Have you ever been late for work because you have been stuck behind a slow-moving tank? I have. A couple of times.
Eight months ago, I moved to the quiet, military town of Hwacheon in the Gangwon-do Province of South Korea to teach English in a local elementary school. This small town of 6,000 people has been thrust to the front line of an international crisis as the North Korean rhetoric continually threatens the South. We are only 9 miles from the Demilitarized Zone, from which soldiers from the opposing countries have stared menacingly at each other for 60 years.
The military presence in Hwacheon has clearly increased. On a walk from my apartment to the grocery store, soldiers are ever-present with machine guns strapped around their shoulders. Tanks move freely about the town, which makes the already congested streets more difficult to maneuver. Even my school has adapted, delaying the start of class when a school bus is stuck behind a column of slow-moving tanks.
Although I awake daily to emails from uneasy family and friends, the South Koreans are unintimidated by the North Korean nuclear threats. Farmers continue to tend their crops, shops stay open until dark and children still practice taekwondo after school. They appear desensitized to the North’s frequent provocations and merely accept them as the price of sharing the same peninsula with a fanatical North Korean dictatorship.
On April 9, North Korea advised that all 1.4 million foreigners living in South Korea should evacuate. The U.S. State Department issued a release stating that those living or traveling in South Korea need not take these special precautions. On April 10, Pentagon officials stated their belief that North Korea is planning to launch one or more ballistic missiles from its east coast. So here I remain, fighting my own battles with my students over learning nouns, verbs and adjectives, in English, of course.
Despite the state of affairs, South Koreans are extremely optimistic for the future. Many hope for unification of the two countries. One co-worker told me that “North Korea has more fear than South Korea. Maybe in the future North Korea and South Korea can unite, but not now.” I hope he’s right.No Comments
“It is all true. I am tremendously distinguished,” said Sir Ken Robinson as he was greeted by an auditorium full of laughs at his University of Dayton Speaker Series talk, “Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative,” Tuesday evening.
Robinson, an internationally recognized leader in the world of human creativity and New York Times’ bestselling author, spoke to a standing-room-only audience at the RecPlex about new ways we should be thinking about higher education.
“At the heart of the problem with higher education is an obsession with academic ability,” he said. “Academic ability is very important, but it is not to be confused with intelligence.”
Robinson said higher education currently violates the diversity and creativity of students by focusing too much on standardized test scores and not placing importance on the arts. Higher education, he said, is based on conformity and what students have in common rather than what makes them unique.
“We are living in times of revolution,” he said, sparking inspirational glances from the audience. “We have to think differently about ourselves and realize we have more talents than we are being led to believe by our education.”
Robinson emphasized the top quality employers at big companies look for is creativity, yet he said universities worldwide are taking creativity out of the curriculum.
“The truth is you can be creative in anything, absolutely anything, that includes your intelligence,” he said. “We live in a world that is populated by ideas. We don’t act directly in the world, we act through an intermediary of creative thought.”
Robinson stayed after his talk to speak with a long line of UD students and Dayton community members about creativity and higher education.
“The best education we can give is to get people to know themselves better,” he concluded.No Comments
“We like the location much better than we thought,” said a resident of 912 Alberta. “It’s closer to campus.”No Comments
(left) Josie Arbogast sets the volleyball to teammate Joe Janasek as they play a game on the sand volleyball court between 321 and 327 Kiefaber in the South Student Neighborhood. Waiting for the ball to come to their side of the net are (not pictured): Sal Salvato and Zach Splain.
4-16-13 by Larry BurgessNo Comments
The last class I ever left as an undergraduate at UD in 2011 was Creative Nonfiction, with Dr. Meredith Doench, and from it I took with me three things:
1. The pleasure in the confusion of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.
2. Quotes don’t necessarily need quotation marks, especially if they aren’t necessarily quotes.
LitFest, urged my professor, as my classmates and I sat around a lecture table 2 feet wider than the room itself, is the most important literary event on campus.
The two-day festival is a celebration of literature and fine arts hosted by the University of Dayton’s English department. Since 2002 it has been held either annually or biennially, and sees a convergence of the University and the Dayton community over both up-and-coming as well as established American writers and poets.
This year’s installment, themed “Crossing Boundaries, Crossing Frontiers” and held last weekend, featured poetry readings by Ruth Ellen Kocher and David Dominguez, fiction readings by Roxane Gay and Juan Manuel Perez, a performance poet who sang and performed his work, an afternoon of writing workshops and a highly anticipated poetry slam featuring performance poet Link Schreiber.
But, while excitement in the department and by organizers skyrockets with each event, attention from UD students and faculty wanes.
“In its genesis, LitFest was a guerrilla art/art brut movement started by grad students in English in 2001,” said professor, poet and longtime LitFest organizer Albino Carrillo. “[However,] we have not seen it improve. We are losing numbers due to lack of student and faculty interest.”
This year, 45 people attended, many of whom were local high school students at which the workshops — in fiction, poetry, performance poetry and screenwriting — were directed.
“The most successful event was the slam on Saturday night,” said Doench, who has been involved with LitFest now for four years. “There was an award given of $300 for the best poet. The high school workshops were also well attended.”
Prof. Carrillo hopes for UD and others tosee LitFest as “seminal to the progression of arts and literature at UD.” If the donors, funders and sourced talent that keep the event coming back year after every-other-year see it as a main event, the goal is for students to also see it as such.
“It’s not all about getting a job,” insisted Carrillo. “It’s about learning for life, and lit and writing are a part of that.” UD may not have the thriving arts scene found in places such as the University of New Mexico, Kenyon College or Antioch College, but an event such as LitFest is strong step in the direction of establishing a literary community on campus.
Please give us your feedback. Send your stories, thoughts and memories of past LitFest’s, including any suggestions you may have for future events to email@example.com.No Comments
The importance of nurturing entrepreneurs was the topic of the keynote address at the annual entrepreneurship dinner April 9, given by Barbara Hayde ’64, president of the Entrepreneurs Center.
“Being nurtured empowers you because it allows you to take risks because you have a safety net,” said Hayde. The nurturing Dani DeTrude ’13 has received from her experiences at UD empowered her to take on the University of Dayton Business Plan Competition and place third out of a record-high 114 entries from 240 participants. DeTrude teamed up with local businessman Russ Gottesman to present MyEndoShop, “a platform where consumers can endorse, or “endo,” their favorite products and share them with friends. It combines both social media and e-commerce in a new and compelling way,” explained DeTrude.
DeTrude, a MKT and ENT double major, presented the senior reflections at the dinner. She spoke of many ways in which UD has nurtured her throughout the years. Her experience with the business plan competition was one such example. “Introspectively, I realized that I am a capable, young, professional woman who can take on the challenges of assisting in a new venture and presenting its business model.” DeTrude and her team earned $10,000 in prize money and have the opportunity to present to the Connor Seed Fund.
Hayde asked two things of all the entrepreneurs present, students and seasoned business professionals: to give help and to get help. “You must never stop doing that for each other,” said Hayde. She said without nurturing, entrepreneurs face failure. “You can still fail forward,” she said, but with nurturing, that safety net is there. “Nurturing can provide a way ahead when times are tough.”No Comments
How long does it take a UD communications student writer to be a story, rather than just writing the stories of others? Nearly four years, apparently.
Meredith Hirt, a senior business major, has been part of the staff since her first year at UD.
“We focus on the best parts of the University,” Hirt said. “The people, the places, the alumni … they’re all important to us.”
For Hirt, the typical workday consists of some writing, editing a few stories and monitoring social media. The UDQuickly blog is one of the biggest parts of Hirt’s daily assignments, as is networking.
“I really love this job,” she said. “Every day I meet new people and learn a lot about the people on campus.”
Hirt said reading flyers and communicating with everyone she comes in contact with often plays a big role in finding stories as well.
“Alumni are a big part of the readership, so making sure they’re not left out is part of my job,” Hirt said. “With the My Old House section of the website and UD Magazine, they’re a huge factor. … I am in charge of organizing and assigning the rest of the writers to cover specific houses in the student neighborhood.”
As one of the most popular sections of both the magazine and the blog, My Old House is a point of pride for Hirt, especially as a soon-to-be alumnus.
“The feature is so telling; of our current students and alumni … It shows how proud people are to be here at Dayton,” she said.
Hirt is one of six student writers on the communications team. Generally, each post idea or pitch is made to associate director of communications Audrey Starr, who began working at UD in October 2012.
“The blog features some of what you see in the magazine, but it is composed of a lot more than that,” Starr said. “It’s dynamic; a snapshot of what campus is right now.”
Hirt has learned over the years that her job isn’t like most. It is part desk work, part adventure. But all of it is something both she and Starr see as important to the culture of campus.
“We are here to share the University story,” Starr said. “We have a lot of ways to do that, and including student voices is a critical piece.”No Comments
University of Dayton senior Michelle Frymire heads to her job at the Kennedy Union Information Desk for a 1-5 p.m. shift and prepares herself for a day of questions.
Frymire starts every shift by clocking in and donning a polo shirt, the required uniform of student workers manning the information desk. Once at her post, the phone never seems to stop ringing.
As a business management and marketing student at UD, as well as being a member of other groups and clubs on campus, Frymire has a pretty full schedule, but she thinks her job at the information desk is ideal for her situation.
“This job is perfect to me because I know and love UD, so it is not hard to answer most of the questions that are asked and also it allows me to get a lot of my schoolwork done,” Frymire said. ” When I am not answering phones or assisting someone at the desk, I am getting my homework done or studying for a test.”
Her co-worker working with her today, senior Rafael Cajigas, who is a foreign exchange student from Puerto Rico, said the job isn’t overly difficult, but it is fun.
“It is a pretty simple job and it forces me to actually sit down and use time to get my homework done,” he said. “Also, I am a foreign exchange student so I do not know too many people and this allowed me to get to know more people, like Michelle.”
While most calls involve pretty simple questions and often just need to be directed to a specific department on campus for the caller to talk to, sometimes Frymire receives odd questions.
“Earlier today someone called and asked what my favorite meal from the sushi restaurant on Brown Street, Fusian, is because they’ve never been in the area before and haven’t eaten there,” explained Frymire. “I thought that was kind of a bizarre thing to call here for.”No Comments
Andy Roberts got up at 5:30 a.m. this morning, like he does every morning. He made some eggs and oatmeal and headed to the University of Dayton RecPlex to teach his CrossFit class.
“It is unbelievable to me how early he gets up,” said Roberts’ roommate, Brandon Baeslack. “The rest of our roommates are sleeping in at least till 9 a.m. while Andy is just getting back from his workout.”
“CrossFit is a high-intensity workout,” he said. “Each workout is different every day, but I love teaching people and seeing them progressively get in better shape.”
Roberts teaches the class from 6 to 8 a.m. Once he is done, instead of going home, it’s time to get his workout in.
“Today I did a lot of squats,” Roberts said. “It’s a great workout to do because it works all parts of the body.”
For many people that would be a complete day, but for Roberts it is just the beginning. Roberts left the RecPlex around 9:30 a.m., which gave him just enough time to hop in the shower and make it to his 10 a.m. class.
“On Thursdays I have three classes from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.” Roberts said in a sarcastic manner. “Some of them are very interesting classes, but none of them are as great as my CrossFit class.”
Once he was done with class, Roberts had a couple hours of downtime and then it was back to the grind. He not only teaches fitness classes, but also coaches high school lacrosse.
“From about 5 to 7 p.m. I help coach the Bellbrook High School lacrosse team,” Roberts said. “I love giving insight to a game that I have had such a strong passion for, and seeing these kids improve each week makes my day.”
Once he was done with practice, Roberts grabbed a bite to eat — then was back to working out.No Comments
A typical day as a University of Dayton student doesn’t always take place on campus.
Senior Sean Fickert, a mechanical engineering major concentrating in technology, works as a contractor at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base throughout the day and attends class in the late afternoons.
Fickert got his start at WPAFB in May 2012 as a paid intern and has since been promoted to a contractor position and works five days a week.
A typical day for Fickert is usually a long one. Fickert gets up at 6:30 a.m. to make the 20-minute drive to the base, where he spends most of his day working on the computer with special programs to construct 3-D drawings. The drawings are usually models of aircrafts or parts for the International Space Station.
Fickert spends a good amount of time at the base before returning to UD to attend engineering classes at 4:30 p.m. After a long day of work and classes, he returns to his house on Fairgrounds to have dinner and do some homework. In the free time he does have, Fickert hits the ice as a member of the UD Club hockey team.