Friday, October 17, 2008

one's company, two's a crowd, and three's a party

Happy Friday everyone!

Sorry for the random title, I was having writer's block for a creative one. So I told you all last time I had tons to talk about and it’s true! First of all, I went home and surprised my family over the long weekend. For those who don’t remember, home for me is New Jersey. It was really nice to spend time with my family, especially my brother and sister, and to have my mom do my laundry and cook good food for me :]. The weather was gorgeous and I had a really good time at home, especially sleeping and doing nothing in an attempt to cure my cold, which I still have.

When I returned on Tuesday I was really excited to go to a special even at UVM (the University of Vermont, which is down the street.) I went to see Frank, the founder of PostSecret, speak about how he got started, details of the project, and some of the secrets he’s received over the years. It was a really enjoyable experience and if anyone is interested in PostSecret and he’s coming to a school near you, I definitely recommend it. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, PostSecret is a community art project where people send in their secrets to Frank on postcards (or whatever else they want really). The process of sending the secrets helps give a person closure, just to know that one person knows the secret. Frank introduces himself by saying that he collects secrets, and has been called the most trusted man in America. Here’s the website, for those who want to take a look. New secrets are posted every Sunday and I’m a regular visitor.

Wednesday was back to classes (though I only had one because my other two were cancelled). After class and lunch I had a meeting with the woman in charge of study abroad here at Saint Mike’s. I plan to study in Florence, Italy next fall and need to get on top of the long process of applying and such. I got a bunch of books with information on programs (there’s so many, I don’t know how I’m going to pick!), and a packet with all the information I need to apply and get letters written for me. The study abroad opportunities here at SMC are phenomenal; students can go just about ANYWHERE, as I think I’ve already said. Anyway, if anyone is wondering about that I’d be happy to say more of what I know.

Yesterday was free burritos at boloco! So obviously after practice some of the girls and I headed downtown for our free food. We waited on a line that went out the door and down the block, but soon enough we had delicious burritos. After that we hit up Charlotte Russe because we heard about a rack for shirts for 99 cents! Needless to say we made out like bandits and returned home.

Today I had another meeting. This was with Dr. O., the new professor here in charge of the Observatory across the street. Not very many people get to use the observatory, and I wanted to change that, or at least get a chance to use it for myself. He took us over there and showed us around and said he’s going to let us know when he starts taking classes out there. He said about once a week so that’s really exciting, I’m pumped.

Tonight is also Friday Knight Dry. It’s an activity on campus we had last spring and again tonight. The idea is to have a ton of fun without the use of alcohol (hence the Dry part) There’s a bunch of activities all over campus and you win FKD money (monopoly money) for participating and doing well. Its stuff like guitar hero tournaments, ddr, poker, shaving cream slip and slide, mini golf, and so much more. Then at 10:30 there’s an auction where you use the money you won to bid on really cool prizes. The best thing to do is to pool together with your friends for something big. Last year a group of my friends won a lounge chair! Anyway then after that is Midknight Madness, the SMC take on the traditional first basketball practice/pep rally that most colleges do. I won’t be able to attend because I’ll be in bed resting up for our inter-squad swim meet that’s tomorrow morning (half the team against the other half, for fun and times) but I’m sure it will be fun.

So, like I said, a lot going on this week and especially tonight. Hope everything is going well for everyone, time for me to go get ready for the evening (and warm up, it’s getting chilly!) As always, emails and comments are fabulous, keep them coming.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

swim team

Hello Hello

So I’ve got tons to talk about but it will have to wait until the next post because this one is dedicated to answering the question left in a comment for me a few posts ago. Here’s what it said:

Could you tell me more about the swim team. I will be applying to SMC and am very interested in swimming. Since its DII, what were the tryouts like and when were they when you were senior...when you came to SMC in the fall, or before that. Thanks

So I know not everyone is interested in the swim team (even though you should be), but this kind of information may apply for other sports too so read on.

Swimming, like all sports here at SMC, is Division 2. We practice 5 days a week (Monday –Friday) with dryland on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and lifting twice a week plus full team lift on Saturday afternoon. Practices are 3:30-5:30 and if you have a class scheduling conflict with that once or twice a week, you can go to morning practices which are offered every day from 5:30-7:30 AM.

We don’t really have a “tryout” period, like basketball or hockey. If you’re interested in learning more about the team in terms of you swimming on it, I suggest contacting coach. His email is You can visit and meet with him and in the spring we have a recruit weekend where a bunch of recruits come and stay with swimmers (most likely freshmen.) Last year we had a pasta dinner together, played water polo, and then got together at night. It’s usually a weekend in March or April. If you can’t come to that, there are plenty of people who come for a weekend at their convenience, mostly in the spring when we’re out of season.

After that, if you decide you’re going to come here and swim for us, practice starts in late September. This year it was the 22. The first two weeks we tend to lose a few people here and there who decide swimming isn’t for them or that they don’t want to do it anymore. Otherwise, it’s a long haul until February for the rest of us. We have our first meet in the end of October. You can find our schedule here. If you live somewhere nearby any of our meet locations and want to come watch us swim, tell coach and he can talk with you!

In December, over Christmas break, we go on a training trip. It’s not mandatory because of the cost, but it’s definitely recommended by coach and the rest of the team. It’s tons of fun, really hard, and a great bonding experience for us. We leave a few days after Christmas, are there over New Years, and then come back to school a week before everyone else to swim some more. Most days are double sessions with practices in the morning and the afternoon. Below is a pic of the whole team before practice one morning.

Championships are in February and then we’re done! Last year the women’s team placed 7th out of 21 team and the men places 7th out of 14 teams at championships. This year we’ve got a much bigger team, especially the men, and we’re very excited to do well.

So I think that’s all I can say without going overboard. If you’ve got other questions, don’t hesitate to email me, comment back, or even email coach. Hope that was helpful.

I’ll be back sometime with week or weekend with another post about everything exciting going on in my life. Lot’s of good reading material. Anyway, check back in a few days!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

tylenol cold and I are in a serious relationship

Hey everyone.

Almost as promised, I have some pictures for everyone. They’re more of what fabulous things I get to look at as I make my way through SMC every day than just scenery (The view across the street or on the lawn, for example). So, I hope you enjoy those. Before that, a few other notes:

I’ve finally fallen victim to the common cold here on campus, and am suffering through this illness with the help of frequent naps, Tylenol cold, and lots of tea. So if I don’t come back to life for a little longer than usual, I’m sorry about that and will definitely catch back up with everyone about whatever I do over this coming long weekend.

Also, to the person who left me a comment about the swim team, I promise I will dedicate my next post to that, unless you’d like to leave me an email address and you and I can chat one on one. Whichever is fine, as I’m sure there are other potential swimmers, or at least potential SMC athletes, out there who can benefit from a public post.

Some big news, or at least I thought so, came from my dad this week. He informed me that a high school friend of his and active alum here at SMC reads the musings of my daily life as a student. That’s pretty exciting for me, especially since she says she’s got a bunch of other alumni following my page as well. So shout out to Mel (or Mrs. Hannigan, if you require more propriety) and all the other former students tuned in to my life. I’m super excited to have you all reading. Maybe we should set up a correspondence and get some “guest-posts” going later in the year. I’m all for it.

Anyway so here’s those pictures:

here's the walk to the pool I make every day. These trees are usually some of the first to change
this is the view from outside of my dorm, Founders Hall. It's a lot prettier in person, so you should all probably come visit and check it out for yourselves.
Here's a shot of the path and lawn leading to the library in the distance. Still looks pretty green.
I even have a gorgeous view from my 10:30 classroom.
This is a quick shot of my room in Founders. Two of us live here, we just can't get our futon to come out of bed mode? It's a nice big room and Sarah and I love it!

Here's our pride and joy, our picture wall. With the help of friends we got our picture boards up and they look really great.

OK everyone! That's all for now. Thanks for checking in and keep reading. As always, comment or email me anything at all at

Stay healthy,


Sunday, October 5, 2008

when all else fails...procrastinate

So I’ve been working on a paper for my fiction class all day now, and it’s coming a long slow and steady, but I figured I’d take a little time aside to write a post. That way at least I don’t feel like a total failure at writing as a whole. So this will probably be posted after I do finish my paper, but as of now it’s still a work in progress.

Meanwhile, nothing too exciting has been going on around here. Week two of swimming finished and I was slightly less sore and exhausted than the first, so that’s always a plus. Went to mass tonight, like every Sunday. I sing in the choir this year and I really really love it. I’m just very glad to do something that’s not swimming related and this fits perfectly into my schedule. Just goes to show that even if you play a sport here, there’s plenty of time for other activities. My roommate Sarah runs cross country and can do virtually any activity she wants.

Speaking of Sarah, she’s got her first tour coming up on Tuesday (she’s a new tour guide) so good luck to her! There were tons of tours on campus today. They came through the library while my teammates and I chained ourselves to the tables to do our various assignments. This is a busy week at SMC for a lot of students. It’s near mid-term time and with a long weekend coming up, so professors are having assignments due before we all miss classes for 2 days and forget everything they’ve taught us. Not my favorite tactic but it probably helps.

While chatting with my mom earlier, she mentioned that none of us have talked about attending any SMC sporting events yet. For me, swim practice is going on during a lot of the events, like soccer games and such. In our defense, some of the team and I did stop by the men’s rugby game against Middlebury Saturday, after lifting at the gym. Rugby is a crazy sport to watch, and it’s nice to get some little taste of a football-esque sport since I truly miss it. (Notre Dame won again this week btw!)

It’s been really beautiful up here lately and was nice to be outside Saturday at that game. It’s getting chilly but I absolutely love it. Fall is coming in nicely and the view from the lawn across the street has changed from a bright green landscape to the vibrant colors of the turning leaves. I heard it’s snowed a few times way up in the mountains. That can take its time coming down here though. I’m going to try to get some pictures or a video up here soon so everyone can appreciate the scenery.

I think that’s all for now. I’ll hopefully have an update sometime mid-week on how the busy week is going. Meanwhile, keep the comments coming. And for those of you brave enough, you can put your names on them so you’re not some anonymous mystery, though I’m sure I could guess who a few are from.

Back to my paper,