Quarantine Diary 3: A Few of My Favorite Things

Hello! Nicole here. I’m currently sequestered on top of a mountain outside of Boulder, CO, which is beautiful even though I’m extra stuck inside due to 16 inches of snow. I am very thankful to have a nice view and good company, but it’s been a struggle to focus on work and school while the world is filled with much uncertainty. Every night I go to bed thinking that tomorrow I’m going to be productive, work on finals, and exercise. Every morning (or afternoon) I wake up and…don’t. At first, this made me feel guilty and, on top of the regular stress and anxiety, I’d be mad at myself. Recently I’ve decided to be kinder to myself and embrace just doing what I can. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but these are unprecedented times. I also realized that almost every conversation I was having was filled with worry and negativity, so I’ve started asking people about the best things they’ve been doing during quarantine. So for this blog, I’ve decided to share five of the best things that I’ve done these past few weeks! Or months or years or however long it’s been. 

The outside table covered in a mound of snow

Isn’t it supposed to be spring?

Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

My partner has a sourdough starter that I am not trusted to maintain (I was gifted one and promptly killed it within a week). My attempt to make sourdough bread was a disaster – it turned out like if someone tried to bake playdough, aka it was completely inedible. However, these cinnamon buns came out so delicious that I made them twice in a week. They take a whole day to make when you consider the rising time, so the sense of accomplishment is extra high. I don’t have a mixer, so I got the therapeutic experience of kneading the dough by hand. An excellent way to get out some frustration. Plus, you might get flour all over your kitchen and by the time you clean it up, you’ve really spent an entire day not laying in bed. No matter how they turn out, I’d call that success. 

Watching Movies

It takes a lot of time to watch all the extended editions of Lord of the Rings, but 12 hours seems like nothing these days. Wow, those Hobbits really understand my quarantine eating schedule.There’s also 12 hours of special features if you want to be that annoying person who interrupts the movie every few minutes to share exclusive, behind-the-scenes info as if you were there. Fun fact, did you know that every single piece of chainmail in the movie was handmade? They linked almost 7 miles of rings together, and the whole process took 2 years! After Lord of the Rings, Star Wars was the logical next binge. Can we all agree that Episode I is the worst, and Rogue One is the very best? 

The Getty Challenge 

Recreating famous art using items/people around your house? Yes, please. I was certain my creation would turn out horribly, but I laughed a lot and it came out less terrible than expected! Even if you don’t participate, I would recommend checking out what other people have created for a good laugh.

Rosetta Stone

We have free access to Rosetta Stone through our university, and I’ve been saying that I’m going to use it to learn Spanish since September. Obviously school, work, and Netflix were higher priorities, so I never got around to it until now. I haven’t done it every day like I planned, but that’s okay because we’re being nicer to ourselves, remember? I do a 15-30 minute lesson a couple of times a week, and then I proudly point at things, say the Spanish word for them, and expect my partner to tell me what an inspiring genius I am. 


As a librarian-in-training, it feels obligatory to mention books. I am not reading as much as I thought I would; some days it’s hard to find the motivation to pick up a book instead spending infinite hours on TikTok. I’ve been finding it easier to get into light-hearted or short reads, so here are a few suggestions that might make you feel happy and distracted from the real world.

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. When this book was recommended to me, I read the description and assumed it would be eye-roll inducing. After reading it, I have been hypothetically shoving it at everyone I know. Seriously, it’s what the world needs now and always, and it might make you laugh out loud.

Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda. These are daily/nightly greetings, reminders, and words of encouragement that will make you feel like someone is giving your heart a hug. Don’t we all need some hugs right now?

Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson. Ok so this is not completely light-hearted, some of these poems actually made me curl into a ball and sob. But there is also so much hope and love, and I will recommend an Andrea Gibson collection any chance I get. Unlike what I was forced to read in school, their poetry is relatable and easy to understand.

Even though libraries are closed, there are still ways to get books! Look into your local library’s digital options, hosted on apps such as Libby or Hoopla. You can also support local bookstores by purchasing through Bookshop, Indie Bound, or see if your bookstore is still selling online. 

I hope you’re all finding enjoyable things to do during quarantine too! 


Written and edited by Nicole

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Quarantine Diary 2: Pilates and Cake

Hey everyone! I’m writing to you from a small town in southern Illinois, just twenty minutes outside of St. Louis. Like many of you, when the governor issued the shelter in place order, I moved home with my parents to be with family during quarantine. I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me “moving out” consisted of packing bags as quickly as I could, shoving in clean comfortable clothes and whatever I thought I couldn’t live without for a week or two. I cleaned out my fridge, put my Cavalier spaniel Hattie in the car, and took off. It’s been four weeks now and our house is bustling with my parents, sister, brother, myself, Hattie, and two cats.

Cavalier spaniel, named Hattie, sitting on couch

One of my favorite things to do, especially with my mom and sister, is to bake and cook. However, not leaving the house + constant baked goods and carbo-loaded recipes + a small dose of stress/bored eating = a dangerous combination. To offset the calories we’ve been eating, we’ve been taking advantage of free yoga and Pilates on YouTube. My favorite Pilates channel on YouTube is Blogilates with Cassey Ho. She does a great job of walking you through each exercise at the beginning of the video and explaining which muscle groups you’ll be working. She has a huge library of past workouts available, and there is something for toning just about any part of your body! All I use when following along to her videos is my yoga mat, but even that is optional. The workouts are very home/apartment friendly and Cassey has even been posting workout calendars for the COVID-19 quarantine, so you can follow along with her recommended workouts, or create your own routine. Hattie is an overall great workout buddy and huge help…

Maybe some of you are experiencing the odd time warp we seem to be in where each day feels like a week and yet each day slides into the next and it’s easy to lose track. One of the best methods I’ve found to fight this is to spend some time in the sun or to break up the day by going outside. We’re lucky to be in a rural area, so we are still able to go for walks and enjoy our yard! In fact, the only one who might not be enjoying our walks is poor Hattie. She’s only two, but she is the biggest couch potato you can imagine! While I think she felt spoiled at first with everyone home, now she just wishes we would leave her alone to take her naps. I have also been going out to the trampoline to get some cardio in since I can’t go to the gym. Apparently, this is a highly entertaining part of the morning for Hattie and the cats. The cats typically spend the day bullying poor Hattie, but they call an armistice for the hour or so that I’m on the trampoline every day to sit and watch their human.

Hattie and Lyla watching Jayde jump on the trampoline from the sunroom

Hattie after her second walk for the day









After burning some calories, my mom, sister, and I love to head to the kitchen! For one of my quarantine projects I am transcribing and posting all of my grandma’s old handwritten recipes onto a blog for my aunts and cousins. We’re making as many of the recipes as we can so that I can add in little notes and pictures of the finished products. One recipe that will always hold a special place in my heart (especially around Easter) is my Grandma Ruth’s pineapple upsidedown cake. It’s sweet as can be and just makes you happy. It’s the kind of dessert where you can have just a little square and have to cut yourself a generous rectangle. My grandma makes her cake batter from scratch, but here’s a quick and simplified version using yellow cake mix. Now Grandma Ruth had a couple tricks to truly knock this recipe out of the park that you can still use with the easy cake mix version. First, toast some pecans in a small pan. You add these to the top of the cake at the same time as the cherries and pineapple. The crunch and texture that these add just takes the cake to another level. Also, if you don’t mind sacrificing some of the neat presentation, use crushed pineapple instead of the rounds. This makes the cake even more moist and ensures you get a bit of pineapple with every bite. If you have enough leftover, you should also consider using a full cup of pineapple juice rather than any water with the cake mix. Finally, use a little extra brown sugar than this recipe calls for. Don’t pat the sugar down, rather make sure it’s well blended with the butter, but leave the top “crumbly.” I hope some of you get the chance to try this and it spreads a little joy! Ours didn’t last long past Easter dinner.

pineapple upside down cake, made with pineapples, cherries, and toasted pecans

My family and I have really enjoyed exploring and preserving my grandma’s recipes, especially those that we know were passed down through generations. If you’ve ever been curious about exploring your own family’s history, consider checking out this guide from UIUC’s Main Library about how to research your genealogy. The guide includes an explanation of free resources available online as well as recommendations from UIUC’s own collections. This is an activity that the whole family can enjoy and get involved in.

That’s all for now! I’m going to get back to my 1000 piece puzzle and maybe sneak one of the last slices of pineapple upsidedown cake. Hattie says she can’t wait until she can get back to Champaign and all our friends–apparently, we’re a little too boring for her!

Hattie, exhausted, lounging on the couch

Written by: Jayde

Edited by: Lauren

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Quarantine Diary 1: Harry Potter Movie Rankings

Graduate Assistant (noun): Master’s student with multiple jobs such as supervising the UGL, teaching, and helping people with research. Relies heavily on coffee and occasional social interactions. 

Hi everyone! It may come as a shock to learn that our Graduate Assistants (GAs) don’t live at the UGL. If this is as jarring as figuring out that your teachers have lives outside of school, we apologize. While they would probably be having more fun quarantined together, each of our GAs is finding their own way to keep healthy and sane during these crazy times. This blog is the beginning of a series called The Quarantine Diaries, in which each GA will share a piece of their current experience. We’re kicking it off with Ryan, who chose a topic so divisive that the rest of the GAs might not even want to see him when this quarantine is over.


Hi all! With quarantine in full swing, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to revisit the Harry Potter series (for scientific purposes). The Harry Potter franchise is ubiquitous at this point, with longevity that is uncommon in popular culture. With this newfound time on my hands, I decided to binge watch the series and give you my rankings of the Harry Potter movies from worst to best. I entirely expect this to be a controversial list, so let me know your thoughts if you disagree!

Obvious spoilers ahead!

8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Goblet of Fire is a great spectacle, with wondrous wizard battles, and the introduction of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in full. While the film checks all of the boxes in regards to effects and spectacle, it unfortunately lacks a bit in the story department. Outside of the Dark Lord returning near the end of the film, the rest of the movie feels almost superfluous.

“Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire, Harry? he asked calmly.

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (P1) is a good movie, great in fact. Unfortunately it serves as a prelude to an even better movie. The final book has a plethora of subplots and story-lines that are unfortunately left by the wayside in this movie. The movie has some amazingly memorable scenes that still give off the quintessential “Harry Potter” vibe. And lastly, I cannot forget Hedwig.

6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets holds a special place in my heart, with the introduction of Dobby the house elf, Harry’s iconic battle against the Basilisk, and the destruction of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s first horcrux. The film is extremely nostalgic, but unfortunately comes up a bit dated. With a darker tone, and a lot of tween sass, the film was a great stepping stone for the rest of the story to unfold.

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Sorcerer’ Stone is iconic, blasting the (already wildly popular) franchise into a global phenomenon. Extremely nostalgic, the movie has a way of hitting old Harry Potter fans right in the feels. That being said, it’s a story about a young 11 year-old and his first wizarding experiences. Fun, but at the end of the day it feels like a children’s movie.

4. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

The Half Blood Prince is where stuff starts to get real. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is rising to power, and Harry, Dumbledore, and the Order are doing their best to battle him and his followers back. The movie has some of the best Hogwarts scenes in the franchise, and it’s nice to finally see Harry actually kick some butt. Draco’s fall to the “dark side” is moving, and you notice yourself actually feeling sorry for him. The movie ends with a beautiful scene of the Hogwarts’ teachers and students mourning Dumbledore’s death.

3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Order of the Phoenix is where the viewer gets to see all of Harry’s (and the gang!) work come to fruition. Dumbledore’s Army is one of my favorite story-lines throughout the series, and I loved seeing Harry and his peers prepare for the war to come. I also can’t forget to mention one of the most unlikable villains to ever be on the big screen….Umbridge! The film has a bit of everything, with wonderful magic, intense wizard duels, and a lot of emotion!

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

This movie is the culmination of 7 books and movies before it. There are so many memorable scenes…The Battle of Hogwarts, Ron and Hermione’s kiss, the death of Lord Voldemort, and many more. Outside of the action, it also has meaningful character moments as well, with Harry coming to terms with his own death, Neville’s courageous rise, and the many sacrifices that people made along the way to stop the dark forces of the wizarding world.




1: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Prisoner of Azkaban is regarded by many as the best Harry Potter movie, and for good reason. Dementors, Patronuses, the introduction of Sirius, and a few great twists towards the end have my heart pumping every time I sit down to watch it. Really, this movie has everything I want out of a Harry Potter movie!


If, like me, you enjoy watching and reviewing films, feel free to check out our Library Guide on Film Reviews. All of these resources are available online, so it’s perfect for the would-be-reviewer to get some practice in while we are all stuck at home. My favorite resource is the FIAF International Film Archive Database. Look up your favorite movie and see what other people are saying about it! Rob White, from Sight and Sound, called the first Harry Potter movie “oddly anticlimactic”, and while I couldn’t disagree further, his review is an interesting one!



Written and Edited by: Ryan



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Book Bracket – Best Books of the Decade

With March Madness cancelled and everyone quarantined at home there isn’t a better time to vote on your favorite book of the past decade! For the next three weeks we will be hosting two separate polls, on both our Twitter and Facebook, that pit two of the most popular books of the past decade against each other. You’ll notice a variety of genres, ranging from young adult fiction, historical non-fiction, memoirs, and fantasy!

Some of our favorite books include:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Divergent by Veronica Roth

And many, many more!

Let us know what you enjoyed! Keep tabs on our Facebook and Twitter in the coming weeks (first poll on April 6th!) to keep up to date on the bracket and let us know your thoughts and opinions!



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April is Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month, and since we are all stuck inside for now, there couldn’t be a better time to dive into some verse. If you don’t happen to have any poetry books wherever you’re at, or you’re just looking to read something new, check out these five e-books available through the library.  

  1. Ross Gay’s poems are exactly what we all need right now: thoughtful, playful, and full of moments that gracefully hold the joys and pains of life simultaneously. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a collection on themes of loss. Cover art of poetry collection titled: Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
  2. bell hooks is an activist and writer from Kentucky whose work explores sexism and racism. Check out Appalachian Elegy, a collection of poems about her home state.cover art of Appalachian Elegy by bell hooks
  3. Jack Kerouac, best known for his novel On the Road, was also a successful poet, even inventing his own form of haiku. Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation is a spoken word album recorded in 1959.cover art of Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation by Jack Kerouac
  4. Sarah Blake infuses her poetry with pop culture references and insights into her own experiences in Mr. West, a portrait of Kanye West.cover art of Mr. West by Sarah Blake
  5. Nate Marshall is a poet from the South Side of Chicago. In Wild Hundreds, Marshall composes a love song to his city.cover art of Wild Hundreds by Nate Marshall

Bonus: Homopup: Queer Dog Poetry. Speaks for itself, really.cover art of Homopup by Gerry Pearlberg

To find more e-books available through the library, check out the Library Catalog. Be sure to narrow your search results by format and choose “electronic.” If you have questions about accessing these, or other, electronic resources, feel free to Ask a Librarian!

Information from poetryfoundation.org.

Written by: Izzy

Edited by: Lauren

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Handwashing Entertainment

At times like these, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us that handwashing is critical! In order to keep yourself and your household safe we know that we should be washing our hands frequently and especially any time we have left the house, touched something that is new like a delivery or groceries, or are handling/preparing food. However, did you know that to be truly effective when washing your hands, you should be scrubbing for a full 20 seconds? This information was just as true before COVID-19, but is critical now as we all seek to stay safe and be responsible in preventing the spread of this virus.

So exactly how long is 20 seconds? And are you expected to stand at the sink counting multiple times a day when you’re already bored and restless with cabin fever? Never fear! We have curated a list of monologues, songs, quotes, and movie scenes to get you through handwashing for days! Our goal? For twenty seconds to have never been more entertaining and for your hands to have never been cleaner. So turn the water on, lather up, and repeat after me…

Monologues/Movie and TV scenes:

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope | Princess Leia hologram speech

“General Kenobi. Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father’s request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack, and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

Star Trek | 1966 introduction sequence

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!”

Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 | Lady MacBeth’s speech

“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.”

Pride and Prejudice | Darcy’s first proposal to Elizabeth

“In vain I have struggled, it will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. In declaring myself that I am fully aware that I will be going expressly against the wishes of my family, my friends, and I hardly need add, my own better judgement.”

The Office | Bird funeral eulogy 

Bird Funeral - The Office GIF | Gfycat

“What do we know about this bird? You might think, ‘Not much, it’s just a bird.’ But we do know some things. We know that it was a local bird. Maybe it’s that same bird that surprised Oscar that one morning with a special present from above. And we know how he died, flying into the glass doors. But you know what, I don’t think he was being stupid. I think he just really, really wanted to come inside our building to spread his cheer and lift our spirits with a song.”

Songs and Lyrics:

Parks and Recreation | “5000 Candles in the Wind”

“Up in horsey heaven, here’s the thing

You trade your legs for angels wings

And once we’ve all said good-bye

You take a running leap and you learn to flyyyyy

Bye bye Li’l Sebastian

Miss you in the saddest fashion

Bye bye Li’l Sebastian

You’re 5000 candles in the wind.”

Toto | “Africa”

“It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you

There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do

I bless the rains down in Africa

Gonna take some time to do the things we never had”

Or, try these handwashing lyrics:

“It’s gonna take a lot to wash germs away from you

It’s something that a fifth of a hundred seconds could do

I bless the sink down in my bathroom

Gonna take some time to do the things we need to do (ooh, ooh)”

My Chemical Romance | “Welcome to the Black Parade”

“When I was a young boy

My father took me into the city

To see a marching band

He said, “Son, when you grow up

Would you be the savior of the broken

The beaten, and the damned?”

Lizzo | “Truth Hurts”

“Why men great ’til they gotta be great?

Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face

Best friend sat me down in the salon chair

Shampoo press, get you out of my hair

Fresh photos with the bomb lighting

New man on the Minnesota Vikings

Truth hurts, needed something more exciting

Bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay”

The Killers | “Mr. Brightside”

“Jealousy, turning saints into the sea

Swimming through sick lullabies

Choking on your alibis

But it’s just the price I pay

Destiny is calling me

Open up my eager eyes

‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside”

The Lion King | “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”

“I’m gonna be a mighty king

So enemies beware

Well, I’ve never seen a king or beast

With quite so little hair

I’m gonna be the main event

Like no king was before

I’m brushing up on looking down

I’m working on my roar

Thus far, a rather uninspiring thing

Oh, I just can’t wait to be king”

Hamilton | “My Shot”

“I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

I’ma get a scholarship to King’s College

I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish

The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish

I gotta holler just to be heard

With every word, I drop knowledge”


Well, that’s all for now folks. We hope you were able to find some handwashing inspiration and entertainment!

P.S. Another quick tip from the UGL: consider tracking down that hand lotion your aunt got you for Christmas three years ago that you never opened. Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer use can be damaging to your skin, so keep that skin hydrated!


Written by Jayde

Edited by Nicole

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Leap Year 2020

Have you ever wondered why we have a Leap Year? Who created this extra day?  Why February and not some other month like April or June, which have thirty days and can easily take an extra day for 31  

Leap Year is a relic of ancient astronomy. According to Stephen Wood of History.com, ancient calendars often had a 23-day intercalary or “extra month.” These extra months were based on the position of the moon as well as the Earth’s location relative to the sun. Originally, calendars were designed to track the Earth’s movement around the sun and ancient astronomers were extremely good at their jobs.  

The Earth revolves around the sun 365.24 days and yet, a traditional calendar only accounts for 365 days. Therefore, there is a few hours gap each year as a result of the 365-day calendar.  As a result, ancient astronomers created the intercalary to deal with this.  

However, you may be asking, “Why February?” Julius Ceasar, that’s why. The father of the modern calendar decided the perfect calendar was created by the Egyptians. Egyptian solar calendars had 365 days and included one extra month. February was chosen to include the leap day as it was already a month where Romans added extra days.   

Despite this attempt to account for the extra hours it takes for the Earth to revolve around the sun each year, the Julian (named after Ceasar) calendar, over the course of a century, made the equinoxes and solstices shift 24 days every century. As a result, Pope Gregory XIII expressed dismay that Easter was getting further and further away from the Spring Equinox.  

Thus, the Gregorian calendar (the calendar that is used to this day) was born. Gregory kept Leap years and stipulated that they occur every four years and on years that begin a new century, in order to have a Leap day, the year must be divisible by 400. If the year is divisible by 100 evenly, it is not a Leap Year.  In other words, if you lived at the start of the 20th century (1900), there was no Leap Year, but the year 2000 was divisible by 400 and thus, had a Leap Year.   

Leap years are full of lore. Most famously, Leap Year is associated with Bachelor’s Day, as it is known in some countries. Bachelor’s Day is a day where women propose to men. This tradition is most identified with Ireland, St. Bridget, and St. Patrick (yes, that St. Patrick).

But if Ireland is an expense that you can ill-afford, plan a trip in four years to Anthony, Texas. Anthony is the self-proclaimed “Leap Year Capital of the World” with a festival that begins before the end of February and goes to March. This year, it is scheduled for February 28th until March 2nd, 2020. Additionally, Leap Year can also be a time of great superstitions around livestock and weddings. According to Breakingnews.ie, many countries have traditions that suggest Leap Year is a day that is inauspicious, full of death.  

Whatever your stance on Leap Year, it’s undeniably an important tradition that keeps our calendars aligned with the stars. Makes you wonder how “30 Days Hath September” would have been if a different month had been chosen. If you are looking for funny sitcom takes on Leap Year, June Thomas of Slate.com has some suggestions and Leap Year (2010) and The Proposal (2009) are always great watching 

Written by Simone

Edited by Ryan

Works Referenced 

Elder, Lane. “Why 2020 is a Leap Year.” AJC.com, Atlanta Journal 

Constitution, https://www.ajc.com/news/why-2020-leap-year/RSms7VzmjoNP2C1CLrxp5I/. 

Thomas, June. “Which Sitcom did Leap Day Best?” Slate.com, 2012.03.01.   http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/03/01/leap_day_sitcom_episodes_which_is_the_best_one_.html  

Unknown. “9 Leap Year Traditions –and Superstitions- from Around the World.” Breakingnews.ie, 

Landmark Digital. https://www.breakingnews.ie/discover/9-leap-year-traditions-and-superstitions-from-around-the-world-723031.html. Accessed 26/2/2020. 

Wood, Stephen. “5 Things You May Not Know About Leap Day.” History.com, The History 

Channel, https://www.history.com/news/why-do-we-have-leap-year.

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Destress Fest Fall 2019

Fall break is arguably one of the best weeks of the year: you get absolutely stuffed with a delicious Thanksgiving meal, you finally get some sleep, and when you’re not eating or sleeping, there’s usually a chance to see hometown friends!

However, fall break is but a cruel tease. Just when you’ve gotten comfortable with waking up at noon, your dreams are shattered by the impending return to campus after a far too brief hiatus.

Screenshot of tweet that reads, "going to school in between thanksgiving and christmas break feels like the last lap in mario kart where the music is all fast and gets really stressfull"

Returning from fall break is worse than all other breaks because the end of the semester is so close. And we all know what that means… finals.

gif of Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, looking up from the ground somberly as she is chosen as tribute

Finals week comes with stress, long nights, gallons of coffee, and inevitable tears.screenshot of tweet that reads, "I've already cried 5 times in the past 14 hours and I haven't even had to say goodbye to anyone yet #FinalsWeek"

But never fear, the UGL is here to help relieve finals anxiety with Destress Fest! Our amazing reading day event!

Come to the UGL to study any time between 12:00 pm and 10:00 pm on Reading Day, Thursday, December 12th, and you’ll have the opportunity to take part in lots of fun and relaxing activities during your study breaks!gif of a scene from A Night at the Roxbury, where Doug (played Chris Kattan) comforts Steve (played by Will Farrell), and says,

Here’s the full schedule:

Schedule of Destress Fest 2019 hosted by the UGL

Looking forward to seeing you during Destress Fest 2019!!

Written by Annabel

Edited by Lauren

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Fall Break in Champaign-Urbana

It’s a beautiful time of year around Champaign-Urbana! If you’re lucky enough to be around the C-U for Fall Break, there are plenty of exciting events for everyone to enjoy. From participating in holiday festivities to cheering on the Illini, make sure to check out these events happening around town next week:

The Festival of Trees

Join the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana for the 2019 Festival of Trees on November 22nd-24th at the Hilton Garden Inn Champaign. Over 100 trees and wreaths will be on display, so you can get into the holiday spirit. Purchase raffle tickets and enter for a chance to win all of the vignettes on display or place a silent bid on select trees and packages. Special events include the Family Winter Ball on Friday and breakfast with Mrs. Clause and Santa on Saturday.Image result for buddy the elf gif


Holiday Card Photo Op at the Virginia Theater

The Virginia’s beautifully decorated Mezzanine Lobby is opening on Monday, November 25 for photographs this holiday season, free of charge! Bring your camera or arrange to have a professional photographer meet you at the theatre to capture a special memory for the whole family. Drop by or call the box office (217-356-9063) to reserve your 15-minute slot (space is limited).Related image


Parkland Jazz Combo Concert

The Parkland Jazz Combo will be performing Monday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at Parkland College Theatre’s Second Stage. Led by Kevin Hart, the ensemble will perform selections from artists such as Frank Foster, Pat Metheny, Charlie Christian, Paul Desmond, and Jeff Lorber. This concert is free and open to the public.Image result for the aristocats orchestra gif


Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball

Stop by the State Farm Stadium to cheer on a promising Illini Men’s Basketball team, as they play against the Lindenwood University Lions! Join the Orange Krush on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. I-L-L!

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Fighting Illini Volleyball

Check out the Fighting Illini Volleyball team versus the Northwestern Wildcats before they head to the NCAA Tournament. You can watch them play in Huff Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Go Illini!

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Pathways of Light

Take a little trip off-campus and come out to the Aikman Wildlife Adventure Park in Arcola, IL with your family to enjoy a stroll through a lovely pathway of Christmas lights. Start your Christmas shopping early by purchasing gift certificates for your family or friends, and experience one of their animal adventures. A plus: Iced sugar cookies and hot cider will be available! The Pathways of Light will be open during Fall Break on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30, starting at 5:00 p.m.Image result for christmas lights gif


Written by: Morgan

Edited by: Nicole

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Movember Reads

Happy Movember!

Movember is an annual event (involving mustaches and beards, of course) meant to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, battle the struggles of mental health and suicide, and reduce the number of preventable deaths. Check out their website here: https://us.movember.com/.

In honor of Movember, let’s take a look at some books in the UGL’s collection that involve everything facial hair!

One thousand beards: A cultural history of facial hair

A history of facial hair that documents its ebs and flows in our culture! The book showcases different styles, has information on self care, and shows pictures of famous beards!

Mustache shenanigans: Making Super Troopers and other adventures in comedy

A history and description of Jay Chandrasekhar’s experiences and perspectives when creating Super Troopers (1 and 2). Part humorous memoir and part film study!

Hair: Styling, culture and fashion

An exploration of hair styling, culture, and fashion. The book offers an examination of the social importance of hair, wherever it grows, and examines the different self-expressions and social identities that form from the expression of our hair!

Plucked: A history of hair removal

Examines the different forms of hair removal throughout the decades, from homemade lye depilatories to diode lasers and prescription pharmaceuticals. The book questions why we remove hair (an astonishingly American belief), and examines the unsettling lengths that Americans will go to when removing hair!

Check out these glorious beards! Some of the UGL’s favorites:

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