Monday, January 31, 2011

Worried about Making Friends? Wondering if you will have any free time?

As a blogger, I don't just write my blog and answer questions. I also try to keep up on the other blogs to check in on what kinds of questions they are answering and what fun and new blogs they have written. Since there are several other bloggers using Vyou, I thought I'd share what I have found to be some of the most useful answers we've given!

Advice On Making Friends - Alex '14

How much free time do you have for extracurriculars? - Dan '11

What the three most important life lessons that you've learned as a college student? - Christine '11

A Bump in the Road

Just as I was gaining momentum into the semester, I hit a bump in the road. We all have them. My bump is a particularly mean, little monster. I have a sore throat. I am exhausted. I can't do physical activities for 4-6 weeks. If I fall/crash/have extreme impact, I may rupture my spleen. Can you guess what I have? Mono.
Yup, it's the truth. It's like my world has been flipped upside down. I can't ski for a few weeks. I am praying that I will be able to race Eastern Championships at the end of February. I'm essentially bed-ridden except for classes. :-(
On the bright side, I now I have a lot of time. This time, which I could be using to do homework and reading, has been dedicated to cleaning and redecorating my room. It is the first time is weeks that I have been able to see my floor. I even vacuumed! Fancy, I know.
As for redecorating, I went to TJ Maxx today with the intention of buying new pillows. My old ones were getting flat. When I got there, I ended up buying: new sheets with pretty flowers on them, a pillow cover with fun embroidered flowers, new pillows, and new towels (one yellow and one blue). I do that when I'm sad. I shop. I almost bought these really cute high heels, but those aren't sensible A) because it's the middle of winter in Vermont and live in my Sorels and B) because I would definitely be the person to slip on the ice and rupture my spleen while I have mono...
I also recently started taking down my current photo collage. I haven't decided what will be going up it's place, but I just need a change. I need bright and shiny and exciting this semester. Not that my room wasn't a happy place before, but I am turning into a fabulous sanctuary now.
Since I won't be skiing for a while I am going to have a TON of free time. Please entertain me by asking my questions on VYou and Formspring. Also, congratulations to everyone receiving their acceptance letters! That's very exciting! It doesn't seem that long ago that I got mine!

Alright! I'm going to bed! I'll update you again soon!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gabrielle Hall-iday Weekend

Seriously. Getting me to more than three days of classes is a small miracle during the winter. In fact, we started the semester last Monday. I went to class until Wednesday. Then I went ski racing until yesterday. Today was my second "first-day back."

Let's call it the "Gabrielle Hall-iday Weekend." It's better than President's Weekend and Martin Luther King Jr Weekend, mostly because it is significantly longer. I see a new national holiday in the future. (Strange how Obama didn't mention in the State of the Union....)

Parents, I know what you are thinking. "Wow, this school must just let their athletes breeze through classes."

False. I was in fact reading Saint Augustine's Confessions (on my brand new iPad :) ) in my hotel room and writing story pitches for radio and the Defender. Athletes at Saint Mike's are not allowed to just miss school and breeze through classes. I don't think there are many who would try. Athletes here are VERY committed to academics as well as athletics. I will say that for me personally, I'll pick racing over school any day. However, I also like to do everything well and so I schedule in homework.
Fun fact: The 99% Academic Success Rate (ASR) for Saint Michael's student athletes is the best in the Northeast Ten Conference and the second best in Division II nationally.

Kerstin and Christina
Here is how my Hall-iday weekend went.

Thursday 1:30 pm - 5 hour drive to Sugarloaf, ME for the Colby Carnival

Friday - Giant Slalom race. Here is a quick summary: It was really snowy. Visibility was bad. Snow wasn't awful, but there were definitely HUGE holes in the course. I got 21st overall and 18th in the college rankings :) That is my best collegiate result so far!

Saturday - Slalom. Here is a quick summary: Sunny, but absolutely frigid up at the Loaf. My first run was average, but my second run was pretty rippin', if I do say so myself. I ended up 24th. Not my best SL result, however, when I get two rippin' runs together things will go wonderfully! (Drove back to SMC after the race)

Sunday - Tuning skis and driving to North Conway, NH to ski at Cranmore.

Maddi and Mom
Monday - This was my best day of the Hall-iday Weekend. I got 8th :) It was sunny (and a little cold) at Cranmore, but I won't complain about sunshine. This series was an Eastern Cup race so you get a much larger field than at the college races. There were 120 ladies on Monday. My little sister was also racing. It was her first FIS race back from her injury last spring. She wasn't thrilled I beat her, but she will beat my in the long run. She's that good. The point is: I got 8th with mistakes. I just have to figure out how to hone my speed.

Ski Team boys hanging out
Tuesday - Yesterday wasn't as good as Monday. I got 14th, so I wasn't disappointed. I just had more mistakes then the day before. Apparently, nearly coming to a stop in the course is NOT fast. Who knew? It was a great confidence boosting series. I'm happy that I will have this weekend off and then it's back to college racing at Stowe on Feb. 4th and 5th. That will be a great race because we've been training there. :-)

So there's the run down of the "Gabrielle Hall-iday Weekend."

Now, I have some pressing VYou  and Formspring questions to answer, a shower to take, and a Founder's Society meeting to attend. :)



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spring Semester 2011 - Predictions and Problems (Vlog)

does st mikes ever get snow days? - Formspring

Nope, not really. :-P Because campus is 99% residential, most students can make it to class with no trouble. They are really good about clearing the pathways. (It's a curse and a blessing...) However, some professors may choose to cancel class due to extreme weather. They don't live on campus and sometimes Vermont roads can be scary. Generally, they will email students if they plan to cancel. Hope this helps!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saint Lawrence Carnival at Whiteface, NY (Collegiate Race #1)

My sister, Maddi, and me at Whiteface
Hey hey hey!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their 2011! After two weeks, I have a feeling this might be my best year ever!

This weekend was the first collegiate race of the season. If you are unfamiliar with ski racing, here is my short explanation. The Saint Mike's Ski Team races on the NCAA Division 1 circuit. While it is an individual sport as far as qualifying for NCAA Nationals, there are also team points and rankings. We have six collegiate races during our season hosted by six different schools, which vary from year to year. If you have more questions, you can ask me on VYou.

The first day of the Carnivals is always GS and it's always on Friday. Why the EISA had to make is so hard to schedule classes I have NO idea? Don't get me wrong, I like 4-day weeks, but it's hard to convince professors you won't just be flunking out of their class... Anyways, I only have one Friday class this semester (small miracle) and I had the professor last year for my Intro to Philosophy class. I got an A then, so he said we could make in work for Philosophy of Religion.

I raced pretty well on Friday. Every race I get a little better. There is truly an art to getting yourself into race mode and I still haven't mastered how to do it from the first race of the season, but I'll get there. I ended up 25th. I only moved up seven spots, but I was all that far out. I was actually 22nd in the collegiate results. (Because our races are part of FIS, there is a quota for non-collegiate racers.)

The photo of me (above) was taken by my mom 30 seconds after I got off course. She has an iPhone and is all about snapping photos and putting them directly on Facebook. :-D While getting my photo taken when I am still trying to catch my breathe isn't my favorite thing, it is nice to have my parents in town. They flew in Thursday and will be here through the next Carnival. They are staying in an apartment in Burlington. It's great because they can cook for me! The down-side is that they totally stole my car for the week so I am immobile...

Some of the boys watching the Women's race
Back on track... Saturday was slalom on the same hill. It was not my best race. By pretty sheer luck, I ended up 30th after the first run and made flip. That means I get to run 1st on the second run. That has its own pros and cons that I won't get into right now. I ended up 25th again which was pretty solid since it wasn't by best skiing. My coach did say my pitch was pretty excellent though. I just need to figure out how to ski flats.

If you want to hear more about the team, camps, and results, head to our Ski Team Blog and "like" us on Facebook.

I'm headed off for coffee with my swim team friends and then for some shopping with my parents. I see new clothes in my future :-D


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's About That Time Again

For me to post my VYou directly into by blog, and for Carnival season to start, and for the Spring semester 2011 to start. Woah! Big time of the year :-P

As you may know, the first college ski race of the season is this Friday at Whiteface, NY hosted by Saint Lawrence. I am SOOOOO excited to get going. I've had my first couple of races and this could finally be my break through race where I am back were I was at the end of last season.

Also fast approaching are classes. I'm conflicted. Yes, I love being on break, but I'm sort of bored. I can't wait for classes to start and for everyone to get back on campus! I'm especially excited for my "Acting for the Camera" class! I think it will be extremely helpful with not only my dreams of being on TV, but also by vlogs (video blogs) and my VYou answers!

Okay, I have to go grocery shopping for the ski team dinner, but I will write a post before classes start and after the Carnival. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Essential Outfits for Success in 2011 - Guest Blog by Tita Vizcarra of OMGee Magazine


Last year, the fabulous Tita Vizcarra of OMGee Magazine wrote a guest blog for me on the 12 College Essentials. That has been my most popular post and extremely useful when determining what to pack for school to look your best.
I asked Tita to do another for me and she was done a terrific job! I asked her to compile 3 outfits for a "New Year, New You" style post for all of us who would like to spice up our wardrobe and look fabulous this 2011! There is an everyday look, a going-out look, and a more-professional-but-still-fun look. Check them out!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunday River Nor-Am: Part 1

From the bottom of the triple at the Barker Lodge
I am half way done with my first race series of the season. Most people choose to start the season with low-key races.... I... ummmmm... didn't.
I am currently at the Nor-Ams in Sunday River. For those of you who are not ski racers, Nor-Ams are formally North American Cups. They are, in a nut shell, the most competitive races in North America aside from the World Cup races that are hosted once or twice a year.
Basically, I said "What the heck?" and jumped right in. Now, I'm not going to tell you I skied fabulous or did anything spectacular. As much as I'd like to say that, it would be way too positive, even for me.
The first two days have been GS (Giant Slalom). This particular course is pretty long. At its fastest it's about 1 min 14 seconds, but it's usually around 1 min 20 seconds.

At the finish
Now, I assume if you aren't a skier, this might seem short. Here is my genius analogy. Have you ever sprinted for a minute or more? Think that plus a frozen throat and burning quads. It's a GREAT feeling. :-P
So on Day 1, things actually went pretty well until I got my arm hooked in a gate. Note to self: Give yourself some room at the gate. I was in 28th at the first split. I started 63rd, so that would have been quite a jump if I had kept it up. However, I ended up with some fabulous bruises.

On Day 2, I finished both runs. That was the goal. I really wanted to use these races as training because I haven't much time on GS skis. Considering I was racing against girls who have raced World Cups and that most of them have been training non-stop since August, (I had 3 days of GS training going into Day 1) it was pretty good. I ended up 40th. I'm fairly certain that is my best Nor-Am finish ever.
Aside from the racing, there is a social aspect to ski racing. My friend, Rikke, is from Norway, but is here doing the Nor-Am circuit and killing it (by the way). I met here when I was training with Treble Cone Race Academy down in New Zealand this summer. (To see posts from that trip, check back in my posts to July/August of 2010 or check out my travel blog.)

Maine Lobster
Yesterday, I was headed to dinner at my hotel with Rikke and her mom. One of the girls from the Alberta ski team invited us to join them at her condo for lobster. Now, from the picture, you can see that I mean which got our own lobster. We had to crack them and everything. I've never done that before. It was also really nice of the Alberta girls to invite me in when I haven't met them before this trip. It was also nice to hang out with them since I am up here by myself. I do have help from GMVS. (Thanks, Micah!) However, it's still hard to be without my team. It's a comfort thing.

So now I'm getting organized for tomorrows SL. If you are bored, you can tune into Live-Timing --> It starts at 10:00 am.
Otherwise, I'll update you when I'm back at school!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dear Snow Gods, Why are you neglecting VT? Love, Gabbi

I'd like to start off with "Happy New Year" to everyone! I hope that this year is better than your last. I could put some cheesy quote in now about looking to the future and shooting for the stars, but I don't feel like googling that right now because it takes me FOREVER to decide on one.

Now, as you probably know, I am back on campus. I've been here for almost a week now. It has been REALLY warm and I don't just mean it has been above zero. I mean it is currently 50 degrees outside and I can rock a t-shirt. Okay, I am all for sunshine and warm weather, but we have lost A LOT of snow. There is barely any left on campus and up at the mountain yesterday there were huge dirt patches. It was is so sad. :-(

I don't really pray, but I am praying to the snow gods that we get some snow ASAP. It is January 2nd and this is all getting a little... okay, more than a little... ridiculous. Despite the warm weather, up until yesterday the training had been pretty good. I trained 2 days of slalom with the team at Smuggs and one day I went down to Burke Mountain for a Pre-Nor-Am camp to train GS.

That was really cool for a number of reasons. 1) I've never been to Burke and I like going to new places. 2) I got to train with some amazing skiers from UVM, Denver U, and UNH. Now, Saint Mike's does have a stronger team than in previous years, which I am totally jazzed about! However, it's great to get out and train with skiers who have been on the national team and are winning the college races. I'm a visual learner, so watching them ski is HUGELY helpful to me. I am also really lucky that Molly, the assistant coach, came with me. Because I was the only SMC skier going down there, it was nice to have a coach there to coach and video me. Turns out I knew most of the coaches from the other teams, which was also nice. I'm realizing it's a small world, a really small world.

Outside of training, my friend Kelsey and I went to watch the SMC ice hockey game that was part of the Holiday Classic tournament. Kelsey is the real ice hockey fan, but I'm getting into it and it's a fun to watch.  Unfortunately, we lost that game, but one game doesn't determine a season.

Alright, I have to finish loading my car. I'm headed up to Sunday River for the Nor-Ams. Wish me luck and send good vibes my way!
Remember, that if you have any questions you can click the "Ask Questions About SMC" tab or leave a comment below!
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