By Faith Rouillard, Contributing Writer
Around the holidays we seem to indulge ourselves more than ever when it comes to tasty treats. A former bread lover spots the stuffing from across the room, she wants it desperately…her gluten allergy doesn’t care!
A dairy enthusiast has worked so hard all year and feels he deserves a small slice of cheesecake…his lactose intolerance doesn’t care!
An aspiring vegan sees a Christmas ham, juicy and glazed. “One bite won’t hurt,” she thinks. Her moral compass doesn’t care!
Dietary restrictions affect many and are just another reason to dread the holidays. Thanksgiving is behind us, Christmas is yet to come, and COVID is all around us. Many are choosing to stay put in the homes they reside in. At first glance, this seems like a bummer to not spend Christmas at your great Aunt Sally’s who you see for that one day a year… and funerals. Wait, is that really a bummer?
Living with a dietary restriction, though it’s not the worst thing, can make for uncomfortable situations. Great Aunt Sally always forgets to accommodate (on accident). “Wait, I can’t put butter in the mashed potatoes? I didn’t think that was dairy!” or “Vegetarians can eat chicken right? It’s white meat!” As the complicated eater, you never want to make the host upset or feel bad, leaving you with few options: “Aunt Sally, I actually ate before I came and I’m all set, thank you though!” And starve. Or “Thank you, Aunt Sally, it looks great! My lactose intolerance actually went away!” And you pay for it later. First world problems, am I right?
Maybe I’m just a scrooge, but is all this stress really worth it? I constantly wait for the dreaded questions when eating at a family function—“You’re vegan? That’s stupid,” I feel miserable after the event knowing I inconvenienced the host. Let’s start educating our family tree on dietary restrictions and move on with our lives.
Cheers to eating our feelings during our newfound quarantine Christmas. But hey, at least we get to eat whatever the hell we want.
You happen upon a tiny frog who grants tiny wishes. The frog informs you that you cannot wish for big things, like money, love, or power, or wishes that will benefit a population. What do you wish for? -Freckles the Flyer Frog
Freckles the Flyer Frog
By Faith Rouillard and Malcolm Langner:
– A restful night sleep
– A pencil that never goes missing
– A shower that never gets cold
– A full fridge without going grocery shopping
– Flawless internet while on Zoom
– A clone to attend Zoom classes
– A phone that never dies
– A white and sunny Christmas
– White shoes that never get dirty
– A coffee table that won’t slide away from your feet
– Getting into shape without having to exercise
– No ads on games or TV
– Never getting toothpaste on your clothes again
By Portia Hardy:
– Jeans that fit perfectly
– An electronic charger that works on any device
– A never-ending jug of pure maple syrup
By Emma Pierce:
– A bedroom that cleans itself
– Paper mâché that dries quickly
– Glasses that don’t smudge
How a generous donation is helping students find new appreciation for the local ski mountain.
By Faith Rouillard, Contributing Writer
As the air gets colder and snow begins to fall, one Farmington location prepares for the winter season. Winter is nearing and Titcomb Mountain will soon be the heart of the town, the staff and all the volunteers’ hard work will begin to pay off. The mountain sits just two miles away from the university; a seven-minute drive. Throughout the years, the mountain has become a necessary asset to UMF.
Titcomb Mountain is fit to serve all levels of skiers and snowboarders, from beginners to experts. The mountain has well-kept cross country trails and a terrain park. Titcomb was established in 1939 and is more alive and well than ever before. Night skiing is offered on select evenings throughout the season.
Thanks to a generous donation, full-time students at UMF receive free season passes to Titcomb. “When you pair the free season pass with MO (Mainely Outdoors) rentals, and free learn to ski lessons taught through the Alpine Operations Certificate Program, it really makes skiing accessible to all students here at the university,” says senior and class president, Isaac Seigle.
“It’s impossible for Titcomb to go a day without the mountain being used by someone who is also a student at the university,” said Seigle. The mountain has a deep-seated integration with the university.
Seigle explained how Titcomb means more to him than just skiing. “Titcomb [has been] a part of my life since I was eight is what made me want to go to UMF for ORBA (Outdoor Recreation Business Administration),” he said. “I loved skiing, and I loved Titcomb, and getting an education that would help me do work addressing awareness of the barriers to equity in outdoor recreation was really important to me. Without organizations like Titcomb, I probably wouldn’t have been able to make skiing such a part of my life.”
For the students in the ORBA program at UMF, Titcomb has been a great outlet to show off what the students have learned. “For me, this is a great opportunity to have a management position at a mountain as a student. It will help me later in life,” says Sam Scheff, an ORBA major and the terrain park manager at Titcomb.
Both Scheff and Seigle started working at Titcomb through internships at UMF as requirements for their majors. “Titcomb sees a lot of students wanting to do their internship at the mountain. Once it came time for my internship, it just made sense to me to do it at Titcomb and give back to the mountain that gave me so much throughout my life,” said Seigle. “Being a smaller organization, an internship at Titcomb is also a great first chance for students to stand up and be in a position to take on more responsibility within an organization that is resource strained.”
“The atmosphere is one of the best things about Titcomb. It is so family-friendly and accepting,” said Scheff.
This small mountain operates with the slogan, “The friendliest mountain around.” That goal is embodied by all. “Titcomb is oriented around being a really friendly place that can feel like home,” said Seigle.
This mountain is an incredible resource to the community and our school. “Most know that the mountain is run by mostly volunteers, so it takes a whole community to get it up and running,” said Scheff. “Stop by and come see Titcomb. Come see what we’re all about.”
by Faith Rouillard, Contributing Writer
The New UMF Community Garden (Photo courtesy of UMF Community Garden’s Facebook page)
Yellow, pink, red, and purple… the colors of the UMF campus garden have begun to emerge. In the Fall of 2019, a construction crew made their way onto the UMF campus. Questions filled the air, “Why are they taking down the creative writing house?” and, “What will take its place?” The old, disheveled building was leveled and grass was planted in its absence. Luckily, this space didn’t remain empty for long.
Students on campus have spent many hours in the garden making it what it is today. Some classes have been planting flowers. Jessie Minior’s ‘Field Methods’ class has been studying the microclimate of the garden; whereas other courses such as, ‘Dig It: Gardening for a Change,’ goes to the garden once a week for experiential learning. Gretchen Legler, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, applied for the grant that funds the garden.“Students are learning about things they’ve never learned before,” said Legler. “It has provided an experiential way for students to learn about sustainability. It has been really wonderful.”
In summer 2020, work initiative students, Sara Taylor and James Cooke, spent their time building the garden beds, filling them with soil, planting, and harvesting once a week. They filled the beds with parsley, sage, onions, lettuce, arugula, beets, radishes, tomatoes, squash and more.
The garden operates with many important goals: “Producing food for the community, providing classroom space, providing an aesthetically pleasing space on campus, providing flowers and herbs as a home for pollinators, and overall excitement for the community,” said Legler. “A big success has been a bridge between the campus and the community. One way to gauge its success is it’s providing a space for happiness, hope, and delight in a time that is incredibly hard on people.”
At the end of the growing season, the campus garden will have made eight donations of food to the Farmington community. The garden has donated over 100 pounds of food to St. Joseph’s Church, Old South Church, Wilton Food Bank, Fairbanks Food Pantry, and the UMF community. “It has been a terrific and unexpected success,” said Legler.
“My impression is that students are very excited about the garden,” said Legler. ‘Dig It’ student, Sava Nappi, said, “Every school I have been to has had a garden. This is something I assumed would already be here, so I have really enjoyed it.” The students aren’t the only ones who enjoy the garden though. “I am nearing the end of my teaching career, and this garden breeds new life into my job, so it is very meaningful to me,” said Legler.
The garden provides a welcoming space for all. It includes an accessible elevated garden bed for individuals who may not be able to bend over or those who may be in a wheelchair. There will be an open house for the garden on Tuesday, October 27th from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for UMF community members.
by Faith Rouillard, Contributing Writer
Over 125 students signed up to participate in kickball, thus launching intramural sports for the 2020-21 school year at UMF.
“Intramural sports are sports leagues that are designed to be played on campus with our UMF community,” said FRC Assistant Director Leah Brackett. Students began with kickball and after a two week season and a one week playoff period, the sport and teams will switch completely.
Games take place four nights a week at the FRC: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00-11:00 p.m. Each game takes no more than an hour and not every team plays all four nights. Senior and kickball caption Ella Russel said, “It’s important to move your body, and this a fun way to stay active!”
“Intramurals are very important right now,” said Brackett. “It is a way to keep our students engaged and on campus.”
“Intramural sports provide a way to connect with people on campus that I wouldn’t normally bump into,” said Russel. “Intramurals provide social networking, familiarity with FRC and the amenities it has, and stress relief.” Russel explained how intramural sports are an effective study break. “I recommend intramural sports to the entire student body.”
Typically, the staff provides a variety of sports and activities, including volleyball, kickball, pickleball, indoor soccer, arena football, basketball, dodgeball, among others. This year, the staff has to be cautious in what sports can take place while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Due to the pandemic, upon arrival students are met at the door by staff members to check-in. They are required to self-screen and report to the staff. “We ask that everyone sanitizes their hands and wear a mask the entire time they are in the building,” said Brackett. The FRC is closed to the public during games and doesn’t allow spectators, limiting the number of people in the building. The staff diligently disinfects equipment periodically during games as well.
Brackett is the intramurals coordinator and leads all student staff. Callie Hammer is this year’s student leader and makes the staff schedules, referees games, “and helps out my amazing boss, Leah Brackett,” she said.
“Our staff dynamics are awesome,” said Brackett. “Working intramural sports teaches confidence and conflict resolution.” A large majority of the student staff are UMF varsity athletes.
“If you’re not on a sports team but still appreciate competition, intramural sports are a great alternative,” said Russel. Many students on varsity teams participate in intramurals but not all that participate in intramurals play varsity sports.
“For old high school athletes, intramurals gives a sense of normalcy for being on a team again,” said Hammer. “Intramurals is a great atmosphere and a lot of the students enjoy participating.”
“My goal is to increase participation in intramural sports,” said Brackett. The 125 students are spread out among nine kickball teams, but there is typically room for up to 16 teams.
“Teams are very simple to set up,” said Russel. “As the captain, I went to the Facebook page and filled out my team’s roster.” To get involved in intramural sports visit their Facebook page (UMF Intramural Sports) or their Instagram page (@umfimsports).
Pickleball will be the next sport to take place. Contact Leah Brackett via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any COVID safe suggestions, “We are open to change and always want to do what the students want,” she said.