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Why am I standing like that...?
Email me anytime with questions, comments, or anything else! firstname.lastname@example.org
Why am I standing like that...?
Hey there. It's been a long time since we last spoke, blogfolk. A lot has been happening around here, which might explain why I haven't written much lately. I've been writing plenty of papers, newspaper articles, contributions to the Indicator (our campus opinion magazine)...and have been neglecting my writings on the internet world. To all you loyal readers out there (mom, dad), I apologize for the lackluster performance as of late. I'll make it up to you.
Let's start with this past weekend. It was a pretty exciting weekend. Honestly, maybe one of the best ever. It started on Friday with our annual Spring Concert. This year, we were treated to a Mike Posner performance. I like a few of his songs, and although guys-with-high-voices-who-sing-hip-hop usually don't make for the best concerts, I thought Mikey Poz did a good job. He got the crowd into it, was dancing pretty aggressively on stage, and seemed to have a sense for his audience (unlike a few artists who I remember from past years yelling things like, "WHAT UP MASSACHUSETTSSSSS" and other generic phrases inappropriate for a diverse student body that hails from about 45 different states and 25 (?) different countries). Posner's facial expressions were a bit too enthusiastic, and he of course ripped his shirt off at one point during the performance, but otherwise...I'd say he did a nice job.
Then, on Saturday, there was the annual "Tom Jones" party, a daytime outdoor social event featuring delicious steaks and lobsters, cooked by some of our classmates for unlimited consumption. It was a fantastic day, despite the frigid-for-this-time-of-year conditions. Tons of people were out there, having a good time, talking, having fun, and so forth. It was one of those awesome events where you see tons of people you know--and also a bunch of people you might not expect to see, which is always great.
Sunday was the start of the two-day admitted students weekend, or as we call it, "prefrosh weekend." A few observations:
1) it's always sooo easy to spot who's a prefrosh and who isn't. Besides that prefrosh walk around looking generally confused, it's just too obvious, going to Amherst, to tell who goes here--which is a great quality of a small school in my opinion. The fact that we all know each other pretty well (or at least have seen each other before) is a testament to our fine on-campus community at the 'herst.
2) the prefrosh had a fantastic time. We actually hosted four prefroshies in our suite in Pond, and they seemed to be loving every minute of their time. Each of our four prospective students told us that they're definitely planning on choosing Amherst (over, I might add, a number of high quality, comparable institutions) to be part of the illustrious class of 2015. Very cool.
3) The amount of a capella concerts that were happening this weekend had to set a US record for the highest ratio of songs sung to words spoken in history. There must have been about 6 hours of a capella singing from our many great groups on Sunday alone. As one of my prefrosh told me, "you know, I love the singing. These groups are really good. But this is the third time I've been at a different concert today." Perhaps the amount of capella-ing was excessive. Otherwise, though, I feel that Amherst does a great job of showing prefrosh what Amherst is like (for a day or two) while getting everyone excited about coming here. Plus, they facilitate a lot of interaction between the potentially-incoming class of '15, so that's always good.
What else is going on? Ya know, some classes, some papers, and lots of fun-havin'. Everything is awesome right now at College. I definitely feel that I'm making the most of my senior year, enjoying myself to the fullest and continuing what has been a well-rounded education--in every sense of the word "education."
Tonight, actually, three of my friends and I are doing something pretty cool: the "TYPO" program, which stands for "Take Your Professor Out." Basically, it's a program that allows 3 or more students in a class to take their professor out to dinner at one of the delicious in-town restaurants, paid for by the school! YEAH! Very exciting. We're planning on going to The Pub, which I've heard has good food. So yeah, my three friends in my "World War II in literature and film" class are taking Professor Rosbottom out to dinner. He's such a good lecturer, and a generally hilarious guy, so I can only imagine what dinner will be like. Plus, it's such a great thing about Amherst that we can get to know our professors on a personal basis. Here, it isn't simply about coursework and assignments--our professors truly want to get to know us as people, see how we're doing, and talk to us as their peers. Tough to get that at a larger school.
Well anyway... that's all I have for now. Hope everyone is doing great! Come visit Amherst while the school year is still going! It will stop raining soon....right, New England??
...is my current location. I'm sitting at one of the fine Bradley airport eateries, "Fresh City," which, contrary to its name, is definitely not a city, nor does it resemble anything remotely fresh. My friend Mike, who's traveling with me to Florida, just said that his burrito was "the worst burrito I've ever had," then went to McDonalds and ordered a burger. In Amherst we have a delicious--albeit similarly named--restaurant where a few of us got dinner last night called Fresh Side, home of the world's greatest teas and spicey, noodley, chickeny dishes. If you're ever in Amherst and looking for some good eats, Fresh Side (only a 5 minute walk from the center of campus!) is one of my finest recommendations.
So I'm sitting at Bradley on my computer, reminiscing a little bit on the first half of the spring semester. Every semester gets better. One of my favorite aspects to the Amherst experience, when I think about it, is the unique ability of our small school to make every student feel so comfortable away from home and away from their hometown. Even as freshmen or freshwomen, we Amherst students get to know the school, how things work; we get to know our professors both as teachers and as mentors (sometimes even as friends); we make friends quickly because everyone is always looking to meet new people; and we truly feel that we are "home" when at school. Often you'll overhear people say, "I'm going home," when they really mean to say, "I'm heading back to my dorm." But it's true--Amherst is our four year home. And each semester, each day, we feel more and more comfortable in this place. So I guess what I'm saying is, I'm at the peak of comfort, being a senior, enjoying every day at school, and having a generally fantastic time.
My roommates and I hung around at school this weekend, even though most people left Friday afternoon for break. I normally leave for breaks with everyone else, but it was good to have some time to ourselves for the weekend, then head out on Monday. Schoolwork can get a little hectic, so we had a good few days to just, ya know, chill.
It's always kind of weird for me to leave school, but I'm excited to head home, see my family and some friends that have the same break as me, and enjoy the comforts of a well-stocked fridge. It'll be good to relax, get some sun, and get ready for an awesome last 8 weeks of Amherst. If anything exciting happens, I'll be sure to report the news.
bye bye for now.
Hello friends, relatives, and random internet-folk,
Time for a mid-semester report from everyone's top-5 favorite Amherst admissions blogger. Things are, as usual, going great at school. As I may have mentioned previously on da blog, it's pretty scary that this is my last semester at Amherst, but I do feel that I've been making the most of it. And it's very easy to, as they say, "live in the moment." I've been really busy, but busy in the best way possible--doing tons of things that I've really been enjoying. And when you're busy, and having tons of fun, there's no reason to dwell on the slightly nerve-wracking proposition that in a few months I'll be a college graduate and, ya know, have to be a real person. For now though, I'm still a professional Amherst student. Speaking of Amherst students, I have started writing a column in the Amherst Student (our weekly newspaper) about student life on campus and some issues that we confront daily. That's been a great experience. I've written a number of things before for a magazine on campus, The Indicator, but having my own column in the paper is pretty cool.
I had a pretty busy work week last week, but now it's smooth sailing until Spring Break. While I'm definitely excited for break (I'll be going home to sooooFLA for 5 days or so, enjoying some warmth, some beach, and actually having a few friends from school come stay with me--oh yeah, this would be a good place to tell my parents that three friends will be coming to stay with us for a few nights. Mom and Dad, hope that's ok with yous...), it's always strange to leave for breaks. Not sure why. People at Amherst have a connection with this place that you probably don't see at many schools. It's hard for us to leave. Amherst, with its small and comfortable community, really draws you in. But I digress...I want to tell you about some exciting things I've been up to lately.
Yesterday I went to a fantastic event at our very own Mead Art Museum. Professor Upton, with whom I've taken three courses (one in the Art History department called "The Monastic Challenge," and two independent "special topics" courses that looked at Amherst College housing/campus life over the past year), was giving a "meditation at the Mead," in which 25 of us or so engaged with Monet's "Matinee Sur La Seine" for an hour. Prof. Upton's speech was, as I've come to expect, incredibly moving and beautiful...which coincided well with this Monet masterpiece that we're so lucky to have in our campus art museum. I was thinking about including a picture from google images of the work, but I quickly realized that none of the thousands of pictures of it do that painting any justice. You truly have to see it in person to appreciate the intricate simplicity (if I may use that phrase) embodied in the piece. I guess you'll have to stop by the Mead yourself to see if it moves you. Before last night, I had never really sat and taken in a work of art for an extended period of time...doing so gives the viewer a newfound appreciation for the detail, the movement, and the remarkable elements of light/reflection/beauty that Monet presents for us to enjoy. So yeah, come on by and check it out! nice.
In other news, intramural basketball is going well...my team finished at 7-4 I think, bringing us into the playoffs in third or fourth place. We had a bunch of close games though, so I think if we play well we can win this league. Not going to pull a Rasheed Wallace and guarantee victory, but we've got a chance. Club Volleyball is loookin' good as well, with our playoffs coming up on March 26-27. We've got quite the team this year, so you may very well be seeing a future blog about the championship parade we'll have to celebrate our NECVL (new england collegiate volleyball league) tournament victory. We shall see.
One of my roommates is currently at an all-day Teach For America interview, in case anyone was wondering. A lot of Amherst people end up teaching for a year or two post-graduation, which is something I could definitely see myself doing. TFA is generally a popular option. So, if my roommate Alvaro's interview goes well, he might be doing some teaching next year. Let's all wish him luck. I had breakfast with Alvaro this morning, and it sounds like he's ready to go. He gave me 'n the roommates his practice-teach (you have 5 minutes to show off your skills), and I think he's going to do a great job. One suggestion I gave him, though, was to nix the whole throwing-a-desk-through-a-window to prove a point about conjugating -er verbs in Spanish. Just kidding. Anyway, I'm sure he'll do great.
oook. More on the blog soon! To all of you who have applied to school here, I wish you all the best of luck as decisions start to come in. I'm sure things will work out. Everyone ends up (well, almost everyone) at a college that they love. Especially if they end up at Amherst.
Merry Spring Break to all!
Good eve to you.
I'm writing to you from the Campus Center Manager booth, where I'm currently, ya know, managing the campus center. It's one of my on-campus jobs, and it happens to be the finest employment opportunity on campus. Responsibilities include sitting in a comfortable office chair, giving out game-room supplies, running into tons of people you know, doing occasional "rounds" (where you get to casually stroll around the building and make sure everything is under control...which it always is), using the office computer, watching tv, and doing homework. It's a pretty tough job, as you might imagine. I just had to give out two whole pool sticks! Hard work, but someone's gotta do it.
Upstairs during my usual Monday night graveyard shift (9pm-12am) is Mr. Gad's house of improv, which is a pretty hilarious improv comedy group (made up entirely of students here) that does a variety of sketches and games. It's always well-attended, and usually I get to stop up there for a few minutes during my shift and enjoy some of the comedy.
Classes are going well, though I'm going to have a ton of work this week. It seems, in college, that if you take a bunch of humanities classes (as I do), professors generally will assign papers every four weeks or so. And when the stars align properly, as they are for me this week, you can have the unique collegiate opportunity to write four papers in four days! It seems to always happen this way. Pretty uncalled for, but I'm not too worried. The work will get done, but it might be a tough week paper-wise. I have great professors this semester though, and I'm taking pretty fascinating classes. Being the expert multi-tasker that I am, while I'm writing this blog, and while I'm "managing" the campus center, I'm simultaneously watching a movie for my Neo-Western class--McCabe and Mrs. Miller. A good ol' western classic...or so I've been told. We'll find out.
In other exciting news, we had a home volleyball tournament yesterday (Sunday) for the first time in many years. Seven other men's club volleyball squads came to showcase their volleyball talents (or lack thereof). We played really well as a team, beat Williams (which is always the most important game), and finished the day having won three matches; we lost our final match to SCSU...shoulda had that one though. It was exciting to finally get to play volleyball in front of some home fans. Normally our tournaments are about a 2-3 hour drive away, and waking up at 6am on a Sunday morning to travel across the Northeast can be a lil' difficult.
Well, I should probably get back to my movie. Just know, everything is going great up here at Amherst. Though this is generally the time of year when work starts to set in, and the cold becomes slightly offensive, everyone seems to be having an awesome time--I mean, every semester is better than the previous, but this spring is especially fun-filled. And it's just getting started!
aaaand for those of you thinking of visiting Am'erst, do it! The best way to find out what a school is like (besides reading my excellent blog) is to visit, stay a night, and really explore the ins and outs of student life. Finding out how students live will generally let you know how much you'll like the school. So, seniors in high school, that's my advice. Check out the places you applied to, especially Amherst.
I just got back from Williams (booooo) about an hour ago. You see, today was the second meeting between the Amherst and Williams basketball teams, so a bunch of fine Amherst fans made the trek across the state to support our Jeffs in renegade territory. We had a great crowd there, did some excellent cheering, and had a generally fantastic time. Unfortunately, the men’s team couldn’t pull off a victory, despite playing a pretty great game on the road. It was awesome to see how many people carpooled on a Saturday to get out there. Fun times. And the other good news is that the women’s team avenged the men’s loss and took care of those Lady Ephs, 66-55. Big win.
What else is going on at Amherst, you may be wondering? Well, lots o’ stuff. Last night, I went to the “Route 9 Joyride” concert, an a capella concert featuring the musical stylings of Alex Coburn ’11, among other fantastic singers and performers. In addition to some rousing songs, they did two hilarious skits, one of which was about the Campus Police, with whom the student body here has a pretty great relationship. Unlike policemen I’ve encountered while speeding or running red lights (my mom never lets me hear the end of it for my four career traffic violations) (I swear, I’m a good driver) (I just like to speed sometimes), the campus po’ are really just here to keep us safe and make sure everyone is under control (everyone usually is). Plus, they’re pretty much celebrities on campus. And come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I saw Officer Edwards in plainclothes at Williams today. Maybe he was undercover. More than likely, though, he was probably enjoying some fine basketballin’.
Anyway, we should have all kinds of action this week ahead here. Classes are all going nicely, I will be guiding my first tour of 2011 on Monday, at 11am if anyone is interested in checking it out, and I’m even planning on taking a trip to the Career Center this week! I have no idea what I’m doing next year, so I figured it’d be a good time to stop by the Career Center (about which I’ve heard great things, but of course I’ve been putting off thinking about careers until now). We have a really fantastic alumni network in the Amherst community—something I attribute to the love everyone has here for Amherst, something that surely stays with us over the course of our lives. So yeah, I plan on stopping by, politely asking the Career folks to find me some exciting jobs, and going from there. I’ll report back to you then.
Also, just wanted to give a shout out to Nestle and Sprinkle, my sister Lisa’s two pet guinea pigs.
Bye bye for now. I’ll be back around the blog soon.
Hey hey hey,
It has been way too long. Too long, in fact, that I just got an email saying I better update my blog. It’s true. Allow me to explain my blog neglect—they’re the fault of history comps, I swear! (I just handed mine in—they were due today at 3:30pm, and I had mine in there with plenty of time to spare, by 3:23pm…no problem).
Here’s where I make it up to you with a nice long blog post:
“Comps,” as they’re known, are the comprehensive exams that each senior major has to take in the spring. Some majors have exams, others have oral presentations, and some have papers. The history comps, as compared with some other majors, are quite reasonable. We were required to read Vermeer’s Hat, by Timothy Brook, which happened to be a fascinating book about the seventeenth century and the advent of a truly “globalized” world. Then, we were given a paper prompt and required to write a 10-page paper that incorporated books we’ve read in other history courses during our four years here. The assignment wasn’t too daunting (and we were given the prompt/book on December 9th), but being the last-minute guy that I am, I didn’t start the book until January 29th, which made for a slightly stressful weekend. But hey, they’re finished, and I must say, the essay is pretty darn good. So that’s good news.
Let’s give an update on what’s going on around Amherst this spring semester. First, I should mention what’s been on everyone’s mind as of late—the ridiculous amount of snow we’ve been getting. Today, we had about 8 inches of snow, and I’m pretty sure this marks the fifth large snowstorm we’ve had since I returned on January 13th. It’s an impressive lump o’ snow we have outside here. Certainly, snow causes some inconveniences, but to me (being from Florida and having seen snow probably twice before coming to Amherst), snow is always an exciting novelty in my life—so I’ve been having a great time playing around in it. I still haven’t mastered the art of snowball making though…
Also, for the first time in my four years, I came back to Amherst for some of interterm (which runs from the 3rd of January until the 21st). Great decision. Many of my roommates were back to work on theses, but I didn’t really have anything to do, so I had the chance to do some reading for pleasure (imagine that), relaxing, checking out some cool spots in town, and even went skiing for a weekend (first time I ever skied, I was pretty terrible but it was a great experience). So that was excellent. Interterm oh-leven. I highly recommend doing that for anyone who hasn’t before. School without school, as I call it, is the best.
School with school isn’t too shabby either. Speaking of school, we’re in the midst of add/drop period right now, which is time during the first two weeks of classes when you can add classes to your schedule, drop others, and basically, figure out what your semester is going to look like. This is also known as the class “shopping” period, and I’ve taken full advantage. I have been shopping aggressively. I think I’ve attended about 9 different classes so far, and I’m pretty sure I have settled on 4 great options. As you might guess, I’m trying to make the most of this last semester, so I had to check out all the possible class options. No messin’ around in 2011. The plan as of now (subject to change in the next three days, of course) is to take:
Not bad right? I think it should be a great schedule.
I’ll keep you folks updated about how everything is going. Any questions? Email me at email@example.com. I’m happy to reply to anything you have to ask.
Hey. Just got back from club volleyball practice—we had two great practices this week. It’s a pretty tough time for people to be coming, with finals coming up, lots of stuff going on around campus, and generally a lot of work, but we managed to have eight people tonight. Since the women’s volleyball season ended, a few of the girls from the team have been coming to play with us, which is always a fun and welcome addition to practice. Ballin’. This week was especially exciting because we started using our brand-new gorgeous net/pole system that the AAS (Amherst Association of Students) bought for us. They’re the student government on campus, so they’re also in charge of much of the funding for student groups on campus…and lucky for us group-leaders, the AAS has plentyyyy of money to spend. So we got this awesome new net setup for a cool $4000. No big deal. We’re now the classiest club volleyball team in New England.
In academic news, I’ve had a lot of work lately, but get this—some of it was actually…(at the risk of alienating my entire audience)…fun. For example, I just finished my final “psych study” for Psychology 11 (the intro to Pysch course). Let me explain what I’m talking about. So in this intro psych class,* our weekly reading consists of a number of psychology studies that range from slightly boring to very interesting. Our final project was to design and execute our own study in psychology, using something that piqued our interest, and then doing a full lab write-up (just like the real psychologists do!). I did mine on Amherst housing, looking at newly renovated houses and the older (former fraternity) houses. To get my participants, I walked around the library for a few hours and found tons of (ok, 82) people willing to look at some pictures and fill out my questionnaire. It was really fun to do, I met some new people, and my results went exactly as I’d expect they would. Plus, doing the write-up itself was enjoyable. It was definitely the most fun I’d had doing a lab report since, like, 10th grade Chemistry.
*I have an aside to make here. This is the psych class in which, funny enough, I’m one of two seniors—it’s a class generally for sophomores interested in majoring in psychology, so it’s us two and about 45 sophs. I took it because I’ve always wanted to take a class with Professor Sanderson, who is awesome/funny/extremely engaging, and wanted to learn a bit about psychology in the process…so I begged Prof. Sanderson to let me into the course, and it worked. It’s really paid off; I love the class. Anyhoo….
While we’re on the subject of Amherst College, I figured I’d mention that I’m quite excited about the upcoming weekend, because it’s the annual Social Council-sponsored “Crossett Christmas” TAP (an acronym that stands for “The Amherst Party,” fairly creative if you ask me). It’s one of the best social events of the year, and a chance for me to finally (for the 4th time now…) get to celebrate Christmas! No longer a lonely Jew on Christmas, as Adam Sandler once said, this Saturday will be Christmas for everyone. Fantastic. The party is essentially a dorm-wide event in Crossett (one of the Social Dorms), with a DJ in the basement common area, and various parties in most of the suites throughout the building. It’s always an awesome time, so I’m very excited. Plus—a few friends of ours are visiting for the weekend. Get ready.
Alright, that’s all I have for now. I’ll be bloggin’ again real soon.
Hello again. It’s been too long (10 days or so?)…I was going to do a post-Homecoming post early last week, but after my incorrect guarantee about the football game vs. Williams, I was a little embarrassed. Plus, I had two big papers due mid-week, and Thursday was my birthday*, so I neglected the blog a little bit. But no worries—I’m back.
*22nd birthday, which I must say, is one of the more boring milestones. I mean, 17 was exciting (R-rated movies woohoooo), 18 is always good, being adult-ful and whatnot, 19 means you are still a teenager but you’re getting up there, 20 is the first year of the twenties, and 21…just a normal year. But 22? Psh. (In a related story, it’s not too late for a belated birthday present).
In any case, I figured I’d update everyone on how Thanksgiving break is going so far. For the past three years, I had done the standard leave-Friday-and-fly-home-for-10-days Thanksgiving break thing. But this year I decided I wanted to try something different, so I booked a flight for Tuesday and hung around the area for the weekend. It was a great choice. Let me explain.
I spent Friday through Sunday afternoon at Amherst, and though not many people were still around, there was plenty to entertain myself with—especially since several sports teams were just beginning their winter seasons (men’s basketball, women’s hockey, and the swim teams all had home games/matches on Friday and Saturday). I hopped between sporting events for Friday night and Saturday afternoon, getting to watch a variety of Amherst victories, which is always good. Also, since Val was closed for break, I had a nice sampling of some delicious in-town eateries.
On Saturday afternoon/night, my friend Andee and I went for a little hike around the Bird Sanctuary (just South of campus), got slightly lost in the woods, and then decided to head to Northampton (this was not part of the hike—we drove the 5 miles to Northampton) and tried out the Northampton Brewing Company. It was fantastic, and Northampton is really an awesome town. I wish I had the chance to spend more time there, as the town has some great cultural areas, good concerts, and some of the best restaurants in the area.
The weekend-o-fun continues: since I really had no plans for the weekend, I could do whatever I wanted! Yay! One of my suitemates stayed around for the weekend as well, and we got the idea to go to New York City (“the city” as I believe all those New Yorkers call it) for Sunday night—one of our friends (coincidentally named Sam Friend), an alum from the class of ’10, had a “gig” at a bar in “The Village.” (As you may notice, I don’t know much about NYC, so I’m putting quotes around terms that I ordinarily wouldn’t use in everyday speech, or use in a blog, and so on). So we drove down around 5pm, stopped for some food, and got to the large apple (that’s what the kids call it these days, right?) around 9ish, just as Sam was getting on stage. We had a really fun time, met up with a few friends who live in New York, and spent the night at Sam’s apartment. Very cool.
To conclude the weekend, I drove to Boston (I had a flight from Logan this morning) and spent the night with my cousins (well, ya know, the family: two cousins, one aunt, one uncle—class of 1975 woo woo). Then I flew home! Now I’m back, blogging, enjoying the Florida warmth, and going to see a bunch of friends from high school tonight.
Hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble