Killing Two Birds with One Stone

I read somewhere that living in a dark climate can heighten latent depression and at the least affect one’s daily mood. It hinders productivity at work and happiness at home. Northern European countries have to resort to artificial interior lights 24/7. Constant dark outside can drain your spirit. I can understand this problem. My living room is dark and I seldom enjoy sitting there for too long without all the lights on. I have two table lamps but it doesn’t seem to do the job. I like the atmosphere afforded by candles but I also need something in the ceiling. I don’t want an overly bright room so I have to find the right balance. The ceiling fortunately is wired for a fixture already and I think a stylish ceiling fan with lights integrated would be so cool overhead. I hear they are easy to install and repair. There is a great retro look about it which would work well with my simple, casual décor. Besides, these units come in all finishes with and without central lights. They work perfectly in formal rooms as well. Given the choices available at all price points, I can kill two birds with one stone without spending all my vacation savings. I can get better air circulation while I illuminate a very dark space. What a wonderful idea! Let me at it!

The question is which fan. I am not a very decisive person about some things and there is a vast array of choices. I feel like printing out various photos of name brand ceiling units and placing them on the floor. I will then throw a dart at the pile like people often do to a map of the world to choose their next vacation spot. It would be as effective a method as surfing the Web endlessly. Just kidding. I am bound and determined to find something appealing that suits my space. Some sites even accept custom orders. There are so many possibilities that this won’t be necessary. I love the old-fashioned fans with brass and glass fixtures. I also love the island feel of rattan covered blades. My wood floors are a medium tone and a brown stain would be the perfect accompaniment.

Once I got this far, the next step was to decide on the ideal light. Did I want a multiple side-by-side bulb fixture or a single larger one? I opted for the most lighting possible in a ceiling fan and found a fan/light combination with maximum wattage. Problem solved. Everyone who visits agrees that I made a good addition while they can see better already in the once dark space. I will avoid any latent depression for sure. I feel sorry for people who have a light deficiency as I have felt a bit sad in the winter when it gets dark at four. My living room gets a lot more use now that it is properly lit.

Great Game, Not So Great Beer

College football is big in Kutztown, at least it is with my group of friends. I like to have parties when our favorite teams are playing. You can see our team stats on line: the Golden Bears. We have jerseys for sale if you are a fan and we wear them when watching a game in person or televised. The Bears are the pride of Kutztown University and are the focus of a lot of attention in these parts. They have been playing since 1895. Great moments in the last decade include:

2007: We lost 49-32 to Bloomsburg in October but in spite of the defeat KU set several offensive records among them 625 offense yards, 308 receiving yards and 494 total player offenses. We made the best of a bad situation.

2007: In November, the final play by Kyle Spotts was an 8-yard touchdown in triple overtime to end the season.

2008: KU player, Ryan Nye, was named academic All-America, the first in school history. We are proud of this moment given to us by this punter and major in elementary education.

2010: This was the day of the “kick heard around the world.” We secured our 50-48 victory when C.W. Post amazing 30-yard field goal kick made it just inches from the post as time ran out. We always hope for another such exciting moment. The team broke the school record during this game after which the student body stormed the field.

2011: Another school record occurred in October with Josh Mastromatto who returned a 100-yard kickoff for a touchdown. I don’t have to describe the feeling of witnessing this endzone-to-endzone achievement.

2011: In November, KU wins the first PSAC championship due to the efforts of senior backup quarterback Marshall Vogel who led the winning touchdown drive in the last few minutes.

2012: Time marches on and the team continues to perform. In October, Jack Ruggieri kicked his way into the NCAA (National College Athletic Association) league record book with a surprising extra point conversion.

2014: Wow. Andre Reed is named the first player to be inducted in the pro football hall of fame in PSAC history. The stadium was renamed in his honor.

2017: Well, we are still waiting for the season to progress before reporting exmemorable moments. Stand by.

Okay, now you are a fan by osmosis. Meanwhile, we partied on and guzzled beer. At one point, it was tasting a bit flat and I wondered if it had expired. Then I was concerned about getting sick, but this is not the consequence. It doesn’t turn to poison; it just lacks its pizzazz based on what the site I pulled up quickly on my cell phone called Crack a Cold One.

Of course, I stopped sipping immediately and lamented the problem as I rushed out the door to get some fresh brew. While it was annoying, it did not diminish the mood. Bad expired beer or not, we were having a good time, as we always do when cheering on our Kutztown team.

A Surprisingly Fun Day

I love to share my life to give myself some perspective. I can look back and smile or cry. Most of the time I feel silly about attitudes I have held. Here is just one small example.

Long ago, when I graduated from college, I bought myself an expensive and well-made backpack from Business Bag Review as a treat for completing four long years. I didn’t get one as a gift so I took it upon myself to find one. I assumed that I would be entering corporate America shortly most likely in another area; but then I decided to stay in Kutztown and the bag had to serve other purposes than as a quasi-briefcase. I hardly need something so formal right now. We don’t even have many high rises. The backpack sits in the closet most of the time, so I was thrilled when a friend ask me to join her on a hike so I could take it along. Finally, it would see the light of day. I gave her a rousing “yes” in answer to her request.

I prepared for the big day with excitement and anticipation and thought I would put the appropriate shoes and gear inside. The bag was certainly big enough. The problem was that I didn’t have them. I found some old sneakers and they would have to do. I put them in the almost new backpack although it seemed a bit off at the time. I wasn’t going to miss out due to a lack of special boots. If I didn’t like hiking, I would be stuck with them. It is best to wait before jumping in feet first (literally) and see, I counseled myself before embarking on my adventure.

The surprise after all this insecurity was a really fun day. It was lovely to be outdoors in the sun and fresh air and have a wonderful scenic view to photograph. We have to constantly feed Instagram and Facebook, right? Here was the perfect opportunity. All in all, hiking wasn’t as tough as I thought since my friend suggested an appropriate trail that was not dangerous or steep. I didn’t fear for my life. Maybe I will graduate to something more difficulty next time when I am wearing some new lace up thick-soled boots. Yes, they are on my shopping list. Meanwhile I was a bit out of my element in the tennis shoes and carrying a fancy business bag. I could tell from the looks I got from other more appropriately attired hikers.

My friend and I agreed on another date in the near future which would give me time to find a simple denim backpack and some all-weather hiking boots at a reasonable price. I will fit in perfectly next time. No more odd stares! The business backpack will stay in the closet and wait until I travel out of town. Perhaps I will gift it to my sister who lives in a large cosmopolitan city.

Moving Day is Almost Here!

I am stoked! The big day is almost here. I am moving to a new and bigger place after all this time of dwelling modestly. I will have room for all my accumulated stuff. In fact, I will have more than I need. It is a luxury to have a spare room that can double as an office or guest area. I am so lucky to have the wherewithal after being a University of Pennsylvania student to get an adult-size abode. Kutztown is reasonable unless you live across the street from the campus. You definitely get your money’s worth. It is real value for us graduates. Students lived together huddled in a one-bedroom or studio and learn to pool expenses.

My boxes are stuffed with clothing and shoes, books and magazines, cookware, and basic appliances. I am not forgetting all the cleaning supplies so I won ‘t have to spend a bundle replacing them. There are also dishes, glasses, bowls, utensils, towels and sheets. Is something missing? You may ask about the toaster, mixer, coffeemaker, and vacuum. I have all but the later packed tightly since I am getting a new one. The old one died a miserable death coughing dirt and dust. Now I want something top of the line like a Dyson or Shark from The Vacuum Challenge so I can keep my new pad really clean. I have wood floors and an area rug, so I want a model that can do both with ease. I want to be able to switch attachments.

So, which brand will I chose. The best ones are about the same price. I think that the weight of the machine is important and how comfortable it is when moved around. Size matters to most, but I don’t have limited storage. However, I don’t want a big fella. I want an upright and not a canister vacuum as I hear that it is more durable and efficient. A canister is fine for a small home. Let’s go with the impressive Shark duo-clean powered lift-away speed vacuum. That’s a mouthful. What do you get? The plastic, metal, and rubber marvel is the brand’s most compact and lightweight lift-away in spite of the high price. For the extra money invested, the unit comes with a soft brushroll for stuck-in debris. It is an advanced appliance with extended reach of the motorized cleaning head. You can switch to above-floor mode for other than carpeted areas. You can do stairs, furniture, and drapes with one machine. I really like that it is anti-allergen due to new technology and a HEPA filter. What can hurt your lungs stays in the vacuum.

As if this weren’t enough, you also get a pet multi-tool and power brush, a duster crevice attachment, an under-appliance wand, and an accessory bag. It comes with a 7-year warranty. After seeing it in action, I notice that it has a wide cleaning path and a long cord. I made the right choice.

New to Basketball? So Was I!

Kutztown has so much in the way of cultural activities, shopping, recreation and entertainment that I hardly ever gave a thought to sports. I know the University of Pennsylvania has a team on a par with many colleges around the country. People get pretty excited about the basketball playoffs in particular. I feel that I must be missing something, but how does one get started become a fan and spectator. I know nothing at all. People at work talk about it so it’s a good place to begin. As a student, I did see a few games during my time pursuing my studies, but it was only about school loyalty and nothing more. I did it to be social.

Now I think I want to get into local basketball a bit more. It will be another fun thing to do with friends. I know that I am not the only novice around when it comes to this great American sport, so here I go delving into a new area. There is so much to learn, first the basic rules and plays of the game, and then the forte of our particular university players. Who is who, for example, and who is expected to move on to the big time. I assume there are professional level players every year. I know it is all about recruitment and I have heard about scandals in football. I think our reputation is squeaky clean.

The Kutztown basketball team I want to follow are the Penn Quakers. They had their best showing in 1966 to 2007—that’s a pretty long time. Let’s see them come back to top tier in their division called the Big Five. Temple, LaSalle, St. Joseph’s, and Villanova are all arch rivals. See how much I know already? If you are new to basketball you may want to know more generalities, apart from the sports excitement in my town. Here’s a cheat sheet for you, but if you want to learn more then you should go check visit Baller’s Guide.

A basketball team (consisting of twelve players) earns points by shooting the ball into the basket or hoop on their side of the court. It has a three-point line, and any shots from outside it earn three points. Two points are gained from valid shots from inside the line.

A college or professional hoop is ten feet off the ground.

If a foul occurs, a free throw is allowed and there may be a change of possession of the ball to the other team. There are also backcourt violations. For example, after a basket or rebound, a player holding the ball must not possess it for more than ten seconds (eight for the NBA).

Technique of dribbling is the manner in which a player moves the ball across the court. A player must use only one hand or he will incur a “double dribble” violation. He must also take a requisite number of steps, not more as he “travels.”

Illegal contact is another violation that involves pushing, hitting, or holding another player.

Wow. There is so much more but I am out of space and time. I hope this gets you a bit excited about enjoying this active and dynamic team sport.

Variety is the Spice of Life!

Where is the time? There is work to be done! For my job, I was asked to profile some local jobs in my area. It was a real pleasure. I met very nice people including a college admissions officer, a retail shop manager, and a body shop owner among others. I learned something new with each interview about the working world. Each had something distinctive to say. There are many career choices out there and variety is the spice of life. Everyone liked their work and recommended it to anyone out there hunting. They mentioned what it takes to get hired, how to move up in the ranks or improve one’s income, and where to apply in the region. For the mechanically inclined, the auto shop was ironically the most lucrative. Everyone has a car and most need repair at one time or another. Hey teens, if you have been working with dad or Uncle Bill in their garages and have learned the ropes, when you graduate you can become an apprentice.

The time spent with the body shop manager was so cool. He let me take a tour of the entire business, talk to the mechanics and watch them at work, and even try out a brand-new auto-darkening welding helmet from Rate My Welder. I had never seen one before and it was so sci-fi. It would make a great Halloween costume, but I wonder if anyone would know what it is. He told me every detail. This device protects the eyes and face from welding specks and spatter as well as any harmful radiation present in the course of doing auto body repairs. It goes from light to dark in less than a second when an arc is struck. Then it reverts to normal. The user can actually adjust this response time. It is called lens sensitivity control. It is worth its weight in gold—and you can spend over one hundred dollars. It works for all types of welding from TIG and MIG to TIG.

I am not going to stop here, dear readers, as there is more. This helmet reduces neck tension and fatigue. Would that work on my job? Ha! It is an amazingly sensitive gadget in protective mode. It also offers UV/IR protection up to shade DIN13. Did you get that? I think we owe the development of this welding helmet to Proposition 65 in California and other state measures of a similar nature. In California, the elected officials had the foresight to deal with environmental health hazard problems. They determined that there was need due to chemicals that cause toxicity (particularly to the newborn). Valid scientific testing had to take place on certain products, especially those made of plastic material. The helmet I was shown is made of extra-strength material in the mask area. By the way, it works on batteries (rechargeable with solar power) and the lens protector (spatter shield) is replaceable. I love modern technology!

My Secret Weapon

Come winter, I hate to get out of bed on those frequent gray, cold days. I just want to snuggle with the blankets forever—or the cat. I have to prod myself, but it is much easier if you have a wake up light. Then you can stop hitting that snooze button over and over. The new light is better than a blaring alarm and you can program it to flash different colors in various patterns if you like. It will actually be a pleasure in the morning, helping you greet the day. It is my secret weapon against a dreary morning.

People get depressed in the winter months due to the lack of sunshine. I envy those in California who get their fill. No wonder everyone wants to go west for an offseason vacation. Sitting on the beach in December is a thrill. I hear you can ski and surf on the same day. Meanwhile, I have my life in Kutztown.

I heard about the best wake up light models from a friend who swears by it. She spent considerable time researching the best one. It saved me time as I took her recommendation. She had difficulty hopping out of bed and the light was a godsend. It mimics a natural sunrise and tricks the body into waking in a natural way—much more peaceful than an alarm. You look forward to it. She told me that you wake with a smile. Who would ever use a conventional alarm clock again?

While she touts the brand she has, she also explained that there are many models and various settings that come with each. You can choose to wake up to the radio, nature sounds, sunrise stimulation, etc. She warned me that the nature sounds aren’t realistic with some products and to select carefully. Read the testimonials and reviews, she warned.

I am happy with what I bought and feel better in just a few minutes. I used to be tired and grumpy for at least an hour. Now I am ready to roll without a fight. I don’t dread the morning hours. I get better rest and particularly enjoy the sounds of birds and waves. These wakeup lights are amazing. They even function as a night light. No more tripping over your shoes lying on the floor in the dark. I read all the instructions and found out that these lights can be programmed as light therapy.

For those of you who are not morning people, run out and get a wake up light. It will change your mood forever as it keeps your sleep/wake cycle on track. It communicates with your smartphone for programming. It’s part of the new technological lifestyle. What would be do without our gadgets? I, for one, would be helpless. The only negative is that you depend on your digital arsenal. My phone helps me set the light so that it increases slowly in brightness and intensity levels. So convenient!!

Taking a Walk Down Main Street

I just love a town with a Main Street. Don’t you? I think it is one of the best things about small towns, to be honest. A symbol of community and entrepreneurship. It is also one of my favorite places in Kutztown (aside from my house and KU). It is such a cute place to eat, shop, worship, or even live!On a nice day, I can just walk up and down Main, getting exercise as I shop and running into friends wherever I go. There are some great places to visit the next time you’re there; but for the sake of brevity, I am only going to highlight a few today.

I love to stop in to the Firefly Bookstore to see what they’ve recently put up on their shelves. I can’t help it, I love books, and they’ve got a great mix of used and new books coming in all the time. In this age of Amazon Prime, it’s great to be in a brick-and-mortar store with some wonderful employees. They love what they do and will even special order things for you if it’s not something they carry (although their new store is huge, so it is hard to imagine them not having something).

If you are looking for knowledgeable staff and homeopathic products, check out the Second Nature Health Food Store. Plenty of medical professionals in the area work with the shop to provide natural remedies for patients. It’s a wonderful shop with great products that you might be surprised to find in such a “small” town.

Another great place to visit is Vynecrest on Main. It’s a storefront for a local winery. Run by a couple and their son, it’s a great place to stop before a dinner party or after work—but only Thursday through Sunday (the rest of the time, you have to go over to the actual winery in Breinigsville to get your fix; but they offer tastings there and the place is gorgeous, so you probably won’t mind). I recommend the Summertime Red!

Even if it’s only to browse, you should definitely stop in to The Sorrelli Store. It is a gorgeous jewelry store. It’s amazing! They even have stylists to help you find the perfect piece for that special someone or for your next event. The pieces they sell are absolutely gorgeous. If you are curious, check out their website. I want to buy all their stuff!

There are plenty of places where you can change your appearance. There are three hair salons, nail salons, a few barber shops, a tattoo and piercing studio, and even a tanning salon. Everybody’s got different preferences for these things, so that’s definitely up to you.

I could spend ages listing all the different places you can eat—everything from a quick bite, to pub food, to restaurants, and dessert places. Instead, I’ll just say this: there are national franchises and independently owned places you can’t find anywhere but here.

Do you have a Main Street in the town where you live? If so, do you spend as much time there as I do mine?

Things to Do in Kutztown

 

Because this is a “University town” and KU kids know how to entertain themselves, there is a pretty decent nightlife scene here in Kutztown. The school and the town itself offer plenty of options for entertainment, socializing, dining, and more.

We’ve got our share of bars and pubs—we are a University town, after all. Places like Kutztown Tavern, Shorty’s, Prestige, andK’Town Pub are great places to kick back and let loose with your friends after a hard week of studying. While I was never known as a party girl, I did have my share of nights out. If I had no problem finding something to do around town, you won’t either. If you’re not into that scene, the school itself has a decent variety of activities that you’ll actually want to attend. There are comedy nights, board and video game tournaments, well-acted murder mystery dinners, bingo, and a host of other events. There are also the typical Greek mixers and parties.

There are also plenty of KU sports teams, which means games—and those can be a great place to hang with friends and cheer on your classmates. Go Golden Bears! We are an NCAA Division II school, which means we’re not quite large enough to compete in Division I. We don’t really mind because there are some great schools in the PSAC East (Seton Hill, Shippensburg, Mansfield, and East Stroudsburg to name a few that you may have heard of). The quality of the teams can vary from year to year, but there’s always something (or someone) worth rooting for.

We also do a lot with the arts. Kutztown University also has a good music program, which means lots of performances in just about every genre of music. And speaking of performances, there is also a summer concert series in the Kutztown Park Bandshell, which is a great way to spend a summer evening! We’ve also got lots of artists on campus, so there are showings and arts events for everyone to enjoy.

If you don’t mind driving a bit, you will be able to expand your world even more, as Kutztown is close to some great places. Allentown Fairgrounds is only about a half hour away, and there are some great performances there—definitely worth a trip. In addition, the expo center there hosts many a convention during the year. Also, Hershey Park is only about an hour away. This chocolate themed amusement park has lots of things to do: there’s the rides, Chocolate World, Hershey Bears games, and a Theater for concerts and performances.

While there is not as much to do as there would be in a big city, there’s always something going on. I like it this way because I feel like there is a perfect balance—enough that I don’t feel like I am going to the same three places and seeing the same crowd every night, but not so many options that I’m totally overwhelmed.

What do you like to do?

Dining in Kutztown

Do you like to eat out as much as I do? Well, then you’re in luck! For a smaller sized place, we are totally blessed when it comes to places to eat. From great burgers to trendy sushi to your neighborhood pizza place, Kutztown’s got it all!

I know as a college student, one thing I was pretty much always in the mood to eat was pizza. And we’ve got an authentic pizza place right here on W. Main called Mamma’s Delight. When I say authentic, I mean it, too—the proprietor, Vincenzo DiMaggio, was born in Sicily. When he came to the United States, he worked at a pizza parlor in New York. Then he relocated to Kutztown, and the rest is cheesy, tomato sauced history. They are open late nights and you can order online, which is perfect for students! Whether you’re looking for pizza, a cold sandwich, burger, wings, or even a soup and salad, give Mama’s Delight a try.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, just a little ways down W. Main from Mamma’s is Betty’s. This cute eatery features burritos, wraps, soups, salads, and even smoothies. Most dishes are actually vegetarian and made with local ingredients. And—the two words college students love most—they deliver. Betty’s is my go-to lunch place. So good!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what a great hangout Shorty’s Bar is. This is definitely the place, six days a week, where I would go if I wanted a night out. There are always drink specials going on to entice the college crowd. But who isn’t going to appreciate a $5 pitcher of Yuengling? And with bingo, karaoke, a pool league, trivia, and beer pong, there’s plenty to do throughout the week.

Don’t worry, I’m aware I mentioned sushi at the beginning of the post. If it is raw fish that you crave, head over to TK’s Sushi House. There’s plenty of space if you want to dine in but they also do lots of takeout business. Especially at lunch. Everything is fresh and hand-made. That means its fresher, but it might take longer than you’re used to. It’s worth the wait in my opinion. Especially for the volcano roll. But that’s just me.

If you’re sick of chain restaurants, you’ll find the cure at Ozgood’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill. Ozgood’s is the perfect place to chill out with a burger, a brew, and some great friends. As soon as you sit down, order the beer cheese dip while you peruse the rest of the menu. The soft pretzels and dipping sauce are the best! My hands-down favorite is the Delmonico Sandwich, though. Be sure to try it next time you’re there!

These are just a handful of eateries in the area, and I haven’t even touched on great places like Letterman’s Diner, La Cocina Mexicana, The Frying Dutchman, Spectators, or even the fancy places nearby, like the Glasbern Inn and the Savory Grille.If you’re interested in trying out local restaurants as well as the area’s beer and wine options, come to our annual Taste of Kutztown, held in early summer. It is a total blast!

An Intro to Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Of course most graduates are going to tell you they had a great college experience and try to convince you that you should make the same choice. This is surely the case here, with my alma mater, Kutztown.

The school was actually founded in 1866 as a school for teachers. Eventually the name was changed to reflect this focus—in 1928, it became known as Kutztown State Teachers College. When they decided to expand to include more than just education classes, the name changed again, this time to Kutztown State College. Once it became part of the University of Pennsylvania in 1983, the name changed for the last time, to Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Most of us call it Kutztown University, or KU for short.And that’s enough of a history lesson for today.

I am sure you also want to know about academic offerings. Well, KU hasboth graduate and undergraduate programs. You can get a Bachelors degree in subjects like Business, IT, Sciences, Music, Public Relations, Languages, Criminal Justice, Education, History, Math, and Social Work. They’re all listed on the website if you’re interested in checking them out. There’s also 23 different grad programs offered for those wanting to continue their education. Some of the fields offered are in Arts Administration, Business Administration, Library Science, and Computer Science. You can also get certification for various education fields and for counseling.

OK, so now that all of that is out of the way, I can get into the more interesting stuff. Like what life at KU is really like! Honestly, what you put in to your college experience is going to dictate what you get out of it, no matter where you go. But KU makes it easy. There is a student involvement website that can help you find groups and events that you would be interested in, from residence hall associations to clubs with an academic or topical focus. If you love music or expressing your opinion, we’ve got our own radio station. We also produce our own TV show for those interested in that.

If you are looking for something longer-lasting, there is also Greek life for those who want to join a fraternity or sorority. And for those looking to make an impact, you’ll want to spend time at the Community Outreach Center, where you can find volunteer projects that will benefit those in both Kutztown and beyond. You can even do an Alternative Spring Break where you go on a week-long service trip instead of a mindless beach vacation. While it is a great way to get some of those hours you might need for your certification, it’s also a worthwhile thing to do.

There are plenty of organizations doing a variety of things; you’ll find something that is perfect for you. Kutztown makes it really easy to get involved, no matter what your interests are. And the friends that you make at KU will feel like family before too long!

Kutztown, You Won Me Over

I’ll be honest with you: when I first moved to Kutztown to attend college, I didn’t really intend to stay. I figured I would end up back home in Litchfield, or maybe move on to Philadelphia–or an even bigger city somewhere. I had liked the campus when I visited my junior year of high school with my mom, who is an alum and wanted me to carry on the family tradition, but I wasn’t looking at the big picture back then. Honestly, I’m not sure if I had any idea where I wanted to end up. It is a little unrealistic for someone to be able to work that out for themselves at the ridiculous age of 16. Or maybe you did, and 16 wasn’t a ridiculous age for you. But when I was that old, I wasn’t even capable of taking care of a plant, nevermind mapping out an entire future for myself.

What I did know was that I wanted culture. I wanted something besides the local Walmart to be open at 1 am. I figured college was going to be a stepping stone to all that.There are so many great minds here thanks to KU. It really sets a place like Kutztown apart from other towns around the country. It lends an air of sophistication and academia that is sorely lacking in many other places around Pennsylvania (if I’m being totally honest, that is). This place comes alive when the students are in town, and I remember how great it felt to come back every year. Even now when I am on the other side of things, I love seeing the college students arrive at the end of summer, their fresh young faces full of possibility. It brings me great joy to watch their caps fly in the air every spring.

Over the course of my four years as an undergrad, I really got to know Kutztown. Its small town feel and big heart. I love the sense of culture and community that it has—it is so much more than a college town with a strip of chain restaurants and bars lining the only road in and out (you may laugh, but I grew up close enough to some SUNY schools to know a good thing when I see it). I love being able to walk down Main Street and support my neighbors every time I spend money. I really enjoy the block parties and municipal pool, the places to eat and concerts in Kutztown Park. The community service I did through KU while I was a student had a huge impact on who I am today and what I decided to do as a career. I wouldn’t be who I am today without those experiences, and I am eternally grateful for everyone I have met along the way.

Like I said, I didn’t mean to stay. But I am glad that I did. Kutztown has won my heart, and I’m proud to call it home.