All posts by Maryanna Gresley

Winter Weather in Elizabethtown

A snow day can mean many things to different people. For working adults, it means having to consider if conditions are safe enough for them to try and make it to work, or if they need to take a day for the sake of staying home with children. For those students high school-aged and younger it means a day that they don’t have to go to school and can stay home and play in the snow. College students get to wait with bated breath for the email that notifies them if the campus will be closed or not.

If the schools close and parents need to stay home with their children, the thought arises of: “but what will we do with the day?” Depending on different situations there are different ways to occupy one’s time on a snow day. Parents with young children who get to stay home from school have the opportunity to bundle their little ones up and send them outside to play in the white blanket that covers our little town. They can also attempt to set them down with a movie or TV show to while away the hours.

Students in high school can do much of the same thing, bundle up to go outside or stay inside with video games and Netflix—though the latter is much more likely if they don’t have a mode of transportation or desire to be outside.

Courtney Schwanger, 20, is a resident of Elizabethtown. When asked what she and her friends did during snow days she responded immediately with, “We always take the trucks out and go play.” When asked to elaborate she went on to explain that she and her friends would take their 4-wheel drive trucks out and go for drives around the area in the snow.

High Library in the snow
High Library in the snow

Students at Elizabethtown College could have a different experience with a snow day—depending on if the campus is closed or just delayed. In the event of a delay, only a section of the morning classes cancel. Even if the campus closes, students may receive emails from their professors with assignments to complete in place of meeting as a class.

“On snow days I usually mingle in the lobby playing games with people,” Tyler Gamble, 21, a student at E-town College told WeTown.

A walk around campus will also reveal other things that students are up to on a snowy day. There will be a few snowmen scattered around the College grounds. They vary in height and appearance, ranging from two to four feet tall—though one in recent times has been at least five or six feet tall! With little in the way of decorations, students have used candy, sticks and nut shells to give their snow-people facial features.

Myer snowman
A snowman built by students outside of the Myer resident building

Rachel Szivos, 19, a student at Millersville University shared that where she lives in E-town is at the bottom of a hill and with a car that doesn’t do well in the snow she often becomes “trapped” in her own home. “If it’s during the semester I get school work done. Otherwise I usually just relax and take advantage of the day off.”

Whether Blue Jay, Marauder or resident of E-town there are many possibilities for things to do on a snow day. From staying inside to watch Netflix, play games or catch up on school work to going outside to build snow-people, take a drive or take pictures, there is no shortage of things to do. With little time left until March 20—the first official day of spring—we may be in for more snow and more opportunities for a snow day.

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Working for Dining Services


MARYANNA GRESLEY: Dining Services offers three places for students to get food while on campus—the Jay’s Nest, the Blue Bean, and the Marketplace. The Jay’s Nest functions as a one-stop-shop for any time a student is looking for something to eat. It’s kind of like the Sheetz or Wawa that you’d find outside of campus. A student employee, Kimberly Huang, shares what kinds of opportunities she feels she’s gotten through working at Dining Services.

KIMBERLY HUANG: It’s a really fun opportunity,  you get to work with friends, meet new people. You get leadership opportunities–really fun stuff like that.

GRESLEY: Sam Finnegan, a student manager for dining services, told us about some of the advancement opportunities available to students.

SAM FINNEGAN: We also do advancement; after you’ve worked for a semester you can apply to be a [Team Leader] or a manager. You also get a pay raise through [this advancement]. It also looks really good on your resume.

GRESLEY: Also employed by Dining Services, Juana Fernandez, gave a feel for what a student may experience when working in Dining Services.

JUANA FERNANDEZ: It’s a good opportunity because you get to make better friends, more friends. You’re not necessarily just doing one thing, you’re doing multiple things and it’s a good opportunity because you learn more things than just one.

GRESLEY: Working for Dining Services not only means flexible work hours, it means unique opportunities and awesome experiences. For WWEC News, I’m Maryanna Gresley.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Actual Special Edition?

After being introduced to Bethesda’s, the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim game in my early video-gaming days, I became infatuated with the game and refused to put it down. I would play on the Xbox 360 and would play whenever I could. I thought it was an incredible game with loads to do and a fair amount of replay value, meaning I wouldn’t mind playing the game over and over again because of all the different things you could do within the game.

As with most games, there are flaws and bugs, though they may be small. With the original Skyrim game, as far as the PlayStation 3 was concerned, there were excessive loading screen wait times, subpar graphics and wonky framerates as your save file got larger.

With the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, there were very high expectations. For example, gamers were expecting every bug and issue in Skyrim to be fixed; they wanted better graphics, an improved frame rate and shorter loading times. To a degree, this is exactly what we got, as well as a few other features.

The special edition includes all three downloadable content packages: Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn. The special edition also showed an improvement in the detail of the graphics of the game, but mostly in details of scenery, not in the more lifelike ways gamers had hoped characters would be improved. In the past, due mostly to technical advancement, console games could not download modifications to their on-console games, this could only be done on the computer version of the game if there was one. Now, on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, players can download modifications for their console games. For the PlayStation, these “mods” are much more limited than its Xbox One counterpart.

On the computer-based version of Skyrim, since 2011, players were able to fix all of the bugs on their own, and stuff the game with graphics modifications and other such things to make the game better. Today this is still the same, though now it is possible on the consoles as well, as stated above, so PC gamers may or may not notice the changes made to the game.

In the first hour of gameplay, while playing on the Xbox One, I noticed some of the changes that had been made, such as the improved graphics and faster loading times. What could be considered laughable, however, were the many bugs that remained. These bugs being the flaw in physics, where your character or the horse your character is riding can stand at almost a perfect 90-degree angle against the side of a cliff and not fall.

Compared to games that have been released more recently, Skyrim still leaves much to be desired in the way of graphics and the fixing of bugs, but overall the special edition is still an excellent game. I still feel that the game has the potential to be fixed, but in the meantime, I’ll be sitting at home with my multiple character files exploring the realm that Skyrim calls home.

To those looking to purchase the game, but already have the original Skyrim game, you may want to consider a PC based game if you’re looking for a completely modified and near-perfect game. To those looking to purchase the game for the first time, I recommend the special edition. No matter the decision you make, I find it best to do research on the game before purchase, to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

What are Blue Jays doing for Turkey Day?

The table has been set hours in advance, with the good tablecloths and dining wear that only come out on special occasions. All of the forks, spoons and knives are placed in their evening dinner positions, and the glasses sparkle in the lights from overhead. There are candles set in the center of the table not yet lit, just in case someone were to bump the table and send them crashing. A second table has been set up for the food of the evening—this is where all of the new and classic favorites will be set.

Can you smell it yet? The potatoes being mashed and mixed with some salt, pepper and parsley? The rolls being brought out of the oven and set on the counter for a moment to cool before they’re put into a serving basket? Can you smell the turkey as it is finally pulled from the oven after hours of cooking, waiting on the counter to be carved and prepared for the evening’s meal?

You’ve waited all year for Thanksgiving dinner, and now it’s finally here. Your family bustles around you, trying to finish preparing all of the food for the dinner only a half hour away. Your younger family members either play amongst themselves or sit on their phones, not wanting to get in the way of the adults. Going to your grandmother, or perhaps your mother, you ask how you can help. She tells you to start taking food and placing it on the table downstairs. You do as you’re told and take in the magnificent sight that begins to form before your eyes. All of the food being gathered on the table, glasses being filled with drinks to save a person’s spot at the table, the candles being lit. It’s a beautiful day and Christmas isn’t even here yet.

Every year time is set aside for Thanksgiving. For those that attend school, whether it be kindergarten through 12th grade or college, a Thanksgiving break is, more often than not, looked forward to. Families take the time to visit one another, and college students get the opportunity to go home. As Thanksgiving takes place on Thursday—as it always does—this year it will be on Nov. 24.

Different families can have different traditions from one another. What one family considers tradition another family may not. While one family goes to see relatives, another could visit family friends instead. Depending on who you ask, you can get different answers. So the question is: “What do Blue Jays do over the holiday weekend?”

“[We] prepare the food at my house, and then the whole family gets together down the street at my aunt’s house. Everybody brings their own dish and we celebrate there, eat dinner there, and then go out afterward,” said Tyler Gamble, a freshman. “In the small town I lived in, they would do little events in town at night, little fireworks or things for kids.”

Nathan Alspaugh, a junior at Etown, has a different tradition. “We have dinner at my house, my immediate family comes and we also go play football at my dad’s friend’s [house].”

When asked about Thanksgiving traditions on campus, Alspaugh had this to say: “We, a few friends, [and I] usually go to the dinner. I usually go to the [tree lighting] afterward.”

Zach Riche, a freshman, said, “Traditions are spending time with family at my aunt’s house, she usually cooks a big mean, and we spend most of the day there. After we usually watch the football games.” He also said that his friends and he were going to have a special dinner together amongst themselves as the start of a campus tradition. Riche also said he is unsure if they will be attending the tree lighting.

No matter who you ask on campus, more often than not you will hear a tale of family tradition during this holiday season. Whether the traditions be something the family does year after year or something that is only just beginning, there is no lack of things to do for this Turkey Day holiday.

The plates have been cleared away, you helped carry what you could upstairs, hoping that your aid would not be needed further so you could rest your bulging belly. The kitchen still smells of all the food that was prepared only hours before, and the deserts were torn into the moment they were uncovered. You watch your family settle into their after-dinner routines, rinsing dishes for the dishwasher, putting away leftovers, keeping little cousins occupied and out of the way or simply sitting with their phones out of the kitchen.

It has been an eventful day, with lots of food and plenty of chatting time. As you stand and ponder what could happen next, your mother hands you a container of leftovers to put on your pile of things to take home, and you are left to wonder as the day comes to a close.

Souderton Indians poach the Tennent Panthers in a 20-38 game

Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, the William Tennent High School Panthers went head-to-head with the Souderton Area Senior High School Indians at the William Tennent Alumni Stadium for the William Tennent homecoming match-up.
“If we play the way we need to play we should be able to finish the game strong,” Taylor Hession, senior middle linebacker for the Tennent Panthers said when asked how he thinks they’d play on Friday. “I feel prepared,” Hession added.
Junior wide receiver, Drew Gresley, agreed, and added; “I hope we play the whole game strong.”
In the first few minutes of play, the Souderton Indians scored the first touchdown and achieved the extra point, but this did not deter the Panthers, as they scored a touchdown and extra point with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. From this moment on the student, players moved the line of scrimmage back and forth up and down the field.
The second quarter began with Panther’s number 11 player down, only a minute into the play. This player, Dan Collier, is removed from the field and the Indians took the lead once more with another touchdown and an extra point, with only six minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Refusing to give in, the Panther’s player, Ryan Savage, broke away from the scrimmage formation and took the ball to the end zone, causing the Tennent stands to erupt in screams and applause.
By the end of the first half, the score is 13-21 with Souderton leading by eight points. The game continues with more fumbled passes and plenty of tackles as the Indians carry the lead to the end of the fourth quarter, leaving the game at a wounding 20-38.
“As a team, they need to play better together…trust one another and help each other out more,” Jim Rittinger, Special Teams Coordinator, Defensive Back and Wide Receiver Coach said after the game. “As far as a coaching staff, we hope that we’re doing the best that we can to show them what they need to do,” Rittinger added when asked about the team’s performance.
The Panther’s next game will be against Pennridge High School on Oct. 14, 2016. This will be an away game and it will also begin at 7:00 p.m.

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