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The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20

Hometown: Marblehead, Ma
Major: Psychology/Art (possibly)
Activities: Ultimate Frisbee, Improv Comedy

Favorite aspect of Connecticut College:
My favorite aspect of Conn is how welcoming the community is to new members. Early in my first semester at Conn I was walking around the green with my friends and a group of seniors approached us. They asked us if we were excited about freshman year, told us what they study, and said that if we needed anything they could help us. They showed us around campus that night. I always laugh when I think about that moment. I am still friends with the seniors I met that day. One became the mom figure in my improv comedy group, another is my leader for the Women’s Empowerment Initiative, and the last senior I met is one of my favorite baristas at the Walk-In Coffee Closet. At Conn, there is no power dynamic between senior students and first years which allows students more experienced with academics and student life to share their knowledge. The community is also small enough where you can see people you meet frequently enough to get to know them easier.

Favorite memory at Connecticut College:
A couple of days after moving in I saw people playing frisbee on Tempel Green, right outside of my building. I decided to ask to join, as did some of my first-year peers, and we were all terrible. I had no frisbee experience and learned the basics of how to throw. I spent a couple of hours throwing terribly, dancing, singing and making some of my now-best friends. Although my throws are much better now, my first day of frisbee is irreplaceable because it sparked my love for the sport and my team members. 

Favorite activity in New London or the region:
Going to Muddy Waters Cafe on Bank Street, amazing desserts and lunch options.

 

Where Should I Live?

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

After receiving my acceptance to Conn, I was extremely excited and completely overwhelmed by all of the tasks that needed to be completed before Move-In Day. My biggest priority was to fill out the housing questionnaire about living preferences. It seemed like where I lived was a do-or-die situation. I thought there could definitely be some wrong answers, but I also did not know which ones those would be. Now I understand that there is a place for everyone on campus, and each building/location has specific benefits.

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Ultimate Spring Break

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

Practicing my throws

In the beginning of my first semester at Conn, I joined the club Ultimate Frisbee team, and even though the spring tournaments Riptide and High Tide were months away, returning team members talked constantly about how great spring break was going to be. So I knew I was in for a fun time when I set out to spend my spring break with 40 of my friends.

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The Walk-in Coffee Closet

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

Posing with some of the chalkboard art I created.

The Walk-in Coffee Closet at Ruane’s Den has served as my home away from home since my very first day at Conn. Living in Harkness House, I have the luxury of being able to leave my room and be right at the entrance of the Walk-in, located on the first floor of my building. The Walk-in has been my lifeline. They serve (in my opinion) the best drinks on campus, and they have a variety of pasta dishes, paninis and snacks that are always there for me when I don't feel like walking to Harris Refectory, the largest dining hall on campus. The Walk-in is also one of my favorite places to study because the atmosphere reminds me of my favorite coffee shop at home, and they have the comfiest chairs on campus.

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Sweaty Clothes

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

Having fun in the equipment room

My Sundays start like every other Conn student’s, with moving sweaty clothes from a large blue bin to a slightly smaller washing machine—only they’re not my clothes. How did I get myself into doing other people's laundry? The summer before my first semester at Conn I knew I was going to be involved in the Federal Work-Study program, which helps students who receive financial aid get jobs on campus to further reduce the cost of being a college student. I emailed Kelsey Lengyel-Jacovich, the manager of the Athletic Center, and asked her about available jobs for the upcoming semester. There were multiple jobs open so I decided to take on three different positions: ID checker, equipment room staff, and game crew. In my three roles, I work at the front desk greeting people and checking them in. I wash practice and gameday clothes for in-season athletes, and I assist with setup and other miscellaneous tasks to keep the games running smoothly.

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Museums On Campus

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum

I recently completed an art history ConnCourse called Mona Lisa to Instagram, taught by Professor Karen Gonzalez-Rice, which focused on historical artists such as Leonardo da Vinci to contemporary artists like Kara Walker. In the final weeks of class, we studied Impressionism and Postimpressionism, and instead of viewing the examples on a projector, which can alter the coloration and size of art, Professor Gonzalez-Rice took us to view The Lyman Allyn Art Museum’s permanent collection of 18th through 20th century art.

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I am a Tempest

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

WE Headshots used as promotion for the show on Facebook

Since coming to Conn, I have become a professional novice, frequently trying out new experiences to find my place within the community. My first semester here I joined the Ultimate Frisbee team and tried out for the improv comedy group N2O. Second semester I tried out for “She is a Tempest,” the Women’s Empowerment (WE) Initiative’s annual show.

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Honing a passion for art

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

As a kid, I spent a lot of time in a home that looked straight out of Country Home and Living Magazine, with many wicker baskets and an odd number of duck sculptures and paintings. (I counted once and made it to double digits for ducks/items with ducks on them.) I would meander around this home while eating blueberry pie, admiring the immense gallery of artwork that my grandma created over her 95 years of life. Her quaint yellow country home is where my love of art started.

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Day 9: Memphis

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

I drove from Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee, in the morning. It was another quick drive, and arguably the prettiest. I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road because we were driving through valleys with open fields and hundreds of bulls walking around, eating grass, and laying under canopies of trees. We arrived in Memphis at around 3 p.m., the earliest we have ever arrived at a hotel. I was wiped out from a bout of insomnia the night before so I decided to take a quick nap... that happened to be two-hours-long. I woke up hungry, like always, so I looked up barbecue places in Memphis. A restaurant called Central BBQ in downtown caught my eye. It was 20 minutes from our hotel and we decided it was worth the drive because we needed to get authentic barbeque while in the south. The restaurant was great. They made their own ghost pepper hot sauce. We decided to get a slab of ribs which comes with four sides. We got green beans, homemade pork rinds, mac ‘n cheese, and onion rings. Mark said, "That was the quickest meal of my whole life," because we wolfed down the meal in probably seven minutes.

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Day 8: Red Dresses and Mississippi Music

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

Our second day in New Orleans managed to be even crazier than the first. When we arrived back in the French Quarter, we immediately realized that there was a big event happening on account of the many people parading around the streets in red dresses. Coincidentally, our visit happened to be on the same day as the Red Dress Run. The Red Dress Run, according to New Orleans Online, is organized by a group that is a "self-proclaimed drinking club with a running problem." It was definitely a hilarious sight to see hundreds of tipsy men and women running around in red dresses through the streets of New Orleans for charity. This event was awesome to see and really brought the New Orleans energy that I had missed our first day exploring the city. We danced through the streets to songs blasting from the huge portable speakers of runners. Our soundtrack of the day consisted of songs like "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard and "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls. We wove our way through the crowd back to Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo for Mark to buy a box of Tarot Cards, which he decided was worth it (he says he's going to use them at Connecticut College all of the time) and I bought a sticker for my fridge at school.

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Day 7: A New Orleans American Horror Story

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

Day seven was my day for sure. We finally arrived at my choice of destination: New Orleans. As I mentioned in this previous blog post, I picked New Orleans for a lot of reasons like its history with Voodoo and Haitian culture. I wrote my first essay in college about colonialism and its influence on Louisiana Voodoo culture for my Natives and Newcomers ConnCourse. I had some difficulty finding sources to fuel my research for the paper so I hoped to learn more about Voodoo and its history from our visit to the city. I also wanted to visit New Orleans for the food. With creole seafood and delicious desserts, I knew that this place was meant for me to experience. I have always found the energy around New Orleans enticing, stemming from the excitement around Mardi Gras and all of the stories I have heard from family members. Lastly, one of my favorite seasons of the show “American Horror Story: Coven was filmed in New Orleans. Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates star in Coven alongside my idol Stevie Nicks.

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Day 6: Our Longest Drive Yet

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

Day six was one of the longest drives of my life. It was comparable to my spring break return trip with the Conn Club Ultimate Frisbee team from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Acton, Massachusetts, which took 12 hours and 40 minutes. Leaving from Oklahoma City, we had a 10 1/2-hour-long drive ahead of us, a tough feat after driving consistently for a week. However, it was a trip we were excited to embark on because we had our eyes set on the prize destinations of Dallas and New Orleans. This was definitely the longest drive of our trip so far. The second longest was from Neptune, New Jersey, to Columbus, Ohio, which took a total of nine hours. Many of these times are projected by Google. It's hard to remember how long our drives actually were because when you account for gas, bathroom, and food you add at least an hour or two to each trip.

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Boston to Neptune: Hometown to Hometown

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

This summer, I worked as a camp counselor at the Lynch Van Otterloo YMCA, but I had one thing in the back of my mind. All my hard work and saved money was leading up to one thing: The Roadie. Late last spring, I was sitting in the Coffee Closet with my friend and fellow blogger Mark McPhillips when our friend Samuel walked in and asked us to go on a walk through the Arboretum. We walked to the dock, sat down, and one way or another road tripping came up in our conversation. The universal teen American dream of a summer road trip is something that my hometown friends and I have talked about before without any real intention of following through. Just the idea of leaving for a couple weeks and hitting the pavement without any obligations was enough of a thrill to sustain our imaginations. Mark, Samuel and I all decided that we would put our money (literally) where our mouths were. We planned out a road trip for the end of the summer. We each picked a state or city we have always wanted to travel to and mapped out our route from there. Mark picked Wichita, Kansas. Samuel picked Nashville, Tennessee, and I picked New Orleans, Louisiana. My choice came from my interest in Haitian culture and its integral function in Louisiana. The history of witchcraft in Louisiana reminds me of Salem, Massachusetts, which borders my hometown. After we established a driving route, starting from the Jersey Shore, we drafted a budget and worked throughout the summer saving up to fund our trip.

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Amtrak Expert

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20 

I have a tendency to overpack. The first time I took the Amtrak back home from Conn I lugged two giant bags and my backpack onto the train and squeezed them into the luggage space. I am now a self-proclaimed Amtrak expert, zipping back and forth from the New London to Boston with reasonably sized bags that fit easily aboard the train.

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