It’s been a while since the last time you heard from me, I hope all is well! I know times have been trying recently but the end of 2020 is almost in sight. What a crazy year it has been up to this point.
Halloween is right around the corner and I know I’m pretty excited to see some snow on the ground. I was able to catch Shawnee Peak’s night skiing pass flash-sale. You can catch me at the slopes snowboarding as soon as we have a solid base. Until then though, you’ll find me at home studying and doing my classes remotely.
As we approach time to leave the UMPI campus and transition back to remote learning for everyone, I’d like to share a little advice, as I have been remote since we got sent home in March by choice. If you ever feel lonely, reach out to your friends. Even though you can’t be there beside them studying for finals, pick up the phone and call or FaceTime them. Don’t be shy or feel like they don’t want to hear from you. It can get lonely sometimes, especially when it’s college culture to be so intertwined with your peers.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that your friends miss you too, even if they don’t say it. Check in often, they want to hear from you. Hopefully someday things will shift back to something resembling life pre-COVID. Until then, find the silver lining.
Holidays in the times of Corona have everyone feeling a little glum. While Trick-or-Treating might be a little trickier this year, here’s an easy way to spread a little happiness this spooky season while sticking
to a budget.
To start, you’re going to want to want to set a budget. As a college student, money can sometimes be pretty tight. While you might not have a lot to give, Boo Baskets are the gift that keeps on giving. When you start this little project, keep in mind that the person you Boo is supposed to pass the treat along, Booing someone else. For this example, let’s have a budget of $20.
Once you have your budget set, make a list. On your list, start by putting a festive pail or other cute Halloween bag. Next, add a bag of candy. Aside from these two items, you’re going to want to budget your money in order to add other items to your Boo Basket. Be however creative you want!
The next step is to find your local dollar store, or any sort of inexpensive store. This example Boo Basket has items found at both the Dollar Tree and Walmart. Just to give an idea of prices, below is a list of each item, price and where each thing in the bucket was bought:
This list might inspire you, but don’t feel that you have to follow the entire list yourself. Feel free to get anything you want. Just be mindful of your budget. Your friends don’t want you to go bankrupt in
order to make this basket.
Once you have gathered all of your Boo Basket materials, go ahead and place them all in the pail. If you’re feeling a little extra, throw in a piece of tissue
paper to make it look pretty.
When everything is looking as you want it to, bring your baskets to your
friends. Whether they live in the dorm room down the hall, are your roommate or reside across town, drop it off to them. Don’t forget to tell them, “You’ve just been ‘Booed!’”
I know it’s been a while since I’ve last written to you all! Times have certainly been extraordinary, that’s for sure. Since the last time I wrote, I have moved back home. Living somewhere that isn’t Presque Isle is something you have to get used to. Even though when I’m at school I miss home, being home has me oddly missing Presque Isle more.
For whatever the reason, I feel like I don’t need a summer break. I unfortunately lost my job due to my move home, so I have not had a whole lot of anything to do over this quarantine. The only silver lining is that my boyfriend has been quarantining with me.
I have a short but funny story. So, two-and-a-half months ago, at the beginning of quarantine, I became fixated on the idea of cutting my hair. I wanted bangs. My younger sister advised against it, as she herself had bangs and quote, “I don’t want you to copy my look.” But anyway, I started watching hair-cutting videos, mostly of women cutting their own bangs. All of the videos made it look effortless.
One Thursday, after attending my weekly PCJ Zoom meeting, I FaceTimed my best friend, Caitlyn. Cait and I were casually chatting when I got the sudden and overwhelming urge to be dramatic. Me being me, I got the scissors. Without saying anything, I walked upstairs and found a comb and clips. Walking back downstairs to my bedroom, I shut and locked my door behind me. The whole time, Cait was on FaceTime staring at me, silent, through my screen.
I took my position in front of my humongous wall mirror and began sectioning my hair like the woman in the Buzzfeed video. Holding my breath, I told my friend to encourage me. Holding my breath, I literally cut inches off and chopped the most uneven bangs. Realizing what I had done, I ran upstairs in hysterics. I was sobbing, my sister and brother were laughing, Cait was screaming over FaceTime and my mom was freaking out because she didn’t know what was going on. (What was going on was I was running around my kitchen and living room sobbing while clutching my forehead.)
Moral of the story: don’t cut your own bangs, no matter how easy Buzzfeed makes it look. My only saving grace was my sister and her ability to fix my mistake.
To close out the 2019-2020 academic year, I just wanted to thank everyone. Readers, contributors, staff writers: thank you all. I hope that everyone stays safe and healthy during these extraordinary times. I would also like to congratulate all of UMPI’s 2020 graduates. I wish we could have celebrated your hard work together.
Love is in the air, folks– and so is some sort of flu bug! I have to say, February is one of my least favorite months. At least it’s short. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know how to handle the brutal cold it brings. Also, all the snow. The other day my nana called to ask how much snow I thought we had. She was asking for all the ladies who live on her floor. I think the only nice thing about this month is that as the days go by, I can almost see Spring Break in sight. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to be headed somewhere warmer.
While I keep reminding myself to stay strong until the third week of March, I would also like to give a huge thank-you to the UMPI community and anyone who supported the U Time’s fundraiser. As some of you may know, the U Times held a raffle fundraiser for three weeks. With the club members having met their goal within the first week of sales, their success would not have been possible without the outpouring of support seen from individuals both on and off campus.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now, folks! I hope you all caught the awesome day-after Valentines Day candy sales. I know I surely did!
Have you ever considered writing for a newspaper but not known where to start? At UMPI, University Times is the go-to for this! The club, advised by Dr. Lowman, meets every Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Pullen 116. In their weekly meetings, staff writers are brought up to speed with work going on behind the scenes by the club’s editor. There are many laughs and friendly smiles, as the atmosphere is laidback. Whether you are nervous or simply shy, the U Times’ door is always open.
Not many people on campus even know that UMPI has a school newspaper. If you’re reading this and are thinking about your own interest in writing, we have a staff who would love to meet you! Even if you just drop in and find out that you don’t really think it will be a fit, maybe you’ll meet a new friend.
First year student Kylee Mejia (Presque Isle) is an undecided major. After her friends encouraged her to join U Times iends, she took the offer. “While attending my first U Times meeting, I felt the sense of welcoming and especially by Dr. J,” she said. “It was like walking into a room full of people I already knew.” Mejia went on to boast about the encouragement she received on her first piece. “Like, when I thought the first piece I wrote wasn’t actually very good,” Mejia recalled. “Dr. J actually said she liked it. It makes you feel good to be a writer for the school newspaper.”
Not convinced you should check out a U Times meeting yet? “For someone on the fence about joining, join,” Mejia said. “I didn’t think I would like it, but I have ended up actually really liking being a part of the UTimes. Even if you don’t think you’re capable of writing an article, you can. All it takes are simple sentences. This has taken me out of my comfort zone, and I am so happy I joined.”
U Times meets every Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Pullen 116. For more information or questions about how or where to join, contact the UTimes editor, Abi Davis, at email@example.com.
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.