Friday, December 5, 2014

Why I love Bergeron


St. Mikes has some great buildings on its campus, but hands down my favorite is Bergeron, the media studies building. That is where I have a majority of my classes and spend most of my time. Inside, there are two computer labs, a regular classroom, plus all of the professors offices right there! You get out of the lab, walk two feet, and then there is your professors office if you have any questions. To check out what the building looks like, here is a link to Nate's blog where he breaks down Bergeron.  It's so easy to talk to professors after class about projects or to borrow a lens from them if you need one. They're right there to help you out, and I think that really built a strong community for the MJD department.
Along with having access to the labs, we also get to use all the programs on the computers, like photoshop, bridge, illustrator, indesign, and audition. It's so helpful since you don't need to pay for the programs that you're going to need on a day to day basis. Plus, the building is close to all of the housing on campus, so when you need to do a lot of work late at night, you have to worry about walking far in the snow.
My Photojournalism class even gave us Canon cameras (with a bunch of lenses that you can check out in the library) to use. Here are some of the projects that we have been working on throughout the semester.
From our "People without People" assignment,
"A Day in the Life" following a fellow student in the class to capture a typical day




Above is a multimedia where we put together still pictures, natural sound, and interviews to make a video. This will also be how I make my final project about the costume crafts lab at St. Mikes. 
As you can see, there is so much that we get to do in our MJD classes, they give us so much equipment to use, professors right next to our work spaces to use as a resource, and a building that is so close to everything. I can't imagine what it would be like to not have such a great building and community in the department.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What I've learned from my 2+ years in college

There are a lot of things that you realize about yourself and the people around you when you enter into college, wherever you may go. You come to know yourself better, you change, you grow, and you become the person that, hopefully, you've always wanted to be. As I come to an end with my 5th semester at St. Mikes, prepare to go abroad, and think about how next year will be my last here, I contemplate the many different things that I have learned, both in and outside of the classroom, and I thought I would share.

  • You will find some of your best friends in college, but that doesn't mean you find them right away. My first year, I lived on a great floor and met some amazing people, some of the nicest at St. Mikes, arguably. But as you enter into your second and even third year, you live in different places with different people, take new classes and just know more about the school and the people in it. My sophomore year, I met my two best friends, Callie and Lily, in our Media Revolutions class because we would always grab tea after class together. That class is also how I met my boyfriend, Paul. I actually first met Callie when I came to visit St. Mikes. We, along with our moms, sat down with a student here for lunch and both ended up coming. It's crazy to think we met then, not sure if we would ever see each other again, and now here we are, junior year, and I consider her one of the coolest people ever.
  • No matter how much you may want to escape it, your home is your home. I was so excited to get out of California and explore something new, but I never thought about how much I would stand out at first. Being from California isn't the most common thing in Vermont, so a lot of people were curious as to why I was here. And still today, I get this question on my weekly tours, understandably so. I've come to realize how much I really do love my hometown, even though I wanted to escape it, it is also the one place that I know inside and out. There is something comforting about knowing so much about a place. So even if you think you'll never want to go back to your hometown, you'll realize that you have family, friends, and familiarity there.
  • Professors can be friends, mentors, and connections. Your professors are here because they actually really care. I didn't realize this at first. I'm typically a very shy student, I don't like to speak up much because I'm nervous I'll say the wrong thing or something stupid. But professors value discussion and participation, as I've noticed. And as you take more and more classes in your major, you will most likely repeat teachers. For me, this made me feel at ease because I knew the teacher and felt more comfortable about speaking up in class. I have found, after a few years, talking with them about advice for your assignments or jobs can open a whole new world. They have so much experience, if you show them you are open to listen and learn, they want to help guide you to your goal. So talk to them during their office hours, learn from them, and who knows, you may end up going to their house for dinner (as many classes do!).
  • You can do everything, but you also have to stay sane. I wanted to do it all, and starting off, I could. But with every year, I added more and more, so by the time I came into school this year, I was overwhelmed and bound to break at any moment. The things I loved to do caused me more stress than they did pleasure. That was the point that I realized I had to take a step back and think about what was most important and step down from what was too much. And know that it is ok to say you are too busy, it happens, and that is life. But know you may have the opportunity to pick it up later. The door isn't shut, it's left cracked open.
  • Your Myers-Briggs type will change. What I mean by that is your changes could actually be tracked. One thing I wish I did was take a test at the beginning of every semester or year. You can see how you've changed throughout your time in college. I took one my first year and had a very high extrovert score, but it has slowly gone down over the semesters. I think I had a fear of being left out so I always wanted to be around people. Now that I have a solid group of friends, I'm not so afraid that I'll be left out. In high school, I was the last person to get a cell phone that could text and got a Facebook at the end of my senior year. People felt it was too difficult to call me to invite me to events, so I missed out on things. I think that fear of being left out carried over to college. Your friends won't leave you out because they'll want you there to enjoy the time too. 
  • You'll miss your parents/become more understanding of them. At the end of high school, I was so excited to be independent. But over my time away, I leaned how much I have in common with my mom and dad and how much I love spending time with them and value our daily routine. Whenever I'm overwhelmed with the fact that I have to start to be an adult, my mom is my go to person for counseling and telling me who to call. Sometimes, I just miss my parents because I love them so much! It was hard realizing I was missing events back home, like awards ceremonies or band performances of my little brother, but you get used to it and find another way to communicate. So keep up with the communication, your parents love to hear from you and you'll love it too.
Those are some of the main points that I'm reflecting on now, as I sit with Lily and Callie listening to music. Lily is typing a paper and Callie has a huge drawing sprawled across the table that she is working on for her class. This is exactly where I want to be, in a place I love, with amazing people. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

TEDx Bella's Performance!

This past weekend, the Acabella's took a little road trip to Manchester, NH to perform at TEDx on the Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) campus. We piled into two big St. Mike's vans at 8 am on Saturday and made the trek, which was about 2 1/2 hour drive. Though early, we definitely enjoyed the ride, practicing our songs and stopping halfway to grab food at Panera.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Gabbi Hall, who was an Alto 2 in the Bella's just a few years ago! She helped to bring us to TEDx because she volunteers with them. She also happens to be my alumni mentor, so it was my first time being able to meet her!
The Bella's have arrived!
On our way to the venue
The Bella's and our biggest fan's, Danny and Julia
The Bella's doing what we do best, singing
It was such an amazing experience! We were able to perform on live stream and had the highest viewing all day! We had an amazing day and we could not have done it without Gabbi Hall giving us the opportunity to perform and our lovely friends Danny and Julia. We needed another driver, so Julia stepped up and her/our friend Danny joined in the adventure. Without them, we couldn't have done it. Thank you and I can't wait for more performance to come!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Film Festival Friday


The Venue
This past Friday, I went to the Telluride Film Festival that was hosted at the Davis Center at the University of Vermont. I went because we had to attend one of two film festivals for my Nature and Outdoor writing class, which is awesome! The films ranged in length from 2 minutes to 20.
I went with my friend Jack and we each brought our significant others, which was great! It was like a double date for a class.
The film festival was so interesting! We were able to see a bunch of films that covered a variety of topics. There was one that looked at a surfer, one that looked at ranchers, and another that followed ice climbers. It was so cool to be able to see different aspects of the world and where people go to seek adventure or make a livelihood.
After seeing the films, we are doing a write up about two films that we saw. I want to focus on the ice climbing and ranchers. They are very different, one looks at a lifestyle and the other looks at a hobby. Both were really well shot, it makes me want to look into making videos more. Hopefully I can produce a short film as good as the ones I saw at the festival for my senior project.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Crazy Week and Wonderful Professors

Right now, I am having one of the best semesters ever! I am taking all MJD classes and absolutely loving every second of it. I am learning more than I ever have and I know that I've chosen the right major for me!
But I also have to admit, MJD is tough. The major is mostly focused around final articles or photo projects, which I love (I'm a horrible test taker) but around this time of year, everything starts to pile up. This week, I had to juggle classes, writing an article for the Defender, finishing my multimedia project for photojournalism (basically a slide show of photos with sound and interviews), write a natural history piece for nature and outdoor writing, revise an old paper for that class, start my photojournalism final project, and eat and sleep. It has been my busiest week yet.
But today, two of my professors were able to help me make my life a little easier. That is something I've always found at St. Mike's, professors are super helpful and willing to talk with you about any issues you may be having.
When I was going to take photos for my final project in photojournalism, I wanted to check out a 50mm lens from the library (they give us a camera for the class and then we can check out different lenses depending on the projects we are doing). Unfortunately, they didn't have it. But my professor was standing right next to me as I was looking at the lenses they did have and said, "Why don't you just stop by my office in a few minutes and I can give you the 50mm lens to use until someone else needs it?" Yes please! It was great, now I have the lens to finish my project and it has helped a lot of my photos!
And then, just a few minutes ago, I was sitting in my Nature and Outdoor Writing class thinking, "I've done all my work, I'm not stressed anymore, this is great!" Until I heard her ask for the revisions that were due. Oh no! But I didn't panic, I knew I would just have to explain what was happening and why I forgot. After class, I told her I had full intention of doing the revision, it was just the one thing that slipped my mind this crazy week. She was so understanding and said to slide the revision under her door when I was finished, which I am planning to do right after dinner tonight. How awesome is that?
I just thought that before I forget, I need to acknowledge the awesome professors of St. Mikes. Special shout outs to Professor Swope and Professor Sultze for helping me with my work, but also to the rest of the professors here. Today, Professor Cleary brought in a reporter from a local paper who broke some amazing stories for our reporting class, which was amazing! And on Tuesday, Professor Sultze is having someone come in and bring raptors to our class! How cool is that? You won't find as awesome professors anywhere else.
And in case you wanted to see, here is my multimedia about the Quidditch Tournaments we have on campus! I may make some edits based off of what Professor Swope said, but this is version 1.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Perfect Fall Weekend

What better way to spend your fall weekend than doing the typical fall activities? For me, fall is a completely new season (and so is winter, really). Seeing the leaves change is absolutely amazing in Vermont, and this year is especially beautiful. The other weekend, I was in White River Junction, Vt. with my boyfriend, Paul, and we just had to bake a pie, pick raspberries, and go to a corn maze!
This was my first corn maze. Really! I have been to a hay maze once, but going apple picking and to corn mazes isn't super popular back home. But I absolutely loved it! I really like doing puzzles, so weaving through all the tall corn stalks and trying to find my way out!

Entering into the maze!
Noah (Paul's brother) and Paul leading the way!
Finally made it out!
 After, we decided to go to the raspberry field and picked some beautiful berries!
Paul starting to pick the kiwi gold raspberries
Our picks!
The leaves in the surrounding trees were the most amazing, vibrant colors and it was the perfect cool fall day. If you are able to get out and really experience fall in Vermont, I highly suggest doing it all!
And here is a video of Paul following me in the corn maze! He was very excited to use the different video features on his new phone.

My First Article!

For my Reporting for the Media class, we work with St. Mike's school newspaper, The Defender, to create stories. This semester was my first time ever writing for a newspaper, and it was a really cool experience!
First, on Thursday we went to the "Pitch Pick-Up" where you go  to hear the different stories that they have and choose which one you want. This can be competitive sometimes, but I luckily got my first choice in articles. Mine focused on a student run concert venue on campus called Turtle Underground, located in the bottom of Purtill Hall (mostly sophomore and junior dorms) on our North Campus. Turtle has equipment for student bands to use and perform with so they can continue their passion for music while here at St. Mikes.
After picking up my pitch on Thursday, I had until Wednesday to interview my sources and write my first draft. Though it is a short amount of time, I was lucky enough to get all my interviews finished in time. When I met with my editor, we went over my article to see what I did well, what I could add, and making style adjustments. It was super helpful!
My questions for my interviews
My first edit after meeting with my editor
Once my changes were made, I sent it to my editor at 12:00 pm that Friday, and the following week, I found my article in the Defender!
My final article!
I really enjoyed my experience writing my first article and working with my editor and look forward to contributing more to the Defender! And if you want to check it out, here is the link!