Dear Beaver Bite, I think my professors do not understand the concept of finals. All of my final projects and papers are not only due the week before finals week, but they are due on a Monday. How do I deal with the torment of teachers who don’t understand that finals weeks exist for a reason? -Stressed Student
Dear Student, If you find yourself with some professors that are having a hard time sticking to the schedule, it might be a good time to remind them that calendars exist. You can prepare it as a nice end of the year gift! Say several hundred? With every other page but December torn out? Make sure you go through each one and underline finals week in red, just to make sure that they get the memo.
Dear Beaver Bite, I’ve noticed that the UMF missed connections instagram page has started up again, and it’s always been something of a dream of mine to meet someone in a chance encounter. Unfortunately, I feel like I’m kind of a boring person. How do I make sure that people will be able to recognize me if someone reaches out to me online? -Restless Romantic
Dear Romantic, Have you considered wearing a feathered boa all the time? If it works for a peacock, then it might just work for you. You don’t even have to stop there, either. If you start trying to imitate a rainbow, you will definitely have some distinct features that people can call out in a post. Make sure that your colors always clash, for that extra special personal touch, and you’ll be known campus wide before you know it.
Dear Beaver Bite, I’ve noticed recently that someone has been messing with my whiteboard on my door and erasing all of my beautiful artwork. How do I get people to stop messing with my whiteboard? -Whiteboard Warrior
Dear Warrior, It’s time to take justice into your own hands. Get your uniform ready, the whiteboard signal is nigh. Who can stop the tyranny of people erasing whiteboards in every dorm hall but you? Go forth and embrace your destiny as super-whiteboard-person, guardian of the dry erase marker. Let no cruel act of erasure go unseen, let no evil vandalism go unpunished! I believe in you!
By Autumn Koors-Foltz, Astrologist and Staff Writer
As winter crystallizes on the horizon, the season of the traveling fire sign Sagittarius is heating up. A mutable sign, Sagitarrians are quick, adaptable, and are the sign of spreading fire. The world has been picking up the pace. Indulge in some adventure and challenge your preconceived limits. Anticipate the full moon on December 18th, which will be in Gemini. It’ll encourage spontaneity within your emotional self, and perhaps feel an intense desire for change. It’s a moment of thinking quick and acting even faster – but stay keen. Venus will be in retrograde beginning on December 19th, which can cause miscommunications in your relationships. Retrograde is an optical illusion where a planet appears to be going backwards, and as this happens for the planet of harmony and love, one should be aware to keep their heart warm this winter season.
Yes, your fire has caused destruction, yes you have burned buildings to the ground. Where do you go from here? Will you tame yourself, or learn to control your fires?
Taurus, in a season of action, don’t become a statue. Find the comfort in change as you rely on old, structured stability.
Your excellent inquisitive mind will take you on great travels, but don’t go cold and shut out the Earth around you. Expose yourself to heat and warmth.
In a season of movement and intellect, you may find that you feel unlistened to, Cancer. Make time for conversation with yourself: nobody can hear you like you will.
You’ve left a flame of memories in other’s minds. Don’t worry about them: continue to burn.
Your intelligence is not a competition and it is not a debate. Making comparisons to others will only isolate you.
It’s time for an adventure, Libra. Feel the wind behind you, daring you to try something completely unknown. There is romance in newness.
Vulnerability is a practice, and lately, you may find that all you’re doing is striking out. Brave your heart in the tricky speed of the fiery season, and don’t forget the beauty of connection.
What is the greatest journey you can dare yourself to go on, Sagittarius? Now: challenge yourself to bring somebody with you. Don’t go alone.
Capricorn, you’re the undiscovered genius of the room. Don’t be so modest: recognize and affirm your strengths. Others will follow suit.
Do you feel like the world is falling apart? You may want to escape it all. But commit to something that drives you, and use every last winded bit of your passion.
Perhaps, others aren’t being insensitive to you, they’re just moving too quickly to see your needs. How can you advocate for yourself?
By Reese Remington, contributing writer
Farmington, ME – In a country where the Kyle Rittenhouse’s run free, Black people march for their lives, and a new culture is emerging where America’s inequalities are finally being highlighted for what they are, there lies a small campus amongst it all – the University of Maine at Farmington.
What does a small school like UMF have anything to do with this? Seemingly nothing, and yet everything. Like every university in America, it is a small piece of a much larger pie.
Similar to other minorities on campus, the beginning of the year looked different for me compared to my white peers. Yes, the first-day jitters are the same, followed by a silent prayer that I have a great semester. That my professors understand me, and I make some friends. However, I understood the risks that come with attending a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). This means also hoping that there are other like-minded minorities on campus, nothing racist happens towards me, and make peace with the microaggressions that will inevitably happen.
On campus, everywhere you turn there’s some kind of incident happening against minority students. Though I suppose we should be grateful that there isn’t any ‘KKK’ type of racism taking place here, the microaggressions and tone-deafness run rampant. In my first week, I heard students saying the N-word in a song. Later on in the semester, I was accused of stealing; like other minorities on campus who have been accused of crimes that they didn’t commit. There have been too many microaggressions to count – from comments about my hair, the way I present myself, down to interactions with other students. I have simultaneously been used as the Black spokesperson in my class while also being encouraged to use ’empathy’ and ‘compassion’ when responding to racist discussion posts. On campus, you either love or hate that I am ‘opinionated’ and always have something to say. But if Black people don’t speak up against racism, who will? My classmates, professors, and community members have shown that they won’t. Unless of course, it’s in the form of an Instagram story so everyone knows that they aren’t racist – outwardly at least.
This isn’t to say that UMF isn’t inclusive. It is – to an extent. UMF prides itself on being a strong LGBTQ+ friendly campus, striving to include everyone on campus. Though the tone-deafness outshines the efforts being made. UMF refers to their LGBTQ+ students as the minorities and diversity on campus. To be frank, when the campus is predominantly LGBTQ+, it is no longer a minority. The minorities on campus are the Black and POC students.
If you look around you, the tone-deafness is everywhere – though only if you want to see it. It’s in the buildings where they put posters of how “we appreciate our UMF students and the DIVERSITY they bring to campus” in all rainbow lettering for the LGBTQ+ community. They use the Black power fists for club posters without a single Black member in the club. It’s in the way they handle racist incidents privately and put other incidents [with white students] in a campus email. Don’t minority students deserve to know what’s going on around campus? And it’s especially in the way the school handled the ‘Ed situation’, yet lacks that same passion when it comes to the real minorities on campus.
However, times are changing. It’s been a year and a half since the BLM marches took place and we as a community decided it was time to rise and do better. For ourselves, and our underrepresented minorities in our community. UMF now has a Black Student Union for the first time in history. While other clubs have been up and running for years, the BSU has just begun. Even when established, it wasn’t without questioning whether white students could join and what would happen if there was racism in the club. Anything minority students have done or created on campus has been met with resistance, but this doesn’t stop us. Minority students are creating a more inclusive and safer community for future minorities on this campus.
So, where do we as a school go from here? First, you show up. Show up for your minority peers by calling out racism and microaggressions on campus – beyond posting a simple Instagram story. Forgive me for not expressing gratitude to those that do the bare minimum. As minorities strive to change the racist culture that still runs strong in America, we no longer accept the low-level work that is being done to ease any white guilt. Or at least I won’t. I would say most importantly, show up by educating yourself; Black people are not your Black encyclopedia, every Black experience on this campus is unique. We are not all the same.
Second, advocate. Advocate for more classes that properly teach the history of minorities in America. Advocate for Black and POC voices on campus. We need more minorities in leadership roles. From professors and within the administration, down to leadership roles in the clubs, sports, and elected positions among the campus. The representation we have on campus now – is only a start and not nearly enough. We cannot advertise ourselves as an inclusive school for minorities and then miss the mark when it comes to being inclusive.
Lastly, realize that this change doesn’t happen with just the minorities on campus pushing for it. This isn’t a quick fix situation, it takes time to break down a system that then needs to be rebuilt so that real change can occur. It may not happen overnight, but as a campus, we can do better. Know when to speak up for your classmates, and when to sit back and listen to them. Understand that in striving to be an inclusive campus, UMF has left a part of their own in the shadows: minorities on campus.
By Autumn Koors-Foltz, Staff Writer and Astrologer.
Heavy, passionate, and contemplative, welcome to the watery depths of Scorpio season. Lasting until November 21st, Scorpio season is iconic for its intensity of emotion. It’s time to look inward and come to a reminder of yourself. The season isn’t just for long cries in the shower and mysterious auras, but rather, an opportunity to test the natural limits of your emotions and to consider how it connects you to yourself. As a fixed sign, there is a reputation for stubbornness, but rather consider it a buoy or submarine – a stasis in the plunging depths of the sign. As a water sign, Scorpio is the ocean itself, salt and boundless unknowns. Don’t be afraid to take a plunge. Prepare for the full moon on November 19th accompanied by a partial solar eclipse. The solar eclipse begins the next two years of eclipses that will all occur on the Taurus-Scorpio axis, with the sun in Scorpio and the moon in Taurus, or vice versa. Think about loyalty, in all its formations.
What would it feel like to let your everglowing fire dim to just the hottest coals? Challenge yourself to find warmth in minimalism.
Loyal Taurus, there’s nobody as deeply rocksteady as you: do the people you surround yourself with cherish your devotion?
Gemini, go deeper. Allow others to know you in the same way you yearn to learn them.
Take the opportunity to focus on you, and only you, this season. What can you learn? What can you harness?
There’s no performance like a full moon dressed in an eclipse. Enjoy the show, and be a performer in it.
Others see what you put yourself through, Virgo. Others see you. It is okay to let yourself be seen.
Now is the time for a decisiveness that calls all the moisture from your air, Libra – don’t be intimidated, instead, be excited. What would it feel like to stop your flight?
There is a drama in levity, Scorpio. Allow yourself to laugh in your season, as all the rain that falls is in your name.
Your season is on the horizon. But don’t rush, don’t let the fire consume your feet. Stay a moment.
It’s easy to get lost in the earthen nature of work, but allow yourself some time to process all that’s happened to you. That time is sacred.
Don’t spread yourself so thinly among causes and ideas. Lay it on single, thick, and dance in the heavy wind.
Harden your water for whatever comes your way, Pisces. You may need to cultivate a bit of roughness to endure the season.
By Sophia Turgeon, contributing writer.
Since March of 2020, COVID has impacted everybody at UMF drastically, including commuters. In fact, the effects of COVID have affected commuters very differently than it may have affected on-campus students.
After returning to campus in fall 2020, on-campus students had a lot of expectations including social distancing, wearing masks, sheltering in place, getting tested, and keeping social circles on campus small that consisted only of Farmington community members.
Commuters had guidelines that weren’t as strict, but may have suffered more in the grand scheme of things.
Tom Tubman, sophomore here at UMF, feels as though he hasn’t had the opportunity to build a community inside the UMF campus and feels detached as a whole. “It’s definitely made things a lot harder than I expected. Building a community has essentially been a non-starter since I live so far away from campus. Until this semester, I spent a majority of my time around campus hanging out in my car because my sister is immunocompromised,” Tubman said.
Luckily with COVID restrictions loosening up, Tubman has been feeling much safer. With that being said, Tubman’s 2021 fall semester has been a lot better than the previous semester. “Since so much of the campus population is vaccinated I feel much more comfortable being around on campus. I feel a lot more engrossed in my classes and overall have enjoyed college much more this year than I did last year,” Tubman said.
Morgan Rogers, junior at UMF, has had some similar experiences with commuting that Tubman had. “Between driving to campus for some classes, but not all, I’d say that there were some negative effects, mostly my connection and immersion in those classes,” Rogers said.
From a different standpoint, Rogers feels as though the COVID restrictions placed upon students this semester haven’t been as drastic, but is excited to be back in the classroom. “The restrictions haven’t been all that impactful, for me, apart from having in-person classes again. That has helped hold my interest and allowed for in depth studies while in class. An interesting side effect from the covid-restrictions was a better class experience when we had to limit the number of students in a class. That meant that a professor was able to have more thorough interactions with fewer students at a time,” Rogers noted.
Though UMF has handled the harsh reality of COVID to the best of their abilities, Tubman believes that the restrictions put on who is allowed to visit campus are not as flexible as he’d like. “I’ve got a few friends at Orono and they want to come visit UMF, but they haven’t been able to since they aren’t a UMF student,” Tubman said.
Rogers however, found that though the accommodations were understandable, he felt as though there should have been more communication on where commuters should go between classes while waiting. “I found that their accommodations were acceptable. However, one thing that I would have asked for was more clarity as to where commuting students could be when on campus but not in class. I didn’t know that we had a commuter lounge until part way through last semester,” Rogers said.
Hopefully as the school year progresses, restrictions will lessen and commuters will feel more welcome on campus.
By Angie Tehuitzil Corral, Staff Writer.
Reward yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary! We are already into the second half of the semester, giving time for the stress to build up. College students often put too much pressure on themselves, which prevents them from taking an interest in their mental and physical health. However, this can easily be fixed by including self-rewards to help students stay in complete control and provide appropriate incentives to finish work properly.
Gretchen Rubin is an author who has written several books about finding ways to live happier. One of her most popular books is “Better Than Before”, in which she emphasizes the importance of rewarding yourself. She states that “in the chaos of everyday life, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters, and [one] can use habits to make sure that [one’s] life reflects [their] values”.
Rubin asserts that many college students fall into this endless cycle of stress as they always focus on everything else and forget to care for the body and the mind.
Examples of reward methods that might stick:
Go outside. It’s mid-October, yet we are still experiencing sunny and beautiful Autumn days, which is uncommon for this time in Maine. So take advantage and appreciate it by going out and spending some time alone with nature. A quick walk to release the stress, going to the Sandy River, going on a hike, or getting a mat for some yoga outside are all good options.
Take some time to make a good homemade meal. Being in a time crunch, especially in college, means not always having time to fuel your body adequately, so many students will end up grabbing anything on the go. And let’s be honest. Ramen is not so good when eaten three times a day. So instead, prepare something tasteful and nourishing that will fill you up with energy for the day.
Take a nap; you’re staying up all night doing endless amounts of homework. So, after class, sprint back to your room and sleep! Now, this doesn’t have to be a five-hour nap, but simply getting 15 min is all you need for a quick recharge that will help you focus.
Self-rewards are not limited, and it’s all about what works for you. These are even some examples UMF students asserted they like to do:
“I like to meditate or blast out music” – Ali Phair.
“Sometimes, I’ll usually just go back home and enjoy drinking a cup of tea” -Sylvie Haslam.
“Take some time out of my day to go out with friends and shoot some hoops”- William Harryman.
Meanwhile, Professor Blossom, a psychology professor at UMF, stressed the importance of self-reward for college students as students typically take mental health for granted. “Self-reward is important so that we can take the time to notice our accomplishments and reinforce ourselves for persevering.” Blossom said.
Most students are always busy finishing their workload, and so students struggle to find time for themselves. But including self-rewards allows us to uplift our motivation to generate better outcomes, because you can’t expect so much from yourself without giving yourself anything.
So, next time you’re on the borderline of feeling stressed, take a deep breath and relieve it by starting to practice a self-rewarding method that works for you.