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Colby Got Class

Dancing has transformed since the old days. Instead of learning how to salsa, properly hip with the hop, or ballroom dance, people have come up with their own style of “dancing”. I use ” ” because I don’t know if you can really classify the way that people move as dancing. Personally, I have never been a fan of this sort of “dancing” but I digress. However, after the inauguration we had one of the fanciest events that I have ever attended.

To finish off the weekend of festivities, Colby held an Inaugural Ball for the whole community. Everyone was chitter chattering about it all over campus leading up to the event. The day before the ball, there was a spectacular display of fireworks and desserts on the quad. Desserts included candy apples, cake pops, candy, and of course apple cider and coffee. Food is always the most important thing for me. The fireworks were also beautiful, lasting much longer than expected. It got everyone fired up for the big dance.

So at normal events, people dance in the manner that I talked about earlier. They “dance”. But this event was so formal, with distinguished guests, such as professors and the President, and you wouldn’t want them to see you “dancing”. Thus, everyone classied it up. There were classy appetizers, classy music (live band who were amazing), classy chandeliers,  even classy couches to sit on if you got tired. Along with that everyone was dolled up in classy suits and dresses. Everyone danced normally! It was a normal, beautiful, classy ball. It was magical.

That’s what I love about Inauguration Weekend. You are inspired to do more, work harder, and be a better person. Change is always scary, but it is necessary for growth. Although Colby is already an amazing college, there is still more that we can do. More that we can become.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
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The View Looking Down

While I was technically at inauguration this past weekend, I was also technically inside the library, on the third floor, as opposed to sitting on the quad. And, since Anh did such a marvelous job covering what it was like being on the right side of the convocation, I’m going to stick to my side. The side looking outwards and onwards. Isn’t it beautiful?:

While the inauguration went on in the rain, any other festivities that might have occurred were postponed to a later rain date, making this past Saturday the perfect day to check out all the ins and outs of the renovated Miller Library. Boys and girls, am I impressed! What I considered enough of a travesty to write about it in The Libel (the school satire paper) last spring has miraculously turned into a fantastic, new, state-of-the-art library.

Yes, many of the books have been moved. But now instead of a ridiculous amount of open spaced tables encouraging way too much conversation and not enough solitude and silence, the library has been set up in a way that makes me excited not just to do my homework, but find a little nook to read my Kindle.

So let’s work our way up the library from the windows to the walls, beginning in the basement, aka “the street”. The tables are still there to work late, late night or early, early morning, but one side of the stairs has been removed for renovations upstairs. Without context, I’d be upset. But once you walk up the stairs, the first floor now has an amazing addition. In a space where I literally can’t remember ever going to before, there is now a giant reading room with magazines, newspapers, giant volumes of books and long oak tables. It is well lit, and if you can get a spot before it fills up, I think it might be the place to be. Directly across from it, right next to archives and special collections, what once used to be an austere and old-world-esque reading room, there is now a “cordoned” off, well-lit study room that only the brave will find.

Now, into the actual library, there is a grand new entrance hallway with a massive help desk that leads into the first floor. The first floor hasn’t changed much, but now that I’m used to it, it’s fine for the conversation and group-work floor. Similarly the second floor is sort of a group/study/quiet floor that has been better sectioned off, but like the street’s renovations, isn’t that different or life-changing.

But the third floor? The one upon which I looked out on inauguration (on the classroom side of the library.) Finally, it’s back to “the real deal” Evander Holyfield silent study room it was born to be. There are rows of cubicles, tables that are sectioned off littered across the third floor like Emperor Qin’s Terra Cotta army. Desks for days! I couldn’t be happier. So come check it out yourself.

Now, I could give you pictures, but then that would ruin the surprise, so you should probably just visit the new Miller 2014 Library.

About Jeb Waters

Hey, I am a junior originally from Connecticut, now living in Maine, although I live off campus currently. I am a Philosophy major with a minor in Administrative Science. I also play lacrosse at Colby and am a member of Mayflower Hill Capital. In my free time, I run a music blog, get down to the gym to play squash or go on adventures around Maine.
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This is Colby’s Time

Students are the antidote to society’s problems.
This is the time to act.
This is Colby’s time.

President Greene said these powerful words at his Inauguration Ceremony. Greene received a warm welcome from the entire community ranging from the largest level of the state to the smallest, tightly-knit ones of the faculty and students. I was impressed to see high-profile leaders, including the Maine State Representative and the Mayor of Waterville, expressing their hopes for the future and their love of Colby. However, I was glad that the student body (President of SGA) was able to have a voice as well. It was fascinating to hear all of the different perspectives that come together to form the place I now call home.

The theme throughout all of the speeches was community, which can be seen on a large or small scale. Having never been on a tour of Colby, it was fascinating to hear the history behind the school. I liked how the mayor of Waterville talked about not only efforts from the college to aid the town (such as with Main Street and the Railroad Cinema), but also how the town has come together to help Colby. There was a point when the school was near collapse. With outdated facilities and limited resources, Colby was crumbling. However, the town rallied together to create a fund to donate to Colby. In addition they helped move it from its former location to on top of Mayflower Hill where it now thrives. Moving an entire college is quite a feat. You have to pick up the entire school, clear land for it, and move every piece across town. But they accomplished it and look where we are now (haha, get it?).

On a smaller scale, professors and alumni spoke of all the grand changes the school has gone through and how Colby has transformed them into abled adults. Many professors think of Colby as their home as do many students.

Then it was time for the inaugural speech. Surrounded by everyone he loved, Greene gave an endearing speech. He talked about how he hoped to work more with the Waterville community to begin to economically revive the town. Because even though we are on top of the Hill, we should not distance ourselves from the community and people who could benefit from our help. As Greene looked over Miller lawn, he saw the future. It was an inspiring speech and I couldn’t help but feel pride for Colby.  Greene mentioned something that really stuck with me, he said “this moment does not belong to any single person.” It was such a special day for him but he looked beyond himself. This is about us, it’s about the community and the impact we can have on it. As students we are learning and working hard every day and it is not mindless work. We can change the world. This seems like such a distant ideal but we are the ones who have the power to create change. We are here. This is our time.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
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Inauguration Weekend

After a stressful week of deciding what major to pursue- involving running around campus meeting with as many professors as possible to receive their wisdom and guidance as well as adding and dropping half of my schedule on numerous occasions- I can finally sleep in peace now. My schedule is set, my books are in the cart, and I (at least for now) am content with my life.

As far as classes are concerned, I have a ton of work. I am taking five classes and I have two jobs and then you add in all of the extracurricular mumbo jumbo along with hanging out with friends and that is my life. You may be asking, why in the world would I ever put that much work and inevitably stress on myself? So the thing is…I have always loved conflicting subjects. Math and writing, engineering and anthropology…thus deciding on a major has always been a struggle for me. The only solution was to double major, however, this meant I would double major in two conflicting subjects. There would be no overlap. My entire schedule would have to be devoted to these two majors. Now the question was, is it worth it?

After much debate, endless discussions, and many freak outs I have come to the conclusion that it is. But now the moment of truth……what majors?

Drumroll please………

I have chosen to major in Computer Science and Global Studies.
Wo0o0oo0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0o00

Such a big weight lifted off of my shoulders. Phew!

In other big news, this weekend our new president will be inaugurated into office. This has come with many celebrations and tents shooting up everywhere. I am ready for a formal and enormous ceremony and celebration! This includes delicious meals, receptions, and desserts (which is what I am most excited for) as well as student and faculty showcases and an Inaugural Ball where faculty and students will be able to mingle outside of class (which can either be awesome or awkward…). This shall be a weekend to remember!  Huzzah for President Greene and huzzah for new beginnings.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
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Colloquium

Coloquial? Cah low key um? I’d never heard of this word until my Philosophy major began. First off, Philosophy is not the only major with a colloquium. However, at the same time, I can’t say I have ever heard any of my friends in other majors mention anything about a colloquium.

So, in that case, perhaps the colloquium is something somewhat unique to the philosophy major. Which begs the question, what is the Philosophy Colloquium?

Well, a colloquium, according to Merriam-Webster, is an academic meeting in which a professor delivers a talk and then answers questions. And that is exactly what the Philosophy Colloquium is. Twice a semester, a professional philosopher comes to Colby and delivers a talk on a paper he has been writing or has written. Then, a few students and professors ask some questions.

The Colloquium itself is a two semester “course” that you can take any time once you have declared Philosophy as your major. During the semester you’re taking it, you are required to go to both Colloquiums. In addition, everyone signed up receives the paper that will be discussed a few days in advance, reads the paper and then sends in a question on Moodle (I’ll discuss Moodle in another post). We meet up with the professor who has brought in the philosopher in question and discuss our responses and the paper for about an hour and then later that week attend the talk. Other people are welcome to attend the talk, and while it is usually a pretty heavy philosophy crowd, everyone can stop by for the hour.

Plato isn’t walking around the university giving spiels to the students anymore, so the Colloquium is a unique way for current students to see what’s going in the realm of Philosophy. The topics can range from Hegel and Skepticism and Humor all the way to Chinese Ethics. Each topic has its own nuances and depth and in some cases extreme complexity, but it’s always a satisfying experience to hear someone reason out their argument and respond to objections on the spot.

Once you’re in your second colloquium, usually as a senior, you’ll even get a chance to be put on the spot and demonstrate your philosophical clout by posing an objection or a question in front of the whole colloquium for the visiting professor/Philosopher to respond to.

So, if you’re interested in Philosophy, maybe you should swing by a colloquium sometime and see what it’s all about.

About Jeb Waters

Hey, I am a junior originally from Connecticut, now living in Maine, although I live off campus currently. I am a Philosophy major with a minor in Administrative Science. I also play lacrosse at Colby and am a member of Mayflower Hill Capital. In my free time, I run a music blog, get down to the gym to play squash or go on adventures around Maine.
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Welcome Back!

Remember when your mom used to wait with you at the bus stop and wave as the big yellow machine took you away? You would press your face to the window, watching her become a blur and be filled with a combination of excitement and fear. That’s still how I feel every first day of school.

WoOoOoOoOoOoOooOooOooooOOOoOOOoO!

I made it, I am officially a sophomore. With the honor of being able to say that I have completed 25% of college and have a year under my belt, I also get the joy of constantly freaking out about what to major in. Sadly I was not one of those lucky kids who came to college knowing what I wanted to be in life. Instead, I get to try out a bunch of interesting classes (perks of being at a liberal arts college) and fall in love with each one, thus making my choice even harder…..yay. But (thankfully) I have already narrowed down my choices to Global Studies and Computer Science. So we’ll see how that goes, updates to come!

Coming back was wonderful. Everything is new but there are also old comforts. Reunions have been my favorite part. When you see a friend from a distance and you both barrel towards each other into a tight embrace. So beautiful. However, I am also excited about all of my classes and the new area where I am living. It’s weird to be in a different part of campus. I miss good ole Foss but I have returned for many meals. Walking through the doors of Foss always brings back nostalgic memories.

So the question you hear all around campus is “how was your summer?” I have perfected my answer to three quick bullet points of the most exciting things I did. This prevents the inevitable uuuummmmmmm… that describes my boring life. So this summer I went to a One Direction concert at Gillette Stadium which was epic, I traveled to New York three time all for different purposes and with different people, and my friends and I drove to Montreal where everyone spoke French! It was a fantastic summer that I surely will fill you all in on at some point. But for now let me just welcome you (back) to Colby and wish you a spectacular year!

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
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The Final Countdown

At last, with only two days left on campus and three exams completed, there is just one exam to go! One test stands between me and freedom. Seven questions until summer officially starts! I wish there was more time on campus to just relax. There are so many people here that I want to hang out with but we are always so busy. Then as soon as exams end, the campus grows deserted. Although summer is not too long, not seeing my friends for even a single day seems weird. I have eaten, talked to, and simply seen all of these people every single day. I live with these people! Now, I won’t see them for three whole months and that saddens me, but I know that we will all go our separate ways and have an amazing summer. And then our paths will cross again and we will reunite.

For my last blog post, I thought it was time to explain why I chose Colby College.

Honestly, I visited Colby once and it left little of an impression on me. I don’t remember much of my experience except that I thought Colby was pretty and had a beautiful quad. I wasn’t planning on coming to Colby. It was a random choice thrown onto my application checklist because my guidance counselor thought it was a good fit. But things don’t always go the way you plan them to.

I didn’t get into many of the schools that I thought I would. In the end, I was left with three school and a bunch on the dreaded waiting list. Between Colby, Emmanuel, and Northeastern, I chose Colby because they provided tremendous financial aid for me. My other schools’ financial aid package could not compare to Colby’s. That, in short, is how I ended up here.

Then the day arrived to actually move in. Deciding on a college is a big choice but you don’t really feel it until you are there. Sure I had chosen Colby, but that meant nothing until I was actually on the campus and watched my parents drive away. As I unpacked my boxes, it hit me and I was filled with fear. What if the people were all intense hikers or hippies? What if they didn’t have the classes or majors I was interested in? What if I couldn’t handle being on my own? What if I made the wrong choice?

All of these thoughts swirled around in my head throughout the day as I awkwardly tried to start up conversation with my floor mates. I was thankful that I had my dorm to eat with the first couple of days and then I met my COOT. Although I was terrified that COOT would be super outdoorsy and I would be at the back of the pack the entire trip, COOT was a fantastic experience. I saw the beauty in Maine, had a lot of fun mooning my cross-COOT, and ended the extravaganza with ice cream at Dairy Cone. After meeting my Community Advisors (CAs) and COOT parents, I realized that there are so many passionate people on campus. These people were so open and such born leaders. They all deserved the spot and made me feel completely welcomed. As I grew closer to the people in my dorm, I began to truly feel at home. Within a couple of weeks we had multiple texting groups going and ate every meal together. We were already joking around about being perpetually alone and needing someone to cuddle with. Just like that everything was okay.

Although I chose Colby based off of financial aid, I am so happy to be here. I have met some of my best friends. We have talked about visiting each other, whether it be in New York, Nicaragua, or Germany. We have discussed being at each other’s weddings. I am so glad I chose Colby, because Colby has some of the kindest, friendliest, engaged, dedicated, and hard-working people. There is always someone doing something amazing on campus and pursuing whatever it is that makes them passionate. And there are always people there to help out and join in. I’ve met people who are so intelligent, but no one talks about grades or GPAs. You know they are smart, because they talk about the things they are learning in class with such great depth. Everyone is learning and enjoying life together. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d want to be.

 

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
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To Study or Not?

To study or not to study? That is the question that every Colby student faces at the end of second semester. On one hand, there are still classes to attend, papers to write, and exams to study for. But on the other hand, every day has been beautiful. The weather is finally cooperating and bringing sunshine and warmth. After a long winter, all I want to do is run and jump and dance and sing outside! Thus, we come to this conundrum.

This is the conclusion I have come to.

At the end of year everyone just want to chill and hang out and be happy! We have all worked so hard and we deserve to have some fun. Plus, there is a reading period of two days provided to study so there is still time. The weekend is truly meant to just relax. So that is what I have been doing. Pure, guilt-free, and most importantly, work-free days.

My classes have all ended and I have learned a lot. Social Psychology has taught me how people behave in groups and has given me a new perspective on the actions of my peers and my own as well. I ponder on why I do the things I do and how others have influenced that choice of mine. Computer Science has taught me to compute computationally and write all sorts of programs in Python. I have learned a whole new language! Vector Calculus……yeah I’m not going to pretend that understand that class. I love math and I am doing fine in the class, but I have no clue what I am doing. I cannot make sense of college math! But I can say that my teacher is a really nice person….if that counts as something? Finally, Heroes of the World has shown me different cultural constructions of heroes throughout time and all the way across the world. I can also see many movies and stories as epic quests now. Sometimes I complain about work and, yes, at times I procrastinate because I feel like work is so irksome but I have greatly enjoyed my classes and my professors.

Knowing this, I have spent this past weekend doing what I want to do. And I think it’s important to do that every once in awhile. To not worry about exams or stress about the future, but to be content in this moment and realize all of the wonderful things that surround us. Yesterday I watched the movie About Time where the main character is able to go back in time. He used his power to relive each day but to notice all of the little, amazing things and appreciate them. That is what my weekend has been filled with: loving the friends I’ve made, the dorm I live in, the beautiful weather, taking in the green buds sprouting from trees, and the privilege I have to be at an incredible college receiving a great education. This last weekend has truly been fun; filled with much frolicking. And it’s sad sometimes, and change is hard, but I understand that it is time to move forward. I’m not a wee little freshman anymore.

Finally made it onto the roof! Mission Accomplished

 

Fireworks to celebrate finishing

 

Loudness Theme: Woodstock (so of course, flowers are a must)

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
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A Subliminal Spring

I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting or delightful end to my senior year here at Colby. The weather was warm, my classes had their creative and fun moments, I officially handed in my Senior Scholar project (which I’ve been working on for awhile), and the food served at the dining halls this week seemed especially suited to my taste buds.

Yesterday, I had the last class session of my Senior Seminar in English, a course on James Joyce and Ulysses. Senior Seminars are bookend courses in the English major (students begin their English coursework with 172, which is a seminar course, and they end it with the Senior Seminar). In this particular seminar, we spent most of the term reading the eighteen whirlwind chapters of Ulysses, although we also covered The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and several critical essays related to these texts. As part of our final class, we all brought in an object that resembled a character or an aspect of Ulysses to display as part of a group picture: showcased objects ranged from a potato to a brass bed quoit to a stuffed dog. Thus, on Wednesday afternoon, armed with symbols of Ulysses, my classmates and I headed to the Miller steps to take our crazy picture, truly appreciative of all that we have learned this term by being able to work out and discuss some of the pressing themes in this challenging text.

That seminar comprised much of my final Wednesday afternoon of the regular semester at Colby, and, after it ended, a classmate (who is also pursuing a PhD in English) and I headed back up Miller steps and to the English department. We shared a glass of champagne with some members of the department and enjoyed an afternoon of fellowship with the professors who have so profoundly shaped our thinking over these past four years.

I write this blog a day later, having just finished my final Colby class, Global Women Writers. It was 65 degrees this afternoon, so my professor decided to lead the class outdoors on Miller lawn. Classes outdoors are advertised as a fairly common Colby experience, at least for humanities majors. I often walk by classes that are taking place on the lawn during the Spring, although, personally speaking, today’s class marks only the second time that I’ve had a class outside. I’m glad that my final Colby classroom experience took place in such a pleasant environment. It certainly felt sublime (in the Burkeian way, in that this was both a climactic and happy experience, but also a sad one) to participate in my final classes this week, even though I’ll be completing much more coursework as a graduate student in the future.

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Is it Ever Too Late to Make New Friends?

Is it ever too late to make new friends? You might think the answer is no, but it seems that once you become close to a group of friends…you stay that way. Unless you are a freshman and are frantically trying to meet people by being super friendly, most people stick to their friend group, which makes sense, but creates gaps. People habitually sit with the same people day after day, meal after meal. Without even realizing it, they are closing themselves off to the rest of the campus that is thriving with life. Not many people are willing to sit with someone who is alone or start up conversation with someone new. Well here is your chance!

I was a weird child. For some reason, something that I was super excited to do in college, (nope it wasn’t being able to decorate my room or eating buffet style for every meal) was to come to the dining hall and sit with someone random. Meals are times for socializing and I really wanted to interact with as many people as possible and learn from them. Where I come from the school was mainly one type of person….and I was ready for a change.

This was the opportunity I was waiting for. I could finally start up random conversation with people over a meal. Maybe I would never see them again or maybe they would become my best friend. But you never know until you try, right? However, a big problem was that it takes guts to go up to someone or a group of people that you don’t know at all and ask if you can sit with them. Now, I wasn’t worried about them saying no. I was worried that they would only talk to each other and that I would just be sitting there not knowing what to do! I would feel the pressure to talk or feign interest or pretend to be super exciting.  Somehow I got up the courage to just walk over, smile, and say hello.

This was a beautiful way of making new friends. At the beginning of the year, I spent hours upon hours in dining halls just jumping from friend to friend and meeting new people. And I actually made a bunch of friends or at least I know a lot more people now. And all of them still say hi to me.

Colby has started the Red Mug Movement to try to instigate conversation between strangers. Brought about by the Students for an Engaged Society, the mugs have been in Foss since April. Sometimes it’s hard to know if someone sitting alone is lonely or content. The red mugs act as a nonverbal indicator, saying hi, I want to get to know someone new. I’m ready to make a new friend.

I really like the idea of the red mugs, but I’m unsure of the success of the project thus far. Some people take a red mug simply because they like the color. Without knowing its meaning, the cups are losing their significance. Furthermore, some people take a mug but sit with a bunch of friends. For a stranger, it would be difficult to approach an entire group of people versus one or two. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing how the red mugs progress! I support them and their attempt to create a more engaged student body fully!  Let’s start making friends again. ^_^

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
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