Tag Archives: athens

Fall in Athens

Sean Neff

Sean Neff,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 29 September 2017

Some say the fall leaves in Boston are the sight to see. Yet even though I’m biased, I tend to disagree (rhyme intended).

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, the weekend exploration in Athens gets even more exciting. One of my favorite parts of going to school here
at Ohio University is the amazing history and scenery of southeast Ohio. The beautiful array of color that covers the hills is something that always stops me on my walks to Stocker Center or the ARC. By the time the weekend rolls around, my itch to explore southeast takes me away from the books and onto the backroads.

One of my favorite places to visit and hike is in Zaleski State Forest just west of Athens in Vinton, County. Zaleski State Forest is home to some of the best hiking trails in Ohio and has a lot of interesting historical places. One of the most frequented places is the Moonville Tunnel, which is an old railroad tunnel that is reportedly home to numerous ghosts. Although I never have seen any ghosts on my trips there, the civil engineer inside of me enjoys examining the
structure of the old tunnel and all of the engineering work that took place for its construction.

Fall semester at OU is also the semester of senior design projects for most civil engineering seniors. For my senior design project, my team and I are designing a complete residential subdivision with roadways, sewers, and lots for homes. The design also includes surveying the topography of a land parcel in Alexandria Township.

Even though senior design takes a lot of my time, the activities and adventure in Athens makes the journey worth it. Just a few hours spent in the wilderness of southeast Ohio takes me away to a time where cars weren’t self-driving and cell phones weren’t the center of our lives. Yet, coming back to school just motivates me even more to create and think outside the box in life!

Summer in Athens

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 16 September 2017

This past summer I was fortunate enough to work as an intern for the City of Athens Water Treatment Plant. While I could go on about the job itself or the amazing people I met at and through the plant, I think the more eye-opening experience was living in Athens for the summer—when the number of students in the city drops dramatically.

Spending a summer in Athens certainly has many perks. Sure, it may seem somewhat empty at times, and not all of your friends from class are there. But this just serves to open many more opportunities to explore everything that the city and surrounding area have to offer.

Over the summer, there are various events held right in the heart of Athens that offer great opportunities to get out and meet people. For example, “Boogie on the Bricks,” “Ohio Brew Week,” and multiple car shows are all held right on Court Street—Athens’ central street. A laid-back summer without classes also left many opportunities to mountain bike on the nearby trails, and to go kayaking at the nearby Stroud’s Run State Park.

All in all, it was a great summer spent right here in Athens, Ohio. However, I cannot say I am upset all the students are back and the semester is in full swing yet again. While the summer was nice, it’s nice to see all the friends I have made over the past three years, and it’s certainly exciting to get my last year of undergrad underway!

Springtime in Athens

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 24 April 2017

After a sometimes seemingly endless couple of months of walking to class in the cold and having to find indoor activities for the weekend, springtime in Athens almost never fails to come around abruptly and it is always welcome! It always seems as if the weather is never going to break, and then all of a sudden, it will and the general ‘vibe’ on campus picks up so much. It is so nice to see people back on the greens throwing a frisbee or baseball on the way to class, or being able to study outside for a nice change of scenery.

In addition to just the weather being nicer, it opens up all the possibilities for recreation that haven’t been available since the Fall! This includes going to Stroud’s, which is a lake/park near campus and a great place to picnic, fish, or just relax during a break between classes or on the weekend.

Also, springtime is a great chance to hit any of the local popular hiking trails. It is always a good time to be able to get some friends together and take a hike and overlook all of Athens and the Ohio University Campus.

Lastly, maybe my favorite thing about springtime is the blossoming of the cherry trees along the Hocking River. For those of you who may not know, there is a very well-maintained bike path that stretches for 21 miles throughout Athens county, and a part of it runs right along campus and the Hocking River. This section is lined with dozens (if not hundreds) of cherry trees that bloom beautifully in the spring. It is my personal favorite part about spring—to just be able to take a casual stroll or bike ride along the bike path along the river with the trees in full bloom. Athens in the spring is just such an amazing place!

Water Problems

Jacob Motts

Jacob Motts,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 17 February 2017

Yesterday, I woke up at 6:00 am but this day was different. Later that day was the first day of the Russ College Career Fair, and I was in the market for an internship or full time position. With me graduating in less than a year, I had been definitely feeling the pressure creeping in of finding a job. So, when I woke up, I dressed in my best suit and tie, printed out what felt like 100 resumes, and went on my way to Stocker Center for my Lean Manufacturing class at 7:45. That was when things started to go crazy.

Not five minutes into class, I heard a couple of my peers in the row behind me start to make a ruckus about something on the computer. I couldn’t help myself from eavesdropping, and I heard one of them say “Man we aren’t even supposed to be here. The university is closed!” The words had not left his mouth when two other students on the opposite side of the room piped in as well with similar comments. One student after the next all began talking and trying to figure out what was happening. The professor, who was trying to pass out equipment for a project, became very confused as to what had happened to the class. That’s when my friend Sam showed me a picture of the gaping hole in the ground surrounded by water that she had found online in a report by the Athens PD.

Apparentl,y around the 300 block of W. State Street, a 16-inch rupture occurred in the city water main. The leak then caused a sequential sinkhole in the ground and put a halt to all normal water use. Back in the classroom my professor began calling the department secretary as well as the ETM department chair. At this point the university had not sent out notifications to the students and faculty. Around 8:10 or so everyone checked their phones to see the emergency mass text from Ohio University. Classes were canceled, but what mattered much more to me was that the career fair was canceled. I was pretty disappointed about that.

As of writing this post, the water line has been fixed. However, the water itself, is not. A boil warning is still in effect for all of Athens until 2 am on February 18th. Why that matters to me is that I have a week’s worth of dishes that I had been procrastinating on washing. Now it has gotten to the point that I do not have a single clean pot or pan and do not have the time to boil water to wash them. The lift on the boil warning cannot come soon enough.

Athensworks

Zach Perrault

Zach Perrault,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 15 March 2016

Last semester I participated in the Athens StartUp Weekend and won second place. One of the prizes our team won were several seats at Athensworks.

Athensworks

Athensworks is a local coworking space up on East Carpenter (just across from Family Dollar). Coworking spaces provide desks, conference rooms, nice chairs, and other people to work with for the self-employed and remote workers who might not have those things at home.

I first heard about Athensworks through the proverbial grapevine. I posted on a job board on Hacker News. A couple days later, an Athens native who works at Mavenlink in San Francisco reached out to me and introduced me to Ben Lachman, the founder of Athensworks.

Ben invited me to come to one of their monthly Hack Nights. At a Hack Night, anyone is welcome to stop by for some free pizza and to help build a project. Past Hack Night projects have been the Ohio Brew Week App and a pizza topping picker for large groups.

Since then my involvement with Athensworks has only increased. I started out only coming to a few Hack Nights. After StartUp Weekend I would work from Athensworks a couple days a week. And for the past six weeks I have been teaching a code school on Tuesday evenings.

The Code School class teaches JavaScript and is open to anyone in the community. Most of our students are local middle schoolers. It is very rewarding to give back to the community and share my passion for computer science with others.

Being a part of Athensworks is something I will really miss when I graduate. I have met a lot of great people and worked on a lot of fun things here.

Time out for Bowling

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 22 February 2016

This past weekend I had the opportunity to experience something new in Athens, Ohio—bowling. Since first coming to Athens I’ve always wanted to go bowling, but I’ve never given myself time to adventure to the Rollerbowl, the local bowling lanes.

While I don’t bowl frequently, it’s something I often have fond memories of. After throwing my first ball this past weekend I started to doubt these memories, very quickly. All the way through my fourth toss was my interest with bowling challenged. Having thrown my first four balls as straight gutters I was beginning to realize bowling wasn’t something I wouldn’t ‘just remember.’

Regardless of my performance I was noticing something while throwing those first few balls: the bowling lanes in Athens, Ohio offered a unique environment. The environment in the bowling alley on a Saturday afternoon was purely energetic.

Nearly half of the lanes were rented out to two or three families throwing parties for their children. From there, the ages ranged from elderly families taking an afternoon out to other groups of college students looking to get off campus. The lanes offered a positive environment where various groups could gather together and enjoy bowling, regardless of skill level. Throughout the afternoon I gradually threw fewer and fewer gutter balls. While I never managed to break 100 I still found the afternoon to be a lot of fun.

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 11 February 2016

In 2010, the Russ College was expanded with the Academic Research Center (better known as “The ARC”) as a place for students to work on projects and homework, have classes, and conduct meetings for various organizations. A lot of the students refer to it as “home” since it seems sometimes that we spend the majority of our time there, we are comfortable there and our friends are usually there too. The ARC is a blessing for us and having our own café to fuel the caffeine addictions is fantastic as well. However, sometimes I forget that life exists outside the outer edge of West Green so I have been seeking to take in as much of the beautiful campus as I can before I graduate in April.

I have been exploring Athens, trying to find different places to study, grade papers or read and I have a few favorite places for each activity.

One of my favorite places is Front Room Café on the fourth floor of Baker Center. It is actually where I am writing this blog post! It’s a good place to meet up with people or work on homework. I love to come to Front Room on Wednesday and Friday nights for open mic and have done so since my freshman year!

Front Room Fireplace

There’s a fire going right now which is keeping me warm on this 22º day!

Another one of my favorite places to do work is the 7th floor, East wing of Alden library. It has one of my favorite views on campus and was recommended to me by my father who used to study there when he was a student, so it makes me feel connected to home! t’s a much quieter place than Front Room, so it’s good for when I really need to focus.

Snowy View from Alden

A picture of the view from the 7th floor East wing of Alden

I also enjoy going to Donkey Coffee on Washington St. (Clearly, I have a coffee addiction.) This is probably my favorite place to grade papers and makes me feel important and like a professor.

Donkey Coffee

Not warm enough to study outside yet

There are several others places I enjoy going to study, but those are the top 3 outside the ARC/Stocker area. It’s important to remember there is a bigger community out there and tons of places to explore on campus and around Athens. When the weather warms up I hope to find some great places to study outside!