Saturday, February 26, 2011

NCAA Eastern Regional Champs 2011 - Day 1

Well, this will be a short post since I am exhausted, but also because I am on my iPad and it's much slower to type than it is on my computer.
Despite all this, I did want to make a post because I'm in a very happy place. It's strange but everything feels like it is going just as it should be and that I am in the right place. It's a great feeling.
Today was day one of EISA Champs at Sunday River, ME. It was slalom which is (historically) my best event. I have been training great slalom at Smugg's, but sometimes the way I train is not what happens on race day. Today it did. I just relaxed. I wasn't thinking about qualifying for Nationals or making flip. I was VERY zen and centered as one might say. My first run I was 21st, which was already better than the 30th place position which I had taken over in my first few carnivals.
Usually when I do well first run, I over think 2nd run. Today I didn't I just skied. I just stayed calm and relaxed and skied. I felt solid and clean. Yes, sometimes out of control is fast, but I think smooth was the key for me today. I was too nervous to look at the scoreboard after second run, so I didn't. I had no idea what place I ended up until I got my phone back after the race and my mom and sister had texted me and my dad had called. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked. I got 16th! (For those unfamiliar with racing that is 16 of about 60, not to mention there are a lot of fabulous skiers in the field.) That's my best collegiate result to date :) I even got a nice shout out on the smcathletics site.
It's nice to really back in skiing. I'm not just racing, but I'm also able to really compete!
Now, as part of champs, we have a banquet. This year it was at the Bethel Inn. I think its fun to go and see everyone all dressed up. I even wore heels :) The guys always look so nice! The point of the banquet is to get everyone together and give out all-academic awards and the coach of the year award. I made the All-Academic Team as well as my co-captain, Nate, and several Nordic skiers including Sam Martell (Shout Out!) That means we had above 3.5 GPAs! Yay for smart athletes! <--- I'll be addressing that topic in an upcoming post.
Alright, it's time for me to go to bed, but I promise to keep you all posted about tomorrow!

Xoxo
Gabbi

Monday, February 21, 2011

Robert Randolph and the Family Band - Higher Ground


Robert Randolph
 I know I updated the blog yesterday, but some last minute plans made for a good post! I'll start with telling you about Higher Ground. Higher Ground is a small concert venue in South Burlington that gets some really awesome acts. It's about 15 minutes from school and you can even take the bus there, though you may want to consider a taxi or using a car. There is a bar if you are over 21 with ID. For the rest of us, it's 'X's on the back of our hands. (Does anyone else immeadiately think of the 3OH!3 song?) I saw the Plain White T's last year and Howie Day. Tickets are at most $30 and you can get really close to the stage. I was front row for the PWT's and Howie Day. :)

Last night, I had no exciting plans. It was going to be reading a book or watching a movie. However, my friend Chris facebook-ed me saying he had an extra ticket to a concert and asked if I wanted to go. Well, needless to say, I was happy to have something to do and I'd never turn down a fun concert. :) That headliner was Robert Randolph. If you don't who that is, they perform the song "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That".

Admittedly, I was not a huge follower going into the concert. Luckily, Chris wasn't really either. He only knew a few songs. I am now a huge fan. They are a group that can REALLY perform live. They had great stage presence, great voices, and did I mention the lights? Let me tell you, the lights for this show were really great!

At one point, they brought people on stage to play guitar with the band. Some were good, but some got booted off the stage :-P It was really fun to watch though.

Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you! The opener was really great as well! They are called Chamberlin and they are VT band with a ton of talent. There debut album comes out the first. I recommend checking it out :-)
Concerts are just one of the many things to do in Burlington! Just wanted to share this with you!

xoxo
Gabbi

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Survival Tips for Life in Vermont

I won't pretend that I know everything. (I am always right, but that's different than knowing everything... :-P) However, I do know a little bit about coming to Vermont from a warm(er) environment. I was born and raised in California. I grew up in Marin County, which is just north of San Francisco. It's a very warm environment compared to Vermont. It's not Palm Desert, but you get the point. Now, I live in Lake Tahoe, which is one of the snowy parts of California/Nevada. However, we see something like 300 days of sun there and it rarely gets below zero. As far as I am concerned, Vermont is about as close to the arctic tundra as I ever plan to get. In this post, I intend to give you some helpful tips about what to wear, how to handle cloudy days, and how to enjoy the nice days.

There are few clothing items that I have found essential in my past year and a half here in VT.
  • A snow jacket - A jacket that you can wear skiing. It should be waterproof and have a hood. A puffy jacket will do, but make sure it's durable.
  • A pea coat - Or a more stylish jacket. I like the options of having my ski jacket or a more stylish jacket. It gives you an option if you are going out to a nice dinner, date, or an interview. 
  • Scarves - I was never a scarf person (if there is such a thing). However, I have found them most useful here in Vermont. They come in all sorts of colors and designs. Long ones are great because you can wrap them around my face and shield it from the elements.
  • Gloves - When I was younger, my parents always used to wear leather gloves into the city for work. I, of course, wore my fun printed ones from the GAP. However, in college, I have found that the leather gloves which I thought were so 'adult' are extremely sensible. Not only do they keep your hands warm, but they aren't super bulky (like my ski gloves) so I can still do things with them on. You can get them at TJ Maxx for very reasonable prices. I actually recommend going there for all winter accessories.  It's reasonable and I don't worry if they get mud or hot chocolate or coffee on them. :-)
  • Boots - While I realize this will sound like several different pairs of boots, I promise you will find them all very useful. Here are my three recommendations: rain boots, Uggs, and snowboots. We do have pretty heavy rain and mud season here in VT, so rain boots are essential. They also work in the snow if you don't want to purchase snow boots. The quick fix is wearing thick warm socks. Your feet will stay dry and warm. However, if you do get snow boots, I recommend Sorels. That's what I wear. They are warm and can keep your feet dry. As for Uggs, they are nice and warm (and super cute). Just make sure to water proof them and know that the salt they put on the side walk can leave some annoying white marks.
As for dealing with cloudy days, my best advice is to wear bright colors. This may sound silly, but I have found that if I dress brighter I feel better. Avoiding too much black clothing is usually pretty key. I've also found that having a colorful room helps drown out the darker days. :-) If you really want to get the effects of sunlight, Health Services offers a full-spectrum light. While I haven't used it, I know you can schedule an appointment and apparently it has the benefits of sunlight. Don't worry, we do see sunshine here! In fact it's sunny today, but it is a little more gray here than in California.

When there are sunny days, I recommend making an extra effort to get outside. Even if it is cold, just put on your hat, gloves, and warm socks! Don't forget the sunglasses. You can just take a walk about the campus or take a break on the benches in the middle of campus and do some people watching. If you want to get off campus, you can head into Burlington and walk along Lake Champlain near the ECHO center. There are benches and beautiful views. It is also right near the Skinny Pancake if you want to grab some food.

There you have it :) These are my survival tips and tricks. If you have any questions, feel free to Ask Me!

xoxo
Gabbi

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm Back in the Game! Middlebury Carnival 2011



Quick video about day one at the Middlebury Carnival! :) Today was my first day back in SL gates and it was definitely a challenge. I sort of psyched myself out with a bunch of things that don't really matter like 'You have to ski well to qualify for NCAAs' and silly things like that. Once I got that first run out of the way, I was much more relaxed for second run. Only problem with that was that the course was so torn up that there wasn't much to do, but hope to make it down the course. All things considered it could've been worse and I'm really looking forward to GS tomorrow. (I've actually trained that already). Okay, I've got to get some sleep before the race!

For more details, check out the SMC ALPINE SKI TEAM BLOG!

xoxo
Gabbi

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

6 Degrees of Separation (Probably less than that actually...)

According to Wikipedia, six degrees of separation (also referred to as the "Human Web") refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. At Saint Mike's, I'm guesstimating that we are connected by two degrees of separation at most....

I was sitting in my Philosophy of Religion class with Professor Olsen... (take a mental note that this class is far more interesting that I thought it was going to be and its more reading than actual written hw) ...and I realized how much overlap there is at SMC. I'm sure at some point you've heard a Saint Mike's admissions counselor or student say "Saint Mike's has such a GREAT community." They will say that it's small. They will say you will always see familiar faces. I will say that you'll become friends with people you would never have befriended in high school.

All of this is true, but this short and sweet is to talk about how weird and interesting all the connections you make are. Let's start with my class and extracurriculars overlap. In my US History class, there are two other ski team members. Several other people in my US History class are ALSO in my philosophy of religion class. A different girl is in my philosophy of religion class AND my creative dance class. Also in my creative dance class is Kat, one of the Aca Bellas as well as a journalism major who was in my New Media classes. I won't even bother telling you all about the overlap in the journalism overlap because we are like a weird family over there in Bergeron,the journalism building... (most students walk by and wonder 'what happens in this building?').

I suppose that this all really leads back to a small community, but my point is that NO MATTER what department you are taking a class in, chances are there will be a familiar face. I thought I didn't know ANYONE in my philosophy class on day one. As the semester has continued, I have found that's not true. Here at Saint Mike's we are all connected in one way or another. Usually it is (at most) 2 degrees of separation through a friend or classmate. That's what makes a community. There is a comfort in the familiarity and an excitement in getting to know a familiar face on a more personal lever.

This is just something I wanted to express and I hope it gives you a little insight into life here.

xoxo
Gabbi

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

QVC Commercial, COTS, and Middlebury Carnival

The title is not witty, but it sums up what this vlog is all about. :) Remember that if you have any questions about SMC, you head to my "Ask Questions About SMC" page and ask away!

The second video is some of my skiing from this season. The third video is a recording from when Aca Bellas were learning "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen. While it's not the best recording, there are some great photos of Saint Mike's that I took on a beautiful day last Spring! Check it out!

xoxo

Gabbi






Friday, February 11, 2011

ShredMC Rail Jam - February 2011

Once again, the Saint Mike's Ski Club aka ShredMC put on a fabulous rail jam. Can rail jam be fabulous? Maybe I should say "The rail jam was hella tight." That is how we'd say it out west. Either way, people were throwing down and taking some pretty good spills. I took some video with the flip cam and threw a video together and here it is! Enjoy :-)
xoxo

Gabbi

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ambassador Housing - All the Details

I currently live in Ambassador Housing. What is Ambassador housing? It is part of the ALD program here at Saint Mike's. It means living in a suite in either Cantebury, Pontigny, and Cashman with international students that are studying abroad in the states.

As an ambassador, it is the students job to help ALD students adjust to life here. It can be as simple as helping them navigate campus, the cafeteria, or showing them how to use the laundry machines here. Some students make life-long friends. I have heard of students who still keep in touch with the international students they lived with.

Students sign up in pairs. For example, my friend Maria and I will be signing up. We can pick up the sign-up card on Friday. Then we have to turn it in next Thursday and draw a raffle number. The lower the number, the better chance at getting a suite. The nice thing is that we know the results by the next day. That way can prepare a back up plan in case we don't get an Ambassador suite.

If you get a suite, it can be arranged 3 ways. You might be placed in a 4-person suite with 2 students and 2 ALD students. You might also be placed in an 8-person suite. That can be situated with 2 students and 6 ALD students or 4 students and 4 ALD students.

Please note: This is an option for sophomore, junior, and senior year. It is NOT an options as a first-year as you do not go through the housing raffle process. However, it is nice to know that it is an option.

So that's the deal. It's a quick summary, but I've had questions about it in the past, so I thought I'd tell you what I know!

xoxo
Gabbi

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How SMC Students Pick Housing

Hey!

It's that time of year again. We are starting the housing process here at Saint Mike's. They called me a rising Junior. How is that even possible? It just makes me feel old. Like my friend pointed out wisely, "After that comes seniors." This is an even scarier thought.

I want to tell you a little about the housing process that you will go through in your second semester here. Before I tell you that, I suppose I should reiterate how you will be housed next year.

After you send in your deposit, you will receive your new student manual. This will contain all the information you'll need about housing, pre-orientation, class registration, and lots of other fun things. It will also contain lots of forms for you to fill out. It's super fun. :-P

One of your forms will be asking all about how you live. The form asks if you go to be early or late and if you are messy or clean. It'll ask about your major and your outside interests. Student Life does a really great job of matching up roommates. To me it seems they don't match by major, but by how you live. If you say you are clean and you are dirty, you will probably get a clean roommate. That can be a tension builder. It's important to be honest about your lifestyle! That's my big tip.

Now I'll move onto upper classmen housing. Here's an important note: Priority is by class year. That means seniors get first pick, then juniors, and then sophomores, ect. If you had a ton of AP credits in high school, you may actually qualify for the grade above you. Ex: My friend, Maria, is Class of 2013, but she is considered Class of 2012 (senior) and therefore gets to pick housing with seniors.

Step 1 - Go to the housing meeting. I had mine last night in the Great Room of my building. They gave us two sheets of paper with all the important dates for the housing process.

Step 2 - Seniors get to pick their townhouses and apartments before anyone else. During that time, the Ambassador housing raffle also takes place. For Ambassador housing, you put your name and one other on the card. Then you pull a raffle number and if you pull a nice low one, you get ambassador housing. You might be placed in a 4-person suite with 2 international students and you and your roommate. You may also be put in an 8-person suite with you, your roommate, and 6 international students. You could also be in the 8-person with you, your roommate, another set of 2 St. Mike's students, and 4 international students.

Students find out if they have Ambassador Housing very soon after they apply. That way, if they don't get it, they can be prepared to pursue their back up plan.

Step 3 - If you are interested in GREAT housing and Honors housing, you can put together a card with 8 people on it and apply for an 8 person suite. Students can also apply for 4-person apartments and townhouses that are not filled by seniors.

Step 4 - After all those options comes the general housing raffle. Everyone is emailed a raffle number by class year. Juniors are 0-500, Sophomores are 501 - 1000 and so on. You can pick housing by raffle number. Each class has a specific day to line up in Alliot and pick housing.


Here's a quick tip: If you want a better chance at a great housing number, attend GOT Skills events. That puts you in a raffle for the top 3 numbers in your class.

What is GOT SKILLS?

GOT S.K.I.L.L.S. and acronym for Socially just, Kindness toward others,Inclusive toward all people, Leading at every turn, Listening with care and, Self-respectful, is a yearly educational effort designed to encourage students to attend programs and activities that promote human dignity. Under the umbrella of GOT S.K.I.L.L.S. programs related to but not limited to race, sexual orientation, class differences, cultural differences, how men and women relate to one another are made available to students. Students are incented to attend by “earning” opportunities to be entered into raffle for prizes that could range from a $5 gift certificate to a top pick in the room lottery process. Saint Michael’s administrators, faculty and students are committed to celebrating differences in order to make the community a better place in which to live.


Step 5 - After picking housing, you are all set. If you are unhappy with the housing situation you got, you can be put on the Wishlist. The situation may be something like this: You got placed in a single room on North Campus, but you want to be on Main Campus. You'd be put on the Wish List for a single on Main Campus. You would be notified over the summer if you get what you wished for.


This is a pretty short and concise version of the housing options and process. If you have ANY questions at all, send me an email or ask me on VYOU or Formspring


xoxo
Gabbi

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Little Joys - Sunshine and Spectating

"Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks."

If you keep up with my blog, you are aware I have mono. Ew.
If you have ever had mono, you are aware that you aren't supposed to move (essentially) for several weeks in order to recover.
Kelsey and I (I'm left)
I haven't done anything, but go to classes for the past two weeks. However, this Friday and Saturday I went out to Stowe to cheer on my team at the UVM Carnival. While it was hard to only be a spectator and cheerleader, being on the hill was better than sitting in my dorm watching live-timing. I chose to take the chairlift up because taking the chairlift is far less strenuous that hiking to the bottom of the course. I then proceeded to slide down the mountain. What I was doing can't be considered skiing because I basically just slid around making my way down parts of the trail at my own leisure. I suppose for some that is the definition of skiing, but as a racer it's not.
On Friday, it was giant slalom. I was only able to make it out for 2nd run because I had philosophy of religion in the morning. (I think I aced my reading quiz on chapters 5 and 6, in case you were wondering.) Side note: That class is actually getting far more interesting as we get into the actually philosophies. Now, back on track: The team did really well in the GS! I was so proud of all of them. Yes, I know I sound like a total mom, but it's true. I love to see that the work we put in pays off and I especially love to see the team happy at the end of the day.

Part of the Ski Team Family :)
My friend, Bill (Christina Billotti), was injured last season and is just getting back into the racing scene. She lead our team with a 31st place and scored FIS points which was huge! On the men's side, both Tim and Kevin scored, so there were lots of smiling faces at the end of the day! :-D

Today was the slalom and the weather was beautiful. I spent all of first run at the top of the course with our assistant coach, Molly. I was cheering and taking pictures and having a grand old time working on my goggle tan. The whole team was up there at a few points and it was nice to see the team all together, having a good time. For those of you who don't know, my goal for the team this year was to be more like a family. I feel that we have attained that goal (including the occasional sibling rivalry) which I am totally stoked about.

The courses were more challenging today, so there wasn't quite the density of success like in the GS, however Carl Oscar did get a fabulous 17th place finish, which I believe is his best result so far on the college circuit. On the ladies side, Ashley got 29th which also fabulous considering how many people struggled on the second run course!

Yes, I am gushing about my team. We may not be UVM, but in my mind we are just as fabulous! To get the "official" ski team scoop, check out the blog, Facebook, and Twitter! I'm always posting new stuff like videos and results!

Also remember that you can ask me questions anytime about all things Saint Mike's on Vyou or Formspring or shoot me an email under the "Contact Me" tab up top! I'm very easy to get ahold of!

xoxo

Gabbi

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm really dreading the math and science LSRs. Any advice? (Formspring)

My first tip is: Take Finite Math with Jane Kay. (Seriously, write this down!) It's the easiest level math you can take as far as I am aware and Jane Kay is the sweetest professor EVER! That is my big tip for Math. I am not a math person and I got an A in the class! :)

My second tip for the sciences: Pick something that sounds interesting. There are a lot of topics outside Biology and Chemistry like Astronomy and Meteorology. I still have to take that particular LSR :( I'm dreading it too! I barely passed high school chemistry. :-P

Also know that no matter what classes you choose to take for these LSRs, the professors hear at Saint Mike's are fabulous! We say it all the time, but it's true. They are really there to help you. They don't want to flunk their students! Hope this helps!

xoxo

-Gabbi

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Confessions of a Messy College Kid (Tips for Cleaning, Organizing, and Decorating a Dorm)

I'm the first to admit I'm a hot mess when it comes to my room. I mean for anyone else it would be dysfunctional. I know I'm not the only one. The problem with this is that dorm rooms aren't really big enough to be throwing all my clothes in piles on the floor and over the end of my bed. It just looks like a bomb went off. I really got to the point where I couldn't even think straight when I was sitting in my bed. I knew it was getting bad, so I cleaned and can now see my floor. I am also currently in the process of redecorating in my room. I thought I'd give you a few tips for cleaning/organizing/decorating.

Some of my necklaces on a hook
1) Cleaning Supply Must Haves - There are few things that I always recommend having around to keep your room clean (or at least sanitary.) My number one must have is disinfecting wipes. I'm not a germaphobe, but disinfecting wipes are inexpensive and they are easy for wiping down EVERYTHING! I use them for wiping down our bathroom or my desk or the microwave.  My second must have is dish soap/sponge/towel. It's important to have these around if you any sort of eating supplies like utensils, plates, or Tupperware. You will you use all through the year. I recommend having it from the get go. Also, bring an air freshener. Even if you aren't smelly, they add a nice fresh scent to the room. You can buy really easy to use ones for $1.29 in all sorts of smells at Rite Aid or Walgreens, ect. 





The sarong hanging on my wall
2) Organizational Supply Must Haves -  For the closet, I recommend two things. If you are someone who hangs all of your clothes, invest in several of the "multi-item hangers" that allow you hang like 5 pairs of pants on one hanger. It creates a TON of space. Second, I recommend the closet hangers that are typically used for shoe storage. I don't actually use mine to store shoes. For the most part, I use the little cubbies for sweaters, pajamas, or other bigger items that can be rolled up and put into the small show cubbies. The shoes can easily just be thrown on the bottom of the closet. Depending on where you are living, you may decide to buy some extra plastic drawers for your room. I have a nice set of small drawers from Walmart for underwear, swimsuits, and scarfs. That helps create more space for clothes in the drawers under my bed.  For your desk, purchase an office desk supplies organizing set to hold pencils and papers and note cards. It may seem like overkill right now, but you will seriously love it when you are trying to find post-it notes in the mountain that has formed on your desk. Last minute thought: Hooks! Get big hooks that can hold jackets or purses. They can stick on the back of a door or on you wall and get things off the floor. I use some of mine for necklaces.

Fun pillow case
3) Decorating Tips - You really start with a blank slate when you move into your dorm room. It's blank white walls. You aren't confined by the fact that your parents want it to look a certain way. It's just you against the world. I recently discovered the battery powered candles. They look like real candles, but they don't make smoke. In the past my walls have been big photo collages of places I've traveled, my friends, and my family. It's a way to stay less home sick by keeping your family around. I also have my Men of Hawaii calendar on my wall as well as a large sarong that I bough in Hawaii with turtles on it. Christmas lights are another big decoration on campus. If you get white lights, it adds a nice twinkle. If you go for colored, it adds a different flair! Either way they are fun. You can also find more 'silly' Christmas lights shaped like Chilis or hula dancers if that is your thing. You can usually find those in the patio section of Pier One or other home goods stores. White boards are also a great decorating piece. You can doodle on them, write down your weekly schedule, or communicate with your roommate. They are very sensible and a very worth while.  The important thing to remember is that it is YOUR space. Decorate it in a way that will make you happy and comfortable. Make it suitable for fun and studying. Make it yours!

I really hope you find this helpful! Feel free to ask me questions about dorm life and other college questions you might have in the "Ask Questions About SMC" tab above or shoot me an email!

xoxo
Gabbi

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