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December 17, 2007

Light Blogging Over Winter Break

It's been a bit light on the blog these days as Morris students are currently wrapping up their semester with the glorious fun of final exams.

Classes will be back in session on January 22nd, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. So expect the blogging to pick pack up in pace around then. I myself will be taking a vacation too, though not quite as long as the students get. I'll be in New England for two weeks visiting family.

In case you get bored during vacation and are seriously lacking stimulation due to the light amount of blogging feel free to explore the archives for things you may have missed. If you want to see any of the topics expanded upon please leave a comment on the entry and the blogger will get back to you as soon as possible. It's like digital voicemail.

That's all for Now!

December 16, 2007

Winter Break

I am so excited for Winter Break to come! This countdown has been going for sometime now (along with my Christmas countdown!!). I have a 10 page paper to write for College Writing and one final for my Solar Systems class. Pretty descent schedule if you ask me! All around campus, that's what everyone is thinking about! People lock themselves in their rooms and hibernate in the library, trying to get those last hours of studying in. I myself have made at least 3 trips to the library in attempt to study and write my paper.

What we, as freshmen, realized is this Winter Break will be the start of amazing winter breaks to come!! Why? Because we won't have any homework to do over break like we did in High School! Am I right? Think about it. You usually always had some sort of homework over the classic Christmas break during High School. This college winter Break means NO HOMEWORK! NEW SEMESTER! I'm so excited for homecooked meals again and playing in the snow with my friends!! 3 more days! Just 3 more days!!!

December 14, 2007

The Homestretch!

With one week left of fall semester, I am stuck thinking about my entire career here at UMM. Freshman year I would not have guessed that my experience would have played out the way it did over the years. Of course I have had many ups and downs, but all of the ups cancel out the bad things (like my failed art history exam first semester freshman year!). I have done many cool things these past few years including Habitat for Humanity in Georgia, TREC tutor program at the elementary school, Leadership Conference and college fair in Chicago, and also my study abroad experience in Venezuela. Those are just the tip of the iceberg, and I could go on for pages with the other activities, whether organized or spontaneous, that I participated in. With one semester left (and half of that being spent in Madrid) I still have 1/8th of my college life to experience, and that is more than enough time to close out my UMM career in a big and positive way.

Because winter is upon us, I thought I would upload a picture from Margarita Island Venezuela that reminds me of warmer, sunnier times...


December 12, 2007

Pancakes for finals!

Friday is the last day of classes for this semester, which means that final exams begin on Monday.

UMM hosts a pretty neat event at the end of each Fall Semester: the day before finals, there is "The Great Pancake Feed". It happens in the evening, and faculty and staff serve students pancakes to help them load up on their carbs to boost their energy levels for finals. Here's a link about this year's event:

Maybe next year I'll be serving YOU a pancake!


December 11, 2007

Senior Projects and the Undergraduate Research Symposium

Today I attended four English senior seminars and last week I attended an Economics/ Management senior seminar. It is getting to that time of year again during which senior project presentations are recurring agenda items. If students come to visit during a time of frequent presentation it can be a good idea to see what seniors are doing in their or other fields at UMM. I think it allows prospective students a peak into the future life as a college student as well as see what a projects they could work on if they are interested. To date I have attended a Biology, Political Science, as well as the ones I listed before; all have been superb displays of UMM’s excellent academics.


Another great opportunity many of these seniors and any other students who have participated in research may participate in is the Undergraduate Research Symposium held in the spring each year. Student across the campus present research, creative work, and art performances to an audience that includes an audience beyond the limits of our campus. Some years the President of the University Of Minnesota and some Regents have been in attendance. This years Undergraduate Research Symposium is set for April 4, 2008. Click Here if you are interested in more information about it.

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Photo: Chancellor Johnson with a student presenter at the 2007 URS

Finals week approaches...

Now begins the time of absolute panic for all those students who have been putting off homework and projects for the last couple weeks. Time for finals...those dreaded tests that have been talked up and set up as some enormous flesh and blood monster that can devour the unwary student in mere seconds. And the thing is, in some cases, I believe those rumors. The upcoming Microeconomics final, as well as Calculus and Art History finals, really do seem to be horrific beasts lurking just out of site. The last minute scramble trying to get everything handed in and all tests taken will be worth it, though, because in a week and a half we'll have a full month off before beginning a new semester. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: it's hard to believe that the first semester is already almost over. With all the activities and fun and the occasional bit of homework, time flies!

well, it's time for me to get back to writing that paper that I should have written yesterday...

December 10, 2007

Listen To Cougar Basketball Games Online!

UMM’s Cougar Sports Network will be providing live webcasts of all men’s and women’s home basketball games this season. Check out the archives for all completed games from both this season and last season. If you are interested in any of our athletic teams, prospective students are encouraged to request information from the coaching staff.


December 6, 2007


Bonjour tout le monde!

I am really excited to be included in this blog. Thanks, Ben, for inviting me!

Let me introduce myself. My official title is Associate Professor of French. The word "Associate" means that I am tenured and am working my way towards the ultimate goal of becoming a Full Professor. (To get tenure, professors must hold a terminal degree, which means a Ph.D. for most of us; we must publish quite a few articles or books to establish our reputation in scholarship; we must show a record of excellence in teaching; and we must engage in service to our disciplines by participating in national committees, helping to organize conferences, etc. To become a Full Professor, we need to engage in the same kinds of activities, but develop a much more detailed record.) I have traveled all over the world, especially in Europe and in Africa. This summer I went to South America for the first time, to the French Guyana, a French département! It was really wonderful, and I even got to spend a week in the rain forest! What else can I say about myself? My research focuses on feminism in African literature and film, and also on immigration in France. I am married and have two daughters, plus an exchange student son from Germany this year. We also have two cats and some fish. Feel free to check out my web site.

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This coming summer, I'm the professor leading the "July in Paris" study abroad program with the help of my T.A., Caitlin Siefkes (a senior double majoring in French and Anthropology). She and I just returned from visiting our sister campuses in Minneapolis and Duluth to do some recruiting. It was fun to renew or make connections at those campuses! The early deadline for this year's May and Summer study abroad programs is December 14th, so a lot of our students are in the process of reading brochures and deciding where they'd like to travel this year. Do they want to go to Paris? Brazil? China? Scotland? England? Czechoslovakia? Italy, Austria and Bavaria? These are a few of the options through UMM. Of course, being part of the U of MN system, our students are also looking at programs offered through the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, because their programs are open to all U of MN students. Pretty cool! The July in Paris program is a lot of fun, and we always have a mix of students from Morris, Minneapolis, and Duluth. It is great to make connections with students on those other campuses.

Think croissants and cheese!

Sarah Buchanan

December 5, 2007


The end of the semester is coming nearer and students all around campus are scurrying to get projects finished, papers written, and study for finals. These all seem quite overwhelming, yes, but when you have some sort of release, it all seems to be not so much.

The release I'm talking about is snow. Yes, the ever so classic, white, fluffy, cold snow. Morris had it's first measurable amount this weekend and it was quite the blizzard! Of course you'll have those handful of students who would rather stay inside and order Pizza Hut to the dorm rooms, but then you'll have the students (like myself) who ran outside at the first sign of a snowflake. Students all around campus were seen having snowball fights on the mall, making snowangels all over, and the ever so classic, writing your names in the snow. My friends and I were the first to step foot in the "lake" on Saturday to write our names. Fresh, white, powdery snow layed before as we started to shuffle our feet in the design of our names. As seen in this pic, Abe is on top, Bridget (me) is in the middle, and Nate is on the bottom.

We had such a blast this weekend! The University and Concert Choir's had their Carol Concert all weekend (yes, even during the blizzard!) They did such an amazing job! There were even refreshments afterwards! It just put me into the Christmas Spirit even moreso!

Well, I must be going to my last intramural basketball game! Wish me luck!
Until next time!

December 3, 2007

What Is There To Do In Morris?

Many times when talking with prospective students, they often ask me in a skeptical voice, "What is there to do in Morris?"

The short answer is -- MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE!

When students visit campus I always have them go to student center and stand in front of the student activities whiteboard to pick what events they would attend if they were a current student. On this whiteboard they list all of the events for the week. In order to provide this experience virtually, I am now sitting in front of the whiteboard with my computer much to the curiosity of the students walking by. Some highlights of the coming weeks are a winter theater production, the holiday art sale, a jazz dance, open mic night, an improv show, a basketball game, ... Ok, enough, Here is a picture instead. Feel free to click on the picture to make it even bigger. You can also explore the digital events calendar.

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Due to the recent snow, I should also add that only 45 minutes away is Andes Tower Hills where I took my first snowboarding lesson last Sunday. So far my defining trick is the face plant followed by an awkward cartwheel. Hopefully I'll be X-Games ready by the end of the spring!

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