Saturday Night Live, Existentialism, Political theory, McSweeney's, Beyonce, & The New Yorker
March 14, 2017
Last semester, I decided to apply to The SEEDS Project (Students Engaging and Enacting Dialogue and Service), an alternative spring break organization at University of Richmond. I was accepted into the program which would take me to the Appalachian Region of West Virginia for a service project over spring break this year.
After months of anticipation and pre-trip meetings, spring break finally arrived! I woke up at 6am and met 22 fellow students (and future best friends) at the transportation hub to head off on our adventure. Here are some highlights!
If you know anything about me, I’m the type of person who needs cell service 24/7. Just beyond the border of West Virginia I was in for a surprise — my cell service cut off and was gone from Saturday afternoon until Wednesday.
Despite the initial shock of having no internet access, I came to enjoy the peace and silence that came with taking a few steps back from the world.
For the first segment of the trip, our group stayed in a community center in McDowell County, West Virginia. Everyone shared a dorm style room, and we discovered that we were sharing it with a few hundred ladybugs. No big deal, though, the ladybugs were quiet and kept to themselves on a windowsill.
To commemorate our service trip, we painted a mural on the wall. It was inspired by the movie October Sky, which stars a baby Jake Gyllenhaal, set in Coalwood, West Virginia — a town just a few miles from the community center.
Even though we started our mural at 10pm, I think it turned out pretty well! We even included a spider in the window of the rocket. #SpiderPride
A highlight of our trip was taking a hike up a mountain to a scenic overlook. Easier said than done. We managed to climb all the way to the top of the mountain before realizing we had climbed the wrong mountain.
It took another hike to undo our mistake, and even though I almost collapsed in a pile of exhaustion a few times, the view at the (second) top was totally worth it.
By the end of the week, I had made 22 new friends. We had all stayed in the same room, suffered through snoring together, made meals and hiked mountains and shared reflections with each other, and avoided death by ladybug infestation.
Our service team (including fellow Spider Diarist Hunter) helped replace a ceiling and learned the magical art of sheetrocking.
Alternative spring breaks might not be as relaxing as a typical spring break. But, in my experience, it was totally rewarding. If you come to Richmond, put SEEDS on your bucket list.
-Cory ’19, professional amateur mountain climber
Hey Spiders! My name is Cory, and I’m a sophomore and transfer student. I’m a double major in Rhetoric and Communication and Women, Gender, and Sexuaity Studies. My goal in life is to one day work at Olivia Pope & Associates, or at least work in crisis management or public relations. I grew up between Florida, Colorado, and Virginia, and similar to Cady Heron in Mean Girls, I was homeschooled. I love traveling, shopping at Target, spending time with my cat (named Soren Kittegaard), attempting to keep up with the Kardashians, reading Albert Camus, and hanging out with friends. Keep an eye out for some posts specifically about the transfer life! Sneak peek: so far it’s been fantastic.
Why UR?I didn’t really get connected to University of Richmond until I was a freshman in college. I met some amazing alumni and visited the campus and honestly fell in love with everything about Richmond. Michael Scott once said in The Office, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take - Wayne Gretzky,” and I knew that I had to take a shot and apply as a transfer student. I’m thrilled to be a Spider, to be at a university that feels like home, and to conquer my arachnophobia for once and for all.