Inside The Studio: An Exploration of Bucknell’s First Visual Artist-in-Residence Shani Peters’ Workshop

Peters explaining her work to Bucknell students
Peters explaining her work to Bucknell students

Behind the canvas, the frame, and the lights, is the studio where the artist creates. It is a rare opportunity to go inside an artist’s studio and even rarer to talk with the creative individuals themselves. When such opportunities present themselves however, I have always found exploring the artist’s workshop is the most fulfilling way to discover new artwork. By observing how they work, the media they employ, and their strategies and styles, I see the percolation of ideas, the inspiration, and, most interestingly, the rejection. After noticing images depicting contemporary and historical civil rights activism on display in Academic West, I discovered that this artist is currently working here at Bucknell. Last Wednesday, I was granted the opportunity to see inside Bucknell’s first visual artist-in-residence Shani Peters’ studio right here on campus.IMG_3122

Shani Peters, a Lansing, Michigan native turned Harlem hipster, focuses on video, printmaking, and public projects. Her work reflects “interests in social justice histories, cultural record keeping, media culture, and community building.” 1  She employs and juxtaposes historical and modern cultural and social tensions in her artwork through her messages, symbolism, and duality and contrasts of color. By comparing historical to contemporary problems, she instigates in the viewer a meditation of life cycles.shani

Many of her images investigates and celebrates the concept of self-determination. For example, the Crown Project in Academic West imagines “crowns as symbols for self-determination and the complexity of the experience of the African people following the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.” 2 Half of the photos on the crowns have historical photos of Black Americans engaged in political protests, whereas the other half showcases contemporary images, still engaged in similar protests. On the Westernized crowns, as a satire of African headdresses and diaspora, Peters’ also depicts African American tribal people contrasted against the public figures in the Western world such as the late Notorious B.I.G and the late Michael Jackson. While raising awareness about the struggles the black community face, she also strives to show the pride in the black community.

Shani’s inspiration comes from her father who was a black history professor. IMG_3129Her father studied and taught through various mediums, such as literature, theater, and music, because he wanted to do more than just teach history – he wanted to create narratives around the subjects’ lives. James Baldwin, whom her father introduced her to, was especially influential in how Shani processes her work. Baldwin famously stated, “Our crown has already been bought and paid for, all we have to do is wear it.” Shani’s crowns reflect this message by urging us to acknowledge our personal worth, take ownership for the life given to us by the sacrifices of our ancestors, and find meaning and comfort in our lives.

Her own studio at the Art Barn gives us insight into her own consciousness and techniques as she makes, remakes, layers, and undoes her work. The works that make it out of the studio are the ones that “open up a strand of thought.” In her exhibits, she wants to facilitate a space of healing, freedom, and self-reflection for all the viewers – especially for Black Americans. However, her work appeals to all, because, no matter our background, many of us understand the difficulties of the human life. With Shani’s studio at Bucknell, we have the chance to explore this perspective in depth, actualize the fullness of ourselves and backgrounds, and share stories with the artist herself.

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**Shani’s studio at the Art Barn is open until May 1st.

  1.  “SHANI PETERS.” Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. N.p., 06 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
  2. Stuart, Greg. “Shani Peters: Nesbitt Artist in Residence : Samek Art Museum.” Samek Art Museum RSS. N.p., 19 Feb. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

Nature’s Influence on Brain Health

Spring is a time of rebirth – of new beginnings, new goals, and new challenges. It is a time where the budding flowers, verdant fields, and sunny weather makes everyone feel alive again. It also signals the end of the school year, serving as a reminder to do things we always wanted to do. With the view of the Poconos from the academic quad, of the Susquehanna flowing by campus, and of the outdoor patio seating at Bull Run, the lure of the outdoors is ubiquitous. Although our studies are our main priority at college, spending time outdoors actually correlates with better test scores. Research shows that people who spend more time outdoors, are not only calmer and healthier but also smarter.

William Wordsworth preaches this in his ballad, The Tables TurnedHe believes that nature, as the ultimate virtuous influence on the human mind, allows for the manifestation of passionate emotion and thought through intellectual and spiritual development. The speaker in the poem tells his friend to come into the “light of things” and “hear the woodland linnet” because this bird’s song contains more wisdom and beauty than any piece of literature. He believes that Mother Nature, with her “world of ready wealth,” purifies our mind and body and brings sweet lore for our “meddling intellect.” Not only does nature create intellectual enlightenments, but nature also creates spiritual enlightenments, “One impulse from a vernal wood/ May teach you more of man,/ Of moral evil and of good,/ Than all the sages can.” The speaker suggests that the scientific investigation of nature can teach you more about humanity, good, and evil than even a profoundly wise person can – experiences affect the human spirit more than words. At the heart of Wordsworth’s Romantic poem is the insistence that nature and the human mind are suitable companions and all it takes it to “Come forth, and bring with you a heart/ That watches and receives.”

Wordsworth wrote this in the 19th century when a good amount of people still spent more time outdoors. However, studies now show that, compared to just 20 years ago, people spend 25% less time in nature. When we are taking a break from our textbooks, here are some compelling reasons to spend this down time outdoors:

1. Increases concentration skills

one study took a group of children with ADHD and compared their concentration levels after they were split into two groups. One of the groups spent time in outdoor green spaces, and the other group spent time playing indoors. The outside group showed fewer symptoms of ADHD than their counterparts, even while performing the same tasks 1.

2. ignites creative functions

A study published in the Huffington Post found a correlation between nature and creativity. A team of researchers compared a group of backpackers before and after they spent four days on the trail. They found that the “backpackers were 50 percent more creative after they had spent four days on the trail” 2.

3. Decreases stress levels

After just 20 minutes in a natural setting,the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public health has reported, our levels of cortisol, which is a stress indicator, decrease significantly 3. Seattle-based environmental psychologist Judith Heerwagon tells The Huffington Post. “Just looking at a garden or trees or going for a walk, even if it’s in your own neighborhood, reduces stress,” she says. “I don’t think anyone understands why, but there’s something about being in a natural setting that shows clear evidence of stress reduction, including physiological evidence — like lower heart rate” 4.

4. boosts positivity

A study published by the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science says a 90-minute walk through nature can positively affect your brain. The researchers found that, of the 38 participants, the ones who walked through the park and not the urban environment, “showed lower levels of blood flow to the parts of the brain associated with rumination” 5.  (Rumination is a pattern of thought focused on the negative of oneself). There is also the idea that we respond positively to things that are inherently good for us and our survival, “which is why trees and other natural elements can help lift our moods”  1.

5. sparks inspiration

Humans have always looked to nature for inspiration to solve problems. Think of biomimicry such as prosthetic arms inspired by octopus tentacles, the art masterpieces of Claude Monet who was inspired by his verdant surroundings, or engineering feats such as the Japanese high speed trains inspired by the shape of a kingfisher’s beak – nature is the master of inspiring innovation 7.

6. INCREASES MINDFULNESS

In the book Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the Upward Spiral That Will Change Your Life, Barbara Fredrickson observes that nature is so fascinating and soothing, that it takes away your mind from other worries. The beach is the perfect example. When I am driving or staring at my computer, I constantly think of my to-do list. My exposure to nature increases my awareness of surrounding and myself, rather than the other thoughts that occupy my day.

7. IMPROVEs SHORT TERM MEMORY

In one study, researchers conducted a brief memory test on University of Michigan students who were then divided into two groups. One group walked around an arboretum, while the others walked down a city street. The researchers then conducted the memory test again and the participants who had walked in nature did almost 20% percent better than the first time. The ones who took the urban route did not improve 8.

These seven reasons (among many more) show the powerful connection between nature and the human mind. By spending time outdoors and boosting your brain power, you can spend less time studying and get better grades. With spring finally here, there is no better time to make this change to your lifestyle. Wordsworth got it right – in this “world of ready wealth,” gain the “spontaneous wisdom breathed by health.”

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  1.  Wise, Abigail. “Here’s Proof Going Outside Makes You Healthier.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 22 June 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
  2.  Leader, Jessica. “Nature-Creativity Study Links The Great Outdoors With Positive Psychological Effects.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 31 May 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
  3.  Roe, Jenny J., Catharine Ward Thompson, Peter A. Aspinall, Mark J. Brewer, Elizabeth I. Duff, David Miller, Richard Mitchell, and Angela Clow. “Green Space and Stress: Evidence from Cortisol Measures in Deprived Urban Communities.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. MDPI, n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
  4.  Wise, Abigail. “Here’s Proof Going Outside Makes You Healthier.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 22 June 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
  5. Goodstein, Eli. “Stanford University Study Says Spending Time in Nature Benefits Mental Health.” USA TODAY College. Stanford University, 09 July 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
  6.  Wise, Abigail. “Here’s Proof Going Outside Makes You Healthier.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 22 June 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
  7.  “How Nature Ignites Creativity.” THNK The Outdoors Prescription How Nature Ignites Creativity Comments. School of Creative Leadership, 09 Nov. 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
  8.  Lauren F Friedman and Kevin Loria. “11 Scientifically Proven Reasons You Should Go Outside.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 09 Apr. 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2016

The Unbreakable Ellie Kemper

Bucknell Speaker Series featuring Ellie Kemper, famous for her role as Erin Hannon in the NBC series The Office and current star in the Netflix series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. 

Actress and comedian Ellie Kemper, who gained IMG_3001prominence for her role as Erin Hannon in the NBC series The Office and now stars in the Netflix series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, spoke at Bucknell’s Weis Center for the Performing Arts Monday night. She is the final speaker in Bucknell’s forum series “Revolution Redefined,” which brings in speakers with multidisciplinary and diverse viewpoints to explore how society has – or has not – evolved over time. The various speakers grant us unique perspectives on how we can have meaningful impacts on society. In this particular talk, Kemper focused on her journey to success as a female comedian, encouraging the Bucknell audience to take risks, challenge opposition, and be agents of change.

Philosophy professor Sheila Lintott, who has taught courses on feminist philosophy and the philosophy of laughter, moderated the conversation. Lintott began the discussion by asking Kemper about how she got into comedy in the first place. Kemper, with her expectedly sweet and bubbly charm, answered that she had always had an interest in acting. In fact, in high school, Jon Hamm taught her improv in her theater class. However, she enrolled in Princeton to study English Literature and play field hockey, letting acting fall to the wayside. After too many games on the bench though, she quit field hockey because she believed her time could be better spent elsewhere. She honed her comedy skills and joined the Princeton’s improvisation group Quipfire! and the musical theater group, Triangle. Yet again, she didn’t think she would pursue comedy in the future. Instead, she continued her studies of English at Oxford after graduating. After a year, however, she left Oxford for New York when she took the risk to make her dream of acting into a reality.

Throughout her story to success, she kept using the word “quit.” Though a word loaded with negative connotation, Kemper explains we don’t need to view it that way: “There is no euphemism for quit. But, sometimes it is okay to take a step back to consider what your strengths and weaknesses are in order to reevaluate your decisions.” This is often a key step to discovering true passions. Many studies substantiate that the risks taken when quitting are often worth it. Every step Kemper took led her to land her role as a co-star of The Office. In an audience full of questioning college students, Kemper’s story resonated deeply.

Kemper, rather than considering her gender as an obstacle to overcome in order to achieve success, uses her gender to promote feminism – and with a humorous twist. In the discussion, Lintott referred to Christopher Hitchens’ 2007 article for Vanity Fair “Why Women Aren’t Funny” that “investigated” the “humor gap.” He ponders, “Why are women, who have the whole male world at their mercy, not funny?” Predictably, this article received serious backlash from the female community. Kemper explains why she wrote a response to this in GQ in 2013. After Bridesmaids came out in 2011, people regularly asked her, “How did it feel to be in a movie with so many funny women?” This question, Kemper explains to the Bucknell audience, “makes no sense to me because all women are different. Some are tall. Some are short. Some women are funny. Some aren’t.” In her satiric “investigation” for GQ, she incorporates evolution, science, and logic in the same completely backwards way that the Hitchens did to challenge his senseless conclusions. Kemper aims to stop such gender stereotypes from perpetuating in order to create more opportunities for females.

During the Q and A with the audience, Kemper answers that her favorite IMG_3004scene was the airplane scene in Bridesmaids – “it was like having front row seats to a circus. Throughout the scene, there are various actors cracking up who weren’t supposed to be.” She also finally settled the question for devout Office fans, on what it was like saying goodbye to Michael Scott as a character and Steve Carell as an actor. Kemper says, “It was a very dramatic moment for me. In one scene, I am just in the background at my desk crying and I am not even supposed to be a part of that scene. I was just so choked up. Steve Carell is such a kind person, which is the reason why Michael Scott is so ultimately endearing. I am so lucky to have been able to work with him.” On this nostalgic note, Lintott concluded, leaving us in anticipation of Kemper’s second season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt coming April 15th.

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-Carly

“Empty Bowls, Full Hearts”

800 million people go to bed hungry every night. 3.1 million children under the age of five die of malnutrition every year. Almost 50 percent of people living in extreme poverty are 18 years old or younger. In September 2015, the United Nations set a goal to end world hunger by 2030. This may take a lot of work, but it does not require a new scientific breakthrough nor are the costs expensive – we have the tools and the resources, it’s just a matter of implementing them. What it truly takes is the power of many to make a concerted effort to fight hunger. This week Bucknell hosts the Empty Bowls Project which is an international grassroots effort in which potters and artisans donate ceramic handcrafted bowls which are then bought and used as soup bowls for guests attending the event. The event raises money for Community Harvest Meal in Milton as well as awareness for Bucknellians and the local community in the fight to end hunger.

This year the Empty Bowls Project focuses specifically on how women are disproportionately affected by hunger and poverty. Discrimination against women is a major cause of persistent hunger. According to The Bread For the World Insitute’s annual report, females’ lack of bargaining power, unpaid care work, insufficient political representation all worsen the effects of poverty on their lives. Just by “increasing women’s earning potential by boosting bargaining power, reducing gender inequality in unpaid work, increasing women’s political representation, and eliminating the wage gap between male and female labor could help stem the worldwide epidemic” 1.  Additionally, with mother and fetus as an inseparable biological and social unit. female health and nutrition are inextricably linked with their children. Maternal malnutrition increases the risk of stillbirths and newborn deaths, intrauterine growth restriction, low birthweight (LBW), preterm birth, and birth defects. Thus, improving female nutrition will result in healthier mothers and babies. When we empower women and give them the tools they need to survive, we stand a much better chance of overcoming not only poverty but also intolerance, disease, and even extremism 2.

The Empty Bowls project at Bucknell helps in the worldwide effort to end hunger, extreme poverty, and gender inequality. This annual event, in which people can buy bowls that have crafted throughout the year, raises money for the Community Harvest Meal in Milton. This event has been providing people in our neighboring community with no income in this community meals for a decade now. This year, the focus on women is not only to highlight how poverty adversely affects women but to also promote International Women’s Day which occurs at the beginning of March.

Lynn Peterson, head of the Bucknell Empty Bowls project, explained that apart from highlighting women’s rights and gender equality, it also is a great way to raise awareness in Lewisburg about the ways we can help our community throughout the year. The Community Harvest, which serves a weekly hot meal program that serves 80-120 people every Monday evening and the Lewisburg Community Garden, which donates organic produce to local food programs, are always open to volunteers. Such programs enable people struggling with food insecurity to put their limited funds towards other expenses in their lives like heating, medication, and other necessities. Lynn’s favorite part about being part of this initiative is that “it is great to see not only our campus community but also people from the Lewisburg area come together to support the EB event.”

The effects of hunger are long-lasting with long-term effects that “can be felt for the rest of a person’s life, impacting a child’s ability to grow and learn, and even snuffing out their chances of survival entirely” 3.   For a simple donation of $10, we can enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread served in a hand-crafted bowl  and then take home the “empty bowl” as a reminder of the many individuals suffering from hunger. With the momentum gathering throughout the years to end this silent pandemic, there is never a better time to act. Famine gives us the chance to transform lives and stop hunger in its tracks.

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Event time & location: Thursday, March 10, from 11:30 A.M. to 2 P.M. and 4 to 7:30 P.M. in the Walls Lounge inside the Elaine Langone Center.

Hope to see you there!

Carly

  1. “When Women Flourish We Can End Hunger.” (n.d.): n. pag. Bread for the World Institute. 2015. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.
  2.  “To End Hunger, Empower Women: Study.” Common Dreams. Common Dreams, 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 09 Mar. 2016.
  3. “The Long Term Effects of Hunger – 2 Degrees Food.” 2 Degrees Food. Union Street Media, 21 Apr. 2014. Web. 09 Mar. 2016.

Salthouse

Art, as a series of rejection, absorption, and relentless uncertainty, portrays the mystery of humankind. Bucknell’s Samek Art Museum currently hosts Salthouse by Stephen Althouse, featuring unconventional photographs that capture such paradoxes. In his seemingly sculptural works, he embeds passivism, religion, the blindness to atrocities, and the lamentations of suffering and sorrow. He seeks to “acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses” while pondering human contradictions. I visited the gallery with Greg Stuart, Samek Art Museum public programs manager, to experience the physical presence of Salthouse and fully comprehend how he accomplishes this mission.

Upon entering Samek, I noticed the photographs’ intimate level of details that could not be portrayed on the internet. Looking in person created an entirely new experience. “Althouse spends hours getting his camera into the right focus,” Stuart explains, “Then, after capturing many images with different focus points and exposing them for eight minutes, he photoshops the images so all the different focuses are together in one image.” This technique creates a seemingly sculptural three-dimensional work.

The presence of bold shapes set in negative space, with the tonalities of grey and black, sets a meditative environment. Knot III, a photograph of horse armor set in the distance, ignites a tranquil yet emotional response. Althouse, as a Quaker and conscientious objector to the Vietnam war, sends an antiwar message through this image. On the helmet, braille script reads, “Are we not blind” and “My harp is broken.” Interestingly, we must remember that this is a two-dimensional image so someone who is blind cannot trace their fingers to read this and those who have vision cannot read braille. Stuart explains that this adds to “a sense of mystery and a power of the unknown.” Additionally, the helmet appears worn signifying an unknown war story behind the object itself. We are left in the dark, like the object itself, so we embed our own emotions and interpretations into the historical story, adding our own personal meaning.

I asked Stuart what resonated with him when Stephen Althouse visited Bucknell: “Stephen talks about the little moments in life, like the Broken Bow image. He was exploring a city and heard beautiful violin music playing. As he followed the source, he found a poor man playing. There was such a contrast between the beautiful and the impoverished.” Like the horse described above, none of these objects are inherently beautiful but are objects of everyday moments. Althouse uses this contrast in his photography to capture the beauty in atrocities. And the atrocities in beauty.

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Open until March 20. Location: Third Floor, Elaine Langone Center, Bucknell University

*All photos provided by Greg Stuart of Samek Art Museum

“I Am Because You Are” – How Bucknell’s Ubuntu Club Is Changing Lives Across the Globe

Ubuntu is a foreign but beautiful concept. This humanist philosophy means “I am because you are,” embracing the idea that humans cannot exist in isolation. We depend on human connection, community, and caring – simply, we cannot be without each other. Gabriela Palumbo founded the Ubuntu Club at Bucknell in November of 2014 to remind students that we belong to a greater whole and what we do here can improve the lives of others across the globe, specifically South Africa. Post-apartheid South Africa is still recovering from a long period of severely constrained and social, political, economic, and cultural turmoil that left  highly divided and unequal education system. Ubuntu looks to overcome these barriers to promote a harmonious and successful community by raising awareness and funds to enable children in Port Elizabeth, South Africa to attend school everyday. Inspired by this unique opportunity Bucknell has to help assure the education quality of South African children, I chatted with Ubuntu’s Vice President Amanda Waller.

  1. First off, can you expand upon the meaning of Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is literally translated in a few different ways. Mainly though, “Ubuntu” is an African philosophy that means, “I am because you are.” By extension, this means that an individual is not its own, independent entity, it is part of larger communities it has found itself exposed to throughout its lifetime. For example, say a Bucknell student were asked how they got into Bucknell. That student didn’t get in completely on their own merit but they got in due to the collaborative efforts of the communities they were apart of throughout childhood. Their guidance counselor recommended the school, their sophomore math teacher put in a recommendation, their parents drove them to extracurriculars everyday, their coaches instill responsibility into them, and so on. All the components that made this student who they are contributed to their acceptance into Bucknell. A community is inextricable to your individuality, and one doing something to better the community is amongst the most important things to do in life; this is Ubuntu.

  1.  How do you incorporate the philosophy of Ubuntu into your club’s values?

The Ubuntu Education Fund is based in South Africa and it incorporates Ubuntu primarily through the notion of having aid from abroad play a large role in development of the Port Elizabeth community. The Fund, founded by people outside the Port Eizabeth community, provides numerous services–psychological counseling, education, career development, medical services.  Additionally, there is a sense of Ubuntu in the Port Elizabeth community itself seeing as the fund strives to take abroad expertise and instill it into the community so that one day the need for foreign aid will not be necessary and the fund will be self-functioning by the community.

  1.  Why are you passionate about this particular organization and mission?

The answer to this is twofold. First, there is a need for community bridging on Bucknell’s campus if we want to accurately assert we are a strongly knit community. Second, if we can have the power to grant aid to this community, why not? We have an impact greater than we can begin to imagine. Every bit goes a long way, so it’s worth participating in the cause.

  1.  What has been your favorite part of being part of Ubuntu?

Personally, I love the people I meet that are involved in Ubuntu. The president of the club, Meg Belinsky, our Ubuntu NYC office liaison, and other students trying to start Ubuntu college clubs that we’ve been put into contact with. Everyone has a little bit of a different personal interpretation of Ubuntu. Hearing what those different meanings are, and why these individuals find it important to spread the philosophy is continually refreshing and, at risk of sounding corny, pretty inspiring. And Ubuntu catches on pretty easily. So another joy of working with Ubuntu is watching how easily people resonate with the philosophy after being educated about it.

  1. What have you learned about yourself that you may never have learned had you not joined?

When I thought of a grass roots organization like this, I automatically thought it would have low impact, that people would wave it off as a too optimistic effort and that only the people who worked with the club would be the ones that care about it. This has proven to not be the case. So I’ve learned that as students passionate about a cause, we do hold water and we have the capacity to make a difference. I’m not saying we’re changing Bucknell’s campus entirely, but I do see small impacts Ubuntu makes. Our capacity to influence some thought has been an unexpected lesson learned.

  1. Have you met other members of Ubuntu that have left a significant impact of your own life and learnings? 

Certainly. Our president, Meg Belinsky, has been such an inspiration. She is incredibly passionate about the philosophy and works pretty relentlessly to come up with new ideas and organize club events to spread awareness. As I stated earlier, I can be skeptical about grass roots efforts like this, but having Meg as a president definitely keeps myself and the members believing in the capacity and purpose of our organization.

Leo Fotsing Fomba is another individual that has played an incredible role in Ubuntu. He is originally from Cameroon and an ardent believer in Ubuntu. We sat down to interview him last semester on what Ubuntu means to him. Every word out of his mouth made a philosophical statement, it was incredible! I think the largest take away I took from that conversation was a point he made that went as follows: As an individual, you are equipped with particular talents and strengths. Though you might want to use these for self progress and success, you have a responsibility to your community to use these qualities to better the community you find yourself situated in. You don’t have to sacrifice personal success for the community success, but you must balance it. There is a reason you have these strengths, and the only way to utilize them properly is to distribute them equally to personal and community benefit.

  1. Barack Obama has a quotation about making a difference: “[I]t is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself, that you realize your true potential” What do you think about that?

Desmond Tutu once said, “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” It was his translation for “Ubuntu” ironically, and it’s what came to mind when I read this quote. I think this is about how the potential humans have collectively for achieving goals is infinitely greater than potential of the individual. President Obama I’m sure has seen this first hand with him winning two elections and all–and running the country. Those kinds of activities take tremendous collaborative effort that simply cannot be done on an individual level. Everyone has great individual capacity but it is only enhanced when you latch on to a larger working group that aligns with a like end goal. This is essentially Ubuntu, the idea that humanity is based on the plural and not the singular.

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Get involved TONIGHT!
Thursday February 4th in the Terrace Room, from 7 to 8 PM. The Ubuntu Club will be making “Ubuntu” bracelets that will be given out in exchange for donations the following week. The donations will go to the Ubuntu fund headquarters back in NYC. You can show your participation as a bracelet maker by placing a paint handprint on a big poster and they will have there that we will be using to advertise our sales the following week.

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Carly

 

If you have any questions about the club and/or want to join, please contact Amanda Waller at aew002@bucknell.edu

 

New Lewisburg Yoga Studio: Yoga Dear – Interview with Founder Leanne Matullo

Tucked into a little side street off Market Street is a new yoga studio in town. Leanne Matullo, the founder of Yoga Dear, has brought health, happiness, and a new sense of community in this new year to Lewisburg. Her mission for Yoga Dear, an acronym for “Developing self-Esteem And Respect,” is to forge a mind body connection through fitness and individualized practice in a comfortable yogi-centric community. Through the practice of yoga, Leanne believes we have the power to create a unique sense of self and place in the world. I sat down with Leanne to learn more about her background, philosophies, goals, and to discuss the joy that this creative and spiritual movement can bring to all.

When did you start practicing yoga and why? 

I was a dancer in college1434931486428 and after I stopped performing, I wanted to get into yoga. I took my first yoga class in Pittsburgh six years ago and actually really didn’t like it at first. I kept going back though. After a couple of times getting used to the foreign language, crazy poses, and focused breathing, I began to enjoy it.


What do you love most about practicing yoga and yoga itself? 

Yoga offers infinite possibilities. There is always something to work on, there is always something new to master. For me, yoga is a freedom – freedom from your mind, from around you. It is just you and the mat and your movement. That is peace to me.

 

Tell me about your studio. - What inspired you to open up a studio in Lewisburg?

Everyone asks where “Dear” comes from. I started out teaching for at risk youth and focused on developing self esteem and respect – so that is where “dear” originated. I want this studio space to be approachable, fun, and playful, where we can meet new friends, laugh, and interact with the energetic and enthusiastic students and teachers.

What makes your studio different/better than the ones in the local area or offered at KLARC?

Yoga Dear focuses on a more individualized practice while still building a community with the others around you. I wanted our niche to be a powerful style – we are going to work and we are going to feel it.

Many people in this country still equate yoga solely with movement and do not consider the spiritual aspect. How do you deal with this at Yoga Dear? 

Most people come here for movement but can still benefit from the spiritual aspects especially as they come further and further into the practice. Throughout the class, we weave in pranayama [breathing techniques], ancient yoga texts, philosophy to incorporate meditation and spiritual aspects. It can be a learning practice as well, since we mention the limbs of the eight-fold path to yoga. These are respect for others (yama) and yourself (niyama); harmony with your body (asana), your energy (pranayama), and last four parts [your thoughts (dharana), and your emotions (pratyahara); contemplation (dhyana); ecstasy (samadhi)] which all relate to meditation.

Since yoga combines body, breath, mind and spirit, how can someone gradually increase progress in each of those four areas? 

FullSizeRender_3Yoga is transformative and healing. It is hard for me to explain but after taking 2 to 3 classes a week, I have become more spiritual because of the results I have seen. The book Living Your Yoga explains this.*

What advice would you tell a first-timer attending a private yoga studio? 

Give me three classes and then make a decision. If you come in with an open mind and know it is okay to not know all the poses or fall, that is totally fine. Everyone falls in first yoga class. Most importantly, have a good time and laugh.

What in your opinion are the greatest health benefits of doing yoga? 

In a culture that sits a lot, I believe that overall mobility is the greatest health benefit. Additionally, yoga is a great way to use the mind body connection as a huge anxiety and stress relief. You learn that you not only can watch and observe your thoughts but control them as well.

Do you actively meditate? 

I meditate every morning to set the tone of my day. The practice is very grounding for me since I am such a spiritual person. Sometimes I do it for two minutes, sometimes fifteen, with music or silence, on my own or guided.

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After we wrapped up our interview, I stayed to attend the Power Flow class taught by friend and roommate Heather Oros. In such a warm and welcoming space, I felt at ease, allowing for a deeper awareness of the interactions of my body, mind, and spirit. Although the more advanced teaching was distinct, detailed, and serious, the atmosphere remained playful and fun, enabling me to feel comfortable trying new things. By observing and feeling the overall energy in the room during savasana, it seemed that each individual found their own personal level of achievement and reward in their practices.

 

*Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Hanson Lasater Ph.D. is about discovering the “meaning of yoga beyond its familiar poses and breathing techniques to include the events of daily life”

Classes:FullSizeRender

Yoga Dear Beginner, Sunny Side Up (early morning Asana class), Yoga Dear 1 (beginner/intermediate), Yoga Dear 2 (intermediate/advanced), Power Flow, Peaceful Practice, Yoga Barre, Gentle Yoga, and Asana Junkies

Click here for a description of each class

Click here for class schedule

This Friday January 29: Yoga Dear is hosting yoga and happy hour at 5:30 PM. The night is going to consist of a 50 minute yoga class and then happy hour with wine and beer! $15 for members, $20 for non members! 21+ only. Please reserve a space on the Mind/Body Connect app.

Memberships & Pricing

Yoga Dear Memberships:

  • 10 Visit Pass – $120                   Expires three months after activation 
  • 1 Month Unlimited – $100     Expires one month after activation
  • 3 Month Unlimited – $265     Expires three months after activation 
  • Yearly Unlimited – $80/month with yearly contract
  • Also, for a limited time, students can get a monthly unlimited pass for $50.

Drop-in Rates:

  • Drop-in Class – $15
  • Student Drop-in – $10 (Please bring your student ID!)

10% Discount on all services for senior citizens (65+), veterans, and active duty servicemen and women. ID’s required at time of service purchase. 

Student Rates (Please bring your ID!):

  • 10 Visit Pass – $95        Expires three months after activation
  • 1 Month Unlimited –  $90   Expires one month after activation

New Student Referral Program

Bring a new-to-Yoga Dear friend, parent, sibling, significant other to class and you’ll both get $25 off your next service.

 

 

Enjoy and Namaste!

Carly

Loss, Grief, Forgiveness, and Hope: Four Fathers Speak at Bucknell about Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy

Just yesterday morning a gunman stormed into a Pakistan University and shot at least 80 people, twenty of which have been declared dead and 60 injured. Gun related tragedies happen every day around the world and as well as right in our nation. In America alone, there have been 90 mass shootings in the past fifty years. America accounts for a mere five percent of the world’s population, yet almost one third of the world’s mass shootings have occurred in the US during this time period 1. The second leading country had a relatively lower number of 18 mass shootings during the same time period, substantiating that the exceptional nature of America’s mass shooter problem is unparalleled around the globe.

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L-R: Jeremy Richman, Mark Barden, Scott Wolfman, David Wheeler, and Ian Hockley

Tuesday night, a neuroscientist, a guitarist, a graphic designer, and an IBM executive came to Bucknell to speak about gun violence in America. What brought together these men, from all different backgrounds, was one thing: they each had a young child who was shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. Fathers Jeremy Richman, Mark Barden, David Wheeler, and Ian Hockley entered into the packed ELC Forum with a mission. They didn’t come just to speak about their incomprehensible loss and the tragedy that took place that day. Rather, they came to Bucknell to enlighten students about our social responsibility to advance the world to a point where massacres like this do not take place. Topics of the night’s discussion ranged from researching the biological and chemical factors of the brain, increasing awareness about compassion and connectedness, and recognizing violent behavior. They also touched upon more personal subjects regarding grief, forgiveness, and hope.

President Bravman introduced the four fathers. “As a father of four, “ Bravman said, “it is every parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child. I can relate to that because I have lost a child.” After his quick yet heart-rending moment of silence at the mike, he continued, “I am deeply honored to be with these men tonight. We have the power to turn this experience into something positive.” He concluded by urging us to not just listen but show that we heard. If we listen with our soul, heart, and mind to these fathers speak, we can make this community however incrementally better.And with that, the Q and A with mediator Scott Wolfman, began.

Q: Why are you doing this public discussion work and what is your motive?

Jeremy (Neuroscientist): As a father of a child murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School along with her 19 friends and classmates, I have learned that this world needs clean up. I am here to engage this innovative audience to think of solutions.

Mark (Guitarist): Daniel was seven when he was shot to death. My former life was magical – I was blessed with happy, smart kids who slept in the same bed together out of choice. After the shooting, I had two questions – simple but important. How did this happen? Why would someone do this? It became immediately apparent I had to find the answers. I have learned in my search that complacency is our biggest enemy. Despite what many people think, we aren’t helpless. We aren’t hopeless.

David (Graphic Designer): I moved to Sandy Hook in 2007. It had a good school system, good lawn, made sense. I had two kids, Nate who was nine and Ben who was six. They were best friends. I have had lots of experience public speaking, [so when Ben was killed], it seemed like a natural process to deal with this tragedy by speaking about it. It is almost a cliche, the term, “you are the future,” but it couldn’t be more accurate. Whatever happens in the country has a lot to do with how you live life. We can find tremendous hope and optimism from all different walks of life but it is really important to remind people to go out and create it or find it.

Ian (Previous IBM Executive): My son Dylan, who had autism, was found in the arms of his aid that day, both shot and killed. I have always been shy and stayed out of the media but after this shooting, I realized I had to use my voice to advocate for people with autism.

Q: What is your source of strength. What serves as a constant in your respected life?

David: That is a complicated question because I don’t have one source of strength. My wife and kids, certainly. In November 2015, my wife and I had another child and it has brought a lot of joy into an unnaturally quiet house. Nate has now formed a new and powerful bond with his new sibling. It is a great source of strength for us to see this and to know that there are good people everywhere, wanting to help.

Ian: Many sources. The days and weeks after [the shooting] the friends we had made a wall around us and protected us. They lifted us up when we were down. The Tuesday after the shooting, I saw a pile as big of stuffed animals and toys that would fill this room. It showed that this tragedy had affected everyone – it emanated love.

Mark: After the shooting, I was meeting with President Obama. As I was talking with him – the president of the United States – my daughter Natalie called me. “Hi Dad, I am going to the library, want anything?” My heart just melted. She is my source of strength. My neighbors, who came to my door almost every night with dinner, were another source. And these guys [gesturing to the other speakers] nourish me. We don’t need to talk about our common shared tragedy all the time. Sometimes we just like to goof off.

Jeremy: Sometimes it is hard for me to get out of bed. I have different motivations to get me out. Some days are hard and some easy. Sometimes I just have to pee really bad. But in all reality, it is usually friends and family.

Q: How has your grief evolved from the first days until now?

Mark: I don’t know if it has evolved. It goes back and forth. Last night, I didn’t sleep at all [David nodded his head in agreement]. I recently saw a video of my son singing in a Christmas concert. Seeing him and hearing his voice was so raw, fresh, and palpable. I can go along for days and be fine but then I know it is coming, like when you are sick and know you are going to vomit. It just hits me and takes me down.

David: Grief is like having incredibly heaving stones we have to wear in our coat pocket. We have no choice. They are there and we cannot ignore them. As time goes on though, we get used to them until one day you don’t notice them. Then out of nowhere, you’ll make a move and there they are, bruising you again, taking you down. The ways to deal with these stones in our pockets, however, are as individual as a thumbprint.

Ian: I had to move out of my home. I shut down entirely. I have been sent many books on grief and looking back, I am glad I didn’t open a single one.

Q: How do you feel about forgiveness and does forgiveness have application to your journey?

Jeremy: “Few are guilty but all are responsible.” The human species have evolved to share a common experience and if something goes wrong, that means I played a part. We can also take responsibility in helping. However, I am really effing far from forgiveness.

Mark: Forgiveness is intangible to me. It’s a slippery notion that I can’t get a handle of. When my daughter asked me, “Daddy, how do we know who the bad people are?” Since then I have been on a philosophical journey to find the answer. 

David: Forgiveness doesn’t mean letting them off the hook. You’re not going to carry anger and let them have that power over you. If you don’t forgive, what are you left with? You thought those stones in your pocket were bad but now you have just added more.

Ian: I ask myself why did we move to Sandy Hook. Why did he go to school that day? But I first need to forgive myself. What is unforgivable is the lack of action of not just tracking guns but tracking mental illnesses.

Q: Where would you want our society to be in fifty years and what needs to happen in order for this to occur?

Jeremy: Unfortunately, brain science is one of the least explored sciences of all. We need to support the research in order treat and understand this mystical organ.

Mark: When my son was in kindergarten, he really connected with a girl who was nonverbal. To him, her silence was not a barrier. Kids should learn this compassion and awareness of connection at a young age. No one should sit alone at lunch. If we can solve social isolation, we can solve a lot more problems that happen as a result of that.

Ian: The human race has an obsession with violence. Think of the media. Violence and sex sells. Love and compassion just sells Valentine’s Day cards. This mindset needs to change.

David: Violence does not happen if humans don’t have the capacity to see violent answers as the solution. If we can research the brain and find the genetic marker that causes certain people to be violent, we can catch it early and treat them. Think of the medical advances in the past fifty years. It’s not impossible.

Q: How has your relationship with your immediate family changed?

David: A year ago I lost my father to a heart attack. I don’t think it is hyperbolic to believe that event was related to his grandson’s murder. My family has been shattered. However, I think we are going to make it. We have made it to the three year mark. The first year is shock. Second year is planning how to come to terms and deal with this tragedy. The third year is realizing that everything we planned won’t work.

Mark: James [his newborn] and Nate have rescued Jackie and me. They have seen us in a strange territory – wrapped in each other’s arms crying on the kitchen floor. And they have lifted us up. Some outside relationships were closed off while others became stronger.

Jeremy: Nothing really has changed. My friends bring me a lot more tequila but other than that my inner circle of friends has always been profoundly important in my life and have stayed so throughout this.

Ian: I got divorced. I was married for twenty-two years. My wife and I couldn’t look after each other the way we needed to and it was the right decision for us and for our remaining son Jake.

Q: What was your reaction to President Obama’s decision to halt gun violence?

David: This entire country has a fatally benign relationship with these consumer products that can just be so easily made, bought, and sold. However, we do not regulate firearms like any other consumer product. [This exemption has allowed gunmakers to innovate for lethality rather than safety.] All I am asking is for a level playing field.

 

After a few more student questions, the speakers concluded with advice for us. 

Engage with each other, with the local community, with the nation. “Think of scenarios like a row of Dominos,” David said, “if we stick our hand in one space we can prevent the rest from falling. All it can take is one action.” In light of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this past Monday, it is our responsibility to recognize, understand, and act to undermine all the hate and violence in the world. As educated students, we have the power to do so. To conclude with MLK’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, “I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land.”

Learn more about their organizations:

Jeremy: The Avielle Foundation, named for his daughter stresses compassion and mental health, or as he puts it, “brain health.”

Mark: Sandy Hook Promise Prevention Program. The goal of the program is “not to push for a ban on firearms but rather to promote safe and responsible firearm use and ownership” 2

David: Ben’s Lighthouse. Extra events and activities in the months and years following the shooting to “guide and protect” children and promote “resiliency skills, friendship and mentoring for those kids who needed it most.”

Ian: Dylan’s Wings of Change. The foundation’s mission is “to help children with autism and other related conditions achieve their full potential.” 

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L-R: Jeremy Richman, Mark Barden, Ian Hockley and David Wheeler
  1. Hellerstein, Erica. “A New Study On Mass Shootings Has Some Stunning Results.” ThinkProgress RSS. CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS ACTION FUND, 23 Aug. 2015. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.
  2.  Ziv, Stav. “SANDY HOOK PROMISE: TURNING PAIN INTO PREVENTION.” Newsweek. Newsweek, 13 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.

Winter Activities in the Poconos

This article features 5 ski/snowboard mountains and winter activities at 8 Pennsylvania state parks.

Winter is the season of hot cocoa, crackling fires, and wool sweaters. For many, it is a place of childhood nostalgia – of skiing, sledding, and some slightly-mad snowday schemes. And even when the harshness of the weather manifests and the biting air, chills, and darkness perpetuate, winter reminds us of the human warmth. However, while at school, when we take ten minutes bundling up to trudge to class only to discover we forgot a mitten, we often curse this season. Robert Frost’s “Dust of Snow,” is the perfect reminder to us that beauty can be discovered in the brutality of the natural elements. In his short poem, a crow’s wings cause snow to fall upon the speaker passing under a tree, igniting “a change of mood” in the speaker’s heart, “and saved some part/ of a day I had rued.” This fallen snow has enlightened this man to appreciate the small things in life rather than seeing it as a lifeless and bleak season. We can all make our day better by appreciating and taking advantage of this weather rather than snowflakewishing for spring. We just need a push to get off campus and remember all that winter has to offer. Provided is an avenue for outdoor activities during cold weather in the Lewisburg and Pennsylvania area.

Skiing/Snowboarding

BLUE MOUNTAIN SKI AREAScreen Shot 2015-12-28 at 3.55.04 PM

Home of Pennsylvania’s highest vertical descent and the most varied terrain, Blue Mountain is the best mountain to visit to get the most out of a ski day. According to Mountain Snow Corporation, the mountain resort has the highest overall rating for best mountain resorts, for terrain parks, and falls second for best all-mountain terrain 1Additionally, as the East Coast’s leader in snow making capabilities, Blue Mountain guarantees snow days even if the weather does not permit.

Apres ski, kick back on the patio of the Summit Lodge Cornerstone or in the warm, festive atmosphere of Last Run Lounge on the top floor of the Summit Lodge or continue the adventure by snowtubing one of the 39 1,000 long lanes.Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 3.53.13 PM


Click here for more information.

Location: 1660 Blue Mountain Drive, Palmerton, PA 18071. 1 hour and 50 minutes

CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN RESORT

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Camelback makes up for it’s smaller size with well-groomed trails and turbo-lifts, enabling you to spend more time on the quality trails. Apart from high-grade terrain, this mountain has the biggest snowtubing park in the US. The resort is also 100% lit for night skiing. This resort is ranked fourth for best all-mountain terrain in all of Pennsylvania.

Click here for more information.

Location: Camelback Mountain Resort, 301 Resort Drive, Tannersville, PA 18372. 1 hour and 35 minutes

BLUE KNOB 

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Blue Knob, as the highest elevated skiable mountain of all Pennsylvania, offers 100 acres of terrain and 42 acres of night-skiing terrain. The longer runs, steeper terrain, and low crowds make this a favorite among the many Poconos mountains… and a best kept secret. Due to the lack of crowds, this is the best place to find fresh powder after a big snow fall.

Click here for more information.

Location: 1424 Overland Pass, Claysburg, PA 16625. 2 hours and 11 minutes.

JACK FROST 

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This premiere Pocono ski resort makes a somewhat small mountain of 600 vertical feet feel large by having spread out trails. The black diamonds are some of the best in the Poconos, getting more advanced as you head towards the west side of the mountain. The glades, scattered between the groomed trails, range from intermediate to advanced and are the best in the region. If you want a good challenge, try the elevator, off the backside of the mountain.

The parking lot, located at the top, influences you to take more and more runs because when you try to call it quits you are already at the summit, so why not take one more run?

Click here for more information.

Location: 357 Big Boulder Drive, Lake Harmony, PA 18624. 1 hour and 23 minutes

BIG BOULDER 

xlargeJack Frost’s partner Big Boulder is considered more of the “snowboarders’ mountain” of the two. Jack Frost has longer runs and a higher vertical drop but Big Boulder, about five miles away, trumps Frost with their three main parks: Big Boulder Park, LOVE Park, and Freedom Park. There are various slopes for all levels but the main attraction is the terrain parks. Click here for more information.

Location: 434 Jack Frost Mountain Road, White Haven, PA 18661. 1 hour and 16 minutes

Note: You can get a double pass for Jack Frost/Big Boulder for $350. Just ask alumnus Doug Bogan who went out twice a week and weekends through January, February, and half of March. He claims the pass was “his best Christmas present” yet. Still not convinced? Ask anyone on the Bucknell ski team. Expect to be recruited mid conversation.

**make sure to use College ID for discounts on tickets 

Cross-country skiing, ice skating, hiking, snowmobiling, and more at PA state parks:

 Ricketts Glen State Park

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Cross-country ski, snowmobile, or hike through this coniferous wonderland or escape the dense woods to ice skate and ice fish on Lake Jean. The 26 hiking trails offer views of 22 free-flowing waterfalls, diverse wildlife, and a beautiful terrestrial ecoregion of old growth timbers.

Click here for more information.

Location: Ricketts Glen State Park, 695 State Route 487, Benton, PA 17814. 1 hour and ten minute drive.

Bald Eagle State Forest

Cross-Country-Skiing

The Bald Eagle State Forest, named after the famous Native American, Chief Bald Eagle, is 193,424 acres and offers over 200 miles of hiking trails, 300 miles of state forest roads and trails open for snowmobiling, and 24 miles of Nordic ski trails, some beginning at R.B. Winter State Park.

Click here for more information.

Location: Bald Eagle State Forest, T420, Bellefonte, PA 16823. 1 hour and ten minutes away.

Colonel Denning State Park

Alumnus and avid hiker, Doug Bogan, raves that the views from the overlook of Flat Rock Trail, “are are amazing. You can see for maybe 30-50 miles on a clear day!” You can also cross-country ski on the hilly and mountainous terrain to catch a glimpse of these vistas, although there are no formal cross-country skiing trail system. Or skip out on the inclines and ice skate while still admiring the rugged beauty of the mountainous landscape.

Click here to learn more about Colonel Denning State Park.Scenic-Winter-Mauch-Chunk-Lake-Park-PoconoMtns_7749abe7-7213-4056-86d5-ca6cb2ca45b2

Location: Colonel Denning State Park, Newville PA. Click here for detailed instructions. 1.5 hours away

Worlds End State Parktravelers-backpacks-walking-along-road-forest-winter-mountains-view-snow-covered-conifer-trees-60547392

Discover a 20-mile trail network perfect for Nordic skiing in the heart of Pennsylvania’s mountainous landscape. Apart from cross-country skiing, enjoy hiking or snowmobiling through the terrain. The Canyon Vista Trail is a 4 mile loop that challenges hikers with rocky, steep sections leading to a stunning view of the Loyalsock Creek Gorge. Before descending, explore the rock labyrinths adjacent to the vist.

Click here for more info of the Hiking Trails at Worlds End State Park.

Location: 82 Cabin Bridge Rd, Forksville, PA 18616. 1 hour and ten minutes.

Tioga State ForestPAGC_HLO_LLOUS_2

Praised as one of the best rail trails in the North East, Pine Creek Trail, one of the many trails in this state park, offers Nordic skiers a verdantly dramatic 61-mile journey through the area known as the “Grand Canyon” of Pennsylvania. There are also over 170 miles of snowmobile trails.

Click here for more information.

Location: The trail’s northern terminus is on State Forest land approximately one mile south of U.S. Route 6 on the Colton Road near the village of Ansonia (1 hour and 45 minutes). The southern terminus is on Pennsylvania Route 414 two miles south of Blackwell (1.5 hours).

HICKORY STATE PARK

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A 15,990-acre park stretching across the Poconos Mountain doesn’t only offer 40 miles of great hiking but has an ice skating, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. 

Click here for more information.

Location: 3613 State St, White Haven, PA 18661. 1 hour and 6 minutes. Click here for detailed driving directions. 

Raymond B. Winter State Park

For a quick morning and afternoon adventure mid-week, explore this park that is an easy drive from campus. With 700 acres of the Appalachian mountains, this park offers cross-country skiing, hiking (Rapid Run is my favorite), ice-fishing, and snowmobiling. The 300 miles of snowmobile trails leads all the way to aforementioned Bald Eagle State Forest.

Click here for more information

Location: Raymond B. Winter State Park, 17215 Buffalo Road, Mifflinburg, PA 17844. 28 minutes away.

Crystal Lake Ski Center

Recommended to me by the head of Bucknell’s Outdoors Club, Crystal Lake Ski Center specializes in Pennsylvania’s finest cross country skiing. For an additional fee, experienced Nordic instructors are ready to guide you from beginning through skating and racing techniques.

Click here for more information

Location: 1716 Crystal Lake Rd, Hughesville, PA 17737. 1 hour away.  Click here for driving directions.

 

And if I can’t convince you, maybe William Wordsworth will sway you

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Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?
The sun above the mountain’s head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless—
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.
Any questions? Please email me at car46@bucknell.edu
Carly

 

  1.  “Top Rated Pennsylvania Ski Resorts | OnTheSnow.” OnTheSnow. Mountain News Corporation, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2015

Miracle on Market Street

A guide to celebrating and shopping for the holidays in Lewisburg

Lewisburg Holiday Activities

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On December 3rd at 7 PM, the heart of Lewisburg will be illuminated with season cheer at the annual Holiday Tree Lighting at Hufnagle Park.

Three Free Screenings at Campus Theater

On Friday, catch Frozen with complimentary candy canes and hot chocolate for all! On Saturday, holiday favorite ELF and Sunday, It’s a Wonderful Life will air. If you show a receipt of a purchase you made in downtown Lewisburg over the weekend, you get a free popcorn. The next weekend, How the Grinch Stole Christmas will play, “bringing cheer to all who’s far and near.”

Frozen: 8 PM; Elf: 7 PM; It’s a Wonderful Life: 5 PM; How the Grinch Stole Christmas: 5 PM

13th Annual Art for the Holidays’ Opening Reception at Faustina’s

Waltz through the gallery doors to check out original oil paintings, pastels, and watercolors from nine innovative and inspirational artists.

Show opens at 10:00 AM on December 4th and runs through December 24th (Tues – Sat), 229 Market Street

Strolling music by Cracked Walnuts

“A nutty banjo and washboard duo” will be strolling the grounds of Market Street performing pure American, old time music.

December 4th, 7:30-10 PM.

Late Shoppers’ Night

All stores on Market Street open late – many until midnight.

Danu:  A Christmas Gathering (Celtic Holiday)

Celebrate the holidays with the the acclaimed Irish ensemble, Danú, featuring fiddle, flutes, button accordion, percussion and the incredible voice of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh.

December 3rd, 7:30 pm, Weis Center

Jazz Night at the Smiling Chameleon

Unwind with jazz artist, Jay Vonada. His smooth-flowing soundscape features melodic and stylish guitars, saxophones, pianos, trumpets.

Check out three of his songs here

December 10th, 2015, 8:00 PM, Smiling Chameleon, 235 Market Street

The fall bucknell dance concert

In a collection of seven dances choreographed by students, faculty, and guest artists, the Fall Dance Concert showcases the technique and discipline of Bucknell’s dancers. According to choreographer and dancer Emily Meringolo, “you will laugh, you will cry, etc. etc.”.

December 4th and December 5th, 7:30pm, Harvey M. Powers Theatre

CANDLELIT YOGA

glowing candles for yogaThe many candles’ light creates a lovely, luminous quality, reminding me of winter and the holidays.

December 1st, 5:30-6:30 PM, Davis Gym, Bucknell

dive In Movie

Watch the holiday classic “Elf,” like you have never seen before – in a pool! Kinney Natatorium will provide free food, drinks, and floatation devices.

December 1st, 9:30 PM, Kinney Natatorium, Bucknell

HOW TO TALK ABOUT ART AT COCKTAIL PARTIES

At this evening cocktail party, learn how to perfect talking about art to make you seem accomplished and worldly at art museums, galleries, and galas (no prior art education needed!). Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served. Alcohol available to those over 21.

December 3rd, 5:00 PM, ELC Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell (must RSVP)

And remember to save the date: 2016 Polar bear plunge

Take a icy cold dip into the Susquehanna River. Proceeds benefit the Lewisburg Ice Festival and the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership.

The event will take place Saturday, February 6th at 2 p.m. on the St. George Street Landing. Registration will come out in next few weeks.

Lewisburg Holiday Gift Guide:

(Click name for link to website)

  1. Street of Shops: Classic records, Christmas ornaments, kitchen 20110228_oneDayStory_0001gadgets, and millions of antiques to discover at this indoor country village.
  2. Purity Candy: Over fifty varieties of chocolates such as coconut clusters, peanut butter puffs, and maple cremes to satisfy all palettes
  3. Ard’s Farm: Homemade jams, hand-dipped chocolates, baskets filled with nuts, fruits, and cheeses, and many more inspired delicacies.
  4. Country Cupboard: The acre of shopping features a Christmas wonderland shop; a pantry filled with jams, pottery, tea; and a country shop with old world ornaments, candles, and decorative accessories
  5. Pompeii Street Soap Co.: Handcrafted natural bath & body products featuring gourmet-style soaps, lotions, and body buttershomemade_soap_by_andreeagruioniu-d5cuo95
  6. Black Dog Jewelers: Buy gold, silver, and diamond encrusted jewelry all for the love of dogs! Proceeds go to help forgotten dogs find new homes.
  7. Good Habits:  Handmade jewelry, incense, essential oils, and more
  8. The Gingerbread House: Carries lotions, home décor, glassware, barware, candles and seasonal items (attached to Retrah)
  9. Urban Post: Jewelry, handbags, clothing, scarves, pottery, and more. Don’t forget to check out the gallery in the back!images
  10. Colonial Candlecrafters: Wide variety of candles and candle related items to decorate your home
  11. Advanced Skin Care Spa and Salon: Services include therapeutic warm stone massage, aromatherapy massage, facials, spa packages, and more
  12. And then the frequented Market Street apparel shops of Retrah, Dwellings, Wilson Ross, and Fusion, to name a few

A Guide to Susquehanna River Valley’s Wineries

Whether we were atop the rolling hills of Tuscany sipping a glass of Chianti Classico, admiring the Andes Mountains while imbibing Malbec, or strolling through the vineyards of Cape Town with a silky Pinot Noir in hand, we made a point to plan wine tours while studying abroad. Once we came back to Bucknell though, many of us stopped planning trips on the weekends, contented with the same schedule day in and day out. Visiting vineyards doesn’t have to be luxury sought after in foreign lands; it can be done right here in the Susquehanna Valley. If we maintain our curiosity and quest for adventure to discover new cultures, foods, drinks, and opportunities, we can find a host of activities all around us. 

According to the Pennsylvania Wine Association, “Pennsylvania ranks fourth nationally in the amount of grapes grown and ranks seventh in the production of wine.” Susquehanna Valley’s rolling hills foster ideal growing conditions for healthy vineyards and premium wines, making them unique from any other wines in the world. This valley is home to five family-owned wineries that host award-winning vintages. Additionally, the inside tasting rooms and outdoor patios offer views of the vineyard, valley, and river. As we pride ourselves as wine dilettantes after our experiences abroad (although our parents will tell us otherwise), why not carry our knowledge of sight, smell, touch, and taste into the vineyards right by our campus. Or, if you have never done a wine tour, take these opportunities to learn about wine-tasting and the wine country history, all the while enjoying the pleasant state of your wine buzz and the picturesque views. No matter what region, country, or hemisphere you may be in, learning about wine is bound to be a good time anywhere.

Intrigued? Check these 5 wineries out:

SHADE MOUNTAIN WINERY

16140 Route 140, Middleburg. 570-837-3644. Hours: Mon-Thurs and Sat 10 AM - 5 PM, Fri 10 AM - 7 PM, Sun Noon-5 PM. 24 min away

“A great glass of wine starts with the vines”- Karl Zimmerman, Owner

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The 68 acres of Shade Mountain offers a remarkable array of 40 different grape varieties. Sample these high quality wines while sitting outside on the expansive deck, taking in the views of the vineyards and fields nestled in the foothills of Shade Mountain. The winery is “housed in a 19th Century converted bank barn and has grown to produce 30,000 gallons of wine annually.” There is also a recently renovated event room that overlooks the vines.

Events to check out:

  1. Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail: Heartland Christmas on weekends of 11/21-11/22; 11/28-11/29 & 12/5-12/6. If you go, you will receive: a grape vine wreath on which to place commemorative ornaments, a complimentary wine tasting at each winery, any food &/or food & wine pairing that wineries may offer, and a 10% discount on any wine purchases during your initial visit to any of the SHWT wineries.
  2. Susquehanna Heartland’s Wine Trail March Madness Month every March18907742-standard
  3. Shade Mountain’s Annual Fall Festival (where you can actually stomp the grapes!) held every second weekend in October
  4. Live music weekends

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Wine variety:

Red: Dry: 005, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese. Syrah; Off-dry: Lemberger, Proprietor’s Red; Semi-sweet: Keelboat Red, Shade Mountain Red; Sweet: Grinch Grog, Jack’s Mountain Red, Rascal Red, Willaim’s Port, Witch’s Titmouse

White: Dry: Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc; Semi-dry: Edelweiss, Young’s Hill Riesling, Shade Mountain White, Great White, Late Harvest Riesling; Sweet: Bad Moose Mead Anniversary White, Granny Z’s Mint Iced Tea, Niagara, Shade Mountain Mojitos (made with mint wine and mixed with mojito flavorings), Moscato

Blush: Semi-dry: Autumn Harvest; Semi-sweet: Shade Mountain Blush; Sweet: Evening Blush, Cool Duck

Fruit Wine: Semi-sweet: Plum, Cranberry; Sweet: Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Country Spice Apple, Elderberry, Pineapple, Raspberry, Prehistoric Peach, Smoke House Apple, StrawberryFor an in depth description of the wines click here

HUNTERS VALLEY WINERY

3 Orchard Road, Liverpool. 717-444-7211. Hours Wed-Thurs 11 AM - 5 PM, Fri 11 AM -7 PM, Sat 11 AM - 5 PM, Sun 1 - 5 PM. 41 min away

“There’s plenty of time to disconnect and finally time to connect with who & what surrounds you. And there’s wine. Lots of it” – Bill and Darlene Kvaternik, Founders.

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This farm winery is located on a beautiful spot overlooking the Susquehanna River. Visitors can tour the facility, taste the wines, picnic on the grounds, or take in the views from the large 40×60 foot pavilion. 

Fun events:

  1. “Open House and Craft Show twice each year – the first weekend in June and the third or fourth weekend in October.
  2. Yoga in the Vines- “Every 2nd Thursday and last Saturday of the month from 8am to 9am. Cost is $10/person and includes a 60 minute session, a wine tasting and a glass of your favorite WHV wine or specialty drink! Reservations highly encouraged!”
  3. Corks & Crayons! Thursday, Nov 19th from 12-4pm. “Come and experience the latest trend in adult relaxation: adult coloring books! Studies show coloring can have a calming effect on the adult mind and helps promote overall wellness. Compete in the coloring contest and you could win a prize!” Reservations recommended.

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Wine variety:

hv-signDry wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Semi dry wines: Riesling, Heart of the Valley, Susquehanna Crossing

Semi Sweet wines: Valvin Muscat, Hunters Valley Red, Susquehanna Sunrise,

Sweet wines: Wedding white, Niagara, Susquehanna River Red, Hope Whispers, Spiced Apple, Summer Days

Dessert wines: Schwartzbeeren, Himbeeren, Liverpool Ruby Red, Buck’s Backwoods Brew

Sparkling wines: Celebration, Blueberry Mist, Peach Mist, Strawberry Mist

For an in depth description of the wines click here

FERO VINEYARDS & WINERY

965 JPM Road, Lewisburg. 570-568-0846. Hours: Wed-at 11 AM-6 PM, Sun 11 AM-4 PM, 8 min away

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“Pennsylvania Grown in the heart of the Susquehanna River Valley.” 

Discover the quality tastes of Pennsylvania craft wines made with estate grown, hand picked grapes. The fruit has a unique style that reflects the heartland of Pennsylvania. The vineyard is planted on a south facing slope overlooking the beautiful agricultural valley of Lewisburg. 

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Wine variety:

White: Grüner Veltliner, Dry Riesling, White Table Wine, Pinot Gris, Semi-Dry Riesling –

Red:  Pinot Noir 2013, 1812 Lemberger, Estate Lemberger, Saperavi

Sweet wines: Sweet Blush, Sweet White, Apple, White Peach, Sweet Red, Chocolate, Sweet Niagara, Sweet Concord, Cherry,

For an in depth description of wines click here

FOUR FRIENDS VINEYARD & WINERY

574 Cemetery Hill Road, Montgomery. 570-547-0881. Hours Fri-Sat 11 AM - 6 PM, Sun 11 AM - 5 PM. 23 min away

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With the help of the friends – hence the name-, what started off as a small vineyard became a renowned winery with more than 50 Delaware vines and 50 Cayuga vines. Situated on 33 acres, the winery features an impressive array of wines “from extra dry to sweet table wines” to satisfy everyone’s unique palettUntitled 3e. The winery consists of a tasting room with an outdoor covered deck and a wine production area that are great for parties and events.

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Wine variety:

Red wines: Vincenzo, Baco Noir, DeChaunac, and personally named Jax Red, Red Sky, Beach Bum, Passion (great for Sangria!), and Summer Sun

White wines: Black Cap Riesling, Catawba, and personally named Sailaway, Whale Tail White, Diamond, Delaware, and Vineyard Harvest

For a description of wines click here. 

 

SPYGLASS RIDGE WINERY

105 Carroll Road, Sunbury. 570-286-9911. Hours; Tues-Thurs 11 AM- 6 PM, Fri-Sat 11 AM - 7 PM, Sun 11 AM - 5 PM. 27 min away

“After all, a wine can only be as good as the fruit in the vineyard” – Tom Webb, Owner

The 75 acre farm is home to 15 acres of estate owned vineyards that bring an array of wonderful wines. Alongside the indoor tasting room in a renovated early 19th century bank barn,  the winery also includes a large outdoor patio with a scenic, pastoral view. The winery hosts many large and small events – with the outside grounds offering unlimited space and an indoor seating capacity of 130 guests. This vineyard is also known for sharp culinary skills, pairing wines with select dishes.  

27288ed592c58eeb39a67208b46ae719Wine variety:

White: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Oaked Vidal, Seyval Blanc, Riesling, Riesling-Traminer, Vignoles, Magno Vignoles, White Duck,

Red: Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Chambourcin Nouveau, Merlot, Tam’s Red


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OR: TRY OUT THE WINE TROLLEY RIDE

Buy a trolley for the day and spend the day hopping from winery to winery. The trolley offers a hop on/off service to 14 different vineyards, allowing you to take in the Pennsylvania scenery while experimenting with the different aromas and winemakers’ specialties. These stops include the five wineries mentioned above and the Picking, O Donnell, Armstrong, Benigna’s Creek, Buddy Boy, Purple Cow, Juniata, Olivero’s, and Red Shale Ridge wineries.

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At all these vineyards, feel the passion of the wine and winemaking while enjoying quality time with friends and/or family. This is a chance to try something new and unfamiliar – both the activity itself and the wine. If you enjoy semi-sweet wine, go for a dry wine. Test your palette and experiment because you don’t want to miss out on the regional or winery’s specialities. Also chat with the winemakers and winery owners as well, who are some of the world’s most lovely and enchanting people.

“Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine” – Charles Dickensurl

 

 

Salut,

Carly

 

P.S. You must be 21 to attend these wineries. Please drink responsibly and respectfully.