Wednesday, November 30

A Bostonian Thanksgiving

Since Thanksgiving break is only five days long, it didn't give me enough time to fly home to Switzerland - (2 days of flying, 2 days to adjust to jetlag.) I decided to stay in New England and take the Megabus down to Boston to stay with my friend Christina, who I know from Bangkok. I interned in central Boston two summers ago with the Russell J. Call Children's Center - but rarely left the area around Northeastern University - so this trip gave me a chance to see more of Cambridge. 

Christina and her family introduced me to the American Thanksgiving tradition, Black Friday sales, on-demand television, CostCo and some delicious Italian dishes. It's also been a real blurring of worlds for me, since I met up with a friend from Switzerland here.  

Exploring the streets around Quincy Market
My fourth meal on Thanksgiving Day with Philip and Christina - we're at a Turkish restaurant near BU
With Christina's one-year-old rottweiler Dante, who believes my limbs are chew toys

Friday, November 25

Brunch Spot: Zabby and Elf's Stone Soup

Since the weekend is near, I'll provide you with a brunch spot suggestion. At the beginning of the year, my friend and Burlington local Greta introduced me to heaven on earth, also known to some as Zabby and Elf's Stone Soup. The restaurant, which only serves locally grown food, is located right off of Church St. and serves soups, salads, hot beverages and has a full bar of warm goodness to offer. If you're lucky, you can get a seat on the veranda and people-watch.

Monday, November 21

Sunday Adventures

Yesterday, I went on an impromptu adventure with Liz and Jill after brunch in Alliot. We decided to explore the forest behind the 300's and walk out to the gorge past President Neuhauser's house. Here are some snapshots of our Sunday morning ventures...

Thursday, November 17

Track down those professors!

Since registration has ended and you might not have gotten into some courses you had wanted to take, I'd like to pass on the advice of Professor Griffith: track down those professors and beg them to add an extra seat in their class because you're super interested in topic X. It's what I did to get into Media and American Politics with Professor Mindich and I am so glad that I took the extra step. It's a course that has provided the topic for many of my blog posts (ie. here, here, here, here, here, here and here), caused my current obsession with the NY Times and The New Yorker and allowed me to experience American politics live through the New Hampshire field trip.

We just learned about the engagement "young people" have with news and politics by reading a number of studies including Prof Mindich's Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don't Follow the News, a 2007 Harvard study on "Young People and News" and Jack Gierzynski's Saving American Elections: A Diagnosis and Prescription for a Healthier Democracy. Since I was the "designated reader" for the Tuned Out reading (which means that I had to write a 2-3 page reflection on the reading and come up with a question for the class), I decided to conduct this very unscientific survey to find out more about the role of culture and social norms in my friends' (and whoever-else-decided-to-take-the-survey's) news consumption.

Another assignment we had was to write a short paper on young people's engagement with politics and news through new media (ie. the Internet, its social networking platforms, etc.) I wrote my paper through a European lens, since the studies I found were by the European CivicWeb initiative (which I discovered through my global communications summer course in London) and this article from the University of Amsterdam.

So, since I haven't written too much about my academic life at SMC - there you are! If you're going to be at SMC in 2015, I'd really encourage saving space for this class in the fall semester since it's only taught once every 4 years and it's freakin' awesome. (Yes, I've started using American expressions.) Gabbi's written a synopsis of the class here.

Tuesday, November 15

Spring 2012 Schedule

Last week, I posted about my registration experience and which courses I got into. Inspired by Marci's post, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my schedule next semester. It looks like Thursday is going to be busy...

Key: EC = Economics, PO = Politics, MJD = "Media, Journalism and Digital Arts", HO = Honors Program 

Monday, November 14


One of the easiest ways to connect with current students at SMC is to log onto a Knightchat session. It's basically like an extended Formspring session where you can type in questions anonymously and ask current students about their experience. I recently just participated in my first Knightchat as a blogger, which was a cool experience since I was participating as a prospective student last year. The next Knightchat session will be hosted this Wednesday (November 16) for parents and the bloggers who will be answering questions then include AlexLauren, Beth and Sam.

Thursday, November 10

Week of Unplugging

On Tuesday morning, I turned in my iPhone and disabled my Facebook and e-mail accounts for the Week of Unplugging at Saint Michael's College. Today, students in the introductory Media Studies course - MJD101 Media Revolutions - will be giving up their cell phones until next Thursday. Students in Kimberly Sultze's first-year seminar, Living Digital, were also given the opportunity to participate by giving up the entire digital trifecta (cell phone, Facebook, e-mail) until next Tuesday for extra-credit. 

So far, it's been a bit of an adventure for me; I've had to find alternative methods of communicating with my friends, go out and buy a watch and an alarm clock, then figure out how to actually use the alarm clock. Let's hope I'll last the week ;) You can read reactions from last year's Week of Unplugging in this Defender article

Monday, November 7

Registration: Done!

Aside from life-threatening incidences (and IB exams), I'm certain that the two minutes following the start of registration were the most stressful minutes of my life. Why? Aside from competing with hundreds of sophomores for the "5 out of 10" spots in certain courses, I also got bounced off of my  Knightvision account! But even after registering a full three minutes late, I got all the classes I wanted! The most exciting thing about my classes next semester is that I get to take courses with professors that I've admired for some time now. I've linked their names below to a faculty profile of them on the SMC website. Here's a preview of my next semester (during which I will surely be lacking any semblance of a life):

EC103 Honors Principles of Microeconomics with Tara Natarajan
Economics - 4 credits
M/W/F 12.10-13.10
Economics major requirement and honors course requirement

EC101 Principles of Macroeconomics with Patrick Walsh
Economics - 4 credits
T/TH 13.10-14.40
Economics major requirement

PO365 Multicultural Theory & Practice with Shefali Misra
Political Science - 4 credits
M/W 15.00-16.40
Global Studies major elective

HO301 Honors Colloquium with Nicholas Clary
Honors Program - 2 credits
TH 14.50-16.20
Honors program requirement

MJD205 Investigative Reporting with Alison Cleary
Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts - 4 credits
T/TH 11.30-13.00
Media Studies and Digital Arts major requirement

Getting logged out: Knightvision's blue screen of death

My registered courses for spring 2012

Sunday, November 6

Blast from the Past

My floormate, Katie, just posted this photo from the South End Art Hop in August! Here we are as fresh-off-the-boat first-year students exploring South Burlington:

Saturday, November 5

Peppy the Playground Python

One of the classes I'm taking this semester is the honors first-year seminar, Living Digital, with Kimberly Sultze. Since it fullfils the 'Digital Media I' requirement for 'Media, Journalism and Digital Arts' majors, we also do a lot of work with Adobe Creative Suite. Recently, we were introduced to Illustrator and asked to design a mascot/logo. I was given the python to base my design around, and after many hours of frustration (yes, hours - I'm really not gifted with drawing), came up with Peppy the Playground Python. Check out my cute little mammal...