Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Quick Update from the Mountains

Hey all,

So my brain is in no way prepared to write a real post, but I feel I have been neglecting you for far too long, so I'm going to improvise with a bulleted list of things that have happened/important facts to know.

1. We leave in a week from today to return to Denver, and I head home a week from Saturday. I'm quite excited for a much needed break from work and time for my family and to see Erick.

2. We're all SO ready to go to Arizona because we got a huge dumping of snow last week and were snowed in with cabin fever for nearly a week.

3. When we did decide to venture out into town (to an ISP near Boulder sorting clothing for a really cool organization called A Precious Child) we ended up getting stuck on the way up the mountain to come home, walked in the freezing (I'm talking negatives here) temperatures 1-2 miles to town, got stranded at the only establishment in Jamestown (the Merc...good food though) for a bit, and finally made it back home (but we left the truck on the mountain)

4. Today I hauled full trees in knee deep snow to help out the contracted forestry guys fall 1000 trees in 5 days...so extreme

5. We're all looking forward to a full weekend (aside from 3 hours of ISP Sunday morning) to relax and do whatever we want in Boulder. For me, shopping! The REI garage sale is on Saturday and I'm going to scope out some new snow boots as well as winter gloves because some kid stole mine this week.

6. I'm really excited to get home for the holidays (did I say that already?)

That's it from me. Catch up soon!

-Christine

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We've got so much so much so much so much so much...

TO BE THANKFUL FOR!!!

I couldn't help but think about Camp DREAM over Thanksgiving, since that song was such a big part of our daily routine. Still, I've got a whole new list of things to be thankful for this year, including a cool new group of people to spend Thanksgiving with.

Our friends from "Fire 7" in Denver came up from Wednesday-Saturday to celebrate turkey day with us and it was really nice to have some new faces (though it did feel weird when they left since we never actually went anywhere). Still, we had a good time. I manned the kitchen with some others on Thanksgiving (after a good hike for PT) and (with the help of Connie, the angel that she is) we had a huge dinner of 2 turkeys, cranberry sauce, 2 stuffings, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, bread, carrots, corn, broccoli, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, apple pie, and probably some more stuff. Needless to say, we were stuffed AND had leftovers for 3 days.

Another awesome thing to be thankful for (which we found out about just yesterday) is that after the holidays we will be going on our next spike to Casa Grande, Arizona! We're excited for a warm project (and though I love Cal-Wood and will definitely miss it, I'm excited to be in a real city where there are things nearby). I'll leave you with a description of our project and will try to be back soon with some updates from Cal-Wood.

-Christine

"The City of Casa Grande, Arizona is the largest city in Pinal County with over 48,000 residents within its 104 square mile boundary. Seventeen percent (17%) of Casa Grande families live under the poverty level compared to only 9.6% of families nationwide and over 60% of students at Casa Grande schools are eligible for the free or reduced lunch program. These economic times increase the need for low to no cost recreation alternatives.

The need for recreation trails drove the formation of the Casa Grande Mountain Trails Steering Committee, a volunteer group charged with planning volunteer trail build events. Volunteer events are held once a month from October through April. After just one year of community trail builds, we are averaging 100 volunteers and 2,000 feet of trail per event. Total for the 2010 – 2011 season resulted in 624 volunteers dedicating 2,528 hours constructing 11,620 feet or another 2.2 miles of new trail! With the help of AmeriCorps NCCC teams, volunteer efforts soared and with pick axes, shovels, battling cholla cactus, moving large rocks, etc., the City of Casa Grande will be officially opening a large portion of our first trail system on the 1,100 acre Casa Grande Mountain Park for the anticipating public on November 19, 2011. We plan to continue expanding the Casa Grande Mountain Park Trail System as it not only provides recreation opportunities for youth and adults, providing physical, educational and emotional benefits of trails and nature, but also serves as a draw for visitors, providing a much needed economic stimulus."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cutting trees at Cal-Wood

Ok, so we're not really cutting trees. BUT we are getting things done for America, for sure (that's our motto in AmeriCorps by the way...obviously boss).

So I've been here at Cal-Wood for almost a week now and I'm really enjoying my time here. I really feel like my team is starting to become a family and bond together (it's hard not to out here in the middle of nowhere anyway).

Cal-Wood is a 1,200 acre property used for teaching outdoor education to kids from schools where they can't get that kind of hands on learning. We're not working directly with the kids most of the time, but we will get a chance to shadow the instructors at some point.

The kind of stuff we've been doing makes the property safer and more beautiful for everyone who visits. So far, we've split lots of wood (which gets sold and the money helps pay for kids to come to Cal-Wood), put wood chips down on a road (to help protect from fires and make it easier to drive on), put up snow fences to stop the drifts from covering the road, hauled slash to the road (it was cut to help thin out the forest, preventing fires and helping healthy trees grow, and it will be chipped and used for the roads or split and sold as firewood), and fixed a deck and a compost bin...and it's only been a week!

I think both the sponsor and our team is so surprised by how much work we can do in so little time, and I'm excited to be able to cross things off our list of work goals as the next 4 weeks go by. Our sponsor is awesome and so are the staff. Most of the instructors are really cool young people that we can hang out with. Not to mention we have the most amazing chefs who cook our breakfasts and dinners during the week. AND we have a cat! His name is Hercules and he is super snuggly and nice to have around.



That's it from me so far. I'm hoping to get some pics of our new digs (included our canvas tent with wood-burning stove) in my next post, maybe even before Thanksgiving. Speaking of, we're having another team in our unit come up from Denver to stay and have Thanksgiving with us and we are so pumped to have them here and show them around and cook and eat and play/watch football.

So until next time!

-Christine

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What IS AmeriCorps and what am I doing here?

Hey everyone,

I thought it would be useful to write a post about what AmeriCorps NCCC is since I'll be talking a whole lot about what I'm doing with it and in case anyone out there is considering the program. So, in short, I'll feed you our "elevator phrase":

"AmeriCorps NCCC members are 18-24 years old and spend 10 months getting things done for America while developing their own leadership skills. We serve on teams to help communities prepare and respond to disasters, build homes, and help the environment. To learn more or to apply go to www.americorps.gov "

That's the short of it. In more detail, we are one of 5 branches of the Corporation for National Community Service, which also includes AmeriCorps Vista, AmeriCorps State and National (that's who I worked for this summer with DREAM), Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve (which is inactive this year because of lack of funding). NCCC is different from these other programs because instead of working with another organization, all members work together on campuses (Mississippi, California, Maryland, Iowa, and Colorado) and spikes (service trips) to serve communities across America.

The Denver campus, where I am, is assigned to the states in the southwestern USA (Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, and Missouri). This means that, aside from disaster deployment, I will always be in one of these states doing my service.

This spike (which is only 1 month instead of the usual 2) I will be nearby in Jamestown, Colorado (population 200, literally). It's about 30 minutes outside of Boulder, up in the mountains. My team and I are working at the Calwood educational center, an environmental education center. We'll be doing a lot of tree branch cutting and wood chipping, as well as hopefully getting the chance to work with the kids in the program. We have access to a nice lodge with everything we need, but we'll be sleeping outside in big heated tents. I have to say, I'm excited that this project is short, because it's going to be cold up there for sure.

I was actually just at Calwood last weekend when I did a chainsaw training (crazy right?) In fact, I now know how to work a chainsaw, sawsall, circular saw, and power drill...a true renaissance woman.

Right now I'm curled up downtown in the most amazing bookstore, Tattered Cover. It's a huge place full of books and lots of seating to cuddle up with. I'll probably end up buying a few things of course.

I think that's it for now. We get inducted on Thursday and my team leaves next Monday for our trip. We will have Wifi so I plan on being able to update a lot. Until next time!

-Christine

Monday, October 24, 2011

Corps Life

Hey all,

Greetings from the place I think should REALLY be the sunshine state. I’m writing this outside on another gorgeous day, watching a flag football game of corps members vs. team leaders. My 1 ½ weeks here so far has been a whole lot of stuff. It’s tiring, with training all day from 8-5 and sometimes more. It’s fun, making new friends and exploring new places. And it’s a huge taste of nostalgia because we’ve all decided that being here is like being in college, without the homework. We live in dorms, eat sometimes-iffy food in the cafeteria, hang out and do nothing at night, and wish we had way more money than we do.

I’ve been some pretty cool places so far. We did driver training last week and during that drove to the Columbine Memorial, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and up Lookout Mountain to Buffalo Bill’s grave. We also did a service project all together at Washington Park where we built the running path. That was really awesome because as soon as we were done, people were walking and running on the new path. Now every time we go back, we can appreciate how we built the path. I also planted trees this weekend in what will be a dog park. It was hard but definitely fun. I'll try to get pictures up soon. My internet is a bit spotty and it won't upload them right now.

Other than that, I’ve just been exploring Denver and figuring out where everything is and what there is to do and see. We’ve got another busy week up ahead, so I hope to be back with an update soon. Until then, hope it’s as sunny where you are as it is here!

-Christine

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Welcome to the Mile High City

Hello everyone!

I am writing this halfway into my flight across the country to begin my service term with AmeriCorps NCCC in Denver, CO. I am not surprised, nor should you be, that I did not update with any pre-departure info. To be honest, I was busy making sure I had everything done, saw my friends and family, and had fun! I am, of course, going to do my absolute best to bring you frequent updates from my adventures with NCCC (and I think it might be easier since there will be a lot to talk about, just like when I went to Italy).

As a quick update, alumni weekend was a lot of fun and I was SO happy to be able to tell everyone what I was going to be doing. I got to see some people at SMC that I’m friends with, and spend lots of time with my loves from the class of 2011. In true VT fashion, we spent our Sunday on the “Stowe free food tour” which includes Cold Hollow Cider Mill and the Cabot Cheese Annex. It was a delicious day, the weather was amazing, and I was glad to have some good Vermont fun before I left the state for a bit.

By the time you read this, I will have arrived on campus and been processed (or whatever) and probably be setting my room up to be a home away from home. I’ll leave you with some pictures from my alumni weekend adventures and the promise to be back soon!

-Christine

“The big lesson in life, baby, is to never be scared of anyone or anything” -Sinatra




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Denver!

Hello everyone!

I am currently breathing the biggest sigh of relief since a few hours ago I received an email that I was chosen to serve then next 10 months with AmeriCorps NCCC is Denver, Colorado! I'm literally so excited I'm still jumpy.

The past few weeks have been really tough, telling people I was "still waiting" while also looking for jobs and apartments (only half-heartedly) in preparation for if I didn't get selected. It's honestly the biggest weight off my shoulders that I won't have to keep hoping for the next two weeks and instead already know what I'm going to be doing!

Also, this news comes at the perfect time. I'm currently visiting my brother at Skidmore College, which is halfway between my house and SMC, where I am heading for a bit, most importantly for ALUMNI WEEKEND this weekend. It's a chance for alumni (recent and less recent) to get together in Burlington (and for some sporting events on campus), check in, and have a good time. It'll be the perfect way to celebrate with my friends and also say goodbye for a bit.

So I just wanted to share the news. I know I'll be updating a TON more when I get started serving and such, so look forward to that!

-Christine

Monday, August 22, 2011

Transitions

Hello all,

I've been putting off writing a post about where I'm at right now for a while. Perhaps it's because I don't want to think about it or perhaps it's because I already think about it too much. Either way, time to let everyone know what's going on with me.

Camp ended a few weeks ago. It was a really fun last few weeks AND a super fun end of year party at the beach with my new friends. I'm excited to have a new group of people that I know that are in Burlington. I remember thinking in the beginning of the summer that I wasn't sure what my purpose was a camp. Each group of kids came and went so quickly, and the interactions we had with them were so different from what I was used to working at Spectrum. It wasn't until probably 3 or 4 weeks into the summer that I realized that my job, for all intents and purposes, was to have fun and play. These kids didn't need people prying into their lives, making them feel different, or trying to "help them" (unless they asked for it). They wanted a place to get outside and have fun with friends for a week. Once I realized that, working at camp was much easier.

Since then, I've been able to think back and realize the value of my job with DREAM. I gained a new experience of working at a camp and living in the woods. I also worked more in depth with children then I really ever have outside of swimming lessons and coaching. I've learned about a new organization, a new population, and new people and ideas. I don't think I really thought too much about working with DREAM when I accepted the job (other than making the decision between Camp DREAM and another camp) and was mostly trying to make sure I had a job and could stay in VT, but now I'm really glad I made that choice and I definitely came out of the season with valuable skills and experience.

So what now? Well I'm back at home working at the pool for a few more weeks. It's not ideal but it's money and it's easy and I don't really mind doing it for only a few weeks. I'm (still) waiting to hear from NCCC about placement. At this point it really seems debatable to me whether I will hear from them at all. That's the thing. There's no point (until the session starts) that applicants hear "no". We just sit around and wait until the last possible point. That way if/when we don't get randomly selected by the computer based on nothing more than luck of the draw (while other people that may be less qualified or have only been waiting for a month or so) we have passed up job options, living space opportunities, and a whole slew of other things. AND that's my rant about that...it's getting to me a little bit, clearly.

Meanwhile I'm just hanging out? I just got a new gym membership that I'm SO excited about, because I figure I'll be really bored if I don't have exercising to do. I'm continuing to look into and think about backup plans (which are seeming more and more important) but it's really hard to commit to even looking (let alone actually commit to a job or a place to live) when nothing is for sure.

So, long story short, I'm in a big limbo right now. I'm just spending my time working, working out, and driving lots of other places. I was in Mass the past few weeks hanging out with friends (saying goodbye to Megan as she heads to Alaska, seeing Josh one more time before I don't for a while since he lives in DC, hearing about where everyone is going and moving and such). This weekend I'm heading up to a friend's camp in VT, then Erick's beach house for labor day.

So that's where I'm at and (kinda) where I'm going. Hope to check in soon!

-Christine

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You're Not Surprised

Hello friends,

So of course you're not surprised that I haven't updated nearly as often as I wanted to or should be. I've been working at Camp DREAM for 5 weeks now (one of orientation and 4 of actual camp). We've have 2 teen weeks and 2 weeks of 10-12 girls and boy so far. I must say, it's a challenging job but it's a ton of fun.

As a staff, we've been working really hard and have just started to really come together as a team to plan and execute a great week at camp. This past week we had an entirely Harry Potter themed week (to get pumped for the final piece of the saga of course!) complete with a potions lesson in ice cream making and a silly scavenger hunt that ended in a dance party in the woods.

This isn't to say that the job isn't without challenges. The hours are long (and technically we're on call for 24 hours a day) and I definitely still wrestle with the whole living in the woods with the bugs thing. My biggest challenge is still finding the purpose and value in my work. Of course I know it has both of those things, the challenge is to really feel that I am doing what I should be. I really feel that my mindfulness exercises from my practicum this past year are helping me examine where I am and what I should be doing.

I'm also in the middle of having a bit of a hard time with the whole future plan thing. I've been accepted to the Covenant House Faith Community and have chosen to defer this opportunity until 2012 in hopes of still getting placed with AmeriCorps NCCC. I don't regret this decision at all and I think I will be more prepared to work at Covenant House (a position more focussed on what I want to do with my life) after another experience that is slightly different. However, it's still pretty draining when every day is a continuous waiting game for what I'll be doing the next 10 months. So I'm waiting for that and trying to just take it as it comes.

Meanwhile, we're living in the midst of a heat wave here in Burlington, and it doesn't look like I'll be getting too much relief when I head home after our 3 day camp session this week. Still, I'm excited to see my family and friends for what looks like it will be a fun fiesta at my house!

So, that's it for now. Hopefully I can check in sooner rather than later. Who knows, maybe I'll have some good news to share (fingers crossed). Until then!

-Christine

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What actual benefits have you had being in Honors. I feel like whenever I ask I get the general billboard answer, but I was hoping you could tell me more specifically.

I actually dropped the honors program and didn't graduate with it. However, when I was part of the program, the biggest benefit to me was being in classes that challenged me more than a non honors class might have.

What do you want to know about SMC?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Do you ever get to see cool music on or near campus? I know Burlington is a little far for a lot of bands

Burlington is an AMAZING place for music! In addition to local bands playing various locations downtown on the weekends (SMC students included), Higher Ground Music Hall is a great concert venue for a huge variety of artists. Check out their site here: http://www.highergroundmusic.com/

SMC also has a great on-campus music scene with Turtle Underground, an SMC style coffee house/open mic night, every week.

Hope this helps!

What do you want to know about SMC?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Now What?

Hello All!

It's finally here, my first post as an SMC alum. It's truly been forever since I updated everyone on the happenings of my final weeks at SMC and what I have been doing since then, and for that I am sorry. However, I hope to give a solid recap right now and prepare you all for reading about another summer of fun in Burlington.

First of all, finals week, senior week, and graduation came and went WAY too fast, but were so much fun. The weather was gorgeous, I was finished by Tuesday of finals week with my paper, and couldn't wait to start relaxing and having fun with my friends and classmates (with some packing in between).

Senior Week (a week on campus just for graduating seniors, faculty, and some awesome helpers) kicked off with a class meeting and a BBQ thrown by the president. We all received our senior week t shirts and sunglasses too! Later Thursday night we took to the bowling alley for some awesome galactic bowling. On Friday, SMC brought beer and food our way and we spent an absolutely beautiful day outside together. Saturday was a faculty reception and a nighttime boat cruise on Lake Champlain. While it was a little rainy, we made the best of it. Each night, the activities were also followed by some fun and dancing in a big tent, which was obviously awesome. Sunday was Baccalaureate, and then Graduation on Monday came and went so fast. Here's some photos of the week's events:

Before all of this fun started, the Athletics Department also hosted it's annual Block M Awards Dinner where seniors and other athletes are recognized for their accomplishments throughout the years or that year. A few friends and I were lucky enough to be named award winners! I received the Victor LeMeiux Award for Loyalty and Leadership, and you can check out all of the award winners here. Here's a photo of Natalie, Sarah, and I after the dinner:


I also remembered I never posted about P-Day (this post is struggling to stay short). How can I sum this up...awesome? The comedian was funny, the weather was AMAZING, our jerseys rocked, and I had a perfect final P-Day with my friends. I also got a tattoo the day before!!!! So crazy. Can you guess what it says? If you guessed "you risk tears if you let yourself be tamed" then you're right! It's on my ribcage and I absolutely LOVE it.


On graduation day, we all gathered later in the evening at a friend's house for some food, drinks, and celebration


After graduation (literally, a day after I got home) I headed down to Florida with 9 of my friends for a week of sun and post-grad fun at Disney, Universal, and poolside at the house we rented. It was some much needed R and R.

I then worked MDW at my old job to make some money to put away, watched my sister graduate high school (she's heading off to Clemson in the fall) and took ANOTHER trip to Florida with my family. Yes, my post-grad life has been awfully stressful :]

BUT now I'm back up here in the gorgeous Burlington, VT and have finished my week of Orientation/Training for my new summer job: Waterfront Manager at Camp DREAM in Fletcher, VT. The DREAM program works with kids from low income housing communities in VT, and Camp is a place of those kids to spend a week of their summers. The staff is really cool, young, and full of fun and exciting ideas. I'm really looking forward to the first session starting tomorrow. To keep this short, I'll hold off on all the details about camp until next week.

So, for now this is the "now what?" and the rest is to be seen. I promise to update more often now that I'm settled, check back next weekend!

-Christine

Monday, May 2, 2011

Questions about life at SMC

  1. Here are a few questions I had on formspring this week about life here at SMC.

    1. Have you ever not gotten into a class you registered for?

    Yes, there have been a few times where I haven't gotten the classes I had planned on. This semester I am taking one of my back-up courses. Other semesters, I have been able to petition into classes I wasn't originally registered for. Often, the professor will save seats for people who absolutely need to take the course, or students can pick up the course during the first week of the semester if another student drops it.


    There is only 1 triple room in each freshman dorm, so the chances of a first-year getting placed in a triple are extremely slim. As far as I know, the triples that do exist are also only on women's halls.

    If you are placed in a triple, it won't be 3 people put into a room the size of a double. The room is larger (in fact, there are two separate rooms) and you also have your own bathroom for the 3 of you.

    Hope this helps!

Monday, April 25, 2011

5 Must-Have Experiences before Graduation...How Do I Match Up?

So I came across this blog post on the USA today college blogs website (thanks to Mairead for tuning me in to it).

As you see, the post lists 5 experiences every college student should have before graduating. Since the big day is growing ever near (ew) I thought I could look back and comment on how well I accomplished these "must have" tasks.

1. Take a class because it's something you're interested in, not because it's required.
I know I'm not the only one at SMC that has been able to take courses that are not in my major, but that's not really what this says. This says because you're interested. I'm happy to say that the number of electives I have taken is ridiculous. Among the best are my Men and Masculinities class that I am currently taking, and two courses I took while abroad in Italy: Sociology and History of the Italian Mafia and Food and Culture in Contemporary Italy. Yes, those are real. And yes, I learned a lot!

2. Travel
The discussion on my courses transitions nicely to this experience. I have definitely traveled! I lived in Florence, Italy, for a semester, and while I was there I did a ton of traveling. Places I've been? Florence, Rome, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Viareggio, Bologna, Naples, and Pompeii in Italy, Dublin and Galway in Ireland, Barcelona and Madrid in Spain, Paris in France, Munich in Germany, and Salzburg and Vienna in Austria (not to mention getting stuck in Frankfurt, Germany, for 2 days!). As a varsity athlete, I've also traveled to many other colleges for competitions.

3. Be a Part of Something Greater Than Yourself
I've been a part of many big organizations on campus: POW, LEAP, MOVE, Orientation, Founders Society, Varsity Swimming. However, this year my practicum course, and thus working with Spectrum Youth and Family Services, has definitely allowed me to be a part of something bigger than myself. I have been able to interact with young men who have taught me so much about the world around me, and my experience with them has been truly life changing.

4. Make Friends Outside your Circle
I can say for certain that I have friends in many different groups. Part of this is being on a team, where I have my friends there. I also have people I spend time with as part of different clubs and organizations I have a part in on campus. And then, of course, I have my close friends, which brings me to the fifth experience:

5. Experience at least one Meaningful Relationship
My friends are some of the most important people in my life, and whether I've known them since my POW (many of my close friends) or living in my dorm or just met them last year, I value my close friendships so much. The people you meet in college really will be many of your lifelong friends, and I'm happy to say that I know who mine will be. Of course, I've also experienced a meaningful romantic relationship with my boyfriend of 3+ years, and have SMC to thank for a lot of who we have each become and who we have become together.

So, I guess a few weeks out from G-Day I'm looking pretty good on what I've experienced at SMC. Stay tuned for more reflections on this big closing time, updates about my life, and fun news on what's going on at SMC.

-Christine

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Questions!

  1. Do many students bring their cars on campus?

    It really depends on the person (and if they have a car!) I didn't have a car here until this year, and I need it for my internship. First semester first-year students can't have a car, and second semester it needs to be parked on our north campus (about 1 mile up the road and accessible by walking or campus shuttle). After that, students can have their cars on main campus in general parking (free) or zone parking (cost per semester). Personally, I had no need for a car until I had my internship. I got rides home with friends, took the bus, and did fine getting to places when I needed to.

    Hope this helps :]


    Are you going to feel like an outcast if you don't ski/snowboard? I really want to learn but I feel like everyone already knows how

    Definitely not! In fact, so many people come here wanting to learn (that's why the Smugg's pass is such a huge draw...you can be really bad at skiing but it's still so cheap!) The pass is great because you can get so much practice in and never pay more than the additional $30, and lessons and rentals are discount.

    We're in no way a culture of ski bums and snowboard bros. People here do a little of everything, so don't worry!


    How do you know if you are accepted?

    if you are accepted to SMC you find out in the mail. Acceptances (and rejections) have already been mailed out this year though, so you should have heard by now what the status of your application is.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Formspring Questionsss

Hey all,

So these questions have been sitting in my inbox for longer than I would like, but here they are and I hope they help some people out!


do you know anybody that has taken astronomy or meterology? i was wondering if i could get a students perspective on each because im not sure which i want to take. they both sound interesting so i was curious to hear opinions of them both. thanks

I haven't actually taken either of these. I know they both have lab components and count as a science course (physics) but I've never heard any friends talk about meteorology (though many friends of mine LOVE astronomy).

  1. im considering a psych major but am not sure. can you tell me about your experience with it and what you plan to do with it after you graduate?

    This is a pretty loaded question :]

    I LOVE the psych program here. I think what I like best about it is that everyone can study the things they are interested in. There is enough variety of courses and paper topics and such that my friends and I can all be psych majors and all be learning about different things.

    In my opinion, the practical experience that is part of the major is invaluable. You can work on a real research study with professors, present it, and even get published. You can also spend an entire year in a human services internship (like I am) and we are one of the only programs that has this option for a full year.

    What am I doing after I graduate? That is the question, isn't it? I'm currently in the midst of hearing from and deciding on summer jobs, waiting for AmeriCorps NCCC service placement, filling out an application for the Covenant House Faith Community (which is my backup for NCCC but also a possibility afterwards), and thinking every so often about when I will get my masters in social work.

    So I hope this helps. If you've got more questions feel free to ask!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What can you do at SMC?

Hey all,

I thought I'd pop in with some of the things I've done in the past week, to remind everyone that the things you can do when you're an SMC student are endless!

1. Hear famous bands
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, opened by Barefoot Truth, played at SMC last weekend for our annual spring concert. It was a great time, Grace and the Nocs played an amazing (and long!) set, and it was not only the first time a Vermont performer has been to SMC since Phish, it was also the first time we have had a female headliner!

2. Attend an interview skills workshop AND then interview
This week I had 2 interviews lined up for summer jobs (both opportunities sent to me in SMC campus email) and so I went to an interview skills workshop to get prepared. Two of our lovely career services counselors spent an hour with the group, going over how to prepare and ace and interview (and even how to follow up). I'm pleased to say that I think my interviews went well, so we shall see soon!

3. Watch people do silly things for a great cause
There are always great fundraisers and fun things going on here, and at the end of last week I attended the DREAM Wing Eating Contest. Don't worry, I just watched, but it was hilarious, and I took some video too!


4. Be Cultural
I had 3 opportunities to broaden my cultural and educational brain this week, and all free! On Wednesday I was invited downtown to the Flynn Center by some friends who had an extra ticket to Spring Awakening. They got the ticket with their SMC cultural pass, a $30 all-access pass to any and all shows at the Flynn (crazy, right?) The show was great and it was really nice to get out with friends in the middle of the week.

On Thursday, the Graduate Psychology Program hosted Robert Whitaker (author of Mad in America, which I have read for a class) as a speaker. He spent a few hours talking about schizophrenia and treatment, and it was a pretty interesting lecture (though I already knew A LOT about the topic thanks to my classes).

Finally on Friday I attended the SMC production of Romeo and Juliet. It was full of people I knew, put a modern spin on one of my favorite classics, and featured a same sex couple as Romeo and Juliet. A local newspaper covered the play too!

5. Meet Accepted Students
This Saturday was the first of two SMC Accepted Student Open Houses. As a coordinator for the Founder's Society, I help run the day. I brought coffee in the morning, helped out with the tour guides, mingled with accepted students and their families, and served on a parent panel in the afternoon. I always enjoy meeting people that might read my blog and/or follow in my footsteps as an SMC student. AND I saw one of the families I had given a tour to before, they remembered me, AND Maggie is coming here! So, congrats to all of you accepted students out there! If we saw you this weekend, I hope you had a good time. If not, maybe this coming weekend? Either way, I hope you find a place you can call home soon!

That's just a little of what I did this past week. What's up for this upcoming week? Dinner at my professor's house (he's cooking!), Ben and Jerry's free cone day AND a potluck with friends, dinner with the Founder's Society coordinators and our advisers (on them!), an SMC knight chat, and SMC night at Pizza Putt (think Chuckie Cheese but for college).

For anyone who has asked a Formspring question lately, I haven't ignored you and I will get to them soon. Check back soon for that and tons more fun!

-Christine

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coming to Open House this weekend? Find the Knight!

Hi all!

This Saturday, at the Accepted Students Day, you and your family can “Find the Knight!” Knights will be hidden at five different locations all around the St. Mike’s campus. Clues will be posted on the Saint Michael’s College Facebook, @saintmichaels and @smcadmissions Twitter accounts, and one clue will be announced Saturday morning before the Accepted Students Day kicks off!

Turn your found “Knights” in to the table in Ross Sports Center at the end of the day to win a $20 gift certificate to the SMC Bookstore!

Here are two more clues to help you “Find the Knight” on Saturday! Good luck!
Unscramble these letters to find the room where the knight head is hidden: “one-sided glue”
You’ll find the knight in one of the rooms mentioned in this video

Good luck and I hope to see you on Saturday!

-Christine

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

2 formspring questions!

do you know if any of the bloggers are psych majors? or anthro/soc? i wanted to find out more about them but dont know who studies what.

Well you've come to the right place because I'm a psych major, so ask away! I also know that Beth is a Soc/Anthro major, so she can answer any of your questions about that!


how do you join the alcohol task force?

I'm not actually sure about this, so I'm going to have you head over to Dan's blog (find him on www.smcblogs.com) and check out the post he just wrote about A-Team, and see if that helps you out. Hope that's helpful!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Walking for a Cure

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to pass this information along to all of my readers. A friend of mine was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis last year, and while it has been determined that she does not yet have MS, she may still develop it one day. Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS and 200 people are diagnosed with it every week. 2.5 Million people worldwide are affected by this disease.

On Saturday April 9, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has organized a walk in Burlington to raise funds for MS research. Many of my friends are walking on their own team (Multiple bunnieS) to raise money for the cause. Research is getting closer to the cure every day and it is so important to fund this research. While I am unable to walk in the event, I wanted to raise awareness about it and to give everyone the opportunity to donate to the team and to research.

If you are interested in donating to the team, you can do so here: http://bit.ly/ihmrNG

Thanks for reading, and for being fabulous!

-Christine

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hey there, so on my application to St. Mikes I put I wanted to be Biology major, however I have been thinknig of possibly doing Biochemistry major an a Biology minor. How do I go about adding a major/minor after I've been accepted? Is it hard to do?

It's really easy to change your program within the first 2 years at SMC. It's just a matter of picking up some forms from the registrar's office, getting the right signatures, and dropping them back off! Hope this was helpful :]

What do you want to know about SMC?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Questions, Questions, Questions

So I recently received a list of questions from Prospective SMC Students. I'm hoping these answers are helpful, and I'll try to point everyone in the direction the who can help if not! And remember to always click around our website for a lot more on this information.

1. Are there any major preparatory requirements for your college besides completing high school and making a down payment?

I'm not positive what this question is asking? To be accepted as a student at SMC, there's a lot that's important. You need to be a solid student, taking a challenging range of courses, with an extracurricular program that shows you have a commitment to something. Leadership roles are also important. Of course, this is extremely general and everyone is different. The best way to find out if you're a fit for SMC is to come to campus and visit us, take a tour, meet with a counselor, and maybe attend some classes with a student.

2. Does your school offer used textbooks for sale or offer some form of textbook rental?

You can buy textbooks used from the bookstore when they are available. When they're not, there's a good change you can rent a new book for a cheaper price (buy you can't write in it). I personally always cross check the bookstore prices with Amazon and buy from where each book is cheapest.

3. Will students get a list of required textbooks ahead of time / before the start of the fall semester?

Students can find a book list for each class on the bookstore website a few weeks before each semester starts. You also have the option of sending your class list to the bookstore for a book pre-order, and they will be waiting for you when you get to school.

4. What amenities do dorm rooms have (e.g. bed, desk, air conditioning, personal bathroom, etc.)

All dorm rooms come with a bed, desk, chair, and dresser for each student in the room (2). Each hallway has a bathroom, so that's 8 bathrooms per building, each with 4 or 5 toilets and showers. The dorms are not air conditioned (it's not warm enough here for long enough, and a fan with an open window does the trick). There's also ample closet and storage space, as far as I'm concerned (and I have A LOT of stuff)

5. If anything within the dorm rooms becomes damaged that is property of the school, does the school assume payment of fixing / replacing the damaged item?

This really depends on how the damage occurs, what is damaged, and if a work order is placed. If you punch out a screen and never put a work order in, you will be charged for it. Usually damage that constitutes as "general wear and tear" is not charged for, but considerable damage is the responsibility of the residents of the room.

6. When do freshmen move in / unload their belongings into the dorms?

First years move in on the Thursday before classes start for their 4 day orientation. Upperclass O-leaders are there to help unload everyones car and ease the stress of move in too!

7. Are roommates assigned? Does the option exist to pick a roommate, such as a friend from the same high school who will be attending?

You may pick a roommate only if you both put each other on your housing papers. Personally, I don't recommend this, as going to college is a great time to meet new people and if you live apart from your current friends, they can make friends and so can you, and then you can all be friends! Roommates are assigned based on forms that each student fills out based on things like: bed time, wake-up time, music taste, messy vs clean, sport, etc.

8. Does the school offer long-term storage of personal belongings, such as during summer break, or are students required to empty their dorms during extended periods of time? Similarly, do dorms close down during breaks?

As far as I know, there are no storage set ups for students. However, many people leave things in personal storage units that they rent. Dorms close during Christmas and Spring break to all students, as well, of course, during the summer.

9. Does the school offer any computer labs or a means for students to print documents for classes?

We have 9 computer labs on campus, and at least as many printers (probably more) on a network system so you can print to a waiting list and pick up your document anywhere. All printing is free for students and can be accessed through personal laptops as well.

10. Does the school offer laundry facilities? Is there an additional cost?

There is laundry in every dorm, each suite building, and every townhouse area. Washers and dryers are $1.25 each.

11. If a student has more than one AP Credit for courses in the same area, such as two English language credits or two social credits, can both be used?

Again, I'm not sure what this question is asking? If you are saying you have taken both AP English tests and gotten a high enough score to earn credits here (usually a 4 or 5) on both of them, then of course you can use the credits. You might only be able to place out of one requirement (English, in this case) but you will still receive credits for both.

12. Do students have access to the internet in their dorms for personal use?

Campus is 100% wireless

13. Does being accepted into our desired major(s) guarantee us enrollment in all courses necessary to complete a four-year undergraduate study? By this, we mean to ask that if we are pursuing a major - biology in my case - will other core requirements resolve themselves, or are we left to "pick and choose" other courses?

This is a little confusing the way you're asking. You don't need to be accepted into a major here, you just declare the major and then work to complete the requirements in your 4 years. This means you are responsible for taking all courses to graduate with that major AND all LSR (core) courses as well. You may choose when it comes to an elective major or core requirement, but some are set in stone that you must take.

14. If for any reason myself or a friend I know of is caught with another student who is making illegal, unsavory, or otherwise detrimental decisions, am I or my friend guilty by association? Will I or that friend have the chance to present our case before a board or panel?

This is tricky. For the most part yes, you would be guilty by association. You name will be taken down and you would get set up to meet with somebody in student life/disciplinary. Then you would have the opportunity to explain the situation, and consequences would follow from there.

I hope these were helpful. See you soon!

-Christine

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Service over Spring Break

Hi everyone!

So I'm back from spring break, and definitely feeling a lot lest rested than after Jamaica last year. However, most of this is because I chose to give my break to service this year and participate in a MOVE extended service trip to NYC.

As a NJ native, 20 minutes out from the city, the sights and sounds were nothing new to me, but was new were the places I visited. Over our week in the city, we worked at 4 different, amazing organizations who are all working to help others in the best way they know how.

Me and Hannah at the St. Patrick's Day Parade

The trip is called the Covenant House trip, because we go there every day while we're on break. It's a homeless shelter for youth, typically age 18-21. As I've discussed before, homelessness happens for a variety of reasons, and we definitely saw this on our trip. I worked on the girls floor (a change from my internship with boys) and it was a really amazing experience.

The group having dinner at the Faith Community House

Another place we worked was Handcrafting Justice, an amazing fair trade organization that works with women in other countries to help them sell their beautiful, handmade crafts to help them get by. We did a lot of office work there, which was a nice change, and we got to shop at the end of the week! Check out the website for some fabulous fair trade stuff for amazing prices.
A lunch break at Handcrafting Justice

After spending the mornings at Handcrafting Justice, we headed over to the Bronx to Mercy Center which, among other things, provides an after care program for kids. We got to do the weekly lessons with the kids, work on activities, and help them with their homework. I got a girl who I did 1 on 1 tutoring with and she was so smart and awesome.

The last organization we worked with was God's Love We Deliver, a big non-profit with a HUGE volunteer base. They make meals and deliver them to the terminally ill and homebound of NYC and parts of NJ. People can be suffering from anything from AIDS or Alzheimer's to Cancer or MS. We got to prepare the food one day (peeled 100+ pounds of onions, carrots, potatoes, and squash, as well as packaged 750+ meals) and deliver it another day. I really felt strongly about the positive impact of this organization and it was amazing to work with them and get hands on experience with the people we were helping. Click here to see some photos of SMC groups working there!

At the risk of this post becoming too long, I just wanted to share what I learned while I was on my service trip. I'm very much aware of homelessness, poverty, and the need for all of the services we were providing, so my trip was not eye opening on that world-perspective level. Instead, I learned a lot about myself and where I'm going next. I'm currently waiting on a placement for AmeriCorps, but have found another option in Covenant House's Faith Community in case I don't get a placement. Being exposed to all of the possible post-grad service options on this trip has really led me to question whether 10 months with AmeriCorps will be enough before I go back to school.

I'm starting to think more and more that I might want to take another year of service, perhaps in an area closer to what I would be doing with my MSW, to really be sure of what direction I'm headed in. I know I can always change my mind, but it's better to change my mind about not going to school than to go for 2 years, pay a lot of money, and then realize I'm not passionate about my work. So, I'm at a very weird crossroads right now, working on my 6 big senior projects/papers/presentations, mid summer job application, waiting on an AmeriCorps placement, and dealing with these new feelings of nervous anticipation as the dreaded G-Day grows nearer. So, stay posted on how I'm doing, and I hope I'm keeping you interested!

-Christine

Friday, March 11, 2011

what is the A-team club?

"The A-Team originated from BACCHUS (Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students), which is a national collegiate chapter for alcohol awareness. They offer fun and interesting activities as an alternative to drinking, and promote responsibility rather than condemn the use of alcohol."

That's copied directly from the SMC website. From what I know of A-Team, they provide some awesome activities and socials here on campus as alternatives to drinking on the weekends. Fellow SMC Blogger Dan would definitely know even more info, if you'd like some.

What do you want to know about SMC?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Snow, Ice Climbing, Snow, Mardi Gras, Snow

Yes, there is that much snow here.

In fact, it's snowing out my window right now. Don't get me wrong, I knew what I signed up for 4 years ago when I decided to come to college in Vermont. I knew there was going to be lots of snow. I love that. I love to ski, play outside, make snow forts, etc. For the past 3 years the snow has been great, but am I crazy to think that this year has just been excessive? We've gotten hit with storm after storm and the snow has just piled up. Maybe I'm more grouchy about this because I have a car here now, which means cleaning it off, shoveling it out, and inevitably getting stuck in my parking spot ALL THE TIME because I don't have snow tires. Maybe it's because I'm not heading anywhere warm for spring break this year. Maybe it's because I'm just itching for those days where I can go outside in flip flops and a t-shirt and relax outside with my friends all afternoon/night long. Whatever the reason, I'm over this snow.

Still, there is SO MUCH to do here in the winter, even in the snow. Aside from the obvious $30 worth of unlimited skiing at Smuggs (which I wish I had more time to take advantage of) there are wilderness program trips, or just building snow structures with friends. Two weekends ago, I went out with some friends on an Ice Climbing trip and had so much fun! I've also been snow shoeing with the wilderness program and loved that. So, even when the snow is getting a bit overwhelming, there's always something to do.

(above) me climbing the 50 foot ice. (below) the ladies and I as we pack up to head back to the van.

FACT: Monday was the first snow day at SMC in my four years. We got something like 26 inches of snow and classes were cancelled for the day. We loved it.

(below) My friends and I playing outside on the snow dayThis past weekend was also the Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade in Burlington. This is a fabulous annual event where the entire area comes out to catch beads and treats and to watch the parade. The event is sponsored by Magic Hat and the Women's Rape Crisis Center, where the proceeds go. As a team, the swimmers volunteered to help out with crowd control (over 300 SMC students worked the parade!). We got free beads, t-shirts, and treats, and had a good time out there making sure nobody got hurt or trampled or run over.

So on this snowy Thursday on the eve of spring break I'm just getting my things in order for my MOVE extended service trip to NYC to work at Covenant House and a handful of other organizations. I'll be sure to write a post about it when I return of course.

In other news, I'm also on the edge of a lot of things. My big papers and projects are all due within the next month for my 3 main classes (not that History of Jazz or Calligraphy don't count). Once those are done, there's not much to do before the year ends but have fun and finish up classes and such. I'm also at that limbo between having concrete plans for the summer and beyond. I've got applications in and such, just waiting for answers, details, etc. so I'll keep you updated.

That's all for now. Stay warm, wherever you are!

-Christine