Basketball Boys Beat Brevard

Phone, check. 
Ticket, check. 
School spirit, check. 

I glance at the clock and see that it is almost game time, the first game of the basketball season, an exhibition game versus Brevard. I rush to Kimmel Arena to take my place among my peers in the student section of the stands. 

I love basketball season, everyone gathers together under one roof to cheer the loudest they can for our school to claim victory over the visitors. This year though, I love basketball season even more. Last year the players were these far-away students that I didn't know off the court. But then, due to the size of the UNC Asheville campus, I had classes with a few of them and got to know them. UNC Asheville is great because the athletes aren't separated the way they are at some larger schools, they aren't above anyone, you can always talk to them. Now knowing some of the players made attending the game that much more fun because I could now tell them good luck, cheer for them specifically, and tell them great game. 

Basketball isn't complete though without cheerleaders. UNC Asheville's cheer and dance team pumps up the crowd the entire game and dances during the breaks. Once again, last year I didn't know a lot about the cheerleaders, but this year one of my best friends was dancing with them. Talking to her throughout the process of becoming a cheerleader, I gained some more insight into what fuels our school spirit. There were auditions, then after you make it, routine practices to make sure you have the dances and the cheers committed to memory, and then finally game days. They do not travel with the team, so they give their best energy to home games, just like the fans. 

All of this energy and spirit is consuming if you are in the arena, but if you cannot make it, don't worry, you can always watch the game online. My mom watched it online at and was texting me throughout the game, saying what a great job the guys were doing. They were doing a great job! 
Seeing some of the players in class all the time made it hard to remember that they were athletes but then seeing them play... it was obvious. Corey Littlejohn, who I had "Physics of Light and Visual Phenomenon" with last year was playing an amazing game! Shot after shot, they all went in. 
His teammate, and also a previous physics classmate of mine, Jaleel Roberts also had a great game. 
Everyone on the court proved that they had been practicing their hardest in the offseason. 

The final score of the game. 

The first game of the season was over with a win. Later this week the guys will travel to Kentucky, and then later Duke, and many more. Their next home game isn't until December, but the fans will be ready for when they return. 

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Hallo-week Fun: Corn Maze and a Haunted Maze

Maybe it is just Asheville, or maybe it is college students in general.
But there is a deep allure associated with Halloween and its social allowance of children and adults to dress up as anyone they wish to be for an evening, and enjoy a week where every event, including the scary ones, comes with candy.

On the UNC Asheville campus, the week was packed with events - costume contests, free frozen yogurt, pumpkin carvings, a haunted maze, "Scream" movie night, and a corn maze trip. All of these events were free. Campus does a great job of making sure that students are not bored, that there are options of things to do on and off-campus. When an event is offered off-campus, transportation is provided so that students who do not have cars, such as myself, are not excluded.

The first event my friends and I participated in for the week was the Eliada's Home Corn Maze. The trip was free to the first 20 students who signed up. Myself and two friends successfully made the list. It was an evening trip to the maze, which included activities such as corn hole, hayrides, giant slides, and shooting ears of corn at pumpkins in a field! The maze is the largest one in Western North Carolina, and it, and the other events the field hosted, did not disappoint.
Shooting pumpkins with corn

Inside the corn maze

Giant slide fun

A couple of nights later, I volunteered to help with "Haunted Highsmith", a night in which the student union building is filled with Halloween events: pumpkin carvings, novelty photos, wax hands, costume contest, and a haunted maze.
I was assigned to help in the haunted maze. At first I was a bit weary, not knowing what I was going to do. But after meeting my fellow volunteers and taking a tour of the maze, I was excited to scare my peers.
The maze was located in one of the large rooms that hosts events; it was constructed out of support beams, patterned tarps, strobe lights, dolls, and fake blood. As a volunteer, I got to take a tour of the maze with the lights on to learn the hideaway corners where I could stand in my "Scream" costume. The maze was eerie even with the lights on! It had all the stereotypical rooms. But what I didn't expect was a claustrophobic tunnel in which tarps were pressed together and you had to squeeze through.

The event lasted for about 2 hours, and the maze successfully scared over 150 people.
I recognized athletes, classmates, and friends alike. I could see them, but they could not see me, my mask concealing my identity.

Everyone that came out that night had a blast, and I loved seeing the smirks on people's faces when I told them which character I was.

I love Halloween and cannot wait for next year. 

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