Sunday, January 29

100 Tips for Life at Saint Mike's : 31 - 40

Here are numbers 1-10, 11-20 and 21-30.  

31. When the hot water runs out (which does happen every month or so, normally for a few hours) call ext. 2330 or if it's the weekend, call the switchboard. Plumbing will come over and fix it within half an hour.

32. If you're confused or concerned about something in class, you should go to office hours. I'd recommend jotting down an outline of the things you want to talk about before going though, so that you'll be efficient when the professor takes the time to see you.

33. A lot of your professors have written books. You should read them because it's not that often that you can go up to an author and ask lots of questions about their writing/research.

34. If someone is blaring their music super loud and it's bothering you, go talk to them. Really. And don't be embarrassed. It's your living space as well.

35. If it's cold outside but you feel the need to go running, there are treadmills in the gym and the indoor track. Even though sometimes certain treadmills aren't functioning, it's very rare that you won't get one - I've only had to wait twice and I went to the gym three times a week at the beginning of the year.

36. If you find a professor that you think is really interesting or that you connect with well, go talk to them - even if they aren't in your department. I heard Professor Natarajan speak at a "Faith and Food" panel on how people's faiths shape their eating habits and ended up having a really good hour-long conversation with her a few days later.

37. I'm going to address the condom question, since there none are sold on campus or provided by the health centre. The options that I can think of off the top of my head are stocking up before school starts, going to the Cumberland Farm gas station which is a 7 minute walk from the main road behind Alliot or asking your RA (and if you're desperate and they don't have any, there are other RAs in the building).

38. You will get more e-mails from the college (and it's clubs, boards and organisations) than any spam you have ever received in your life. Sometimes it's really useful, depending what you're your needs are.
Figure out what type of e-mails you want to filter out (for example, if you don't play a sport then it might not be that useful to know about the men's hockey team try-outs) and see if there are e-mail addresses that send messages about those things - then create a filter.

39. Stock up on granola bars (or bananas/packs of trail mix/etc.) and carry two in your bag every day. They will save you when your stomach starts to growl during that long afternoon lecture.

40. Buy rainboots. You will need them by the end of August.

Wednesday, January 25

Iced Up in Vermont

At the moment, everything is frozen in Vermont. Check out the vast fields of ice that have formed all over campus...

The Saint Michael's College Facebook page posted this photo of a man-made ice rink in the 300's that some crafty 1950s students built:

Saturday, January 21

Architecture in Barcelona

Barcelona is, of course, famous for the strange and fascinating architecture of Antoni Gaudí. On the way to visit some of his houses a couple weeks ago, I snapped photos of interesting statues and structures that grace the same street as the world renown Casa Batlló. Just as a sidenote, this is my last post on my winter vacation - promised! We'll get back to campus affairs in a few days...

Tuesday, January 17

In the Streets of Barcelona - Photos

Here are some more photos from my time in Barcelona this winter. A caption below each photo explains everything - enjoy! 

Apparently all the infants of Barcelona get their picture taken with this elephant, while crying, for their Spanish identity card.

"The Fountain of Water" - the Spanish are very inventive at naming their monuments ;)
This fountain changes colours every few minutes - I passed it everyday on the way back to my residence! It marks the intersection between four major streets, including Gran Via and Paseig de Gracia (which is where most of the big shops and chic restaurants are). 

I visited the Catalan parliament in the Parc de la Ciutadella with some students in my Spanish class - this is the ceiling of the 'stairs of honour', where foreign delegates and Spanish politicians are welcomed. 

Where all the important Catalan political debates happen!

Almost every café in Spain has this obnoxious gambling machine that you must hope nobody plays because the noise is unbearable! This café is a few minutes away from La Sagrada Familia. 
Check out Barcelona's politically correct stop lights 

Thursday, January 12

La Sagrada Familia

Last weekend, I went to see La Sagrada Familia with a couple friends from my Spanish class. The first time I saw it was on a field trip with my high school in 2007, and the interior was still in construction. I saw it again this summer - not much has changed since then - but it's still an impressive structure to admire. According to the construction panels in the museum, they still have 60% of the church to build and the finalisation is expected to be in 2030. If you scroll through the photos, you'll be able to see that every detail - the tiles on the floor, the way the light is reflected off the walls, the design of the fence on the balcony - has been meticulously accounted for.

Friday, January 6

Barcelona & the Cabalgata de los Reyes

For the second half of my winter break, I'm in Barcelona learning Spanish at the Don Quijote language school. It's been interesting so far; the students in my classes come from different countries so along with Spanish, I've also been learning about German and Brazilian culture. I'm living in a student residence on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes in centre city and my classes at the language school are from 8h - 15h on weekdays. Scroll down to see some photos of my week...

EasyJet flight from Geneva to Barcelona
Bird's eye view of Switzerland
Five minutes from my student residence is the Plaza Catalunya
My room in the student residence - the building is huge and resembles a hotel! 

Yesterday evening I went to see the Cabalgata del Reyes with some classmates. It's a parade on the eve of the 'Dia de los Reyes' (the Day of the Kings) which is today. The parade is mostly for families and children, but it was interesting to see what type of innovative floats the city of Barcelona came up with to entertain kids.
I passed the Arco de Triunfo on the way to the parade
The city supplied parade-goers with ladders for children 
After the parade, we stopped at a bar called 'Obama' on Gran Via for a late dinner

Sunday, January 1

Photos from Finals Week

Hanging out at the Knightstand before the stress begins

Second row at the finals week comedy show (featuring David Koechner, Kit Rivers and an SNL comedian)

Packed house!

Sunday night before finals week 
First night of finals week