Posted in Posts about People, Seasonal Cooking

Thanksgiving Bonus

So, this is my ice bucket. It is precious, and sings when you take the lid off to remind you to replace it, lest all the ice melts. We’ve had it for a few years now, and some of the notes come out a little off-key, but we don’t mind. It’s the little ice bucket that could. This year, folks, my dad decided to put it into a pair of mannequin legs.

Let me back up.

Back in October 2016, my grandmother wanted a mummy to put on her porch for Halloween. She goes all-out for every holiday, and Halloween is no exception. So she bought herself a mannequin online and asked my dad to help her transform it. My father, being the good son that he is, took on the challenge (a little too excitedly).

This is Molly and Dad. Well, Molly’s head, anyway. Dad was home alone this weekend since Mom was on a business trip…Things took a turn.

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So eventually, after dyeing strips of cloth, pasting them onto Molly with Mod Podge, and replacing her head with a skeleton, Molly was complete. Gram put the photos on Facebook and thanked Dad for the awesome job.

Flash forward to the next week. My uncle went to the town dump and spotted a pair of mannequin legs (just the legs…) at the “good table”. That is an area where people place things like televisions and bicycles that aren’t broken, but no one wants to bother with selling them. What was the rational thing to do? Pick up the legs and give them to my dad!

I get home from school for Thanksgiving break and my dad asks me to help him saw off the top of the legs to make them flat. He wanted to put a piece of glass on the top and turn it into a tall cocktail table (it was a male mannequin. Cock-tail…get it? We thought it was funny).

I tried to warn Dad, but he didn’t realize it was hollow until it was too late. Looking down the mannequin’s wais,t I could see all the way down to the inside of his feet. So of course, how does my dad solve this disaster? He puts his utili-kilt (everyday work kilt) on it and STUFFS MY ADORABLE SINGING ICE BUCKET INTO THE OPENING OF THE MANNEQUIN LEGS. He even went so far as to make it ~anatomically correct~ but I will give you the blessing of not including a picture.

Either way, Thanksgiving was weird as hell with everyone scooping ice out of a pair of legs all day.

P.S. We named him Fergus

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Posted in Posts about People, Weekly Assignments

Student Voter Turnout

Many eligible students on the University of Hartford campus are not registered, with many not planning to in time for this year’s election. there are also many among those who are registered who plan on not voting on November 8th.

The University of Hartford holds registration drives on campus, where students can fill out forms to get registered as voters in Connecticut. Later, the school will have shuttles carrying people to their designated polling stations in town.

Most 18- to 24-year-olds are dragging their feet to get registered this year, for two main reasons that I observed: either think they don’t have the time to get it done by November 8th, or they don’t like either candidate enough to do it at all and will do it before the next election four years from now.

Excuse me, but both of these reasons are bullshit. If you have the right to exercise your free will by casting a ballot and you have the means to do it, then you should actually do it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like either one of the leading candidates because someone is getting elected, with or without your voice.

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Uhart Student Jean Corbett wears the Hawk’s Vote t-shirt… a gift students receive upon registering at the voting drives

I’ve been asking people around campus a series of questions for the past several days in regards to the election. They go like this:

Are you registered? Do you plan on voting? Why not? Don’t you know how easy it is? Yeah, you just stick it in the mail, do you need a stamp? Oh, you’re already registered, so are you voting why not? Didn’t you hear? –The school has a shuttle service running all day to take students to the polls! Don’t you know that there are more than just two candidates running?

The list goes on. I swear, I’m like you’re least favorite relatives that pester you with questions when you come home from college, all rolled into one little student voter-activist package.

I have been encouraging my friends to get registered and to vote in two weeks’ time, but some people just don’t see the point. Voters in the 18- to 24-year old bracket make up 21% of the voting population. That’s just over a fifth, people! Yet, only 17% of those young citizens actually cast a vote.

In the 2008 election, only 44% of college age voters participated in the voting process. In 2012, that number dropped to 38%. According
to a post done by ABC, of all the registered voters, only 41% of registered voters in the youngest bracket said they were “absolutely certain” to vote. In 2014, only 42% of 18- to 24-year olds were registered.i_just_dont_care_enough_final_jpeg

A few of my friends say that there isn’t a point in voting if not a single candidate is worth their vote, and I can see the discouraging side of their argument. I was talking with my friend Alex the other morning about whether he was registered or not, and he said no. I asked him if it was because he wasn’t old enough to vote in the last election, and he said yes. That was where I fell, too.

Until a few weeks ago.

The University of Hartford has been hosting voter registration drives for students on campus who are not registered yet (10/25 is the last day they are hosting the drive, but you can register online here!) The school will even have a shuttle system bussing students to their designated polling places around town.

I spoke with Toshia Anderson, the Associate Director for the Center for Community Service, the group in charge of organizing the drives, about what is so great about the drives. “It offers students a chance to learn how to have their voice be heard,” Anderson said. “When we live in a time where people feel muted, and they finally get a chance to make a difference, we want to help them get there.”

Another UHart student, Madeline McGrail, spoke with me about changing where you are registered, and she told me that she isn’t voting at all despite being registered in Connecticut. “Why not, do you have class that day?” “No,” she replied simply.

“Well then, why don’t you just drive over when you get the chance?” I inquired. She looked at the steering wheel and said to me, “Because I just don’t f****** care. I just don’t care enough to vote for anyone in this election.” Hearing that nearly broke my heart. There are so many people in this country—and this world—who cannot vote. So I strongly encourage everyone out there who CAN vote to exercise that right… even if it means putting down Batman as a wright-in candidate.

Just this evening I helped my roommate search online how to request an absentee ballot and where to send it. I will help however I can. I’m like the voting superhero…I should get a cape, too…

I don’t know who our next president will be, but their first law should be to turn Voting Day—Nov 8th—into a holiday! Everyone gets off work and school so that they get a chance to vote instead of standing in line for an hour during their lunch break only turn around and leave because things took to long. Voting is just too important to stand around and not do anything.

Posted in Posts about People, Weekly Assignments

Interview with Taylor Emerson

Hello! This time of year is always punctuated by holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s…the list goes on. Unfortunately, some people are in situations where they can’t celebrate these happy times with their family. Watch this video of a friend of mine who is making the most of her situation, and remember to be thankful for the time you get with your loved ones.

Posted in In-Class Assignments, Posts about People

A little bit about Alex Sherman

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Sherman (middle) with two friends

Alexandra Renee Nelson-Sherman, or Alex for short, is a 21 year old senior at the University of Hartford. Sherman is a Communications major, with a focus in public relations and advertising. Hailing from Fairmount, Philadelphia, a tiny central city, Sherman dreams of moving to New York after graduation.

Sherman likes how there is so many things to do in New York. “Philly is like a miniature New York,” said Sherman. “But I want to experience something different.”

Even though Sherman walks around campus repping a casual style of ripped denim jeans and sneakers, she still has a love for high fashion. While some of her favorite designers are Balenciaga and Balmain, to Sherman, “staying comfortable is what’s important.”

In New York, Sherman wants to work in fashion PR, most likely with a fashion magazine.

When Sherman isn’t in the world of PR and fashion, Sherman likes to hang out with her friends and family. One of her favorite things to do is going out to eat, turning something mundane into a social event. Her favorite food is sushi, and she is a picky eater. “I’m really picky. I hate cheese, unless it’s pizza.” Sherman said.

Despite having a love of food and eating, Sherman claims going out to eat is one of her bad habits.

Before Sherman got into fashion, she used to be quite the musician. “I was decent at the guitar, I would play Red Hot Chili Peppers,” Sherman said of one of the seven instruments she played over the years. Besides the acoustic guitar, Sherman also played the electric guitar, the piano, the violin, the cello, the clarinet, and the harp.

The harp was a Christmas present from her father, and she only had about four or five lessons. Even though she abandoned many instruments for other things, Sherman still has her old acoustic guitar.

While Sherman does not consider herself to be athletic, she was required to take sports in high school. Sherman went to a private school, where she played JV tennis and softball her freshman year.

One thing that Sherman did with her family growing up was horseback riding. First, starting out at camp and winning little ribbons here and there, all the way to doing jumps in the ring, some that were four feet high.

Her father got both her and her sister a horse, plus one for himself and one to spare. Together, Sherman and her family would ride and take lessons from a trainer.

Sherman rode for about five years. Disliking her trainer combined with the money required to own and board four horses led the family to eventually sell the horses, which Sherman has grown to regret.

One thing that Sherman is proud of is that she recently did a marketing internship back home in Philly. She ran social media and wrote blog posts for the company. She also did a lot of writing and press releases. Sherman hopes that she can do something similar once she gets to New York.