Monday, October 13, 2014

Nature and Outdoor Writing

This semester, I am absolutely obsessed with all my classes. As you can see under my schedule tab, I have a lot going on, and all of my classes are MJD, which I love! But my Nature and Outdoor writing class is extremely fun, and I will tell you why!
We talk about a bunch of things in this class that are really interesting, it is almost a mix between a writing class, nature class, and some journalism sprinkled in there. We have a book that breaks down the months in New England and talks about the plants and animals that you would see during those times. To take advantage of the good weather that we have and also to really be able to check out the outdoors around us, my class went to Local Motion in Burlington by the waterfront to learn about their initiatives to improve biking ability in the area, but also to rent out some bikes so that we could ride along the waterfront.
The class and our bikes overlooking the water around us
My friend McKenna and I started off on the tandem bike, which was a lot more difficult than it seems! I was on the front at first, which handles almost everything, steering, pace, and most importantly, making sure that we don't fall over! Which I thought was surely going to happen! We rode for about 2 hours and it was amazing!
 We also went to the Woodside Loop, a walking trail around our North Campus. We were out to spot different animals and plants that were in our book, and it went pretty successfully!
The beginning of the Woodside Loop
Our class looking at the different birds and trees
This class has been one of my favorites because we get to go out of the classroom and try to spot birds or frogs, it almost makes me like a kid again!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Three in a Row!

The Acabella's, my other half and amazing all female acapella group on campus, had quite a busy week to say the least. We welcomed 4 new members to our group (all of which are absolutely amazing!) and started off the year with a bang!

On Thursday, we had an amazing time at the Multiple Scler dinner. Saint Michael's College is a huge supporter, so we were approached about singing along with Mike Check, the all male acapella group, to come out and sing for the lovely people at the dinner. It was such an amazing time! We sang Zombies by the Cranberries, Little Talks with Mike Check, and then they sang Hallelujah. We sounded pretty good, if I do say so myself. They were also very generous and gave us dinner along with our performance, which was amazing!
Aisling (the new Alto 2) and I at the dinner

Liz and Casey (also Alto 2) at our table

The event space at the Sheraton
Our table!
After this performance, we jumped right into the next one! Friday Knight Dry is a night that is full of activities and entertainment for everyone on campus. Every dorm and suite building has different activities going on where you can earn tickets, and then you put them in a raffle to win different prizes. They also have the acapella groups perform at this. We jumped up on stage first, being the first group there and ready to go, and performed a great set!
The Girls, being our typical goofy selves
And finally, we ended off the three day performance streak with a Fall Academic Preview Day performance for the parents and students who were visiting. Later that morning, I gave a tour and the families said they loved our performance! It was a busy few days for the group, but I think that we are sounding fantastic, especially with the new girls! I cannot wait for what the year has in store for the Bella's!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Welcome Back!!!!

As you know, school began just a little while ago with classes starting on September 1, 2014. But before everything started, we had to welcome in the Class of 2018 and transfer students!
Orientation, for me, was one of the best weekends. I was able to meet so many new people and have a lot of fun doing different activities that all the Orientation Leaders work so hard to make awesome. This year, I had the honor of being an Orientation Leader with some amazing people.
My Orientation Partner, Ethan, and I on a boat cruse around Lake Champlain
Some of the wonderful Orientation gals
The very first day welcoming people on the street!
 After the first years move in, we break up into groups with the first years and transfer students to do introduction games and get to know each other better. From then on, we are a power team that goes to the different activities set up for us, like speakers and dances! Grabbing food, hanging out, and really getting prepared for the classes that are only a short ways away, Orientation Leaders hope to guide everyone to a smooth first year. My group contained some amazing people, and I can only hope that Ethan and I, along with the other leaders, helped to make their first weekend here fun and welcoming!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Art of Packing

Packing is a skill. Many people are good at it, and there are also plenty (me) who can struggle at times. Going to college is so exciting because you get to buy new bedding, posters, and really make this space cool and your own. Shopping is one of my favorite things to do, but I'll admit it, I can go a bit overboard. Sparkles, organization bins, and lights all distract me from what I really need, and I may have entered school a bit over prepared. Don't get me wrong, you definitely need a bunch of stuff to live with and make your room special, but there is a method to the madness that is packing that I will share with you.

Will you wear this?
If you are even thinking that, leave it in your room at home. Your first semester you don't have to bring everything in your closet (mistake #1 for me). Know that it is ok to leave behind some sweaters and boots because the best way to know if you are going to need it is if you are at school and think, "oh wow, how great would it be to have ___ right now?" That is the tell tale sign that you will actually use it.

Lights, Camera, Decorations!
Nobody loves decorations and personalizing a room more than I do, but you have to realize the space you have. Posters and tapestries are great because they make the room feel more homey and Christmas lights create a warm glow in the room that isn't as harsh as the normal light, but realize the space in your room. You don't want to buy 12 posters to hang on a wall that could only fit 4. Bringing a few to get started is nice and then you can always build it from there. Just because you didn't have it to start off with doesn't mean you can't go out and buy one if you want.

The Freshman 15 Food Factor
I'll be real with you right now, it is an actual thing, especially here. Since St. Mike's has the unlimited meal plan for almost everyone (sorry seniors!) you really don't need much as far as food goes in your room to make it by. Having a mini fridge and microwave is great in case you go out and have leftovers or for making a quick snack. I recommend bringing (or getting while you are here) just a basic set of utensils and a bowl and plate, it makes snacking so much easier. Your first year, you don't need too much heavy cooking equipment, so keep it light.

Traveling from far away
I'm from California, so I brought 2 large suitcases and a duffel full of my personal stuff/clothing from home and picked everything else up here. That worked out great, but I over estimated what I needed. A trash can when we already have one in the room, too many storage bins, and a lot of extra stuff ended up in my room. Luckily, our rooms are pretty big so I could fit everything fairly well, but I also had to keep my winter jackets and summer clothes with me all year round since it is hard to travel with them. Though I am envious of those whose rooms lack much "extra" and everything seems very clean, I realize that I also have probably double the clothes because I have to be prepared for that. If you are traveling from far away, you just have to know that you'll have to keep your suitcases and bins in your room, there isn't the option to take it home. Though it can take up extra space, it also works as extra storage, so try to utilize it as much as you can!

Pack well, don't stress, and we can't wait to have you here with us Class of 2018!
And make sure to check out our video to help you pack smart!
If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to comment! (If you are thinking it, most likely someone else is too!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

4th of July Weekend

This past 4th of July weekend, I headed down to White River Junction area to visit Paul for the long weekend. Paul had Thursday off, so we headed over to Montshire Museum to check out Sue! Sue is the T-Rex that the museum is displaying all summer along with some extra exhibits about dinosaurs. But before we headed inside the museum, we went out looking for Paul's brother, Noah, who was working at a camp there. Since he works there, we could get in free...with his pass. So our Montshire day began with the search for Noah. We tried using GPS coordinates, but those ultimately didn't seem to help. After looking around one trail, we started on the next. We walked around for about 30 minutes until we took a break by the water that was there.
Trying to find Noah*
A break by the water, it was a hot day!
Paul capturing the moment and beautiful scenery
 Finally, we heard the small children voices and followed to find Noah and the group as they were headed back towards the museum. We grabbed the pass and hiked back, passing through the water portion of the museum outside and cooling off in the mist. Finally inside the magnificent air conditioning, we found Sue!
The Three Musketeers! Paul, Sue and I*
The top floor view*
Playing with the fog!*
It was an awesome day! I felt like a kid again getting to play with all the different science games they had. For the rest of the weekend, Paul was cooking at Dana's (the restaurant he works at) in the morning, but in the afternoon we got to go to beaches, eat ice cream and enjoy the weather. Though we didn't get to see any fireworks ourselves, we did watch this awesome video of a drone in the middle of a firework show, check it out!
side note: all photos with a * are from Paul's Flickr

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Perfect Summer Birthday

This past Saturday was my birthday, so to celebrate I thought what better way than to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather than go to the farmers market and strawberry picking. I had never gone before, but how cute does it sound to go strawberry picking with friends?
As I've talked about before, I love the Burlington farmers market. I tried a new stand and got a delicious breakfast wrap. After, I couldn't help but finish off the meal with maple cotton candy!
L to R: Amanda, Lily, myself, Catherine, and Michelle at the farmers market
Afterwards, we headed to Sam Mazza's farm for strawberry picking! Most of us had never been before, so it was an adventure for all! We went out into the fields and were encouraged to pick and sample to our hearts desire!
Sam Mazza's pay station
My picks from the day
Amanda with her perfect strawberry
The girls out in the fields
Lily and I with our berries!

When we got back, we cooled off in the room for a bit and then went to North Beach and to Ben and Jerrys (they give you a free scoop on your birthday!) to end the day. Quite perfect if you ask me!

Friday Night Food Trucks

In Burlington during the summer, every Friday night they have a food truck extravaganza! Food trucks from restaurants or just individuals come together and gather in Burlington to sell to the huge groups of people. During the Friday night festivities, there is also music playing and plenty of people walking around. Lily and I went for the first time this past Friday, and it will not be the last time! Upon arrival, we were surprised at how big it was and the variety of trucks. Long lines wrapped around trucks, people hoping that they won't sell out before they make it to the front. After checking out our options, we found a truck that struck our fancy.
The cart we chose
Waiting for our food
Lily with her pulled pork. I stole a taste and it was one of the best I've ever had!
The people and trucks
 While waiting in line, the band that was playing came over in the midst of all the people and began playing a tune and dancing through the people. It was so cool!
My delicious crab cake sandwich
An ice cream cart
The building it was next to
 I've heard that it was good, but I had no idea that it would be that delicious!! It was constantly hopping with people and there were so many options, we will definitely be heading back soon to get more and try all the carts. If you are in Burlington on a Friday night, this is a must eat!