Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why I Love Being a Purple Knight

A year ago today, I committed to four years as a Purple Knight! I can't believe that this time last year, I was gearing up for AP tests and high school graduation - crazy. Regardless of the chaos and stress I was dealing with then, I am very glad I made the decision I did. That being said, I decided to break form this week and do a list post of some of my favorite parts of Saint Mike's. 

  • No-pressure community - First, for any parents reading this, I would like to emphasize that this does not mean that the classes are a breeze! Rather, I love that there isn't a Saint Mike's "type." Even though we're a little prone to wearing flannel, there isn't a mold you have to fit or a specific way you have to dress to be a part of the SMC community. I was a little skeptical when students would bring this up during tours and student panels (thank you, Founders Society!), but it's true. As a non-skiing first-year who isn't a huge partier, I can attest to that. So for all my fellow tea-loving homebodies out there, we have room for you!
  • Small classes - We may have some classes in a lecture hall, but I have never felt like I was just a number in a seat. This blends into my next point, but all of my professors knew my name within a few weeks, if not earlier. Some even had us do fact sheets so they could get to know us better! The class atmosphere is always whatever you make of it, but I like discussion-heavy classes, so it's perfect for me.
  • Awesome professors - Maybe this is part of the small school vibe, but I love my professors! I genuinely feel like they value me as a person rather than just a student in their classes. Office hours may start as assignment help but half the time turns into a discussion about something else - at least for me they do. Clearly, teaching is more than a job for them, and I definitely appreciate that.
  • Location - In case you haven't noticed from my other posts, there's a lot to do around here, on campus and off. Even though there are some weeks I love not having to leave the Saint Mike's world, I also like that I can go to Burlington any day and find something to do, be it dinner, a show, or just Ben and Jerry's. That's even leaving out all the outdoorsy opportunities we have; the potential is endless.
  • Friends - I've only been here about seven months, but I have connected with an amazing group of people that I'm glad I met so quickly. The majority of them are fellow first-years, but (going back to the no-pressure benefits) I know people in other grades through clubs and never feel talked down to. I may live in a single, but I'm certainly not by myself!

At some point, I'm going to have to spend some serious time contemplating why I hate finishing things on odd numbers but ending on five is perfectly acceptable. But for now, it's a convenient ending point, because although there are many other things I love about my school, those are definitely the highlights. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I'm extremely grateful for everything I've done so far and looking forward to everything I'm going to do. See you next week!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Dance the Night Away

Hello! Life is busy-busy as usual, hence my very delayed post. We're slowly getting ready for next year here on campus; housing selection has started (which is exactly as you would expect it to be), and we hosted prospective students the first weekend of March! Hopefully we'll be seeing them in the fall. The overnight host program is done through Founders Society; not only do the students get an awesome sleepover (plus ice cream!) with current students like me, but they also get to spend that Sunday afternoon in Burlington, so that they can experience Church Street. I was informed by my guest that they went bowling and had dinner at New Moon, with live music that was definitely appreciated. 

That weekend I also discovered the wonder that is a mac and cheese bar, courtesy of Residence Life!. I only have a picture of the mac and cheese table, but there was also another (much messier) table with at least four different kinds of toppings. Rest assured that this was not your Kraft mac and cheese from a box; it was the real deal, and I want more now that I'm writing about it. 

Last Friday night was the Dance Team's spring show, and man was I impressed! I wasn't really sure what to expect, but their performances surpassed all of my expectations. Everything is student-choreographed - not that I could tell - and they do a great job mixing new dancers with those girls who've been dancing since age two. You know the type. Although there were more serious contemporary dances, the team still clearly had fun, especially with their ending number: Sorry, by Justin Bieber! Overall, a great time and definitely something I look forward to going to again next year!

To close out my post, enjoy this picture of Friday's sunset, complete with a pink cloud:

Enjoy your week!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Melons, Mountains, and Music

I honestly make an effort to not do the cheesy titles too often, but sometimes you just need a little alliteration in your life! Besides, everything in that title is relevant.

Saturday I had the opportunity (with a few other people of course) to table for Love Your Melon at Jay Peak, a ski resort with an indoor water park. As I'm not a skier, this was my first time to a "mountain," so to speak, and I was very impressed. I also had not realized how close Jay Peak is - only an hour and a half away. Smuggler's Notch (or "Smugg's," to all you snowlovers) is even closer than that, and I'm sure there are other ski mountains around that I just haven't heard of yet. We are certainly not lacking in mountains up here!

Anyway, I think we had a very successful tabling session. We raised some money, talked with some really cool people, and spent a lot of time watching all of the cute ski-children so wrapped up you could only see their eyes. We also may or may not have consumed a number of lollipops that we'd brought for our table, but I'm pleading the fifth on that one.

That covers mountains and melons, leaving... music! Professors can sometimes get tickets to the Flynn (in a process unknown to me) and take their students to see productions, free of charge for the professor and the students. Wicked awesome! My philosophy professor got us tickets to hear the Ying Quartet, a string quartet, play Beethoven's Opus 131. We have been studying what truly makes up truth and beauty, so this was our firsthand experience of "the beautiful." Preceding the performance, Soovin Kim, a violinist who also founded the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, walked us (the audience) through the piece with the help of the Quartet. As a musician (fun fact: I play both the piano and the flute!), I found that really interesting. I don't know a lot about strings, so to have a string player explain certain aspects of the sound and dynamics of the piece, as well as other features, really helped me appreciate the piece more. Yet another amazing Burlington afternoon, this time courtesy of a professor.

I know this is a tad brief, but unfortunately I have a midterm tomorrow (no, they do not magically disappear in college), so I should probably concentrate on that. Next post: A Midsummer's Night Dream, courtesy of Saint Mike's theater program!