“A bad day in London is better than a good day anywhere else!”

I left my study abroad program in London due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 15. At this point, almost two months after leaving London in a hurried mess, it all feels like it was a fever dream. My time in London was exhilarating, wild, and transformative. When I decided to study abroad there last September, I never could have predicted how great the people would be or how profound the experiences. From the moment my plane landed at Heathrow, gazing out on the sun rising over the city as the plane landed, I felt overwhelmingly secure and calm. I am an anxious person; I overthink and overanalyze every decision in my life. But for once, when my newfound friends and I deplaned and made our way to Regent’s University London, sitting in a black taxi cab squished between our suitcases, I was confident that this decision was going to result in the best experience...

May 31, 2020

“I’m really sorry to have to tell you this,” my manager at a Portsmouth hotel told me in March, “but I have to cut hours. It’s nothing personal.” And just like that, I morphed in to an unemployed older dude. Still a graduate student at UNH Durham (even though I will be completing my MFA on Zoom), still an Army Reservist (even through the drill dates are pushed to the right, and conducted virtually), still a sports fan (although with March Madness cancelled, I am conjuring up YouTube videos of past college basketball tournaments and sports documentaries), still a supporter of the undergraduate students here (although I have to stand back a safe distance when I meet their parents and wish them well, as they stream back to campus to pack their things and leave again). I am still all these things, and yet, I feel as dysfunctional as when I was 17 years old and needed to decide what I was going to do with my life. 

I begin...

May 31, 2020

I move around a lot. Not necessarily in terms of permanent address; my actual house has not changed since I was brought into this world. In that sense, I only ever moved from my mother's womb to the hospital to my standard suburban house where I lived for the next 18 years. However, despite having been settled there for most of my life, I don't feel particularly attached to my town. There is a lot about it I don't like to associate with, for example, the prominence of some flags (confederate ones) and the backlash of raising others (LGBTQ+ pride flags). Instead, I've made homes out of the people around me in whichever place I wind up in, travels and otherwise. The people I find a home in provide more comfort and protection than four walls ever could.

Currently, this sense of home most feels like my best friends' apartment at school where I spend my spare time. Or where I spent my spare time prior to this tornado of eve...

December 21, 2019, the night that comedy mega mogul Eddie Murphy returned to host Saturday Night Live was an incomparable blast to SNL past. It was also the night my once-unattainable dreams came true: After winning an SNL Instagram trivia contest three nights before, I was able to travel to New York City with my mother to sit in the live studio audience for the highly anticipated Eddie Murphy Christmas show.

After his 35-year hiatus from Studio 8H, Murphy’s comeback couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for the show’s purposes. That night’s cold open nailed the political events of the time: Alec Baldwin’s dumbly defiant rendition of a recently impeached President Trump came out to “crash” the sixth Democratic presidential debate, held in Los Angeles just two days before with a (formerly) full slate of candidates. Illustrious vocalist/rapper Lizzo, the show’s accompanying musical guest, brought down the house wit...

For a nation known as the birthplace of modern soccer, England has seen very little international success since their only World Cup victory in 1966. Despite their struggles on a global scale keeping up with rival countries like Germany or Italy, the sport remains a unifying factor and an important staple in England’s culture and history.

Football’s persistent popularity over the years borders on obsession. The sport has long been present on a domestic league scale in their English Premier League, a competition that sprouted and grew over a century after England first installed a league in 1888 that involved 12 teams. Now with four professional leagues across the country, football is an average piece of daily life in England with a club to represent just about any population. 

5 o’clock Wednesday night at a pub in Marylebone would see a steady flow of patrons coming in as work gets out, but on the occasional Wednesday n...

There’s something about the car ride to Newmarket from Durham that never fails to feel magical. It makes no sense -- there is literally nothing special about this 13 minute drive, yet it always manages to move my soul in some sort of funky way. Upon rolling down Main Street in Newmarket there is the typical debate about which side street we’re supposed to take. But once the car begins audibly struggling to chug up the steep hill we know that we’re close to the Stone Church.

Excitement builds as the slams of our car doors are mutilated by the escaped sounds of bands warming up from inside the building. Winning free tickets to the show makes this night even better, something I thought wasn’t possible. A $5 admission fee may seem like no big deal, but this is simply representative of the night. It feels like everything in the universe wants me to be right here, right now.

The Stone Church is a not-so-secret hidden gem, tuc...

So it’s spring semester. UNH Instagram has reminded us every chance they get that graduation is approaching. Your family began asking questions long ago about what your post-grad plans were, but they’ve become so frequent that you might as well just tattoo your elevator speech on your forehead. Hopefully you’ve applied for graduation by now; if not, I’m pretty sure you accidentally extended your stay here another semester. Either way you probably feel an anxiety-inducing slew of sadness, fear, nostalgia and excitement on the daily. Here’s how to work through those feelings and, more or less, survive.

Absolute optimism. Misery loves company and a lot of people have happened into a life they don’t necessarily want. They’ve been manipulated into valuing certain things that aren’t actually what they as individuals value. But here’s the thing: just because something is true of someone else’s life, doesn’t mean it will...

Dining hall fatigue—you know it, I know it. At the beginning of the year, you enter HoCo or Philly every day hungry and ready to dig into the seemingly infinite array of food laid out in front of you. By the end of the month, though, the stainless steel starts to lose its shine. It feels like you’ve had every menu item a thousand times. You don’t want to buy food elsewhere and waste that expensive meal plan, but you can only eat so many waffles in a week. That’s where a little bit of creativity comes in handy.

Nearly everyone I’ve talked to has their own go-to creation, ranging from a simple unconventional combination to something approaching actual cooking. The tips and recipes below have been collected from others’ and my own experiments, and are of course only a small jumping-off point for those of you itching for something new and willing to put in the little bit of extra effort to spice up your next trip to the ca...

There I was, crawling around on the floor backstage in the Hennessy Theatre, desperately attempting to pick all of my

drumsticks up without missing my cue for the next song. The glint of my two antennae-like stand lights, far up on my

music stand, was all that illuminated my way. As I scrambled to collect my sticks and mallets, organizing them as best as I could with my limited time and light, I silently slithered back onto the drum stool and grabbed the glockenspiel off of the stand. Flipping a page ahead in my music, I flicked on my mini light, snatched up my mallets and was ready when our music director, Lauren Craven, raised her hands to cue us in for the song.

Sound like a lot? That’s the life of a pit musician—at least during a show. Although usually your instruments are right by your side and don’t fall all over the floor during a performance, there’s still a lot to keep track of. But there’s nothing lik...

Neil Diamond’s famous song “Sweet Caroline,” which celebrated its 50th anniversary in August 2019, has transcended through the generations with its easy-breezy melody and ability to bring out immense camaraderie amongst its audience. The song has become a monumental aspect to the Fenway Park experience, with fans rising on their feet to sway and sing the song in the middle of the eighth inning before the Red Sox come to bat. Most commonly associated with the team, oftentimes baseball fans, Bostonians and curious minds alike have wondered why Diamond’s song is automatically synonymous with the thought of the Red Sox and “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.”

Where it began? To begin to know, you must start in the Fenway Park music department during the 1999 Boston Red Sox season.

The story of “Sweet Caroline” as a staple of the Boston Red Sox franchise is most often linked to former music department employee Amy Tobey. In nu...

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