Hi all! This past week has been absolutely crazy in Buffalo! A huge lake effect snowstorm descended on Western New York last Monday night, and buried our area with over 7 feet of snow over the course of 3 days. Driving bans were in effect for several days, people became stranded on the Thruway – which was shut down – and in their homes, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo called in the National Guard to help Buffalonians dig out of the snow. The Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Rangers hockey game was canceled Friday night, and the Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets football game was canceled Sunday after over 200,000 tons of snow fell on our outdoor football stadium. The entire Western New York area was paralyzed by this storm.
Courtesy of Buffalo Bills
UB was not directly affected by feet of snow, but the surrounding suburbs were and many students consequently could not safely get to class. The university canceled classes Thursday and Friday as Erie County was in a state of emergency and the governor was calling for federal aid from FEMA to help pay for damages. Many students were unable to make it to class, or drove to campus and found themselves unable to make it back home. I had a friend stay with me for the entire week because it was unsafe to try to get back to her house in a small suburb south of UB. To make matters worse, after the snow stopped falling Friday, it started to rain, and flooding began in many parts of Western New York.
One thing that did come out of this crazy storm was the generosity and selflessness of the people of the City of Buffalo. Buffalonians joined together to combat the effects of the storm and helped neighbors shovel snow off of roofs which were harrowingly close to collapsing, trekked through blizzard conditions to the store to purchase supplies, and dug each others’ cars out of the snowbanks Mother Nature formed. UB students were able to witness firsthand how Buffalo doesn’t let a little bit of snow stop us.
On Saturday November 15, I officially became a part of UB’s chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, a professional co-ed international pre-law fraternity. I have spent this entire semester getting to know current brothers and learning more about the field of law through their experiences preparing for law school. I have met some incredible people since I decided to join Phi Alpha Delta, and they inspire me to want to use knowledge of the law to change the world. Our fraternity participates in UB Relay for Life every spring, and holds other philanthropy and fundraising events throughout the school year, including volunteering at Habitat for Humanity in Buffalo. I am very excited to start my own preparation for law school and I think that belonging to an organization like Phi Alpha Delta will make my excitement grow that much more.
Above is my class and our current e-board. UB has several professional fraternities, some centered around certain interests like law, pharmacy and business. If you are interested in these fields or meeting new people, I recommend thinking about getting involved!
“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hey guys! This weekend I visited Becker Farms to go apple picking! The 340-acre farm is located in Gasport, N.Y., about 30 minutes away from UB. It’s just turned fall and Buffalo is trying to give us a few more days of summer-like weather, so I wanted to enjoy it outside. I had never been apple picking before, but it was a lot of fun! The cost of four quarts of apples was only $4.50 – you could also get a half bushel for $12 – and a tractor took you out to the apple orchard. There were several different kinds of apples to choose from, including Macintosh and Cortland, and it was pretty cool getting to select your apples directly from the rows and rows of apple trees. It was very crowded at the farm but it was definitely well worth it!
There were other activities happening at the farm, including wine tasting, live music, a petting zoo, and apple cider and donuts. The owners of the farm also sell pumpkins and have a Pumpkin Fiesta with fun fall activities including haunted hayrides. There are plenty of places to visit near UB to help ring in autumn, and Becker Farms is a great choice.
“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
- Jim Bishop
Howdy! UB has revamped its game day atmosphere and is hosting tailgates before every home football game this year. The tailgates feature live music from area bands and singers of national recognition.
Many of these performers are country music artists, and as a country music fan I am thoroughly enjoying the tailgate concerts. So far I have seen Easton Corbin and Joe Nichols perform at UB for free before watching the Bulls in UB Stadium! The concerts have been fantastic. Easton Corbin sounded exactly the same on his records as he did live, and got the crowd riled up and ready for the Bulls’ home opener August 30 against Duquesne, which the Bulls won 38-28.
Joe Nichols performed before the Buffalo versus Baylor game on September 12, which was televised nationally on ESPN. Fans were encouraged to “blackout UB Stadium” by wearing all black to match the Bull’s black uniforms and helmets. Joe Nichols was so fun in concert, and got the entire crowd dancing and jumping up and down. He pointed at my friends and I a few times and I even caught one of his guitar picks that he threw in my direction! It was such a fun experience, and it was even cooler that it was completely free! The Bulls lost 63-21 but the game atmosphere was still very fun and there was a fireworks show at halftime.
The group Spin Doctors played September 20 before the Bulls won 36-7 against Norfolk State. Three Dog Night will play on September 27 before the Bulls play Miami of Ohio; The Zac Brown Tribute Band on October 25 before the Bulls play Central Michigan; country artist Frankie Ballard before the Bulls face Akron on November 11; and Strictly Hip on November 19 before the last home game of the season against Kent State.
“I’ve learned to never underestimate the impossible.”
- Joe Nichols, ‘The Impossible’
The City of Buffalo always has a new venue or event to explore and discover. The Albright Knox, one of Buffalo’s premier art museums, is open until 10 pm and is free to the public on the first Friday of every month. My friends and I took advantage of this opportunity the first Friday in September. I had not been to the museum since high school, and was very pleased with the spectrum of classic paintings and sculptures and new visionary works. One especially cool exhibit was a mirrored room – Lucas Samaras’ “Room No. 2″ – that visitors could take their shoes off and step inside to explore. Here is my friend Joe standing inside the mirrored room.
There were also classic paintings from artists like Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack and Vincent van Gogh that were part of an exhibition entitled “Sincerely Yours: Treasures of the Queen City”.
One Jackson Pollack work featured at the museum is Convergence, painted in 1952 and shown below courtesy of the Albright Knox’s website. My friends purchased a 1,000 piece puzzle of this painting from the gift shop at the Albright Knox and we tried valiantly to put the puzzle together after returning from the museum. We sadly gave up after 3 hours with very little progress.
I encourage you to go out and explore the art that Buffalo has to showcase!
“When I say artist I mean the one who is building things…some with a brush – some with a shovel – some choose a pen.”
- Jackson Pollack
Welcome back to a new school year! I will be continuing my blog this year, so look out for exciting things that are happening at UB! I’ll be sure to keep you updated about everything this school year will bring including concerts, football and hockey games, Distinguished Speaker Series events, extracurriculars and further exploring the City of Buffalo. But first, as this past spring was super hectic at the end of the semester, I want to catch you up on some awesome events that I didn’t have time to post about during exam week.
Distinguished Speaker Series: David Blaine
UB hosted a night of magic when the university brought David Blaine to speak and show off his skills at the final Distinguished Speaker Series event of the year. David Blaine is a world renowned magician who opened his show in Alumni Arena by holding his breath in a tank of water and fish for 10 minutes while managing to eat a banana, juggle, smoke a cigar and pull an eel come out of his mouth. Blaine also performed some card tricks and drove an ice pick through his hand while telling the audience about how he became interested in magic. His show was very intriguing and served as a great study break!
Spring Fest is a concert sponsored by the Student Association held every spring. It is completely free to all UB students. Spring Fest 2014 was country-themed; The Band Perry, Gloriana and Citizen Cope headlined. I love country music and had a blast listening to Gloriana and The Band Perry live. They were amazing! Their energy and stage presence blew the audience away and kept us warm in the 40-degree weather we had that night.
Oozefest is UB’s annual mud volleyball tournament held in the spring. This was my second year participating in the muddy fun, and my team decided to continue our team name and theme from last year: Wilson, the volleyball from the movie Cast Away. We all met up the night before the tournament and decorated matching tshirts. The weather for Oozefest was much warmer than the previous year and we had a ton of fun playing volleyball in the gloppy mud. We played three games before we were taken out of the running. I love playing volleyball, and playing in a pit of mud definitely makes it more fun for everyone involved.
“Oh pioneer, so young and brave, be careful of the careful souls who doubt you along the way.”
- The Band Perry, ‘Pioneer’
The Center for the Arts is one of the coolest buildings at UB. It is home to the departments of theatre and dance, media study and visual studies, and is full of art galleries, theatres and dance studios. Often the CFA hosts concerts, speakers and other events that the outside public are welcome to attend, and sometimes tickets are available to UB students at a reduced price.
This past Thursday, Gavin DeGraw performed at the CFA, with Rozzi Crane and Parachute opening. I was impressed that such a big name was coming to UB, and was looking forward to the concert all week. It was amazing! I didn’t even know that Parachute was going to be performing, and I was so excited to find out they would be opening for Gavin DeGraw. They played their own songs and covered Bruce Springsteen too. Gavin DeGraw headlined and played for almost an hour. He is one of my favorite musicians, and his performance did not disappoint. His dance moves, light theatrics, and skilled voice got everyone in the CFA theatre up and dancing.
Many students find themselves rarely going to the Center for the Arts, especially those in engineering or science-based fields. But I would encourage everyone at UB to spend some time there at some point during their college careers. It is a state-of-the-art building that showcases the artistic talent of students at UB and of artists who visit, and is one of the things that makes UB so fun!
“I don’t want to be anything other than me.”
-Gavin DeGraw, ‘I Don’t Want To Be’
I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last posted – this semester has been so busy for me! I have an internship this semester in addition to my classes, working as a research assistant in the psychology department, working as a tour guide for the Office of Admissions, and making sure to squeeze in some fun. My internship is run through the SBI Legal Office at UB and gives participants an opportunity to learn legal research methods and legal writing. As one of the internship’s requirements, I have to write a 10-15 page research paper on a legal topic. I am writing about the criminalization of HIV/AIDS transmission through means of tranmission that aren’t scientifically based. This may sound super complicated, but the research has actually been really interesting and I’m looking forward to bringing it all together. I’m thinking about going to law school after I finish undergrad, and I’ve really loved this internship.
Any sophomore, junior or senior at UB can apply for the SBI Legal internship in both the spring and the fall, so I would encourage anyone interested in law or thinking about going to law school to look into it. If you’re interested in finding an internship in a different field, either during the semester or during summer or winter breaks, there are many resources at UB where you can go. The Career Services Office is a great place to start. The staff there are very friendly and knowledgeable, and will help you search for an internship and prepare for an interview. Additionally, many departments offer internships through their department for academic credit during the school year, and have information about outside internships and how to apply for them. And if you look around campus, there are often internship opportunities posted on the bulletin boards and the banners hanging in the Student Union.
As crazy as it seems, this semester is winding down – we have only 5 more weeks of classes! There will be a lot going on around campus in the coming weeks, including Springfest, another Distinguished Speaker Series event, and Oozefest. I’ll be sure to keep you updated!
“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”
Hello again! We’re back at UB for the spring semester, although it definitely doesn’t feel like spring outside! The first few weeks back have been extremely cold, with bitter wind chills, blowing snow and frozen fingers and toes.
Even though the weather in Buffalo this winter has been somewhat frightful, UB students know how to have fun in the inclement weather! This semester there is an outdoor ice rink located outside of the Student Union where students can go to skate on campus. The rink’s planned hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday from mid-day to midnight and it is completely free for students. I think this is an amazing idea and though I haven’t gotten the chance to skate yet, I am really looking forward to it. I even brought back my ice skates from home in anticipation!
Unfortunately, as often happens in the blustery weather of winter, I got sick my first week back at UB this semester. After three days with a fever of 102 degrees, I went to MASH Urgent Care. UB has partnered with MASH Urgent Care this semester to provide health services for students when UB Student Health Services in Michael Hall is closed. I went on a Sunday afternoon, and I was grateful that I could go see a doctor on the weekend when the health center on South Campus is closed. I was told I had strep throat and given antibiotics. Almost two weeks later I am feeling much better! Now it’s time to dive in and get to work!
“O, wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
- Percy Bysshe Shelley
Hi all! We’re in the final days of the fall semester and exams, papers and projects are looming. Thanksgiving break this past week was a nice break and gave me a few days to regroup and recharge for this final push of the semester.
The Saturday before Thanksgiving break I explored Buffalo with my boyfriend, who isn’t from the area. We went to The Buffalo Zoo and saw the sea lions, the rainforest habitat and the reptile house. We spent most of our time though with the polar bears because they are my favorite. The zoo has two polar bear babies – Luna and Kali – and I love them. Kali is one month younger than Luna, and Luna just recently celebrated her one year birthday. They are currently on display in the tiger habitat while the tigers are sleeping during the day. They have a 5 foot deep pool so that they can practice their diving, and their habitat is full of toys and twigs. The bears also love to play in the mud and roll around.
While we were standing watching the bears playfully fight with each other and roll around with their toys in the pool, Kali, the male polar bear, jumped out of the pool and raced over to the windowed ledge where we were peering in. He stood up on his back legs and put his two front paws on the ledge in front of me and stuck his nose to the glass not even six inches from where I was standing! I was so shocked and so happy that he came to say hello to me!
After trekking in the cold, frigid air at the zoo we went to the Buffalo Science Museum. I hadn’t been to the museum since I was a kid and it was cool to look around. The museum has several floors and lots of interactive activities, though they’re geared mostly toward young children. One of the first things we saw when we walked in was a polar bear statue! We liked the space exhibit and the fossils and evolution displays the best. There’s also a pendulum at the museum that a professor at UB worked on!
There are plenty of fun things to do in Buffalo – the zoo and the science museum just being a few. Now that finals are nearly upon us I’m glad I was able to have a day of fun exploring. And I have pictures of Kali and Luna on my wall to help motivate me to the end of the semester!
“An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”
- Thomas Fuller