Best Foods at the Big E!

Best Foods at the Big E!

The Big E stands for the Eastern States Exposition which is known as the New England's Great State Fair. The Big E is in the town of West Springfield in Massachusetts which is a neighboring town of where I live. Therefore, I grew up going to the Big E every year many times because it only runs once a year for three weeks, at the end of September to October. It is everyone's favor time of the year, except for the traffic that it brings.

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1. Billy's Baked Potatoes

THE BEST. This has to be one of my favorite foods at the Big E. Every year the first time I go, I go straight to the Billy's Baked Potato stand. I highly recommend.


2. Fried Oreos

A CLASSIC. Fried oreos are at almost all fairs and just a classic fair food. This is something else I always get at least once.


3. Mini Donuts

YUM. Mini donuts that are cooked right in front of you. This is something that I always get on my way out of the Big E at night, can't go wrong with either powder sugar or cinnamon.


4. Philly Steak and Cheese

YES. This is my dad's favorite food at the Big E. Anytime I go and he cannot, I get one and take it home for him.


5. Craz-E burger

UM WHAT. I ca not say this is something I have ever indulged in but it has such good reviews. It might sound gross and very out there, but it a big hit for others.


6. Deep fried cannoli

LOVE. Cannoli's are such a sweet treat but imagine them deep fried? Yes... it is very unhealthy but sometimes you have to treat yourself. Just think, this is only once a year.


7. 1 Pound Meatball

WOW. Holy meat, yes this is a meatball. Yes, it weighs a pound. A local company provides this and is a huge, delicious hit at the Big E.


8. Turkey Leg

VERY WEIRD. People walk around chomping on it and carrying it around. This is only seen at the Big E.


9. Fried Dough

CLASSIC. Fried dough is also at every fair or carnival. Everyone should take advantage of this fried dough, again with powdered sugar or cinnamon.


10. Giant Mozzarella Stick

CHEESY. Yes, everyone loves mozzarella sticks but has anyone seen one this big? I bet not, unless you have attended the Big E.


Along with the food, there are carnival rides, carnival games, New England state buildings, animals, shops, parades, concerts, and plenty of events. The Big E is somewhere that everyone should try to visit because the experience is unlike any other. It is a very popular fair that I will always continue to go. Always explore the foods you like... travel here... and most importantly, be you!!

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!
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After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...



14. Some activities on my bucket list are...


This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...



What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

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Are Short Term Service Trips Truly Helpful?

Short term service can be helpful or harmful.

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Before going on my spring break service trip my group read two articles - "The White Tourist's Burden" and "Short Term Missions: Are they worth the cost?" - and listen to a podcast titled "Building Humane Societies." Each of these sources discusses short term service trips and whether or not they are successful in achieving their purpose. These trips have both pros and cons that need to be evaluated and those going on these trips need to be aware of their privileges and the situations that the people they are going to help are going through.

The articles' overarching theme is whether or not short term service trips are effective in regard to how money is spent and the work that is done. The thousands of dollars that result from many hours of fundraising can typically be better off spent if it were to be directly donated to the people they trips are in place to help. Such monetary donations would form jobs and support school funding for the locals.

When people travel to do short term service, they are usually there just long enough to get their project done. When they are there they do not take the time to meet the locals and/or teach them how to do what they are doing. This ends up being not as helpful in the long run and leaves the locals feeling worse about their situation. An example in one of the articles was that a group went on a short term trip abroad to build houses. However, the work that they were doing easily could have been done just as good by the locals if they were given proper training. This would also open up a lot of jobs for them which will, in turn, boost their living conditions and work life. The people on the trip also kept to themselves majority of the time and didn't converse with the locals to gain any understanding of their culture. Short term service trips such as this would be more successful if the participants were to take this time to connect with the locals.

In relation, the podcast focused on how low-income communities are being eliminated and people pushed out of their homes with increasing fees and property tax. These low-income areas are then turned into more affluent communities in which only the rich can afford to live. The new apartment complexes and housing being built are all standard and basic, too similar to one another. The people living in them are not creating a sense of community and the neighborhoods are not very neighborly. The main takeaway of this podcast is that we should not be building houses, we should be building homes - a place that is safe for people to learn, live, grow, and meet new people/form friendships.

These articles greatly changed my perspective of short term service trips and how truly successful they actually are in practice. This is something that I reflected on greatly before going on my short term service trip over spring and something that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life. I believe it is important for anyone who is going to be a part of a short term service trip to be aware of this knowledge and approach interactions with the locals of the area they are traveling to in a more positive manner.

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