End of the semester: TIME TO CHECK OUT!

Halls close at 6PM on May 13th for everyone except those approved (graduating seniors who are registered for senior week activities)
-You should plan to be out 24 hours after your last final

– 24 hour quiet hours begin 5/1 (tomorrow) at 9PM

Checkout process 
        -express: You don’t need hunt down an RA to check your room, just fill out an express checkout pass
        -regular: You need to bring the RA to your room to check your room before you go

– RAs will be available to checkout (10-5 and 7-11 weeknights, 10-3 and 7-11 weekends) in the office

– ALL TRASH should be taken to the dumpster – nothing should be put in the hallways

– Prepare room for checkout (clean and empty everything, remove decorations, posters, hooks, etc)  SWEEP AND MOP (cleaning supplies will be available to checkout in office)

– Review the checklist provided by the RA and sign and date (and add the time) when you leave. THIS IS NOT AN EXPRESS CHECKOUT – you still need to checkout with an RA or express form.  Improper checkout is a $25 fine.  Failure to return key is $75.  

-Anything left in a room will be removed and placed in the staff office for 72 hours. 
GOOD LUCK on finals! Enjoy the rest of the semester and this lovely weather! 😎

Favorite Dip/Spread

Mainly consisting of chickpeas and tahini hummus/hummous/hommos/humos/hommus/hoummos (depending on how you want to spell it) is delicious. You can spread it on anything or dip anything into it. Best served cold and inconsistently spelled throughout the English language. You can’t go wrong with hummus because of it’s versatility. It can be used as an appetizer and scooped with Pita bread. Hummus can also be quite the companion to falafel. Hummus loves you and  you should love hummus back. In fact, hummus loves you so much that it bestows upon you iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and a significant amount of folate. The chickpea base is also a good source of protein and dietary fiber. The tahini consists mostly of sesame seeds which are an excellent source of methionine which compliments the protein of the chickpeas.

While delicious and having your best interests at heart hummus has not been free from the grasps of controversy. In October 2008 the Association of Lebanese Industrialists petitioned to request protection from the European Commission for hummus to be considered uniquely a Lebanese food. The ALI then stated that Israel has a long history of usurping several Lebanese products. Fadi Abboud, the president of ALI, was angered that Israel “stole” Lebanese dishes and had more success at selling them nationally than Lebanon did. These dishes are not limited to the amazingness that is hummus; falafel, tabbouleh, and baba ghanouj are also considered stolen by Abboud. As of late 2009 ALI was still preparing documents and proof to support its claims.

On the brighter side of hummus, Lebanon holds the Guinness World Record for the largest dish of hummus in the world. The dish was prepared by 300 cooks and weighed 23,000 pounds.

The one down side to making your own hummus is that you need to peel all of the skins off of the chickpeas or when you puree them you might experience left over skin in your hummus and no one wants that.


OH NO! Finals!

Finals are just around the corner and they are the one thing that separates your from your summer. This is no time to slack on studying though. Finals are super important and most likely you need to take it to pass the class. So if you want to do well you’re going to need a few things to get ready to not only take them but also do well.When I say that you will need a few things I mean that you will need them to create the ultimate study tool to ensure that you pass your finals.

Thing 1: Inspirational Music

When you think of inspirational songs you instantly think 80’s. If you don’t then you missed out on a generation of movies that had some of the best training montages in the existence of everything. Everyone knows that if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you need a montage. Even Rocky had a montage. A montage is also the most effective way to show a lot of things happening at once to remind everyone it would take too long. It is kind of like having Hermione’s Time-Turner but leagues better. Some of the most inspirational songs I know of are

1) Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
2) Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
3) The Final Countdown by Europe
4) You’re the Best by Joe “Bean” Esposito
5) Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti

All of those songs are amazing and get you pumped up just listening to them. Don’t believe me? Think about this. If it wasn’t for the song You’re the Best by Joe Esposito, Ralph Macchio would have not made it past the second round of the All Valley Karate Tournament and would have continued to get bullied by Billy Zabka. Thanks to Joe, Ralph was able to kick butt and take names in one of the best movie montages of all time. It took Rocky one training montage per movie in order to win his fight. Think of what a montage could do to help you pass your finals.

Thing 2: Knowing how to make a montage

If you lack the video editing or access to a camera that really hinders your ability to make the montage. You can read more about finding a camera or gaining access to video editing knowledge through utilization of the internet or a friend for the camera.

If you don’t have a montage for you studying there is only one way I can think of that can describe your situation

Seriously I don’t know how you study without a montage

Study Abroad!

Ever wanted to travel abroad? 
Attending college can be a very special time for anybody. The four years (hopefully) is a time for you to learn a lot, make new friends, and most importantly try new things.
In my opinion the first year of college is the most fun. Not to say the rest of college isn’t fun, but most students fall into a pattern of comfort and do the same things over and over again, so why not switch it up your Sophomore or Junior year by studying abroad? 
The University of Massachusetts Lowell has a very large study abroad program and you can study anywhere in the world! You can study abroad any semester, including the summer. 
Studying abroad can definitely be confusing and I’m sure you have a lot of questions so here is some FAQ:
Will the courses I take abroad transfer back to UMass Lowell?
Yes, pending pre-authorization. There is a process to pre-approve the courses that you plan to take for transfer of credits back to UMass Lowell. You must file paperwork with the study abroad advisor to get your coursework approved prior to your departure.   Your grade must be a grade of C- or better in order to receive credit for the course.

Can I get financial aid for a study abroad program?
If you are eligible for financial aid while attending UMass Lowell, you may also be able to receive financial aid from UMass Lowell in order to study abroad. You are considered to still be a student of the university, while you are a full-time student abroad and are therefore eligible to apply for and receive financial aid.
Who can go on study abroad or exchange?
Any UMass Lowell student can study abroad with proper approvals. The GPA requirements vary widely for each study abroad program. Most study abroad programs have a minimum requirement of a 2.5 to a 3.0 cumulative GPA. In addition, most programs require you to be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
Is studying abroad more expensive than my normal college costs?
Not necessarily. It all depends on the program you choose. There are programs available in a large range of costs.

Do I have to speak a foreign language to study abroad?
Sometimes you do. In most cases, knowledge of a foreign language is not required. There are English-speaking countries and programs all over the world. You can do all of your coursework in English, or if you have competency in another language, you may take some or all of your classes in that language!

How many classes can I take while I am on study abroad?
During fall and spring semester programs, students must maintain full-time status at an accredited academic institution while on the study away program. Students typically take four to five classes per semester, just like they do at UMass Lowell. Students who participate in short-term programs in the winter or summer take one to two courses.

I hope that cleared up some possible questions you may have had. If you are interested in studying in a specific location or country. Feel free to check out all the possible study abroad programs offered, located here.
Or you can contact Umass Lowell’s Study Abroad office by phone at 978-934-4660 or by email at: StudyAbroad@uml.edu 
Or you can stop by the office located at: 
UMass Lowell, South Campus  
O’Leary Library, 271M   
Lowell, MA 01854 

Spring Carnival!!!!


April 26th

All Time Low and Pierce The Veil Concert w/ opener Mayday Parade
Tsongas Center // 6:30 PM
$27 tickets @ Tsongas Center Box Office
Culture Shock
Campus Rec Center // 7 PM
$5 for all @ the door
Culture Shock After Party
Cumnock Hall// 11PM- 3AM
$5 for all @ the door
April 27th

UMass Lowell Day of Service
9AM- 12:30PM
Meet in the CRC Lawn at 9AM
Transportation provided, Snack & BBQ for all participants
Sign up at www.uml.edu/clubs
Beat the Heat
CRC Lawn// 12:30- 3PM
Stand up against climate change!
Music, food and giveaways!
Spring Carnival
Tsongas Center Back Lawn // 3-6PM
Club booths, Music, Food and Novelties!!
UML Got Talent
Cumnock Hall// 7PM
$3 Students and $5 for public

The Question of Choice:
April 25 – 28 2013
Comley Lane Theatre
Tickets on Sale @ the South SIC (McGauvran 220)


Spring is finally here!
How great does it feel to where shorts again???

Seriously, it’s hard not to get hyped when it’s been so nice out lately. Birds are chirping, everyones wearing shorts and stuff, everyone has stopped hibernating and are soaking up the sun. It feels great. Not to mention, theres only about a month of school left.
Doesn’t it feel like 3rd grade recess? It sure does to me. I was on east campus this weekend just sitting with my friends watching everyone enjoy life. It was awesome. I even got the privilege of witnessing some dude get hit in the face with a frisbee. 
Well here are some fun things I put together to get you outside and enjoying the sun and getting some fresh air. 
  • Longboard!!!! Longboarding is honestly one of the funnest things I have ever done. I used to skate board a lot until I destroyed my ankle so I switched to longboarding and I’ll never go back. Even if you’ve never longboarded before, it’s so easy to pick up. Go try somebodys board out and see if you like it. Then go ahead and buy one if you do, you’ll thank me later.
  • Be a stoop kid. Honestly, I hungout on my friends apartment stoop all day yesterday and I loved it. Whether your hanging out on the stoop of Fox hall or the stoop of your best friend’s apartment, to each their own. Just soaking up the sun and relaxing is the greatest feeling ever. Just relaxing and being stress free is perfect. Listen to the radio and mellow out. I did that all day yesterday and it was the perfect day. 
  • Hangout with that special someone. Nothings better than a little spring fling. 
  • Sit in the sun and read a good book. A little bit of alone time is good too. 
Lastly, enjoy your time with your college friends, since once summer hits and schools over and everyone goes back to wherever they came from and hangout with their old friends its over. You might see your college friends over the summer but its just not the same. So soak it up and enjoy it while it lasts. 
Enjoy your day everybody,

Walk to get the job DONE!

Sitting all day at a desk job can be devastating to your health. In fact, it can shave years off your life. Studies show that a sedentary lifestyle causes cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and more.

Researchers say that while working out at the gym during leisure time helps, it’s not enough. The key is to get moving – standing and walking – throughout long days at the office to keep circulation flowing and health ailments at bay. But can office workers be productive and safe while picking up the pace? 
That’s where Assoc. Prof. Manuel Cifuentes of the Work Environment Department comes in. He is testing the use of treadmills and sit-to-stand electric desks with five University employees. The volunteers began integrating movement into their daily work lives in August. Once they adapted to their new workspaces, there was no turning back. 
“We’re really talking about interrupting long periods of sitting to get the body moving throughout the day,” says Cifuentes who received funding for the project from the Center for Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace’s (CPH-NEW) Pilot Grant Program. “The treadmills and stand-up desks are promising solutions to help people stay healthy but are in need of some improvements.” 
After installing the treadmills and desks in the offices of five employees, Cifuentes and his research team conducted focus groups and found that most of the volunteers are using the standing desks but not the treadmills. 
One of the participants, Director of Human Resources and Payroll Operations Hilary Clark, is happy with her workspace now but she didn’t feel that way at first. “In the beginning, I had the treadmill facing the corner but it was awkward and I hardly ever used it,” she says. “Then one day, I rearranged it so that my standing desk and treadmill faced forward with a small table and chairs in front for visitors.” 
The set up is just one of the challenges; another is productivity. Learning what tasks you can and can’t do while walking or standing is critical to success. 
“I’m finding that I can be productive on the treadmill while reading emails and talking on the phone,” says Clark. “I find it more difficult concentrating on a spreadsheet, entering information in a database and using a calculator while walking. It really is about finding what works best for you and adjusting.” 
The adjustment from sitting all day to walking and standing is a process. It took users about two weeks to adjust physically. Some participants reported discomfort in their feet and knees but then the pain disappeared. In the beginning of the trial, Clark would stand for an hour or two on one day and then sit for three days straight. The key for her was rearranging her space and wearing the right shoes. Today, she stands all day and wouldn’t have it any other way. 
“I feel so much better not being stuck in a chair,” she says. “My mind seems to work faster and I process information better.” “All participants are now standing all day long,” says Cifuentes. “It might not seem like much but when you stand, you are moving without realizing it.” 
Don’t Take Away That Treadmill Just Yet 
Use of the treadmill is not as popular as standing. Clark likes standing better than walking because she is more productive. But don’t take away that treadmill just yet. 
“Even though the six-month study is over, I signed up for the next phase for three years,” she says. “I don’t think I could go back to sitting all day long. I’m determined to use the treadmill more and have some ideas on how to improve the design. I’d like a smaller treadmill and one that just turns on when you start walking without a button.” 
This is exactly this type of feedback that the product manufacturers are finding valuable. 
Cifuentes says: “There are some design changes that need to be made to make the treadmill safer for employees and integrate more seamlessly into work spaces. We never want to shift hazards so making sure that employees are safely adopting this technology is one of our primary goals of the research.” 
That means working with manufacturers who make the equipment to improve the designs. Cifuentes recently presented the study results to insurance companies, furniture and treadmill manufacturers and educational institutions at a conference hosted by Jaymil Ergo & Office Solutions.
“Today, the ‘gym’ treadmill is not ready for mass consumption in offices,” says Cifuentes. “But with some design changes such as shortening the treadmill, limiting the miles per hour and automatic turn on, the potential for use and improving health is tremendous. In the meantime, organizations could provide employees with a shared area with treadmills where workers could sign up to walk.” 
About the Center for Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace Pilot Grant Program 
CPH-NEW Pilot Grant Program supports small grants of up to $12,000 per year to conduct preliminary studies or demonstration projects. Projects must relate to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s “Total Worker Health program” – the integration of occupational safety and health with workplace health promotion to prevent injury or illness and to advance health and well-being of workers. To request information, send an email to CPHNEW@uml.edu to receive the announcement for the 2013 Pilot Grant Program.


Why you shouldn’t be afraid of zombies

For every painfully long and almost unendurable episode of The Walking Dead there are a number of things that are simply overlooked about the character flaws of zombies. There is a reason that almost every zombie movie starts in an apocalyptic setting because if you were to start from the beginning you would realize that zombies are fairly weak and not menacing at all. Just role play with me for a minute. You’re in your room and you hear a scream in the hallway, you go open your door to see what is going on and OH MY GOD THERE’S A ZOMBIE. You panic and quickly go back into your room and lock the door. Now rule seventeen says not to be a hero but think of all of the items you can use in your room to either impale or bash in that zombies skull. There is quite a few. Now think about the entire country where people have more refined weapons than a pair of scissors to use to re-dead that horrifying zombie. There are a number of other things that would just go horribly wrong with a zombie outbreak.

Thing One: Everything about a zombie screams prey not predator

Zombies have no way to protect themselves from anything. At the mere sight of a zombie any animal or human would be looking for a way to kill it. Humans are way too evolved to be bested by a horde of zombies simply because we can actually use our brains and are not driven by an insatiable hunger for flesh. Humans can use almost anything they find to kill a zombie. Humans aside think of all of the bugs that feed off of soft-tissue. The zombie won’t have its eyes for much longer. Zombies are also not shielded from the elements. Have you ever left uncooked meat out in the heat? Have you ever put raw meat into a freezer? I’m sure you know what happens. I am not going to go into much detail on that one, you can use your imaginations. Zombie can also not heal from their wounds. Every day they sustain some sort of damage and their bodies just can not deal with it. There are also just too many natural disadvantages that zombies just could not overcome. Zombies can’t swim and walking on anything that isn’t flat also seems to be problematic for them. The layout of cities would also make zombie killing almost like hunting deer. Think of the giant grid that is New York City. Every zombie would be in a line for you to just shoot. It would be easier than sitting in a tree waiting for a deer to walk-bye.  
Thing Two: They spread their disease by biting 

How close would you be willing to let a zombie get to you? Chances are not very close. The number one method that a zombie spreads its disease is by biting people. Unless a zombie were to just appear in the middle of Day Glow I am fairly certain a few people might be asking themselves why there is a person with a horrible case of the dead biting people and would start running away. Think of the mass panic that arose from the H1N1 outbreak a few years ago. People were wearing surgical masks to shield themselves so that they wouldn’t get infected with the flu. If people are willing to walk around with a surgical mask in public on a day that is not Halloween think of what people will do to make sure that they don’t get bitten by a zombie and become infected themselves. When SARS broke out international travel from and to the US was shut down once it was found out that the virus might have spread to North America and only 43 people on the entire continent were killed by the disease. 
Thing Three: There are too many guns

While not everyone has a gun there are still a number of people who have guns and know how to use them. Think of all of the people who live in the south that just ride around on ATVs and shoot guns. Not at the same time but you get what I’m getting at. The Mavericks of the world. All of the gun toting Americans would not even hesitate to load up and start unloading some of the hundreds of thousands of rounds they have stashed in their “survival bunkers”. 
So don’t fear zombies anymore because Merica is here to help get rid of them. 


So it is that time of the semester again. Yes THAT time of the semester again but no not THAT time of the semester. We still have the month of April for classes and May for finals. What I am talking about is advising.

If you were thinking that I was talking about the end of the semester you are a very bad man!

With advising coming up you are going to need to get that advising hold removed from your account, if you have one at all, which is normally done by meeting with your adviser. Advising begins on April 16th which is also the first day of Fall 2013 registration. If you are unsure of who your advisor is here is a screenshot of my iSiS to help you figure it out!
What you should be bringing to your advising meeting is a list of the classes you want to take next semester and also yourself! If you are unsure of what classes you are supposed to bring if you go to HERE you can select your major and then find a link to the course requirements you can see by year what classes you should be taking. If you are unsure of how you are doing in your classes and could potentially fail classes or get a grade that you wish to replace, creating schedules for different scenarios of what your grades are like at the end of this semester. 
If this blog doesn’t help you in any way shape or form I apologize but I can advise that if you have any further questions contacting your Advisor or department would be quite beneficial.


So friends, as finals approach and you’re doing all that late night studying, you are bound to get distracted and wander into the weird places of the internet.
The dark depths of various forums and message boards are where scary stories known as “creepypastas” are born. The name is derived from another internet phenomenon known as “copypasta,” which are basically ridiculous posts that get copied and pasted over and over and over. But these are better. These are CREEPY.
My first encounter with creepypasta was on a dark and stormy night in Eames Hall my freshman year. I was studying late into the evening, and after hours and hours of diligent work I decided to reward myself with a short internet break. Somehow I wandered into the badlands of the internet, but feeling brave, I continued on.

Much like Simba’s wanderings into the elephant graveyard, this was a bad idea. The first creepypasta story I came across is a classic one titled, “Gateway of the Mind.” The gist of the supposedly true tale recounts a team of scientists in 1983 conducting a radical experiment where they surgically sever all connections to the subject’s five senses and observe him over time. If you’re interested in reading the whole thing, it can be found here. It’s a little unsettling, but not as bad as some other pastas I’ve read since.

Perhaps the most well known is our tall, dapper friend Slender Man.

Slender Man

Origins: In June 2009, a contest was launched on the Something Awful forums to edit photos to include supernatural things. User Victor Surge posted two black and white photos of children in playgrounds with a tall figure in the background wearing a black suit. He also included text with the photos, describing the figure as “The Slender Man” and dating the photos as taken the day before fourteen children vanished. These descriptions added to the story of Slender Man and helped him go viral.

One of the original Slender Man photos.

Development: Slender Man quickly grew into a viral sensation; fans making more photos, drawings, stories [creepypastas], as well as videos and even games. The first video series involving our dapper faceless man is known as Marble Hornets. It also originated on the Something Awful forums, by user ce gars. The story tells of his friend Alex Kralie, a film school student working on a project called Marble Hornets. After stumbling across something unsettling, Alex abandons the project, dumps all his footage with Jay, and disappears. Jay then begins sifting through the footage and embarks on a creepy journey, all the while documenting his findings on his YouTube channel and Twitter. Apparently Marble Hornets is being turned into a feature length film, produced by Mosaic.

So friends, if you would like to scare yourself into not sleeping so you can stay up and study, I’d recommend watching the Marble Hornets series, browsing the Creepypasta wiki, or perhaps seeing the Evil Dead, the trailer of which Brady just showed me. I will not be sleeping tonight, or ever, and I may be crying right now.

Happy spring everyone!!