• One of the big advantages of living in the dorms is that you are surrounded by potentially interesting people and perhaps new friends. Thing is, a lot of people are too shy to take advantage of this. They’re too worried that going to a stranger’s door, even if it’s standing open, and saying “Hi” will make them sound desperate for socialization, or too peppy, or that the encounter will be awkward for lack of common interests, or any number of other things. Well, I hate to say it, but that’s all possible. However, you’re not going to discover all the wonderful people around... Read More
  • What’s that I hear? The sweet sound of snow falling ever so lightly. It seems like we’re finally starting to get some heavy snow! Some students really appreciate this kind of weather, because they get to have campus wide snowball fights and relax with a day of cancelled classes. But if you’re like me, odds are you’re bed-ridden, watching Netflix, jealous of everyone around you who doesn’t have the flu (except for my roommates, who I got sick). Whatever you’re feeling, make sure you’re prepared! Because if you don’t know by now, New England weather is so unpredictable.  ... Read More
  • Whether you’re a freshman transitioning from high school to college, or a transfer student like me trying out a different school, these tips can help you find your way here at UMass Amherst! 1. Get involved! -There are dozens of organizations on campus you can get involved with to spice up your time here at UMass. The Student Activities and Involvement page lists all the different ways you can get involved. -Joining a campus organization is a great way to meet new people and make friends, because you’ll be able to find people you connect and share interests with. Also,... Read More
  • Hello and welcome back to UMass, folks! Some of you might have returned after reluctant and teary partings with family, some may have sprinted out of their homes to get here. Whatever the circumstances, I hope that you feel relieved and excited to be back. A lot of you will already have found your niches and are eager to return to your friends and activities that make UMass a part of your extended family. For those of you who are taking a bit longer, as I did, never fear! Each semester is like starting all over again. Yeah, you’ve got the same people in your dorm, but... Read More
  • Kate, It’s my last day of undergraduate classes and I’m just as terrified as I was on the first one. I guess that while a whole lot of things have changed, not everything has. A little over four years ago I didn't want to go to UMass at all. It was too big and rural and full of concrete. I look back at high school me and shake my head at the girl who thought she knew exactly what she wanted. Coming to UMass and being a part of CHC has been the best decision I’ve made thus far. I truly believe this school has helped me to become a better person. I think UMass has that... Read More
  • Kate, Since later today I’ll be attending a networking event, I figure it's an appropriate enough topic for this letter. Let’s be honest here, networking is wildly intimidating and downright hard. You, a lowly undergraduate, are expected to make connections with professionals living out your dream career. Framed that way, yeah, it seems nearly impossible. But it doesn't have to be. In my time at UMass I’ve found that this school does an incredible job of providing ample networking opportunities to its students. Most of them are aimed at particular majors, colleges or... Read More
  • If you haven’t noticed, my father’s kind of a history geek. Must be where I get it from. Anyhow, we were talking about how much of a circus this presidential election is and he mentioned a concept that a man named Joseph Goebbels came up with in the ‘30s. Pretty much the idea is that if you lie copiously and vary the lies every time, then the fact-checkers can’t keep up. Something we might’ve noticed from climate change deniers and rumors about My Chemical Romance getting back together is that it takes more time to debunk a lie than to make one up. As my old man put it... 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
  • My father hasn’t really shown up in this blog lately, so here’s one of his recent observations: As with any relationship, our chats seem to hark back to certain topics time and again, one of which being my generation’s involvement with social media. This time, he said that he realized the letters which he wrote to me were sort of like having his own blog “with an intended audience of one.” We recognize that people like to be in the public eye. We’re attention hogs. Why else would we be posting Tweets about our latest salad? No one really cares about small stuff like that... Read More
  • So now that you've learned about the topic of my research, you're probably wondering: where did I find all this information? (At least, that's the question that keeps appearing in my committee's comments - SOURCE???)   Thanks to my previous experience, I had a good idea of the depositories and archives to visit for the materials I needed. I started my research by looking through the records of the Ladies' Branch of the Port Society on loan to the New Bedford Whaling Museum - lots of meeting minutes, scrapbooks, and newspaper articles documenting the group's existence. I... Read More

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