Sunday, November 30, 2008


In my last post I promised that I would elaborate on my thesis. All English majors are required to write a 25 page capstone paper - a paper representing your best work. Junior year all English majors go to the English hallway at 7am on one particular day to sign up for a "Senior Seminar." There are four choices, two first semester, and two second semester. Each are once a week for three hours and are focused on a particular topic. I chose "Endings," which seemed fitting because my First Year Seminar was called "Beginnings," plus it is taught by a professor who I know fairly well and enjoy very much.

Endings meets every Thursday from 2:30 to 5:30. For the first seven weeks of the semester, myself and the 13 other students reader a book each week. Books ranging from A Midsummer Night's Dream to The Awakening, from Beloved to Fight Club. Each week we wrote a short (3 page) response paper and discussed the text for the week. After we finished our final book, we got started on "the longer paper" as my professor (Prof. Marquess) chooses to call the dreaded "thesis." We took everything incrementally, beginning with a three page proposition, followed the next week by 6-7 pages, then 10-15, then 15-25, and then the final draft due on the final day of class. Each week we are assigned to read four or five of our classmates work and then write a short response to their paper. In class we discuss each person's draft and give each other lots of moral support. We also have to present our thesis via a 5 to 10 minute presentation to whomever chooses to come - usually it's English professors and other English majors. This will be next Monday and Tuesday; I'll let you know how it goes.

This process was daunting at the beginning, but it has turned out to be really fun and beneficial. I've gotten a lot of really constructive feedback on my own thesis (which is currently 27 pages - woohoo!), gotten to know my classmates and their work really well and just spend time each week synthesizing everything that I've learned in my English courses thus far. Writing a 25 page paper terrified me - as soon as I declared my English major freshman year it started to weigh on my mind. However, now that I have gone through the whole process, I am really proud of myself and all of my classmates. College has taught me not to be afraid of a challenge because I know that I can work really hard and accomplish what I put my mind to - even if it is a 25 page paper comparing The Little Mermaid and Fight Club (yes, that's really my topic!). I'll let you know how it all turns out...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Three generations of my family: my grandpa in the center, my mom and her siblings on the right and me, my sister and my cousins on Thanksgiving!

I am wrapping up my week at home for Thanksgiving Day break - it's been a great break! SMC held classes on Monday and Tuesday of last week, but I only had one class each day and both of the professors ended up canceling, so I came home last Friday. I really like Thanksgiving break; it is a great opportunity to spend some time relaxing at home before the last few weeks of the semester which tend to be busy for most of us. I am lucky to not have any exams, but I have to present my thesis on December 8th and then turn in my final copy on December 11th. I am a little anxious about both of these things, but I have been working hard on my paper - I think I'll write a blog soon about the whole's definitely been fun!

In terms of wrapping up other things at the end of the semester, I have already turned in my final paper for my internship (I have been working with a faculty advisor who assigned a final reflection paper to culminate my experience) and have only two more times with my friends at Make-A-Wish...this internship has been such a great experience and I am really glad that I was able to do it! My research class will have an in class exam on the last day of class and then a take home portion due during exam week, and my calligraphy class is winding down as well - we are currently working independently on projects of our choice. The Jazz I classes that I am working with are going great - the students will learn their final dance on Tuesday/Thursday of this coming week, and then perform it in front of the teacher and myself on the last day of class. Everyone passes as long as they get through 85% of the material; I have lots of confidence in all of the dancers - they have been so much fun this semester! My own dance class will wrap up with a few weeks of intense dancing, a self evaluation and fun final class.

It's hard to believe that we are so close to the end of this semester - when we go back on Monday we have two weeks of classes, one week of exams and then three weeks off for winter break! I have an exciting break planned with holiday festivities, a possible trip to NYC with my mom, sister, my mom's best friend Linda and her daughter Brittany (a sophomore at UNH) to sightsee and see a show or two and a trip down to MA with my aunt to visit her company and learn more about what I might be interested in doing after graduation in May. Should be fun!

I'm off to ring the bell for the Salvation Army with my aunt for an hour - this is a yearly tradition that my family has had for many years - giving up one hour to a worthy cause is the least that I can do!

I hope that you and your family had an enjoyable Thanksgiving, best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season!
Now playing: Taylor Swift - Stay Beautiful
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Early T-Day!!

Last night was Thanksgiving Dinner in our dining hall - I have been looking forward to it for the ENTIRE semester! My roommates and I replaced our family dinner this week with a trip to Alliot (our dining hall) for the special occasion! We had a full turkey day feast of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, delicious homemade bread, amazing desserts and other options too - we had SO much fun and stayed until Alliot closed down at 8PM!

Thanksgiving dinner in Alliot is something that I have looked forward to every year for all four years - practically everyone (including seniors who don't spend a ton of time in Alliot) comes to the dining hall to enjoy the special dinner - I am sad to say that it was my last SMC Thanksgiving dinner, but it was definitely the best one yet!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Go Celtics!

On Friday my roommate Kendra and I left on a roadtrip to Boston to meet up with her family and see a Celtics game - neither of us had ever been to a game and we were also planning on spending the night in Boston and doing something on Saturday morning before we headed back to school.

We met up with her family in White River Junction, VT and then caravaned the rest of the way, using walkie talkies to stay together and point out funny things along the way. I was driving-I had never driven into a city before, but we headed right into the middle of Boston to find our hotel! We checked in and all piled into Kendra's family's car (me, Kendra, her parents, her brother Alden and his friend Nick) to go to Quincy Market for dinner and then to the game. Kendra and I got delicious chowder for dinner and then we headed to the game - it was SO much fun! Even though the Celtics lost, we still had a great time!

The view from our seats!

Jason Varitek (in the white shirt) was sitting across the court from us!!

Saturday ended up being a rainy day, so we just went to the Target next to our hotel, filled up our tank with gas (a little cheaper than in VT!) and headed home. We stopped several times on the way home (at another Target, clearly!) and made it back to school around 5:30. It was a great weekend! If you have a chance to see a Celtics game, I highly recommend it - great entertainment and really exciting!
Now playing: Paul Simon - I Know What I Know
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dominican Republic Update!

I am going on a service trip through MOVE to the Dominican Republic over Spring Break (March 14-21) and I just got home from a meeting with my group! I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to travel down to the Caribbean, do a week of amazing service, practice my Spanish and get to know a group of new people. Heidi and Jason from the MOVE office are going to be the adult leaders and myself, Sarah, Jess, Kate, Siobhan, Eric and Bill will be able to spend a week doing great service projects, enjoying the warm Dominican Republic weather and so much more!

We are meeting this semester to do some preliminary planning and fund raising (we each have to pay our own way and we hope to raise as much money as possible to leave for the people that we work with). Right now we are working on a basket raffle to be held at the annual MOVE International Market - we are all getting donations of items (for example, I'm doing a St. Mike's basket and hope to have a variety of SMC goods to raffle off - I'll keep you posted) and then creating themed baskets to raise money. We are also going to go to Spanish Mass together on Monday (one of the Edmundite priests who worked in Latin American and says mass in Spanish a few times a semester) and have a dinner party early in December.

Getting involved with MOVE trips has been one of the best experiences that I've had here at St. Mike's. The people are wonderful, the service is fulfilling and it is just an all around great time!
Now playing: Brett Dennen - Blessed
via FoxyTunes

Friday, November 7, 2008

Internship Update

This semester I am doing an internship at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont for academic credit. I am really enjoying this internship and am really glad that I decided to do it.

I go to the office every Friday; I work on projects with all of the staff members, but most especially, Kim, the Director of Development and Louis, the Director of Program Services. They are both great people and have lots of good projects for me to work on. I have been working especially hard lately on grant writing. Being an English major, I really love to use my writing skills in ways other than writing academic papers. Kim has given me a lot of freedom in this process, so I spend a lot of my time researching grants to apply for and writing letters of interest, applications and other methods of presenting a lot of the same information to various charitable foundations. So far I have asked for almost $20,000 in grants! Even thought I am not counting on receiving any of these, it is awesome to imagine how great it would be for the foundation if we were to receive them!

Doing an internship is something that I've always been interested in, and this internship isn't letting me down. It is great to make connections with professionals in the local community; plus, Kim and Louis are a wealth of great information and advice. They are always looking out for me and giving me pointers, whether it is on my internship with Make-A-Wish, my internship search for next semester or my future...they have been great influences for me this year!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


So as you all know, we have a new President-Elect of the United States. While I don't think this blog is the appropriate place to express my own personal political views, I did want to share the overall excitement of the SMC campus about the election. Like most young people, the majority of students seemed to support Obama, but more importantly, they seemed to support the election in general. Everyone was proudly sporting the fantastic "I voted" stickers and really encouraging others to get to the polls and vote. Our Student Association sponsored a shuttle every 30 minutes down the the polling place where SMC students who are registered in Colchester could vote, which was awesome. I am registered in my hometown of Essex Junction so I drove over to the polling place (my old high school) with my sister and voted around 5.

Voting in my first presidential election was really exciting - I didn't want to vote early or via absentee ballot because I wanted the whole experience...I wanted to walk into the polls and do my civic duty ON election day! I had the results on for most of the evening as I was doing homework, but ended up going to bed before the results were officially announced - but was woken up by lots of yelling and cheering outside my window at exactly 11 when Obama was announced as the projected winner. It was an exciting time on our campus and I was really proud to see how much SMC students cared about getting their voice heard. Awesome job!
Now playing: Kanye West - Love Lockdown
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Open House

On Saturday I gave my first "special" tour of the semester - a Saturday tour to a group of prospective students here for one of our many Fall Open Houses. This Saturday 's information session and tour was open to everyone, but included an optional information session about our Business major and Internship program, so we had a lot of potential business majors in the group! I was asked to speak about my internship at the information session, and I did so gladly-I am really enjoying working at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It was great to be able to connect with prospective students and answer all of their questions, so if you are considering applying to SMC, come up to visit during one of our open houses this fall (or at another time!), we'd love to see you!

In other news, I did my final class registration on Friday (Halloween!!). Everything went smoothly and I was finished exactly 2 minutes after registration opened...perks of being a senior I guess! I am going to take my final English course, Fiction Writing, do another internship (more on this once it is finalized), and take Feature Writing: Magazines, Advanced Dance and Instrumental Music for Non-Majors, which is basically an African drumming class. I couldn't be more excited for these classes, but I am certainly not wishing away the remainder of this semester!

As always, I welcome questions and comments - leave them here or e-mail I will post again soon with more info about my internship at Make-A-Wish, my English thesis and this week's family dinner - it's my turn to cook!!!