While many students faced more finals by Friday afternoon, Nov. 20, some took a much needed break at Millennium Oaks Park on UMHB’s campus. Several students were found walking, talking, and relaxing on the rocks, benches, and grass in the beautiful, tree-filled park. One was in a hammock, reading the news. Two were feeding turtles and fish in the pond, and occasionally taking photos of the animals splashing in the water for their break crumbs.
Taylor Moore and Sedrick Zgadzaj still had more finals to take but took a break Friday late afternoon to sit at water’s edge at the pond and feed bread crumbs to the turtles and fish. Moore is a freshman psychology major and Zgadzaj is a sophomore engineering major. The two share an interest and practice in photography, so they were taking photos of the feeding as the fish and turtles scrambled to grab the bread crumbs. They both went to Round Rock High School, and have been engaged since graduation, with plans to marry after their next graduation – from UMHB.
Freshman business major Sam Sommerfeld used her phone to read the news (previewing all the news outlets to “see how it all lines up”) in a friend’s hammock between two trees in the park. Sommerfeld is also on the volleyball team and plans to go into pharmaceutical sales like her father Kent Sommerfeld. The freshman from Longview, who used to be on the journalism team in high school, is glad to be here at UMHB.
“I couldn’t be any happier than where I am,” Sommerfeld said. “All the people are really friendly and….it’s just like a great environment to be in.”
Sommerfeld, who plays the libero position on UMHB’s volleyball team, said her team’s first game is away on Feb. 9, but they their home game on Feb. 17 is with MacMurray College.
Freshman elementary education major Anastasia Rakobalis sat under a large tree on the grass at the park while she talked to an old friend from Omaha on her phone. Rokobalis, who lives in Lord Hall, said she wished there were no COVID-19 restrictions because she would really like to visit her friends without restrictions – like in their dorm rooms instead of only in designated common areas. Other than that, she said she is right where she wanted to be.
“I really love it,” Rakobalis said. “I love seeing all the people and activities, so I have been enjoying it.”
Rakobalis said that on an earlier campus visit, she got to sit in on an education class. That is when she knew that it was for sure what she wanted to do, and where she wanted to study.
“I wanted to be a teacher, and I wanted to go here,” she said.
Rokobalis said that It helped that it was a small Christian college, was not too far from home in San Antonio, and that it is “such a pretty campus.”
Samantha Cardenas and Aphonso Thomas often come to walk and relax at Millennium Oaks Park Pond. The freshman education major Carnenas, from Eagle Pass, and kinesiology junior Thomas, from Tyler, came Friday evening because, as Cardenas said:
“It’s so pretty here. We like to look at the scenery and take walks around.”
Cardenas’ mother got her teaching certificate at UMHB, and Thomas is here to play football. The running back was injured this fall in practice but said that he’ll be ready for practice again after the break on Jan. 9.
“By the time we come back, I should be good,” Thomas said.