Sunday, November 30, 2008

the airport and I are doing some bonding

Hello hello

So it's Sunday night and I should be back at school by now but unfortunately I'm still home (I mean not so unfortunate but kind of since I have class in the morning that I am obviously not going to). After getting to the airport, waiting in line, waiting for a plane, having my flight cancelled, and waiting in another line, I'm back at home with a ticket for tomorrow night's flight. OH THE JOYS OF TRAVELLING.

So I'm planning to spend most of the day in the airport tomorrow, being on standby for earlier flights to try and make it to school in time for practice. Otherwise I'll be getting in to VT around 7. Anyway, thought I'd update on that little bit of my life since flying or driving or the trains or buses will be part of every one's lives come college traveling time. Talk to you soon (hopefully).

-Christine

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

home again home again

Hey everyone!
So not much so day today, just that everyone is excited to go home for break! Don't get us wrong, we love it here, but it's been a while since most of us have had a delicious home cooked meal, and what could be better than Thanksgiving Dinner!

In other news, the hockey teams home opener was this weekend. Friday night they played Salem state and it was alot of fun. Unfortunately they lost, but the games are still always enjoyable. SMC provided bussing over to the rink (it's not located on campus), so students without cars or who didn't want to drive could still go support the team. Sporting events are a great chance to show your spirit and cheer on the teams, and you may even discover you know someone on the team who you didn't know played. I didn't go to a game last year until the last one (where we won the NE-10 championships!) but this year I think I'll go to more.

So I'm not sure if I'll be posting while I'm home in the great state of New Jersey, but will be sure to update on my travels when I come back to school next week. Have a great holiday and enjoy!
-Christine

Thursday, November 20, 2008

SHACKing up

Hello again!

I hope everyone is doing well on this chilly Thursday (it's chilly here at least). Tomorrow's FRIDAY so that's always amazing. This week on campus was Hunger and Homelessness week, and that includes alot of activity going on with M.O.V.E., the service program here on campus. M.O.V.E. sponsors tons of different trips and activities (Mairead talks more about them in her latest entry and any of us can answer questions you may have about that). For this week, everything was centered around help and awareness for hunger and homelessness, especially in Vermont. On Monday, for example, 250 or so people wore bright green shirts to represent the 10% of Vermonters who visit a food shelf each year. Students were also asked to bring in canned donations to the dining hall earlier in the week.

One of the most noticed activities that M.O.V.E. does this week each year is to put up a shack in the middle of campus. The purpose of the shack is to raise awareness about homelessness and to point out how hard it would be to actually live in something like that. In fact, many homeless in the area would probably give anything for something as sturdy as the wooden shack we use. Not only does the shack stand in the middle of campus, but students volunteer all week to stay in it for an hour a day or overnight, to continue awareness and get a taste for the experience.

On Tuesday night my friends and I stayed over in the shack (we did it last year too) and had a pretty good time. It was very cold, but we were equipped with sleeping bags, blankets, and many layers, some of the things the homeless do not have and we take for granted. We also had many visitors to the shack, which made our time there more enjoyable. Even so, we experienced what it would be like to not have anywhere to go for a night but a small wooden shack.

Perhaps what makes the experience hit home even more is that the first real snow of the season happened Monday night into Tuesday morning, so we slept in the shack after a day of cold and snowy conditions. That made us think even more about how hard it would be to have nowhere to go now that the winter cold and snow are coming. The shack is a great idea to raise awareness and whether you stay in it for an hour or overnight, everyone gets something out of it.

I recorded a video in order for everyone to get a better feel for the shack, and also have a picture of all of us in it. Here they are:

video


Also, here's and article from the Echo, our online newsaper, covering the shack. There's a multi-media presentation to go along with it too.

So I hope the rest of everyone's Thursday goes well, and if I don't check back before the weekend, enjoy that too!

-Christine

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yay Burlington!

Hello everyone!

I thought it would be a fabulous idea to share today's yahoo news with everyone. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Burlington, Vermont is the healthiest city in America! Here's the link to the story. ::EDIT:: PErez Hilton also informed the celeb gossip readers about B-Town's success! http://perezhilton.com/2008-11-17-burlington-vt-is-the-usas-healthiest-city

So if everything that the SMC campus has to offer hasn't convinced you just yet, we now have the added benefits of being so close to Burlington. In fact, it makes sense that the area is so healthy. The air is fresh, food is as organic as possible, vegetarians are plentiful, and everyone is super active. People ride bikes instead of driving, and come winter, skiing and riding are the top activities. I know I've already mentioned how great Burlington is in terms of what it offers students, so this is just an added bonus.

Personally, the fresh air is my favorite part of Vermont. It may be freezing some days, but even then the air is fresh, and seems even more so when you have a clear view straight to the mountains. I love getting out of the car after driving or flying back to campus and taking a great big breath. So I don't know if that's what you're looking for in a school, but if it is then I'd venture to say SMC is the place for you.

So, from the city next to the healthiest city in America, see you later
-Christine

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Registration Game

Hey everyone!

So not much but the same old same old going on here. We won our meet this past Saturday! Actually, we won twice? It was a double dual meet against Colby-Sawyer and Gordon Colleges, so all together the team came out with 4 wins total. We've got another meet down at Skidmore this Saturday so wish us luck.

Other than that, registration is finishing up and everyone will be done by the end of the week. I figured I'd take that topic and run with it, especially since most schools don't really disclose the logistics of registration until you're already attending.

So as a first year, you register the summer before you get here. Most people will register on their registration weekend here at campus. Some students come just for registration, but most go on a weekend trip (POW, WOW, Trek, Pontigny, etc). I DEFINITELY recommend one of these trips. You meet people right away and don't feel as nervous about coming to school in the fall. In fact, I was super excited after my POW weekend. If anyone wants any more information about pre-orientation, let me know and I can do another post on that. I probably will anyway.

So back to registration. If you don't come to one of those days, you can register on paper I believe. But for those that come to campus for the process, you are given a temporary advisor (you're assigned another one once you declare a major/get to school in the fall). This advisor helps you pick classes you should start off with first semester, teaches you how to schedule them all together in terms of timing, and shows you how Knightvision works. Knightvision is the computer program that makes registering happen. Basically you go to your page, search for the subjects and sections you want, add them to a list, and register for them.

After your first semester, students are all required to meet with their advisers (probably new ones) about how everything is going and what we are planning to take the next semester. Registration is fairly early (we're finishing up for spring semester already), but it's good to be ready and have it out of the way. Each class year is then broken up into three groups which will register on three different days. So obviously seniors register first, juniors, and so on. I was in group 3 for sophomores, so I registered with the last group of sophomores. The class year you are in is determined by number of credits, so people who came into school with extra credits may get to register a class ahead of their own. Registration starts at 7am so everyone sets their alarms to as late as possible, gets up, sits down at their computers, and waits to click the "submit" button. Then, you hold your breath and hope that when the screen reloads you have gotten into the classes you wanted.

For the most part, it's not too bad to get into classes. Obviously higher level classes will be filled up with upperclassmen first, but there's always a way to work out a problem. You can get put on the professor's wait list for the class, petition into it with a specific form, and even show up on the first day of classes and ask if there is room for you. People tend to drop out of specific classes the first week so there's always the chance a spot will open up. That's actually what I'm planning to do for one of my classes. I go into 3 of the 4 I tried to register for, so not a bad deal.

Anyway, hope that was a helpful insight into the inner workings of being a student here at SMC. If any one's got any more questions on that feel free to ask them via comment or email or facebook or whatever. Until later!

-Christine

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm obviously a celeb

THIS JUST IN!

So my friend Meg and I started a facebook group here at SMC last year called "Overheard at Saint Mike's". It's basically where people post things they overhear for all to read (no names mentioned) including where and when. It's really fun and it's based off the book "Overheard in New York" as well as the website (and other colleges have similar sites). So anyway, we recently got interviewed about it and had a small article published in the campus newspaper The Defender.

Soooooo go here : http://journalism.smcvt.edu/defender/ and read under the Features section (it's called "Have you overheard?")

That's all I've got for right now. Traveling to Colby-Sawyer this weekend for a double dual meet. Maybe I'll get some photo footage of the situation. Until then!

-Christine

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's November!?!

Hello everyone! SUPER sorry it’s been so long since my last post. Last week was a bit rough for me, dealing with a new illness and tons of work. But the good news is I’ve got tons to talk about.
So let’s start with swimming. On October 26th we had a meet down at Bentley, in Massachusetts. We left the night before since the meet was early and it’s a bit of a drive. I don’t know about the rest of the team, but I LOVE meets where we get to leave early and stay in a big comfy hotel bed. Before hitting the hotel, we went to Rachel’s house (she’s a first year on the team) for dinner. After loading up on pasta, salad, dirt (the edible kind) and good times, we crashed at the hotel in what I like to call a food-coma. We woke up bright and early the next morning, ate breakfast (all 40 something of us clad in purple and gold, what a sight), and headed off to the school. The team did really well considering it was the first meet of the season (and of college for our first years) and I really think it helped ease everyone back into racing.

After that meet we had a pretty grueling week of practice. It wasn’t any more swimming than usual, but we think coach was inspired by Miracle, since we watched it on the bus. He made us repeat swims over and over until we did them the way he wanted. One day he even brought out a whistle. Still, the general consensus was that there was a method to his madness, and it seemed to work considering our meet this past weekend. We had our first home meet (and the only one this semester) against SUNY Potsdam. It was nice to have a meet here at our own pool, and even better to have all of our friends come out and cheer for us. There were even some professors there. The meet was great and a lot of the races were really close, but both the men’s and women’s teams came out with wins. That’s especially exciting since we lost to this team last season. Everyone had a really great time and we’re looking forward to more swimming (and hopefully more wins). We’ve got an away meet this Saturday against Colby-Sawyer so we’ll see how that goes.

So between those lovely swimming activities, there were some fun Halloween related things happening on campus. This year, like last year, I volunteered at the annual Harvest Carnival. It’s run by the Martin Luther King society, and is an alternative Halloween for 2-12 year olds. Instead of taking young kids out on Halloween (some neighborhoods around here aren’t ideal for that), parents can bring their kids to the sports center and participate for a small fee (something like $5 to cover program costs). There’s blow up activities like a moon bounce and obstacle course, arts and crafts (I worked there), pumpkin carving and painting, games, dancing, mini golf, and tons more. And, of course, candy everywhere. All the kids had a great time and so did I.

This Friday, Halloween (which by the way is my favorite holiday pretty much), was the annual Halloween dance. The school holds a costume dance for us every year (it’s $5 too) and it was a lot of fun. Swim team had to turn in early to rest up, but we still got to go and hang out for a while. I loved seeing everyone in their costumes (I was a firefighter).

In other news, tomorrow is Election Day. I already voted via absentee, but for anyone who hasn’t, get out there! Especially young people! It was really cool to be able to mail my vote for President of the United States. It’s kind of a big deal. So that’s my reminder for that (that’s all I’ll say since I’m not exactly politically savvy). A friend of mine also showed me this website that’s kind of interesting. It’s called the political compass. It is about a 10 minute survey that then maps you politically? It’s hard to explain but it’s all on the website. Check it out if you’re interested: http://www.politicalcompass.org/test

It’s getting a bit chilly here and we’ve had little snow flurries here and there so far. I ordered my Smugg’s pass a few weeks ago. The college gives us this AMAZING deal with Smuggler’s Notch, a local ski area about 45 minutes away. I’ve been going there since I was 7 so I was very excited about the arrangement. For $30 we get a full season pass to all three mountains at Smuggs. I have no idea how much a season pass normally is, but I know it’s about $80 for a one day lift ticket, so it pays for itself before you even get to the mountain. I believe we also get discounts on gear rentals, but I don’t know because I have my own stuff. Anyway, if you’re into skiing or riding that’s definitely a huge perk about SMC.

I think that’s all for now (Gossip Girl is on in 5 minutes and I have a pile of unfolded laundry sitting on my bed). I’ll try to make sure my next update isn’t two weeks from now, and I’m sure it won’t be. Keep reading!

-Christine