“Town Wide, Town Pride” is an annual community clean-up event sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement that occurs every April. This year was the 11th time Eastern has hosted a community beautification event like this. I have been part of “Town Wide, Town Pride” for the past three years at Eastern, and this year I was able to help clean-up a local Willimantic resident’s yard by raking leaves. I was also able to help clean-up efforts at a local Walmart, where trash had been building up in the parking lot.
Almost everyone who uses Hurley Hall, the Student Center Café, or the Library Café has likely seen the new roll out that the University is putting into effect. They are marketing that Eastern is going straw-less: “We are saying SO LONG to straws. SKIP the straw, save the planet,” and are using coffee-cup-type lids for their iced drinks, which are the new “in.” While I respect where Eastern and the state of Connecticut are coming from, there is a huge issue that stands out to me that has nothing to do with the environment.
Spain’s governing Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) have won the country’s third election in four years on April 27, 2019, but are short of a majority. Voter turnout was 75.8%, the highest for several years and 9% more than the previous election in 2016. This election reflected the familiar European model: the new surge of a far-right party (in Spain’s case it is called Vox), no party with enough seats in Parliament to form a government on its own, and increasing polarization that is ripping the country apart. However, this came with a distinctly Spanish twist.
I recently went to the United Nations trip to New York City (NYC) on Sunday, April 14, 2019, and I realized that there is more to NYC than the city attractions. NYC has beautiful tucked away green scenery in its various corners that really come to life in the spring and into the summer. The United Nations is in the Tudor City area of New York; it is just to the right of Manhattan, the heart of the city.
One of the main selling points of large universities such as UConn is the exciting campus life— the dozens of restaurants, coffee shops, and dive bars draw in hundreds of students each year. Once the excitement of a new city and new surroundings has worn off, however, the difficulties of navigating such a vast campus set in. It can take months to establish a bus route to class that takes less than an hour, and just as professors are beginning to memorize some of the names of their fifty or sixty lecture students, the semester is over. While attending a large and bustling university may seem like a new and exciting adventure, in the end, settling into a routine and establishing meaningful relationships with professors and staff becomes nearly impossible.
By now, all students except freshmen, who will register on April 22, have enrolled in courses for the 2019 fall semester, but the lingering stress of registration day is still present. EWeb is great for looking up available courses and figuring out your schedule before your assigned registration period, but in my own personal experience over these past few years at Eastern, I have found myself completely frustrated with how slow the system is during registration time.
I was ecstatic when I found out about the growing policy on cursive writing in approximately 24 states in the country. Schools are beginning to implement the cursive writing style in their classrooms, teaching children as early as the elementary level.
I was always interested in writing with this style. For me, it is an art of expression and identity; handwriting can show one’s own uniqueness. Since I was a child, I would always practice cursive writing, expressing ideas or copying quotes from books until my hand would get tired. Whenever I write in cursive, the sentences that I create seem more raw and rich with emotion and meaning; they become a part of me.
Last Wednesday, April 10, 2019, Bernie Sanders released the newest version of his “Medicare for all” plan, which would establish a federally funded, single-payer system where the government taxes its citizens to finance healthcare for everyone in the United States. This latest version of the plan does not have many significant differences to previous ones, except that this version is backed by many of Sanders’s rivals for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination.
As my senior year of college is coming to an end, and I am approaching the final week of my student teaching placement at RHAM High School, I’ve begun to reflect on both the positive and negative aspects of my experience in Eastern’s CARE Program (Committee for Admission and Retention in Education). While I could not have asked for a better host teacher, and consider myself lucky to have been so warmly welcomed into a new school district’s English Department (if even just for the year), I must admit that the process of navigating the numerous vaguely-worded program requirements added unneeded stress to the experience.
With the 2018-2019 school year coming to a close, it is important for students to reflect on what they’ve done throughout the year—how they’ve grown, what things they’ve succeeded at, and what they could have done better. This is also time to plan and make schedules for next year. While every student makes plans to take certain classes and make time for their job, it is also important to make time for volunteering. I have been lucky enough to have had time for volunteering during my four years at Eastern. I have gained so many skills, met new people, and given back to my community. I believe that everyone should volunteer at some point during their college career.