Oh the Places You'll Go... My first concert: I'm eight years old, standing alongside my older sister on top of white folding chairs, craning my neck to see above the rows of heads to the stage where Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, is crooning away. My dad’s head bobbing along to the music just below me, laughs as his daughters eagerly soak in the experience of seeing music live for the first time.   Ever since this moment, I have been drawn to see live music and have been... Read More
From the moment I stepped out of my car onto the UMass Amherst campus for the first time nearly four years ago, something about this place felt different, but also entirely like home. I have truly loved it here at UMass and believe that choosing to be a Minuteman was one of the best decisions I have made so far.   However, the reasons behind my positive experiences go beyond the academics and campus life. It has been the unique places I have discovered outside the bounds of UMass that have played a major role into... Read More
Kate, You got into UMass! And the nursing program too! Congratulations, the long college process is over – at least almost. The work heavy part is, now it’s all about decisions and I’m here to help. With nine schools to choose between, since you got into every one you applied to (if your big sister can’t brag for you, who can?), there are a lot of things to consider. Here are my 3 pieces of advice…for now: Make the right decision for you. Everyone has different dreams, majors, and bank accounts... Read More
Kate,   The family Christmas card came in the mail yesterday! I think it came out great, though I heard you’re not a huge fan of the candid on the back. In the spirit of things, I thought I’d include a throwback Christmas picture with today’s letter. You look particularly fantastic (and upset that you have to sit next to me) in it by the way.   I’m writing a feature story for work right now about this super cool band called The Commonwealth. The two kids who started it lived in my building last year and used to... Read More
Confession: This week I went to Freedom Cafe for the first time ever! I’ve heard lots of good things about it through friends and social media, but never actually stopped by until this semester. For hot beverage enthusiasts like myself, it's never too soon or too late to explore Freedom Cafe.   Freedom Cafe is a non-profit coffee shop at UMass that works to raise awareness of human trafficking and rescue its victims. 100% of the money raised each academic year... Read More
In May of 2012, I finally discovered the cause for the stomach aches that had haunted me for the past five years. I was gluten intolerant. I finally put the pieces together after reading the book, “Wheat Belly,” and after eliminating gluten from my diet, I felt like a new person. While I was thrilled that I now knew a way that I could stop my stomach from hurting after every meal, I was also overwhelmed in how I was supposed to take on the challenge of eating entirely gluten-free.   The diagnoses of gluten... Read More
Welcome new students and welcome back returning students! I hope your semester is starting off well, and that you are finding time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather in between classes. This is one of my favorite times of year because not only do I get to wear all my favorite clothes, but I feel very inspired by the new classes and new faces around me.    This semester I am taking a Medical Anthropology course at Smith College as part of the five college interchange program, working on my honors thesis and taking... Read More
My name is Dylan Brewer and I am the Music Director and PR Coordinator for TEDxUMassAmherst. I’m sure just about everyone knows about TED talks, but it wasn’t until I kind of fell on board with the team that I really joined the cult. My phenomenal mentor and Capstone advisor Michael Schurter seems to always be on the look out for getting the right people in touch with each other, and this is how I met Nate Tepper, whom I eventually found out had received a license to curate the first ever TED talk here on campus... Read More
We’re always telling you CHC students about the great things this valley has to offer you.  As a senior, I'd love to tell you that I've done all of those things, but I just can’t lie to those pretty faces of yours. So, CHC, I present to you my bucket list.  These are things that I've wanted to do, planned and failed to do, or never heard of before but now really want to do.   Go swimming at Puffer's Pond Visit the Emily Dickinson Museum Hike Mt. Holyoke Eat a Donut Man donut Stargaze at the... Read More
...but if it does,  you couldn’t ask for a better, more generous, or more supportive community to help you through it.   This horrifying mess is what is left of my bedroom in the apartment I lived in for a year and a half.  The apartment was destroyed in a fire that started in the apartment immediately next to ours early morning on Martin Luther King Jr. Day while my roommates and I were sleeping.  We were woken by neighbors pounding on doors but not by any fire alarm of any kind.  We were lucky enough to... Read More


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