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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Lesson Learned

Over this long weekend, my friend from camp came to visit me and tour Vermont a bit.  My suite mates wanted to make her feel welcome which I was super happy about, but I was not prepared for the suprise that was in store for us.  We spent Saturday out and about (I will have a post up soon about our adventures) and I told my friend certain things about my friends...namely that Sarah might seem quiet but she is the devious one.  She pranked me all last year and I thought I got back at her when she went home, leaving her door unlocked, and I flipped her room upside down.

This Saturday, I left my door unlocked so my friend had easy access and forgot completely to lock it before we left.  We walked in and my friend opened the door, or at least tried too, and my room was filled with balloons.  I think the pictures speak for themselves:

My intial reaction

Trying to look inside

The room

I'm drowning in balloons!!

Somebody HELP!!!
All I can say was it was a blast trying to figure out what to do with all thoes balloons in my room. We ended up covering the entire common room celing and hallways (exluding lights/fire alrams) with balloons.  This is was I LOVE St. Mike's :-)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Computer Science

St. Michael's is called home to many different types of people with various types of backgrounds.  Everyone can find a home on campus with so many clubs and activities offered.  One place where I have found and created a family-like atmosphere is in the Computer Science department.

Being a computer science major at St. Michael's is one of my favorite things about campus.  We are such a small major that everyone knows each other.  Any time I get stuck on homework or a lab assignment, I know who the upperclassmen are that have taken the class before and those in my class.  

Also, after the intro class, the class sizes (4-10 students) are very small which is helpful when I don't understand something.  We can easily figure out a time when we can all meet to work on homework together or study for an exam.  With our class being so small we generally can schedule a review session or are able to walk into an office hour with the professor so we can make sure we understand everything.

Last semester I had three classes with another computer science major and we spent a lot of time together studying, going over homework, and preparing for an exam together.  This year three of my classes have two to three of the same people in them so we always go over homework before turning it in.

As I said before the computer science department is like a second family.  At the beginning of the year, the department members host a dinner for those part of the major.  It is a nice relaxing time to catch up and meet others in the major.  We spend so much time together and all get along so well that I would recommend becoming one to someone interested in it at St. Mike's.

TIP:  When starting out in a major, get to know others in that field of study - people in your grade and those above.  Knowing people will not only make your classes more enjoyable but if you get stuck or want a study buddy you can then find someone to work with you.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Penguin Plunge

So yesterday, February 4th, was the Burlington Penguin Plunge which is a fundraising event for the Special Olympics in Vermont.  This event is held in the winter every year when Lake Champlain is frozen over.  They normally have to cut out a section of the ice for people to jump into the lake; however, this year the water wasn’t frozen.  This is my second year participating in the event with the MOVE team on campus.  The team has participated in this event every year because it’s crazy, it’s fun, and it creates awareness and resources for the Vermont Special Olympics.
Representing NOLA
The morning of I was super excited and pumped!  I couldn’t wait to get to the water front.  One of my friends from my MOVE Extended Service Trip was a first time plunger and we agreed to plunge alongside each other.  For me I get super pumped until the point you are standing near the door of the preparation tent and then I begin to freak.  As soon as the door opens all my fears slip away and I begin the short sprint to the water.

My goal this year was to go all the way under the water.  Last year I only made it up to a little less than my shoulders so I was determined to go further.  However going in I only made it again up to my shoulders and my friend yelled at me to go under.  When I came up I was a bit disoriented and couldn’t get my footing on the ramp so my friend grabbed my hand to pull me back up.  I was cold.

I loved being able to grab a towel from the kids who lined the pathway back up and wrap myself in until we made it back to the warming tent.  Once inside, I quickly got out of my wet clothes and into dry warm ones.  It was such a rush and I was super pumped again for having accomplished my goal.  As soon as I got back to my room, the adrenaline rush began to wear off and I crashed.  I ended up sleeping until about dinner time. 
You can kind of see the ice crystals growing in my wet hair from the plunge
I encourage this event to anyone, not only because it’s fun, exhilarating, and crazy, but because it helps raise money for a group of people who have a big heart.

p.s. If I get any pictures of me in the water I'll be sure to upload some, unfortunately I couldn't take them.