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!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

TBT: My first visit to St. Mikes

Working in Admissions and giving tours all summer has made me think back to when I was visiting colleges the summer before my senior year of high school. My mom and I did a lot of research about schools that fit my criteria: small, liberal arts, strong academics. I didn't have a major decided at the time, so I was trying to look for a school that had everything else. St. Mike's was actually a last minute addition to our visit, I was going to Vermont to visit another school anyways, so it made sense to stop by.
On my way to Vermont, the airline I took managed to leave my bag in San Francisco so after flying for 7 hours, I lacked all my clothes and toiletries. Luckily, my mom and I could share clothes and I was able to put together some outfits for the two days I would be without my luggage. That morning, I visited the other school, which was nice, but I quickly learned that it didn't appeal to me. It was way too small (800 students. Total.) and I had a great tour guide, but saw that I couldn't see myself there. After, we hopped in a car and drove about 2 hours to St. Mikes and were able to pick up my luggage on the way after having to deal with rude attendants. But finally, after all that I made it to St. Mikes.
When I stepped into the Hoehl Welcome Center, I remember that there were a few other families there and I put down my luggage behind where we have the coffee machine. Then before I knew it, Jeremy came over and introduced himself and lead me to an interview room with Aislinn, who was at the time shadowing interviews. After talking with Jeremy, discussing what I wanted in a school, and whipping out my binder full of questions I had for each school (it was my turn to interview them, this is not a one way street!) Jeremy said that I was the perfect student for St. Mikes. Then I thought it was just a compliment, but now I see how much truth that statement held.
Once I had finished the interview and informational session, I went on a tour of campus. Lucky for me, it had rained when I was in the interview and we were afraid it was going to rain again, so I got to sport the lovely St. Mike's poncho. Even though I had a rough first few days in Vermont, when I got to St. Mikes, everything fell into place. The campus was beautiful, the people were friendly, and most importantly, they could see me here as much as I could. I knew St. Mikes was one of my top schools then and there. I later applied and was accepted. St. Mike's was my first admitance letter and, I'm not going to lie, I cried when I saw it. I was washing my car, ran inside when my mom told me it came, cried, and went back to washing my car. It was perfect.
My first tour in the lovely poncho

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Adventures in Vermont: Camping

This past weekend, Paul and I decided to take advantage of his free campground pass (from his internship in the Vermont State Parks) and go camping! Truth be told, I have only been camping once before. I believe it was in the 3rd grade with my family. But I remember really enjoying it and I was excited to try camping here in Vermont.
We visited Silver Lake in Barnard Vermont, which is close to Woodstock. At the park, there was also a beach, playground, and concessions stand. We lucked out with the weather and had a beautiful weekend of camping. Though Paul and I had never set up tents in the past, we decided it would be easy and didn't read the instructions. We managed to get the tent up, but had one pole left that we could not figure out where it went. Reluctantly, we looked at the instructions and found it went in the rain guard on the top of the tent. After that, we unrolled the sleeping bags and called it home sweet home.
The Tent! (and the gigantic trees!)
Paul taking photos around the campsite
Once the set up was finished, we headed to the beach so Paul could take more photos and so that we could swim in the water and enjoy the weather. After setting up our beach chairs and lounging for a bit, we headed to the dock to take the plunge. Kids were swimming and jumping in, but I wasn't convinced that it was going to be pleasant. To quote a girl there "It's 5 billion degrees in the water!". So Paul and I jumped in, only to find that it was 5 billion degrees...below zero. It quickly woke us up, but that was enough swimming for me.
Paul and I after jumping in
 
Paul with all his photography and beach gear
We then cleaned up and went to Simon Pearce restaurant, which was amazing and absolutely beautiful! And while walking back to the car after a filling meal, we stumbled upon two hot air balloons about to take off! So naturally we stuck around to watch.
What we first saw, I wasn't sure if they were just landing or taking off
The crew, and check out that fire!
The takeoff!
I had never been so close to hot air balloons before, it was crazy! After watching them sail away, we went to the camp site to forrage for wood and build a fire.
Paul chopping the wood with an ax
Enjoying the fire
A great end to a wonderful day
 I loved camping, and if you get the chance to go out on your own to explore Vermont or with the Wilderness Program here at St. Mikes, I highly suggest taking that opportunity. How many more will you get to try something totally cool in Vermont?
 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

St. Mikes Summer Playhouse!

You may think that campus during the summer would be boring and quiet. Though it is a bit quieter, you are wrong! There is so much going on here, internships, summer research, and the St. Michael's Playhouse. The playhouse brings in professional actors, directors, and designers from Broadway and off-Broadway shows to work with the St. Mike's students (either on stage or off stage) to produce four shows during the summer. This year, they are doing Young Frankenstein, The Fox on the Fairway, Arsenic and Old Lace and Ring of Fire. Tonight is the opening night for Young Frankenstein, and I was lucky enough to score tickets from my friend who is interning there.
The show was absolutely amazing!! I had never seen it before but was laughing constantly and enjoying every second. It was such a great show, if you get the chance to visit and see it, I would highly recommend it.
During the school year, since the Playhouse isn't going on, we still do many performances. There is one main stage performance every semester, but the Drama Club also does a bunch of musicals, plays, and one act shows throughout the year that you can get involved with. My first year, I did Ruthless: The Musical with the drama club. It was so much fun! I got to meet people who were in all different majors but just loved to participate in theatre. I got to play the somewhat crazy teacher, Ms. Thorn and even got a solo song!
The Cast and Crew of Ruthless
Getting my costume fitted
Shannon (the student director) and I
There are also a variety of classes that you can take with the Drama department to complete your liberal arts required art class. My first year, I took "Singing for the Actor" but this past semester I was a "model" for my friend Erin for her costume crafts class.

The Costume Crafts Class Spring 2014 (plus a few models)
So if you have an interest in theatre, there are plenty of options to get involved, whether you just want to do a show or two, be a part of the drama club, or be a theatre minor or major. The possibilities are endless.