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 WWPV.org ;)

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!