11/5--11/16--NESCAC Champions and Boston

I’ve been such a bad blogger! Curse my busy schedule! It’s been such a big week too. WE BEAT WILLIAMS!!! Unfortunately I had a big paper for my Abnormal Psych class due on Monday so I wasn’t able to actually go to the game—but I did watch it on TV. Apparently, there were as many Amherst fans as there were Williams fans which is awesome. It was fun being able to see some of my friends in the crowd. Since the team won, they won the NESCAC title outright for the first time in our program's history, and they ended their season undefeated!

Since it’s been awhile and a lot has happened, I’ll just give you the highlights of me week and a half (not necessarily in the right order). My dorm had an awesome dorm event where we got to go into the kitchen on Lewis-Sebring (part of Valentine) and make ourselves a delicious meal of chicken quesadillas on crepes. It was nice to get a break from Val for a night plus I’ve always really liked cooking. When I was in high school I actually thought I would be a chef for awhile.

My Green Amherst Project meeting was outside this week with a nice campfire. We made s’mores and actually called Senator Kerry asking him to really fight for climate change when he goes to Copenhagen in December. We hung out for a few hours and enjoyed the nice view of Memorial Hill.

On Thursday I went to a performance of “Midsummers”. It is an adaption of A Midsummer Night’s Dream where the story is set in a 1999 teen movie. It was adapted and directed by a senior here at Amherst and acted in by Amherst and 5 college students. The entire cast did such a great job and the costumes and music were great!

I spent the entire weekend almost writing my paper, but I did get to have some fun too. I went to two UMass ice hockey games and my friend’s rugby prom. It was fun to go from cheering for a sports team almost immediately to being in a dress and heels. It can be really weird to see the same people you see every day in semi-formal attire rather than their typical everyday clothes.

The best part of my past week was yesterday when my friend Nico and I drove over to Boston and went to a Boston Bruins game! They lost, but it was still great to go to a pro hockey game and see how huge the players are! Plus there was a fight (which made my night) and David Ortiz performed the ceremonial puck drop. The arena erupted in applause as soon as he came out onto the ice. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I didn’t get any good pictures to show you guys. It is nice being so close to Boston—we left campus at 3:30, got there in an hour and a half and were back on campus by 11:30. It’s so easy to just head over to Boston for the day or afternoon.  Thanksgiving break begins this Friday and I can’t wait to go home and relax! I’ll write again after break!

Answer to last week’s riddle: Your eyes.

This week’s riddle:  A man had twelve toothpicks in front of him. He took one away. Now he had nine in front of him. How is this possible?

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10/26--11/4-- Exams and my many campus jobs!

So I know it’s been a while since I last updated—my apologies. I’ve been super busy.  This past week and a half has been spent preparing for the two exams I had this week and celebrating Halloween. My many jobs on campus have also been keeping me occupied. As I mentioned in my introductory paragraph, I work in the Post Office on campus—and although I have the early shifts (7:30-9:30…yeah…) the guys there always manage to get my day off to the right start. I’m always amazed at how many letters and packages come to students every day—and it’s always really exciting when one of them is for me! To any parents reading: care packages are the best thing ever. I got one this week and it was filled with my favorite candy and a cool Halloween mask.  

I also work as a tour guide (obviously) and the tour I gave last Monday was nice and small. Small tours are the best, not only for the family taking the tour, but for the guide as well. Not only do we not have to walk backwards, but we actually get to have conversations with the students and parents. My tours are on Mondays at 1 in case anyone was wondering. I also mentioned in my last post my job at the Emily Dickinson Museum—which is now open again, with a modified tour schedule and a brand new special tour.

My other big job on campus is the research I am doing with one of the Copeland Fellows. Right now, I’ve basically been looking at LandSat images—which are satellite images—and identifying any Water Hyacinths I can find in major world lakes. Pretty soon, I’m going to begin learning how to use the program that will help my more accurately identify the hyacinths and track them a bit over time.

Enough about my jobs. I had two exams this week (econ and abnormal psychology) and I think, for the most part, they went pretty well. One of the things that I still haven’t quite gotten used to about college is how much your grade depends on just a few exams or assignments. For my abnormal psych class, for example, my final grade will consist of 4 things: 3 exams and 1 research paper. I’ve taken other classes where all that gets graded are 2 exams. It’s really frightening to think that, if I don’t do well on one exam, that my grade could take a massive hit, but it’s something that I guess I’ve gotten used to over the years.

On Halloween, I dressed up in my lion costume (I’d post pictures but for some reason, I failed to take some) and went to the UMass ice hockey game. It was really cool because all of the students at the game were also in costume. I saw an awesome Optimus Prime costume that lit up and everything! I spent the rest of the night going around to various parties on campus.

Oh! I also went to the men's rugby game against Williams and we won!! It was really exciting because the guys had bet their jerseys so as soon as the whistle was blown, the Williams players had to remove their jerseys and hand them over. I saw many of the guys dressed as Williams players for Halloween.

Answer to last week’s riddle: The year could be turned upside down and it would still read the same year. That won’t happen again until the year 6969!

This week’s riddle: Be you ever so quick, with vision keen, by your eyes, we are never seen. Unless perchance it should come to pass, you see our reflection in a looking glass. What are we?

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10/19-10/25--Homecoming!

AMHERST WON OUR HOMECOMING GAME!! Yay!! Unfortunately for us spectators, it was in the pouring rain.

Rewind: My week was pretty low-key since I managed to get all my schoolwork done over the weekend. The Olio (the yearbook that I work on) office was painted and it is now in our lovely school colors—purple and white. It’s so much fun to work in there now because the walls are such a fun color! My Wednesday history class I talked about in my last post went even better than it normally does. Everyone was really into our discussion about women’s reformatory prisons and compassionate release—which is when a prisoner is released from his sentence early for special reasons. The two and a half hours seemed to fly by.

On Thursday, I did a favor for a friend and picked her visiting friend up from the Bradley Airport. Having Bradley so close is really convenient—I know tons of students who fly out of that airport for breaks. It’s only 45 minutes down the road. Afterwards, we went to a delicious dinner at Panda East—a Chinese/Japanese restaurant in town. I spent Friday running around all day preparing a photo contest for the Olio and painting and hanging giant posters for 350. For those of you who don’t know, scientists have determined that the safe level of carbon in the atmosphere is 350 ppm—and right now, the level is 387 ppm. Official 350 day was on Saturday and since that was our homecoming, campus didn’t hold a big event but the town of Amhe rst did. We did host a 350 candlelight vigil, but I had to miss that and the Homecoming Bonfire because I went to a UMass ice hockey game—my very first one! I had so much fun! The Minutemen beat Maine, but it was a long game and there were a ton of fights. I got home in time to watch a movie with a friend.

On Saturday, I woke up nice and early, donned my Amherst sweatshirt and headed to breakfast—where I then proceeded to spill a surprisingly large amount of maple syrup all over said sweatshirt. I tried in vain to scrub it off but that maple syrup was hanging on for dear life. Once I headed over to the game and it started pouring though, no one could even tell that I’m a super messy eater. Despite the rain, I watched the entire game with my friends where we beat Wesleyan Students at a homecoming game23-0! The stands were filled with purple and the air echoed with the noise of all the homecoming thunderstixs Social Council gave out.  

 

After warming up with a hot shower, I spent the rest of the day doing homework (boring I know). Today, I went to work at the Emily Dickinson Museum—that ended with an interesting outcome. Basically the ceiling in one of the rooms completely collapsed. Thankfully, no one was hurt but almost everything in the room—including priceless paintings and furniture—was destroyed. The museum will be closed for the foreseeable future. I went to dinner at the Zu tonight—which is the food co-op dorm on campus. Basically, residents cook a meal once every other week for its residents and sometimes guests. My friend Max was the chef tonight and he made yummy pasta with peanut sauce and other goodies. That brings me to right now where I’m kicking back, relaxing after my harrowing experience at the museum today and watching House reruns. I couldn’t imagine a better Sunday night (minus the harrowing experience of course!).

 

 

Answer to last week’s riddle: the numbers were all in alphabetical order. I.e. eight, five, four, nine, one, seven, six, three, two, zero.

This week’s riddle: What happened in 1961 that will not happen for another 4000 years?

 

10/8-10/18--Fall Break and "You have a class in a jail?"

So my mom came to visit for Fall Break (which this year, really wasn’t much of a break…sad times). I spent Friday doing homework so that I could relax when she was here and she got here late Friday night. We spent Saturday shopping at Holyoke Mall. This mall is huge and it’s nice having it fairly close by. We drove, so it was only a 15 minute drive, but taking the bus, it’s not even that long of a trip  if I remember correctly from freshman year—you do have to transfer quite a few times though. Anyways, we shopped till we dropped then she treated me to a delicious early dinner in Springfield. We capped off the night with pedicures and a trip to the movies (we saw Whip It!). All in all, a very relaxing day—a welcome break from my sometimes hectic days here at Amherst.

The next morning, we had breakfast at Route 9 diner, which is this cute 24-hour diner that has awesome pancakes and even better milkshakes (although let the record show I did not have a milkshake for breakfast). We stopped by the Yankee Candle Flagship Store which is maybe 20 minutes away from campus. I had no idea what to expect entering this building, but it was huge and surprisingly cool! Yeah, there were a lot of candles, but there was also a mini village, Santa’s workshop and wax hands. It even snows there. Indoors. Yeah, that’s pretty cool. Apparently there was even a King Candle (aka a giant candle) but we didn’t have enough time for me to fully explore, so I definitely plan on going back sometime before Winter Break. My mom headed home and I went to work at the Emily Dickinson Museum. If you’re ever in the area, or if you end up coming to Amherst, you should totally check out the Museum. The Museum is actually the house she lived in and the tours are really interesting. There are a lot of facts about Emily that not that many people know. Did you know Emily’s hair was red? Fun fact: Amherst College actually has a lock of Emily’s hair in its archives. Anyways, my break ended with me constantly forgetting that Monday was actually Monday and not Sunday and that was bad news bears.

The rest of the week went on without anything too interesting happening. Well, actually, I’m in this history class that most people would find interesting, but I guess I’ve just gotten a bit used to it. The class is called “Historical Perspectives on the Criminal Justice System and the US Economy” which I know is a mouthful, but what is really cool about the class is where it is taught. It’s taught in the Hampshire County Jail and half of my classmates are inmates. When I told my parents this, they freaked out but I love the class so far. Having classmates who are literally going through exactly what the class is about has really enhanced the experience. They offer a completely different perspective on topics than would be offered if the class was just Amherst students.  So…that’s pretty darn cool.

I take back what I said before—something else really interesting happened on Friday. Myself and some other students had lunch with the Amherst College trustees and various deans. We got the chance to talk them about Amherst and what we would change about it. I chose to sit at the “Facilities” table so I talked to a trustee and a dean about some of the problems students have with some of the buildings on campus. They were very attentive and I really believe that they will take what we told them into serious consideration—after all, who knows better what the needs of campus are than the students who live on it? There were also tables for sustainability, athletics, academic focus, and many more. We also got a yummy catered lunch courtesy of Valentine Dining Hall.

I’ve spent the weekend watching movies with friends, catching up on homework, working and going out to a few of the parties on campus. All things considered, it was a very good week.

Oh yeah. It snowed this week. WTF Mother Nature? It's the middle of October.

Answer to last week’s riddle: Are you asleep?

This week’s riddle: The following number is the only one of its kind.   8,549,176,320   What is so special about it?

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10/1-10/7---Midterms Week...

 
 This past week has gone by in a frenzy. I had an exam on Sunday night and another one on Monday morning. Despite knowing this, I put off all of my studying till Sunday. I spent Friday doing research with the Copeland Fellow I’ve been working with. We are ultimately going to be studying water hyacinths—when we decide exactly what about them we plan on looking at, I’ll let you know. For now though, I’m learning how to use the programs we will be working with and analyzing satellite images of various lakes throughout the world, looking for water hyacinth and changes over the years. It’s really exciting to be doing research—I feel like I’m trying my future career on for size—even though I don’t quite know what that will be.

I spent Saturday relaxing and doing some reading and on Sunday I joined my dorm for an apple picking adventure! Mike Hudak, one of the other bloggers, is my RC and I know he talked about apple picking on his blog—but we went on different shifts. On my shift, it ended up just being me and my friend Sasha and we walked around the orchard picking the best looking apples we could find.

Apple Picking

 

 
There were also some Clydesdale horses we fed some of the fresh apples. We managed to pick 30 apples before our bag overflowed and we called it a day. On the way back to campus, we decided to stop at Atkins which is this neat local grocery store that makes amazing cupcakes and apple cider doughnuts (or so I hear—I’ve never actually had one). We wondered around in there for a good half hour checking out all the different candies and baked goods then we hightailed it back to campus to study for our exams (we both had the same exam Sunday night). At 7:20 we headed towards the exam location. To me, that’s totally the worst part—just getting to the exam room. I try to run every fact I studied through my head and always get really worried I will forget something.
 
After the exam, I went back to my room and studied for my other exam for a bit, but ultimately decided getting a good night’s rest was more important. The exam ended up being much harder than I anticipated but I survived. I spent the rest of the week running around doing work for the yearbook or doing reading for my history class. I’m now officially on break mode as this weekend is fall weekend (there are no classes on Monday) and this semester I don’t have Friday classes. My mom is coming up to visit for fall break so she and I will be able to explore the Pioneer Valley a bit more. I’ll report back soon!

Answer to last week’s riddle: The Letter M. My mom said this riddle was too easy so I’ve tried to find a harder one for this week. If you know a good riddle, feel free to email it to me!

Riddle: What question can you never answer yes to?

9/24/09-9/30/09---Providence and Parades

 
 Hey everyone! I hope you all have had a good week and are, so far, enjoying my blog—even though it’s just in its early baby stages. This past week has been SUPER busy for me! The end of last week was marked by the distribution of the 2009 Olio. I was the Editor-in Chief of that book as well so it was really cool to finally see how everyone outside the staff reacted to it. Overall, we seemed to get really good feedback and people seemed very excited about it. It’s great to see so many people sitting down and reading the book—reliving the last school year over again—and knowing that you helped create that book.

On Friday, myself and several staff members left for Providence for an overnight yearbook conference—which, I know, sounds super nerdy—but we actually had a lot of fun and learned all about new yearbook trends and designs. We even designed the cover for the 2010 book. It only took us about 2 hours to drive down to Providence. Amherst is so close to several major cities. Amherst is about an hour and a half away from Boston—and believe me, I drive there all the time. I know people who like to go to Boston to get some major shopping done and others who go to check out some of the many concerts or sporting events (Any other Red Sox’s fans out there? Go Soxs!). Amherst is also only 3 hours away from New York City. I was in a class freshman year—my first year seminar “Performance”—where we traveled there several times during the semester to see various plays and shows. We even saw a production of “Hamlet” in the Met! I never ever thought I’d do that.

After I got home from Providence, I had dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile then joined a few others for a Rock Band session and a movie night.

Amherst Parade

The next morning, I woke up and went to the 250th Anniversary Parade for the town of Amherst. It was a rainy day but the town was out in full force. I had so many Tootsie Rolls and mints pelted at my face during the two hours the parade lasted.  The little kids rushing around to grab all the candy they could were really cute. I couldn’t help but appreciate how much pride the town has and how different it is from my hometown (a little town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland).

I spent the rest of the week doing work for classes and research for the professor I work with. My radio show on Tuesday went really well—listen in! The link is in my intro paragraph. Quick note: I realized that I had accidentally written my email address wrong in my intro paragraph. I’ve since fixed it but if you sent me an email or anything I didn’t get it so send it to me again! If you have something you’d like me to talk about in this blog, let me know and I’ll do my best! I’ve decided to end my blogs with a riddle and I’ll give the answer in my next blog. Enjoy!

Here’s the first one: What comes once in a minute, twice in a moment, but never in a thousand years?

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