February 20, 2014
I wake up at 7 a.m., slide into my slippers, and pull up the window shade. Yellow light streams into our room.
My roommate has already walked to breakfast, leaving me to listen to NPR on my clock-radio and pack up my book bag.
I walk the minute to breakfast in JA dining hall. The sun rises above Cummings Arts Center and casts light across Tempel Green, now a wintery plain of fluorescent white. In the distance, a church steeple pricks the skyline. The Thames River hangs behind the steeple as the backdrop of a set.
The scene and the sun energize me. On my way into the dining hall, I pick up the New York Times, then plop down at our usual table. I take a sip of my coffee; my roommate’s friend joins us. She reads her German textbook and digs into a stack of blueberry pancakes. On the way out, I fill up my thermos with apple cinnamon tea.
It is 8 o’clock when I enter New London Hall. I climb up to the third story and choose a table facing the glass wall. Light pours in and I look out. I still see the Thames, still the steeple. People begin to walk around on the sidewalks below. I sit high above, enjoying the silence and the stillness and a day started off just right.
February 18, 2014
Think about a few of your favorite things to do when it is cold outside. Did staying inside make the list? There will always be reasons why we must trek out into the cold: class, meetings, activities, etc. For the ever so lucky ‘Plex-dwellers,’ meals don't have to be one.
The Plex (officially the “North Complex,” but no one calls it that... ever) consists of six dorms, connected by a dining hall (Harris Refectory) in the center. There are other dining halls around campus, but Harris is the largest. During the winter, it becomes my favorite place on campus. Having a dining hall connected to your dorm means breakfast in pajamas and slippers. It is always easy to tell who lives in the plex when you go to Harris. If it's winter, usually someone in shorts is a nice hint. The other students come in from the cold with boots and gloves.
The occasional snow day can be exciting because you can easily hangout with friends without braving the cold and the mounds of snow. Movie days and the occasional snowball fight become a norm in the dead of winter.
Every part of campus has a special perk or fun aspect, but I must say, the Plex life is the best life.
February 18, 2014
Connecticut College is currently in the process of re-thinking the core components of a student's general curriculum. As part of Curriculum reVISION week, I went to an event at Ruane’s Den where chemistry professor Marc Zimmer and a number of students discussed their ideas for a new curriculum. The process is group-oriented and the College is working hard to engage students, faculty and staff in the process.
February 17, 2014
The cast of the Vagina Monologues recently initiated a flashmob as part of the global One Billion Rising Campaign. The flashmob was one of thousands taking place on around the world on February 14th to end violence against women. In fact, one billion people (both men and women) from 207 different countries rose to dance on this day. Events like these are constantly happening on campus by various clubs and organizations, and some are even collaborations between organizations. Not only are these kinds of events fun to participate in and watch, but are also for a good cause.
February 16, 2014
A journey is something that you don’t always take alone. The Green Dot program here at Conn has truly been an amazing journey for me and my friends. We signed up for Green Dot training during our freshman year together, as a group. Ever since, we’ve gone to athletic games, events and discussions focused on Green Dot’s mission: bringing about an end to sexual violence, interpersonal violence and stalking.
As Green Dot graduates, we have been trained to recognize “red dots,” like dating violence and escalating situations at parties, in the world around us. We can then step in, a healthy way, to protect others and ourselves. Amongst other graduates, we share our experiences, and we’ve developed a community from which my friends and I learn more and more every year.
Recently we went to the Green Dot hockey game and it was quite spectacular, to say the very least. For the last three years, members of the men’s hockey team have been dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence prevention and initiated this tradition. Darcie Folsom, the College’s director of sexual violence prevention and advocacy, is doing amazing by leading the charge of cultural change here at the College but the journey surely hasn’t been just her. There’s an entire community devoted to the improvement of a culture we don’t condone. To me, that does not sound like a journey one must take alone. Like the Green Dot slogan says, “no one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something.”
February 16, 2014
On February 8th, I attended the Green Dot hockey game to help raise awareness about Conn's Green Dot program. The program works to end to sexual violence, interpersonal violence and stalking. The game always draws a large crowd and is one of the only sporting events I've seen where people wear colors other than Conn's traditional blue and white - in this case, it was bright green for a great cause.
February 13, 2014
Pictured is my friend Gaby, a senior, working as a community service assistant in the Office of Volunteers for Community Service (OVCS.) OVCS is a great way for students to go into the New London community and volunteer at sites including day cares, soup kitchens, and senior centers. Apart from connecting students to the community and providing transportation to these sites, OVCS offers work study jobs to students in the form of community service assistants and community site drivers. The office is a professional yet relaxed setting. We are able to sit in the office and work on homework, read, or talk and joke amongst ourselves while we wait for our next ride.
February 12, 2014
When you’re a student, many opportunities will be offered to you. What you do with them is up to you.
In my case, an opportunity came about that I just couldn’t resist. President Bergeron, the new president of Connecticut College recently started her new role, and I have met with her on one occasion. I was truly inspired. By luck, I’ve been invited to serve on a sub-committee helping to plan her inauguration, which will blissfully tie together my time here. I accepted the offer to be a part of the sub-committee, which is charged with the planning of an evening and afternoon event for the President’s Inauguration. What’s so stellar is that this sub-committee is composed of faculty and staff of the College, and I’m the only student. We recently had our first meeting, and I got to contribute a few ideas and concerns I had.
I was somewhat caught off guard. Usually, when I first enter a formal situation or a new class, it takes me a bit of time to get comfortable before I can express my ideas and concerns. After being asked what I thought about a specific topic in our first meeting, all eyes fell to me. I told them what I thought -- me, a student among a handful of adults. We efficiently planned, organized and brainstormed about ideas for our future events … I’ll leave those for a later surprise.
For now, I just want to give a sneak peek on how things here at the College really work: Students, faculty and staff work together to formulate and execute ideas that we brainstorm together. Shared governance is real, and requires both parties.
February 11, 2014
My friends Alysha and Alysia give me the rundown on their Dance Fitness class. It's definitely something I'll be checking out in the coming weeks. Good music, good people and one crazy workout.
February 11, 2014
One of my best friends, Caroline, visited me at Conn over the weekend. Although she and I love quiet chats over mocha at our favorite coffee shops, we also love adventures like kayaking to islands off Maine’s coast and square dancing in Charlestown.
Therefore, it came as no surprise that we spent our time together at Conn doing something adventurous. What did we do? We cooked.
After Caroline arrived in New London on the Amtrak, we headed to Fiddleheads, a natural foods co-op downtown. We looked up vegetarian recipes on our phones and came across an easy one for black bean and sweet potato enchiladas.
Fiddleheads had the ingredients available, even in small portions. That meant that instead of buying an entire shaker of chili powder and bottle of canola oil (which my meal-plan-self would not finish), we could take just as much as the recipe called for.
Around dinnertime, Caroline and I set out to cook our enchiladas in Lazarus Dorm’s kitchen. Although most students at Conn live in the dorms and eat all their meals in dining halls, some apartments are available. Other buildings, like Lazarus, have dorm rooms but shared kitchens that all students, like myself, can use.
We walked straight into a cooking fiesta with the others who were there. As we grated potatoes and chopped onions, a German student made soup; a student from Texas cooked eggs, bacon and biscuits; and two friends fried rice.
Though our dinner took the longest to prepare, it was worth it. The enchiladas and the weekend turned out great.