An Aquarium…for FREE?

By Staff Writer Maddie Kenn.

You’re probably reading this because the title caught your attention. Before you get your hopes up about indulging in an article about enjoying the wonders of marine life, and better yet, for no cost, let me inform you, that this article will not be pertaining that information. In fact, the information here isn’t about animals… at all. Please, don’t go just yet, let me explain! The title isn’t entirely a lie, but a simple misinterpretation.

You may be familiar with the club hosted on our campus, by the name of Fish Bowl. If not, no need to worry! Fish Bowl is a club that is hosted by UMass Dartmouth students and meets every Wednesday at 7pm in The Dive, located in Maple Ridge. The purpose of this club is to get together and listen to personal stories that students and faculty members are willing to share. Every week is a new topic and speakers names are drawn from a fish bowl, allowing them to take the spotlight and tell their story, whether it’s humorous or heart-felt.

On Wednesday, April 10th, members of the Fish Bowl gathered together  at a different location for an event called “the aquarium”. The event was held in the auditorium and started exactly at 6:30 pm.

This event differs from the traditional Wednesday meetings where a name is drawn from the bowl. Instead, all of the best stories of 2019 were re-told and the speakers were already prepared beforehand to tell their stories for  a second time, rather than anticipating on getting picked from several names.

The E board was welcomed on stage to kick off the event, explaining to the medium-sized audience what the fish bowl was all about and how it started 2 years ago, mentioning the growth of the club since it originally started. Johnny Perreira, current member of the Torch staff and  president of the club, was ecstatic to announce that over 100 people had showed up to the fish bowl meetings this year.

After mentioning the Fishbowl social media accounts, such as their very own podcast, instagram and facebook accounts, the event transitioned to the Aquarium’s host of the night, James Sturges. Sturges welcomed president Perreira onto the stage once more to tell the first story. Perreira recollected his memory  about his baked good experiences as a child , as the members of the audience chuckled at his jokes throughout the story.

The next participant that was welcomed to the stage was the promotions manager of the club, who was thrilled to announce that he is taking over Perreira’s role of fishbowl president next year. The audience was entertained with his  humorous story about his cousin and himself becoming monks for four days at age 14. He even incorporated visuals into his story by  drawing on large notepads of paper, making the crowd beam with laughter.

All laughter aside, the president manager elect of the club introduced the topic of her story by interacting with the audience, and having them clap once if they ever had self confidence issues. She ended her discussion by saying “you can be whatever you want to be, never think your goals are unattainable, and don’t listen to the people that say you can’t, because in the end, you’ll be a shining star and they won’t matter”.

Next, the vice president elect of the club, Gina, entered the stage and spoke about her personal stress and her DIY  therapeutic strategy. She’s currently in the middle of constructing a project here at UMass Dartmouth to benefit herself and others on campus. She has decided to turn a vacant room located in Chestnut, into a “star therapy lounge”. In a dark room, there will be yoga mats placed around the room, and stars projected on the ceiling for anyone who wants to de-stress or just relax. She wants everyone to know that all is welcome once it is finished!

A few other returning fish bowl members took the stage and re-told their favorite stories. Those include Peter Elliot, who told his comical story about being born in England, followed by a five minute break, current Torch member, James Mellen recollected on a memory from his childhood and had audience members bursting out in laughter, as well as two other staff writers for the Torch, Eric Sousa, was welcomed to the stage as the guest guitarist played, and Zack Downing shared a comical experience about being a student here at UMass Dartmouth and the struggles that are attached with having a similar name than someone.

Guest speaker, Tom Genino was applauded, as he was featured in E board member, Mike’s stories several times but was never recognized visually until this moment, where he was welcomed to the stage and spoke about childhood memories of him and Mike.

The 3rd annual Aquarium event was very successful and a night to remember! If this sounds interesting to you, you still have the opportunity to attend Wednesday night meetings in The Dive at 7pm in Maple ridge. This weeks fishbowl’s topic is “home” and will be video recorded for cherishable memories. Not a public speaker? No problem, attend the event just to listen to other individuals speak and don’t miss out on the fun!

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