning opportunities

Hey Everyone!

I’m about a month into the job now, and I’m finally starting to get a feel for what the job is like. I got the internship through this program called The Washington Center. It’s sort of like an internship liaison with career counselors to review your resumes and then send it out to internship sites that have partnerships with TWC.

I interviewed with three other sites, got other offers but I ended up going with the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. CJJ is a nonprofit that is touchpoint for juvenile justice coordinators in all 50 states. The most pleasant surprise about my job thus far is how many learning opportunities (or field trips as we like to call them) I’ve had so far. I get to sit in on webinars with professionals all over the country presenting their own research.

Just this week I went to a panel of formerly incarcerated women and the struggles they faced trying to break into higher education. The spokesperson of this organization is actually Allison Williams (who you might know from Girls and Get Out) that spoke at the panel I attended. Part of my job is monitoring policy that's proposed on the federal level to see how it impacts youth. I have come to like this part, which is a relief to me because I'm planning on attending graduate school in the fall for my Master’s in Public Administration.

The other part of my job is communications, meaning I put the stuff that I learn in these webinars and panels on CJJ’s Twitter and Instagram. I recently learned how to use Canva to make flyers/infographics/Instagram posts, which might be my favorite part so far. Look at CJJ’s twitter and Instagram to see some of the tweets I wrote and Canva posts I made for our October Youth Justice Action Month 31 facts project!

As for the DMC Conference, DMC stands for Disproportionate Minority Contact. It's one of the focus areas for all 50 states to address issues of why there is a disproportionate number of minority children impacted by the system and ways that we can combat this. My role in the conference planning thus far is creating content to promote it on social media outlets, reaching out to the presenters to finalize their information, making name badges, editing the program, and finally helping to physically set up the conference when the time comes in late November.

Anyway, that’s all for now. This weekend is the H Street Festival (which was rescheduled due to Hurricane Florence). Check back!

— Deanna Campion, a senior dual political science and communication studies major #ProfessionalU

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Confident. Determined. And now, ready!

Hello senior year.

I know senior, what a crazy and scary thing to think about. However, it’s honestly the least scary thing to me right now. Bloomsburg University has prepared me well for life after college, and I cannot thank the school enough for the experiences it offers us. You might be thinking in what ways but specifically here, I'm talking about the Career Intensive Boot Camp.

A few weeks ago I attended Professional U's weekend long career boot camp. I can say I’m very thankful I was able to. I met so many alumni, who I now have connections with. The weekend taught me you could start anywhere and achieve what you want when you put the work into it.

It all started Friday afternoon when we met different peers in a wide selection of departments. During the first two session it was all about teamwork. We worked together in small groups through situations and projects. This was a helpful tool when it comes time to go out into the professional world where teamwork is important!

Following that on Saturday there were many more sessions. Alumni told us about their experiences and how they had the same struggles we did, which helped me breathe a little bit! There were some key things during the Career Intensive Boot Camp that were especially helpful and rewarding to go through; having several alumni panel sessions was definitely one.

Saturday was full of helpful events, particularly the resume and cover letter critique. Normally, most of the time people will be mad if they’re wrong but in a situation like this; I wanted to be. Alumni sat down with us, went through our resume and cover letter, and analyzed it to have us ready for the professional world.

Another part was the mock interview, also with help from alumni. They were asking us interview questions and would then take notes to give us feedback. This was such a helpful tool, because for my next interview I will be able to feel a lot more confident!

To end Saturday, we had an etiquette dinner. Who knew there were so many rules? In the ‘real world,’ some employers may take you to lunch or dinner as your interview and this was a helpful session. I was able to learn the ins-and-outs of eating using the correct utensils, how to hold them or where to put them, and how correctly to rip your bread!

Sunday morning, we were able to network more with alumni and had mock phone interviews as well, since that’s often your first impression with the employer, and to make sure you are not an alien of course! After a long, yet helpful, little stressful two and half days, I finally completed the Career Intensive Boot Camp! All participants received a certificate, which was very rewarding. Knowing I was one of the few students who have completed this — and how it will set me apart from everyone else in the professional world — has given me a lot of confidence! I would recommend anyone who is thinking about it to sign up! It’s so worth it, and I cannot wait to go back in the spring!

— Katie Behie, a senior marketing major  #ProfessionalU