I keep getting late night texts from this guy, asking if I want to get coffee or see a movie but I’m not sure if he’s being friendly or trying to flirt. Should I ask, and how do I do that without making things weird?
Make coffee for him and write at the bottom of his cup, “You’re poisoned. Date me for the antidote.” Whether or not there’s actually poison is up to you, I hear placebo effects are pretty wild. This is how the truest of loves begin.
It’s your mother. I just wanted to check in because you haven’t called in awhile. Do you know your cousin just got engaged to a doctor? Funny, I can’t remember the last time you brought someone home for dinner. One of my best friends in college was gay, you know, and we were friends for years.
God dammit Mom,
How did you even find out about this column? You can’t say things like that, it’s rude. . .my friends read this and now they’re going to think I’m weird- well, weirder than usual. And maybe I’d bring people home to visit, if say, I don’t know, you’d stop asking about marriage and grandkids.
Someone at the Flyer table told me that I can use the backpage with your column to dry my tears if heavy news on the inside makes me cry. That won’t give me paper cuts on my eyes will it?
-This just in, I’m a little emotional
I guarantee you that eyeball paper cuts will absolutely distract you from your sadness. But maybe since you’re trying to get advice from the other Flyer staff, instead of listening my wisdom, this how natural selection gets you.
By Thomas Young Contributing Writer
The UMF Women’s Rugby Team is focused on preparing their team for the future. (Photo courtesy of Milo Fitzgerald)
The women’s rugby team is hosting and planning events in an attempt to attract new players and more funds. Upcoming events include a Pura Vida bracelet sale, a rugby themed t-shirts sale, and a Lula Wiles concert at Titcomb Mountain on August 25th.
Captain Erin Buckland, the president of the club, is primarily in charge of the concert fundraiser. Although still in the planning stages, Buckland estimated the ticket cost to be around $15 for the community, with high potential for a UMF student discount. The concert could feature other artists as well. “We may have a local band open,” said Buckland. “It will be outside, which is sweet, but I hope it doesn’t rain.”
Gianna Cialdea, the newly appointed recruitment chair, and Tegan Bradley, the PR chair, are in charge of recruiting new players through event planning and publicity. Cialdea recently organized her first ice cream social in The Landing. The ice cream social incorporated the teams main strategies of recruitment by displaying a professional Rugby game on a projector, providing a laid back environment for recruits to meet the current players. The ice cream social was “more for publicity” Cialdea said, something that can be hard to get on campus.
The players also get publicity by occasionally tabling outside of the dining hall. When tabling, the girls will try to compile some team related shirts and jerseys to display. Sometimes the players will even play a game so other students can get a feel for the sport.
The team receives some funding from the school, but is also required to fundraise on their own. T-shirt sales have been successful in the past, and the team plans on doing more in the future. The team is also looking into selling custom Pura Vida bracelets for approximately $8 in the fall. These bracelets will be exclusively sold by them club, and will not be found online elsewhere.
Some players feel that there is a false claim associated with rugby athletes: that is, that all players are hulking behemoths. However, Cialdea feels as though “everybody has a rugby body.” Captain and Vice President Audrey Kahrs adds, “it’s important that people realize you don’t have to be a certain size to play.”
Cialdea also believes that this offensive depiction of rugby athletes creates a negative stigma about the players character, even though they are, in fact, “very welcoming” individuals. With fifteen different positions to fill, the players are confident that they can find a role for any student that is interested.
The team is very tight knit, and can attribute this to traditions like team dinners, “bigs and littles” – which provide new players a peer-mentor who has been on the team for more than one year. The camaraderie is what “separates the Farmington (rugby) team from other teams,” Cialdea said.
Kahrs summarizes the 2018 fall semester season as a “rebuilding season for us” said Kahrs. Last season was a unique season for the team because they had just went up a division, from New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) to Colonial Coast.
The spring semester is considered the team’s off-season. “[The] off-season is helpful for everyone to recover,” said Kahrs. The spring semester is much more relaxed for the team due to the lower quantity of games. Both Kahrs and Cialdea agree that the spring semester is the best time for new members to join because there is more time to learn the game as opposed to joining during the busy, fall season.
The team highly encourages any student that is interested in playing – or even just learning about the sport – to reach out. All of the club members are willing to provide details about practices and how to get started. Students can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with the team.
By Emma Pierce Contributing Writer
The Learn-to-Ski program is teaching students how to ski or snowboard for free as an elective, or as a substitute for a physical education (PHE) credit during the first half of the spring semester.
“Every student needs to take a PHE credit and this is an opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard as half of that credit,” said Nolan Miler, senior and independent work study for the Learn-To-Ski program. The program has been running since the end of January and will continue to run until the start of spring break in March.
Lessons occur twice a week at Titcomb Mountain, less than 15 minutes away from UMF. In addition to the free lessons, free transportation is provided for those who need it, and free rental alpine skis are readily available for the use of this course. Enrolling in the lessons also means that the student obtain a free season pass if they have not received one already for the academic year.
The lessons consist of a small group, normally no larger than 5 people, which helps instructors focus more on strengthening each students skills. Essentially, these lessons are specifically catered to what the student wants to work on with the instructor.
Portia Hardy, a freshman in the Earth and Environmental Science program and a student taking lessons through the Learn-To-Ski program, makes the most of the lessons. “Before we go down the mountain,” Hardy explained, “[the instructor asks] ‘What are you working on today? Anything you want to focus on?’” With that, they go up the mountain and start working on edging, parallel turns, or anything that the student wants to work on to help further develop skills.
The lessons in the program are taught by UMF students, most of them in the Alpine Operations certificate program run by the Outdoor Recreation and Business Administration (ORBA) major. Sam Shirley, a freshman in the ORBA program with a concentration in Alpine Operations, is an instructor for the Learn-to-Ski program. Originally from Massachusetts, he has instructed skiing lessons at Ski Bradford since 2016 and has taken on an assistant director’s position at the snowsports school at Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford since his arrival at UMF.
“I have taught a number of different students in the Learn-to-Ski program of varying ability levels,” said Shirley in an online interview. “Most recently I have been teaching two level 5 skiers.” This means that the skiers are confident on all beginner trails and ready to move into more difficult intermediate terrain, can use turn shapes to control speed going down the mountain, and can generally complete a hockey stop: using the edges of the skis to come to a full stop.
On top of Shirley’s ski-related jobs, he also teaches Snowcats, an after-school program for children in kindergarten to third grade who want to learn how to ski. Snowcats is also coordinated by the Alpines Operations program, and many of the instructors that teach Learn-to-Ski lessons also teach Snowcat lessons. The larger class sizes of the Snowcats lessons require more instructors than the Learn-to-Ski lessons, and the different teaching style needed for young children compared to adults, Shirley said, “is a much different dynamic for a number of reasons.”
Even though these two age groups have significant differences in how they are taught, Shirley still appreciates the hands-on experience he receives from these lessons and strongly supports this style of learning. “Having on snow experience is the only way to learn what works best as your teaching style,” said Shirley, “As an instructor, I also learn new things almost every day from my students. They help me develop new methods of teaching and show me new ways to connect with students.”
There is still time to take ski or snowboarding lessons through Learn-To-Ski. “They’ll allow anyone to join at any point,” said Miler. “We like teaching people to ski so come on over.”
If a student wants to use this course as a PHE substitute from now until the Learn-To-Ski program ends, they’re encouraged to ask their PHE instructor about how to sign up. If a student want to join as an elective, contact Isaac Seigle at email@example.com or Nolan Miler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Robert Drinkwater Contributing Writer
Mainely Outdoors recently had their first cross country skiing excursion. (Photo courtesy of Mainely Outdoors Facebook Page)
Mainely Outdoors offers a large variety of trips and activities throughout the year, as well as rental gear that can start any adventure: “we like to break down barriers, and we try to give them [students] the best experience possible,” said Joe Haggerty, a program supervisor at Mainely Outdoors,
There are many trips that Mainely Outdoors will be hosting throughout this semester. “We have cross country skiing, usually every Saturday,” said Haggerty. In addition, the program also currently offers trips that focus on snowshoeing, ice skating and snow tubing. These events will occur until late March, or early April. “We also have the full moon excursions.” said Haggerty, “[during which] we like to hike a mountain when there is a full moon.” He also mentioned a possible trip to the anti gravity center, or a trampoline place in March.
The program offers different trips and activities during each season. For instance, in the fall Mainely Outdoors offers trips for mountain biking, hiking and water sports such as white water rafting. During the winter, it offers cross country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. In the spring, it offers paddleboarding, overnight camping events and occasionally horseback riding. “We also play disc golf,” said Haggerty, “and rock climbing can be done at any time of the year, because it’s indoors.” he continued.
Haggerty offered some examples of a few trips that he has been on with Mainely Outdoors, including an excursion to Acadia National Park. Haggerty also mentioned that the program is offers a series of trips the help broaden a participants skill set. The event series include trips that focus on cross country skiing, snowshoeing and mountain biking. “I’ve been co-leading the mountain biking series,” said Haggerty, “that’s probably my favorite series.”
Sylvie Fenderson, a Mainely Outdoors employee, said that her favorite excursion was a service trip to the Maine Huts and Trails at Flagstaff Lake. “We got to spend some time in the hut and helped them stack wood, and on the way back we got a workout trudging through the snow,” said Fenderson, “the views were absolutely breathtaking.” Fenderson added, “I personally don’t think enough people take advantage of this program, we are doing awesome trips, all the time.”
When it comes to students experiences with Mainely Outdoors, Haggerty said, “a lot of people say being out in nature is attractive to them, and it allows them to get away from the stress of homework.” Haggerty mentioned how these excursions a great way to meet new people – especially for freshmen, transfer or international students.
Flor Villarreal, a Spanish TA from Argentina, has been on a number of trips with Mainely Outdoors. Her experience with the program began by learning how to rock climb. “That was the first time I participated in Mainely Outdoors trips.” said Villarreal, “it was amazing!”
When describing her initial experience, Villarreal said, “Honestly, I was afraid, but the leaders of the trips were so nice, and the atmosphere in the group was so good.” This experience encouraged Villarreal to go on more of the trips that Mainely Outdoors offered, “I did something that I could never imagine: cross country skiing. I loved it!”
While the trips themselves invoke joy for participants, Villarreal stated that it was the people who work at Mainely Outdoors that made her experience even better, “they encourage you to take advantage of the beauty of Maine, and they make the trips really fun.”
Mainely Outdoors is located at 144 Quebec Street, Farmington, Maine. You can check out their upcoming trips on Mycampus under the UMF Events Calendar.
By Jeremy Austin & Eryn Finnegan Staff Reporter & President
After a long trip, these voracious writers, stomachs fiending for a scrap of food, searched for a quick, cheap alternative to the fast food, which they spent too much money on already. They stopped at the ever-familiar truck stop on Rt. 4 Wilton Road, nestled between the credit union and the Farmington Ford/Mercury dealership: The Big Stop, a restaurant attached to a Circle K and an Irving. It’s a wonderful place to pick up a hot batch of mozzarella sticks -bursting with gooey cheese, or a large slice of the rich chocolate cream pie.
Stepping into the Big Stop, one nearly forgets they have also stepped into an Irving gas station. The two entities are separated enough to allow for an immersive dining experience. Soft yellow lights warmed the dining area as the sun set outside, and the smell of grilling meat and fresh, generously salted french fries wafted from the kitchen doors and out to the bar where they waited to be seated. After missing out on breakfast sandwiches with donuts replacing the bread, the duo was ready to devour anything on the menu that looked remotely appetizing and nutritional. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as their eyes scanned the spiral bound menu, but it was quickly evident their sandwich craving had not fully subsided.
Fortunately, a hot reuben and a delicious-looking whiskey BBQ burger came to save their hungry stomachs. The reuben was quite delightful. Its sauerkraut, corned beef and Swiss cheese all working in perfect harmony with every bite. The sandwich was served on marble rye bread and, although still hearty in its own right, was panini-esque in nature. Thousand Island dressing was served on the side in a small plastic cup, which the reuben (or the fries it came with) could be dipped in. Either option is highly suggested.
The Whiskey BBQ Burger was a standout item on the menu, boasting sizzling, steaming grilled patties and homemade whiskey barbecue sauce. this burger paired with a steaming batch of fries is a fist pump of greasy, indulgent, tasty victory. Sauteed onions spilled onto the plate with each bite, the tomatoes were juicy, and the whiskey BBQ sauce gave a small burst of heat just intense enough to keep me wanting more.
In terms of ingredients, the burger and fries were standard, but the fact that they were cooked perfectly elevates this classic pairing. The flavor of the onions, tomato, burger, and sauce all in one bite offered a reminder that these recipes and ingredients are cooked together for a reason: they balance each other out by offering spiciness, sweeness, and saltiness simultaneously.
Bookending these lively entrées were mozzarella sticks and slices of chocolate cream pie. The mozzarella sticks, though small in number, were big in flavor. Each bite left behind thick tendrils of cheese as we pulled the sticks apart: the mark of a true artisan mozzarella stick. The slices of pie were about the width of Eryn’s face, but that didn’t stop these reporters from stuffing their faces until their lips had been replaced with crumbs, smears of chocolate frosting and whipped cream. Jeremy’s fiance, who had decided to accompany them on this culinary adventure, was clearly unimpressed by these animalistic behaviors.
Overall, while their appetites at the time may have influenced their ratings, the writers were pleased with the food and the service that the Big Stop provided. The writers give The Big Stop a rating of six mozzarella sticks out of six—they would most certainly be eating there again.