Dorm Talk: Audio Insights From by Two College Freshman

Dorm Talk: Audio Insights From by Two College Freshman

Thomas Young, Contributing Writer

The artwork for “Dorm Talk” a podcast by UMF freshmen Riley Cushing and Corbin Bouchard (Photo Courtesy of Thomas Young)

Dorm Talk, an untraditional and lighthearted podcast created by UMF freshman Corbin Bouchard and Riley Cushing consists of authentic discussion between the co-hosts on a wide variety of topics.

   Creating the podcast was Cushing’s idea. “I always found [podcasts] really interesting,” Cushing said, “I always liked listening to them, so why not?”

   Bouchard, on the other hand, was originally against the idea. “[Cushing] dragged me along,” Bouchard said with a chuckle about his co-host.

   A podcast is essentially a free audio blog. Typically a podcast comes in a series, with each new episode published regularly. Podcasts allow for a strong connection to exist between the listener and the host due to the conversational atmosphere created by its audio form.

   Dorm Talk had a rough start. It took three attempts to record the first episode due to technical difficulties. Neither student has any sort of podcast or audio editing background. “It’s a little challenging sometimes,” Bouchard admits.

       Traditionally a podcast will focus on one theme, such as politics or video games. Dorm Talk does not follow this style, and instead the co-hosts talk about a new topic every episode in order to reach the interests of their many followers. “It’s very broad, [because] we have a broad audience,” said Cushing. Dorm Talk’s podcasts are anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.


   In their first podcast the pair talks about how they faced doubt from a lot of people when they mentioned they wanted to start a podcast. “Right off the bat, we didn’t even get a chance,” Bouchard said in episode one titled “Getting Started.” In order to get the word out about the podcast, the aspiring co-hosts “spammed everyone they knew,” Bouchard said, to which Cushing added, “and we actually got a lot of views.”

   In episode two, while moving on from the difficulties faced during the creation of the podcast, the two co-hosts discuss the struggles of having, or not having, a girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. In episode three, the duo moves away from the theme of romance (or lack thereof) and into an entirely new one about road rage. It’s in this episode that they have their first guests: Alison and Jorja Hooper.

   Bouchard and Cushing never prepare a script before the recordings. In fact, for a recently recorded episode, Bouchard admitted to not even knowing the episode’s topic until fifteen minutes before recording. “When we come up with a topic, we agree to not talk about it until we are in the studio recording so that it’s more authentic,” Bouchard said in an online correspondence. “Dorm Talk is supposed to be raw, and sorta messy,” said Cushing.

   The co-hosts said that the hardest part of making Dorm Talk is scheduling. With different course loads, it can be hard for the duo to find the time to create an episode. Since this is the biggest difficulty they have faced thus far, both Bouchard and Cushing highly recommend to anyone who might be interested to create their own.

   Dorm Talk is currently posted on Youtube, Spotify and SoundCloud under the name “Dorm Talk.” Any student interested in buying stickers of their logo, or potentially t-shirts in the future, should follow and message the Instagram account “dormtalk.”

Women’s Rugby Team Searches for Funds and Players

Women’s Rugby Team Searches for Funds and Players

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 to get in touch with the team.


UMF’s newest Adjunct Professor and District attorney: Andrew Robinson

By Thomas Young Contributing Writer

   Andrew “Andy” Robinson is a new law instructor at UMF and just finished his first semester as an adjunct professor while being re-elected as district attorney in UMF’s district.

   Robinson is taking over the courses that were taught by Walter Hanstein in previous years. Robinson taught Law and the Legal system last semester and is currently teaching Crime and Punishment.

   Robinson holds many other titles such as Treasurer for Western Maine Community Action and President of the Maine Prosecutors’ Association, along with an unending list of associations and committees of which he is a member.

   Robinson travelled around a lot when he was younger, finally going to and graduating from Limestone High School before going to the University of Maine. While at University of Maine, Robinson met his wife. Robinson’s wife went to school to learn to be a chiropractor while Robinson commuted to University of Maine School of Law in Portland.

   Robinson spent 18 months doing real estate law before being hired as a domestic violence prosecutor by the District Attorney in 1999. A year later Robinson’s first child was born. Soon he was given the position of Deputy District Attorney. In 2014 he won his first election for District Attorney and had three kids.

   In his legal profession Robinson met Woody Hanstein. Robinson had been invited to join Hanstein’s classes in the past. “Woody was always generous about letting me teach his class,” said Robinson. Hanstein had a tradition of inviting Robinson into his class and giving Robinson a gift, such as a t-shirt.

   Robinson got a lot of advice and inspiration from Hanstein “He [Hanstein] gave me the sample syllabus,” said Robinson. Although Robinson credits Hanstein for all of the help, Hanstein wasn’t the only factor. Robinson said, “I have always been interested in teaching.”

   Robinson’s classes focus on group discussion based on readings. Robinson focuses his grading on participation and attendance so that one bad test will not harm a student’s grade too badly. Robinson also believes this is most efficient. “I feel like if everyone participates we all benefit,” said Robinson.

   Robinson has already started thinking about other course he may be able to offer in the future. Robinson has mentioned the idea of comparing different nation’s legal systems and how legal systems work under monarchs as two examples of potential future courses.  Robinson’s eagerness to teach more classes is easily explained by professional interest. “I love the law,” Robinson said.

   Robinson’s has recently been re-elected as the District attorney for Oxford, Franklin and Androscoggin county. With a staff of 14 assistant district attorneys and 26 other support staffers Robinson is able to offer internships at each of his offices. Robinson speaks highly of this involvement in the legal system. “It’s an important experience,” said Robinson.

   This makes Robinson a great resource for any students that are looking to go into a law career. Robinson’s first advice for anyone pursuing law to look at programs such as the program with University of Maine School of Law. “Take a look at the three for three program,” said Robinson. As there is no specific major required to get into law school, Robinson said, “study whatever your interest is.”