Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Baking Failures

Christmas is normally a time when you smell pies and cookies baking in the oven.  You see the commercials of the beautifully made dishes families made and are setting the table with.  In my household the picture has been the opposite.  I've had the task of baking the desserts this year and have batted a thousand in failures:

Failure 1:  Apple Crisp
I love the apple crisp at St. Mike's so I thought I'd make a dish for my family.  I Googled a recipe and it all went well until my dad and I sat down to eat some.  I forgot to peel the apples.  It wasn't a major snafu but it was the first sign of the rest to come.

Failure 2:  Pumpkin Pie
This has to be my worst failure.  I made the pie all fine an well.  I went to put it in the oven and it spilled all over the cookie sheet that was below it.  Well that was strike one.  I didn't clean the pan right away so it burned and now is no longer usable.  Next failure was that the pie itself burned.  Third failure was that I did not flour the pie pan so it doesn't come out cleanly.  Yep, I failed on this one.

Failure 3:  Ice Cream
So, I didn't attempt to make ice cream but I ate some.  I made a huge boo boo and put the scooper in the dishwasher.  Hey, some ice cream scoopers are dishwasher safe!!

Failure 4:  Brownies
So, I went to redeem myself by making boxed brownies.  I thought it all went well until my mom went to try to remove them....I forgot to grease the corners of the pan so some pieces got stuck.  My mom ended up shooting me with brownie because I was to close as she tried to pry the brownies from the pan!

Failure 5:  Apple Crisp Take 2
This time I was determined to peel the apples and not mess up.  Well, I failed miserably at peeling.  My dad kept taking the knife out of my hand and trying to correct it.  At least it all taste the same!!  In the end my dad successfully did teach me to peel and apple.


Moral from this story:  Ask for help!!  I know nothing about baking and have learned a lot from trial and error.  Also, my mom likes the fact that I replaced her cookie sheets (I bought a set even though I ruined one!), bought a new ice cream scooper (dishwasher safe this time!), and she has a good story to make fun of me with.  As for me, I think I'll stay out of the kitchen during the holidays so I'm not running to and from the store replacing things I've ruined!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Love at St. Mike's


Everyone apart of St. Mike's always mentions how thankful they are for the closeness and love that comes from the community.  This is one of the greatest aspects about St. Mike's.  No matter what goes on in my life I know I have community which has a continuous out-pour of support and love for me.  I was reminded of this especially over the past two weeks.

Two weeks ago about this time I was studying hard for final exams.  It was a grueling task, one which I wish we could all just click our heals and be done.  But I made it through!!  That is with a little help from my friends.  Since St. Mike's is a resident campus and most students eat in Alliot, my friends and I coordinated meal times to help de-stress after studying or taking a final exam.  Alliot even covered their tables with paper one night and put crayons out so we could color while we ate!  During the long week some clubs or departments put out cookies or hot chocolate in random places on campus for students to enjoy.

The weekend I got home was relaxing with my family and I procrastinated on unpacking but it was nice to just spend time with my parents.  However, as the week progressed I kept getting hit with sad news.  I stayed strong for most of the week but come Thursday night I broke down.  I was reminded this week on how short life can be and how much my friends mean to me.  I sent out a mass message Thursday night to a core group of friends at school telling them about all the saddened news and how much they mean to me and how thankful I am to have them as friends.  Well, what I received back by the next day (and I wasn't entirely expecting) were notes from each one of them.  All expressing thanks for the reminder and how much they love me back.  It has given me the strength to press forward after this hard week to smile again and make the best out of situations you have no control over.

I thank my friends at St. Mike's for always given me a place to turn to when I need a shoulder to lean on.  I don't know what I would do without all of you guys.  You guys are my rock and I love you all so much!!


Friday, December 7, 2012

The Life of a Computer Science Major

Studying can be fun!!
Growing up I never thought I would actually be a Computer Science major.  I'm a very artsy person and always participated in theater, or doing crafts, or was very athletic.  I'm still all of these things (athletics has gotten put on the back burner lately but I want to start again!) plus now I get too add in another cool piece to my identity:  Computer Science.  To give you a little insight to how this adds into my life I figured I would interview myself:

Maura:  Why did you decide Computer Science (CS)?
Maura:  Well, I grew up with a knack for computers.  I participated in a computer club when I was in 7th and 8th grade but never thought much of it.  I do think of the moderator all the time and give him credit to mostly inspiring me.  When I was in high school, a teacher said I may be very good in a computer field.  In addition to this my grandfather was one of the first generation computer scientists.  I started to talk to him a bit more and was like: why not try it?  And so I did.

Cool!  Why did you pick St. Mike's for CS?
I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to go into CS so I wasn't to keen on technical schools.  I felt like if I don't like CS, I will have to transfer schools.  When I looked at St. Mike's I liked how everyone got a strong liberal arts background along with their major.  Talking to one of the CS professors during a visit, I felt like I could fit into their curriculum.  I remember the feeling I got when the professor talked to me directly and not my dad who was also in the same room.

Poor dad feeling all left out.
Well, I wouldn't say he felt left out but rather he was proud his daughter was being respected as an actual person rather than the professor trying to please the "parent."

Nice point.  What kind of courses have you taken since you've started?
My first year I took two semesters worth of learning Java and basic programming techniques.  Sophomore year I took courses about data structures and machine language.  These two courses taught C++ and a bit of C.  I also took a database management course which taught mySQL.  This semester I'm finishing up a course in programming languages and another in operating systems.  I learned more C, some prolog, some COBOL, some Perl, and some Pascal.

Wow, such a variety.  Which of these is your favorite? and why?
I would have to say database management has been my favorite.  It was probably the first time I could really picture myself doing this in the real world.  I thought about it a lot but this time I could see myself actually doing it.

I heard you have a minor.  How does it fit in?
I have a mathematics minor.  Being a CS major, it is basically a shoe-in.  You have to take Calculus I and II, Theory of Computation, Discrete Mathematics, and Probability and Statistics for the major.  To complete the minor I just needed to take Linear Algebra and Calculus III.  I will have officially finished my minor this semester.

Congratulations on the minor.  So, what is your typical week like for work?
Gigabyte helping me out
I don't really have a typical week.  It all depends on how much we've learned.  This semester I've basically have a programming assignment due one every 2-3 weeks.  It is manageable if you keep up with the work.  In between I have simple assignments, almost daily which don't take too much time.  There are some late nights when I find I procrastinate or both classes assign two assignments due the same day.  But I generally get it done and the professors are very helpful.

Any insights you have for others?
Read the news!! Keep up with what is popular in society.  I struggle with this but it is going to be my new years resolution that I start when finals end!  It will help you relate your learning to real world situations.

Well, Maura, thank you so much for your time.  I look forward to hearing more from you soon.
No problem, Maura.  I'm glad I could share some of my insights with you.  Any other questions about a CS major let me know and I'll be happy to answer them!!



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Snow and Snowflakes

Last night had to be one of the most fun nights of the semester.  It was the VITA Snowflake Semiformal!!!  All week we were getting into the spirit with all the snow we've had.  I walked to and from class this week through a winter wonderland (or at least the start of one!).  It was also a really crazy week since the semester is coming to a close so I really didn't get to enjoy the snow outside.  I do have to say though that Alliot Hot Chocolate hit the spot for dessert this week to warm me up!

All the hard work from last night was worth it when the party started!!  VITA team members headed out early to set up decorations and place settings.  Everything turned out beautifully thanks to our lovely decorator, Alex.  Her vision for last night was perfect.

Everyone also looked spectacular!!  We all got dressed up for an evening of dancing.  It was perfect.  The guest list consisted of VITA participants and their "dates" (or friends whom they thought would have fun.)  We had some awesome music played by two of our team members Kelly and Lauren.  Everyone was dancing the whole night with only stopping for short breaks or food.  For food there was an assortment of cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, and a chocolate fondue fountain!!  It was a blast!!  I want to just say thank you to everyone who made the night possible and came out for some fun!

Here are some pictures from the night:
The AWESOME assortment of food

Mike and I
Me and Anna, our AWESOME moderator!
My two besties :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

10 Inches and My Head is Lighter!

I've been growing my hair out since I was a First Year in high school.  I generally kept it tamed and trimmed but I basically let it go.  I never really had any idea what kind of hairstyle I wanted and I never thought I'd cut it (at least at this point in my life).  But I finally decided to!  At the beginning of the semester I made this decision because I kept getting my hair caught in everything:  people, backpacks, zippers, etc.  It was almost down to my waist.  Well I was going to wait until Christmas to cut my hair but everyone at St. Mike's was upset because then they wouldn't see it for awhile since I'll be abroad next semester.  I decided then to make them happy to get it cut over Thanksgiving break.  Well here it is:





                 




Look at how much hair is gone!!










Seriously?


Yep, that's 10 inches!

I do miss it but I LOVE my new hairstyle.  If anyone is on the edge about doing something like this I highly recommend it.  I also haven't stopped getting complements which always make my day!! 

Now onto the sprint to the finish of the semester with one less distraction on my mind (literally!).  Time to focus and write my papers.  Here I go...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Traveling

So, I think I've recovered from my nightmare-ish of ride home from school on Tuesday/Wedensday to talk about it.  This wasn't even the worst trip I had home but I was a bit cranky when I got home at 2am on Wednesday.  Yes it was 2am.  When traveling home from college for a holiday it is always nice to carpool.  I  normally enjoy the drive up and down from school with friends but lately I've been using public transportation.  It's not that I'm sick of friends but I've been commuting closer to the night so I either sleep or try to get some homework done but on Tuesday I couldn't do either!!

Last winter I tried Greyhound from Burlington, VT to NYC but I had to go up through Montreal or through Boston.  I thought Boston would be the better choice for various reasons:  1-lay-over vs. 2-lay-overs/crossing the border twice.  It was going to be an all nighter and I thought I could handle it.  But because it was after finals in December all I wanted to do was sleep which I did but then I didn't want to wake up.  Then I had to take the 5:30am train out of Penn Station to NJ which also wasn't the best because their I couldn't sleep at all.

This year I decided to try the Megabus and it would have been better if there wasn't stupid construction on the interstate!!  We were rolling along just fine and I was reading and playing some games.  I couldn't sleep that well because I had a seat mate and I was petrified I was going to bump her.  I decided not to attempt homework because I had research to do and I didn't want to pull out all my papers.  Just before the NJ/NYC border we hit bumper to bumper traffic and weren't moving for about 20 minutes at one point!!  Well we finally made it into the city and it was about 12:30am, the bus was supposed to get in at 11pm.  So I jumped off the bus, managed to get my bag, and run 2 blocks through the city to make sure I wouldn't miss the last train out!  Well I missed the train I was aiming for at that point by 2 minutes and had to wait about 20 for the next train.  It came and I had no delays which I was happy about because my dad told me the trains hadn't fully been restored and were delayed since Sandy.  I made it home finally at about 2am and basically went straight to bed!

My suggestion for traveling if you yourself are not driving, is to do what you're comfortable with.  I normally don't mind buses and I prefer to have the 7 hours to sleep after a long week.  I have a friend who prefers to fly and she has a plane buddy she normally coordinates with.  If you want to ride with someone, you generally can find a ride.  In fact I found about 3 or 4 the week before that I hadn't even thought of.  It isn't hard but you may feel more comfortable with another mode of transportation.  But if you take the bus, I suggest Megabus.  Other than construction, it wasn't bad at all.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Events

My weekend flew by!  I can't believe it is already Sunday night!!  Oh well, it was a busy weekend, filled with good memories.

Friday:

  • I got out of both of my classes early this day!  Yeah!!
  • I went on a mini scavenger hunt to find some supplies hidden away for an event coming up and I found them all!!
  • I went to a campus ministry lunch where they served delicious food and I got to learn about St. Edmund.
  • I got to see my friends at mass that afternoon (it was the Feast of St. Edmund).
  • I got to go to dinner with some amazing friends whom I haven't seen in awhile.
  • I went over to my friend's room and had a catch up with some more friends!!
  • I got to hang out for a bit with a dear friend and watch some crazy cop show.
  • I went to another friend's town-house and had another catch up with some friends!!
  • We then went to the grill and had a chicken sandwhich...yum!!



Saturday:


  • I got up early and went into Burlington to run some errands.
  • I came back to campus and attempted to get some work done.
  • I met up with my friend to sort all the supplies I found the day before.
  • I went back to my room and took a nap.
  • I got up and did some homework and cleaned my room.
  • I went to see a jazz band play in Burlington for a little while with friend (the guitarist is the director of the choir at St. Mike's)
  • I came back and did some more work.

Sunday:
  • I got up early again (I'm a morning person)
  • I did some more work (I have 3 papers due the week after Thanksgiving so I'm doing a lot of reading lately)
  • I went to my Family and Faiths house to hang out this afternoon.
  • I went to the crafts fair in Burlington with them.
  • I helped them start to decorate their house for Christmas.
  • We had a delicious meal (where I'm learning a bit about cooking from them!) and some yummy dessert.
  • I'm now back on campus and will be attending the 7pm mass.
  • After my friends and I are going to have another catch up session since I haven't seen them since Friday.


p.s. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ST. MIKE'S WOMEN RUGBY TEAM ON WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

International Festival

Saturday night, the Diversity Coalition and MLK Society at St. Mike's hosted their annual International Festival.  This has to be one of my top 10...wait no...top 5 events St. Michael's has to offer each year.  I attended my first year because my RA dragged me and friend on my floor along to do a project for a class.  She didn't really drag us but she wanted someone to go with so we agreed.  It was a blast!!  The following year I had joined the Celtic Knights and had my first performance with them.  Again, it was a blast!!  This being my third year attending, second year performing, I was excited for it to role around again.  Once again, it was a blast!!

So, what is this amazing event?  It is an event where the surrounding community combines with the St. Mike's Community to bond and celebrate the different cultures.  There are a ton of performances from Irish Step Dancing (me!) to Salsa Dancing to African drumming.  There are also people who sell some items from their culture.  About half way through the night, some cultures serve food.  It is so delicious being able to try new food!! I have always loved learning about other cultures and this is a great way for students to experience them!!

Here are some of Celtic Knights' videos:





Thursday, November 8, 2012

Networking and Career Symposium

Last Friday the St. Mike's Alumni and Parent Relations Office along with Career Services hosted a Career Symposium for students.  The Career Symposium kicked off with a guest speaker who motivated us to be the best that we can be.  He focused on how our fears affect our choices and what makes us who we are.  This really helped me think about what I really want to do with my life and where I see myself in ten years.  I always hated that interview question, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?"  I never knew what to say.  I couldn't see myself next year, let alone in ten years!!  Now I may not know what I want I am beginning to figure out what I may want to do.

After the guest speaker finished up, Alumni filled in and introduced themselves to us.  We then proceeded to divide into different classrooms based on interests where Alumni were set up as panelist to answer questions and share experiences.  There were panelist for Technologists, Healthcare, Nonprofit, FinanceEntrepreneurship, Marketing, and the Government.  Each student had the opportunity to attend to panels.  I  enjoyed the technology and marketing panels I attended.  The alumni also helped me to realized where I could be in ten years and how to market myself to get there.

The last event of the evening was a networking session.  We had the opportunity to mingle with all the alumni present and ask questions and hand out resumes.  Each alumni was very helpful in answering questions about whatever I had and sharing some stories about their experiences.  I handed out a couple of resumes and got a couple ideas on where to apply for an internship next summer.  I feel more prepared this week then I did last week.

I thank both the St. Mike's Alumni and Parent Relations Office and the Career Services Office for putting on this amazing event.  It was helpful and I got a lot of advice which will help me in the long run, Thank You.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

As I mentioned my friend was getting married soon.  The soon happened and the wedding was this past weekend.  It was a perfect day.  The sun was shinning, it wasn't too cold, and the wedding and reception were a blast!!  I want to dedicate this post to her because she has been an amazing friend, keeping me sane through my college life.  A trip down memory lane...


So, how did I meet the wonderful Amanda?  Well, she doesn't go to St. Mike's but she does come to mass at the Chapel.  During my first semester at college I attended the Emmaus Retreat.  This retreat is run through the Campus Ministry department and is a nice way to focus on where you are in your spiritual journey.  It was an amazing weekend away from campus and where I met my wonderful friend.
Part of the Emmaus Group
Throughout the rest of the year we attended events together both on and off campus.  She was someone who I could just call up and be like "Hey want to hang out?"  Her family was also warm and welcoming.  I felt like I fit in perfectly.  We kept in touch over the summer and sophomore year went by in almost a blur.  We hung out more and more.  I even got to see her on Easter when I was here.  We became really close last year.

Us at the VITA Semi Formal in 2010
At the end of this summer she got engaged to a wonderful guy and I was a bit jealous at first.  I haven't got to see her this semester that much due to wedding plans but I still know she is there for me.  When she asked me to be a bridesmaid I was super ecstatic and so happy to be able to spend her special day with her.  It was nice change of the day when I would get off campus and do something non-school related.
Me and a few of the bridesmaids (there was 7 of us)

The day of the wedding was perfect and I couldn't ask for a better man for her.  I also know this isn't the end of our friendship but just a slight change in the name.
The happy couple :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Buses, Walking, and an Adventure

So, my friend is getting married soon and her bridal shower is today.  My friends and I made a small collage of pictures for her.  I ordered them and it was supposed to come in today but when I went to confirm where to pick them up, it was in a completely different location then I thought it would be.  This led to my adventure today.

Being a St. Mike's student you get free busing on the the CCTA (Chittenden County Transportation Authority) buses.  It is really nice because that way I can run into Burlington for a couple of things and not have to make the most (even though I normally do) out of paying for a bus fair.  So, I took a look at the different bus maps to find the easiest way to get to my new destination.

I took the bus down to Burlington this morning and found my connection to head down North Ave.  It is very easy because Cherry St. is a major bus stop where just about every bus stops at for connections.  I knew the street name of the stop I was looking for and I lucked out because someone else was getting off there so they knew when to pull the "Request Stop" bar.

From the stop it was only supposed to be a straight shot for about a 20 minute walk but low and behold I was enjoying the scenery too much that I walked straight past the store and down to Lake Champlain.  My 45 minute round trip walk turned into 2 and a half hours!!  Oh well at least with all the pretty colors and warm weather it wasn't that bad of a walk.

Getting back to the bus stop I hit no problems.  It was the simple 20 minute walk I was expecting.  All I can say is if you're not sure where exactly you're going take good directions and have a place that if you get to you know you've gone too far.   Even though my trip turned out to be longer than expected it was a great adventure to find out a new location of Vermont that I probably would never have known existed otherwise.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rock-tober Fest

Last night was so AMAZING!!  My two friends and I attended the Vermont Christian Rock-toberfest.  The musicians whom performed were Everfound, Lindsay McCaul, Mikeschair, and Matthew West.  It was so amazing to be there with my friends and hear their stories. Upon coming to college, my Christian music selection was pretty sparse and I wanted to build it up.  Going to this concert has now added four new artists to my iTunes library.

The concert was set up in a really cool fashion.  Everfound, Lindsay McCaul, and Mikeschair all performed a handful of songs along with speaking out about their belief and how life isn't always easy but if we keep believing we'll make it through.  When Matthew West performed, his first set followed this fashion.  Afterwards, he played songs from his Into the Light CD where each of his songs was inspired by someone and their story.  Each story was told, either through a video of the person telling or by himself in the person's voice.  It was mind-blowing.

I highly recommend attending a concert like this if every given the chance.  I was given this opportunity through the St. Michael's Campus Ministry department and I thank them for it :-)

Me and Matthew West

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Friday Night Fun

So, it's been a busy week.  So much has happened since last Wednesday that I don't know where to begin!! I've had midterms, projects, and events that have took up most of my time.  My friends make fun of me cause I always seem tired and then they give me food and I all of sudden come alive again.  They call it the Maura-Syndrome.

One of the most fun was Friday Night Dry last Friday night.  It is event put on by Student Life early in the semester.  Clubs run activities throughout the night for students to come participate in.  At each event, students win raffle tickets where they can then can place them into a drawing in for a chance to win some amazing prizes.

Celtic Knights, which I am part of, had Irish Step Dancing lessons, trivia, and coloring.  Depending on which activity you took part in depended on how many tickets you earned.  We had an awesome turn out and students loved the idea of learning something new.

I unfortunately didn't win anything but I had a ton of friends who did which was exciting.  The best way to enjoy the night is to go out with friends and just have fun with it.  You may try something you never thought to or show off your skills at something your friends may never knew (or even you knew) you could do.

Here is us performing Walls of Limerick last year at the International Festival.  We taught the steps to this dance to the people who showed up and if they were motivated we walked through it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A day in the life of...well...ME!!

Now that the semester is on it's way, I thought I could give a simple run down of my typical Wednesday.  My life is so busy that this is constantly changing.  This is an overview if no extra meetings get scheduled or no spontaneous activities happen:

Wednesday:
  •      Wake up
  •      Attend morning prayer in the Chapel
  •      Grab breakfast in Alliot
  •      Attend Programming Languages
  •      Work on homework
  •      Grab lunch in Alliot
  •      Attend Operating Systems
  •      Relax a bit after working almost all day
  •      Organize notes/assignments for the night/week
  •      Grab dinner in Alliot or head to Sloane for dinner
  •      Head over to the Chapel to do some reading before LINK
  •      Attend/Run LINK depending on the week
  •      Work on homework due tomorrow 
  •      Climb in bed at completion
Now this may seem a bit boring but most of the time my life gets spiced up a bit.  I have impromptu lunch dates or "friend-time" thrown in there.  Also, like tonight's plans, I hang out with people I haven't seen in awhile.  Also, my reading before LINK generally turns into everyone knowing I intend to do this and show up early too and talk to me instead.  Basically, I can't schedule my life to the "T" anymore because half the time, it ends up changing....for the better that is. 

And this is why I love St. Mike's.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Study Tips

It's that time of the year again!! Paper time, midterm time, and homework time! 

AHHH!!!!!  

Well it doesn't really have to be.  Originally it felt like this for me but I've worked  really hard not to let this time overwhelm me, and although I don't have it down to a perfect science, I've found some tips to get me through time.  They may not work for everyone and I'm still working on perfecting them but maybe some of these can help you too:

  • Study spot.  Don't feel like you have to study with friends, or in a specific location but somewhere you can find that helps you concentrate.  I know each year I've found a different place that worked for me.  My first-year it was in the study cubicles in the first floor of the library.  Last year it was my room and this year its the main floor of the library.
  • Motivate yourself.  I find sometimes bribing myself with finishing a paper by telling myself when I'm done I can catch up on one of my television shows.  It is a motivator for me to focus so I can do something I want to do.
  • Make a plan.  If you have two papers and a midterm all on Friday don't fret.  Plan your time accordingly.  I use post-it notes and dry-erase boards to keep track of what I have to do.  I also space my time.  I may study for an hour or two then work on a paper for the next hour or two. I even schedule myself "fun time" now so I make sure I have some me time to refocus.
  •  Take breaks.  People say this all the time but I can vouch getting up and walking around clears your head.  You can refocus your train of thoughts or come back realize you were doing a math problem completely wrong.   Whatever may happen, the light bulb may click if your struggling after walking away for five minutes.
  • Eat and drink.  Staying  hydrated with water and eating something will also help keep you awake and alert.  Meals are especially important so make sure not to skip one on account of stress.
These are just a few tips that may help you during an overwhelming week.  There are tons of others that some people may find work for them so be sure to try some and experiment. 
Just remember:  We've all been through tough times and we've all lived.

My study buddy helping me do research for a paper

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Weather is a Changing

Brrr.  I may be one of the few on campus who is saying this today, but I was at a BBQ where I was sitting in the shade and was just about shivering in my light-weight shirt.  Once I stepped out into the warm sun, it wasn't so bad.  It's getting to be that time of the year when people begin changing over their clothes.

It is highly recommended when moving in at first to have summer clothing and a fan to keep cool.  I highly agree with this.  But because in the mornings and in the late evenings it gets cooler, you should also have some sweatshirts and long-sleeved clothing along.  Now, this may seem like common sense, but I know some people who only bring long-pants and not very much for summer still.  I also know people who didn't pack stuff for cool fall nights and have had their kind parents ship them extra layers.

Fall is probably my favorite time on campus.  Many of the activities are still held outside and it isn't muddy like the spring.  The leaves on the trees are changing and wherever you look it is just beautiful. 
Taken this time last year at Smuggs - there are some red leaves on those trees!!
It is also the time of the year when you can study outside, go for a walk with friends, and just enjoy the fresh air.  Fall in Vermont is probably my favorite time of the year!!

Some yellow in the trees this time last year at the zip-line course at Smuggs

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Health Services

So it has been a super busy week this week.  I've had a ton of lab and paper assignments given out this week and I've been trying to organize when I'm going to get everything done! Planners are a must for this.   But enough ranting, I wanted to tell you about one of the special resources

One place that has been really helpful and I know I can go to is Health Services.  I mentioned them in a recent post but I just wanted to give some more information about who they are.  I've seen them since being in college for help when I've got a concussion, infection on my finger, a sprained ankle, and a sprained toe.  Yes, I'm a klutz so it has been helpful to have them around when I don't need to go to the emergency room or real doctor but when I need some advice on something or something for a cold or virus.  I've had friends who have been there for colds and stomach bugs too.  They always have advice and if they don't know what to do, they know where to send you.

The staff includes registered nurses and nurse practitioners, and consultants include a registered dietician, psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse practitioner.  They are open seven days a week during the academic year and are located in Alumni Hall.  They offer opportunities in wellness throughout the year and flu shot too.  It has been extremely helpful not having to find someone or place to go to for medical advice off campus.  I am thankful to them and all their help.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

One More Night of Summer

So the summer days are coming to a close, and I'm sad to say that I am going to miss it.  Don't get me wrong I love the winter weather and the snow, but there is just something about feeling the warmth of the sun on my face and the ground between my toes.  To help draw this wonderful season to a close, VITA hosted a beach night.  We headed down to Oakledge Park which consists of a sandy beach on Lake Champlain.  It was the perfect weather, not to hot and not to cold.

This event was a really nice way for people interested in VITA to come get to know those already part of it.  I got to make some awesome new friends while I got to relax and catch up with the old ones.  We enjoyed a nice picnic on the sand while we semi-watched the sunset.  Some people even took a dip in the lake.  It was a very successful evening.
Me and my friend, Sami

The Group
The Sunset

Relaxing on the beach

Monday, September 3, 2012

Start of the Semester

Since coming back on campus my weeks have been non-stop.  I have used many of the helpful resources on campus as well as make new friends.  It has been crazy but now everything has died down. I've moved in right before the first-year orientation through VITA.  I worked at the table on move-in day for them and met some wonderful new members of the St. Mike's family.  It was very exciting!

However, that day was the same day my laptop kicked me off-line and wouldn't let me do anything anymore.  It pretty much was in the stages right before a crash.  It was sad.  I took it right to IT and they were able to fix it right back up.  I still continued to have other problems with it (even today I had a small one!) but they took the time to fix each one when I showed up.

Getting a laptop through the school is extremely helpful in these situations.  There is an on campus HP guy who will fix any problems for free for one of these computers.  Even being a computer science major I go to them mainly because they know how to fix 90% of the problems right off the bat and the other 10% they can figure out pretty fast.

Another resource I've used was Health Services.  I had a severe sprain in my ankle right before school started and I had done everything my doctor told me too but being 6 hours away from him, I can't go see him even though it is still swollen.  I went right over to them this morning and the nurse was very helpful in giving me more suggestions to work with.  I've been there many times before, that is with me being a klutz, for advice and every time they have been super friendly and helpful.

A final resource which I will be taking advantage of soon is the on campus trainer for students.  The athletes have their own trainers but we do have one specifically for people like myself who may need some physical therapy or consolation for an injury.

Hopefully I can stay out of these two locations the rest of the semester buy I always know they are there for me if I need them!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ending Summer Fun

The last week of camp was busy, busy, busy, but oh so much fun at the same time.  In the time since I last updated I've gone to a rodeo, I've climbed a rock wall, and I had lunch with a friend.   The rodeo was a blast.  I've never been to one and my co-counselors decided those who haven't been needed to experience one.  The camp also had a rock wall.  I brought my girls one day to climb it so I ended climbing it three times.  I felt accomplished.  The lunch with a friend was a nice end to summer.  I won't see her until Christmas so it was nice to see her again.

As summer comes to a close, it is important to spend time with people back home.  You look foreword to moving in and meeting new people.  However, you will soon realize how much you are going to miss the people back home.  I love going to school at St. Mike's and I love my family there.  I wouldn't change my decision but I do admit I miss my family back home.  I make up for that when I home I spend quality time with them.  So, as the days of summer ends, enjoy spending some quality time with the family and friends back home.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Being Busy

Its about 2 and a half weeks before I move back to school and I don't know where the time has gone!!!  I've been busy with camp and have enjoyed it immensely but I can't wait to see all my friends again.

This past week at camp was a little different for me.  I had a trip group which was AWESOME!!!  We left camp early in the week and drove up to Whitewater Challengers in the Pocono Mountains of PA.  We spent one day Whitewater Rafting down the Lehigh River which was AMAZING!!!  It was my first time and I was so excited for the opportunity.  I think the funniest part was that by the end of the trip everyone knew my name.  Can you guess why??
I go by Mouse at camp so it was kind of easy for people to remember

So, summer is coming to a close soon and school will start up soon.  My tip for this week is mostly reminders:
  • Talk to your roommate before you get to school.  Discuss who is bringing what.  It will save space and money.
  • Double check what you have.  You may have missed something entirely.  Also, talk to people who have moved in already and see what they may have forgotten.
  • Finish summer work.  You will be thankful when you move in that you won't have to worry about cramming your first assignment in.
  • Do something fun.  Have a party, go out with friends, do something before you move away with the people back home.  You won't get to see them as much once school starts.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Time

Camp has been keeping very busy.  I don't really think I had a moment free these past two weeks where I wasn't working - either that or I was sleeping.  I think the most exciting thing was the major storm that happened last night.  We were told earlier in the day we would be moving out of tents and into the dining hall to sleep.  However, we tried to do Thursday night campfire down at the lake like we always do, but couldn't.  I was down there setting up when all of a sudden it got dark.  We grabbed everything and threw it in a van and raced up to the dining hall to set up there.  Campers walked briskly up with sleeping bags and pillows.  Campfire was fun but the storm was loud.  We all survived which is the most important.

So, some tips for college?  Being at camp, it's been hard to recall what you may want to know.  My suggestion is to use your time wisely.  I only get to be home for about 36 hours before I have to head back to camp.  It doesn't give me much time.  I spend as much of it organizing, cleaning and packing for the school year to start.  Also, I spend time with my parents.  When I arrive at college, I probably won't get to see them much.  It helps to plan your time too.  If you want to see specific people, or go somewhere, plan it out.  It will help you do everything you want to before the school year starts.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

College Essentials

Hey All!!! I survived my first week of camp.  No major injuries only a few bruises and bug bites.

I had so much fun this week teaching girls about computer science.  It was a blast to see their faces light up when they got their program to work.   They all had blast watching each others video they made using Alice.  I don't know if I would ever like to teach programming for a living but it was worth the experience to know I can do it.  Who knows, maybe by the end of the summer I'll have enjoyed it so much I would love to teach it.  So, gain as many experiences as possible in College so you know what you can do well and what you may need to work on.

Most incoming first-years are probably packing and trying to figure out what you may need.  Here are some essentials I think you may need or want when living in a dorm:
  • Command Hooks.  They definitely help when hanging up towels and coats.
  • Internet Cord.  Campus has WiFi but occasionally when everyone on your floor is connected to it, you may experience slow connection and/or be bumped off.  It just saves frustration when your trying to get work done that you know you will always be connected.
  • Nice Outfit.  It doesn't have to be semi-formal nice, but something job interview appropriate.   Any other formal event at school gives you enough warning to pick something nice out or get it mailed from home.
  • Pencil Sharpener, Stapler, and Hole Puncher.  There are some floating around campus (e.g. Library) but I never seem to be headed past them on my way to class.  It is a nice feeling when you know that papers won't get lost when you hand them in or your pencil isn't dull in your dorm room.
  • White Board.  Most are magnetic so it helps to place notes or papers on it to remember what has to be done.  Also, it helps when you have to write a reminder and then you don't have to erase it. 
Hope this helps when you pack.  Any questions let me know!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer and Gearing Up

So my summer has been crazy busy as I'm sure most people's summer's have been.  Coming home after living away at college can be weird.  When my brother left for college I didn't think anything would change.  However, we both grew and changed.  When I went to college I was better prepared for what it would be like to come home.  I knew I would grow up living on my own.

Last summer I spent almost every week away from home.  I went to Maine, Florida, and New York.  I also worked two jobs:  my high school job (which gave me the opportunity to work at the US Golf Open) and at a residential summer camp.  So it goes to show I wasn't home a lot last summer.  It was a great summer and I wish I could have done it all again this year, but alas most of it has been spent at home.

So my summer so far has consisted mostly of cleaning out my room (and believe me it needed it) and doing chores for my parents.  I was able to throw one trip in there and headed to Boston to visit with some St. Mike's buddies whom I missed very much.   It was my first time in the city and I had a blast!!  However, being home mostly has been weird for most of the time at school when I want to relax, I head to my dorm room.  I've taken this up at home and sometimes my parents question if I'm all right.  I'll have to say it has led to some bonding where we sit around in my room and hang out (which I never thought I'd say).

I again am working at the residential camp and I'm super stoked to be going back!!!  This summer not only am I being a Assistant Unit Leader, but I am also given the chance to teach the girls about Computer Science.  I did spend time last semester looking for an internship but nothing panned out so when my boss gave me this opportunity I jumped right on it.  I'll get to work with girls on a project which I'm hoping they will share my enthusiasm!!  Hopefully I have time on my one full day off a week to be able to post some updates as I don't always have internet.

I know most people are packing for college so some tips for packing for college:
  • Make a list.  Lists always help you know what you have and what you need.  Also, make a list of what you've packed in specific boxes.  It helps in unpacking too.
  • Shop in your room.  You don't need to buy a set of new hangers.  Take the ones your shirts are on.  Also, I found I had some extra notebooks and a mess kit from camp when I was little so it cut down on what I needed to buy.  Some people (like me) think you'll be living out of two houses but in reality I bring what I want from school home for a long weekend and rarely touch what I left there.
  • Talk to your roommate.  You both don't need mini-fridges or microwaves so split the costs.  Also, if one of you wants to do something like loft a bed, it helps to communicate before hand so you both know what is going on.
  • Store college supplies elsewhere.  Talk to the rest of your family about this first.  It helped me to shop in my room and then carry out to a different location so nothing that wasn't supposed to go didn't end up going or disappearing.
  • You don't need everything.  I have trophies, pictures, and extra yarn for crocheting projects.  My first semester off I didn't pack everything but I did pack extra.  You don't need to do this.  College life is busy with hanging out with friends, work, and clubs.  I find that I can last until my next time home or parents visiting before I need my next crocheting project.
  • Don't worry about forgetting.  My parents were paranoid I was going to forget something so they made me unpack, repack, list, and re-list more than once.  You aren't moving to the middle of no where.  If you realize you need something you can find it.  (One thing that helped me and my room mate, which we hadn't thought of, was a door stop.  We found one easily but just a suggestion.)
I wish you luck with your packing endeavors and have a happy summer!!!

p.s. Most of my posts will be like this for the summer, an update with tips about packing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Starting Summer

Hey all!!  So, I wanted to give a quick update on my summer so far and I have some tips to help make it memorable.

Upon entering college, you make a lot of friends who live in many different parts of the US and Canada, and some might be in other countries.  It is hard when you get home because you can't just run down the hall or across campus to hang out with your friends.  So my tip to beat the summer blues when home is to stay busy.  Start your summer off by visiting friends from home and family.  You probably don't see them that much in college, unless they go to the same one.  Or you may have a job somewhere that is on campus, another state, or just time consuming where you might not have much time to see people later in the summer.

Another suggestion is to visit friends from college.  A friend and I last spent about a week and a half between my house in New Jersey and hers in Maine.  We met around 3 weeks after coming home and it was a nice pick me up.  I'm going to try planning another one similar to this for this summer.  The reason I can swing this is because I'm working at a Sleep-Away Camp again.  I love camping out so this makes my summer even more enjoyable.

So my tips condensed:
  • Plan everything for your summer.  You will be less likely to have to worry about twiddling your thumbs at home.
  • Do some reading and/or research.  This may sound too much like school, but on your own it can be fun!  I love pulling out my old notes and playing around with computer science code and learning new things about it!!
  • Relax.  I slept for the past couple of days and it was nice but now I'm ready to start having fun!!
  • Learn something new.  Develop a hobby.  I love crocheting and making friendship bracelets.  I don't have much time during school to do either of these, so I enjoy doing them in the summer.
  • Clean out you college boxes.  Yes somethings you pull out because you use them on a daily basis but other stuff may stay their until you unpack at school.  You may then realize - Why do I have this?
So, I hope you enjoy your summer and make the most of it!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Finals Week and Moving Out

So, my life became consumed last week with studying for my 5 finals.  But now I'm done!!  Yes, I did say 5 finals.  I took 4 and a half courses this past semester and each had a final exam.  I knew that was a strong possibility but I was still drained by the end of the week.  It felt so refreshing handing in that last final exam but I had a bitter sweet feeling because I was heading home for the summer.  In the end, it was a good thing because the day I got home, I got a head cold and I was happy to be able to sleep and not worry about anything. 

What do I dread most about the spring semester ending?  Besides missing all my friends this summer and the seniors?  Moving out.  It is one of the hardest tasks.  Moving in is easy.  You spend the summer packing and organizing everything into boxes.  Moving out, you throw everything where it fits.  You feel you car is over full and don't know how you acquired everything.  Well after my first year, I comprised some tips and suggestions which I found to work this year:
  • Keeping all your moving in boxes and bags.  Either that or bring them back at Easter.  Packing clothes, small things, or taking pictures off your walls helps when the crunch comes to the last minute packing.  But how can you do this if you don't have what you need?  Collapsible cardboard boxes and bags fit easily under a bed or in a closet.
  • Send stuff home earlier.  Who needs skis after spring break?  Ok, I know some people still do ski, but after two years, I haven't skied once after spring break.  If you think you might, then save them but I don't so I send them home.  This is the same for the warm sweaters and socks.  Keeping one or two is all you need.  After a week or two you won't even look at them again.  So, my point is, send stuff home you won't need for a month.
  • Clean out your papers.  I don't know about most people, but I save a lot of the notes or letters from people.  Most of them are out of date before the semester ends  but they basically end up in a pile in the top my desk drawer.
  • Start packing before finals start.  This may seem ridiculous or not even possible but taking pictures down, washing all your dishes, or placing all your dirty clothes in the hamper can go a long way in the end.  When it came down for my final crunch pack this year: my walls were almost bear, my clothes were almost all packed, and my desk was almost empty.  It gave me more time to pack larger things, like my mirror and lamp, safely and in less space.

I know this post comes at a little late of the time for current students moving out, but this wisdom was fresh in my head, so I thought I would share.  Happy Summer!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

P-Day 2012

So the past two weeks have been jammed packed and almost non-stop for me.  It is the end of the semester, final exams are starting, and I trying to enjoy the last bit of Sophomore year.  Hopefully I can get a few blog posts up in the next couple of days about the what has happened but this one is going to be about P-Day last weekend.

This past past weekend was Preparation Day, otherwise known as P-Day.  It falls the weekend before the study day(s) leading up to to final exams.  It is basically a carefree Saturday where St. Mike's rents bouncy houses and hires vendors to distribute tons food, all free to us.  Everyone turns out for this event.

Martin Luther King Society, otherwise known as MLK, starts the weekend out with a talent show.  Anyone can sign up to perform their talent.  A lot of amazing people turn out to perform.  This year there were singers, musicians, gymnasts, and dancers.  I ended up performing with Celtic Knights.


Beating Lauren on the bungee thing
The night of the performance I was so nervous.  Stepping out on stage, I was not prepared for the overwhelming number of people who turned out.  Well, I was because I attended last year in the audience, but I still wasn't.  We ended up doing amazing and the crowd went wild.  I'm so proud of everyone.  On a side note, after this amazing weekend I was elected next year's Vice President of the club!!

Photo Bomb!!
On Saturday I wanted to sleep in a bit so I could go all day but sadly the bright sunshine came through my window and woke me fairly early.  Oh well.  Being the klutz I am I sprained my ankle on the way to breakfast.  However, I didn't let that stop me from all the fun.

I met up with my friends around 1pm on the 300s field where everything was set up.  There was music, bouncy houses, and tons of food!!  I was super pumped.  I wanted to try everything.  I have to say, I just about succeeded by only missing out on getting a Henna Tattoo.

After being Photo Bombed we wanted a real pic
After all this fun, I went back to m room to take a much needed nap.  When I woke up, I again met up with friends and attended the Comedian, St. Mike's very own Kit Rivers.  She had a amazing turn out and an amazing show.  To end the day, just about everyone turned out for what is called Midnight Breakfast at 10:30pm.  Alliot served eggs and French toast, all the breakfast essentials.

It was a crazy, amazing day.  I have to say, once my head hit the pillow that night/morning, I was out.  It was much needed sleep and I enjoyed it.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jammed Packed Weekend

The other night was a jammed packed night for me and a few of my good friends.  The day started out with beautiful weather and seeing many perspective students on campus.  I was so happy they had such a gorgeous day to see campus!!

My night started out with going to Vermont's Got Talent.  Our very own St. Mike's Senior, Caroline Bright, was MC-ing the night.  She did an amazing job!  My friends and I had gone out to support a friend of ours, Amanda, as she performed her rendition of Hallelujah.

Unfortunately she didn't win, but CONGRATULATIONS to another friend of mine, Rosemary, who did.

After seeing all the amazing performances, my friends and I attended the 2nd Annual VITA Girls Night Sleepover in the Chapel.  The whole night was a lot of fun.  We started off by each of us being "Princess" for a couple of minutes while we went around the room and everyone said something about the "Princess."  Next we had a small prayer service lit only by candles.  We finally ended the night (or early morning) by watching movies and eating a ton of ice cream. YUM!!  We ended up going to bed around 5am and then waking up at 8:30am to get out before morning mass started.
Crown Time!!
Laughing on the couches
The Lovely Group

I ended up heading back to my room and thinking I would go back to bed, but I ended up not.  My second wind hit and I decided to do homework and laundry.  Don't know why my productive streak hit at 10am on a Sunday morning?

In the middle of the afternoon, my friends and I headed over to Earth Fest run by St. Mike's Green Up.  It was a lot of fun.  There was free burgers, free Ben and Jerry's, and free live music.  There was also Tye-dying if you brought a shirt or you could buy one there, potting plants, and displays on how to make campus greener.  They did a great job and the event looked like a success to me.

Afterwards I began to feel myself crashing from lack of sleep, but my day wasn't over yet!!  I still attended 7pm Mass at the Chapel with my friends.  Then upon returning to my room I fell asleep really early (by 9pm) and woke up to the sound of my alarm the next morning.  It was a long weekend but I enjoyed every moment of it!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter

Happy Belated Easter!!

I would have to say Easter is my favorite holiday.  When I was young, my family would drive to my grandma's for the the annual Easter Egg Hunt.  I was a fun time where all my cousins and I would hide in the house while my aunt would hide the eggs.  We would then leave in age order (youngest to oldest) and race out to find as many eggs as we could find.  I remember being super excited during the day and crashing really early at night meaning I fell asleep at my grandma's and woke up in my bed at home.

I will say even though I don't make it every year anymore, there still is the annual Easter Egg Hunt at my grandma's and I miss it when I'm not there.  Just like this year I missed it.  Being from six hours away I tend not to go home unless I have more than a four day weekend.  My dad and I talk about it every time and both agree every time that it isn't worth the travel home when I have work I could be productive on.  Generally a friend or two are on campus so I have company but this Easter no one seemed to be around.


I was especially grateful for my Family in Faith for inviting me over for dinner and making me an Easter Basket.  I was on campus for Friday and Saturday and wasn't too lonely.  I did get a bit fidgety on Friday afternoon when the power was out all day.  I did use that time to clean out my papers and catch up on some reading but I still became a bit stir crazy.  I debated on going to Burlington but I kept trying to convince myself to be productive.

Sunday was the best day of the weekend.  I got to see some of the community members I come to know over the past 2 years.  It was so nice to see families at mass and receive hugs from friends.  I even got to see a friend of mine and her family whom I haven't seen in awhile.  Mass at the Chapel was beautiful and I helped out by Alter Serving.  After mass I had brunch with my friend and her family and then went over to my Family in Faith.  I felt and overwhelming amount of love by receiving 3 Easter Baskets from different areas of my life.  I would like to say thank you to them for making me feel loved.

My Crocheted Easter Egg


It was so nice to see everyone come back to campus and hear how everyone's Easter's went.  Down to the final 3 week crunch before summer.  Hopefully I hear back from an internship soon!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Palm Sunday

My last post talked about what I love about Campus Ministry on Campus and this one highlights an opportunity I was given from them.

I'm someone who has never taken a dance class in my life until this school year.  I started out with Celtic Knights and had tons of fun.  When this semester rolled around I was asked if I would be interested in joining the Liturgical Dance group and I was a bit hesitant.  I've never taken a real dance lesson before and I was nervous I didn't have enough skill.  I was convinced into it and I'm glad I stuck with it.

This opportunity gave me the chance to make connections with people outside of the school community and with other members of the worshiping community.  Practices were only once a week for an hour and a half which gave me time to still get work done and have a social life.

Our one performance was this past Palm Sunday and the Chapel was more packed then I had ever seen it.  I was impressed how many people drive from all over the state and NY to come out for this one mass.  To start mass the choir and dancers process around the Chapel waving palms while the priest fallows behind to bless everyone's palms.  As the Gospel was read, the Liturgical Dancers prayed through movement for everyone to see.  I can definitely say, there wasn't a sound from the congregation.  I personally couldn't look at anyone for fear of breaking concentration, but I can say from friends whom I talked to, it was one of the most moving experiences they have witnessed.


This was our representation of the Last Supper

Monday, April 2, 2012

Campus Ministry

St. Mike's has a lot of great resources for students on campus.  The place I have found where I fit in is the Campus Ministry department on campus.  I have made so many great friends and had so many great experiences.  I have comprised a small list of experiences I have had:

1. Family and Friends in Faith: This is the perfect opportunity for students who don't live close to campus.  Students and families part of the worshiping community can sign up at the beginning of the semester to be matched up with each other.  The family is there for the student if they need something while on campus whether it be for a home cooked meal, "family time," or anything any other thing a student may need.  I have a family and it is nice to be able to get of campus for a night and have some "family time."

2. The Chapel:  I love having the Chapel on campus.  There are two masses during the school year one at 11am and 7pm.  At mass students have the opportunity to sing in the choir, Lector, Eucharistic minister, Alter Serve, and become a collector.  Also, there is an Upper Room in the Chapel where I love to go and work on homework or meet up with friends and hang out.

3.  Retreats:  The Campus Ministry department offers many retreat opportunities over the course of the semester.  There is LEAP which is based around spiritual and community growth.  There is Emmaus which is a spiritual and self growth.  Besides these two, if you become involved in Campus Ministry, there are more opportunities to go on retreats not part of the school, but that the ministers come across that we may be interested in.

4.  Family:  Those who are part of the Campus Ministry department are like a family.  We are always there for each other.  We go support each other at events, give each other hugs when we see one another, and help each other out when needed.  We have made our own family so we know we have people we can turn to.

5.  Fun:  We have so much fun.  Around Christmas we have a semi formal where we all dress up and spend the night having fun and dancing.  For Halloween we have a pumpkin carving night.  We also try to have a picnic once a year down by Lake Chaplain.  The other fun we have is normally spur of the moment and crazy.  We will gather on our own and watch movies or bake cookies.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Inexpensive Fun

This past week started midterms for me.  I have two more to go this week but it has been study, study, study.  I did however, have an amazing time last weekend when my friend came to visit.  Coming all the way from New Jersey, I knew she would have spent a lot on gas money so I looked for inexpensive fun to do while she was here.  (Well, I always look for inexpensive fun but I wanted touristy kind of things to show her Vermont)


On her first night here, we had a small pizza party so all my friends could meet her and she could rest after the tiring drive.  It was delicious and a lot of fun because my friends told embarrassing stories of me while she told ones from the summer.

On our first full day we drove out to Stowe and went to the Ben and Jerry's Factory.  I've been there once before and I was glad to go back so I could actually learn more about the factory instead of being in awe.  My friend loved it!!  She particularly liked the fact you get a free sample at the end of the tour.  After the tour we walked around downtown Stowe for a couple of hours and went to the Ski Museum.  I particularly favored that being a skier.  After, we headed to Shelburne Farms to walk around.  I was particularly enthusiastic when  I got to pet a sheep!!

When we got back to campus, my room was full of balloons.  Check out the post about that here:  Balloons

On Sunday we spent the morning doing our homework (we were very studious).  For the afternoon we drove out to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.  I love teddy bears so I was heaven being there.  I was so tempted to buy one but I was strong and didn't.  Afterwards we walked around in downtown Burlington and down by Lake Champlain.

All in all our weekend was a success.  She has already e-mailed me and said she can't wait to come back!!

Lake Champlain on a Sunday afternoon