Sunday, November 30, 2014


Just got back from Thanksgiving break, which means I'm up to my ears in stuffing and buckling down to face the home stretch of the semester. Two weeks until my second-to-last finals week, which is bittersweet in all the right ways.

Me and little bro.
After spending the weekend in Portland, ME with a good friend from school, I made my way back to the central part of New York State to touch base with family, relax, and watch lots of movies. Not only was it a restful week off, I also got to see a Syracuse basketball game and get out skiing for the first time this season at Gore Mtn.

For tonight and the rest of the week I've got thesis work and a large project to complete, but more likely than not I'll be able to get out to Smuggs this Saturday for some early December turns. If the weather's nice, pictures will follow!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Best Place You've Never Heard of at Saint Mike's: Center for Women and Gender

Center for Women and Gender in a bit of snow.
When you visit Saint Mike's, tours will frequently bring you by the academic quad, first-year quad, library, Tarrant/Ross athletic center, Alliot and Dion. Each of these are central to the SMC experience in their own way, but unfortunately you can't fit all the coolest places onto one tour.

The Center for Women and Gender, located right across the parking lot from Tarrant/Ross, is by far one of the coolest places on campus. Not only does the CWG host progressive speakers, events and student organizations, but the building itself is really cozy and has a full kitchen. Plus it feels homey, which can be a nice escape when classes get stressful.

Living room.
I first started visiting the CWG when I began attending Common Ground meetings my first year. Although now they meet in the Multicultural Student Affairs office, I've always appreciated venturing over for a variety of reasons: such as the pancake breakfast they do each semester, pre-trip India meetings, a workshop by Robyn Ochs on self-care for activists, and Common Ground coffee hours. At the moment, I'm sitting on a couch in the CWG living room for the hour before my 12.15 class.

Not only has the CWG been extremely functional in my experience, I've also learned quite a bit outside of class from events/groups/conversations related to things I've done, seen, or heard via the CWG. My understanding of gender, race, and class politics have hugely impacted the way I think about these systems of oppression in the context of politics and the economy. I wouldn't have learned all that I have without this place!

If you're a prospective student I highly recommend getting in contact with Julia ( so you can drop in and visit. And current students, if you've never been over this way it's well worth a visit!

Thanks to the CWG and the people who run it for all that they've given this campus. It's truly the coolest place you've (now) heard of at SMC!

Below: more photos!

One Billion Rising bulletin--a global campaign to end
violence against women.

Kitchen and front door.

I call this room the 'study'.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Why Autumn is a Wonderful Season at Saint Mike's

Campus on a late weekday morning.
I've grown up in the northeastern climate (born and raised in Syracuse, New York), so for a long time cold temperatures and changing seasons have been a given for me. To be honest, my plan is to pursue post-grad life in a climate much warmer than it is up here, but Fall still claims a special place in my heart (impossible to tell if this is a result of Stockholm syndrome or an actual affinity for the season). Not only are the changing colors beautiful (and very missed by graduates I know in places where Autumn doesn't exist), but as we get closer to winter there are different ways to have fun that just make more sense in the Fall.

Foster the People plays at Ross Sports Ctr., 10/23.
Pretty Founders.
  1. Shows are inside. Which is a great excuse to get to more shows. In the warmer months it feels less justified to stand around inside Higher Ground (or other indoor concert venues, cause usually there's something outside), but when it's chilly outside I have no qualms dancing around a loud and crowded ballroom to whatever band is playing that night. This probably feels like a cop-out reason why Fall is rad up here (cause I always talk about shows), and that doesn't bother me one bit. Because, once again, you don't even have to leave campus! On North (in Purtill Hall), there are frequently small band shows in the basement concert venue that we call Turtle Underground. Another reason to go to Turtle is that they frequently have complimentary food (e.g. wings, pizza), which is a great option for warming up away from the wind.
  2. This picture of Founders Hall is beautiful, because blue skies are always prettier in the fall. With the red and orange foliage that appears everywhere in VT around this time (I've met a lot of people who refer to this as the trees 'on fire', which is a term I never heard before SMC), the blue contrast of the sky on a clear day becomes more excellent than any other time. Also there are quite a few buildings on campus that are covered in ivy (check out Jeanmarie in ANY season), so all of them look 'on fire' around this time, as they say.
  3. You can still get a hike or two in before the wet weather. Hiking in the fall is nice because you can layer up and maintain an ideal body temperature throughout. Whereas hiking in the summer will probably leave you ultra sweaty and uncomfortable, hiking in the fall is all the fun/workout sans much of the sweaty back and armpits. But you gotta hurry, because sometimes there's not a huge interval between dry October days and their wetter, darker November counterparts.
  4. Obviously, skiing is right around the corner. And this season I plan to shred some backcountry with amigos in the Wilderness Program, as well as frequenting Smuggler's Notch and Mad River Glen where I have season passes. If you're not a winter person have no fear, take the CCTA bus into Winooski or Burlington for restaurants, coffee, shopping, movies, and performances of a wide variety. At Saint Mike's you're never far from a good time.
Thanks for reading!