Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A glimpse of Saudi Arabia old and new

Hey Everyone!

Guess what? I’m going to Saudi Arabia!

I have the amazing opportunity to travel to Saudi Arabia for two weeks over winter break. This opportunity presented itself after I became involved with the Model Arab League (MAL) on campus.

MAL is a model that mirrors the inner workings of the Arab League. Participants in the MAL learn about Middle Eastern politics and diplomacy. The organization that runs all the MAL conventions, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, sponsors study abroad, fellowships, and other opportunities to experience Middle Eastern culture.

Once a student has participated in one MAL convention, they are eligible for one of these study abroad opportunities. I was nominated for the Saudi Arabia Fellowship by my MAL advisor Nawal Bonomo. Once nominated, I had to apply and write an essay explaining my plans for my fellowship year.

In a fellowship program, after you spend time abroad you come home and talk about your experiences in public forum. I had to plan what kinds of public lectures, articles, and other activities I was going to do. I was selected for the program about two weeks later. This is my first time traveling out of the country and it is a dream come true!

During my two week visit to Saudi Arabia, I will see both the old and new Saudi Arabia. While many Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia are moving forward and becoming bustling centers of business and commerce, old traditions and customs are still the focus of everyday life.

I am really excited to be traveling abroad. This is truly a rare opportunity. I will be blogging from Saudi Arabia, and I will be keeping you up to date on my adventures!!!!!!

xoxo Maddy

 P.S. websites you all might be interested in reading further:
— Madalyn Goss is a junior political science major with a Middle Eastern Studies minor.

#BUAbroad #HuskyUnleashed #CoCurricularLearning

Friday, October 4, 2013

The First Month: Time Moves Quickly

Though hard for me to believe, I have been a college student for over a month. It has not taken much time to get acclimated to campus life. For the first two weeks, it seemed slightly overwhelming with all of the club interest meetings and finding time to joggle class readings with tangible homework and than tossing in eating, sleeping and actually attending lecture, but I quickly developed a routine.

The Campus Food

I purchased a smaller meal plan than most other students. I have ten meals a week, while most other dorm residents have fourteen meals a week. I purchased the smaller plan because a meal plan can be increased but not decreased.

So far, I have run into no problems with my meal plan and am glad that I picked the smaller plan. I always eat breakfast in my room, I normally eat lunch in my room and than I eat dinner at the dining halls with friends. I enjoy eating lunch in my room for it forces me to do homework instead of spending the hour in between classes socializing. By the time dinner rolls around, I normally have the majority of my work done and I can afford an hour of socializing.

When I do eat in the campus facilities for dinner, I normally eat at Scranton Commons. There are many different choices and the selection helps to keep my food options exciting. The Commons, as it is often referred to, has many stations that rotate the choices. My favorite is the soup, I have a bowl nearly every day, and the pasta station.

When I eat lunch on my meal plan, I often choose Subway. I have eaten more Subway in the month I have been here than in the last two years combined. Since I get a six inch sub, it is only a few cents over my meal swipe (the dollar figure assigned to a meal on the meal plan).

The one thing I have not been able to experience yet with dining is Monty’s restaurant night. Monty’s, on upper campus, is transformed into a sit down restaurant. Unfortunately I have a Wednesday night class, so maybe next semester.

Downtown Bloomsburg

I have not experienced much of what the downtown has to offer as of to date. One Sunday morning, a group of friends traveled down to Blooming Bagels. I enjoyed my bagel, though I must say it is large. I struggled to eat the second half of the bagel, but I guess that just means it is worth the money.

The night of the power outage (the campus lost power for a night and all classes were canceled) I ate at one of the Chinese restaurants downtown. The food was better than the Chinese restaurants in my hometown, so I must say that I was impressed.

From the second I entered the restaurant, the aroma filled the air and I was ready to eat. By far my favorite place downtown is the frozen yogurt shop. I have been there multiple times and am working my way to a free cup on the stamp card. I have not yet visited the shops downtown.

Hopefully by my next blog I will have visited a few shops and the burrito shop! It is convenient to have downtown Bloomsburg only a few blocks away, especially late on the weekends when you get a food craving.

Bloomsburg Invades Kutztown

A group of my friends made the drive over to Kutztown to support the Huskies football team. It started on an adventurous note when my GPS decided to take us on nearly all backroads. At one point we traveled a one lane dirt road for close to five miles. It made for some laughs and us praying that we were not part of a horror movie.

Once we got to the game, the Bloomsburg section was full. One of my friends found it to be a bright idea to invade the Kutztown side and cheer loudly for the Huskies. The people surrounding us stared every time the Huskies pom pom was waved in the air and we were screaming loudly for Bloomsburg, anything to support Bloomsburg!

Last, But Not Least, The Fair

This year is my first time at the Bloomsburg Fair. I walked down to the fair, for I went on a day that the shuttle was not running.

The walk was not bad, though it seems far away.
Before I made any purchases, I looked at everything that the fair had to offer. The games do not strike my interest too much; I find them to be a waste of money. I went to the fair for the food.

A week’s worth of calories were consumed in a matter of two hours. I started with old fashioned lollipops, than purchased cream soda from a tap. These were my starters, I tried wings for the main food of the night.

There was homemade ice cream that they were making right at the fair. I tried peanut butter and it was by far the best ice cream that I have ever had. I thought that I was done until I passed the beef jerky stand. Of course I had to try one, it did not disappoint. As you can tell, I highly enjoy food.

To finish this blog I will end with the most interesting thing I saw at the fair. There was a small “zoo” set up under a tent. At the “zoo” you could hold and get your picture taken with a baby kangaroo. I find this to be nearly one of a kind to the Bloomsburg Fair!
    — Morgan Lewis is a biochemistry major with a pre-medical studies concentration. 

#FutureHusky #HuskyUnleashed