“A Look Through the Pinhole with Camera Obscura”


It was dark inside the room. The only light came through a little pinhole that projected the image of the outside onto the wall across the room. At first, as your eyes adjusted, you didn’t quite know what you were seeing but then the image of the parking lot outside the building began to materialize right before your very eyes. This experience is known as camera obscura.

    “It’s kind of like the beginnings of photography,” Samantha Riding said. She was a non-judged presenter at the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s University Day. She wanted to share a new experience with all those that stopped by her exhibition in the Pullen Art room.

    Instead of presenting, Ridings exhibition was non-traditional. It was something you had to experience firsthand. First, you were directed into the dark room where you could see the reversed image of the parking lot projected onto the wall through a small pinhole in the wall. After that, you could view Ridings photography work which was different variations of camera obscura. You had the chance to even look through a Pringles chip can like a telescope. With a thin paper covering the other end, you could see the reversed image of a window with the light filtering through.

    “It’s really easy to do. Just block out a window, cut a little hole in it and that’s it,” Riding said.

    Riding is a National Student Exchange student from Utah where she had been studying photography. Ever since she was young, she had always been interested in the art of photography and in 2011 she received her first DSLR camera. “I was just kind of learning on my own and then when I got to college I started taking classes,” Riding said. Continue reading ““A Look Through the Pinhole with Camera Obscura””

Breaking Barriers


On Tuesday, April 12, Dr. Donna Beegle came to UMPI as a distinguished lecturer.  She spoke about a topic that’s close to many people: poverty.  But Beegle did not want to just talk about research and data.  She shared her own stories about living in poverty.  Over time, Beegle rose above life’s challenges.  But many people outside of poverty did not understand where she came from.  At UMPI, Beegle showed how anyone can create better futures for those living in poverty.  
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An Insider’s Guide to Changing the World


When I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts during the 1970s, we spent a lot of our classroom time under our desks.  This wasn’t some sort of insipid punishment for bad behavior in which we had to look for petrified chunks of gum and candy to scrape clean. Rather it was survival training in the case of nuclear attack—or any other form of mass destruction.  We lived under a constant threat of such attack.  That threat manifested itself–overtly as well as indirectly–in nightly news broadcasts and political speeches as well as the entertainment industry, from cinema to popular music to children’s programming such as Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.  This was simply reality for those of us growing up in the United States at the time.  It was one that didn’t truly start to change until Glasnost, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the (unofficial) end of the Cold War in 1989.  
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Forever Wild

    Baxter State Park is a highly unusual natural treasure located in Maine.  It’s the result of the vision of one person, Percival P. Baxter, governor of Maine from 1921-1924  For decades used his own funds to acquire 200,000 acres that he set up with a trust as a gift to the people of Maine with the stipulation that it remain “Forever Wild.”  There’s really no place like it.  It’s home to plants and animals that are found nowhere else in Maine or even in the world.   Continue reading “Forever Wild”

Open Dialogues, Open Minds


Many people want to stand up for their beliefs and values.  Along the way, they might hurt others who do not agree with them.  But there are better ways that people can listen to others’ stories.  On Wednesday, April 12, UMPI celebrated its annual University Day with the theme “Meet in the Middle.”  Students Lassana and Lossene Dorleh and Brynn Staples gave a presentation called “Lost in Translation.”  They used African literature and music to show how everyone can “meet in the middle.”
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Treating Depression in Many Ways

  Depression is something that many people go through every single day. Depression is a serious mental illness that is most often overlooked. Symptoms of depression are usually sadness, loss of interest, and the most dangerous of all, suicidal thoughts.  These symptoms can be symptoms from other illnesses, so that is why sometimes depression is hard to diagnose. Some other disorders that some may have actually increase the chances of getting depression, with genetics being the leading cause. Researchers find that 14.8 million Americans age 18 and older have depression. Continue reading “Treating Depression in Many Ways”

University Day, Creatively Speaking


University Day at UMPI is enjoyed by people all over Aroostook county. Students show off their projects and presentations, displaying what they have learned about individual topics from their time at the University. It gives people the chance to gain some perspective on topics and issues they might not have had access to beforehand. Members from Deborah Hodgkin’s Creative Nonfiction class were some of those who partook in this event. Five of the students from this class each read a personal essay they had written involving their life experiences.
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Investigating Science


This semester’s Elementary Science Methods class brought a highly interactive presentation to the University Day mix early Wednesday morning. In accordance with Next Generation Science Standards, the group had put together some six “investigation stations” intended to introduce core scientific concepts to elementary students. The morning presentation was used less as a time to monologue and more as a trial run of each station, meaning all attendees were encouraged to engage in as many stations as time would allow, and to ask any questions they thought a young scientist might have.
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