• Co-authored by Hannah Depin and Marie MacCune. 1.   Crowded dining halls. Good luck finding a table or waiting in the omelette line this weekend. 2.   Traffic. Everywhere.  3.   The campus bookstore? Totally sold out.  4.  Lots of staring. Why do tours bring people to the gym? Seeing me run on a treadmill is deterrence enough from applying.  5.   You become every family's personal photographer. 
  • One of my favorite parts of UMass is the Freedom Cafe, a nonprofit, volunteer-run coffee shop with a mission to end human trafficking. It's got the best coffee on campus, and it's also supporting a great cause.  I've been lucky enough to be able to volunteer with the education development team at Freedom Cafe. And now, after two years of working together, our team has finally figured out the perfect meeting time: dinner at Blue Wall. Blue Wall is in the Campus Center, so it's central and an easy place for everyone to meet up. There are also plenty of choices for food, like... Read More
  • Kate, Now that it really feels like fall out, I can’t help but think back to where I was a year ago. I can’t even begin to describe how much I miss Cork and studying abroad. It was such an amazing experience and I am really excited for you to get a taste of it this summer while studying in Spain. I’m also really excited to go visit you. I heard you ran into Dan at the International Programs Office? That boy knows the ins and outs of studying abroad with UMass (he spent a year in Paris and a summer at Oxford)—take every bit of his advice. Unfortunately, your (our) next... Read More
  • Today, I’m speaking of a community that spans the entire globe: The Ignoramati. Yes, that is a fake word and, no, I did not come up with that. Credit goes to the old man. Again… He presented the word to me as one might find it in the dictionary: Ignoramati Noun 1) The fellowship of the ignorant 2) Members of the fellowship of the ignorant See "illuminati.” As he explained it, the ignoramati are those who spread ignorance and refuse to enlighten themselves while their leaders are those who benefit from others’ ignorance. The people who profit are those who fund climate... Read More
  • (Co-authored by Marie MacCune and Hannah Depin) It’s autumn, baby. Time to do all things fall! Here are eight things you don't want to miss this fall at UMass.  1. Tailgate. We may have (one of) the worst teams in the division but our tailgates are nothing to shrug at. Pro tip: invite your parents for excess amounts of free food. 2. Apple picking, duh.   3. A haunted UMass Tour. It’s part of Family Weekend programming Friday, Oct. 21! 4. Visit a pumpkin patch. Hillcrest Orchards in Amherst lets you pick your perfect pumpkin for jackolantern making. 5. Take a hike up... Read More
  • Kate, We are so close to the first long weekend of the semester I can almost taste it. I’m so so so excited. I’m headed to Boston College Friday to tailgate with Marisa (going to the actual football game is still up in the air) and then home for the weekend to do some serious laundry and research - granted, you already knew that since you’re the one dropping me off! Long weekends are a magical time when you have extra hours to sleep and get work done but very often do neither. I’m committed to not letting that happen. My thesis and GPA cannot afford for me to. In order to... Read More
  • One of the things that my father has drilled into my head is that life is pretty bland without two things: Curiosity and bravery. Of course, he doesn’t say it that way for fear of sounding corny like me, but that’s the gist of it. However, he always seems to emphasize the curiosity, whether he realizes it or not. He’s even ended one of his letters with “Be well.  Be interested.  Be open to wonder.  Be wildered.” Quirkiness aside, he’s made it clear to me that without curiosity and the willingness to be confused and work through it, a person cannot learn. They cannot... Read More
  • It's starting to feel like fall here at UMass and I couldn't be more excited. It's a great season no matter where you are, but I feel especially lucky to experience it in western Massachusetts. There are a ton of events happening around here in the fall, and better yet, many of them are food related. I don't want to miss a thing, so I have a new weekend ritual: waking up early on Saturdays and Sundays to get homework done. I know, it's no fun, but it does pay off. Last weekend I got work done early and had plenty of time to check out two local food festivals! On Saturday,... Read More
  • Kate, I had my first interview for my thesis this weekend! I'm happy to report it went really well. Now I just need to transcribe our half-an-hour-long conversation—and hope that more people respond to my interview requests. I cannot tell you how stressed I've been since May, wondering if I'd even have a thesis to write if no one agreed to talk to me. In case you forgot (or chose to ignore) my ramblings to mom and dad about this project, I am studying the fathers' rights movement in Massachusetts which advocates for reform of the family law system both in-state and... Read More
  • We’ll, we’re back! To those returning, I’m glad to be seeing familiar faces all about and catching up with you. To those just joining us, welcome to UMass! I hope that you’re enjoying the warmth and getting ready for the cold. Summer ends quick and, in the Stark words, Winter is Coming. Forget about that though! You’re at college! You’ve spent the first week acquainting (or reacquainting) yourselves with the campus, discovering your new teachers and classmates, and perhaps partaking in the debauchery and general fun that strikes at the beginning of every semester. At... Read More

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