Thursday, January 29, 2009

Housing and Traveling

Hello again!

So I've got a comment/question to answer and something else to talk about. I'll answer the question first.

I was asked how I get to and from school, being from NJ which is kind of a hike. Well I'm from north Jersey, so it's about a 5 hour car ride for me, a 50-60 minute flight, and a 10 hour bus ride. When I move in and out obviously my parents drive up and we load/unload the car and make the 5 hour trip. For Thanksgiving and Christmas I fly home because I usually have alot of stuff and don't want to impose that on others. For Columbus day this year and spring break last year I got rides home with friends. As far the the bus goes, it's a bit long and about the same price as a plane, so why not fly. The airport is literally a 15 minute drive from campus, max, and it's very easy to call a cab to take you or find someone you know that's going. I don't have a car on campus because I share it with my siblings at home, but that has NEVER been an issue for me, no matter where I need to go. I have plenty of friends/teammates with cars who can take me to the store, the doctor, or the airport, and the bus goes downtown six days a week too. It's also SO EASY to find a ride home during break times. People send out emails asking for rides, and we actually now have an on-campus website that organizes all of these requests (people offering/needing rides) so they are easy to find and usually all they are asking for is help with gas money.

Hope that answered the question and if not shoot me an email at

Moving on, tonight we had our meetings about room selection for next fall. I don't have to go through the process because of study abroad, but my roommate does, and when she goes abroad in the spring I'm moving into where she was living, so I obviously want it to be somewhere good. Room selection is kind of a lot of information, so I'll try to keep it short and sweet with a summary for what it's like for first years.

-Lottery cards: this doesn't really apply for most of the first year class, but lottery cards are made available for townhouses (seniors only) and then suites (priority by class year and lottery number). Very few first years get into the suites as sophomores, but it's more likely if you are in honors housing (honors program), GREAT housing (alcohol and drug free), or ambassador housing (living with international students). I can provide more information on any of those if anyone wants, just let me know.

-Number Draw: whether or not you have suite lottery card or plan to live in a single or double room, everyone gets a lottery number from their class. Last year and every year before this year the numbers were literally put into a box, students waited in line on their specific day, and they put their hands in an pulled out a number. That was your lottery number and room selection was done depending on your number, lower numbers are better. This year, they changed the system to electronic, so we will all receive our numbers through email on the same day at the same time. If you ask me, it's alot nicer.

-Room Selection: after the numbers are given out, each class is assigned a day to come sign up for their rooms. Single rooms and double rooms aren't usually on the same day, but for Honors or GREAT housing, they might be. What you do is go to Alliot (upstairs) with the appropriate printed paperwork, and wait for your turn (based on number), then you look at a floor map of wherever you want to live and you pick your room.

It sounds alot more complicated than it is, and the only stressful part is finding roommates and worry about getting where you want to be. Having back-up plans is always a good idea, but for the most part people are happy with where they live. I definitely love where I am now!

As a side note, there is an organization on campus called GOT SKILLS? that hosts alot of events, talks, and demonstrations throughout the year. If you go to one of these, you get raffle tickets to fill out with your name and other information. If you accumulate 10 raffle tickets, they go into a drawing for the first 3 numbers in your class number draw, which is definitely a perk! Aaaand the events and talks are always really interesting, so if you have time to go to them, you definitely should.

I think that's all I need to say about housing. As always, keep reading and post comments/questions or send me emails!

p.s. we got dumped with about a foot of snow last night, it was awesome! I can't wait to get back out to the mountain. I'll try to get some pictures up of the snow soon. Until then, stay warm!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I've got to start coming up with more creative titles

Hey everyone!
So first things first, I haven't put up any pictures in forever! I don't have any of the snow on campus right now, but you can probably imagine that it's everywhere. I think Reese has one up in one of her recent posts. I do have some from my Christmas break, Florida, and this semester back at school. I'll try to get some good ones up soon from swimming or other events I attend. Meanwhile, here's what I've been up to. This is Christmas break with my brother and sister. We framed this picture with a few others and gave it to my parents as a gift. A great gift, obviously.

Here's one of the team taking a silly picture in Florida. Almost everyone came on the trip this year, and we had a great time.
Here's a picture of the sunset over the beach down in Florida. The sunsets at our hotel, the Bilmar, are one of the main reasons we keep going back every year. Each night is absolutely gorgeous!
This last one is me and three of my friends at a Gossip Girl themed birthday party for a friend of ours. Everyone was dressed to perfectly for the occasion and we had a lot of fun checking out everyone's outfits.

That's all for pictures for right now, but I'll try to take more as the weeks go on. In not so exciting news, my Ice Climbing trip from Sunday was cancelled because of the weather. We had a warm front come in at the end of the week, but by Sunday the wind chill weather at the mountain was in the negative teens, so we didn't get to go out and climb. I was pretty bummed, but glad they made the call instead of having us freeze all day long.
Yesterday my friend told me about this pretty cool website called CampusLIVE. It is tailored to your specific school and has all the link you need for school on one page, plus whatever else you customize it with. I've got my SMC email, ecollege, knightvision, pandora radio, amazon, my blog, and facebook, to name a few. It also has a live view of my facebook information, like my mailbox and new posts, and the weather for outside (here and at home, so I can compare). I've also got the news on there from a bunch of sources, plus search features from google and yahoo. It's a really cool site and definitely helpful for current students. Check it out:
On swimming's end of things, our meet against Clarkson last week went well. The man lost and the women were told we tied, though a lot of places are reporting a close loss on our part, so we're not sure what the official standing is. This past weekend we had no meet, and definitely took the time to relax, get caught up on sleep, and just hang out. This weekend coming up is our last home meet, our last dual meet, and our famous senior meet. We will honor the seniors on the team (there are a lot this year, unfortunately) and wish them good luck with their final season as it comes to a close (sorry to make you sad if you're reading this guys). Then next weekend we head down to MIT for a 2 day invitational. The weekend after that we don't have a meet, and the school has a long weekend for president's day so many students will go home, but we've got to stick around and taper (that's rest for those who don't know). Then the 20-22 the women will head down to UMass Dartmouth to finish up the season with championships (the men go to Rodger Williams the next weekend). So not that anyone's counting, but it's about 27 days until the season is over. We've still got a while to go, but I think everyone is feeling pretty good about how everything is going.
On the study abroad front, I handed in my last thing yesterday, so my SMC application is complete. Now I just have to wait and see what they say. Once I get back a few forms from them, I can send my API application for my program too. I'll keep you updated, don't worry.
I think that's all I've got for now. There's a housing meeting this week (already), so after that I'll talk a little about the housing process here. Until then!
::edit:: I also went to the dance show this weekend (it was a good time and the girls did great!) and watched an SMC alum compete as Miss Vermont in the Miss America pagent. Yeah, we're pretty great up here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

classes week 2, for lack of a better title

Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven’t gotten a chance to update since we’ve been back, everything’s been very busy for me though. I’m taking four classes this semester: Intro to Sociology, Social Psychology, Christian Healthcare Ethics, and Italian 2. They’re going well so far and are a nice balance of reading vs. assignments for homework so that’s always helpful. The first week of classes is always the time to feel out the classes and professors you have and decide how the class is going to be/if you want to stay in that class. I wasn’t originally registered for the ethics course, but ended up being able to add it, so I dropped a different psych course I was in. Adding and dropping classes, provided there’s room to add, is super easy here. You just pick up a form, have it signed by the right people (professors and your advisor) and hand it back in. I was on the class list for my new class the next day.

One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is because of my study abroad application. I spent all of last week finalizing the paperwork and getting all the signatures I needed. I’ve handed in all but one thing and then my application will be reviewed on a rolling basis and I should here soon. In addition to the stuff I have to do for SMC, I also have to apply to my actually program, so that’s another application and more paperwork. It’s a lot of paper but it’s not too difficult, and with everything I hand in I get more and more excited.

If any of you live in the northeast you’ve probably been feeling some cold weather near you, and here isn’t any difference. I warn everyone now, it is very cold here, but it has never been as cold as is was last week. That in mind, if you can handle that everything else isn’t so bad. Take today: it’s about 11 degrees out, but that’s pretty toasty compared to the -19 degree day we had last week. Still, we stuck it out and now single digits seems like a blessing.

Despite the cold, I got out to the mountain with some friends yesterday and had a great time. It was one of the warmer days and the snow was great. We got up early, got to Smuggs around opening time, and stayed till a few hours before close. We were exhausted and starving but, as my first time out this season, it was a great time.

The team’s been doing really well since we got back from Florida. Practices have been going well and even though we’ve lost the two meets since we’ve been back, everyone did great in their races. We’re feeling really positive for championships in February. We’ve got a meet this Wednesday at Clarkson, which is a bit of a hike for a weekday, but it alternates every year so we won’t have to travel next year. Coach mentioned to me something about blogging for the athletics department because they want a person for every team, so I don’t know much else about that yet but I’ll keep everyone updated if I hear anything else.

Other than the meet this week is pretty normal. There’s no meet this weekend at all, so I’m going to take the time to sleep and relax mostly. I’m signed up to go ice climbing too! It’s one of the programs with the wilderness program, and even though I’m a little nervous (so is my mom) I think it’ll be a great time. I also recently signed up for a snowshoe hike too. I’m glad I can find time to do things outside, even if it’s cold.

I think that’s all for now. I’ll try to get some pictures of my recent adventure up here soon, since I’ve been lacking on the visual part of this blog. As always, any questions or anything can be asked here or emailed to me at Talk to you soon!


Monday, January 5, 2009

19 hours in Jersey

Hey hey hey,

So sorry I didn't get a chance to update from Florida, we were obviously really busy and tired. It was an amazing time though! The weather was beautiful every day, which was a great improvement from last year when it was super cold. Everyone worked really hard and we're all proud of each otherand how we did. The trip is a huge bonding experience and we're definately closer as a team after it. We trained twice a day for almost all of the days (two practices off, one for dryland and one for a team activity). Other than that we spent our time on the beach, sleeping, eating, or lying at the hotel pool or in the hottub. We had dinner as a team a few times and spent alot of time together...well, all of our time technically. We go back up to school tomorrow to train doubles for the rest of the week, have a meet on saturday, rest on sunday, and then the semester starts.

Spring semester at SMC is great. Don't get me wrong, it's cold for most of the spring, but once it warms up and everyone can sit outside, it's so relaxing and nice. By that time swimming is over and we all have alot more free time to do work and relax. I'm excited for the start of another semester, but bummed that I won't be home again until March (we have a february long weekend but we have to stay up this year for swimming). Obviously keep reading for updates on the spring semester and all the lovely treats that come along with it. See ya.