Creative Writing Students Prepare for BFA Senior Reading

By Nicole Stewart Staff Reporter

As a part of the Bachelors of Fine Arts Creative Writing program, seniors who are in the Seminar in Writing class will have the opportunity to read their own work in the Landing.

   This event is similar to the Visiting Writers Series, only instead of a published author, students will be reading pieces that they have worked on throughout their four years at UMF.  

   Jeffrey Thomson, Professor of Creative Writing, who is teaching the seminar this semester, discussed what the senior reading is. “The seniors take this [class] and they write a portfolio and develop their work and start working on publishable quality throughout the semester,” said Thomson. “They are then given the opportunity to showcase that work with a public reading for the campus, the community, their parents, their friends, anybody who wants to come, and they get to show off a little bit.”

   According to Thomson, the class helps prepare the seniors to read their writing in a public setting, such as projecting their voice to a large crowd, looking directly to the audience while speaking and not hiding away from the listeners.

   Despite the nerves of speaking to an audience, Hannah Calkin, a senior in the seminar, is excited to share her writing with the community. In an online interview, Calkin said, “I used to do theater in high school, so I’m fairly comfortable speaking in public. However, I am a little nervous. I feel like much of what I’ve done in my college career has led to the senior reading, and I really want to pick my strongest work.”

   Calkin admitted that she does not know what she’s reading at the presentation, but has at least 30 poems to choose from. Calkin also claimed that poetry is her favorite type of style to write as her writing portfolio in the class features mostly poetry pieces.

   Another senior in the class, Nova Jarvis, who is a fiction writer, has an idea of what she may read. “I think what I’m going to do is a piece that I’ve been working on, it has little notes that get written about colors because the main character can only see in grayscale,” said Jarvis. “This girl writes what colors feel like so she can experience them. So, I think I might take all of those and read them, but I’m not sure yet.”

   When asked about presenting in public, Jarvis confessed that if she finds a particular piece of her own writing to be good to her standards, she has no problem sharing it to the public.

   What makes Thomson proud is the fact that the seniors get to showcase their writing skills at the reading. “You [the seniors] gotta present in this public setting and people really respond, and they produce good work over the semester that I really like seeing. So, I like seeing them get the credit that they deserve for all the hard work.”

   The reading will feature eleven Creative Writing Seniors in the Landing on May 3, 2018. The reading is at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and is open to UMF and the public.

Senior Social At The Roost Delivers An Evening of Entertainment

By Nicole Stewart Staff Reporter

When walking along Main Street in downtown Farmington, seniors who opened the door to the Roost were greeted by loud music playing from the DJ, chatty bar-goers, and their fellow classmates for the Senior Social.

   The social was a way for the class of 2018 to relax for the night with their friends by dancing, talking and chowing down on the greasy, yummy bar food. Though the event was held from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., a majority of the class showed up towards the later hours of the Friday night. No matter what time the students showed up, it was a night for relaxation and forgetting about both the worries of school and of what is to come after graduation.

   Michaela Zelie, a senior who attended the event, does not regret going and had a fun evening. “I enjoy spending time with my fellow classmates,” said Zelie. “It’s always fun. I always have a good time.”

   When it came to the planning of the event, the president of the senior class, Sarah Young, admits that putting on a party like this takes a lot of time. In an email interview, Young said, “The class officers and I normally start a month in advance to begin planning our socials. Sometimes, we even start two months in advance. The process is pretty long as we have to obtain contracts from the locations that we are holding the socials at.”

   This was not the first senior social that has been held this year. There have been four socials that have occurred during both semesters. The Roost is where the socials are typically held, but back in February, there was one held at Titcomb Mountain.

   The recent social at the Roost was held on a Friday, instead of a Thursday like the socials usually are. Because of the day change, the Roost could not be shut down and exclusive to the senior class. It was open to the public of Farmington, while community members kept to themselves, seniors mingled with one another. The reason for the change was because the senior class urged for a Friday social so it would be easier to attend.

   Zelie admitted that she enjoys the socials more at the Roost than she did at Titcomb Mountain. “It’s more veritable here [The Roost] than at the Mountain, because it was really overpriced,” Zelie said.

   Another difference in the events was that since the Roost is downtown, it’s closer for students compared to Titcomb Mountain, which is farther away from campus. Also, the Roost offered more choices for students to pick from when it came to their beverages, where as the social at Titcomb only had a few selections.  

   Young believes that attending the socials are a good way for students to connect and relax no matter where the place is. “Ultimately, the conversations I’ve had wind up talking about school work, but that’s really only because our students at UMF are extremely passionate about what they do, and we want to be able to highlight their achievements,” said Young. “As long as you’re 21-years-old, I think that anyone should be able to attend these socials because the friends you make in one night can truly last for a lifetime!”


Painting With Spring in Mind

Painting With Spring in Mind

By Nicole Stewart Staff Reporter

 Walking into the Landing on a recent cold, April evening I was ready to have a night of relaxation by making crafts. I found that the scheduled “Think Spring Crafts” had turned into an open paint night. Along with around half a dozen other students, I got paint pictures on blank canvases.

   Out of my four years at UMF, I had never attended a paint night before, so that made my experience special. I am by no means artistic and I’m not a good painter, so I was nervous. But paint night provided a relaxing and peaceful excursion as I stroked my brush delicately against the canvas.

   Even though the event changed to a free painting night, I opted to go with the “Think Spring” theme originally intended. Now, when I think of spring, I think of flowers and green grass. But, when it comes to spring in Farmington? Small piles of white snow still cover what is meant to be the fresh verdant ground. Regardless, I th

Nicole Stewart’s finished painting. (Photo by Nicole Stewart)

ought spring, painting a flower with pink petals and a yellow center, along with a sky blue background.

   Students were able to use a selection of colors and even paints with glitter. I mixed colors together sometimes, like the dark blue and light pink to make a sky blue for my spring-themed painting. No painting is done without making a mess of yourself, my fingers and my black shawl getting specks of blue paint on them.

   As I channeled my inner Bob Ross for the evening, I was too eager to wait for the paint on the semi-covered canvas to dry. Impulsively, I used the bigger sponge instead of the selection of big and tiny brushes to make sure I would get all the uncovered spots on the canvas. I blocked out the chatter, and just focused on myself in the moment, not thinking about class or the worry of graduation. It was me, and the picture I was creating, the light pink flower I envisioned in my mind in that moment.

   Finally, after spending nearly an hour on my painting, a sense of accomplishment set in. It was no Vincent van Gogh painting, of course, but I felt good completing the piece. A night of relaxing and forgetting about everything was something well needed.

   This was an event I wish I had gone to before. Even if you aren’t the best artist in the world (or maybe not even artistic at all), you can still find peace in painting. The Landing offers a variety of painting and craft nights to UMF students, which I strongly encourage everyone to take a chance with.


Career Fair Encourages Students to Find Jobs after Graduation

By Nicole Stewart Staff Reporter

 Walking into the Olsen Student Center on the Monday morning after spring break, students found tables set up with businesses participating in UMF’s Career Fair. Each table had a spokesperson willing to talk to students as they walked by.

   Students who participated in the event received a list of the companies at the fair, with a packet containing descriptions of the place, what positions they were looking for, and what majors best suited the job.

   Students had bright smiles and were eager to learn about companies and organizations in Maine that were hiring positions for part-time, full time or summer employment. The Career Fair was a great opportunity for students to interact with places outside of Farmington and expand their horizons elsewhere in Maine.

   Cyndi McShane, a Counselor in the Career Center, was in charge of the fair that has been going on for nearly 20 years. McShane believes that attending the Career Fair is a great learning experience for students.

   “Even if you are not really looking for a job at the fair, if you talk to an employer, you become more familiar with talking with employers,” said McShane. “You get more skills in networking, and working a fair like that, shaking hands, introducing yourself. It’s a really great opportunity just to see what’s out there.”  

   Junior Kyleigh Roberts, an Elementary Education major who attended the fair, found it to be beneficial. “The Career Fair is wonderful because it gives you in the insights you need into future options,” she said. “Even if it’s a summer position, it’ll get you where you need to be.”

   Senior Angelica Levy, a Psychology major with a minor in Rehab, found that applying for a job after college can be a bit terrifying. Levy admits that the Career Fair provided opportunities she did not think about before.

   “The Career Fair is very broad, which is awesome. I think that helps,” said Levy, who originally attended to find jobs related to mental healthcare, but found herself talking to some of the summer camps that were there.

   As for the future of the Career Fair, Roberts hopes that they will continue to be the same number of businesses involved. “I think it’s wonderful for college students to have [the Career Fair] brought to us because sometimes, it gets so busy that we just forget about jobs and everything,” said Roberts. “But this is a great way to remind us how important it is to be branching out.”

   The Career Services Office offers one on one meetings for students who want to discuss plans for their career after college. “It’s one of many opportunities Career Services give students to help them think about their future,” said McShane.

   Career Services is hosting is a College to Career panel on April 12th, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Landing. “It is a panel of a whole bunch of different employers or alumni, people who work in different industries talking about how they left college and came into their careers,” said McShane. Students who are thinking about the next step after college are encouraged to attend the event.