In the ‘spring’ semester, it’s still winter

Hey guys!

Welcome back to the snowy arctic-like tundra that is UB and the Buffalo surrounding area. The ‘spring’ semester is now underway, but the ice and blowing, drifting snow that characterize Buffalo winters will be sticking around – at least for the next few months. But winter weather offers lots of opportunities for outdoor (and indoor) activities at UB and in the surrounding community, so don’t despair. Here are a few ideas to take a break from classes and homework that will get your mind off of the cold:

 

UB’s Winterfest

This year, UB’s annual Winterfest celebration will take place on Saturday, February 14. UB is proud of its winter traditions, and will host a broomball tournament and ice skating and ice bowling on UB’s own wintertime outdoor ice rink. There will also be a snowman-building contest and an igloo-building contest and also sledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides throughout campus! Activities will go on rain or shine, sun or blizzard and will run from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Winterfest is a great way to meet new people on campus and enjoy Buffalo’s infamous winter weather.

 

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Ice skating at Northtown Center, Canalside or HARBORCENTER

Whether you’re an avid skater or new to the rink, there are lots of places in Buffalo to go ice skating, both indoor and out. At Canalside in downtown Buffalo, you’ll find an outdoor rink bigger than the rink at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Visitors can ice skate, participate in curling, and rent ice bikes. Skating is $5 and it’s $3 to rent skates, and curling costs $15 for an hour of ice time and includes an instructor and all the equipment necessary. Ice bikes can be rented for $10 for 30 minutes. If you’d rather skate indoors, you can visit the Northtown Center, directly across from the Flint Entrance of UB North Campus, or the HARBORCENTER, which is located in downtown Buffalo across from the First Niagara Center. Skating costs $6 and $3 for rentals at both the Northtown Center and HARBORCENTER. Above is a picture of me and my friends skating at the Northtown Center. There are also other outdoor ice skating rinks scattered throughout Western New York, including the actual ice rink used in the 2008 Winter Classic NHL game between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins – located in East Aurora.

 

Hot chocolate

If you’d prefer to relax and take a break from physical activity, enjoy a nice cup of warm hot chocolate at any number of cafes in Buffalo. If you’re up for a drive, Taste in East Aurora is well-known for its hot chocolate and build-your-own s’mores platter. If you’d like to stay closer to campus, you can visit SPoT Coffee in the Elmwood Village or Panera Bread, whose signature hot chocolate boasts a whipped cream, drizzled salted caramel and chocolate chip marshmallows.

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“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
- Hal Borland

Snowvember

Brrrrr!!

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.

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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.

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Phi Alpha Delta

Hi guys!

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.

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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!

 

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“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Apple picking!

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!

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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.

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“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
- Jim Bishop

UB Tailgate Series

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.

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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.

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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.

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“I’ve learned to never underestimate the impossible.”
- Joe Nichols, ‘The Impossible’

Free Art Fridays

Hello!

 

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.

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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.

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I encourage you to go out and explore the art that Buffalo has to showcase!

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“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 & catch up

Hi guys!

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!

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Spring Fest

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.

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Oozefest

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.

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“Oh pioneer, so young and brave, be careful of the careful souls who doubt you along the way.”
- The Band Perry, ‘Pioneer’

Party in the CFA!

Hello!

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.

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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!

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“I don’t want to be anything other than me.”
-Gavin DeGraw, ‘I Don’t Want To Be’

Internship opportunities

Hi guys!

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, I also have an internship. 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. It’s sure to be a fun end to the semester!

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“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”
-Thomas Edison

Snow & Sniffles

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.

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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!

 

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“O, wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
- Percy Bysshe Shelley