Monday, April 29, 2013

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and P-Day 2013!

Hey y'all!

The crowd between the opener and
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on 4/25 at SMC.

It's about that time of the semester. Finals are looming, students are getting stressed, and the weather's getting nice. So what do the students of Saint Michael's do? Rock out to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and blow off some steam at P-Day.

Saint Mike's, like many colleges and universities, has a concert on campus in the spring semester, and this year we were lucky to have Macklemore come to play. Although we've had some big names in the past, this concert was BIG, and sold out not long after tickets opened up to the public.

Normally the concert is quite a bit earlier in the semester, but this year it was held on Thursday, April 25. It's also uncommon that we have the concert on a week-night, but the school allowed it because it was such a rare opportunity. Needless to say classes were a challenge on Friday morning, but we made it through, and it was worth the performance!

Then, this past Saturday we had P-Day; which, if not better than the spring concert, comes in at a close second for best day of the year on campus.

As I understand it, P-Day used to be called Preparation Day, which began as a day for students to take some time to relax and get ready for finals. Nowadays, P-Day is a day-long celebration, most of which takes place on the field adjacent to the 300's townhouses. First is the annual trike race, which is an informal relay between 4-person teams of students that takes place on the rotunda between Alliot and Joyce halls. For the race, students dress up in themed costumes and makeup, and participants are bombarded with candy, shaving cream, and flour as they race around the mini-track. This usually happens in the late morning, and is a cornerstone to the day's celebrations.

Lounging on the lawn.
But the biggest part of P-Day happens on the 300's field, like I mentioned earlier (pictured right). All afternoon, the huge Chew-Chew tent is set up full of local food vendors, along with a stage for music and large inflatables. From approximately 1-5pm, students and guests are invited to engorge themselves on delicious cuisine from the area, play merrily on large, bouncy slides and obstacle courses, and lie under the sun listening to bands that frequent the Turtle Underground, as their music plays across a warm Vermont spring field.

Later in the evening is usually some entertainment followed by a late-night breakfast in Alliot. This year, the entertainment was a sword-swallower, which I missed because of an extended afternoon nap. The breakfast, normally called the "midnight breakfast", ran from 9.30-11pm this year, and here one can find all the typical breakfast fixings to satisfy one's midnight P-Day cravings.

P-Day is a gem, my friends, and a much-needed day of celebration to break the tension between a stressful semester and one's quickly-approaching finals. So as I finish the rest of the semester, I'd just like to thank everyone from Saint Mike's and the local community who helped pull this day together. It means a lot to the students, and is a very appreciated feature of our spring semester.

That's it for now; time to return to the books for a little while longer before the beginning of my last week of sophomore year.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 22, 2013

NELGBT Conference

As the end of the semester usually is, this past week has been busy. So sorry for the oddly-staggered timing of my posts.

Last weekend (4/12-/14), a group of Saint Mike's students got to go to the annual NELGBT conference, which was hosted at RIT this year.

The trip was organized by Common Ground, the LGBTQIA group on campus, and twelve of us rode in two vans on Friday night, returning that Sunday. Funny enough, google maps actually brought our caravan through my hometown of Rome, NY, so we stopped and had dinner with my family on the way down. My parents said it was a nice (and unexpected :p) visit.

We got to the hotel late on Friday night, so the conference didn't really begin for us until Saturday. There were three workshop sessions throughout the day, and about 8-10 different workshops for each time period. There were some very compelling choices, and I ended up attending a documentary called Intersexion about people who are intersex, a trans*-ally workshop, and a seminar about the appropriation and use of marginalizing language by people who are marginalized. Some of the workshops were more discussion-based and others were more informational, and most of them had about 40 people in attendance.

The conference also had social aspects for the students, like informal lunchtime caucuses and a Saturday-night dance. In total, there were just under 600 people in attendance, which is a big conference from my perspective (especially since I go to a school of 2000). My favorite part of the weekend was definitely attending the workshops, since it was intellectually stimulating to engage with academics and older members of the LGBTQIA community about current issues in the community.

And speaking of the LGBTQIA community and its allies, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will be on campus THIS THURSDAY as SMC's annual spring concert! Seeing as the concert has long since sold out, I'd say I'm not the only one looking forward to it ;)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NELGBT Conference 2013.

This past weekend, I went to the NELGBT conference in Rochester, New York at RIT. I traveled with Common Ground, which is the LGBTQIA group at Saint Mike's.
The bulk of the conference was on Saturday. There were three different workshop sessions with seven or eight workshops at a time. I chose Intersexion: a documentary about intersex people, a trans* ally workshop, and a presentation on language use, word appropriation and oppressive language.

When I get some more time tomorrow I'll share stories and photos from the conference!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

College Housing: Ethan Allen Apartments Fall 2013.

Hey all!

Recently, SMC students got their housing assignments for the fall. Since Saint Mike's is four-year residential, housing is a pretty integral part of the experience here, so I figured I'd give a quick review of my housing experience here thus far.

Like I mentioned, Saint Mike's is a four-year residential college, which means that all students, with some exceptions, live on-campus. Freshman year, most people live in double rooms on the quad (Joyce, Ryan, and Lyons, plus Alumni, which is for upperclassmen), but there are also singles, and, very occasionally, triples and quads. I lived in Joyce my freshman year, and I have a lot of great memories (Joyce is also closest to Alliot ;p). But  since everyone's in the quad anyway, the first-year housing experience is at least structurally similar across the board.
This year, I'm living in Pontigny, which has suites like Cashman and Canterbury, and is common housing for sophomores and juniors. Most of the suites have eight single rooms (some have four), two bathrooms (one in four-person suites), a common room and a fridge, and there's one kitchen on each floor of the building. As a busy student, I've found that I haven't been able to spend much time in my suite, but I have groups of friends who've gotten suites together and created a really nice communal space. The suites are definitely a good option if you've got seven close friends and a sweet common area! And if not, everyone gets a single, so everyone has privacy.
Ethan Allen apartments on North Campus.
But I gotta say, I'm most excited for my housing assignment next year. In the fall, I'll be living with three other guys in an Ethan Allen apartment on North Campus (where there are also dorms for sophomores/juniors), which is common housing for juniors and seniors. The apartments have two double rooms, a bathroom, a full kitchen, a common room, and hardwood floors. I like that the apartments are on north campus, because at the end of the day it'll be like going home to my apartment. Also, I like that I'll have a kitchen to cook in, because although the suites have kitchens on each floor, they're hard to use if you're pressed for time. Also, fun fact: when my dad went to SMC in the eighties, he also lived in Joyce, as well as Ethan Allen (Pontigny wasn't around back then). How cool is that?!
So definitely psyched about the fall! I don't want to wish the summer away, but I almost can't wait to post pictures of the sweet new digs when it's all up and running in the fall ;)
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Home for Easter Weekend.

Hey y'all!

So much pita, so good.
So I just got back from an extended Easter weekend (thank you Catholic higher-ed) at home, which was a much-needed break at this point in the semester. While at home, I was able to fulfill my normal break-time duties (eating, sleeping, skiing), and was also able to make it to my hometown to visit friends while they were home for break. For those who don't know, my family and I actually live an hour east of where I grew up and completed high school, so I don't always see my friends when I do go home. So it was a treat, and not just because I got to nom on this huge pita in downtown Syracuse.

As I briefly mentioned, I also got to go skiing. Friday morning, my dad and I made the 1.75 hour trek up to Gore Mountain from home (Rome, NY), where we found beautiful spring skiing conditions. I was nervous I wouldn't be able to keep up since I've been out for the season, but I think my dad and I were both challenged by each others' abilities :p 

It's crazy that the semester is coming to a close so quickly! On my radar for these last few weeks before finals are: rolling (kayaking), top-rope facilitator (climbing) and Wilderness First Responder for the WP Instructor Training Program, some tour guide shadowing events with Founder's Society, the NELGBT conference with Common Ground, and hopefully one final hoo-rah on the ski slopes! (Oh, and figuring out what the heck I'll be doing this summer).

Until next time :p

Thanks for reading!

Oh, P.S! Just won this sweet alpine snowboard on eBay last night! Woohoo technology ;) Can't wait for next winter!!!