Monday, January 25, 2016

Countless memories in Poland

A group of 30 students traveled to Poland during this winter break to study abroad for three weeks.

They were accompanied by two Bloomsburg professors, Mykola Polyuha, assistant professor of languages and cultures, and Michael Martin, assistant professor of English. While there, students completed two classes at the Jagiellonian University, the second oldest university in Central Europe and located in Krakow.

The first class was titled Jews of Europe. This course was about European Jewish history and their culture. This class examined Jewish life from 1450 to the mid-20th century and helped students understand the plight of the Jewish people that ultimately ended in the Holocaust. The second course students participated in was an Eastern European film class.

In this class, the students watched sixteen different movies that illustrated Central Europe in its multicultural background as well as its interconnectivity in terms of ethnicity. These courses had world-renown professors, a cultural/social anthropologist, Dr. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska, and Dr. Maciej Stroinski, cultural theater and film critic.

Not only did students spend time in the classroom, but they also were able to explore the beauty of Krakow, spending time on the Main Square, that was complete with the Christmas Market. The Main Square was filled with food, restaurants, pubs, and little shops offering numerous options to learn about the culture and bring back gifts for those who support them back home. The most exciting part for many students was spending New Year’s in the Main Square with as many as 90,000 people from all over the world.

Two days of travel to Prague, Czech Republic, was another highlight of the trip. Exploring the city of Prague and the city’s Jewish section was an incredible experience. This experience of walking through the cemeteries and synagogues that were built as early as the 13th century provide a sense of history that cannot be found in America. Visiting the Jewish Ghetto, Schindler’s Factory, and the Jewish Quarter in Krakow provided a first-hand look at history that was such a significant part of the 20th century.

Leaving Poland is bittersweet for most of these students, because of the countless memories they made. Much of what was learned will be understood in the weeks, months and years ahead, but now, in spite of some continued jet-lag, it feels great to be back home in America!

— Arden Shiller, sophomore early childhood and deaf education major #HuskyAbroad #WinterBreak

Monday, January 11, 2016

One Last Time: 7 things for seniors to do this spring semester

It’s hard for me to believe the spring semester is almost here. It already has a different mood than any semester I’ve been through before.

This spring will be full of so many “last times,” and offers so many “first evers”, too. I plan to make this the most memorable semester with my friends before starting, what my mom calls, my “big girl job.” I also would like to get myself organized for when I move out of college and start this new chapter. I’m sure I’m not the only one in saying that I definitely need to figure out how to make student loan payments, how to buy a new vehicle, and other adult-like things.

But until we get those figured out, here’s to the last time being an undergrad college student and the seven things you most positively should do before leaving.
  • Take a picture with Roongo: It’s unknown for most if you’ll be on campus again, so you might as well get a picture with our mascot while you have the chance. BONUS: take a picture with your friends at the Roongo statue on the corner near the Tri-Level.
  • Play on the Quad: Pick a sunny day and have some fun with friends on the quad. Whether its cartwheels, catch, or one of those giant bouncy houses, get your friends together and go make some memories! Frolic to your hearts content.
  • Eat at the Commons: At least once before you graduate, have an all you can eat buffet at the Commons with your squad. Roll in like you’re a freshman who’s never heard of the freshman 15 and make sure you leave with either a cookie or an ice cream cone. You could even eat dessert first, why not?!
  • Do something out of the ordinary: Everyone has their limits, but do yourself the favor and come out of your comfort zone a little bit. That’s why we come to college anyways, to experience new things. It could be something as small as studying in a different spot or something as wild as taking a spring break trip out of the country. Take advantage of any and all opportunities while you have the time.
  • Take part in a tradition on campus: Be a part of The Big Event, Relay for Life, Spring Fest, or anything else that pops up. Not only is it a meaningful experience, but you might end up in the yearbook that way. Plus, it’s a great way to show your Husky Pride!
  • Go for a walk on campus: Not just any walk, take a self-guided tour of campus while taking in the flowers in bloom. See what I did there, hahaha, but seriously, our campus has so many beautiful sights to be seen and some hidden treasures to be found. Pick any random Sunday afternoon and reflect while walking. Think about the reasons you chose BU, the people you’ve met here, the things you’ve learned, and how far you’ve come in the last four years.
  • Thank those who’ve helped you: Maybe write a thank you letter to your parents or grandparents and hand it to them at graduation. You could have them read it while they are waiting for your name to be called. Don’t forget to thank those professors who you really learned a lot from and those who went out of their way to help you succeed.
Even if you aren’t a senior yet, you should still do these things. Also understand that your time is coming soon and it’s never too early to start planning for your senior year- it comes faster than you think. Make sure you have all your classes organized and your GEP goals met; you’ll thank yourself when you are trying to graduate on time. Be proactive in your career search and look for grad schools and internships before your senior year.

Most importantly, enjoy being on campus with your friends and make the most out of the time you are here. From one Husky to another, let’s make this semester the best one yet!

— Jessica Shiptoski, senior accounting major, professional writing minor, fraud examination concentration #HuskyLife #WinterBreak