Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back on Campus

Hey all!

Just so you know, I made it back to Saint Mike's with all my luggage and with most of my sanity.

Fancy first-class breakfast :)
It was actually one of my smoother cross-country trips. I was upgraded to first-class from Reno to Denver and then Business Class ( aka SUPER fancy international plane) from Denver to Chicago. I wasn't anything special from Chicago to Burlington, but it was a Barbie plane! It was SO small! I couldn't believe. It was also delayed for an hour and a half... ew.

Sun-tanning in Denver International

 One of my friends from back home, who skis for UVM, was on two of my flights as well as a kid who skis for Middlebury. We awkwardly met waiting for the shuttle. He had racing boots on his backpack and I felt obligated to say "hi." I mean there aren't that many ski racers so chances are that we are connected in one way or another. We happened to have a few mutual friends/acquaintance/whatevers....

My coach was nice enough to pick me up at the airport in Burlington and bring me back to school. It's a little weird being back without a ton of people, but it's also very nice. It's calm. No stress at all.

Fancy seats in Business Class
 Funny story before I sign off.. I had planned to get up at 6:20 am to shower and get ready. I had to tune my skis before training and I wanted to make sure I was ready for skiing. I got a phone call from my coach at 7:27 am... My alarm didn't go off. I shot out of bed like a bat out of hell. I made it to the ski room in about 10 min which is pretty good considering I had to search my unpacked bags for my ski gear... Luckily, everyone on the team likes me... Well, I think they do. Anyways, they just gave me a hard time, but no harm done. We still had great training!

Now, I am off to watch some video and get a small workout in.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Making the Rounds - Lake Tahoe, CA and NV

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope that everyone is enjoying a break from school work and time with friends and family. I know I am. I have run into so many old friends. People I didn't even expect to see are coming out of the woodwork.

Early Morning Training at Diamond Peak
When I come home I like to make the rounds through the ski areas. I have skied Diamond Peak, Sugar Bowl, and Squaw Valley. Diamond Peak is literally 2 minutes down the hill from my parents new house, which is awesome. It's not the biggest ski area out here, but there are BEAUTIFUL views of Lake Tahoe. The coaches of the team there are also very nice and allow me to train with them.

This pic to the right is a sunrise on the lake from the chairlift. It was a blue bird day and around 30 degrees. I can't complain about anything. It was awesome!

Skiing with old friends from gymnastics and skiing
When I'm not training, I do some free-skiing. We had an epic snowfall the last week, so I finally got to do some powder skiing. Places like Mammoth Mountain were claiming 15 feet and in Tahoe it was around 12 feet in only a few days! It was awesome! I couldn't have asked for better snow during the break.

My best powder day was at Sugar Bowl, where I skied with my friend, Hillary. We have been friends since I was 11 years old when we did gymnastics together in the Bay Area. Then, I ran into Kelly and Shannon, who are sisters that I have been racing with for 9 years. I wasn't expecting to run into them since the are technically "Squaw girls" now, but we had a great time reliving our childhood adventures at Sugar Bowl. It's nice to ski somewhere where you know all the nooks and crannies.

Caitlin and I at Squaw Valley
Today,  my little sister and I headed over to Squaw Valley to ski with my friend Caitlin and her older sister, Alex. Caitlin and I have been friends for a long time, but we were also roommates at Sugar Bowl Academy my sophomore year of high school.
She doesn't race anymore, but she still shreds so we love to get together and screw around. She always makes me laugh.

It was beautiful weather, although a little windy. There were no lines at the lifts because A) it's a big mountain and B) I think most people just relax at home on Christmas. Essentially, it was awesome!

My sister and I at Squaw
My sister and I don't get to ski together much and because she is currently recovering from a knee injury, she is nice and slow, so I can actually keep up. :-P Squaw is her home mountain, but she isn't all that familiar with it. Thank goodness I had Caitlin and Alex to lead me around.

I have absolutely loved being home and I can't believe I'm only here two more full days! It's crazy! However, I am excited to start racing. Make sure to follow this blog and the Alpine Ski Team Blog to keep up on what I'm doing and what the ski team is doing. If you are a Nordic skier, you can also follow the Nordic Ski Team Blog. While our points all go together to produce our team's ranking, we race at different venues.

Also, remember that you can ask me questions or check out previous answers about SMC via Formspring and VYou. You can also see previous answers there as well. I think VYou is a little easier as far as searching for previous answers, but it's totally up to you!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Maybe She's Born with It? Maybe It's SMCVT

Only 3 days after the end of the semester all of my grades are in. I was particularly concerned about my Music Theory and New Media 2 classes. I tried very hard and did crazy amounts of work, but the professors were demanding and can be critical. This was on top of the taking 7 classes = 19 credits and ski team and 'Bellas. The bottom line is that it was a busy semester.

Here's the break down: 4 A's and 3 B's. Final GPA: 3.516.
This is very exciting because it means I have maintained my GPA from freshman year. I had 3.5 both semesters last year. For some of you 3.5 might not seem great. Yes, it is a significant drop from the 4.2 GPA I had my senior year of high school, but college is a whole new ball game. It brings new responsibilities and new priorities. It also brings a lot of new work, new programs, and all-nighters. So lots of new, new, new.

Of course, my success wouldn't be possible without my fabulous professors who were always available to meet with me and give extra help. I emailed some of them at obscure hours and they could get back to me in a few hours. Turns out professors pull all-nighters, too. I also wouldn't have made it without all my wonderful friends who entertained my in Bergeron late at night and explained how to analyze chords, when I thought it didn't make a lick of sense. So thanks to them. I wouldn't have passed without you!

I'll right, I'm off to the gym!
Happy Holidays!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Deck the Halls

Morganne (left) and my sister, Maddi (right)
(Please comment if you know why this blog title is witty. :-P)

Hey Guys!

Obviously, the purpose of this blog is to inform you about life at Saint Mike's, but the next few blogs will probably be a lot about my life at home in Lake Tahoe, NV because it is winter break.
Of course, if you ask me some really interesting questions on VYou or Formspring, I might post those. Remember you can ask anonymously so there are no stupid questions! I also return to school in 10 days for ski team training and racing so I will be on campus very soon.

Let me tell you a little about my first day back in the West! It was very eventful. In the morning, my mom and I headed over to Alpine Meadows to watch my sister's high school race. You can see her in the photo to the left. It was her first race back since injuring her knee last Spring. While I hate to laugh, she did miss the last gate of the course because she was so excited to have made it down. Ha. It's particularly funny because she is a really good skier and much more naturally talented than myself.
Driving through Tahoe City, CA

Because of her little mistake, we headed home. As you can tell, it was dumping here. There is a rumor going around that we will get 6-12 ft in the next week. I am more than happy to go along with it. :-D
Once we got home, I broke out the keyboard that has been sitting in my garage for YEARS. I have been attempting to write an arrangement for "Firework" by Katy Perry for the 'Bellas. I've never done it before and it's taking a while, but I'll figure it out.

Mamasita (as she like to be called) hanging ornaments
 Mostly my day was lazy. It was great. I didn't have to be anywhere. I didn't have to do anything. No papers, or exams, or worksheets, oh my!

When my dad got home from work, we went out to Italian food. Oh my goodness, it was delicious. My next outing will be to Mexican food. You haven't had Mexican food until you've had west coast Mexican food. No offense, East Coasters, but you are a LONG way from Mexico. I don't why that would be offensive, but people are always saying that East Coast Mexican food is as good as West Coast Mexican food. Don't bother arguing that with me. :-P

Pieces of artistic genius from the Hall sisters
Anyways.... after dinner, it was hot chocolate, Christmas decorating, and Pride and Prejudice. I haven't decorated the Christmas tree in years because I always seem to come home the 22nd or 23rd of December and the tree has already been put together. It was really fun going through all the ornaments. When I was little, my mom let my sister and I pick out a new ornament every year. My said it was really funny to watch me pick mine because I was such a tom-boy and I always picked really girly ornaments. I'm just a very complex individual.

In the decorating process, I came across the little gems you see to the left. They were hand made by my sister and I in December of 1998. I was in 1st grade. According to my mom, I always thought it was weird I had to sit on Santa's lap. I was totally justified in that, too. The Santa in this photo looks like he is 20 years old! I'm as big as he is. (I'm the ornament on the right).

As you can probably tell, my family doesn't do the "designer Christmas tree" thing. Our tree is a a total mash-up of arts and crafts, snowflakes, icicles, little ski gondolas, and ice skates. By the way, no one in our family ice skate, so I find those particularly funny. My mom is going with the "We don't discriminate against any winter sports" excuse. Whatever.

I hope everyone is enjoying their time off and if you applied Early Action 1, keep your eyes peeled for your acceptance letters! I can't wait to see the Class of 2015 start to form!
I'm off to ski Diamond Peak!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Clips from Good Morning America at the Essex/Going Home

Oh and finals are over, but more of that later.

So you don't need to watch the whole 10 minutes, but I can give you some markers of where you can spot me. At 2 min and 43 sec, I am to the left of the "LIVE" logo on the screen. I am wearing a black hat.
My BIG moment is at 6 min and 52 sec when I got my moment on the screen in Times Square. I also on screen right after that on the right. You can't miss me. You can actually see my whole body! I also have a nice close up at 9 min and 44 sec. This might sound silly now, but just know that by seeing this you are part of my national TV debut. GET EXCITED! You can be the person that says "I totally knew her before she was famous!"
Now that I've forced you to watch me on tv again... I'll tell you a little bit about finals week. It has actually been really relaxing. Here's why.
I only had one final. The rest were projects and take home finals. I was done with most of it my noon on Monday which gave me plenty of time to study for my Varieties of Christianity exam. (This qualifies as the religion requirement and I HIGHLY recommend the professor. Professor Patterson is so awesome!)
Anyways, I took that exam today. I think it went so-so. To be honest, I studied the vocabulary a ton, but I just drew a straight blank on some of them. Some of them I knew hands down 10 min before the exam, but I froze up. That hardly ever happens to me, but it did. Luckily, I believe I did well on the essays which were 60/100 points on the exam. I had A's on all my assignments before that so I am not too concerned.
I also turned in my music theory exam today. It was take home which was nice and I don't what I would have done without my book on hand. Music theory is REALLY hard. My science/math friends laugh when I say that, but it was just as hard as any math class I've taken!
Now, it is all over and there is no sense in worrying! There are 10 days until Christmas and I will be home in 24 hours. I think I have said this before, but I haven't been home since the 4th of July. It's crazy! I can't wait to sleep for 48 hours when I get home. The semester was awesome, but exhausting. I can't wait for a month without the stress of homework. I just want to ski!
Even though I am off homework duty, I am not off blogger/question-answering duty! I know people will be getting acceptance letters and sending in applications soon, so I'm sure there will be tons!
Head to the "Ask Questions About SMC" tab at the top of the page to ask questions or see previous answers!
Have a very happy holiday season!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Top Questions About Saint Michael's College

The idea behind this post is to put some of my most viewed/useful answers front and center. Some of them have not been posted in a while. I have a Formspring account, so you can ask me question there, but I have been primarily using VYou lately. You can ask questions from either site on the right side of the blog in the Formspring box or go to the "Ask Questions" tab at the top of the page!
I hope this is helpful!

Number One:

when can I change my classes? I've already registered for them, but is there a time at the end of the summer when I can switch them around?

I don't have an exact date for this summer, but I believe you will be able to switch your schedule around after the last registration day at the end of July. Around Aug. 1st, you can log on to Knight Vision and see what classes are still available. If you can't switch on the website, just call the registrar's office and they will be more than happy to help you if there are available spots. If you can't get in before school, there is week period at the start of semester to drop/add classes and you can go directly to the professor and see if they will take extra students. You could also email the professor before school starts to get their policy on adding extra students. Ex: Professor Kim Sultze is
Good Luck!
Number Two:

Can you list some necessities to bring to college as a freshmen? for dorm rooms, for classes, for going out...etc.

Wow, that's broad but I'll give you the top ten things I can think of.
1) 2 sets of sheets, 2 pillows, a mattress pad, and a comforter
2) At least two towels, a shower basket with shampoo/condition/razor/soap ect. that you can take to the bathroom
3) A microwavable plate, cup, and bowl plus utensils
4) A refrigerator and microwave (you only need one of each per room so talk to your roommate)
5) A pair of appropriate pajamas so you aren't embarrassed or frantically putting on pants when someone knock on your door.
6) A desk lamp and a "desk set" with pencil holder and other organizing things
7) Laundry basket/soap/ dryer sheets
8) One "family appropriate" business casual outfit for something like the Block M Athletics Dinner or Dean's List Get Together.
9) A pair of jeans and a million t-shirts that you can wear with them for that lovely 8 am class as well as a pair of sneakers you can just throw on.
10) Pictures of home, friends, and posters to decorate your room with. I did a beach theme and had some great pictures of Hawaii collaged on my wall.

Obviously, you can take what you want, but I think these can get you by for a while. All school supplies can be purchased at the book store or you can catch the bus to town and get supplies at the Rite-Aid. Bring clothes you are comfortable and confident in. And my big piece of advice is: DON'T CHANGE WHO YOU ARE WHEN YOU COME TO SCHOOL. Seriously. Be yourself and emphasize your best qualities, but if you try to totally reinvent yourself it might go spiraling out of control.

Number Three:

Gabbi, is it pretty easy to meet friends in your dorm building and floor? Thanks!

There is NOTHING easier. Over orientation weekend, it's a great time to "make the rounds." Most people have their doors open and are open to visitors. And when move in is happening on Thursday from 9 am - 1 pm, the main dorm doors are open so you can go meet people in the other buildings.
In my experience, I found that when I wanted to go to meals in the beginning I'd ask a girl on my floor. It was how we got over the awkward stage. Nothing like an Alliot meal to build friendships. :-D
My big tip is: Keep your door open over Orientation Weekend as much as possible. At one point my roommate and I had 20 people playing some screaming word game in our room and I'm still friends with quite a few of them!

Number Four: 

i feel like i am honestly the only incoming freshman who is not jumping up and down and counting down the days until we leave. were you nervous your first week at smc/how did you overcome it if you were?

Great question!!

Of course I was nervous! I was nervous people wouldn't like me. I was nervous I couldn't handle the school work. I was nervous that I would fall behind in my ski racing. I was nervous that SMC wasn't the best choice for me. My head was absolutely spinning before I came to school. Although, I will admit I was one of those people that was soooooo excited to move-in.
Move-in day I was nervous about the first impression I would make (I even tried like 5 outfit on that morning because I had to be comfortable and cute.) and to be honest it didn't go away until after the first week of classes, but here is my secret.
Keep a smile on your face and keep your dorm room door OPEN. Go walk around the freshman buildings, Joyce, Lyons, and Ryan, and talk to everyone who has doors open. It may not seem that everyone is nervous, but I'd bet that 99% of the other freshman are putting on their brave faces.
Get a big group of girls or guys on your floor (or not) to go to Alliot meals together. The more people the better and less awkward it will be. Invite your new friends over for games or jamming out to music in your room. I had 20 people in my room playing this weird word game at one point during orientation.
So SMILE and keep an open mind about everyone! Moving into college is a weird, awkward and wonderful experience so appreciate every minute!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hello, America. This is Gabbi Hall coming to you live from the Essex. :-D

It has been a long week, but classes are over! Also, I made my national TV debut on Good Morning America.
Good Morning America was doing a special broadcast from the Essex in Essex, VT. It's this really nice spa and resort with an amazing culinary school. It's the place you want your parents to take you if you want to go to a REALLY nice dinner.
So here's how the day went.
1) Wake up at 5:30
2) Go to Dunkin' to get coffee
3) Meet up with the girls who were getting a ride with me
4) Arrive at the Essex at 6:45 am.
5) Warm-up/ Head to the set by the bonfire

We sang at 7:30 am, 8 am, and 8:30 am. Once was by a bonfire, once was for the tree lighting, and the final time was during weather and food. I was standing right next to the food area when we were singing. I was so close to Sam Champion, the weather guy. He was really nice too. I am totally going to have his job someday. He better watch out. :-P
The biggest highlight of the morning was when we were put on the big screen in Times Square! Seriously, we were up on the big one with GMA all around it. Pretty frikkin' cool. So this morning was essentially my claim to fame for the year. And yes, I mean for the year. I like to have at least one "famous" moment a year to keep up on my TV presence.
Just kidding... sort of... anyways...
Not only has this week been crazy with final projects, but it's been a lot of singing. The Acabellas were singing with the Sleepless Knights on Wednesday night. It was really fun. They are great group and the Bellas never complain about having a show.

If you watch the video, I'm in the back right hand side. Big blond hair, a black dress, sparkly belt, and swirly tights. You can't miss me. Also, these are courtesy of my friend Libby's camera and a friend of hers who took the actual video, so there is some chit chatting in the beginning. You can fast forward that if you'd like.
Tonight we are performing at the Make a Joyful Noise concert, which is a fundraiser for a professor in need and we are also performing at Stress Free Knight. Stress Free Knight happens while everyone is getting ready for finals. You can get 15-minute massages, henna tattoos, eat some snacks, and listen to some great a capella music by Acabellas and Mike Check. It's a nice way to get the weekend started!
So it's been a song-filled, stressful, yet awesome week. I can't wait to go home on Thursday!
Talk to you all soon! Keep your fingers crossed for me during finals week.


Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm going to be on Good Morning America

"Keep the Vow, Fund AIDs Now" Rally

Seriously! You'll have to read on to know why, where, and when...

It's the final countdown to going home and it  seems like there is more to do than ever before.

After we last talked, I attended to "Keep the Vow, Fund AID's Now" rally. It was part of Global AIDs week. It was planned by the Student Global AIDs Campaign (SGAC) on campus. They led a group of close to 30 people from Sen. Leahy's Office to Sen. Sanders Office to demand that they pressure President Obama to keep is promise of putting a billion more dollars towards AIDs research and prevention.
A representative from Leahy's office speaks
 I am not personally involved in SGAC, but I was covering for the Defender so I actually ended participating in my first rally that day. At first, I was shy and just walked along with the group. After a few minutes and some encouragement from my good friend, Sarah, I was chanting along with everyone else. It was a loud, but peaceful rally. I did notice a singular police officer following us around.
This was also definitely my tightest Defender deadline. Generally stories need to be submitted by 9 am Friday morning for the Fact Checkers. However my event wasn't until Friday mid-day, so my deadline shifted. I had to get in in Friday by 4 pm, mostly because the Chorale had rehearsal at 4 pm before our performance.

Chorale rehearsal

So once I had turned in my article, I rushed off to 4 hours of singing. We had rehearsal and then a performance. At rehearsal, Nat Lew, the director, said he had good news, fantastic news, and bad news.  
    Naturally, we wanted bad news first. He told us we had to wake up at 6 am on Friday. Everyone freaked out a little bit. I didn't sign up for early morning singing when I registered for classes. Then he told us the fantastic news! WE ARE GOING TO BE ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA! Yes, the big tv show on ABC. :-D Oh my goodness, I almost died when I found out! They are doing some sort of segment from the Essex Inn in Essex, VT (just down the road) and we will be caroling!!  So basically I am going to be famous after Friday so you may want to catch up on blog so you can make fan pages and such. :-P (The good news is we don't have parts tests... oh, and the concert later that night went well...)
Speaking of famous people, Nick Cannon was here on Saturday night. Seriously. He did stand-up and was surprisingly hilarious.  I had really been hoping he'd bring Mariah, but he didn't. So sad. However, he did stick around and snap pics with fans after the show. I didn't hang back after the show. If I had known he was going to stay for pics, I would have. Again, so sad, but I'll live.
Nick Cannon
 Bottom line: It's been a pretty eventful few days. Plus, it's finally snowing here and it finally feels acceptable to listen/sing Christmas songs. Now I have to go work on my final projects!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Answering the Tough Questions

So I've answered about 6 new questions in the past two days, so I figured I'd embed my VYou so that you can watch the responses and ask any questions you may have!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Flash to the Future

It's 8:12 am and I have been up for almost 3 and a 1/2 hours. My alarm went of at 4:50 am this morning. I woke up "Two is Better Than One" by Boys Like Girls and Taylor Swift. I didn't sleep well last night. I have a hard time falling asleep if I know I have to go to sleep and my suitemates were a little loud and there were people screaming outside my building. I don't know why it was so loud Wednesday night, but it was.

All that doesn't even matter because I flashed into my future! This morning, my Writing For Media 1 class took a field trip (Yes, you still go on field trips in college.) to WCAX, a family-owned tv news station in Burlington. Oh my goodness, it was so awesome. I was in heaven. The set was everything I imagined it would be and all I wanted to do was sit in the chair of power. We watched the 6:30 am broadcast which included a lot of weather and stories about things like a murder in a nursing home.

We got to see the editing room, the news room, the sales room, the behind-the-scenes room, and the actual set where the anchor sits. Like I said, I was in heaven. I always knew I wanted to be in news, but my fire has been re-lit so to speak. I realized that my goal is really within my reach. I can't wait to take the TV News Reporting class while I am at Saint Mike's and to eventually intern at a news station!

Oh, I can't wait! Now, I have to go to class, but I promise to keep you updated in my last few weeks of this semester!


PS Always remember that you can ask me questions by heading to my "Ask Questions About SMC" page or head to my VYou page!

PSS There is a Holiday Contest through the Admissions Office! Check out the info here: Youtube

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