Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cool Stuff on Campus (actually, online); Epic Knights.

So I just recently got an iPhone; and I went app crazy. Social media, music, games and all that fun stuff. One of these games, though, is out if the ordinary. It's called Epic Knights, and it's SMC's very own video game! Check out some screen shots:

Woot! Epic knights!

High scores.

Action shots.

Basically, the story of the game is that you're Mike the Knight and you have to battle these guys to move on to the next level. Simple, and very addictive; needless to say I'm not getting much done for the next few days.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Academic Confusion

I have never been the type to “know what I wanna do when I grow up”; which I think is not a bad thing (besides, the kids who say that end up changing their minds anyway). Because something I’ve learned in college is that what you think you know today, may be slightly different than what you thought you knew a week ago, and very different than what you thought you knew a year ago. Thoughts change, and preferences change.

My point is that generally speaking, academic confusion (as I like to call it) is inherent in the college experience. For example, in about a week I’m declaring a Biology Major, and here’s the plan I had last semester (I’m still planning on doing an Anthro Major, but I have to wait until sophomore year to declare). This isn’t as extreme a switch as it seems; I’ve been stewing over different majors for a long time. But recently I've considered the possibility of pursuing studies or a career in Archaeology or Forensic Anthropology, and this combination keeps my options more open. Besides, I miss hard sciences, and I like to learn languages on my own as a hobby rather than as a course of study in a classroom (check out this post on the awesome language learning resources offered by SMC if you dig languages too!). But who knows; maybe next week I'll be a History major (just kidding... I think).

Anyway, that's one of the beauties of going to a small liberal arts school. Any time I've had questions for professors, even ones that didn't know me, they've been very helpful. Also, since I've taken a ton of LSR's and a few Anthro classes already, this last-minute Bio major is still very possible to complete in the next three years (although it's going to be a tight fit and a lot of work).

I think that a great lesson from this is that you should major in what you want. So many people choose majors because they think it will help them get a job, and granted I talk about my future plans pretty often. But that's because those are the things I'm interested in doing. Because when it comes down to it, you're the one being educated, and you're the one with the future; so why not pursue something that you actually like? My philosophy is that if you work hard and like what you're doing, you're probably more likely to find a job that you're qualified for and that fits you.

But let's hope I'm right; otherwise Colchester, VT is gonna have an Anthro/Bio-loving hobo lurking the streets in three years.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ambassador Barrie Walkley

Today, the newly-appointed ambassador to the Great Lakes region of Africa came to SMC to make remarks regarding the current situation in that area. His past experience is impressive; he began his career as a diplomat serving in the Peace Corps for two years in Somalia, is multilingual and has previously served as a foreign diplomat in Guinea, Sao Tome, Gabon and Principe.

As one might expect at such an event, his remarks were well informed but vague; as a politician would be. For me the lecture was purely educational since the situation in Congo is something that I unfortunately don't know a lot about. But following his remarks the Ambassador took questions from a student panel as well as the audience, and needless to say there was debate. The student panel was in a position such that they had to pose their questions in an indirect and formal manner, but the audience had more freedom to be impassioned and direct in their inquisitions, and they did not hesitate to exercise this freedom. From an Anthropological standpoint, it was fascinating, and now I find myself more informed on the issue.

But in a situation like this, being informed can be overwhelming. It seems that there is so much going on and it's hard to fit yourself into the equation. At events like this, I often find myself leaving somewhat let down because for this reason. It's so easy to care and much harder to figure out exactly what you can do to make a change.

This is both a blessing and a curse of going to college, I've accepted. But it is a blessing; it shows that there are so many people who care about so many things; enough to bring Ambassadors to campus in order to raise awareness of their respective causes, and hopefully bring about change. So applause to the Dear Hillary campaign for bringing the Ambassador to campus tonight! You can learn more about the campaign here.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Counting in Arabic

I enjoy languages, and I've mentioned on here before that I speak a few and I dabble in many. Well, one of my recent endeavors has been Arabic, and although it's one of the more challenging languages I've tried, it's a lot of fun! Also, I could potentially use it this summer at my internship, so now I'm going to try and get as much under my belt as possible.

Today, I was working on learning to count from one to ten and decided to hit up Youtube, where there are tons of videos to help you with things like this. But none of them were really helping this stick with me. Until I found this one, with the girl counting on her fingers. And it gave me the idea...

to write the pronunciation of each number on my fingers!

It helped a lot, so I thought it would be a fun idea to share!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Visiting My Internship

It's spring break, and this past week, a midst my chillin out, maxin, relaxin all cool and shootin some b-ball outside of the school (caught some Fresh Prince re-runs), I also got to make a visit to my upcoming summer internship (for which I am totally stoked).

The organization is called Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR), located in Utica, New York. It's up to me to decide for the most part what I want to do with my time there this summer, which is both a curse and a blessing because as an organization, they offer a lot; everything from setting up refugees in their new apartment upon arrival in Utica, to ESL classes and job finding assistance. This is really exciting, because it gives me an opportunity as an Anthro major to interact with and learn a lot from people all over the world, as well as learn about how refugees and organizations like MVRCR interact with the federal government, with the community in which they exist, and how resettlement as a whole affects refugees and their cultural retention.

I went to visit this past Tuesday to meet with the Intern and Volunteer Coordinator, where we talked for a while, she told me everything that the center offered, and we took a small tour of the building. I learned that they put on an international film festival in the fall, and at the Boilermaker run (a 15k in Utica) in the summer they have the "international mile", where different cultures represent themselves for a mile-long stretch along the course. Also, as an intern, I would have the opportunity to start a "club" at the center, where I would be able to do an 8-week class on a topic of my choice (i.e photography, painting, music, etc.). The idea behind this is to have things at the center for refugees to do for fun, because the initial adjustments of resettlement can be isolating and very challenging.

I'm really excited to start this summer, and I'll be sure to keep this blog updated about my experiences working here this summer!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The End of Winter 2012

Unfortunately, it appears as if this winter has come to an end (although it was kind of a weak one this year anyway). Upon returning to central New York and my home mountain Labrador, I discovered this past weekend was the last of the ski season in this region; which unfortunately means that Vermont isn't too far behind (although they do tend to have bigger mountains and a tad more snow). Thus, I will find it harder to occupy my time, which I've already noticed being home the last few days.

I've always known that two things make me exceptionally lazy: being home on break and the springtime. Combine them, and you've got something awful. Spring is my least favorite season because I always feel so unmotivated and down, and being home on break is a time to unwind and be un-productive. So the past few days have been a lot of sleeping from midnight to noon and watching movies at night. It's the best kind of time after mid-terms week.

It's also good because having a lot of down-time helps me think about things I can do to better utilize my time at school. Spring semester seems to be a drag for everyone, and I'm no exception; this semester has definitely been rougher for me than the first, but I guess it's all a part of the "college experience". Also, being constantly stressed helps you find ways to blow off steam (skiing was one of them that I'll be losing, unfortunately).

So, yes, the winter season is coming to a close. Which is a bummer for a few reasons, one of which being the fact that I can't do any of the post-season slaloms I was going to. But soon it will be P-Day, and then finals, followed by the summer before I return for orientation weekend, this time as an O-Leader.

Time flies by like crazy.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Adventure to the Ben and Jerry's Offices.

As I've mentioned here before, I'm involved in the sustainability club on campus called Green Up.

(Here are some Green Up-related posts I've done).

Harvest Fest
Pictures from D.C
Protesting in D.C

So this April, Green Up will be having it's annual Earth Week, which is a week of events with speakers, an Earth Festival and other activities to raise and maintain awareness of environmental issues and concerns on campus. Right now, we're in the middle of a Bottle-Free SMC campaign to remove the sale of disposable bottled water on campus, which was just approved by the Student Association. Then it just has to pass through the administration, and we'll be bottle-free!

Another cool part of Earth Week is that every year Ben and Jerry's donates empty pints which are used for potting plants during Earth Fest. So in preparation for this, I went to the Ben and Jerry's offices with a fellow Green-Upper and a friend to pick up the pints. In a few words; these offices are the coolest ever.

Old ice cream-makers and a "Cleaner Greener Freezer" filled with ice cream.

Yup. That thing on the left is a slide.

Needless to say it was a cool adventure, and the lady at the front desk said we could take an ice cream sample (so cool!).

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekend with My Dad

This past Saturday and Sunday, my dad brought me to some USSA races at Pico, VT and Sugarbush, VT. I had been to Pico before for a slalom about a month earlier, and was pretty confident I could pull off two good runs; but alas, I had to hike so my slalom points remain less than awesome. It was still a fun day though; I love skiing Pico! Sunday was supposed to be a giant slalom at Sugarbush, but it was cancelled due to-wait for it-too much snow. We couldn't clear enough off the trail and it was a safety hazard... kind of a bummer. But we got some decent skiing in CAUSE THERE WAS TONS OF FREAKING SNOW.

(Actually not that much, but it's been a bit of a dry winter for us.)

So unfortunately, as far as my race points go, this weekend didn't amount to much. But on the plus side, I got some great skiing/quality time with my dad, and now there will be some great spring skiing from all the snow we got.

As far as my race schedule goes, the season is basically over; but there are a few more post-season races I'm gonna get to. The 24th of March there's a double slalom at Gore, NY, and the 25th there's a double GS at Whiteface, NY; both of which I'll go to with my dad. Two weeks later (7th April), there's a slush slalom at Stowe that I'll probably hit up because it's so close.

So there you have it! Here are some pictures from my weekend con mi padre!


Thanks for reading!