Busy as a Bee

With two jobs, four clubs and organizations, a mound of homework, a fitness regimen to keep, sports to cheer for, and friends to stay in touch with, you’d think I was done saying yes to life. And you’d be as wrong as my brother trying to talk with a British accent (just plain wrong).

winnie the pooh beeIn fact, just the other day I received an email asking me if I’d like to sign up for a tour of the apiary on campus. Once I confirmed with Wikipedia that apes were not actually involved and I would get the chance to visit my bumble bee buddies, I immediately signed right up! Though I’m no where near comfortable with creepy crawly buggy critters, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for bees (possibly stemming from my love of Winnie the Pooh). In my messed up and illogical mind, bees seem to be the one type of bug that I’m actually alright to be around.

But that didn’t stop me from being nervous as heck when the time came to actually visit the bees on the roof of UMD’s dining hall. In a group, we approached four white boxes housing hundreds of hundreds of bees. After spraying them with a gas (which is not as toxic as the film Bee Movie describes, but is a simple burning pine needle mix that makes the bees calmer and less likely to sting), the box was taken a part and columns and columns of bees and bees were removed to show exactly how the world of bees worked.

Hive Tour 5Honestly, I remember very little about the intricate workings of the bee hive. I learned that the queen bee can mate with around 10 males in order to populate the entire bee hive, I learned that bees called “drones” do not have the ability to sting, and I learned that I look pretty rockin’ in a beekeeper hat. Mostly, I was too busy standing around in awe of the bees buzzing happily by me, around me, and often, even on me. I think that’s why I like bees more than other bugs (ladybugs make me happy, but I’m just learning how to tolerate butterflies); bees just seem perfectly content to work, fly, and be cheerfully yellow. And how on earth could you hate something so kind as to make honey?!

If you ever get the opportunity to visit an apiary, do it! Though I was terrified for the first 20 minutes as I watched the bees circle around our group, it was actually quite beautiful and I never felt in danger despite wearing a t-shirt and short sleeves. And even if this opportunity doesn’t present itself to you, if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation that could lead to a grand adventure and some lovely memories, think of me and say, “well, if that scaredy cat of a girl can pal around with some bees for an hour, surely I can go hang gliding over an active volcano while learning French and writing the greatest book series since Harry Potter”, or whatever it is you’d like your adventure to entail…

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Rain Will Make the Flowers Grow

It’s been a rainy couple of days here in Maryland, but am I letting that deter my spirit? No way!

Despite my sopping shoes, frizzy hair, and grumpy demeanour, I’m looking forward to the aftereffects of this precipitation.

ImageAlready the grass is looking greener than I remember it ever being and the flowers are starting to show their full range of color. After such a long winter I’m extremely grateful for this chance to appreciate the beauty all around me, even if I have to look at it while peeping out from beneath a polka dotted umbrella.

ImageEveryone should recognize that even in perceivably miserable situations, there is happiness and charm to be found if you have the right perspective. And that perspective is easy to take once you look at the vibrant petals of a nearby flower.

If Gene Kelly had some natural scenery to look at, I think he’d be even jollier!

And I have to add this as a shout out to those who understand my title reference. Despite the lack of flowers and the heartbreaking pain of lost love expressed in this song, it’s an absolutely treasure.

U Maryland: thousands upon thousands of Terps

I love getting an outsider’s perspective on UMD. Sometimes you can become so consumed in the duties and necessities of life that you forget to appreciate your current circumstances. I’m lucky to be attending such a beautiful and noteworthy school that celebrates traditions and history.
And let’s be real for a sec, I could never take pictures as lovely as these.

Brohammas

Fear the Terp…

Yes it sounds strange to me too but we will get to that later.

stadiumThe first thing you notice when visiting the College Park campus just outside D.C. is the students. a lot of students. Almost 40,000 students. Let me say that again FORTY THOUSAND!

library chillinThat is a lot of kids, which is not even counting the number of faculty and staff required to educate that many kids. This means that UMD is big enough to swallow most Midwestern cities. It is absolutely the definition of a state flagship university.

They offer 100 undergraduate majors. 100!

When the average American, or human for that matter, imagines American colleges, odds are they are picturing one of two types; the elitist ivy league, or the University of Maryland.

churchIt has a row of fraternity and sorority houses a mile long (figuratively), a football stadium bigger than the Colosseum, and a bazillion kids…

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Spring Has Sprung!

IMG_1904I grew up listening to my grandmother utter that exact phrase towards the beginning of every April, “Spring has sprung!”. I’d roll my eyes and cough out a chuckle, but after exposing myself to the beauteous weather we’ve been experiencing, I finally appreciate her lame little pun.

IMG_1915The sun has been shining, the birds have been chirping, and the clouds are staying away because they know what’s good for ’em.

IMG_1920IMG_1919Two things have really begun to happen now that the weather’s gotten nice.

1. I actually enjoy walking to class.

2. Once I get to class I don’t want to go inside.

Right now I guess I’m just thrilled to be over with winter. Hopefully spring will be just as long, but if not, be sure to enjoy it while it lasts and take some time to stop and notice how happy nature seems to be at being done with winter too.IMG_1926 IMG_1927

5Ks and Freedom

Only a couple hours ago I finished running my first official 5K. It was held by the sororities at the University of Maryland to benefit Yeardly Love and raise awareness of domestic violence. I went with my friend Jackie who is a pro at running and has done multiple 10Ks, she was so supportive and it really helped me focus on the run.

It cost $20 dollars to participate, and it return, I received:

  • A free t-shirt
  • A “one love” bracelet
  • Confidence
  • Aching feet
  • A stronger friendshipIMG_1931
  • The sense of community
  • A cool visor
  • Memories
  • Hope for my future plans
  • The freedom to explore endless possibilities

I can’t believe that I completed something so challenging while only stopping to walk for 3 minutes. I had a final time of 33 minutes, but for my first ever 5K, and in the beginning stages of training for the Baltimore Women’s Classic, I’ll take it!

IMG_1933Also, UMD was so beautiful today! We ran around a lake and I just wanted to stop and take pictures the whole time. Instead, I took this one of the Chapel near where we began our race.

Looking Up, Literally

I walk. A lot. It kind of comes with the territory of being a student at College Park. Be it trotting along listening to my music, or shuffling to work with my body braced against the wind, I feel like I’m always walking. And, due in part to the frequent nature of my walks, I’ve found myself multitasking a bit too much while on the move. Heading over to McKeldin? Perfect time to reflect on my English paper. Need to go to the gym? Why not call my grandparents on the way there, I haven’t talked about the weather in a while. But, all of these distractions have taken the focus off of something I really need to concentrate on, walking. I know walking doesn’t require much thought. We’ve all been doing it since we were tots and it’s more than second nature at this point. But, with all of our distractions I seem to have taken it for granted, mainly in the form of not looking up while walking.

With all of my distractions I seem to have forgotten that there is a beautiful world out there. Old brick buildings, fidgety squirrels, and enormous trees that are kind enough to lend shade in the sweltering summer but finicky enough to drip sap on a moment’s notice. I’ve been too absorbed in my own world, lost in thought and looking at the ground, to appreciate the one right in front of me. All this week I’ve taken care to remind myself to look up while walking, and the difference it made was striking. Feeling bummed out? Need a pick-me-up? Want to reaffirm your views on life? Simply look up. The ground is lonely and cold, but when you tilt your head back at that slight angle the world is suddenly a better place. Those squirrels are frolicking in the trees, the newly green scenery attempts to overrun the buildings brimming with students, and the sun shines down its blessing on those beneath. This earth is a truly amazing place to live. Never forget to look for that, and  always start by looking up.

 

I can tell the difference, can you?

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