Saturday, December 29, 2012

New York City and New Year's Resolutions.

This Sunday, I'm taking a train downstate to visit my friend who recently moved to Astoria, Queens, to celebrate New Year's in the city that never sleeps. I love traveling to New York; I visited this summer and did a post on it, and often visited as a kid for cross country races at van Cortlandt park, as well as baseball excursions with my family, Broadway shows, etc. But I've never been able to visit in the winter, and I've DEFINITELY never been to Times Sq. on New Year's Eve. Needless to say, it'll be an experience.

My train leaves midday Sunday, and my return train leaves at 7.15 in the morning on the first. This is pretty early, but due to all the skiing I've been doing this break, I'm used to early mornings, and I'm sure at that point I'll just want to get home and sleep in my own bed, anyway.

New Year's, as many of us know, is more than the festivities. It's also a time for people to make resolutions, and for all of their friends to make fun of them for their resolutions. Resolutions are a bit of a joke... but I've decided to make a few anyway. Cause, why not?

They are as follows:

1. Eating Healthy - This one is SO overdone, and I know it. My problem is that I use my vegetarianism as an excuse to not pay attention to what I eat, and I've realized while skiing this break that my diet last semester will NOT cut it this coming semester; especially since I'll be participating in the Wilderness Instructor Training Program on top of all the skiing I plan to do at Jay and Smugg's. So, less fries and more... real food.

2. 4.0 GPA - I don't mean to talk about grades, cause we all know it's kinda lame to mope/boast about a letter on a piece of paper. But this has been a goal of mine every semester since I've been at school, and I'm feeling like this will be the semester I finally do it! But we shall see...

3. More "me" time - I like to be really involved at school, and I really enjoy the classes I take as well as the extracurriculars in which I'm involved. That being said, sometimes my sanity pays the price of my involvement, and my goal is to  give myself enough time in the week to decompress and do things that I like to do, just for fun.

Whew, there they are! Maybe I'll update y'all on my progress during the semester, but we'll see how this goes :p

I'll be sure to post pictures post-New Years day (probably sleeping all day on the first, along with much of the rest of world), and I'm sure there will be stories to tell from my adventure!

In the mean time, here's a little something to get y'all ready for the New Year's festivities:

Thanks for reading! And Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Home = skiing.

My dad, sister and I.
Being back home means a lot of things for a lot of different people. Good food, family, holiday parties, awkward relatives, etc. On top of those things, being back home over the winter break in my family always means early mornings and skiing all day, almost every day. Growing up, my siblings and I were all ski racers, and my dad a coach, so winter break meant training. Even now that none of us is any longer racing, we still get up early to be the first ones to the mountain, if for no other reason than we have no idea what we'd do otherwise.

Eh, maybe that's not totally true. My brother, who made the switch from racing to freestyle this past season (although he decidedly made the switch years ago), is now participating in a New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) freeride program at Gore Mountain. So he needs to be up there at 8.30 every morning, and the rest of us.. we follow for the snow.

And this is Nick.
 In any case, my family is a skiing family, so that's mostly what I've been up to the past week or so. A little bit of watching movies, a little reading, a little awkward, and lots of skiing. My plans for the rest of break: a little more of the same, and then a trip to New York to visit a friend who recently moved to Queens!

Thanks for reading! And have a happy break.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spring Semester Class Schedule

It's taken me a while to do this post because, until recently, I wasn't exactly sure what my class schedule would be. But now, here we are, and my classes for the spring are as follows:

BI-153-F: Intro to Cell Biology and Genetics. Lecture MWF 8:30-9:35, Lab Thursday 1:30-4:30.

This is the second of two intro courses required for the Biology major.

EC-325-A: Economics of Health Care. Lecture MWF 9:45-10:50.

This class doesn't count for any of my majors or LSR's, so I'm taking it just for fun.

CH-117-C: Organic Chemistry I. Lecture 11:00-12:05, Lab Wednesday 1:30-4:30.

A cognate course required for the Biology major.

BI-205-A: Biological Communications. Lecture TTh 9:45-11:20

A communications course required for the Biology major.

Definitely a lighter course load than this past semester. I'm looking forward to some interesting classes!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Anthropology and Biology Double-Major.

If you're the type of person who plans to enter college majoring in LolIHaveNoIdeaWhatI'mStudying-omics, you're not alone. I confidently began my academic career at SMC at least eleven different kinds of undecided, and since then have only decided on like, four of those indecisions.

Now, after that syntactically confusing and grammatically questionable introduction, I'd like to write frankly about my decision to double major, as well as my choice in majors. So this is a story all about how my major got flip-turned upside down, so I'd like to take a minute just sit right there, I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bell--

Wait, what was I talking about again? Right, majors. Back to that.


About me: As I've mentioned before, I did a year abroad in Poland after I graduated from high school in 2010. While I was abroad, I became aware of a new-found interest in language and culture, and may have watched too many seasons of Bones and began to think I was an Anthropologist. Because when I signed up for my first semester of classes at SMC, Intro to Cultural Anthropology was the first one I chose. And while in class, I realized I liked it a lot. And then I took another class, and still liked it. And this semester, I took another class, realized it was really hard, almost gave up, thought about dropping it, persevered, and then realized that I still liked Anthropology.

About the major: The classes I've taken so far are Intro to Cultural Anthropology, a topics course called Native Americans in Popular Culture, and an interdisciplinary course called Gender and International Development. The Anthro major I'm referring to is technically the Anthro tack of the Sociology/Anthropology major at SMC. What this means is that you take classes in both disciplines, and then choose a track. I've yet to take a Sociology class (three are required for the Anthro track), so I probably shouldn't say that I've already chosen the Anthro track. But I have, so I will.

Also required for the Anthro track is an international experience. This can mean study abroad, an extended service trip abroad, or otherwise. I've yet to complete my abroad experience, but I'm thinking I'll fulfill it with an extended service trip if I'm accepted next year. Until recently, I thought I would study abroad, but am now reconsidering. More on that later ;)

So all in all, for the Anthro track of the Sociology/Anthropology major, you need: 
1. Six anthro courses (including intro).
2. Three soc courses. 
3. An international experience. 

Thus far, I've had a great time in my courses, and really positive interactions with the faculty. If you're thinking about Anthro or Soc, definitely try out one of the intro courses! If you don't love it, it still counts for an LSR.

Cool things associated with the major: The faculty in the Soc/Anthro department are impressive. In the last year, Profs. Delaney and Kusserow have both taken sabbaticals in order to do field work, so they really bring the field into the class room, which is both a challenge and exciting.


I wrote a little about my bio class at the beginning of the semester, but I think this is a great opportunity to develop what it really means to be a bio major, as well as why I decided on it.

In the field.
About me: Freshman year, I decided I was done with science and math and other things that require labs and early classes. But as the year went on I thought more and more about what I might potentially do after undergrad, and climate change research entered my head as a possibility. Being the passionate and slightly impulsive individual that I am, I declared a Bio major within a week, and signed up for Bio and Chem courses for the fall (this past) semester.

Since then, it's been quite a challenge for me. Having not taken any labs or sciences since my senior year of high school (two years ago), I found myself lost and feeling behind for most of the semester. It was challenging, and I wont say that I handled the stress gracefully, but I made it through with support from friends and family, and am ready to attack my second semester of Biology.

About the major: There are several concentrations you can take in the bio major. A lot of my friends are doing a pre-med program, which means they'll leave with a bio major, but they'll also have taken all the courses necessary to be able to apply to medical school. I intend to follow the Environmental track, but there are also tracks for Cellular and Molecular, as well as Biology Education and "generalist". There are also joint programs for Physical Therapy with UVM, and for Pharmacy with Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. You can read all about the program requirements for the Biology major here, or if you read on I'll break it down for you as best I can.

For any bio major, the main requirements are as follows:

1. 10 bio courses, with two intro courses (Ecology and Evolution, and Cell and Genetic), as well as Communications in the Biological Sciences, and Senior Seminar all required.
2. For the remaining six courses, (five of which must include labs), at least one must be from each of the following areas: Molecular/Cellular, Organismal, and Population (so one could choose 1, 1, and 4, or 2, 2, and 2, or 3, 1, and 2, etc.). 
3. Three cognate courses in chemistry (Gen Chem I, Orgo I, and either Orgo II or Gen Chem II, although some people take all four because it's more attractive for graduate/medical school).
4. Two cognate courses in Math (from the following: Elements of Calc, Calc I, Calc II, or Stats).
5. OPTIONAL: College Physics I and II or General Physics I and II.

Cool things associated with the major: In my bio lab this semester, we did a semester long research project for which we collected our own data, did qualitative and quantitative analysis, and presented our findings at the end of the semester. We performed our research in the sandplain forest at Camp Johnson, on the effects of prescribed burns on the ecosystem. Basically, scientists have found that burning this forest (and others) helps regulate certain plant populations so that the whole ecosystem can thrive and not be run out by invasive species. So we examined data in areas that had already burned, and areas that hadn't burned, and assessed the impact of the burn. It was difficult at times, but overall rewarding, and I think it's cool that an intro course offers that opportunity to students.

So, there you have it! A quick glimpse at my chosen fields of study. And as I said, just follow the links if you'd like to read more about the Bio or Anthro majors. Or if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at

Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Course Overload: A Reflection.

This past semester has just ended, and I must say it's bittersweet. Bitter for more reasons than I can list, but sweet for at least one reason: this semester was pretty hard. 

 This is my head at the end of finals. This is the link for the above picture of my exploding brain.
I took five classes in the fall, and this isn't common practice in the SMC curriculum. Since we use a 4-4 model (four, four-credit classes per semester = 16 credits per semester), the college doesn't typically allow students to take a fifth four-credit course (there are 2-credit classes that they'll allow you to take, though). But if you meet the GPA requirement and get permission from the Assistant Dean of Students, they allow exceptions. I pursued that option this semester, and based on my experiences, it's worth reflecting on.

One question might be: would I recommend it to students who have the opportunity to pursue this? Yes and no. For me, it was a *good* option this semester, because I had just declared a double major and had some catching up to do, as well as taking some LSR's. That being said, it's been a really hard semester for me. I even attempted to drop one of the classes mid-semester, but changed my mind and continued. The issue is that it's quite a course load, and since so many students here are heavily involved on campus outside of academics, it take a toll. If it weren't for my support system and my professors, I would have struggled a lot more than I did.

Also, science courses. Not to debate whether science majors are harder than others or not (cause that's no fun), they do require labs, which are an extra three hours per week per course. So if you take five classes with two labs, you're taking seven classes with 21 hours of in-class time per week. To put that in perspective, there is a general rule that four classes should be a full-time job, where you're putting 10 hours of work into each class each week (3 in class, 7 outside), for four classes. For five classes with two labs, that's 56 hours total. If you count labs as another class (which is not unwarranted), that's 70 hours. So, for the sake of a round number, lets say that I had a 60 hour per week course load this semester, which is a lot when combined with the typical SMC student extracurricular load.

So if you're considering taking five classes, just know it's a commitment  I learned that the hard way for sure, and I personally think I wont need to do it again. But I did learn quite a bit about time management, and the dangers of wearing yourself too thin.

So, happy end of the semester! Hopefully it will be a relaxing break for all :)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chloe Schwenke Comes to SMC.

Hey all!

As I mentioned recently, we had a pretty cool speaker come to campus tonight. Chloe Schwenke, a self-identified trans woman as well as Senior Advisor to USAID, came to SMC tonight to talk about her role as the first advisor on LGBT policy, and about LGBT issues in Africa. It was a really great  talk, and some of us from Common Ground were fortunate enough to have dinner and conversation with her after.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back to SMC, and Upcoming Events on Campus.

Hey Folks!

Over the recent Thanksgiving break, I got to go home for the first time this semester to visit with my family in Rome, NY, where, for a few days, our extended family and grandparents descended on the house for holiday festivities and movies and such. It was a refreshing weekend, but Sunday night I made the trek back to school and am settling in for finals week. Lucky for me, I have sit-down finals in all five of my classes, so it'll be a busy next few weeks (heh heh... heh).
Anyway, besides the end-of-the-semester stress and business, we have some really cool events coming up on campus! Two of which are being put on by your friendly, neighborhood Saint Michael's College organization for LGBT (queer), allied and intersecting issues, social justice and activism: Common Ground.

The first event is a Transgender Day of Remembrance, which will be held this Thursday at 6.30 after the Common Ground meeting (which meets at 5.45). This is in honor of November being Trans* awareness month, and it will be a small ceremony, including candle lighting, readings, sharing, and reflection. Given the timing in the semester, and having recently celebrated Thanksgiving, I think the timing of this event is very appropriate. Even though we all have lots of stress at this time of year, it's important to remember those who have faced a great deal of hardship and challenges, and be humbled by our own good fortune. The location will be either the Center for Women and Gender or the Chapel, and we will walk there from the regularly scheduled Common Ground meeting.

The second event we're hosting is a guest speaker by the name of Chloe Schwenke, who is a USAID senior advisor appointed by Obama, as well as a self-identified transgender woman. Her areas of expertise are Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, as well as LGBT policy, and she has worked largely in Kenya and South Africa, as well as one year as a Fullbright professor in Uganda. The event will be held in McCarthy at 5pm on Wednesday, December 5th, and due to her areas of interest, will likely entail lively discussion and learning! It's also free and open to the public.

So it will be a busy and interesting end to the semester! And definitely swing by these events if you can!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Macklemore and Early Season Skiing

Hey folks! I apologize for the wait; unfortunately this time of year is pretty busy :p

Me and the Bro!
As I mentioned quickly in my last update, I got to see rapper Macklemore perform at Higher Ground this past friday with some friends and my younger brother! When we got there, the line was LONG, and some friends of ours who got there really early (and were at the front of the line) got hugged and served hot chocolate by Macklemore! It was a cold night, and that just goes to show how cool he is.

Saturday morning, my little brother and two friends of mine got up early to drive down to Killington to catch some early season snow. It was mostly man made, but they know how to make snow down there! Stowe was also open, and from what I know Smuggler's Notch had lifts running this week! Tis the season to be skiing ;)

Killington killin it with the snow!

The rest of the semester looks pretty busy, hopefully with some time to ski, though! Got my fingers crossed and snow-dances coreographed; all I can do now is hope for some sweet precipitation!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Look out for a post soon!

Due to tests and papers, etc. I won't be able to post tonight, but look for a post on my weekend skiing and going to see macklemore coming soon!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wilderness First Aid and Fake Blood.

Hello Everyone!
As a part if the Instructor Training Program for the Wilderness Program (WP) in which Boates and I (and a bunch of our other friends) are currently involved, we participated in a two-day intensive Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course this past Saturday and Sunday. Both days, the course ran roughly 8-5, and it took place on-campus.
This is a perfect example of one of many perks associated with being a WP instructor at SMC. Because of our affiliation with the program, this training was subsidized for instructors. That being said, a lot of stuff is subsidized for all SMC students through the WP, including this training (although at a different amount). A most famous example of the WP's awesomeness is the very inexpensive Smugg's Pass that's available to all undergrads, but every trip the WP offers to SMC students is at a significantly lower price than it would be if you were to pay for it and organize it on your own (like climbing in Acadia! and check Boates' post! there's a sweet vid). Besides, you get to chill with instructors, other students, and sometimes professors when you go on WP trips, which is super chill :D
This training, though, consisted of mostly potential instructors, as well as some others who found the program through SOLO, the group that administers the training. On Saturday, we did a combination of classroom time and on-hands practice in "the field" (the quad). The first day was mostly remembering to check vitals, isolate the patient from their environments, and learning how to move people if necessary. It was very informative and we had a lot of fun (besides, the weather was AWESOME this weekend). The second day was some more classroom time, but a little more gnarly this time around. We got to use splints, fake bruises and fake blood. Needless to say, that was considerably more enjoyable, and I regret to inform you that, in the midst of the WFA fake-blood merriment, I neglected to take gorey pictures of both myself and Boates.
*crowd moans*
Now, now; all is not lost! For luckily I have this picture of Boates with a sharpie monocle.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Going to a Catholic College.

From the Saint Michael's College website.
Saint Mike's is a Catholic college (hence the name, you know). For me personally, when I was looking at colleges, that wasn't something I took into consideration. I tell people all the time that I was drawn to SMC because of the location and the ridiculous access we have to outdoor stuff (like Wilderness and the Smugg's Pass), and that I decided to attend because of the professors and small-college atmosphere. But in a lot of ways, the Edmundite and Catholic affiliations of the college have enhanced my experience even though I entered college as a non-practicing Catholic.
One such way is through service, which is a huge part of the Edmundite tradition. On campus, we have the Mobilizaion of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) program; which, if you've ever been on a tour or are familiar with the college at all, you probably know is one of the college's biggest programs. And there are so many students involved with MOVE that it's a commonly cited activity for students (by graduation, nearly 70% of Saint Mike's students will have participated in a MOVE program in some capacity). This semester I began working with International Outreach, which is a mentoring program (run by students) for international youth from Winooski, and that's been a really positive experience. I'm also going on an extended service trip during spring break to Hope House in Long Island, which a friend of mine went on last year, so I'm really looking forward to it!
Another way the Catholic tradition at Saint Mike's has enhanced my experience personally was the LEAP retreat, and this is another program that almost every participant will recommend. I went on LEAP this past weekend, and for reasons of confidentiality, I won't share much about what was talked about or what happened (gotta keep it a surprise!). But basically, its three days of talks and reflection about topics like self awareness, faith and community, and it's geared towards college students. Also, you don't have to be Catholic to attend, and a lot of participants aren't.
Besides these experiences I've had, there's also a group called VITA, which is a peer ministry group, and I'm sure many other things that I'm not even aware of. So if you want to be involved in the church or campus ministry, you can be. But it's also possible to not do any of these things if you choose not to. Basically, there's the opportunity if you want to be involved, and no pressure if you don't want it!
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

You're Listening to WWPV: College Radio at Saint Mike's

Photo by Lauren Miranda.

Let's be totally honest; not a lot of people listen to the radio anymore; we have iPods, so why would we? Cause WWPV.

The Saint Michael's College radio station, WWPV, offers students the opportunity to host a two- to three-hour radio show once a week, and my friend Carlos and I have the 10-12 slot on Wednesday nights (I have a bunch of other friends with radio shows, too, like Boates!). Like I said, not a ton of listeners, but's it's a great time, and an awesome way to de-stress on hump day (our show is actually called Bump de Hump day, like bump music on hump day! hehe.. he).

It's also a great way to discover new music. Part of the agreement with the station is that we have to play one new song an hour, so they have a few racks of new CD's to choose from to put on the air. Also, since we're non-profit, we don't have to deal with commercials. We do have to play PSA's a few times an hour, but they're short, and Carlos and I play them in Spanish to keep things interesting (we've never played a PSA in English, fun fact!).

This is my first semester with a radio show, but I hope to continue with it throughout my time here! If you're into radio, come to SMC and apply for a slot! If not, tune in on 88.7 in Burlington-Colchester-Essex Jct., or stream online at ;)

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Big College Question: Should I Study Abroad?


Just kidding. Well, I'm not kidding; you should study abroad. But how lame would that have been if I wrote a one-word blog post? Haha... Anyway.

Study abroad is a really cool option for college students, but, obviously, not everyone wants to or is able to. But if it's something you're considering at all, I think the opportunity to get out and explore is definitely worth the risk.

There are a few ways to go about starting the process to apply. Luckily, a lot of students at SMC choose to study abroad, so you can meet with an advisor in the study abroad office to help you.

In my meeting, the first thing we talked about were regions of interest. I've been thinking about Chile and Argentina, and for my Anthropology major I have to study abroad in a non-European/North American country, so we looked mostly at South America. I'd been really set on Chile, I thought, so I was really surprised when I came away from the meeting thinking about Brasil. But after talking through study topics of interest, and courses that I wanted to transfer, I ended on a program in Northern Brasil studying amazonian ecology and sustainability.

So it's really important to go into the process with an open mind. Besides, your interests may change, and there are so many options, it would be hard not to feel conflicted.

So I'll be applying for the program later this semester, and I've got my fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Climbing and Swilling Salsa in Acadia.

Otter Cliffs in Acadia, Maine.

SMC has a thriving outdoors culture. We're skiers, hikers, climbers, and kayakers, and it's all pretty much facilitated by our awesome Wilderness Program. And along with all the day trips that are offered on the weekends, WP also offers longer trips over some of the breaks, and last weekend, Boates and I got to go on a four-day climbing trip to Acadia, Maine.

Boates, sendin' it.
Most of the people on the trip already knew each other beforehand. There were three instructors and five participants, as well Eben, one of the guys who runs stuff at the WP. Of the five participants, four of us already knew each other because we're all in the Instructor Training Program at the moment, so the group blended really well (which is sort of helpful in eight-hour van rides). We left on Friday at one in the afternoon and got there late at night, but luckily Eben had left ahead of us and set up camp when it was still light out. And for those who don't know (I didn't until recently), a ton of Acadia National Park is on Mount Desert Island. So, like, we saw a ton of stars. Cause we were camping on an Island.

The first day of climbing, we went to Precipice Cliffs. Now, I had been climbing before, but only like, once. And never outside. So in order to be able to safely function and, you know, do things in this environment, I got a crash-course in how to belay, where to tie in, and a little bit of climbing technique. To be honest, it was a little overwhelming, but a TON of fun. That first day, I only did three climbs, but I did a bunch of belaying and I felt pretty accomplished.

Unfortunately, Sunday of our trip was too rainy to climb. But we went for a hike instead, and not climbing allowed us to sleep in for an extra hour, during which everyone but Boates and I woke up and wondered if we were still alive. I've been told that my spirit animal might be a sloth, and it's moments like these when that idea is reinforced for me. Also, almost forgot to mention. I swilled a jar of salsa, which means I cleaned it by adding water, mixing it up and drinking the contents. 'Twas pretty epic.

Meghan rappeling.

Monday, our second and final day of climbing, we went hard. We climbed Otter Cliffs, which is normally a pretty busy site, but wasn't since it was a weekday. I got eight climbs in when my goal was five, and I sent a 5-8 (climbed a high-intermediate route without slipping / falling), which was sweet. It was also different because the climbs we set up were mostly top rope, where you rappel from the top down and then climb back up, whereas on Saturday our climbs were led, so an instructor climbed up to set the anchor, and we climbed from the bottom. So that was really cool, because it further diversified my already awesome first climbing experience.

It was such a great weekend, and now I can't wait to keep climbing (hopefully hitting up Petra Cliffs soon, where SMC students get a $40 year-long pass). We were a sad to leave, but happy to shower, although I wouldn't have minded one more night sleeping in our stink because it was just that much fun :p 'Til next year!

Thanks for reading! Photo credit goes to Meghan Lynch and Andie Gemme.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hey Guys!

This is a short one! Just got back from the long weekend; I got to go rock climbing in Acadia, Maine, with fellow blogger Boates and the Wilderness Program at SMC. Post to follow shortly!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Instructor Training on Mt. Mansfield

I just got back this afternoon from an approximately 30-hour excursion in the Vermont wilderness, and it was quite a trip. This semester, I'm training as a prospective SMC Wilderness Instructor, and this weekend in the back country (or side country? not solid on the distinction) was a part of the selection process; the first part already happened a few weeks back after a group processing meeting.

It was a great experience. On Friday, we had a packing meeting where we brought all our equipment to the program's outfitter in Cashman Hall to make sure we had everything we'd need for the weekend. Then, after unpacking and re-packing, we went over how to set up camp, split up the food, and set a departure time for the next morning.

Thus, Saturday morning, I woke up at six-thirty, double-checked my pack, and made my way over to Cashman at quater-of for departure at seven. After we were all packed and ready to go, we swung by Bagel Market around the corner from school (SOOO good, have their pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese), and made our way to Mansfield.

When we got there, we realized we had to wait until nine to begin the hike so that we could pay the guards and park our van, so we had a bit of a time gap where we were able to go over logistics and get to know each other more as a group. After nine, we got our packs together, took care of any last-minute details (i.e. bathroom, because back country), and set out on our hike.

I was the first leader, and the beginning of the hike was pretty easy. We stopped to shed layers and drink water, mostly. But it didn't stay so calm.

I wish I had a picture, cause this one could probably speak ten thousand. But seriously, I can't fully describe how, when we got to unexposed terrain, the wind was pushing us over, the rain flew sideways and sounded like hail drops on the side of the hood of your rain jacket. It was foggy; when we finally made it to the summit there was no view but the cloud we were surrounded by, so it was a touch and go, then a beeline towards cover. It was kick-butt and awesome, but at the time it was a lot colder, too.

The weather persisted like this for a while, but we did our best to stay on decent trails and stay warm. Although it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that we hit our sleeping bags like a ton of bricks that night (though not before a seemingly huge dinner of pene pasta and creamy pesto with mountain spice ;p).

The next day was much more calm, and we did a few more miles than the day before. All in all, it was a great experience, and another step towards hopefully becoming a Wilderness Instructor!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This Week: Friday Night Dry!

To the extent of my knowledge, most people (especially in college) enjoy doing things on the weekend. People like to be entertained, and students at SMC are certainly no exception. Fortunately for us, Burlington and the surrounding area is a pretty bumpin' place! There are restaurants and venues downtown and in Winooski, there's Higher Ground for shows and events, there are tons of outdoor hikes and trips with the Wilderness Program, and skiing in the winter; and these are just to name a few!

But you don't always want to leave campus on the weekends, and luckily SMC has the cure for that as well. Almost every weekend, there are shows and open-mic nights on North Campus in Purtill Hall, at a venue we call Turtle Underground (I wish I knew where the name came from, but I don't). I can't say I'm a Turtle regular, but I enjoy the occasional venture up to North on a Firday night for a jam sesh and *usually* some free food. It's definitely a good time.

Another thing which is an absolute constant on the weekends is the Friday and Saturday night grill. Every weekend in the quad, including the winter, there's a grill set up from 11pm grilling burgers, dogs, occasionally veggie burgers, and sometimes (to the utmost excitement of the student body), chicken patties. It's a great time and people love it, plus FREE FOOD.

So as you can see, there's ton's going on! And this coming weekend will be even better (I'm hoping you can't wait to hear why ;p).

This weekend is Friday Knight Dry! (YAYYYYYY!) This means a few things, but the coolest thing it means is that there are even MORE activities going on around campus to get into. There will be stuff in the residence halls, prizes in Alliot, and, the part I'm pumped for, school clubs get to host an activity of their choice. What does this mean for you SMC students? Good question!

It means that this Friday, at 8pm, you can come swing by Eddie's in Alliot to chill with Common Ground and watch a movie! The movie? Rocky Horror Picture Show. Can you dress up? Most definitely. Will it be a great time? Without a doubt!

So remember: Friday Night Dry, Alliot, 8pm, Tim Curry, lots of fun ;)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Photos from Mt. Washington!

Like I mentioned in my last post, this past weekend I went on a trip to hike Mt. Washington with the Wilderness Program (WP). I wanted to write a nice long post about the trip, but haven't had time yet, so until then, here are some photos!


Set these up ourselves ;)

Our fearless Wilderness instructors, Sherman and Harper.

Getting ready.

Tuckerman ravine.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Wilderness Program.

First off, I can't believe how fast this semester is going by. Every time I go to write a post I'm amazed at how long it's been since my last! Time certainly does fly when you're having fun.

And speaking of fun, you know what's lots of fun? The Wilderness Program (WP) at SMC, of course! If you know what WP is; awesome, cause it's one of the best programs on campus. If you don't know, get ready to get told!

Here at SMC, we like to be outside. We like to hike things, and climb things, and paddle things and ski things. So one day (in the third century BC, I believe), it was declared that SMC should probably have a program to facilitate all of these outdoorsy endeavors. And so it began.

Sort of. I'm not actually sure when WP began, but I'm assuming my story isn't too far off. But in all seriousness, Wilderness is great. They offer hiking, climbing, paddling and skiing trips, as well as extended trips (like climbing in Acadia, Maine over the long weekend in October), and a bunch of outdoor certifications. All this stuff is subsidized for students, and they have an outfitter to go with it! So like their site says, all you need is a sense of adventure.

Another cool thing is that the trips are led by students; one of my good friends who's been really into the program since the beginning of last year started to apply right off the bat and was accepted as an instructor first semester. And this semester, I'm applying! I've already passed through the first round of the process, and the next step is a training weekend hike at the beginning of October. So hopefully I make it! I'd really love to do some back country ski instructing ;)

But before that, this weekend I'm going on an overnight trip to Mt. Washington (via WP, obviously), so my time until then is going to be saturated with studying and other homework things so I can enjoy my time off campus. Watch out for a post about it this Sunday! Til next time ;)

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Doing Biology in the Field.

Hey all! This post was intended for earlier in the week, but I've been having computer problems recently and am just now finding myself with enough time to type it up in the library ;p

So there are obviously lots of things at Saint Mike's that I think are interesting or worthwhile, and this often includes my classes. You'll hear me talk about the awesome professors and their accessibility, as well as some classes that are just cool on their own. One class that I'm taking this semester, Intro to Ecology and Evolution (BI151) fortunately already has great professors, but on top of that, it's also one of the coolest classes I've taken so far here at SMC.

I don't know for sure, but I don't think it's common that intro Biology courses allow students to do relevant field research for their lab, and design a project on their own. Well, that's what this course is, and, without overloading on the info, I'll attempt to describe what it's all about.

In Vermont, and mostly Chittenden County, there are endangered ecosystems called Sandplain Forests. They're endangered because most of what was left of them has been built on and developed over the years. But luckily, neighboring Saint Mike’s campus is the Vermont National Guard's headquarters, Camp Johnson, which contains a sizeable chunk of what's left of the Sandplain forest.

This is important because they've A) allowed us to do field research in there, and B) have done really well at preserving the Sandplain Forest ecosystem. And that’s important because part of maintaining this ecosystem includes prescribed burns, a.k.a. forest fires.

We called him Kernel.
When I first learned this, I was pretty shocked, because I'd never heard of forest fires as a means of preserving an ecosystem. But in this case, fire actually helps to maintain a balance of species diversity and catalyzes regeneration, so that the existing ecosystem isn't lost forever. Also certain species in the forest, such as the Pitch Pine, are rather fire-resistant, and this indicates that periodic fires have been an integral part of the ecosystem in the past.

So what do we do? Students get to go in the field and set up research areas where we collect invertebrate species (bugs) and record what trees we find, how many there are, and how big they are. That way, after the next burn takes place (this coming spring), there will be "before" data to compare to the “after” data when it’s collected. We also learn a lot about the biodiversity of the forest, and naming trees, shrubs and eventually bugs, and we get to see things like this caterpillar.

A lab like this may not be for everyone, but I certainly enjoy it! And it's making Ecology more and more of an appealing option for me after undergrad. But who knows?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Burning Magnesium, The Worst Sunburn of My Life, and Sushi.

It's been just about a week since classes started, and I'm happy to say my sophomore year is off to a good start. I was busy running around last week, getting papers signed, adding classes, switching this and that, buying books and other things, as well as trying to not get behind in the first five days. So, although I've been pretty busy, I'm happy and occupied.

I've decided that, given the events in my life in the last week, it would be cool to accentuate my first real week back with three things. The first: burning magnesium.

This semester, I'm in an Intro to Chem class with Prof. Moffett (whom I highly recommend), and on Friday we had an exciting lecture when she burned magnesium at the front of the class.

It almost looks like something out of Harry Potter, no?
Originally, I was going to include a video that I took in class (with permission ;p), but I forgot that video from my phone doesn't typically upload to blogger very well. Nonetheless, it was an exciting Friday and as you can see here, Magnesium burns bright.

The second aspect of my first week of school was the sea kayaking trip I did Saturday on Lake Champlain with the Wilderness Program. It was a great trip, and fellow blogger Boates went along as well. 

Boates with boats. Hehe.
I learned a lot about kayaking that I didn't even know could be learned; for example, there is, in fact, a way to steer a kayak. It's also very easy to tip kayaks over, as I learned four times. It's also very easy to get a terrible sunburn while kayaking in the hot summer sun when you fall into the lake four times and forget to reapply sunscreen.

Me, after sunburn.

But in spite of the sunburn it was still a good trip, and now I've learned that you can use white vinegar to treat a bad sunburn if you don't have aloe. But you will smell like a potato chip.

Finally, the third aspect of my life which accentuates my first week back was today, at the end of my Gender and International Development class, when we shared sushi with our Japanese cultural partners who, although they're here for three weeks mostly for English classes, helped us this past week with our first project of the semester. The project was about gender constructs in Japan and the rest of the world, and it entailed watching a Japanese movie (Train Man), conducting an interview, and finally a written component. I found it to be a really fun project, as well as a great learning experience, and I'm hoping our Japanese partners enjoyed it as much as I did!

Me, my classmate and our cultural partners, post-sushi.
So there's my first week back! And the second's already begun :p

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Orientation 2012

This past weekend, Saint Michael's College welcomed the incoming class of 2016 to it's campus. And at SMC, we don't just welcome new students. We usher them in with moving crews, loud whistles, smelly O-Leader t-shirts, and the best orientation weekend around.

So a week ago today, all of us student orientation leaders returned early to campus to move in and begin training before the big weekend. I had been staying in Burlington, so I made it to campus basically about as early as you could arrive, moved in, and dove headfirst into O-week. At first it was kind of weird to be back on campus, because besides the athletes, RA's and some others, it was mostly empty. Also, I missed the Alliot hours, so my first meal consisted of cereal, mac'n'cheese and cookies. Yep.

My O-Partner, Halle, and I.*
But then training began, and it was nice to see all the other o leaders and get pumped for the week. Training lasted from Monday until Wednesday, and like most awesome things, it flew. Besides the aspects that were concentrated solely on the incoming students, we also got to have some fun: like going on a boat cruise, bowling, seeing The Campaign, and overall just hanging out with each other. Then Thursday morning rolled around, and it all began.

Ask any student at SMC about move-in day freshman year, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who has forgotten it. When the new students arrive on campus that first morning and pull up to their hall, their cars are promptly SWARMED by over-caffeinated upperclassmen who want nothing more than to carry their heaviest items to their rooms on the fourth floor. But seriously. O-leaders have a contest to see who can carry the most fridges. The record is in the eighties.

After move-in, the O-leaders have a few-hour break to relax and take a breather, and the freshman have time to decompress and try and get the sound of whistles out of their heads. Then that evening, we reconvene for the BBQ and convocation, after which any remaining parents will usually depart. Then, that night, we have the Fun-for-All, which is an activity night in the gym where the O-leaders dress up in themed costumes (this year the theme was KNIGHTS of the Nineties, and my O-partner, Halle, and I were the Olsen twins, modern day), and we do trust activities and such. It gets a good turn out, and I think it's lots of fun.

The rest of the weekend consists of more events, like the Friday night dance, and the Hypnotist show on Saturday, as well as academic things such as writing and language tests, and library tours, etc. But for sure the most powerful part of orientation is Connections on Sunday morning.

It's not a secret, but for the sake of maintaining the gravity of the event I wont say too much. But almost unanimously, people agree that it was the best part of their orientation weekend, every year. It's a sobering event, the purpose of which is to let the incoming students know that they aren't alone, and that help, support, and love in general can be found on campus.

Having been fortunate enough to experience orientation  from both sides, I feel that, again, I'm coming away from this first weekend feeling closer the college as well as my peers. As much fun as we all have, and as silly as orientation can be, it really does shape people's experience here, and I am humbled by what I have learned and experienced. 

O-Leaders 2012!!!*
Thanks for reading! 

*Photo credit to Dave Landers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Camp Outright 2.0

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the awesome opportunity this summer of being a cabin counselor at Camp Outright (CO2.0), a camp for queer and allied youth. Saturday was, sadly, our last day of camp, and after sending campers home and some clean up, the staff parted ways, and I came and crashed with some family friends in Burlington for the weekend before I came back to school on Monday.

...and the pride flag was flown.
To be honest, I'm not even sure where to start. This whole experience was so big and so powerful that I feel like it's ambitious to even try to write just one post about it. Camp has been going on for a long time. I was interviewed back in the spring semester, and staff at both Outright VT and the YWCA have been planning for eight months or more. But after all the planning, interviews and paperwork, most of us staff met for the first time at training on Thursday the 9th of August at the YWCA office in Winooski. Here, speakers came in to discuss mental health, gender, sexual violence and other things we would need to be aware of, given our unique situation. So it was a heavy two days of training. Then on Saturday, we made our way to camp to wrap up staff training and get ready for the campers, and on Sunday afternoon the youth arrived.

I was co-counselor with a fellow staff member in a gender-liberated cabin, which meant that there were youth in the cabin who were both female- and male-identified, as well as genderqueer. Our cabin rocked. A little shy at first, it turned into a very comfortable, cohesive group pretty quickly. They were great, and two campers told my co-counselor and I that they wished we were their older brothers.

Every day, we woke up at 7.00 (if you did polar bear, a before-breakfast activity) or 7.30. Throughout the day, the youth attended self-elected program blocks such as canoeing, archery, and other sports, as well as arts, drama, and other special workshops like drag and project runway. It was like any common summer camp in a lot of ways, but, obviously, catered more towards the queer community. Then for mealtimes, we had awesome food cooked by a wonderful volunteer who knew what they were doing. Like, they went to culinary school, we weren't eating camp food.

Another cool thing we did at camp was a daily workshop called Unity. Each day it was different, but it involved speakers and participation on topics such as body image, identity, and self-care. They were really powerful and hit pretty close to home for a lot of the youth and staff. But the messages were very positive, and I think a lot of people, including myself, benefited from these workshops. Also, all of the topics involved issues relevant to the queer community, but not exclusively.

CO2.0 was a unique experience and I'm so fortunate to have been able to participate. This is cliche, but I'm convinced I learned more from the kids and their stories than I could have possibly taught them. Not only was I exposed to new ideas and understandings of gender identity and the Queer Community in general, there was also just such a positive, genuine atmosphere of caring and understanding that felt like it existed exclusively in the present, probably not the same as it was last year and different than it will be next year. This week was the epitome of once-in-a-lifetime.

So, this doesn't even scratch the surface of what this week was like; I've just accepted that it's impossible to wrap up all in one post. But for more information, check out Outright or the YWCA, and you can like them on facebook too!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Camp Training and Back to School.

For the past two days I've been staying in Winooski (down the road from St. Mike's!) receiving training for my position as a cabin counselor at Camp Outright this coming week. So far I've learned a lot! We've had speakers from UVM and Hope Works present about issues that we might encounter at camp, and the whole experience this at has been very positive.

Today we move in to camp to set up and get ready for the campers. I'll be leading sailing and assisting in other activities, and I'm pretty excited to go camp since I haven't gone in a few years ;) and it will be cool to be a counselor this time around!

Then after camp, I have two nights to pass at a friend's house before I move back to St. Mike's for the fall semester! Which begins with the best week of everyone's freshman year, orientation ;)

So see you in a week! And thanks for reading. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to Burlington.

First off, I have a confession. This summer my blog has suffered due to a disease called Lazystudentitis, which is oft contracted by many a college student in the summer. The symptoms include a disregard for punctuality, oversleeping, watching too much TV and, in some cases, forgetting to blog. Luckily, with a little organization and planning, I'm back on my feet and it looks my blogging should be back to normal! Hopefully now I've improved my immunity and we'll no longer have to worry about that.

It seems like this summer has passed much more quickly than it came. In just two weeks I'll be moving back onto campus (Pontigny woot!) for orientation, but I actually have to be up to Burlington much earlier than that, aka on Wednesday, to be a camp counselor at Camp Outright.

What is Camp Outright, many of you will ask? Well I'm glad you did! Camp Outright is a week-long camp for LGBT and Allied youth, through an organization called Outright VT. Their mission statement: " build safe, healthy, and supportive environments for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth." So, starting this Thursday I have training, followed by a week of camp, where I'll be doing lots of camp-counselor-things, among them sailing and ultimate Frisbee. I haven't been to camp since I was like, fourteen, so I'm stoked, especially since it's through such a cool organization like Outright. I believe this is their second summer doing the camp.

 After camp ends (sad), I move back to SMC, then I'll have freshman orientation, and finally, but strangely, classes start again!

So it's a bittersweet time! Lots of awesome stuff going on, mixed with the lameness of no more home-cooked food, as well as having to pack. But I'm a winter guy anyway, I think summer takes too long ;)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New York, New York!

TKTS stands in Times Square.
This past weekend was an enjoyable one, ladies and gentlemen. I had been looking forward to my solo-trip to New York for weeks, and finally, last Friday after a half day of work I packed up, jumped on a bus and took off to the city to be a part of it (see what I did there?). New York is a hectic place as most people know, and people who've been for any amount of time can attest to that. This city doesn't sleep because it probably couldn't if it tried. My sister once got an ice cream in Times Square with my dad at 11.45pm on a Sunday night in November. In very few places in the world are you able to do that. But in spite of (or maybe because of) this craziness, New York has had a special place in my heart since I first made a trip down in seventh grade, and every time since then (which is many). For a while I swore I would go to school in New York... if only there were skiing in Manhattan ;)
Front of International Student Center, hostel.

Anyway, my weekend began on a Megabus from Syracuse around 1.30pm Friday, which made it to the city (two hours late) around 7.30pm. Originally, I had planned to run to my hostel, check in and make it to a broadway show, but now I didn't have time. So rather than rush, I meandered uptown, people-watching and searching for good eats on the way. And let me tell you, if you like food and people-watching, go to New York.

Eventually I made it to my hostel on W. 88th St. near Central Park (prime real estate) around 9.30, ate some Lo Mein and turned in around 11pm. (Side note, the Chinese place I got food from that night had an A rating from the city for it's health and sanitation inspection, and the McDonald's with the marquis on W. 42nd St. had a B. Just sayin'.)

Saturday morning, I woke up and went for a run in Central Park, grabbed breakfast on 87th and Columbus, watched people from a bench in the park for a while, and then made my way over to the Museum of Natural History for the day. It was around this time that I realized it's not as weird as one might think to be alone in a place like New York. It's really easy to spend a couple days there on your own, maybe because you're surrounded by 20 million people at any given moment, anyway.
Line at Museum of Natural History.

Anyway, like I said, I spent the day at the museum (some really cool exhibits about bio luminescence and flying dinosaurs I recommend if you're down that way, and twelve years old like myself), and then around four in the afternoon, I made my way downtown to buy tickets for a show and some food for dinner; which ended up being Potted Potter and Pizza from John's on 44th, respectively (and both these things I HIGHLY recommend as well, no matter the age of your internal child).

Sunday morning I ran in the park again, but had less of a plan for the day so, afterwards, spent a lot of time walking around. Until, around noon, I stumbled on an exhibit on South Street Seaport (which, by the way, is so strangely unlike the rest of the city) called Bodies. This was a pretty exceptional experience because, not only were human bodies the topic of the exhibit, but also the content.


All the displays were human cadavers. Creepy, yes. Educational, also yes. For example, I got to hold a preserved brain, which was overwhelmingly weird/cool/weird/weird. But I did my best to treat the exhibit with a high level of respect.

After experiencing this most informative/uncomfortable exhibit, I met with friend and fellow SMC student, Morgan, for lunch in Manhattan, before going back to her house on Long Island. There, we hung out, saw a movie, and crashed for the night. Then in the morning I woke up, had a delicious Long Island bagel, and started the journey back home.

It was a whirlwind trip, and totally worth it. I love spending time in the city because there's so much to do, and if you can do it all cheap it feels like an accomplishment!

Thanks for reading!

Mid-town skyline. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Short Update: New Hampshire and Rhode Island

Earlier this month I got to take a week off of work for a trip with my brother and dad. It was kind of a tour; we left home on Sunday for New Hampshire, hiked the White Mountains (including Mt. Washington) for three days, went down to Rhode Island, visited family (and SMC friends!) there for two nights, and then came back on Saturday.

I had been looking forward to this trip for a while. I love hiking, I find it's a nice way to chill out and find balance if you're really stressed; plus my brother and I fly up the trails. Here's a picture of us at the summit of Mt. Washington!

After a couple days in the mountains we made it back to society, and eventually down to R.I., where we sailed in this bad boy:

12m America's Cup Sailboat

My brotha'.

The padre.
After this and some visits, it was time to head home, but it was great to see all my extended family as well as Kristen and Carlos (shoutout!)! Summer flies, man!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Boilermaker

Crowd by the stage at the brewery, after party.
Every year, on the second weekend in July, Utica NY hosts the internationally-known and extremely popular Boilermaker road race. There is a walk, a 5k and a 15k, and this year it attracted 16,000 runners to the 15k, making it one of the largest road races in the country. Two of those runners were my dad and sister, who are pictured below.

For Utica, Boilermaker weekend is something to look forward to. Obviously, because of its popularity, it brings in a lot of money, which is easy to figure if you keep in mind that of those 16,000 runners, a significant number are not from central New York, or even the United States. Factor in the spectators and the open-to-the-public after-party hosted by the Saranac brewery, and we're talking a large influx of cash to the local economy.

My dad and sister after finishing the 15k.
Another reason why the Boilermaker is a huge deal is because it gives Utica a chance to show itself off; and for a small rustbelt city in Upstate NY, Utica has a lot going on. With the Refugee Center, my mom and I got to help 'show off' by volunteering at the International Mile, where volunteers hold national flags to represent the diverse population of the city (which has been recognized by the UN as "the town that loves refugees", and which hosts an annual film festival on the topic of refugee issues called Unspoken). I had Germany, my mom Belarus. This part of the event is important because the refugee and international population has become a source of pride for Utica, one reason for this being that the sheer number of relocated refugees has replaced the formerly dwindling population (there was a popular bumper sticker in the 1990's that said, "Last one out of Utica, please turn off the lights"). So many people were leaving the area for lack of opportunity, that when a hard-working international population began to revitalize the city, Utica willingly adapted and has flourished ever since.
So all in all, it was a good weekend, and it gave me the chance to learn more about the area, which is cool because I haven't lived here very long! Oh, and the family ran pretty well ;p

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Factory Life

Ladies and gentlemen, I was not planning on working in a factory (Revere Copper) this summer. When it came down to it, my initial reaction was... "ugh". And when I tell people that I work in a factory, their reaction is, "ugh".

Pouring copper, taken from the company website.
I'm kind of exaggerating.

But in general, having a summer job in a factory is, as far as I know, a pretty unique experience for the average college student (especially considering the serious lack of domestic manufacturing in North America). So this, coupled with the fact that I have tons of friends struggling to find any work, leads me to feel pretty fortunate.

That being said, it has its ups and downs. To get them out of the way, let's start with...

The Downs.

The work day starts at 7.30. So, every day, I have to wake up at 6.30 to eat and get ready to go. Haha, totally kidding. I scramble out of bed in a big ball of stress, caffeine, and no food, at around five-of-seven; after which, I hop in the car and barely make it there at 7.25 with coffee all over my hand and a strong desire to take a standing nap. No me gusta.

It's an eight-hour shift. This isn't really a down, but it's the first time I've had a job like this so I'm putting it in this category because it's something to get used to.

I get dirty, have to wear heavy jeans, work boots and obnoxious chem-lab-esqe safety glasses that alter my vision. All day. It's hot in the summer.

All in all though, there aren't many negatives. And I try not to complain!

Now for...

The Ups.

I GET PAIIID. Which is nice, considering my large gap in work history due to studying and exchange-studenting.

I get done early. So once I'm out of work at 3.30 I have the rest of the evening to read, relax, and do other summer things.

I'll probably never work in this environment again. I don't mean this in a "once I'm done, I'm outta here" way; but because I'm privileged enough to pursue studies in Anthro and Bio, I probably won't find myself in a working environment like this. I'm learning humility and patience, which I'm finding are really useful / important qualities to have.

Good people. I really like my coworkers, we have a good time.

Just to reiterate, I now have income.

Because I'll be spending most of my time for the rest of the summer in the factory, look out for more updates on that front. Also, watch out for updates about my internship at the refugee center!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Turn To Get "LinkedIn" ;)

I'm a fan of corny word play, what can I say? :p

For those of you who don't know, LinkedIn is a social media platform used in the professional world. On it, you can list your employers, skills, education and accomplishments, kind of like a resume, as well as interact with "connections", which are other people on LinkedIn.

This past Monday at my internship, I caught wind of some social media outreach going on at the refugee center. Due to a combination of my experience as a blogger with SMC, as well as the fact that my supervisor and I had been struggling to find me a legitimate project due to my time constraints, this immediately caught my attention. In October, the center hosts a film festival and conference called Unspoken, and the woman at MVRCR in charge of that offered to let me help with the LinkedIn discussion page associated with the event.

I got right on it--my account was established within a half hour, and now I'm spending time learning more about the event and LinkedIn in order to be as effective as I can while working on this project. It's definitely been stressful in some ways being so limited at my internship, but now that I have this opportunity I'm really excited about what I could do this summer.

Thanks for reading!