Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm baaaaaack!!

Welcome to my new blog! Technically it's not new at all and all of my old posts are just below this, but I've done a bit of a redesign because I am now an official ALUMNI blogger! I kind of hope that I might have some blog followers besides my own family members, so I am going to keep writing to update you all on what I'm up to as a recent graduate of SMC. If you are just joining me, welcome!

Life post-graduation has been great so far - I moved home just a few hours after graduating and unpacked only to pack up again and head down to Florida with my best friend from high school, Kristin. We decided to give ourselves a graduation present (she graduated from James Madison University a few days before me) and threw the trip together pretty last minute. Kristin's cousin has a house down in Sarasota, FL, which is where we spent the week. We spent a lot of time at the Siesta Key beach, read a lot (I read one entire book and am almost finished with my second - "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult...I highly recommend it!), relaxed by the pool, went to a local Memorial Day Parade and then traveled back to Orlando and went to Disneyworld. It was my first time at Disney, and despite the unbelievable crowds, almost unbearable heat and late afternoon downpours, we had a lot of fun! We traveled back home on Wednesday; it's good to be back in VT (I could never handle the heat/humidity/sun down in Florida...I'm a VT girl for sure!)

Here are a few photos of our trip...

Siesta Key Beach on our first night in Sarasota

How beautiful?

Despite going through two full bottles of SPF 85 sunscreen, I still got burned...and yes, it feels as bad as it looks...

Cinderella's Castle on Main Street, USA!

Me and Ariel, my favorite Disney character of all might remember that my senior English thesis was a comparison of two coming of age texts, Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and the fairy tale version of The Little Mermaid! Needless to say, this was the most exciting part of the whole day at Disney!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going..." --Sills

The past four years at SMC have been some of the best years of my life - I have made incredible friends, developed immensely in the classroom and grown, changed and matured almost immeasurably. SMC was far from a shortcut - I worked really hard, learned a lot and feel very prepared for the life which is ahead of me - and I know that my future is a place worth going.

Having a Bachelor of Arts degree in English is the supposedly the biggest result of the past four years, but I think that I've gotten so much more than just a piece of paper. The things that I appreciate most are the friendships, memories and skills that I have acquired at SMC. I learned Western Calligraphy, West African Drumming, fiction writing, ancient philosophy, meteorology, Spanish, critical thinking, effective communication skills and so much more. I studied in France, did service both domestically and internationally, lived with and learned from amazing roommates and friends and worked harder than I thought possible to complete all of the requirements for graduation. I've looked up to incredible role models, especially in the admissions office, MOVE office and English department, and I hope that I've set a positive example for those who will come after me. This has been a challenging, wonderful experience and although I feel completely ready to move on and start something new, I feel blessed by each and every experience, interaction and piece of knowledge.

I've loved writing this blog for the past two and a half years. It's reminded me how lucky I am to have all of the opportunities that I do, and I hope that it has been helpful to you, whoever you may be. I appreciate all of my loyal readers and I'm sad to say goodbye! However, I'm off to good places - as I wrote a few weeks back, I will be spending my summer on Lake Fairlee in Post Mills, VT as a camp counselor and will then be an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer at the Middlebury College Alliance for Civic Engagement Office for a year starting at the end of August. I'll also be taking some time to celebrate graduation down in Florida before I start my job at camp with my best friend from high school, Kristin - I'll be making my first trip to Disneyworld (better late than never, right?) and am looking forward to spending a week relaxing, enjoying the beautiful weather and spending time with a really good old friend.

If I can, I'll keep writing, and I hope you'll keep reading! Life is good, and I am headed to a place very much worth going. Thanks for reading.

Very Sincerely,

Congrats SMC Class of 2009!

I'm officially a college graduate! I can't believe that this chapter of my life is now closing - it truly feels like my parents were just dropping me off to begin my freshman year! I got a lot of great pictures from graduation day, so instead of giving you a written play-by-play, I'll show you in pictures!
Me and my parents at Baccalaureate, the day before graduation
Friends before graduation
I did it!
Me and Conor, one of the admissions counselors
Me with Jason and Erin, the staff members that I went to the DR with
Me with Professor Will Marquess, my favorite professor - I had him four times, plus he was my internship advisor!
The members of the DR group that found each other during the big reception after graduation - I'm going to miss these guys!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

No More Homework!

Things are winding down her at SMC - classes and exams are done, grades are in and underclassmen have left - all that stands between the class of '09 and graduation is senior week!

My semester finished up really well - I finally attained the coveted 4.0! I enjoyed all of my classes and worked really hard on all of my final projects. My favorite senior project was for my Magazines and Feature Writing class - I had to design my own magazine! I had been working on the articles all semester, but I actually designed the whole thing which was really challenging and very exciting! Here are some of the pages....

The cover of "fit" magazine - a magazine for college women about health, fitness and nutrition

My personal essay about vegetarianism

The first page spread of my feature article

After mocking up all of the pages that I needed to, I created a PowerPoint, which I presented to the class on Monday - I think that my magazine was really well received and I am happy with the final project!

When I was assigned this project, I was really overwhelmed - I had never used design software before and was basically clueless - however after calling my professor (at home, no less!) and chatting things over with her, sitting down with my friend Sarah (from my internship) and getting an excellent tutorial and spending several hours in the computer lab, I was really happy with the finished project. I was really challenged by this project, but also learned a lot - plus I got an A!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wedding Bells!

The happy couple - Mandi and Stew!

My roommate Mandi got married this past weekend! I met Mandi and her husband (still sounds weird to say that!) Stew freshman year when we both lived in Lyons. We then lived next door to each other in suites in Canterbury both sophomore and junior year and now we live together in the 200's townhouses. The ceremony was beautiful, the food was delicious and the dancing at the reception was tons of fun.

There is an incredible number (more than 50%!) of SMC alums who find their spouse while at Saint Mike's - just another reason that SMC is the best!

Gil, Kendra, Mandi, Stew, me (l-r)

Friday, May 1, 2009

I'm Going to Summer Camp!

So a few posts back I mysteriously mentioned a summer opportunity that I had been offered and promised more information later...well the time has come to tell you all about it because I an officially contracted employee!!

This summer (from June 6th - August 16th) I will be working at Lochearn Camp for Girls on Lake Fairlee in Post Mills, VT. I am going to be a Division Head, which means that I will supervise the counselors and campers in the Sub-Senior line (ages 11-12). The job will be a mix of teaching (Lochearn is a teaching camp - I might teach yoga, dance, writing or something to that effect), supervision, administration, management, communication with parents etc... I am definitely looking forward to this unique experience!

The reason that I chose Lochearn specifically was because of the values and mottos of the camp - it is very in line with my own morals and interests, so I hope that it will be a mutually productive summer. I am very excited!

Check out their website here!

Fine Arts Festival

Yesterday five dance class took their skills outside and performed in front of the SMC community at the "Fine Arts Festival" on the library lawn. This was my third and final festival, and my Advanced Dance class performed five pieces. We had worked really hard on these and despite the fact that we were dancing on grass and dirt instead of a dance floor, we did really well!

The other classes (Beginner Dance, Modern II, Jazz II and Creative Dance) all did a great job as well. The festival drew quite a crowd including my parents and grandparents as well as a few other members of the Advanced class' parents. Just another example of how SMC really values all kinds of talents, not just athletic or academic!

Most of the Advanced Dance class with our teacher, Liz (in the skirt on the left). I am third from left in a blue shirt!