Monday, April 23, 2012

The end of the beginning

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." A special thanks to oft quoted Winston Churchill for help starting off this Monday afternoon blog. These words really capture what is happening in the lives of St. Michael's seniors right now. We are not ending anything, but beginning another phase of our lives.

Confession time-I have a HUGE mental block around graduating. I half believe that it isn't going to happen, maybe the apocalypse will occur before I walk across the stage and get my diploma. Maybe I will find a wormhole and be transported back to my freshman year dorm. This sense of disbelief isn't helped by my Peace Corps medical forms. Completing them may turn out to be my life's vocation. I am also going to India four days after graduation, so my SMC activities aren't going to end until mid-June.

However, I went on my last trip to the Lund Family Center, which has been an important part of my time here. I presented my political science thesis at the school's Student Research Symposium. My friends and I are looking for apartments (with a year lease!) so that we can stay in the Burlington area after graduation. All signs point to me graduating, leaving the comforts of campus, and finding my way in the world outside. I can only hope that the weeks to come will be filled with friends and fun, and that we will all be ready to leave our cocoon when the time comes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's going on

Hello friends, I have not blogged for the longest time and I think that Billy Joel would agree. In these past few weeks I have gone on spring break to Aruba with my friends. Here we are posing on a Catamaran in the Caribbean:

My friend, Kelsey, parents were very kind and allowed us use of their timeshare. We had six lovely days of lounging around the beach and adventuring.

Lately we have also been working tirelessly on India preparations. The departure date is getting closer and closer, which is exciting but also nerve-wracking. Our group has to fundraise for the charities that we will be working with. Here are some of us at the spring concert, selling concessions to benefit the organizations:

I am really luck to be going with such a great group of people. Since St. Mike's is such a small school, many of us were fortunate to know each other already. We have biweekly meetings and other events more regularly, and it has been nice to get to know each other before the plane takes off.

I hope that everyone is having a nice post-Easter week and still has some candy to enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

And the winner is...

Happy first week of March and almost spring! Can you feel the warm winds and promise of sunshine? I don't know about you but I cannot wait for these warmer months to come.

This Tuesday was SUPER TUESDAY, and doesn't that sound exciting? Super Tuesday is the Tuesday during the presidential election year when the greatest number of states have primaries to assign delegates to the national convention. This past Tuesday, March 6, 410 delegates from 10 states were to be assigned to the Republican presidential candidates.

I worked on exit polling with Edison Research at some polling locations in Vermont. The results from these surveys are sent to NBC, CNN, ABC and Fox news to show during election coverage. I spent the day driving around the beautiful state and "roving," which means assisting the people who were stationed at the same polls all day. I went to Burlington, Barre and Northfield with my backpack filled with extra tally sheets, surveys and even a foldable ballot box. Very official.

No surprises here, Mitt Romney won the primary in Vermont with Ron Paul coming in second place. After my day of work I can say with certainty that there is a definite age difference between most Vermont Republicans and Democrats. If a person was under the age of 40 and with children on election day, chances are they would ask to fill out the questionnaire for Dems. The older folks tended to be Republicans and generally more unhappy about doing paperwork, even though it was voluntary.

Overall it was a good day and another form of political participation. Yay democracy!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eat good food!

Hey know what are cool? Farm shares, or CSAs (Community supported agriculture). My roommates and I have a hybrid CSA that is run by the Intervale Food Hub. Every Wednesday afternoon I walk to Klein, the student resource center, to pick up our basket of vegetables for the week. Depending on the week we get potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, lettuce, chard, and some kind of squash. Because it is a hybrid, we also get either yogurt, eggs, syrup, or cheese every week.

Here is our CSA basket:

Look at those fresh and locally raised veggies!! Getting a farm share is one of the best decisions I have made this year and I have saved A TON of money on groceries. Also, I feel good about where my food is coming from. This nice because I am in a class about the politics of food and I have begun to question pretty much everything about our country's food system.

My lovely roommate and fellow blogger, Michaela, with some delicious maple yogurt:

MAGIC EGGS. Seriously.

And last but not least, what is going to make my pumpkin pancakes especially delicious on Saturday:

Let's eat!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weekend activities

Hello everyone, I hope that your semester is off to a good start. I don't have class until 1 o'clock most days and I work some mornings but productivity is always a struggle. I get up, have my coffee and lazy walk around my house for while when I should be starting my day. Alas, struggles of a second semester senior.

It's no secret that college students anxiously await the weekend, but I am going to let you all in on some things that we do during our blessed two days of rest.

Friday night:
-Go climbing with my roommate, Susan, at Petra Cliffs, where St. Mike's students are offered a pass to climb for the YEAR for 35 dollars. An incredible deal. Friday nights are my favorite time to go because there aren't too many people there.
-Celebrate my friend, Ashley's 22nd birthday by going to downtown Burlington for a lovely dinner at Sweetwaters. The food and company was wonderful.

-Saturday mornings are bright and full of possibility. My roommates and I always take a long and leisurely time to eat our breakfast and talk. This Saturday I did my long run of 5 miles in training for my third half marathon in April.
-Superbowl snack shopping. I didn't root for a team, but I think that our snacks won. Artichoke dip, 7 layer dip, smiley fries and homemade carmel covered popcorn were my personal favorites.

-Snowshoeing in Underhill, VT with my good friend Greta and the SMC Wilderness program. We walked on a trail called Nebraska Notch and it was an invigorating 4.5 roundtrip hike. Even though snow in Burlington has been scarce, the trails were covered, making it a beautiful walk.

We were back on campus by 1 o'clock, a great time for a Sunday nap before the Super bowl madness began. I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend as well!

Friday, January 27, 2012

6 Habits of Highly Ineffective College Students

Back to classes, homework, independent living and slushing around campus. Sometimes it seems as if there are so many obstacles in the way of productivity (at least for me). Here of some of the things that can inhibit collegiate greatness.

1. Not doing outside of class programs, otherwise referred to as extracurriculars. Everyone knows that people who do more tend to get more done. This is very true on the St. Mike's campus. Small groups of extremely productive people run the show, and do it with grace. Get involved on campus with volunteer work, clubs and sports, the good television doesn't come until at least 8 o'clock anyways...

2. Netflix accounts, get rid of them. Immediately. It hurts, but is worth it. You can stream Dexter and Grey's Anatomy all you want during the summer.

3. Sleeping until noon everyday. Get up and get going. Being done with work by 3 feels much better than beginning your day at 1:20. My lack of morning classes this semester is really hurting my morning ambitions. It really shouldn't take me an hour to eat my breakfast...

4. Not paying enough attention to your physical/mental state. If you are tired, take a nap or go to bed earlier. Eat well, your food is your fuel and running off Diet Coke and macaroni and cheese will take a toll. Go to the gym, after an aggravating day a nice sweat will do you good. Trust me.

5. Putting off your required courses until senior year. A good friend, roommate and unnamed fellow blogger has said she resents saving her math and science courses until now. Nothing says fun like astronomy homework until midnight. Learn from this and save the classes you are actually excited to take for the end.

6. Speaking of the best for last, highly ineffective students do their work all day and don't have any fun. Get off campus and do something adventurous, something that you and your friends will remember for years. As heartwarming as an assigned article is to read, it can be put off in the spirit of fun.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My geographic coordinates, the 2011 edition

Hello, I hope that everyone's 2012 is off to a good start! I saw a list of all the places my friend, Mia, went in 2011 in her fantastic blog. I always find it amusing how much more accomplished I feel after making a list. They are a great way to get organized and actually think about what you've done. Here is my list from 2011, a pretty incredible year.

The greater Burlington area, VT
Cambridge, MA
Santiago de Compostela, Spain (where I visited my friend in March)

Washington D.C.

Cape Cod, MA
Plattsburgh and the Adirondacks, NY

Montreal, Canada
Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island, ME
Nashua, NH. (Hey Mitt!)

Montpelier, VT
Lake Placid, NY
Long Island, NY

This list is a reflection of the memories I have made this year with the help of wonderful people. Going to an AIDS conference at Harvard, traveling to Europe, protesting in D.C., researching in Ecuador, 4th of July festivities on the Cape, a trip to Acadia, and the Republican Debate at Dartmoth have all been highly rewarding experiences. I feel so very fortunate and I encourage everyone to make 2011 lists. I will leave you with this, a picture I took today on a walk with my dad through the woods.