Saturday, November 30, 2013

Materialism following a time of thanks

Black Friday is a crazy time of the year when all of America decides to fight random strangers over items they probably don’t need, a day after they were giving thanks for all the things in their lives. Also, as the years go by it seems that the stores are opening earlier and earlier. People used to complain about getting up at five o’clock in the morning to go shopping. This year, however, people who work in stores such as Walmart, had to report to work much earlier this year. “I had to be at work at 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. We had our first big release at 6 p.m. I was working until midnight that night and then had to come back in to work at eight o’clock Friday morning,” Veronica Spurling said. Spurling is an employee of Walmart in Keyser, WV. Many people were outraged at the fact that employees were leaving their homes before dinner time on Thanksgiving to prepare for a sale that is called black “Friday”. “It’s not fair. People should be spending Thanksgiving with their families. They shouldn’t have to come to work on a day that is meant for giving thanks,” Maddie Bohrer said. Bohrer claims that she did participate in the black Friday madness, however, she did not start shopping until midnight on Friday. “It took the fun out of watching crazy people fight over a cheap television. By the time I got to the Country Club Mall in LaVale at midnight, Walmart was not busy at all. The mall opened at midnight, though, so it was well attended,” Bohrer explained. The mall was especially busy in stores such as American Eagle, Aeropostale, Bath and Body Works, JC Penney, and Game Stop. People rushed through the stores trying to find the best deals. However, once people found what they wanted to buy, they soon realized they would be waiting in lines for quite a while to make their final purchases. “I waited in a line at American Eagle for about 35 minutes. But everything was 50% off! You just can’t beat that!” Bohrer exclaimed excitedly. Obviously, this was a favorite store among many teenage girls because the place was crawling with them. When asked about the lack of attendance in Walmart all night, Spurling said, “It was definitely busy at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. when the sale items were released, but it was pretty calm the rest of the night. I think this might have hurt the stores’ whole sales by sending people out so early in the evening.” There was a final release at 8 in the morning on Friday morning. This left the rest of the night open for people to shop at other stores in the Country Club Mall. However, some people still choose not to participate in black Friday shopping for many reasons. “There is nothing I want or need that badly to be shopping in the middle of the night. I’d much rather shop online in the comfort of my own home,” Diane Long said. Black Friday is a huge event throughout the United States, whether people are shopping for great deals, or just simply watching two people fight over a pair of boots, it seems to get a lot of attention.

A long way down

If you have been in the Physical Education building at Frostburg State University then you have noticed the loud drills and hammer sounds as you walk the halls. The room has glass doors but your view is blocked from the outside. You can catch a quick glance inside if you walk past at the right time. The mysterious room is under construction for the new climbing wall. The climbing wall used to be located in the back of the P.E. building down a side hallway that you wouldn't even know existed unless you wanted to use the batting cage room and happen to roam to far in the wrong direction.
Maurice Adams , a junior parks and recreation major with a health minor, said "I think they wanted to move the climbing wall because it was too far away. Not many people new about it. Just wanted to update it and relocate it." Adams is also a member of the climbing club and the recreation society. The climbing wall is now located in the main hallway in the P.E. building, beside room two of the racquetball court.
The design and preparation for the new climbing wall started in the fall of 2012. The hours for the climbing wall are Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-9 p.m for the public, and 5-7 p.m. for the climbing club. "Anybody can climb. Everyone has to sign a waver stating that you understand that climbing is a dangerous sport. It's climb at your own risk" Adams stated. Their are only a couple stipulations to gain access to the climbing wall, " You have to be 18 to sign by yourself, parents need to sign if you're under the age of 18" Adams explains. People of all ages can use the climbing wall with regards to the stipulations.
You don't have to be certified to use the climbing wall. The only certification is for the climbing style of belaying. The person holding the rope that provides slack and tension on the rope in order to let you down or hold you up has to be certified in the proper use of the equipment and safety regulations. An example of belaying can be seen in figure one of Adams climbing the wall.
Figure one
The climbing wall provides challenges for all categories of climbers from amateur to experienced. The climbing wall changes through out the course of a week. New routes are made to the top so the climbing wall doesn't become repetitive and easy after a while. "One of the hardest parts when climbing is being a route setter. You have to climb for and extended period of time. Move the pegs around. Screw new ones in. It's a hard and tiring task" said Adams.
Setting routes requires precision and great endurance. You aren't using ladders to climb to the top. Coordination and balance is required. An example of setting a route can be seen in figure two. If you aren't afraid of heights and want to try something new then rock climbing is a good option.  
Figure two

Novermber Study Abroad Event

        On Friday, November, 22, Victoria Gearheart,director of Center of International and ten other students gathered together in the basement of Fuller Hall for some insight on how, when, and where to study aboad. Ms. Gearheart,  along with  junior students, Latoya Evans and Kate Stevenson shared their experiences abroad. Ms. Gearheat lived in China for a semsester during her college years and stated "it was an incredible experience. She initially thought the language barrier would lessen her experience but wound up enjoying the foreign language. She said convincingly, "do not let a difference in languages dictate where you would like to study abroad." She eventually learned some of the language, and met chinese people who spoke English as well. She said that being far from home forced her to embrace the cultral differences of China and the US.

           Latoya Evands studied abroad in Spain during spring semester of 2012. She is a business administrator major, and "the face" of the study abroad program. On most days, she can be spotted in the Lane Center, answering students questions, and helping them, decide the best and most economic programs abroad. She initially wanted to live in Madrid, but ended up living in Madrird, which she explained was all for the better. She said " I actually didn't like Madrid when I went to visit. It was boring and was nothing like I lived." Latoya lived off campus and had to travel short distances to and from school. She stated that "living off-campus was a really good experience. I met different people and got to explore the real Culture of Spain." Latoya is planning to travel to 12 different countries by boat and earn College credit this following summer.

          Kate  Stevenson, foreign language major and second year junior  at Frostburg State University, studied abroad in Mexico this past summer, and exclaimed "it was the ultimate experience." Kate lived with an exchange family and  had the pleasure of "learning Spanish from sun up to sun down. " Kate traveled each morning,  at 9am, during the weekday, and studied Spanish until 3pm in the afternoon. She stated, that at times it was a bit overwhelming , but worth It over all."...I got to eat some of the best foods I ever ate in my life," she announced with a laugh. Kate says that she is proud to be graduating late, thus this gives her another opportunity "to study abroad for free one last time." Next semester she is returning to Mexico to study again. When myself, and two other curious students asked what when should we study abroad, she said jokingly, "don't let graduating get in the way of when you choose to go abroad, I mean, we all end up graduating two years late anyway."

Black Friday: Good-Hearted Fun at Kohl's

"I've been up since 4 a.m. and I'm still goin' strong. 4 right, Bev? Yep 4. This year seems a little friendlier than usual. But I haven't lost my edge," says cheery Kohl's Black Friday shopper, Mary Evers. Every year, once everyone finishes giving thanks for what they already have, thousands of deal-seeking shoppers bust down the doors of department stores and malls all over the country to cash in on sliced prices and door buster savings. Allegany County, Maryland is no exception.
The stores around town put up posters and signs and send out fliers advertising the incredible deals that await them just beyond the glass doors.
Kohl's in LaVale on Winchester Road was a hot-spot during the event. The department store that sells everything from clothes to appliances, has a special marketing deal called "Kohl's Cash," a big gimmick for customers in the area. The "Cash" works like a gift card. Cash is earned by spending a certain amount of money, and with the receipt, the buyer will also get a coupon representing 10+ dollars in store credits.  "I love the Kohl's Cash idea. I can give it to my grand kids to get stuff that they want." says grandmother Donna Hansen.  This year in Kohl’s, at around 10 a.m., the shopping extravaganza was in full swing and one cashier, Alivia, said that it is better than last year’s turn-out, “We’ve been crazy busy. Crazy. Yes ma’am, the sapphire rings should be on the center table. No problem, hun. Sorry, but yea crazy. It’s fun though.”
One customer said that she did not even want to go this year, “Becky called and said ‘wanna go shoppin’?’ and I said, ‘are you kidding?  It’s Black Friday!’ but here we are. I guess I need to have more will-power.” When a woman tried to pass Becky Boor and her mother, Becky said, “Mom, relax. It’s fine. She always acts like she’s the good one; no one knows how feisty she really is! She will be throwin’ elbows here soon.” But it was all in good fun. No one gauged any eyes or threatened anyone’s family, but there definitely was a lot of mumbling.
“I just need to get home to eat some leftovers,” one mother remarked while waiting in line.
Even though shopping and competitively low prices seem to bring out the mean in people, everywhere around the store there were shoppers laughing and helping one another. More than any other type of interaction, there were elderly women asking college-aged boys which color sweater they would be more likely to wear, young women asking older men which tie is the most appropriate, and fathers asking which necklace their teenage daughter would like the best. There were people helping each other get stuff off the shelves and giving their opinion on which stereo system is better for the price.
Though it is often joked about that the reason for  the Thanksgiving season is lost in the flurry of coupons the day after, it is evident in Kohl’s in the midst of the sales, that many are in it for the fun of a good deal, plus shopping like a maniac is a great start to burning some of those pie calories.

Thanksgiving at Frostburg State University

Thanksgiving is a time which everyone looks forward to, the smell of turkey and various other delicious foods fill houses each and every holiday. But some people aren't able to enjoy these luxuries every year, what about those who aren't able to make it home for the holiday? Not every student from Frostburg is able to make it back home for a number of different reasons, whether it be responsibilities at school, not having a ride back or even due to bad weather, which isn't uncommon in the frosty mountains and its unpredictable weather. Frostburg State University has a number of accommodations for such situations, one of them being a Thanksgiving dinner which is offered in the Lane Center in the Armah room located downstairs. For only  $5 someone who is missing out on the cheers of the holidays, can get a nice Thanksgiving style turkey dinner with fellow faculty and students experiencing the same misfortune. Everything from the mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, macaroni and cheese, pumpkin pie, ham, and of course the traditional turkey its self is offered at the holiday event.
Many students were in attendance and they all seemed to have the holiday cheer, Diaka Sow a senior Political Science major, was in attendance for the festivities. “I think its great what the university is doing. Its very thoughtful that the school is keeping the students who aren't able to make home to their families for thanksgiving. Typically im always home for Thanksgiving, its a priority to me to be with my family for the holiday but due to my situation at the moment I wasn't able to make it back. But i‘m really happy i‘m able to at least be able to share Thanksgiving with some of my friends here from school.“ This seemed to be the general feel of the event, most students shared a similar view on the matter. Jontue Butler, a junior Accounting major, thought very highly of the event and especially the food offered. “Of course its not exactly what im use to back at home but the food is actually pretty good. As a guy who loves his turkey, im more than satisfied with all the food here.“ Several plates were on the table so its was pretty clear that Jontue had certainly got his moneys worth. “For five bucks you cant really beat it, you are able to get as much as you want so i‘m definitely going to take advantage and bring a plate or two back to my room for later on.“
Many students who attended weren't solely there on their own behalf, students like Marc Reading, a senior Math major was in attendance to gather food for some of the less fortunate.  “Even though the school put together this Thanksgiving gathering, I have some friends who can afford to even come here and get food, so pretty much i‘m just doing what I can to help them out.“ It just goes to show you that the Thanksgivings spirit lives and moves in a number of different ways. Just remember, always be thankful.

Thanksgiving's own Turkey Day 5K

      These days, the holiday season wasn't the only thing that had people running and out of breath. On Thanksgiving morning, the seventeenth annual Turkey Day 5K race took place in Westernport, Maryland. Despite the 20 degree weather, icy roads, and the rather large snowflakes falling, the race still had an excellent turnout. “We've had over 330 people preregister online for the race and along with the people who will pay directly right before the start, we may have well over 400 runners.” explained Norman Derosa, cross-country coach and teacher at Mountain Ridge High School.
      Directed by Tom Dawson and others, including Mr. Derosa, the proceeds from the race will be used to support Mountain Ridge's cross-country team for traveling expenses, races, uniforms, and other fees that the team may need to cover later on. Registration for the race started at eight a.m and at nine a.m runners were on their marks. Everyone got a shirt for participating, but winners of the race won pumpkin pies and top male and female winners of the 5K got plaques. “I try to make it to the race every year with my mom, if not to run then we at least like to go to watch everyone, especially to go and root on the people we know that participate,” says former Mountain Ridge High School and cross-country runner Sierra Wassell.
      Runners ranging from ages six to eight-four ran the full three point one miles from Westernport to Franklin and back, and on a day to celebrate family, the Turkey Day 5K was a great way to bond with everyone in the family. Ice Anderson, a twenty year old, was a winner for the male division and out of the females, Lauryn MacFawn, a twenty-three year old, won from her division.
      Another benefit from running, other than for the family, was the opportunity to stay in shape, especially over the holidays, when eating normally takes precedent over exercise. Chelsea Winninger of Frostburg, also a graduate of Mountain Ridge, says, “Staying in shape has been important to me ever since I ran cross country and track in high school, so I try to keep up on some of the local 5Ks and races and the Turkey Day 5K has always been one of my favorites because the course is so easy—no hills!” Tiffani Paolucci, who accompanied Ms. Winninger, also agrees with her thoughts on running, “I think it helps to have someone there to run with and keep you going. Three miles might not seem like much, but after that first mile most people start to feel it.”
     As everyone crossed the finish line, both exhausted and accomplished after that last long stretch, most people grabbed a bottle of water, took a seat and a minute to catch their breath, before meeting in Westernport's American Legion to hear their placings.
     In the spirit of the holiday, a thanks went out to Mountain Ridge High School for hosting yet another successful and memorable Turkey Day 5K.

For furthur information regarding placings for the race or for individual pictures of the runner visit

Friday, November 29, 2013

Think Fast or Lose Cash: Late at Lane Delivers Rewarding Entertainment

For a lot of college students, free money does not come by as excitingly as during Late at Lane on November 16 in which all students had to do was one simple thing; play the game "Think Fast" and potentially win $200. For this particular game, students must answer a series of trivia questions that appear on a jumbo screen by submitting their answers on a buzzer device. The announcer stated that these particular "Think Fast" questions would focus on Hollywood trivia. Each trivia question could be worth up to 1000 points with every question decreasing in value the longer a student decides to wait to submit an answer. In addition, if a student answers a question incorrectly, then they can change their answer but will lose points in the process. The buzzer device has five options to choose from that range from letters A-E. The buzzer also gives each student their own personally name so that they can identify what place they are in during the competition. Each buzzer scrolls a generic name across the top portion of the device that allows students to identify how many points they have and see if they are in the top ten when the names appear on the jumbo screen.While the buzzer was a convenient way for students to join in on the fun, some students did experience slight difficulties. Student Tori Glass found the buzzer to be annoying at times stating that "my buzzer would lose power and it would make me so anxious that my answers weren't going through."

The game also provides students with many extra opportunities to gain points in the hope of increasing their chances to make the top ten. One of these extra opportunities was the special ESP question that was designed to play mind games with the majority of the audience. This question made students answer a simple yes or no to a scenario. For example, a scenario could ask if students would still buy a movie ticket if the price went up to $20. If a student would not purchase a ticket at that price they would answer no or they could answer yes if they would. Afterwards, students would be told how many people are currently playing and then they would have to guess how many of those students answered the question with a yes. The closer the student gets to the correct number, the more points they get and the further away they were, the more points they would lose. "I love the ESP question! I'm not that good at Hollywood trivia and it gives me an opportunity to guess and get back in the game," said student Dimitri Adam as he scored 600 extra points from the ESP question. This gave students who were not particularly strong at Hollywood trivia an opportunity to gain points.

Another exciting opportunity that students had to make it into the finals was the competition rounds. There were only two competition rounds which needed students to raise their hands to participate. The first competition round allowed four students to come in front of everyone and face each other in a dance competition. The second competition was a scenario situation in which two students had to describe what they would do if sharks fell from the sky from a tornado inspired by the movie "sharknado." Both competition rounds ended after 60 seconds and with all the students trying their best to impress the audience of people who would vote for only two winners. The winner of each competition round was granted an instant seat to the final round that occurred after the trivia. 
The final round of  the "Think Fast" competition was the last thing standing in between one of the four students and the $200 dollar prize. The two students who did the best in the trivia aspect of the "Think Fast" competition were given a seat in the final two, alongside the two individuals who won the competition rounds. The goal of the final round was to be the first individual to answer ten questions correctly and reach 1000 points. All four players were told to get behind a buzzer with a panel that would display their points in front of the entire audience. The announcer would then ask more Hollywood trivia questions and the first person out of the four students to buzz in would have an opportunity to answer and get 100 points. However, if a student gave an incorrect answer they would not gain any points. In addition, if a students who entered the final round via the competition round answered incorrectly, they would lose their spot and a randomly selected student would replace them. Finally, after screaming, laughing, fussing, and cheering from all the participants, the winner of the competition was announced and one college student got a pay day that they would never forget.

Author Katie Fallon Speaks at Lyric

The Frostburg Center for Creative Writing continued its series of author visits Tuesday night, with an appearance by English professor and writer Katie Fallon. Fallon, who currently teaches creative writing at West Virginia University, visited Frostburg in order to promote her book Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird, a nonfiction account of her experiences tracking and studying the cerulean blue. This is Professor Fallon's second trip to Frostburg this month, with her reading Tuesday coming two weeks after she joined the Center for Creative Writing for their more informal Coffee with a Writer series. 

While the cerulean blue is both the title of Ms. Fallon's first book, and the headline for the event, the bird hardly appeared during her two readings. The first reading, from a forthcoming book project on the buzzard and other carrion birds, was a sneak peak at the opening chapter which explained why she has an interest in the usually maligned birds. While the first reading was well-received, it was the second reading, from her first book, that really got the attention of the crowd of about two dozen. Reading from the early chapters of Cerulean Blues, Ms. Fallon retold her experience during the Virginia Tech massacre, which she lived through first-hand as a member of the English department faculty. Many in the crowd were moved by Fallon's tale, which included recollections of a favorite student who was killed and dealing with the aftermath. Shannon McLeod, a sophomore English major at Frostburg, said that the second reading "almost brought me to tears."

Both readings included stunning details about Ms. Fallon's experiences, along with specific dialog. Dr. Frank Parks, who teaches creative nonfiction at Frostburg, asked Ms. Fallon how she managed to recall all of the details, or if any of it was composites from other experiences. Fallon responded that she "keeps my journal with me at all times so I have a way to keep track" and also explained that she uses her cellphone to record conversations while birding, so she can reproduce them exactly in her books. This answer was quickly followed up by the explanation that she does let everyone know that they are being recorded, so there are no legal objections.

This appearance also allowed the Center for Creative Writing to utilize the Lyric theater, a little-known room located behind the center. With the larger crowd attending the event, the Center would have been overwhelmed, while the Lyric was able to accommodate the bigger group.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Break is Here!

For many people holiday breaks mean getting away from the essays and homework from their classes. On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, Frostburg State University students got an early break when FSU closed at 11:00 a.m. cancelling classes and events for students.

Many students went straight to bed. “I had just woke up and saw the message and then went back to bed immediately, said Zach Beck a junior at Frostburg State University. Others announced their joy to the world. One screamed “YESSSS!” in the hall of Frederick Hall.

People were happy about the cancellation, but with the cancellation brought good and bad consequences. Some people who pulled an all-nighter the night before were mad. A boy in the café said loudly to his friends, “I pulled an all-nighter for this test, only to find that we do not have it. Really!”

Others were glad that they had more time to write their essays and to pack for their journey home. Most people live two or three hours away. The snow was predicted to come but as of 12:30 a.m.  no snow had accumulated, just rain.

Some people got out as soon as they could to not run into the snow storm. Outside of Frederick and West Hall students were saying “Have a good thanksgiving break” to their friends as they drove off to go back to their home, which for many is Montgomery or Prince George’s County.

Other still stuck in their dorms went straight to packing and getting new clean clothes. “I need to get my laundry done before someone puts it on top of the dryer, said Veronica Williams, a sophomore majoring in Law and Society at Frostburg State University.

People carried laundry baskets left and right trying to get their laundry done and get out of their dorms before the storm hit. Others who were not leaving after 4 were praying and hoping that they didn’t get stuck here. “I am ready to go home. I need to leave, said Tony Williams, a Information Technology major and junior at Frostburg State University.

People are ready for Thanksgiving. Many people wanted some turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving is just around the corner on Thursday. In the café, many people couldn’t wait for some turkey. “I want some turkey, not meatloaf,” a girl said to her friend as she picked up the meatloaf and put it on her plate.”

Many students had not had a home cooked meal since August and will be waiting to come home to their family. For the exchange students many will look forward to seeing more parts of the United States. “I am looking forward to going on a four day trip to Boston over the break,” said Winifred Chang, a foreign exchange student from Taiwan.

Others will be looking forward to sleeping and relaxing, something some students have not been getting. “I want to sleep and not wake up till Sunday,” said an athletic guy to his friends in the cafe.

Furthermore, when students go back from break it will be December and finals will just be around the corner and for some it will be there last semester. “I will miss the overall college life and having fun, said Gavin Pieria, a senior at Frostburg State University. Overall, students should enjoy their break maybe there will be a snowy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

FSU Students Unsure of Just What Experiential Learning Is

On Wednesday, November 20, a group of student leaders from across campus was called together to discuss the topic of experiential learning. The meeting was essentially the opportunity for the President’s Task Force on Experiential Learning to gather feedback from students in response to the proposed experiential learning graduation requirement.

A consultant, Vincent Ilustre, brought in by Frostburg State University to provide an assessment of current experiential learning activities taking place, facilitated the meeting. According to Ilustre, “I was highly involved with implementing an experiential learning requirement at Tulane University, and now part of my job is going around and assisting other college campuses with incorporating similar initiatives.”

One thing that quickly became obvious from the facilitated discussion is that many FSU students do not understand just what qualifies as experiential learning. Many students in the meeting cited belonging to social organizations or attending social activities as a form of experiential learning.

At one point the facilitator, prompted for a discussion about experiential learning in the academic sector, and while students acknowledged its importance and existence, the conversation quickly was turned back around to involvement in student organizations and social activities across campus.

 Once the student’s definition of experiential learning was settled, a topic that kept reoccurring was the percentage of students involved in experiential learning on campus. Again, the focus of the discussion shifted to the number of students involved in student and social organizations.

Michelle Giambruno, a representative from the Student Government Association, said, “I would say around 10 or 12 percent of students are involved on campus.” After the suggestion, 10 percent was decided upon collectively by the group as the percentage of students who are involved.

 From there the conversations shifted away from how to get students involved in experiential learning to how to get students involved in student life. Frank Taylor, a representative from the president’s leadership circle, stated, “I think it would be great if we could get 100 percent of students involved on campus. Just think how much more we could accomplish.”

 The facilitator continued to prompt questions to get a feel for what students believe experiential learning qualifies as; however, the group of students was set into the belief that participating in social organizations qualifies.

 Ironically, the aspects of the organizations that could fit the model of experiential learning, such as significant community service projects or service learning projects, were not discussed by the group in favor of the social activities often planned by said organizations.

 Another aspect of experiential learning that seemed to be absent from student discussions was the necessity to reflect on the experience. Even during the discussion of experiential learning in the academic sector, students evaded discussing the value of reflecting upon the experience.

Overall, the meeting gave a clear view of what student’s view experiential learning as, and unfortunately, the view does not accurately reflect the university’s recent branding campaign push on the topic.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Barefoot in the Park Warms up Icy Cold Frostburg.

Barefoot In the Park Warms up Icy Cold Frostburg

Friday night, Frostburg State University’s theater and dance department did the Neil Simon play “Barefoot in the Park”. The play was directed by Frostburg’s own Dusty Shaffer and starred Haley Schott and Fred Ramsey. “Barefoot in the Park” is a romantic comedy that centers on a newlywed couple who just finished their 6-day honeymoon. Corie Bratter played by Haley Schott, is an adventurous  woman who goes with the flow while her husband Paul Bratter played by Fred Ramsey, is a by the books man who is hoping to move up the ladder at the law firm that he works at.

The play was acted beautifully, with every actor and actress playing their part to the fullest. The stars of the play were amazing, but what captured the audience’s attention the most was the supporting cast. Victor Celasco the eccentric upstairs neighbor who apparently has done everything in the world, was brilliantly played by Elenilson Ayala-Orellana. Every time he appeared on stage, the audience was on the edge of their seat, trying to guess what outlandish thing that he would say next. Corie’s mother, Mrs. Banks, played by Kristen Demers was at the beginning of the play the foil to her daughter’s adventurous behavior. As the play went on she began to see things from her daughters perspective and eventual began a romantic relationship with Victor Celasco.

The crutch of the play was the building tension between the newlyweds. Corie who simply wanted to enjoy life with her husband began to fight with her husband whose focus was mostly on work and their crappy new apartment. When Victor Celasco made his appearance, Corie began to act more like him and wanted to do things that he did. Paul stayed on his course, rebuffing the eccentric Celasco while begrudgingly following his wife’s lead.

This all came to head in the closing moments of the play when the two begin to argue. At the end of the argument, Corie declares that she wants a divorce. Paul was stunned, and attempted to repair things, but he in the end gave in. Things are resolved when Mrs. Banks comes back from her romantic evening with Mr. Celasco. Corie realizes her mistake and her mother comforts her and gives her the advice that she needs. Paul comes back to the apartment drunk and after a short conversation, which included Paul going up to the window seal and standing outside in the snow, the two reconciled.

While leaving Sarah Winter, said “That was amazing, I didn’t know Frostburg did plays that were so great.” Her mother Kristen agreed with her daughter, “That was fabulous; I’m definitely going to be coming to their next play. Would you know when that is going to be exactly?” “Barefoot in the Park” was amazing and everyone should have experienced it. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Frostburg’s "Barefoot in the Park" Entertains

On a cold, winter night in Frostburg, what better use of time is there than to watch a play? The wonderful performers at Frostburg State bring us Barefoot in the Park, which is performed six times from November 15-23 in Frostburg’s Performing Arts Center.
Originally by playwright Neil Simon, Barefoot in the Park is put on Frostburg’s stage by Director Dustin Shaffer. It is the story of Paul and Corie Bratter, newlyweds who’ve moved into a dilapidated apartment in New York City. Corie and Paul have a strange neighbor, Victor Velasco, who they quickly become friends with. Corie attempts to set her mother up with Velasco. Through the first events of their new marriage, the “stuffed-shirt”, stiff Paul and easy-going Corie discover their mismatched personalities. Chaos ensues. Can things be reconciled?
Corie Bratter is played by Haley Schott. Schott is a senior Theatre major at Frostburg State.
Paul Bratter is played by Fred Ramsey. Ramsey is a senior Liberal Studies major focusing in Theatre, Sociology, and African American Studies.
Seats in the theatre were full of people eagerly awaiting the start of the play. Usher Erin Hickey says, “We’re getting a good amount of people and everyone seems to like it. I love it; I’ve seen it a bunch of times.”
Music from the period in which the play took place, the 1960’s, played in the background of the theatre before the play and during intermission. Many adults couldn’t help but sing along. Throughout the play, laughter could be heard in response to nearly endless comedic parts. At the end of the play, the audience appeared thoroughly entertained.
While many enjoyed the play for its humor, some were left feeling slightly disappointed. Zharde Todman, a Theater major, stated that she had to read the book version of the play for a class. While she enjoyed the play, she said, “I thought, ‘Oh I wanted it to be this way or that way.’” Todman notes that the main characters Corie and Paul Bratter were not originally an interracial couple, as they were in Frostburg’s version. “I thought they could have played up where the couple was interracial,” she says. She also points out that they change aspects of the play, such as adding in certain lines like “Ain’t nobody got time for that”, said by Paul Bratter. If they are going to do this, she believes, they might as well more clearly define the interracial aspect. “If I were blind I wouldn’t have known they were interracial,” she says. She also felt unhappy with places where the set forced the audience to imagine certain aspects, such as a hole in the ceiling or snow falling. Adding this to the set would have bettered the quality of the production, she felt. Overall, however, Todman found the play humorous and was pleased with the performance.
Overall, Barefoot in the Park succeeded to entertain. Martha Thompson seemed to speak for the majority of the audience’s response by saying, “I thought it was hysterical; very well performed, very well prepared.”

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ENGL 336 November Event

There are many events in the fall semester at Frostburg State University. There is the beginning of the academic year, Homecoming, football season, Holiday break, and one of the most important events for the school: Majors and minors fairs and information sessions. One took place on November 6th in room 111 in the Lane Center. It was the Communication Studies (CMST) Advising Social.  The social gathered CMST seniors, CMST Capstone students, underclassmen within the major, and prospective CMST students. The entire CMST fulltime faculty attended as well. The leader of the event was CMST chairwomen Dr. Elesha Ruminski, who started the social off by welcoming everyone to the program. 

The Advising Social is supposed to persuade prospective and current CMST majors of why majoring in CMST is beneficial to one’s academic and professional career; providing examples and evidence from the CMST seniors by explaining their experience in the program. There are a total of three faculty members in the CMST department. Along with Chairwomen Dr. Rumiski, as she is also an Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Coordinator of the Leadership Studies Minor and CMST Capstone, as well as The Dialogue Series Project Director, there is Dr. Brent Kice, who is an Assistant Professor and Basic Course Coordinator for the major. Lastly is David Stern who is a Lecturer and Ph.D. candidate at Duquesne University. In spring 2013, Dr. Sheri Whalen, who was an Assistant Professor in the CMST department, joined the Mass Communication department in this fall 2013 semester. The CMST department is currently looking for a new replacement to cover some of the other expertise courses she taught, such as Political Communications.  

Early in the program everyone in the room went around and introduced there self, and told how they were associated with Communications or why they were interested in Communication Studies. This effort was led by Dr. Ruminski, who said “ CMST studies to me is such a broad field, and one of my interest is organizational communication as I grew up in the Labor movement, so the organizational structure of communication is very import to me.” Other students followed with their testimonies. One student named Antionette Coward said “ I’m interested in CMST because it has helped me improved my communication skills.” She is one of the Capstone seniors who attended the social as a class requirement. For her career plans, Cowards explained, “I would like to work with children someday, so maybe I could be a counselor, or I would like to be on the radio, so watch out for me ya’ll.” Everyone in the room laughed. Another Capstone student named Taylor Vandegrift said “I choose to major in CMST because I knew there are a variety of careers that Communications can be applied to. I never knew what I wanted to be, and I still don’t when I graduate, but I know there are many options” 

Some of the other perks people noted about being in the major is the chance to join the Student Communication Studies Association (SCSA), how they have gone on trips when enrolled in the Political Communications course taught by former CMST staff Dr. Whalen, and that students can get class credit for an internship of their liking with the capstone. 

The students of the fall 2013 semester Capstone class, were six in total, and included: Megan Foy; Antionette Coward, Robert Michels, Taylor Vandegrift, Ashley Patterson, and Josef Epps. They were preparing for their Capstone presentation, which is set to be on December 11th in the evening. 

Besides the information session, many of the attendees enjoyed the event. The food was the entire rave, as it was provided by ARAMARK. The menu included chicken skewers with a peanut sauce, quesadillas with sour cream and salsa, a fruit and veggie tray, Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chip cookies, and Apple Cider as a beverage. It was a good evening for many.