Thursday, December 25, 2008

Greetings from New Jersey

Hello everyone,

Yes, I am writing you from my lovely home in NJ. No, I don't want you to make fun of me for living here, or to feel bad for me, I love it here. Merry Christmas by the way! Hope Santa was good to everyone, I know I must have been good this year because I got some great stuff.

But we all know it's not about the stuff, and so do I. I've been having an amazing time with my family and friends I don't get to see often. I've had two yankee swaps, baked 60 cookies, visited relatives, seen a movie, shoveled lots of snow, and of course done some swimming.

Speaking of swimming, we leave for training trip in Florida on Sunday. We're there until the 5th of January (we celebrate New Years together) and go back to school the 6th to train more until classes start the next week. Florida is so much fun, and even though we swim twice as much as usual and we're sore and tired, it's an amazing bonding experience for us as a team. I'm super excited.

Anyway that's all I've got tonight. Hopefully I'll update after Florida when we're back at school to let you all know I survived and am ready for spring semester (grades were good by the way :]). Until then, stay warm?

-Christine

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

what really happens during finals week

Oh hi,

So don't be decieved by the title here, I've already explained how finals works and am not doing it again. Instead, I'm going to show you what happens to college students when we get all couped up inside studying all day. This is my roommate...she's amazing. Enjoy:


video

video

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Flurries, Finals, and Fun

Hey everybody!

So it’s a busy busy time here on campus with finals starting on Monday. The last week of classes was packed with work and papers and tests and such, but we’ve got one more stretch until Christmas break.

Last weekend was the NE-10 championships for swimming. The meet started Friday afternoon and went until Sunday night, so on Thursday we had practice, gorged ourselves at a pasta party, and trucked on down to Southern Connecticut. It was a long and tiring weekend, but we had a lot of fun. Sleepover meets are always the best. In fact, here's a video of some dancing on the bus after one morning session:

video

Both the men’s and women’s teams finished in 5th place overall, and we broke tons of records. We’ve got a break from meets now until we come back to school. We go down to Florida on the 28th and come back to school early on the 6th to swim doubles until everyone comes back for second semester.

Meanwhile, it’s getting very Christmas-y here on campus. We just had a snowstorm and got tons of snow. Campus is also decorated for the holidays. There are lights on a bunch of the trees and other decorations all over. We also have a tradition here called Christmas dinner, and it was Thursday night. It was so delicious. There were potatoes, roast beef, ham, egg nog, hot cider, and of course delicious desserts. There were also some professors there helping to serve us the food. Later that night my friends and I also had our annual Christmas party, complete with secret Santa, cookies, and merriment. I got earmuffs, peanut butter cups, and candy canes from my Santa, and I love them! A few weeks ago some friends and I went to a honors program activity where we made Christmas cards to send to seniors in a nursing home. Basically, we’ve really been getting into the Christmas spirit.

But of course we can’t get carried away with holiday festivities when finals are coming up. The way they work here is there are two time slots for exams each day: 9-11:30 and 1-3:30. Your exam time depends on when your class meets, so there’s never an overlap issue. If you don’t have an actual written test, your paper or project or whatever it is will probably be due during that time too. To help with the stress, the school has a lot of stress-free activities over the weekend, like music and relaxation. They also have a bunch of masseuses come in and give 15 minute massages to us when we sign up. I got one last night and it was so nice.

Anyway that's all for now. I'm sure I'll update this week about our progress with finals (usually we start with group studying and end up taking group naps in the lounge, so who knows). Until then, stay warm everyone.

-Christine

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The post-it wall and other excitements

Oh hiiiiii!

So as you can see, I finally did make it back to SMC after my long-term relationship with the airport. (we parted as friends though and agreed to meet back up after finals). But let's not jump to finals, there's still two packed weeks until then.

This week is a bit short for me, and that's not really a good thing. Missing classes Monday set me back a bit (and unfortunately led to me being up first for a presentation on Monday morning and getting an inconvenient time for my Italian oral exam, but what can you do). Just goes to show, missing class in college isn't the best thing, but I'm sure everyone already assumed that.

I'm also cutting out Friday of this week (and Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday night if you want to get particular). The swim team's big mid-season championships are this weekend, the NE-10 championships. For most teams this is at the end of their season, but we have another big meet in February. So we have practice tomorrow night, a pasta party at one of our captain's townhouses, and then we load up the bus and travel down to Southern Connecticut for the meet. I'm swimming a whole bunch of stuff and we're really hoping the team is going to do well. I'm sure you'll hear all about it from both me and Mairead when we return.

On a good note, I'm in remission from my latest illness, the common cold. Mairead was actually just hear picking up some cold remedies from the pharmacy I have in my closet (nothing shady and illegal? which I realize now this sounds like haha). I'm not sure if anyone has caught on yet, but my immune system and I don't really get along. Sometimes I question whether or not he even exists.

It seems like alot of people are getting sick, but that's probably a combination of stress, lack of sleep, cold weather, and ALOT on our plates. Finals are in a few weeks and everyone's got papers and projects and presentations and all kinds of other things that may or may not start with the letter "p".

Speaking of the letter "p", post-it starts with that. And speaking of post-it's, since we are now, that reminds me of the post-it wall I've formed for myself. Each post-it is a different thing "plaguing my existence" as I said earlier. In other words, it's a collection of all the things I need to get done before finals/before I return home again (via my bff the airport) for Christmas break. Once all of those things are done, I can focus on finals, safe travels, time at home with family and friends, and then the fabulous time that is the swim team's training trip in Florida. But don't worry, I'll be sure to write all about that and put up lots of pictures when we return...let's not get ahead of ourselves.

So I think that's all for now. I've got to get back to conquoring the post-its. Hope everyone's doing well and feeling healthy and rested. Talk to you soon.
-Christine