When I asked my little brother if he would go see the UD Monologues with me, he quickly responded with, “I can’t. It’s part of women’s week, AJ. I can’t go. I’m not a woman.”
It was this stereotype specifically that Josh Richardt and Leslie Singel, the student directors of this past weekend’s Studio Theatre production, were trying to fight.
“This show is going to be something that we hope every student can relate to in some way, not just the women,” Singel said.
Issues ranging from body image, first loves, chick flicks, rape, Halloween and much more were told from a woman’s perspective, a man’s perspective, a teacher’s perspective and even a reporter’s perspective.
Men, women, faculty, students, parents and friends attended the show and each seemed to be touched in some personal way.
“Theater should be for the people. They should be able to relate,” Richardt said. “And that is why we are dealing with issues that happen right here on this campus.”
The entire show was student written, directed and performed. Each member of the cast was asked to write one original monologue. These, along with monologues collected from the student body and a few professors, were assembled into the show.
Watching, I couldn’t help but marvel at how real it all was. Each monologue touched me in some way. I either had gone through that, helped a friend through it or known someone dealing with the same thing.
At times I looked around and everyone seemed to be feeling the same thing — they knew this story, they had been a part of it at some point in their lives.
Many others, like my brother, realized this weekend that these weren’t just women’s issues, but issues that affect us all as members of the UD community.
“If I could leave UD with one thing when I graduate this would be it,” Richardt said, with the hope that this project will continue for years to come.
If it was made to evoke awareness, The Constant Gardener certainly succeeded.
As my roommates and I walked out of the Tuesday evening film screening at ArtStreet, we were engaged in conversation, fascinated by the lives of people living in these small African villages. We couldn’t believe the movie’s plot: Justin Quayle, played by Ralph Fiennes, pieces together the work of his deceased wife Tessa Quayle, played by Rachel Weisz. In the first moments of the film, the audience learns she was killed for her activism to gain public awareness for the testing of unapproved drugs on AIDS victims by large pharmaceutical conglomerates.
We found ourselves asking, “Does this really happen? Who is to blame? What can be done? What can we do?”
The movie was shown as part of the Citizens of the World events series, taking place in ArtStreet Feb. 13-March 10, designed to allow students to glimpse various world cultures. The series is sponsored by the Department of Languages, the film studies program, ArtStreet and the Center for International Programs.
With red Campbell’s soup cans representing the brick and white-labeled cans as the stonework, a team of chemical engineers re-created the Immaculate Conception Chapel in Torch Lounge Thursday during the Engineers’ Week can build.
Senior Chad Brajercik said he chose the chapel “because I want to win and I figured they’d give us points for school pride.” The team taped together cans of mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple and Vienna sausages to make the cross topping the blue-papered dome.
Four teams representing the different departments used 1,200 cans to craft their structures, including a bridge (electrical and computer engineering), the Eiffel Tower (civil engineering) and the Gateway Arch of St. Louis (mechanical and aerospace engineering).
“Anyone can stack cans straight up,” said senior Richard Henkel, whose team built the arch design. With the help of packing and duct tape, the team used a slight angle when stacking the cans to create the curved structure. When the ceiling was too low to completely finish the curve, they added a keystone at the top to join the two tilting towers. With the leftover cans, Daniel Shellhuase ’05 — who came back to campus for the fun — and sophomore Thomas Robbins created a can catapult to help destroy the arch after the competition.
The cans, collected from the campus community and donated by Campbell’s Soup Co., will be donated to the House of Bread.
If only the Winter Olympics had the drama of this event.
As part of National Engineers’ Week activities, engineering students Tuesday tried to avoid egg drop soup with contraptions of coat hangers, paper cups, straws, rubber bands, paper string and paper clips. The goal was to land an egg safely on the ground from a third-floor drop from Alumni Hall. Judges awarded points for appearance, function, ingenuity, design and style. Some bird droppings had the look of MacGyver contraptions. Others had me wondering if the Wright brothers started out like this.
David Krivonak, a gold medal winner in the enginerd competition and a computer and electrical engineering student, fell short of a bronze by half a point.
“No. I don’t feel cheated by the judges,” Krivonak said. “He was fair. I have next year and maybe grad school so I have time to win.”
Krivonak said the competition got his creative juices flowing. He was able to use some of the engineering design ideas from class as well as lessons in physics and math.
In the end, unlike Olympic snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis whose showboating move in her event final cost her a gold medal, nobody was left with egg on their face.
Engineers’ Week started with displays of supreme geekdom yesterday in Kennedy Union. Students donned pocket protectors and “kick me” signs for the enginerd competition. On Friday, one department will be named the week’s winner.
“Down to the core, we’re all nerds,” said Dave Krivonak, a senior electrical and computer engineering major from Canfield, Ohio (pictured right), who posed for a photo with fellow contestants Kevin Walsh (left) and Daniel Fleck (center). It’s a label Krivonak’s proud of. “If it wasn’t for that, we wouldn’t have gadgets like these,” he said, displaying a palm-sized computer fan rigged with a 9-volt battery that served as his personal air circulator. He then tested its voltage with the digital multimeter he carried in his other hand.
Even the faculty got in on the fun. Kevin Hallinan, chair of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department, had gotten geeked up the night before for his daughters, who were supremely embarassed for him, he said. So he decided to bring the get-up to school. “What they don’t understand is that when you get older, you have no reason to be embrassed,” he said, grinning through masking-taped spectiacles
Krivonak got all the glory; his outfit and gadgets won the contest, earning his department 10 points toward the week’s total.
Electrical engineering professor Bernie Schmidt ’42 had such a love for teaching that he would constantly think of new ways to instruct his students. Once, as he headed excitedly down the hallway toward class, he mentioned his latest brainstorm to a young faculty member.
Brother Ray Fitz, S.M., was that person. Fitz remarked that he was instantly jealous of his department chair’s students, jealous that he was no longer a pupil of Schmidt’s.
Fitz shared his recollections yesterday at the installation ceremony for the Bernhard M. Schmidt Chair in Engineering Leadership, funded by another of Schmidt’s former students, John McHale ’78, and held by professor David Herrelko (pictured right).
Schmidt (pictured left, above) and his family rose to great applause as he was recognized for his 52 years of service to UD.
“Even though I’m not teaching electrical engineering anymore, I’m still striving to teach as well as Bernie Schmidt did,” said Fitz, echoing Schmidt’s educational philosophy: “We teach so our students can learn.”
I followed the signs to UD’s first career fair held in College Park Center, the old NCR building. As I walked from St. Mary’s to Brown Street I noticed the increasing number of students in black suits walking in the same direction, portfolios in hand looking purposeful and perhaps slightly nervous. Entering the fair, we were greeted by career services staff who gave us last minute advice to put our nametags on the right side so that when shaking hands, employers could more easily see our names. As I walked away I was reminded to smile and make eye contact. Then I was on my own.
I walked down an entire aisle looking at all the booths before I got up the nerve to stop to talk to a recruiter. He smiled and read my name as I shook his hand. I was glad I had my nametag on the right side. Though he wasn’t sure his organization, St. Joseph Orpanage, had any openings in my field, he gladly took my resume to pass it along. Every employer I talked to was the same (though I certainly didn’t make it to all 80) —friendly and helpful, even if they didn’t have any positions that fit my background. The rows were crowded with UD and DECA students and maybe a few alumni.
At every booth students were engaged in conversations with employers, asking and answering questions and getting more than a few free ink pens, maybe a letter opener or even a chocolate bar. My favorite freebie was from Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital. They didn’t have a job for me, but at least I got a keychain Band-Aid dispenser.
An obvious observation: Alumni were students; students will be alumni. The distinction is one of time as much as anything.
At Reunion Weekend last year, alumni from the 50s and 60s grabbed incoming Student Government Association president Andrew Navolio to sing the UD fight song with them.
He didn’t know the words.
The alumni taught him.
“That’s the kind of thing that can tie us all together,” he told a room of alumni, students, faculty and staff over dinner in the Kennedy Union ballroom on Saturday. It was the first night of the first-ever Alumni Winter Weekend, an event dreamed up, petitioned for and then planned by students who wanted to bring alumni back to campus, have some fun together and maybe even learn a little more about the UD community.
They pulled off an entire weekend of events, including dinner, a basketball tournament, a post-game reception and a Sunday pancake breakfast. Despite promoting the event for just a month, they drew nearly 200 alumni and 80 students.
That night at dinner, and just about everywhere he spoke over the weekend, Navolio was already talking about next year.
Walking into class on Jan. 19, a table of plates, knives, water glasses and napkins awaited me. A social and business etiquette class was offered this semester for the first time at UD.
For six weeks, 20 students from varying majors will learn the proper way to set a table, how to interact with business professionals through written correspondence and conversation, and how to react to life-changing events such as weddings and funerals. Team-taught by Ricki Huff, the assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Arlene Camacho, head of Career Services, and Paula Braley, administrative assistant in the international studies department, the class offers basics in etiquette that could make or break an interview or dinner party.
“Taking this class was a decision I made for my future,” said senior public relations major Rachel Olszewski. “You never know the kinds of experiences you’re going to have or the people you’re going to meet. This class has been a preparation for me to deal with all kinds of potentially embarrassing social and business situations. I feel that I’ll be able to take all the skills I’m learning out into the ‘real world’ and apply them to everyday life.”
Braley’s collection of etiquette books dating back to 1884 shows the evolution of etiquette through the years. It is no longer necessary to learn the proper way to exit a carriage, but recent books, such as Emily Post on Etiquette, explains table manners, tipping and relationships. A “graduation” reception will be held for the students with guests from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the UD Mother’s Club — a testing ground to see just how much these students have learned.
As the University discusses what it means to live and learn in community, alumni have made one thing clear: Don’t loose the “stoop” culture.
When Deb Bickford first heard this a few years ago, she asked what they meant.
“It’s when you sit on the porch — or sit on the stoop — and talk with your roommates who have different interests from you and you learn things,” they told Bickford, associate provost for academic affairs and learning initiatives.
Bickford shared these and other thoughts as a way to start the integrated living and learning in community conversation today with members of the School of Business Administration during a Learning Teaching Forum in Kennedy Union.
The brainstorming session moved to a discussion on how to engage students early in their majors. Dean McFarlin, management and marketing department chair, suggested having first-year students apply business principles to the everyday challenges of this new, college life. Limited resources? Ambiguity? They live it.
Going one step further, Jay Janney, assistant professor of management, suggested using the business school’s buildings as more than just classroom space. What if students physically lived in a business setting, or at least spent more of their lives involved in activities in Miriam Hall and Anderson Center?
Sounds like there are opportunities to spread the stoop around.