Monday, March 20, 2017

Like a good pedestrian ...


Soon after I arrived in China, I got to see many interesting sights while observing many differences between American and Chinese culture.

For starters, pedestrians do not have the right away when crossing the street, so it is necessary to pay attention to your surroundings while walking around with vehicles passing by.

Instead of having a separate sheet from a quilt, they have what is called a 被子 beizi (quilt) inside of a 被罩 beizhao (bag shaped quilt cover zipper sheet).

The cuisine is naturally different of course along with many different types of vegetables!

For example, some vegetables I have seen are 藕 ou (Lotus root), 莴笋 wosun (asparagus lettuce), 鱼腥草 yuxingcao (houttuynia cordata), 冬瓜 donggua (white gourd), 萝卜 luobo (a type of raddish), and 豆芽 douya (bean sprout).

Morning markets are also an occurrence in China as well! 火锅 huoguo (hot pot) Other dishes and meals!



Morning markets! A place to find fresh ingredients!



I went to some awesome places in Beijing like the Bird’s Nest (鸟巢niaochao) [Beijing’s National Stadium] and the Water Cube ( 水立方 Shui Lifang) [National Aquatic Center]. A very famous place to go, especially if you are a fan of the Olympics!



More places!


未名湖 weiminghu (Famous lake located around Beijing University).



Other places around and within Beijing University (北京大学)




Beijing Normal University



Another famous place in Beijing! 颐和园 Yiheyuan (Summer Palace)



Rachel Ann Cimera is a senior Chinese major with a minor in political science who is spending her final semester as a undergraduate this spring studying abroad at the renowned Beijing Normal University, a public research university located in China with strong emphasis on basic disciplines of humanities and sciences.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Netflix has a secret …


Have you ever been in a show hole on Netflix?

If you don’t know what a show hole is it’s when you have just finished a series and now you have no idea what to watch. Yes, we have all been there! We click on the browse button to see what type of genre we want next, but they are just too broad. We can never hone into the exact thing we are looking for.

What if I told you here is another world to Netflix? No, I am not crazy. You might be thinking to yourself there is no way, I know the ins and outs of everything Netflix. Well, you are so wrong. Netflix has some secret code that is put into the address bar that will take you so subgenres.

I know crazy right! Be amazed because your life is about to change! Ever in the mood for a tearjerker, some Nicolas Sparks movies, or anything with Robert Pattinson in it. Look no further they have a subgenre for Tearjerkers. All you have to do it type in the Netflix.com/browse/genre/6384. The number code is what triggers the subgenres in the website.

So, let’s say you are in the mood for Zombie Horror Movies, just add the code 75405 into the address bar and you have a slew of zombie movies. Let’s go to the other end of the spectrum Slapstick Comedy, add the code 10256 and you got The Little Rascals, Scooby-Doo, White Chicks and so much more.

We even have comedies for specific majors.

Criminal Justice

  • Crime Documentaries: 9875
  • Crime Dramas: 6889
  • Crime Thrillers: 10499 
  • Crime TV Shows: 26146

Foreign Language

  • Foreign Comedies: 4426 
  • Foreign Documentaries: 5161 
  • Foreign Dramas: 2150 
  • Indian Movies: 10463 
  • Irish Movies: 58750 
  • Italian Movies: 8221 
  • Japanese Movies: 10398 
  • German Movies: 58886 
  • Greek Movies: 61115 
  • French Movies: 58807

Political Science

  • Political Comedies: 2700 
  • Political Documentaries: 7018 
  • Political Dramas: 6616 
  • Political Thrillers: 10504

Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences

  • Science & Nature Documentaries: 2595 
  • Science & Nature TV: 52780

Theatre

  • Showbiz Dramas: 5012
  • Showbiz Musicals: 13573

There are so many different categories to choose from. This will definitely help us stay out of a show hole and maybe even learn more about our majors and some avenues we can discover once we graduate.

Here is the list of codes so you can find your one subgenre!

— Samantha Gross, senior telecommunications major #HuskyUnleashed

Friday, March 10, 2017

Longing for the past, restless for the future


I find myself at a standstill as I finish February of my junior year of college. I’m constantly reflecting on the past, letting nostalgia overwhelm me with the way things used to be. I see myself maturing on social media and investing myself in work rather than going on personal adventures. I blame email for my transition into adulthood. My email is always open on my desktop and the worst part is that I get excited to see who’s reaching out or responding to my messages.

Just for the record fellow students, that’s when you know you’ve completed your transition into the real world.

We all want to stay young forever. I would stay 21 years old for the rest of my life if it were possible. I remember reading a quote on the internet that said, “A year of hurting so bad, but living so good.”

I find these words constantly floating around in my head as I live out my last few years as a young adult. I truly find my early twenties as the years we are living so good. We are free of most major responsibilities, we develop our passions, we meet our forever friends and most importantly, we build the foundation for our future. As much as this is the time of living so good, I also see it as the time of hurting so bad. We face several heartbreaks, we leave friends behind, fail tests and seem to face more rejections than anything else. Every day I remind myself that this is all part of the process.

Sophomore year will always be my favorite year out of the four. During that period of time, my friends and I were carefree, balancing on the fine line between freedom and responsibility. We didn’t know what the next year would have in store for us, nor did we care. We finally lived in our own apartments and had our cars with us, which gave us every reason to explore whenever we could.

Yes, we had schoolwork that needed to done, but it did not seem as important as the life lessons we chose to face instead. Staying up all night, broken down vehicles, driving hours to get diner food, flying across the country, and doing it all with the friends who continue to make my heart full will forever be the memories of my sophomore year.

The moments we share together as we grow up are equally as memorable, but reflect a new stage of life. Getting the call that we received the internships we have strived for, seeing our stories being published, and planning our last year together as college students is this stage.

If I have any advice for an underclassman, it’s to make the most of your first two years of college. If you’re questioning going out with friends, do it. If you’re not sure you want to spend those extra dollars, do it. Those are the moments that turn into the memories we will always carry with us.

— Megan Hawbecker, junior mass communications major #HuskyLife

Where the gypsies live


I still can’t believe my final week in Spain is over! I will miss all the friends I have made, the family I have been staying with, and Granada in general! I feel as if I have only just got here.

On Monday I went out for paella with my friends. Paella is a customary dish in Spain. It is usually shared with people and comes out in a large pan. Paella can be many different flavors from black rice (octopus) to a seafood or vegetarian paella. They always contain rice and different seasonings, seafood, or vegetables depending on the type. Eating here is a very social activity and when going out to dinner you can almost guarantee that it will take you at least two hours.

Tuesday we went horseback riding outside the city. A fifteen minute bus ride will take you out of the city and close to the mountains and the river. A group of students and I rode horses along a walking trail by the river. It was very beautiful and relaxing. The houses are all built along the mountains here and the views are amazing from up above in the country side.

I saw a movie at the theatres in Spanish on Wednesday. My friend and I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was a little hard to follow in Spanish because they speak quickly, but overall I could understand the story and learn a few new words in Spanish. In movie theatres here there are assigned seats and they are fairly cheap in Granada (only 4 Euros).

Thursday we went to Flamenco in a cave in an area called Sacromonte. This area is where many gypsies live inside caves built into the mountain. The caves are amazingly beautiful and surprisingly warm in the winter here. The flamenco show lasted almost two hours and was incredible to watch. I was extremely close to all the dancers and they moved so quickly and elegantly. Before seeing the show the group I was with had an hour dance class in Flamenco. It was extremely hard to do and learning the rhythm in the songs is not easy!

On Friday I had my final day of classes and had to say goodbye to my professors, friends, and host family here in Granada. It was hard to say goodbye, but we ensured each other that we would talk and whenever I visit Texas, Italy, Spain, or Korea I have people to visit.

My experience abroad has been eye opening! Living among another culture and language other than my own has been very fun. The people here have been so friendly and patient with someone who cannot speak perfectly. I have met so many amazing friends and this experience has propelled me to continue learning Spanish.

When I had wanted to say something to my family and I didn't know how, I would make it a goal that day to learn so the next day I could perfectly tell them what I had wanted to say. I can honestly say my experience here has been life changing!

I now know what it feels like to be lost in a country and have no idea how to ask for help. It has given me much more compassion for others and helped me to slow down and enjoy life a little more. I would recommend studying abroad to anyone no matter what level of language you know. My Spanish has improved vastly, and going to Spain has given me more knowledge and experience than any one class could have provided me.

Some fun facts about Granada ...

  • Unlike America where our street trees are mainly oak, maple, and ash, Granada has its streets lined with orange, pomegranate, and palm trees
  • Granada was under Muslim rule for almost 800 years, which is the longest Muslim rule in Spain
  • The whole time I was in Granada it did not rain or snow once
  • Spain has a president, but also has a king and queen
  • The area of Granada has been inhabited since approximately 5500 B.C.
  • Granada actually means pomegranate in Spanish

— Racquel Kreischer #HuskyUnleashed #HuskyAbroad

Racquel Kreischer is a senior engineering major spending this winter break studying abroad in Granada, Spain. Through the Instituto Mediterráneo Sol Granada she is studying Spanish while living with a Spanish family learning up-close about Spainards lives, language and culture.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

California dreamin'


“Why did you come here?”

It’s always the first question I get when I tell people I’m from California. If I was paid a dollar for every time I was asked that, I could pay for the new student union building.

I’m from the City of Trees in Northern California, so before you even start to wonder here are some answers. No, I don’t surf; the closest beach is actually two hours away. No, unfortunately I don’t know see celebrities on a regular basis.

And for all you future Donald Trumps and Hilary Clintons out there, we’re not all democrats. You don’t cross the border into California and get handed a Prius to be environmentally friendly. Ironically enough, I do drive a Prius and I am a Democrat, but my Prius is from Pennsylvania and my town is mainly republican.

Sometimes, I like to have fun when people ask why I came to BU. I tell people things like, “I took a wrong turn on the way to Hollywood,” or “I threw a dart at a map and it hit Bloomsburg.” But, as you can imagine, I have no interest in sitting in three hours of LA traffic and I’m awful at darts, so neither are true.

It’s funny though because even though California is on the other side of the county, I’m not the only student to get that question on a regular basis. International and other out-of-state students are just as familiar with the big “why” question too. Whether you’re from Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Brazil, or Spain you’ve had at least one person look at you and go, “but, why?”

But on a real note, every student who comes to Bloomsburg from “far away” has his or her own fears. I’m not saying that people who come from nearby don’t have any worries at all; I’m not that ignorant or oblivious. But it’s a whole new ballgame when you decide to go to school where going home for the day really isn’t an option, and if it is, it’s a hike.

I’m sure my fears coming into my first year at Bloomsburg are the same as many other college students. Whether it was about making friends, getting along with my roommate, trying to figure where the hell my classroom in McCormick was, or just figuring out what to eat at Husky, I was stressed.

And to make matters even more stressful for a lonely, lanyard wearing, little freshman, driving home on the weekends or even during the week to see my family wasn’t an option.

But after two weeks of wandering McCormick, resident hall meetings, and late night buffalo chicken pizza, I was happy as a clam. I even felt bad for the students that went home every weekend because they were missing out on the personality BU students have to offer once classes finish on Friday. I could no longer run and hide to my parents when life got tough, instead I put on some gangster rap music, told myself I was strong independent woman, and pushed through it.

Now I’m not saying there weren’t any crying phone calls to my mom begging her to put my dogs on Facetime. I’m saying as scary as it is to say that I live three thousand miles away, it made me into a person that I only dreamt of being before. I branched out, kept my door open when I lived in the resident halls, yelled hi to people as they walked past, and I made an effort.

One opportunity that really helped me become more of an extrovert was applying to be an Orientation Workshop Leader. As an incoming first year or transfer, you’ll meet these people that don’t stop smiling, occasionally scream chants in your ears, and know every answer about BU that you really didn’t care to know. I met my first friend and an OWL and by applying to be one, I’ll have lasting friendships for the rest of my life.

I’ve been involved on campus in other areas too, but OWLs are students basically universal to all and when you come to visit BU for and Open House or Welcome Weekend, take advantage of these lunatics screaming and waving Pompoms. All in all, being an out-of-state student isn’t as scary as it sounds and you’re not as crazy as people think you are for leaving your state or country behind. It’s an opportunity to experience college without any strings attached and learn for yourself, who you want to be.

— Hannah Miller, junior history major and defender on the Huskies women's soccer team #HuskyLife

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Roommates for life


Winter break is a strange chapter in every college student’s career.

We take a sudden break in the life we just spent three months adjusting to. It’s like we finally get into our routine, the game, and then we are forced to take a half time. We look forward to seeing our families, but at the same time we feel sad about the family we’re leaving behind in Bloomsburg.

As a junior, I’ve gone through these hellos and goodbyes for two summers and three winters. I can tell you this as a fact, it never gets easier. Bloomsburg has become my home away from home and I have all of my friends and roommates to thank for that.

Everyone has their stories about their freshman year and sadly a lot of them end in friends drifting or going their own ways. For me, the exact opposite occurred. My four roommates are all people I met during my freshman year while living in the residence hall. My other three best friends also all live together and are from my floor in Elwell.

We are all in constant touch and see each other whenever we have a free moment. I’m not sure if fate is a real thing, but sometimes I like to believe these people were brought into my life as soon as possible, to stop anymore lost time. I’ve also gained a lot of amazing friendships during my years. How many people get to say they’ve gained more positive relationships then they have lost?

There is really something about being roommates with another human during college that in a way, bonds you for life. I have consistently had one person living with me for three years and as of senior year, four. Kelsi and I always joke about being roommates for life.

I like to tell her that when her and her husband get married, I will be living in their basement and babysitting their kids. She promised to make her kids call me “Aunt Megan.” I am still amazed that I’ve only known these people for three years. Even when we met freshman year, I would wonder how it seems like I’ve known them forever. I feel as if this thought is common amongst a large portion of new college students, or at least I hope it is.

As we return from the winter break that seems as if it lasted months, we get back into the game. We all pull up to the apartment one by one and call each other to let them know we are here. Giddy squeals and hugs are sure to follow and then come the stories that we have been dying to hear about in person while we were forced to separate for five weeks. No details are ever held back and a million personal questions are asked. We all start to redevelop the strange talk and mannerisms we each took with us when we left. The catch is right when you get back into the swing of things, summer knocks on the door.

— Megan Hawbecker, junior mass communications major #HuskyLife

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A symbolic arrival for a final semester


My name is Rachel Ann Cimera. I am senior at Bloomsburg University. My final semester of my undergraduate career will be in China as an exchange student. Why China and how did I get to doing that? Originally, I was not from Bloomsburg University. I was a transfer student that graduated from Northampton Community College prior to coming to Bloomsburg. I graduated with an associate’s degree in secondary education. I graduated at the same time as my younger brother and identical twin sister from Northampton Community College before we moved onto our own separate four year schools.

At Northampton Community College there was no program in Chinese, but they did offer Chinese courses, which further ignited my passion for Chinese language besides teaching English as a second language online in my spare time to non-native language speakers. I came to Bloomsburg with a defined Chinese major program with a requirement to study abroad for degree completion. I tutored French language during my high school years. Foreign languages were always an interest of mine, but it just bloomed to be something more and more as time went on.

At Northampton Community College, I was part of four different organizations before transferring to Bloomsburg University. I was the Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa, Tau Gamma chapter of the International Honors society, the President of the American Sign Language Club, Treasurer of the Honors Club, and a strong contributing member and cofounder of the Ban the Bottle ad hoc committee before becoming the Vice President of the Chinese Club and the Vice President of the Bloomsburg University Linguistics League at Bloomsburg.

I was an international mentor at Bloomsburg University this past fall semester. I also worked at the Olive Garden as a hostess in Bloomsburg this past fall. I will finally land in China on Feb. 10. I believe it will be an adventure of a life time and a dream come true for myself as a Chinese major. I am very excited to be studying in Beijing for the spring semester at Beijing Normal University. I will miss my large family without a doubt along with all the great friends that I have made over the years. It is bitter, yet sweet; however, I will be able to gain so much more while abroad. I will have a chance to fully immerse myself completely in a different culture and language from that of my own, while completing a major in Chinese and a minor in political science for my bachelor’s degree.

Chinese New Year


My arrival will be after one of the major holidays in China, the Chinese New Year also known as the Spring Festival. The Spring Festival is a time where a long time off is typically given to everyone from work as well as from school. Everyone tries to go home, if possible. Usually quite a travel rush with a high traffic load! This happens during what is called the春运 Chunyun period, which occurs 15 days prior to the Lunar New Year. Common expressions to say around the New Year are 恭喜发财 gongxi facai, 大吉大利 daji dali and 新年快乐 xinnian kuaile. Gongxi facai wishes someone to have a prosperous new year. Daji dali wishes people to gain lots of luck and profit where as xinnian kuaile just wishes for a happy new year. Xinnian kuaile is commonly said around the time of the western solar New Year where 春节快乐 chunjie kuaile is said around the Chinese New Year because it celebrates the coming of the new spring. Fortunately for all of the Rooster born individuals, their year, 2017 has come.

During the Chinese New Year, families are reunited. Red envelopes filled with money called 红包 hongbao are given at this time of year. Setting off firecrackers is also common. Buildings are decorated with red lanterns and sayings on red paper. Red is deemed as a lucky color in China.

Lots of 饺子 jiaozi (dumplings) are made as well as many other scrumptious foods like 鱼yu (fish), 春卷 (chunjuan) spring rolls, and 汤圆Tangyuan (sweet rice balls). Watching of the CCTV’s New Year Gala is also a usual habit for the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is a very happy time of year.

I may miss the Chinese New Year celebration, but I will be landing one day before the Lantern Festival, Feb. 11. The Lantern Festival will be a symbol for me as a bright future as I take steps towards finishing my degree. After completing my degree, I want to obtain a master’s degree or higher with the desire to become a Chinese professor in the United States eventually down the road after gaining real world experience with Chinese language application and culture. I will be in China for several months which will ultimately be beneficial to immerse myself in everything that is China. I look forward to embarking on my journey outside of the United States of America for the very first time in my life.

— Rachel Ann Cimera #HuskyUnleashed #HuskyAbroad

Rachel Ann Cimera is a senior Chinese major with a minor in political science who is spending her final semester as a undergraduate this spring studying abroad at the renowned Beijing Normal University, a public research university located in China with strong emphasis on basic disciplines of humanities and sciences.