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
A cappella music always amazes me. There’s something magical about the blending of voices into sounds and harmonies. I appreciate many types of a cappella music but my favorite is pop music revisited. In my opinion, tired and overplayed pop songs are revived and reinvigorated when remixed and performed by a cappella professionals.   Pentatonix is my favorite a cappella group. They won the third season of the Sing Off on NBC in 2011. Look them up on YouTube if you aren’t familiar with them already--they are... Read More
Every Saturday night, right around 7:30, a crowd starts forming outside of Herter Rm. 231.  Occasionally there are a few parents sprinkled in, but for the most part the group is made up of a wide variety of UMass students milling about, waiting for something.   In the inconspicuous, fluorescently lit hallway of Herter, there is not much to indicate why there’s almost fifty people gathered in an academic building on a weekend evening.  That is of course, until the doors open.  Then there is loud music blasting from... Read More
My experience with Mass Impact, like all good things in life, involved a ton of food.  Literally.   What started with a Facebook post in August, ended with sorting over 2,600 pounds of carrots and beets in September.   Over the summer, I had seen a post by UMass about registering for Mass Impact Day of Service, the University’s annual day of service.  I immediately messaged my friends asking them to register with me.    I love community service but oftentimes find it hard to volunteer while at school.  There are... Read More
One of my favorite things to do on weekends is play board games. Ever since my uncle bought The Order of the Stick Adventure Game, he would invite me and my friends over for game days. Over the years, he’s acquired a huge collection of games, all with cool, nerdy themes like Star Wars, Firefly, Dungeons & Dragons, and Call of Cthulu. We’ll spend hours rolling dice, moving pawns, throwing around fake money, and listening to various Phineas and Ferb soundtracks. I always love days like this because it gives me a... Read More
This January, I started an internship with the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, supporting the 21st Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival. The theme of this year’s festival is called “Reality Narratives.”  The theme is particularly exciting for me because of my Honors Project in narrative non-fiction. Each film features a story that exemplifies the intersection between creativity and reality, exploring the “blurred boundaries between documentary and fiction,” from the stationary camera-guided tour of... Read More
For the past few years, I’ve had one of the most interesting jobs to attempt to have a conversation about. When you tell people, “I work in shows at Six Flags,” a number of questions come up.  “What shows do you do?” “Do you dance?” “Do you wear the costumes?” So, what is it that I actually do? Allow me to show you.   Right now, Six Flags is celebrating the fall with its annual Fright Fest program. As you enter the turnstile, you’re greeted not with cheery pop music, but with grating organ tunes and Michael... Read More
This past weekend UMass Amherst celebrated Homecoming, and it was one packed full of events. From open houses and luncheons to the blacklight dance, the MinuteFan Tailgate and the Homecoming Parade, and, of course, the UMass versus Villanova football game and UMass vs. Boston College hockey game, it was a difficult to find time to do it all! But this being my senior year, I did my very best to attend at least some of the activities.   So, what was the highlight of this action-packed weekend?  For me, I’d have to... Read More
UMass Amherst does have a homecoming every year, but this year, it’s expanding!  Fellow students are most looking forward to the MinuteFan Tailgate at the Coca-Cola Pavilion, the Homecoming Parade, and, of course, the UMass versus Villanova football game, although there are many more activities planned, such as open houses and a dance!  The parade will be the first in recent years and will weave through the south side of campus from the Mullins Center area into the tailgating area of the stadium just in time for... Read More
  A couple times a semester the English Society hosts a Coffee House at the University Club, which happens to be the oldest house in Amherst.  Not only is there coffee (also brownies and cookies that are SO good) but also poetry, short fiction, and acoustic music.   I went to the first Coffee House of the year last week.  I’m the worst procrastinator ever, and creative writing unfortunately doesn’t often make it to the top of my list. I like to go to the coffee houses anyway, even though I don’t often have... Read More

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