Category Archives: UMD

Deep Creek

In the spirit of sucking life dry, I’m heading to Deep Creek Lake for the weekend. I didn’t even have to unpack my suit!

For some reason, one of the first things I knew about the state of Maryland was that it has no natural lakes. As Katie points out, it has puddles, creeks, rivers, bays, ocean…just no natural lakes. Can’t trust a state without a lake, can you?

Deep Creek Lake was created by an electricity company many years ago and purchased by the state of Maryland in 2000. They list a number of outdoor recreational activities but I think my priority is going to be SCUBA diving and trying to find some sunken electrical equipment.

College Park After Dark

INCIDENT:     Robbery
OCCURRED:     01/27/2007, 2:20 a.m.
LOCATION:     Gambling House in Nearby Residential Neighborhood
PGCPD CASE #: 07-027-0193
BRIEF DETAILS:

On 01/27/2007, at approximately 2:20 a.m., two suspects entered a
house in a nearby residential neighborhood, displayed handguns, and
announced a robbery.  The house was occupied by approximately fifteen
individuals including some University of Maryland students.  The
suspects took cash, cell phones and the victims’ pants.

Reportedly, the house was recently purchased and appeared to
have been converted into a gambling house.  The basement was furnished
with three professional gambling tables, flat screen TVs, a cash room,
and a bar.  Most of the victims were patrons of the gambling house.
Some victims/patrons may have left prior to the arrival of police.

What a great idea.  Up until the getting robbed part, anyway.  Why take a bus to Atlantic City when you can have it all in the basement?  I hope they took lemons and made lemonade by having a no-pants party after the robbers left.

The Weakest Link

When you graduate from Maryland, you get a keychain with your fake diploma (which is actually a small poster; my real diploma was mailed 5 months later when I called wondering where it was). The keychain says Maryland Alumni, and as one cynical but nevertheless astute classmate pointed out, they’re giving you this to make sure you think about donating within steps of graduating.

The fob is one of those “if you find my lost keys, drop them in the mailbox and we’ll pay the postage” type deals, kind of like supermarkets offer. The Alumni Center holds onto your current address for you (how convenient!) and forwards them should anyone be so kindhearted. One minor problem: while the fob itself is sturdy and pre-aged, the connecting link is weak like a Wii wrist strap. Symbolic of the average UMD alum’s connection to the school post-graduation?*

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*I remember reading somewhere that UMD alums give the school practically nothing back, especially compared to our “peer schools”, and going completely on anecdotal evidence, I’d have to agree.  If anyone has numbers, please leave them in the comments.

Hail, Alma Mater

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Not only are there Terrapins climbing the staircases at BWI (a marketing move described as “unique” and “unexpected for an educational institution”…………in a good way), but we also won the Grounds Maintenance Award. I originally meant that as a joke, but now that the University is at long last bypassing the sinkhole that is College Park (land of “a thousand permutations on the sandwich”) and creating their own college town, it’s a legitimate sign of good things to come.

Oh, and I hear we’ve got a pretty decent basketball team.

Mckeldin Magic

Freshman year was a hard time to do schoolwork. I lived in a quad, converted into a triple, and we rarely went to bed before 4 or 5am. i actually dropped a grade in a class because i slept through it 3 times (not counting the extensive rolodex of excuses I burned through…never faked any deaths though, unlike some roommates). But this class was at 10am, which is pretty pathetic.

So to get work done, Slash and I would occasionally retreat to Mckeldin library, which was a convenient 50 feet away from our dorm. I’d estimate that I read as much in one night there as I could in a week in my room. The best nights were the ones where Slash and I would go in for Mckeldin Magic.

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photo by David Byers

Mckeldin Magic consisted of a clock on the second floor that was never adjusted for daylight savings time, and thus was an hour fast. We would study until 3 or 4am, and upon leaving (only down the magic elevator, which was the smallest one that I don’t think you were really supposed to use), we would magically gain an extra hour and maybe be able to sleep a little before that exam.

Slash took Mckeldin Magic to extreme lengths, as with many things, and began “saving” his extra hour of daylight savings for when he really needed it. He wouldn’t change his clocks or otherwise acknowledge that the rest of society had shifted its collective schedule until he needed an extra hour.

This morning I woke up at 9:30, quickly regretting watching Old School late last night. I then discovered that I, too, had saved an extra hour and hadn’t changed my bedside clock yet. Needless to say I used my bonus hour and am in a much better mood now than if I had shifted clocks with everyone else.

Of course, my cellphone automatically switched Saturday night while I was out, which kind of takes the fun out of saving up hours, but you have to believe for magic to work.

What are some other things you should be able to accrue and use at your leisure like holiday leave?

Testudo deserves better

It’s always interesting to see what the University of Maryland considers worthy of its homepage real estate. National basketball championships, Nobel Prize winners, these are obvious choices. But once in a while they (OIT? Administration? marketing?) make a bold move and give an entire box to things like the Capitol One Mascot showdown.

For those of you who haven’t voted for Testudo yet, go ahead and do so and get it out of your system so I can continue my rant.

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Now, I expect this contest to get passed around the fraternity listserv and some AIM profiles, but I didn’t really expect my alma mater to promote it to its front page with more flair than a number of major university achievements are given. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen this same lame contest for five years now, and you always have to vote for EVERY SINGLE MATCHUP when you clearly only care about your school’s mascot (thus ensuring that 5 out of every 6 votes is someone randomly clicking so they can submit).

But the system’s integrity aside, don’t you think it’s beneath UMD to have this as a major part of the main site? I mean this is Capital One’s dream come true. They buy the rights to our mascots and then this “contest” gets them, a credit card company, on the front page of a major university’s website, space they could never have outright purchased no matter how much they offered. Never mind the fact that the average American already has over $8,500 in credit card debt or that they love targeting students.

Oh, and Testudo’s video sucks. He’s got much better moves than what appears to be drunk disco dancing.

update: They’ve since taken it down. But still.