Final Editor’s Letter

Dear folks, 

     I hope that you’re all doing well and enjoying the sort-of spring weather. Spring semester always goes by so fast, which is both a good and emotional thing. For underclassman, there is stress but a sense of excitement because the finish line is so close. For graduating seniors, the only way I can describe the way I’m feeling is like I’m holding my breath. I feel like if I blink, I might miss all the small moments between now and May 7th

     What a ride being editor has been. I have done some reflecting on my time as editor and come to the biggest conclusion: I will miss this. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to write to you all every semester for the past three years. Not only has this been a great outlet for me as a writer, but also as a leader, as I have grown and stretched to reach many goals. 

     I have nothing but high hopes for the future of University Times and look forward to seeing future content.

Abi Davis, editor.

     Until we cross paths again,

     Abi Davis

Black Student Union Presents at University Day

     Kajuan Minter, mentored by Shirley Rush, presented to a captivated audience on University Day 2022. Flying solo, Minter spoke on behalf of UMPI’s Black Student Union (BSU). “The first ever BSU was founded in 1966 at San Francisco State University,” he said, opening his presentation. “After that, they were started on other campuses across the nation.” The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s BSU started in 2017. Former UMPI student, Riana Teixeria, was instrumental in the establishment of a BSU on UMPI’s campus. “She was an amazing, driven and passionate woman,” Minter said of his former BSU President. “Without her, I don’t think BSU would exist (at UMPI) because she was so outspoken. She really pushed for a lot of things culture-wise for Black people here. She was the start of that, her and Miss Shirley. We just try to keep it going for them.”

For more information about how to join BSU, contact Kajuan (KJ) Minter at kajuan.minter@maine.edu.

     BSU’s mission is to create a safe place for Black students on campus. “A lot of us are coming from different environments and situations,” Minter said. “I’m from Maryland and being here is a whole culture change. I’m from the city, I’m used to hearing sirens.” Minter says the differences in culture for him and other members of the BSU can create a sense of discomfort and not belonging. “There’re not many people like us,” he said. “You don’t know who to relate to. You don’t know who to go to. You don’t know your resources. It’s like a complete fresh start. You got to learn people and people got to learn you.”

     Now the president of the BSU himself, Minter spoke of the support that BSU provides students who might struggle with these concepts. “BSU kind of gives that safe place,” he said. “You know, ‘Me and you are from the same area.’ We can relate to each other. We understand.” 

     BSU also strives to promote a sense of belonging for Black students. “Being from the city, being comfortable,” he said. “You feel like you belong there because you see people of your color. Out here, it’s different.” He believes that not only does BSU allow students to feel as if their voices are heard, but it creates a supportive environment. “Your voice is important,” he said. “And people here will listen to it. You just have to use it. When I joined BSU, I learned that.”

 

Secrets of a JEDI Revealed

     The secret to becoming a JEDI was finally revealed in one presentation on University Day. Megan Waceken, Ricky Goupille and Abi Davis presented for their HUM 186 class. HUM 186, also known as Becoming a JEDI, explores and examines aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion and how they tie into social justice on a local, regional and global scale. Their group presentation shared their personal journeys to becoming a true JEDI. 

     Being the first group of students to take the class, Waceken and Goupille shared what they have enjoyed about their overall experience learning how to be a JEDI. “I’ve enjoyed getting to learn about a group that I did not know much about before,” Waceken said. “We learn about their challenges, successes and their life. It really puts the person back into what was once a stereotype. It brings the person back. I think that’s really important.” 

     Goupille agreed with his classmate and weighed in with his own takeaways. “It really stretched my perspective on everything,” he said. “That we’re all equally human and whatever our backgrounds are does not really matter at the end of the day.”

From the left: Ricky Goupille, Megan Waceken, and Abi Davis presenting Secrets of the JEDI.

     The presentation outlined the individual projects the group has been working on this semester. Their projects involved researching a marginalized group they do not identify with themselves. Waceken, whose older brother has a hearing impairment, chose to research people who have hearing loss or hearing impairments. Goupille, who was inspired by a friend in the military, chose to focus on veterans and the struggles of reintegration after deployment. Davis, whose sibling is an enbie, spent the semester researching the non-binary community. 

     Collectively, it was the group’s first experience presenting at University Day. “It was cool to present and be a part of the presentation,” Goupille said. Waceken felt the same. “I did have fun presenting,” Waceken said. “There’s always that small factor of being up in front of everyone and getting a little nervous. But being able to share what we’ve done is so great.”

Editor’s Letter

Dear readers,

     I hope you are all hanging in there! I know I’m starting to feel the pressure with finals looming in the very near future. Something I have been trying to do in order to stay sane is taking walks. Many of you wouldn’t know this, but I have a black lab, Finn. Finn is still a puppy, just an 80-pound pup. Walking Finn in between classes and meetings has been a nice way for me to manage my stress. 

     Taking these walks down here in southern Maine, I’ve made a discovery. I’m happy to report that the grass is out! Most of the snow has melted. Really, the only snow left can be found on the ski slopes or shaded places in yards. Now let’s see, that should mean the warmer weather will find its way to Presque Isle in— well, I’m not sure when, but hopefully it’s soon. 

     Stay warm folks and remember Spring is right around the corner!   

Abi Davis, editor.

Yours truly,

     Abi Davis

Spring Cleaning: Mental Inventory Edition

     Spring semester is not only longer than fall semester, but can seem drearier. Students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle begin spring semester in the cold and snowy climate and then slowly transition into spring. This gloomy weather combined with heavy workloads can be stressful to students. Managing this stress can seem impossible. But mental check-ins can be more important during this time than any other.

Check in with yourself!

     Cynthia Luce, a licensed clinical social worker, is a psychotherapist and provides counseling and therapy in Maine. Luce believes that accessing your needs is an important element of self-care. “If we don’t pay attention to what we need physically and emotionally,” she said, “we are ill-equipped to function at our best capacity.” Luce explained that people are taught from a young age to be kind to others. “But there might be times when we focus on the needs of others at the expense of our own needs,” she said. “We may have learned in our family or origin that taking care of others’ needs before our own is a way to get positive attention or prevent disharmony.”

     Focusing on the needs of others becomes a problem when people begin ignoring their own needs. “We can become depleted of energy and wonder why no one has been attending to us like we attend to them,” Luce said. “We cannot expect people to read our minds or assume that they should know what we need unless we let them know.”

Editor’s Letter

Ellohay olksfay,

     If you’re wondering ywhay I am writing like isthay, it’s because I am driving ownday a very umpubay road. I feel like the days are starting to get longer. I can’t wait for warm ummersay nights and onglay alksway on the beach. Alas, we have a little itbay to go before enthay. 

     Oh, and how could I forget! Remember to check the weather for next Tuesday. I saw in the forecast that we are expecting clouds with a chance of eatballsmay.

     Until next imtay,

Abi Davis, editor.

The Circus Is Back in Town!

     It has been over two years since Aroostook County has received a visit from any circus shows. “It’s really just a sad thing,” Ray Rice, President of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, said. “My wife and I would always bring our daughter and make a really nice day of it.” Rice says that Spring 2022, however, has something big in store for the county. “I’m bringing the circus back!” Rice exclaimed.

Elephants and ballerinas performing at the Dingling and Bros. distant cousin’s show, Ringling and Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus.

     Dingling Bros. and Farnum & Hailey Circus, based out of Nunya, ME, is a small circus touring company. Their act includes three lion tamers up against four big cats; two elephants accompanied by ballerinas who perform on their backs; and a sword swallower. “These performers are really next level,” Rice explained. “I can’t wait to get them here.” Hotel capacities are at their highest during the weekend of UMPI’s graduation the second weekend of May. So Rice decided that he would open his campus to the carnies, whose show starts the same week. “I’ve met these people,” he said. “These are some of the nicest, kindest people I have ever met. I couldn’t be happier to host them.  I know that the students of UMPI will enjoy getting to know them just as much as I have.”

Editor’s Letter

     Greetings folks,

     I hope you are all finding success in this chilly spring semester. I know I enjoyed my time off over break. I made sure to hit the slopes at least half a dozen times or so. There are a number of exciting things to look forward to this semester. 

     One of them is print issues of the U Times newspaper! Starting next month, U Times will be restarting print issues after nearly two years. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everything shifted to remote learning, the U Times’ print production halted. All of us at the U Times could not be happier for this exciting revival. Keep an eye out for our issues. We will distribute them in the usual locations around campus. 

     If you are interested in joining us for this exciting revival process, the U Times is always accepting new members. We meet in Folsom 101A every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Dr. J at jacquelyn.lowman@maine.edu or me at abigail.l.davis1@maine.edu. Either of us would be happy to answer any questions you might have. 

Abi Davis, editor.

     Well, I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day. Or even a “Gal-entine’s” or “Pal-entine’s.” However you celebrate, whether by showing yourself or someone special to you love, I hope it was nice. I was lucky enough to receive flowers, an edible arrangement and jewelry. I’m not going to lie, the edible arrangement was a hit. All the chocolate covered strawberries were gone by dinner.      

 

Until next time,

     Abi Davis

Variants of Love Bug Bites

     There are many variations in how a person prefers to receive love. These personal preferences are known as love languages. There are five major categories under the umbrella of love languages: acts of service, such as running an errand or cooking dinner for your partner; gifts– thoughtful and meaningful gifts of any size without an occasion; physical touch–hugging, kissing, holding hands; quality time–giving your partner undivided attention via exclusive time together; and words of affirmation–offering verbal compliments and words of appreciation. A common misconception is that people can have only one love language. Individuals might have a combination of ways they prefer to give and receive love. 

  

Caitlyn Dyke and Sam King.

   Caitlyn Dyke and her boyfriend, Sam King, have been together just over a month. “We met four years ago and were friends,” King says. “We had a class, did biology tutoring together and got a lot closer. Then we started to hangout all the time.” Dyke and King share words of affirmation and physical touch as their love languages. Though this couple has coincidental similarities, it is also typical for partners to have different love languages. It is also normal for love languages to change over time and/or from one relationship to the next. The pair believe they have always had the same love language, even in past relationships. “But I wasn’t always loved the way I felt I was supposed to be,” Dyke said, referring to her previous long-term relationship. “Nobody would’ve been able to guess that those were my love languages.”

Jack Bisson and Abi Davis.

     Unlike Dyke and King, Jack Bisson and his girlfriend, Abi Davis, have different love languages from each other. The pair met when they were 12 years old after Davis transferred to Bisson’s middle school. They began dating at the start of college. Nearly four years later, Davis persuaded Bisson to take a love language quiz on Buzzfeed. “I really learned about it from her,” Bisson said with a smile. “She got talking with me about it. Abi’s all into that stuff.” The quiz revealed something that Jack had suspected: his love language is physical touch. “Abi always does this cute thing,” he said. “We’ll be holding hands and she’ll rub little circles on my thumb with hers. Or, when we’re sitting together, she’ll rub my arm. It always makes my heart happy.” Bisson knows that Davis’ love languages are acts of service and quality time. “I like that she taught me what love languages are,” he said. “By communicating these details about her, I am able to understand better how to show her love.” 

Just Your Cup of Tea

Do you have any tea drinkers in your life this holiday season? If you do, this DIY gift is just for you. Tea Trees, also called Christmas Tea Trees, are topiary pieces with arrangements of tea bags in place of tree limbs.

Step 4, Voila!

What You’ll Need:

  • Styrofoam cones (6-inch cones work best, but any size will do)
  • Your choice of individually wrapped tea bags (Remember: the bigger the cone, the more tea bags you’ll need to cover it!)
  • Hot glue gun, with glue sticks
  • Small, round cylinder boxes to use as the “stump”– you can also use a toilet paper roll for this part too, but be sure to use thicker cardboard to create a base to glue to the bottom of it.
  • Wooden stars or other tree top trinkets for embellishment
  • Rocks or rice to put in the “stump” to weigh down the tree

Step-By-Step:

    1. Glue the tea bags, starting at the base of the cone. Place a very fine line of hot glue along the upper edge on the backside of a tea bag. Attach to the cone, holding the tea bag in place until the glue sets.

      The layering in Step 2 should look something like this.
    2. Placing the next tea bag, slightly overlap it over the one that was just glued, covering the Styrofoam cone underneath. How much you overlap will depend on the size of the tree. The goal is to just cover the Styrofoam, so it does not show through. Finish the entire base section before moving up the tree. Repeat the gluing process until you reach the top.