I hope everyone is staying warm in this chilly weather. I know that I’ve pulled out almost every article of warm clothing I own already! If I’m being honest, though, the hat and mittens actually came out in late October. Also, I’ve worn my L.L. Bean boots a lot more than I like to admit (sorry, Birkenstocks).
The holiday season is right around the corner and I know that I’ve already started my shopping. With that in mind, don’t forget to be nice to the retail and restaurant workers this holiday season. Everyone is going through something and a little kindness gets you a lot further than a breath of rudeness.
Be sure to stock up on hot chocolate and fuzzy socks: I feel a snow day is coming sooner rather than later. Stay safe out there on the roads and watch out for black ice! Happy holidays.
When giving gifts, it can be hard to determine what people may want. Something you always wonder about may be whether or not said people will actually use whatever you got them. This year, though, consider this: Homemade Cookies in a Jar!
Here’s what you will need before you start:
1-Quart Mason Jar
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (9 ounces) chocolate chips (whatever kind you prefer)
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
Here’s how to layer the jar:
In a small bowl, combine your flour, baking soda and salt. Place the flour mixture in the 1-quart jar. Layer the remaining ingredients in order as listed above. Be sure to firmly press down after each layer in order to secure the ingredients and preserve the appearance of each layer. Seal the lid and decorate jar with fabric and/or ribbon when finished.
Recipe to attach to jar:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Beat ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) softened butter or margarine, 1 large egg and ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract in larger mixer bowl until blended. Add Mason Jar cookie mix; mix well, breaking up any clumps. Drop by rounded clumps onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for two minutes. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
This film is based on the popular and beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. “The Polar Express” follows the adventure of a young boy who has a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. Great for any age, snuggle up with some hot cocoa and enjoy the magical soundtrack. This movie will make you believe in the magic of the holiday season again.
The Santa Clause (1994).
After accidently killing a man dressed as Santa on his roof, divorced dad Scott (Tim Allen) is transported to the North Pole. Upon arrival, an elf explains that he must fill the role as Santa before the next Christmas arrives. This comical movie will have you laughing at the lengths Scott will go in order to save Christmas. Again, be sure to have the hot cocoa on hand. This movie will have you craving the yummy creaminess of rich hot chocolate.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).
“It’s a Wonderful Life” follows the story of George Bailey, a small-town man with big dreams to see the world. Before getting the chance to live out his dreams, George faces some hard times that leave him wanting to end it all. Through meeting someone unlikely, George is able to find and remember the importance of his role in his small-town life.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).
What started as a simple cartoon story has been marvelously transformed into a live action Christmas classic. Following the original story-line, the Grinch (Jim Carrey) reluctantly befriends Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen). Little Cindy Lou Who then helps the cranky Grinch find his heart amidst preparation for Christmas in Whoville.
Christmas with the Kranks (2004).
Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis) opt to celebrate their first Christmas without kids on a Caribbean cruise. Their Christmas-obsessed friends and neighbors disagree with their plan. The Krank’s plan slowly comes unraveled as their preparations for their trip are interrupted by their lack of Christmas spirit.
Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) was accidentally raised thinking he was an elf at the North Pole. After spending nearly three decades building toys in Santa’s workshop, Buddy finds out the truth about his origins. Venturing to New York City, he takes on the task of finding his dad. This heartwarming comedy will have you belly laughing at all the adult humor.
A Christmas Story (1983).
This comedy will leave you telling everyone you know, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The plot follows young Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) and one specific Christmas where all he wanted was a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Watch along as Ralphie pleads his case as to why he absolutely needs this present for Christmas.
Home Alone (1990).
Accidentally left behind from a family trip to Paris, 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself defending his home from two con men. What started as a bratty childish wish to not have a family turns into a comical defense mission.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964).
Almost everyone knows this classic heartwarming story. Rudolph, born with a glowing red nose, is seen as an outcast among the other reindeer on Santa’s sleigh team. Realizing his dreams of pulling Santa’s sleigh may be too farfetched, Rudolph nearly gives up. It is not until his friends get in trouble that he realizes his glowing nose is a gift. This movie will leave you humming “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” days after watching it.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989).
When Clark Griswold’s (Chevy Chase) hick cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) shows up unanounced for the holidays, nothing goes as planned. What Clark had hoped would be the perfect Christmas is quickly derailed. This dysfunctional family’s attempt at Christmas will have viewers laughing until the end.
From where I’m sitting, I can see that the trees outside of Pullen/Folsom Hall are bare. This can only mean one sad thing: snow is coming. Now I know it’s only October, but I swear I saw some snowflakes last night when I was driving home from work. Don’t fear though, because that just means it’s that time of the year when Netflix starts to release all their cheesy Christmas movies. It also means I have an excuse to wear wool socks with my Birkenstocks again. Oh, how I love the crisp fall air and all the excuses cold weather brings me.
On Sept. 26, 2019, the University of Maine at Presque Isle welcomed LDLS speaker Dr. Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. After a brief but heartwarming welcome from President Rice, Alst took the stage. Delivering a talk entitled “Matters of Place,” Alst captured his audience’s attention with humor and his apparent passion for writing.
Alst graduated from UMPI in 2004 with a bachelors in behavioral science. He shared how he found his way to UMPI. “I’m from away,” he said. “But both of my kids were born here. They were both born at TAMC. It was pretty cool.” After his children were born, Alst was working for a local mill when he decided to begin classes at UMPI. “I found a cool program and they sent me to UMPI and paid for my first semester,” Alst said. “They were like ‘you have to get new clothes, though. You can’t dress like that.” He went on to share a story of how he received a voucher to go buy new clothes and wound up buying more of the same clothes he had before.
Reminiscing about his days at UMPI and the classes he took with then Dr. Rice, Alst shared how he found his interest in writing. “Editing is actually a joy,” he joked. “The next tattoos I get are going to be the proofreader symbols.” Giving further advice on the importance of editing, Alst touched upon writing for an audience. “You have to tell them everything that you want them to know,” he said. “You’re not there reading along, pointing out this mistake or that one. You know, like when you’re trying to impress your significant other by playing guitar and you go ‘Oh wait, oh wait, oh wait’? You can’t do that.”
Kylee Mejia, a first-year student at UMPI, found her first LDLS to be more interesting than she thought it would be. “I wasn’t sure if I would find interest in the lecture,” Mejia said. “But then when Dr. Alst began cracking jokes, I got more into it. He made listening to him talk enjoyable, like I wasn’t at a distinguished lecture.” Mejia shared that her experience attending the lecture made her interested to attend more in the future.
To conclude, Alst shared three readings from his latest novel “Sacred Smokes.” His truly inspiring but deeply emotional stories really captured the attention of his audience at UMPI. If you are interested in reading about him further or purchasing his work, Alst’s latest novel can be found for sale on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0826359906/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0.
I’m back, school is in session and that can mean only one thing: summer is over. I hope that you all are finding your groove, getting back into the swing of classes and hopefully avoiding the nasty cold going around.
It’s starting to get chilly up here, but don’t fret: it’s pumpkin spice season! Live it up outdoors while you can. Before you know it, we’re going to have 12 feet of snow. Get out there and support our sports teams. The women’s soccer team, for one, is off to an amazing start. Go Owls! Maybe get a group of friends together and tromp around Goughan’s Berry Farm’s corn maze. There are so many options. Oh, how I love fall.
Riana Teixeira, mentored by Shirley Rush, presented to a full audience on University Day. “I had the great privilege of working with Miss Riana on a special topics class about identity development,” Rush said. “And this is a result of her semester of work.” Teixeira, who is Cape Verdean, spoke about coming to Presque Isle from Brockton, Mass., and gaining independence. “I was under my parent’s thumb,” Teixeira said. “As a Cape Verdean, you’re taught you’re really supposed to respect your parents’ wishes and follow their path.” Teixeira found herself not liking the path she was on. “I was like OK,” she said. “Let me go somewhere far where I can do my thing and my parents will be a phone call away.” Continue reading “I Never Knew How Black I Really Was: Identity”
Brandy Smith and Garrett DeLong, seniors at UMPI, presented their journey through professional communication and journalism on University Day. In an hour-long presentation, the two took turns sharing their experience in PCJ classes over the last four years. “These are my two seniors in the program,” Dr. Jacqui Lowman, their academic advisor, said when introducing the duo. “They are going to take you on a brief trip down memory lane.” Continue reading “Wild Ride Through PCJ”
It’s not every day that an investigative journalism piece moves you. Winning the Academy Award for best picture 2015, “Spotlight” is based on true events and real people. The film follows the investigations of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team into allegations of widespread pedophilia by priests that the Church hierarchy covered up. Uncovering evidence in forms of victim testimony and court documents, viewers are in for an overwhelming sensation of eagerness as they get further into the film. Continue reading “Investigative Journalism: Necessary to bring Victims’ Closure”
One must watch movie that should be on your rainy day list this summer is “All the President’s Men.” This film follows two journalists– Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward– who risked their jobs, reputations and even their lives. The duo of dedicated journalists who write for the Washington Post report on the botched burglary at the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office complex in D.C. This reporting eventually leads all the way to the president, prompting an investigation. Continue reading “Three Reasons Why ‘All the President’s Men’ Is a Must Watch”