Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Oh and PS - I  have a tumblr now ... so check it out!!! :-)

Senior Year Begins

I'm back!! Sorry for disappearing this summer! I've just been super busy - I was working at Upward Bound (a residential college prep program for high school students) this summer and it was even more hectic than last year! I was a floor supervisor, which basically means a lot more responsibility - late night meetings, mentoring students and staff, etc. - and I was teaching a newsletter/yearbook class! So my days and nights this summer were pretty full, I mean I barely had time to sleep!!!

But anyways, enough about this summer, because I'm finally back at St. Mike's!!!! And I'm a senior!!! Senior - that word brings up so many emotions - I mean I'm excited, because I'll be graduating from college in less than a year and I'll be able to begin the next chapter of my life ... but at the same time I'm absolutely terrified, because I don't know what that next chapter is going to look like.

Of course I have some ideas of what I would like to do and I've started to act upon them - I would really like to teach English abroad in Asia for a year after I graduate and I've begun the application process. But really that's the only plan I have, so if I don't get in I have no idea what I'm going to do. I mean, if I don't get into my first choice program, WorldTeach, then I'll most likely apply to a different program, but it's just so scary to think about right now!!

But getting back to senior year - I'm already half way through my second week here at St. Mike's and I'm already super busy with work ... this may have something to do with the new 4/4 course system, but I think a lot of it has to do with the classes I'm taking. I mean, I'm taking my Anthropology Capstone this semester, which just may end up consuming my life. Right now we're only in the planning stages, but we hope to open up an all girls after school program for local high school students in Winooski. Now don't get me wrong, I'm really excited about this project ... I just can't wait to get past all the planning and actually be able to work with the girls.

Besides that I'm also taking the first semester of my Senior Seminar for Journalism (again a lot of work, a lot of research and brainstorming), along with Photo Journalism and Engaged Theory/Method for Anthro.

But enough about classes, more importantly, I'm living in the 300's this year!!! In a cute little townhouse complete with 4 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, and a kitchen and living room downstairs. I absolutely love it, because we essentially have our own house and we get to do our own cooking!!! Not to mention the fact that I absolutely love my roommates (pictured below)!!! Two of which, Lauren and Ellen, I've known all 4 years; Hillary I didn't really meet until last year - but we all get along great and love to hang out.

Lauren, Myself, Hillary, and Ellen

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

P-Day '11

P-Day, P-Day, P-Day - what would St. Mike's be without P-Day? Definitely not the same, that's for sure.

For those of you who don't know what P-Day is, it's by far one of the most exciting, fun days of the entire school year. It's the last weekend, before the weekend before exams, so basically the second to last weekend and everyone just spends the whole day having fun!!! The school sets up all these inflatables, they get bands to play, there are activities like face painting and henna tattoos, not to mention the food - the best part of P-Day!!! The Vermonster from PK Cafe - by far the best!!! Basically it's the day everyone looks forward to all year long!!

Oh, and most people make their own shirts - this year we all bought crazy spandex and painted "Cants touch this" on black t-shirts (we live in Canterbury - hence Cants).

But anyways here are some pics of all the fun!!! :-)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Around how many students are in your Editing & Design class?

This semester there are 8 editors and 3 managing/executive editors (who took the class last year). Which probably doesn't sound like a lot of people to produce our weekly paper, but the small class size is actually really nice!

We're small enough where everyone can really get to know everyone else and we've kind of become a family in a sense - it sounds lame I know, but when you spend 8 hours every Sunday together, it just kind of happens!

At the same time, it's also large enough where we can pretty much split up all the work - for example, there are 2 news editors and 2 features editors (these are the largest sections), 1 sports editor, 1 columns/calendar editor, 1 online editor, and 1 opinion editor, plus the 3 returning editors (1 managing editor, 1 executive editor, and 1 managing online editor). So we all have our own jobs, and do our own thing, but at the same time we all help each other - we actually all work really well together, which is nice, and even though the class is a lot of work, I'm definitely going to miss it!!!

Hope that helps!!! Don't hesitate to ask any other questions!!!!

* Sorry for the late response!!! *

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rural Vermont

Sorry for the delay in writing a post - I've just been super busy with spring break and post-spring break work. Actually that's kind of a lie, spring break wasn't busy for me at all! I basically stayed at home all week and did nothing but catch up on some much needed sleep - next year's spring break will be much more eventful - you can count on that! lol!

But I did get to do some fun things while I was home - I'd have to say the most exciting adventure I had was that first weekend back home in Northern Vermont. My boyfriend Mike and our friends, Meghan and Ron came up to Eden for the weekend and we stayed at my neighbor's place. They have a house that they rent out to visitors, complete with sliding/snowshoeing/hiking/skiing/snowboarding trails and miniature goats!! It was a lot of fun, just hanging out and spending time in the great outdoors.

Anyways, here are some pictures from our weekend together:

Mike, Ron, and Meghan getting ready to slide - they would pull us up to the top of the really long,
windy trails with their bobcat and we would slide down - going way too fast!!!

The 4 of us with my doggie - Dixie :-)

Bonfire :-)

Meghan making smores.

Meghan with Wanderer - the Mini Goat :-)

Brownie and Wanderer - yes, not only do they come inside everyday,
but they're also allowed on the furniture!!!!


Anyone interested in checking out their property can click here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Do People Ever Double Major with JO?

I'm actually a double major in JO and Anthropology and I have a friend who is a double major in French and JO. I'm not sure just how many students are double majors, but I do know that all JO majors are required to have at least one minor alongside their major.

But it's definitely possible to double major with JO and still graduate in 4 years, I mean I've been able to do it and I even studied abroad last semester. It does require a little planning ahead of time, going thru and figuring out what classes are required for each major - but a lot of students are able to do across all majors.

Hope that helps!!! Don't hesitate to ask any other questions!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Life of a JO Major

I'll just be right up front and say it - being a journalism major is not easy. There are so many class requirements in general, and more times than not the work load can be stressful. There are times when I'm stuck staying up late writing an article or editing paper or whatever it may be, while all my friends are out in the common room watching a movie - and it gets old fast. But in the end, I know it will be worth it, after all I'm learning skills that I will be able to use in my everyday life, no matter where I end up - that's the good thing about being a JO major.

Out of all the Journalism requirements, the one that I think I've learned the most from and gotten the most out of is the class I'm in right now - Editing and Design. While there are a lot of negative rumors surrounding this class (most specifically centered around the amount of work students are required to complete), it's really not that bad at all. It is true that the class meets 3 times a week and 7 Sundays out of the semester are dedicated to labs - but in the end, the work you produce is really rewarding. You end up with something tangible, something real that you can take to potential employers and say this is what I did - here's the school paper that I reported for, edited, and laid out.

Because in this class you do it all. You pitch story ideas, some of which you actually write, others you simply edit (I say simply here - but it's a little more involved then that: you actually have to meet with your media writer and go over their articles with them, help them with edits, and be there for them along the way in case any problems arise - it's a big leadership role). Not only do you write and edit, but you also get to lay out the paper - you place everything from articles, to pictures, to graphs, to ads (this is what you spend your Sundays doing) - you're basically one of those people who makes the final decision on how the news is presented to the rest of the campus community - which may sound overwhelming, but is really rewarding. 

You also get a little more freedom in the stories you report on - I mean, you are the one to pitch the stories, so you can pitch something you're really interested in and then write about it. I recently had the chance to write an article about the amount of work students are actually expected to do while in college and I got to talk to some pretty cool people - most specifically a professor at NYU, Richard Arum, who published the study, "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses." The great thing about this interview is that at the time I was the only college student reporter he had agreed to talk with - even though he'd received requests from school all across the country. The reason he chose to talk to me was because I had conducted an online survey to find out how much work was required by students at SMC. This may not sound like the most exciting article out there to write - but it really was interesting! 

This class overall has just been great and I've learned a lot. I mean, before the semester began I had no idea how to use Adobe In-Design and now I use it every weekend. Not only that, but I've also been able to meet with and talk to really interesting people and I've taken on a leadership role with the community at St. Michael's. So, yea it may be hard, but in the end it's definitely worth it!

Anyone interested in checking out "The Defender" - St. Mike's paper  - can see it right online here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Final Farewells

Saying good-bye to my life in Berlin was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Don't get me wrong I was excited to go back home to finally see my friends and family - but there was a part of me that didn't want to leave.

I mean I had friends, a family, a whole life in Berlin - and I had to say good-bye to all of it, forever. Well, maybe I'm being a little melodramatic, I can always go back to Berlin (and I will), but it won't be the same. I won't be a residence of Berlin, I will just be any other tourist - sleeping in a hotel/hostel, eating out every night, and marveling at the changes that will most likely take place between now and then. Sure, I'll still take public transportation and spend some time visiting friends, but when it comes down to it, weeks can't possibly compare to months.

And those last few weeks in Berlin were by far the most rewarding but also the hardest. I finally finished up my research project and presented it - which was a huge weight off my shoulders. I did all my last minute Christmas shopping a and bought way too much chocolate. And I somehow managed to pack up the absurd amounts of clothing that for some reason I originally thought I would need.

After all the logistics were taken care of I finally had time to say my real good-byes.

I'd have to say that my last Sunday in Berlin was one of my favorites, even though I tried something I'd never done before - I made homemade mac and cheese and then proceeded to serve it to my host family, my friend Seinab, who lived below me and her family, as well as my friend from Lexia, Kristina. And even though I wasn't able to find all the right ingredients, it didn't end in disaster, it actually turned out to be a really fun evening.

The 8 of us just ended up spending the night siting around eating and talking about everything from American pop culture to German rules of etiquette  (apparently in Germany the polite thing to do at the dinner table is to keep both of your wrists up on the table, in sight, at all times). And as silly as that all may sound, it was a really great way to spend my last Sunday in Berlin.

It was kind of like my last night in Berlin - a lot of fun, but with an underlying uncertainty for the future. What is it going to be like going home? How different will it be? How different will I be? Will my friends and family still accept me? All of these thoughts and more were swirling around in my head as I spent my last night in Berlin with host family.

They tried to comfort me, tried to make the transition home easier. We talked about how we would keep in touch - how I would one day come back to visit and how they will one day come visit me in Vermont. We exchanged little gifts, contact info, and stories - talking about all the things we had done that semester while eating cheese fondue. And while I did have a great time, that uncertainty never really left me and as I boarded the plane home that next day it only grew.

Looking back now on those last few days in Berlin I feel a little silly - I mean, of course my family and friends were going to accept me back, I mean they did welcome me home with open arms. But there were a few little things that did throw me off on my return home - one of the biggest being America's greed for money.

It just seemed like coming home that everyone was always concerned about money and making more and more - like enough was never enough. And after being nagged to buy more at Verizon and getting a parking ticket (all at the same time) I was ready to hop on the next plane back to Berlin. But I didn't - I stuck it out and home soon began to feel like home again.

And now, of course, I couldn't be happier to be home (although I do have the travel bug - I think southeast Asia may be next). But I haven't forgotten about Berlin - after all it was my home for almost 4 months; I was able to make real connections with the people, the place, the culture - and that's something I am never going to forget.

Monday, February 7, 2011


So I thought I would take a moment and go back to my life in Europe to tell you about my last excursion outside of Germany - Copenhagen, Denmark.

At the time, I had a friend who was spending her fall semester studying in Copenhagen, so I thought - why not? It's relatively close anyways. So after a 7 hour train ride (which included a ferry ride - yes, the train went on the ferry), my friend, Jess (who was still visiting me) and I landed in Denmark. Once there we met up with our mutual friend Laura, and another friend who was also visiting at the same time, Eliza (who goes to SMC).

The four of us had an awesome time just hanging out, seeing the sights, and freezing our toes off. (Side Note - Copenhagen, being right on the coast, is extremely cold and very snowy.)

Anyways, here are some pictures of our adventures in the snow.

Traditional Danish Food: Open-Faced Sandwiches

Apple pie for dessert :-)

Jess, Me, Laura, and Eliza in front of the Little Mermaid Statue

Changing of the guards

Denmark, like England, still has a ruling monarchy. The interesting thing about this one, is that it's more female based - what I mean by this is that, if the first heir is a girl, she will become queen and her husband will be called the male escort. But if the first heir is a man, he will become king and his wife will become queen - so in this way, no matter what, there is always a queen, but not necessarily always a king.

One of the more interesting places we visited while in Copenhagen, was Christiania. Basically Christiania is this self-declared "nation" right in the middle of Copenhagen. I guess, it used to be an army training facility, but was eventually abandoned by the government, so people just started moving in. They eventually ended up declaring themselves free from Denmark, and came up with their own government, complete with laws and everything. If I had to sum it up in one word - I'd have to say it's pretty much a hippie nation - they're all about being environmentally friendly (cars aren't allowed on their land), and it's free to live there! It's was actually a pretty cool place to visit! If you want to learn more about check out this website

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Berlin to Vermont

So I know it's been way too long since the last time I blogged and I apologize for that! But in my defense I've been super busy with final projects in Berlin, returning to Vermont, and now starting classes at SMC ... needless to say my life has been pretty crazy these past few weeks.

I don't even know where to begin, there are so many things I never got the chance to blog about during my last few weeks in Germany - I mean, I went to Denmark, I finished my final project (the blog about German Turkish Relations), I had to say good-bye to all my friends and host family, and now I'm back in Vermont at St. Mike's.

It's definitely been a surreal experience - to be honest, half the time I feel like I wasn't even in Berlin at all - like it was all a dream or something! It's crazy to think about!!! But something that I wouldn't give up for for the world. I mean, don't get me wrong I love Vermont and SMC and I'm so happy to be back, but I really do miss Berlin. I miss the people, the food, the city, traveling - I miss just about everything!!! And I would give anything to go back there one day - I mean, I know I'm going to go back one day, I just don't know when. Regardless of that though, it really was a once in a lifetime experience that I highly suggest to everyone and anyone. It doesn't even matter where you go, the point, is that you go!