New Year...New Shenanigans

Song of the Day: Lady Gaga- Fashion

Happy 2010 and welcome back!

So much stuff has happened in the past two months or so and finally things are starting to settle down so I'll briefly go over what has happened.

The first week of Interterm (which basically is some downtime in January where students can do whatever they want...classes, work/internships, research, relax, or travel) Margy, Jen and I went to China after a little bit of freaking out over whether or not we'd be able to get visas (we did).  I'm glad we went because I cannot think of another time in my life when I'd be that free to travel across the world after I graduate. 

I came back to school for the last week of Interterm and spent that time applying to some more jobs as well as doing some painting in my room.  Speaking of my room, I'm going to be taking a page out of Sarah's Blog and below is a picture of my lovely room (forgive the mess)


my Room 2

I thought this shopping period was going to be very stressful but instead it worked out very well for me.  I'm taking European Art and Architecture from 300-1500, Painting II, Psych Statistics, and Birth of the Avant Garde.  I'm really excited about the avant garde class because we get to read lots of culturally significant books (Baudelaire, Nietzche etc) and watch some very influential film. 
On tap for rest of the semester
-comprehensive exams for both art history and biology (these are evaluations of what you have learned in the past 4 years in your majors...for my biology comp we have a 30 minute Q&A session with a panel of professors...for my art comp I get to craft it so I think I'm going to do a presentation)
-continue alumni networking and  search for a job
-Spring Concert!
-finish my bucket list (I've started a bucket list of things that I want to do before I graduate...most of these involve going to restaurants in the area but other items include watching the sunrise on Memorial Hill, climbing onto the roof of the Octagon (shh!) and getting some artwork displayed in the Frame, the art magazine on campus)


Stay Tuned!

The final stretch

Song of the Day: Piano Man - Billy Joel

Its Finals Time!

Thought I have to say, that while final time is exciting because classes are done and vacation is coming, its sad at the same time that some of my really interesting classes are ending and I won't have that hour or so chunk of time to spend with some good people anymore. 

Tuesday was our final photo crit.  the culmination of our entire semester.  It was pretty long, 12-5 but we got pizza and stuff.  Everybody's project was really great and exciting, and its so nice to see what people put so much of their time and energy on.  Justin (our prof) admitted that he tried an experiment with us by giving us more freedom than he does normally with his photo I classes and he said that the work produced was way more pulled together, and that it was evident we put more time and effort into it.  So its very sad that photo is now over because the class became this little community with everybody in there at night in the darkroom or cutting out mats together and I got to know a few people that I don't normally interact with quite well.  Also  I took my Animal Behavior test today which I think I did decently in, but again another feeling of sadness came over me after that because that class was a really interesting class, especially for a 9am, and is also my last bio class ever.  Its now over.  I'm trying not to be sappy but I do honestly feel this way. 

My friends and I do a secret santa every year and last night we exchanged gifts over dinner.  Some people got Freshside but Amanda and I went to Mom's which is this Chinese takeout/grocery store that is down the road from school, really cheap for how much food you get (I have another meals worth of leftovers).  It was kind of a slice of home  as well with so many Chinese products that my mom usually buys and has laying around the house.  Anyways, I got an amazing clutch purse which I asked for and some great bangles from Cait!

Anyways, finals is also a very interesting time because people have VERY different schedules.  Julie has no finals whereas I wont be done until Monday.  People leave at different times to go home for the holidays and never get a chance to say bye.  And of course, with my luck, I'm getting sick and also have to study for 2 more finals. 

The only thing that is getting me through is the thought of going to HONG KONG!  2 friends of mine and I are going to Hong Kong during Interterm, traveling for around 10 days.  Interterm is a great time for stuff like this.  Random kind of on a whim stuff.  I'm not writing a thesis, I've taken some classes already during my past Interterms, and this will be the only time where I will have to go travel so more before real life hits so why not.

I've been a bad bad blogger

Song of the Day: Sara Bareilles-Bottle it Up

Welcome back readers!  I know I've been a bad bad blogger.  With Thanksgiving break and all, my blogging schedule got kind of screwy.  I hope everybody had a fabulous Turkey day, I know I did. 

So finals are rolling around, which is always a ball of anxiety filled fun.  I have 2 official finals and one self schedule final and then my photo project due in the next 2 weeks or so.  Break was great in that I had time to unwind, even though I really should have prepared a lot more.  But so far this week has me trying to turn my brain back on.  Tuesday my friend and RC Jen threw a workshop for the dorm which was really well attended.  Despite my busy schedule I thought I'd go for an hour and stayed for the whole thing, because it was so much fun.  Thursday I had an art history exam which I had tried to prepare for earlier in the week.  I knew I was in trouble when I went to the review session on Wednesday and knew only half of the material.  But regardless of the test, my Thursday ended up pretty great because I got to have dinner through the Alumni Dinner program.  The Alumni Relations office lets students sign up to have dinners with local alumni with their friends.  Haley, Cait and I ended up paired with Steve Shashy '08 who is also the assistant track coach.  He lives just down the road so it was really convenient to get to.  He ovenroasted two chickens, made some broccoli and some delicious  mash potatoes (my fav!)  It's nice to talk with some young alum, seeing as I'll be a young alum soon, so it was a good match. 

Friday was pretty relaxing, I went down the road to the strip malls after class to do some shopping for my Secret Santa and also got some photo supplies and some accessories for my new IPod Touch (my new obsession).  Later at night we went to an Aids Benefit dinner and I donated some money for the raffle (which I unfortunately did not win...I never win at these things)  Anyways it was very lovely, some people got really dolled up for it, and it was to a great cause.

Anyways, I've gotta get back to prepping for finals week.  I've gotten some great inquisitive emails from you guys so keep on sending them!


Song of the Day: Lady Gaga - Bad Romance

Hi all! I'm really excited to recap this week because so much happened!

Still picking classes and working stuff out with my schedule for next semester, so stay tune for the final decision, which should be by Wednesday. 

Tuesday night the Campus Center and Dean Fatemi threw a Spa Night for the students, bringing in an oxygen bar, free massages, henna tattoos, make your own stress balls, a tea service and yoga.  It was really great idea  and great destressor for students (though I wasn't lucky enough to sign up for a massage! I was working so I couldn't have done it anyway)

Wednesday was an outdoor lab and all around bird-y day.  At around lunch a hawk killed a squirrel right outside the dining hall, right before peak lunchtime, so everybody going in was treated this is awesome/gruesome sight.  Later in the day for lab we watched birds for a while in the wildlife sanctuary behind campus.  I got to see 2 bluejays and a beautiful cardinal, in addition to lots of little birds.  (I know they may be rather common birds, but never do I get to see a cardinal on the streets of Brooklyn, so this is exciting for me)  The downside of the lab was having to stand outside for about 45 minutes.  It would've even better if the weather report for the week was correct, however, the supposed 65 degree weather turn to around 45 degree weather.  My lab partner and I ran back to his dorm at the end of the lab and warmed up with some hot cocoa which is quite lovely. 

Wednesday and Thursday were kind of bad days for me, mentally, as I was preparing for my interview, trying to get classes together, all around not feeling too confident.  I don't know how my friends who have been interviewing day after day the past few weeks have been doing it and staying relatively sane.  Just for this one interview I was kind of moody and anxious,  not good to be around.  Fortunately, Friday came and the interview went well, in my opinion.  The drive to Boston in the morning wasn't bad, and despite the strange set up of the whole situation, with a waiting room for the interviewees to be picked up by the interviewers like waiting for Mom to pick me up in kindergarden, I managed to answer all the questions well and left feeling pretty good.

Friday night my friends threw a 1920's themed Murder Mystery.  I've never done one before so it was great to witness. I unfortunately didn't get a part but my friends and I managed to win with the most money anyways.  We were flappers and teamed up with our friend Ethan, the "Inspector", and we dealt in everybody's secrets.  We managed to get money for what we knew and figured out who killed who, which was really fun and exciting.  People dressed up extremely impressively and really got into it!  Definitely worth doing if anybody has a chance to.

Saturday!!!!!!!!!!  We went to Williams to watch the football game.  It was their Homecoming, so it was packed with people, and more importantly, food.  I indulged in the Williams' Alumni tent's free chili.  Delicious.  Anyways, the game was realllllly exciting.  When we got there Amherst was losing, but then we scored to take the lead.  Then Williams scored to make it seem like they were gonna overtake us again, but then we prevailed for a 26-21 win.  Its the first time in 25 years that we have a perfect season, and the first time since 2004 that we've beaten Williams, and the first time since 1985 that we've beaten Williams at Williams.  And we crushed their homecoming, and their fields, when we rushed the field at the end of the game.  It was great!   Ill post pictures once I get them.  All that excitement tired me out and since no work was done Friday and Saturday Sunday yet again is work day. 

This weekend I'm going home for Thanksgiving break!  I need to take a photo of my thanksgiving dinner for my photo class...that should be interesting...

Anxiety and Zen

Song of the Day: Hellogoodbye-When we first met

Lets start with the beginning of the week this time.  It was actually busy the first few days.  Program Board had a comedian come in on Tuesday and we were kind of late with the publicity with it so Monday was a day of scrambling to make sure people knew about it and would come.  Then Tuesday was just jampacked with class, and then a great photo lecturer called Tom Young who takes photos of kind of decrepit and decaying buildings and things and assembles them with pictures from his everyday life and makes collages almost.  Pretty cool stuff.  But right after that I had to meet with the comedian we were bringing in and bring him around Val, our dining hall, to do a teaser.  He gave a pretty good show and was really nice guy too so all in all quite worth it.  But afterwards I had to run home to study for my exam which was on Wednesday.   Good thing lab was canceled on Wednesday, after my test, I just needed a breather.  I kind of checked out. I had a meeting actually with my Chinese professor Wednesday as well, just to go over how the semester is going so far.  And I realize after that meeting that alot of the things I can improve on, really just require some more time management.  As of now, I sometimes don't really have much of it, with time spent in the dark room, labs, working at the Campus Center.  Part of it thought is also some senioritis setting in.  I know I don't have a job yet, so I shouldn't feel too comfortable, but at the same time there are just days when I just want to enjoy life and not be working.  On another note, (my mind is pretty non sequitur, I realize this) preregistration is coming up.  I actually have a lot of built up anxiety about this preregistration, because this is the last time I do it, for the last semester of Amherst.  I need it to be an amazing semester.  What will I take?  Right now, I'm pretty deadset on taking Painting II and I need to take a Statistics class to finish the Bio major, but the next two classes are pretty up in the air.  There is a European Studies class on the French and Russian Avant Garde that sounds really cool, as well as Evolution of Human Nature in the Bio department.  I just really don't know and kind of freaking out about it.  I'm meeting with my advisor on Tuesday, hopefully I will calm down by then. 

Onto the rest of the week/weekend...It was Parents Weekend actually this weekend, so many things happening on campus.  Since I live so close to home and go home every now and them, its not imperative that my parents come up for this weekend.  But I love seeing my friends parents, because its great figuring out where their quirks came from.  Friday night I got to go to dinner at Bistro 63 in town with my friend Tim and his parents, who live in Cali so its really rare that they get to come down, and then Saturday Kathleen's parents took us out to Northampton for dinner as well.  Needless to say, Parent's weekend is also amazing b/c of the food I get to enjoy :)  Saturday day I helped with the Saturday morning art class and then went to the football game.  We won! We kicked Trinity's butt! We are 7-0! 

It was a great game and now I'm super excited for this coming weekend's game at Williams which is the Nescac Title game. 

Today was beautiful, so after brunch with Jen's parents at the diner down the road (which is awesome and also is open 24 hrs) Carrie and I went to the Peace Pagoda that is in Leveritt, MA.  I went freshman year with my Buddhism class and its just an incredibly unique place.  We walked around, and I took a few photos of the rock stackings that are all over the place. 

Peace Pagoda
They are like little groups of people, just piles of little rocks, strewn all over.  I left feeling quite relaxed and like I put the beautiful day to good use.  I'm going to need this Zen-ness for my job interview later this week in Boston before the Williams game.  Hopefully I won't be too distracted with preregistration for next years classes as well as excitement for the game to wow some employers. 

BOO! I'm Back!

Song of the Day: NASA feat. Kanye West, Lykke Li, Santogold- Gifted

Happy Post Halloween! I hope everybody had a safe and scary haunting.  This has been a pretty busy week (in the activities sense, for once not so much in the work sense)

Friday afternoon I went to a luncheon held by our Career Center with Elliot Easterling '93, an alum who now is the CEO of a media company.  I'm considering advertising as a career path, since I had a lot of fun at my summer internship at an ad agency.  The luncheon was very interesting, he talked a lot about the different types of agencies, how digital is now the way to go, and the differences between large and smaller boutique agencies.  He lives a pretty exciting life, now also working with offices in Asia, and it makes me hope that I can one day have some semblance of a successful career.  Only a small group of seniors, about 8 of us said we'd join which is a sharp contrast from the amount of seniors that are applying now to banking and consulting jobs.  One kind of frustrating thing about the job hunt, for me at least, is that it seems there's only 4 career paths that people talk about at Amherst: Doctor, Lawyer, Banker, Consultant.  With this luncheon (and the career panel he did later in the day) it sheds some light into other industries that Amherst students can break into but its just not as emphasized as the big 4, which is unfortunate in my opinion.

Friday night I went out to dinner with some friends and Jen and her family who were up shopping at the Holyoke Mall that day.  There is the strip malls down Route 9 about 5 minutes that have some shopping but if you realllly want the shopping experience, the closest place is the Holyoke Mall (they have a huge H&M).  It was also a semi birthday dinner as we haven't actually given Jen, nor Carrie their gifts.  At dinner, I decided I really wanted to go to Hampshire Halloween so I texted a few friends who I heard were getting rid of their tickets and by the end of dinner I was going.  Hampshire Halloween is a huge party that is held by Hampshire College, one of the 5 College Consortium institutions.  This was my first year (and last...sadly) going.  It was great!!!  They had set up tents outside with djs or bands and just had platforms to dance on, strobelights, and awesome music.  They also had a icecream truck selling waffles nearby...delish!  Some of the costumes that people came up with were hilarious, like the jellyfish.  I think by far the most popular was Max, from Where the Wild Things Are.  I was a lumberjack. 

Saturday I decided was going to be a work day so I went to Rao's Coffee to do some reading for my exam next week.  Much to my surprise and delight, Mike Hudak ended up joining me and we had a lovely study session.  I also wandered around town and found this quaint little garden behind one of the churches in town to photograph.  This week's assignment is "A Place I've Never Been". Later in the night my dorm threw a Halloween Party and some people had some really inventive costumes.  Some of my friends were Smurfs, pirates, 80's aerobic instructors, and some were infomercial people wearing Snuggies and even had a book w/booklight!  I was Thomas the Tank Engine, a throwback to my childhood.  If you don't know about Thomas, I refer you to this.

Today I went to support Haley at her fieldhockey game for a bit.  Unfortunately they lost but hopefully they will still get a bid to NCAA's as they've had a pretty good season.  Afterwards I needed to finish my photo assignment as well as get some more work done.  I had heard many things about this cafe/bookstore in Montague, MA called the Book Mill so I decided to drive there.  After getting lost for about 20 minutes I found it. 


The Book Mill


Despite my initial frustration it was such a cute place that I couldn't stay angry.  It's right next to a rushing river and also connected to a cafe, a dinner restaurant, a music store and an antique store.  There were many nooks and crannies within the aisles for people to sit and work and also a cafe to get some food and coffee.  It was also such a beautiful day today that people were sitting outside, the sunlight was gorgeous and the photo ops were abundant.  Definitely will be going back at some point when its less crowded. 

This week on deck, I have a Bio exam on Wednesday, an art lecturer (a photographer) Tuesday afternoon,  and an ACPB event, the comedian Johnny Cardinale who seems hysterical on his webpage Tuesday night.  Ill keep y'all updated!

Oh Lord Jeffrey Amherst was a soldier of a king

Song of the Day: Lord Jeffrey Amherst, Fight Song!

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I saw Mike and Sara at a Bio Lecture today about environmental conservation with an economic twist, an interesting and very contemporary and I think pertinent topic.  But  good thing I did because that reminded me I need to tell you all about my weekend!

Happy post-Homecoming all!

Field Hockey stands

And what a crazy Homecoming it was.  First off, it was pouring like mad so everywhere we went was muddy and kind of gross.  But despite that it was great seeing all the recently graduated alum and alums that were celebrating their 50th reunion. I can't imagine what my 50th reunion will be like.   Ah, lets not think about that now.  All our teams did really well, go Purp!  We won our football, soccer and field hockey games which was great.  My friend Haley scored the first field hockey goal which was awesome and made watching in the rain so worth it (see picture).  It was great walking around and sampling everybody's tailgates too!  Some people did some elaborate things, like sweet potato soup, and home made chili, while others went traditional with burgers and dogs, all of which my stomach thoroughly appreciated.    

I had dinner later with a Catherine Calvert '09 at the Amherst Brewing Company in town which serves really hearty meals, like the tuna steak I had for dinner.  Unfortunately I completely forgot to take my leftovers and when I remembered to go back and get them, the waitress had already thrown it out.  Bummer.  After dinner my dorm hosted a TAP, which stands for The Amherst Party, where the school sponsors a DJ or band to come play.  We had my friend Tim DJing downstairs in our common room.  He generally draws lots of students excited about a dance party and our dorm became soooo crowded, it was nuts...and also incredibly sweaty. I think it got so hot that some paint peeled off of the wall. 

This week shouldn't be as hectic, though I do have another friend Carrie's birthday to celebrate!

Wednesday is another outdoor lab, I wonder what we will be doing next...



I just came back from the best lab I have ever had.  Professor Clotfelter told us that we were having an outdoor lab earlier today but didn't let us know what, but that we'd be standing outside for an hour or so.  Little did we know that we were going to a falconry! We arrived, caravan style, and happened upon his adorable family and then 4 Harris hawks perched on stands.  We then learned about the type of hawk they were, a little history of falconry, and how operant and classical conditioning play into their training.  And then we got to feed them. Each of us had a chance to wear the thick leather glove and the trainer placed a piece of meat on our hand and the hawk flew to us, perched and ate off of our hands, and then flew back to its perch.  In the middle of the lab, one of the hawks flies off into the trees and then divebombs into the brush below.  It apparently found a star nosed mole, which we had talked about in class earlier and was eating it.  The trainer got to the bird and pulled off half of the mole before the hawk got too full and we got to see the (yes this is gross) top portion of the mole with the nose and then sensory "tenticles".  Anyways, this was really exciting, and his kids were so cute, they were begging to keep the half of the mole.  Whats even better is that we don't have to do a lab write up for this lab.  How great!

Gotta get back to work, didn't realize how much of it I had. 


Fish and Friends

Song of the Day: Elton John's Tiny Dancer


So Tuesday Trivia actually wasn't that bad! We did fairly well for our first time, scoring 31 out of 50.  But I mean, would you really know what October was in Hebrew and Hindi?  Anyways they had an amazing buffet afterwards with their awesome meatballs that I've heard so much about, so it made up for us losing. 

This week was more like a countdown for next week, which is HOMECOMING!!  Some highlights of this week include Bio lab on Wednesday where we observed the behavior of some more Beta fish when they are presented with another beta fish.  No not letting them fight.  We put them next to each other in separate tanks and one of them would puff out their gills and kind of pace back and forth against the side of the tank to assert dominance. it does something like this

Friday was my friend Jen's birthday celebration for turning 22, so we went out to dinner at Arigato's, the Japanese place in town, for some sushi.  They also have a hibatchi place around the corner which now in retrospect I think we should've gone there because while 21 is a big deal, the 22nd birthday loses some of its magic and people tend to just want to keep it lowkey.  Hibatchi, for those of you who may not know, is where the chef cooks your food in front of you on this huge griddle thing and does cool tricks with food, such as cutting up an onion into a volcano and then pouring oil into it and lighting it on fire so it looks like its erupting.  Fun and energetic stuff.  I still have another half year and a bit more before my birthday but I think I'll keep this experience in mind when I start to figure out what I want. 

Saturday I woke up early, this time not for the farmers market which is right by my dorm.  There is this Saturday Art class that is held at Amherst for gifted highschool students from around the area and what they do is pretty much have this studio time where Professor Dave Gloman teaches them some drawing and exposes them to different mediums as well.  I volunteered to help out, acting kind of like a TA.  Its so strange being on the other side of things, walking around and giving suggestions and being the one who is drawing or being critiqued.  Though once I gave out suggestions, it helped me remember what I should focus on when I'm taking photos.  Even though they were doing line drawings, it really made me pay particular attention to gradiation and shading and lights and darks, which really help with seeing the world in a black and white color scale.  The kids were pretty enthusiastic and also talkative as well which was nice.  Hopefully it'll be more relaxed in the coming weeks as the first class is always where people just test of the waters.  There are some really talented kids so I'm excited to see what they do next.

Until next time, I'll be collecting all the purple things I own so I can be completely decked out for our Homecoming next Saturday!


Back from the Weekend!

Song of the Day: Train-Hey Soul Sister

Sorry for the delay in posting folks.  This past weekend was Columbus Day weekend and I decided to go back to the fair city of Brooklyn to take a nice break.  And what a nice break it was.  It was beautiful!  People were in shorts! My mother looked at me with such curiosity as I showed up in my leather jacket and scarf.  Whats nice is that I FINALLY have some warmer clothing.  Because I'm relatively close to home I decided to pack only summery clothing and only my leather jacket at the beginning of the year, with no closed toed shoes (I have no idea why I decided to do this considering I've been here for 3 years now and should know that it gets cold fast in October).

I spent the weekend walking around the city, taking photos of course.  What an interested and exciting place to do it.  My assignment this weekend is to do a self portrait without including any bodily parts or staging any still-life of "things I like".  Because I have a strange fascination with street fairs I was so excited to hear that there was one this past Sunday.  Union Square was also another great place to photograph, lots of stands and people milling about, some even giving out free hugs.  I also walked around my neighborhood in Brooklyn and discovered this slot car racing place that's been open since the 60's!  Its fun finding hidden gems like that.  Another gem: ZOMBIELAND.  Go see it, I highly recommend it. 

The past week has also been pretty busy, with an exam in Animal Behavior last Wednesday, surveying the student body to see who people want to see at Spring Concert, a photo critique on Thursday and a Chinese test and Art History paper due Friday before I left.  (You can see why I needed a break). 

I hoping that the break gave my brain a chance to rest before midterms roll around.  And to keep me sharp enough for the infamously difficult Tuesday Trivia Night at the Harp tonight.  Four friends and I will try to be the first all female team to win tonight!