Monday, December 19, 2011

'Tis the Season: Final Grades, Christmas Tree Decorations, and the DMV

Enjoy this Storify! Have questions? www.formspring.me/gabbismc

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SMC Tradition: The Alliot Cup Drop

This the second of many SMC Traditions (or quirks, if you prefer.) If you missed the first, read SMC Tradition: The Alliot Crush.

The Alliot Cup Drop is a phenomenon that starts when a plastic Alliot cup drops to floor, piercing the ears of all the diners. (Alliot Hall is where the Green Mountain Dining Hall is located. Students simply refer to the dining hall as Alliot. Pronounced: Al - ee - oh) The important part comes next. Someone else must intentionally drop their cup next and start the chain. Now, these things can go either. Sometimes there will be 5 cups and then it will fizzle out. Sometimes they are truely epic. The best ones are generally during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

According to the "Alliot Cup Drop Makes Me Smile" group on Facebook, the rules of an official cup drop are as follows:

1. One cannot pick up their cup just to drop it again.
2. It needs to be accidental.
3. Make sure cup is empty for best performance.
4. Dishes do not count as a cup drop.
5. It's called a cup drop for a reason. (NOT a cup throw)
6. Try and spread out frequency of cup drops rather than all at once. This will maintain a long cup drop.

The Alliot Cup Drop isn't rare, but a long and steady one is worth savoring. Don't be afraid to participate. Just remember to make sure your cup is empty! (A side effect of the cup drop is the sudden need to chug your full glass of juice, water, soda, ect.) Also, don't forget to retrieve your cup off the floor. Be respectful :)

Questions? Ask me on VYou! You can do it anonymously and nothing is off-limits. www.vyou.com/gabbismc.


xoxo



Sunday, December 11, 2011

SMC Tradition: The Alliot Crush

We all have them. The cute guy you see as you walk to class everyday, but don't actually know. The girl who always has coffee and studies at the same table everyday. They are crushes.

Here at SMC, we take these crushes pretty seriously. The must-have crush at St. Mike's is the Alliot Crush. (Please enjoy David Archuleta singing "Crush" while you read this post. See video to the right.) You may be thinking "Now, that is just silly." Well, you will understand when you get here. Surprisingly enough, Alliot crushes end up together. My roommate, Maria, was her boyfriend's Alliot crush until he asked her out last year. (Oh, true love.)

The Alliot Crush is generally someone you see everyday at a meal because your schedules overlap. They generally have a weird name because you don't know their actual name. You will probably learn their name soon. (SMC is a small community.) However, you will continue to call them by their nickname because you have to speak in code. (Girls, am I right?)

I asked around via Twitter and Facebook to find out what students look for in an Alliot Crush? Sharon Rhodes, Class of '15, gave the best answer:

Someone who's tastier to look at than the Alliot food.
Alliot crushes are such a big deal here that there is a Formspring account dedicated to students professing their "love" anonymously. Here are some examples:

Anonymous: Don't know your name but I've seen you twice in Alliot with bright red Burton jacket and white ski pants. You've totally got that tall, dark, and handsome look going.

Anonymous: Tom Ward, the only thing sexier than your voice is you.
(Side note: Tom Ward in our resident British basketball player.)

Anonymous: To the guys who gave me their change in the Cashman laundry room, thank you for helping me free my skittles. :] It totally made my night to see people so kind!

This is one of many SMC traditions that I want to share with you. Who will your Alliot crush be?
Have questions for me? Ask me on VYou! (You can ask anonymously!)

xoxo
Gabbi

Saturday, December 10, 2011

4 Reasons to be a Digital Arts and Media Studies Major

9 times out of 10 when I say I am a journalism major to a stranger, they say "Oh, there is no money in that." True. Journalists don't live a glamorous lifestyle unless, perhaps, you are host of Good Morning America. (I'm not giving up on that dream.) Here at SMC being a journalism major is about learning so much more that how to write a story in inverted pyramid.

In fact, when the academic system here switched from mixed credits to the 4x4 system, the name of the major changed to Digital Arts and Media Studies with the optional emphasis in journalism. When I tell people I am a Digital Arts and Media Studies major, I generally get more approving head nods. Plus, I believe it more accuratley describes the major which incorporates web design, the study of technology's influence on society, print writing, video editing, and photography, just to name a few. If that isn't enough to convince you to declare, here are 5 reasons to be a Digital Arts and Media Studies major:

1) Developed writing skills.

Writing skills are invaluable. I would argue that the ability to write concisely is equally as important. People don't have the attention span for long stories and speeches. In the MJD program, you learn to say the best ways to express a story in writing (or video).

2) More than just writing news stories.

Interested in photography? Take photojournalism. Interested in being an anchor? Take Acting for the Camera. Interested in designing websites and animations? Digital Arts 2 is for you! This major provides you with so many skills!

3) The professors.


Traci Griffith + Class
(From http://smcvt.edu/academics/journalism/)
 Have you met Tarah? She came to Saint Mike's all the way from Switzerland after sitting in on a class with Traci Griffith. David Mindich is my advisor and my Media and American Politics professor. While sometimes I strongly dislike the professors for assigning all their projects at once, they have been so good to me over the past three years. They have worked my my ski schedule. They have answered all my questions. They have made the MJD experience really fulfilling.

4) The students.

As I sat in the lab yesterday, I ran into so many friends. I supposed when you all live half your college career in a building, you really have something to bond over. If you are sitting in one of Bergeron's two computer labs, you can look over your shoulder and ask for help with a program. Chances are someone knows how to do it. Of course, that generally starts a conversation about something else entirely. The point is that we are all in this together and we help each other. The friends I have made in this department are sometimes the only people who understand why I spend hours in a computer lab or talking to strangers for a story.

Have questions about the department? Feel free to ask me here: www.formspring.me/gabbismc

xo
Gabbi

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tips for Working on Group Projects

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges in college classes is group projects. It can be even harder if you can't pick your group members and get stuck with students with varying work ethics and schedules. Unfortunately, it something that you have to deal with in college and in career. I am here to offer a few tips on getting through group projects and scoring an A!

1) Start early.

If you have 2 weeks to complete a project, chat with your group right after class and determine the times that work for all of you. Meet at your earliest convenience to pick a topic, create an outline, and divide the work.


2) Divide the work evenly.

If you are like me, you want everything to be perfect and the idea of leaving someone else alone to complete a segment of the project is terrifying. It has to be done, though. Tackling an entire project solo will put to much on your plate. If you have four people in a group, divide your outline into four sections and have each person tackle the research for that section. At that time, schedule your next meeting to start that writing. (In most my classes, presentations include a paper.)

3) Take charge when necessary.

I am sure this has to do with my type A personality, but as I have told my friend, blogger-buddy, and first choice for group project partner, Liz Murray, "I just tell people what to do." Now, that sounds a little aggressive. I do have an idea behind it. At some point during a project, you may find that the group needs direction and organization. You may need to be that person. Don't be over bearing, but be the person that reminds the group of meetings or organizes tasks at the meetings. For example, assign 2 people the task of editing the paper and have 2 people work on the presentation. You don't need to do EVERYTHING, but make sure everyone is doing something productive.

4) Do the best you can with your section.

There is only so much you can control and people are particularly hard to control. At the end of the day, if you have put your best foot forward for the group and have your section of the project at A+ quality, it will be obvious to the professor. You will be able to confidently address the class while the less motivated group members may stumble. I have found that professors are generally fair and they don't ignore what they know about vs. what they know about your group members.

So, good luck! Remember, keep calm and carry on!
xo
Gabbi

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Alumni, Faculty, and Staff Christmas Party

Student Volunteers + Allison Sherman, Alumni Office
'Tis the season of final projects and holiday parties! I've decided not to focus this post on the stress of my week including extra AcaBellas rehearsals, Media Law group projects, and ski team workouts. Instead of stress, I am going to focus on the Alumni, Faculty, and Staff Christmas Party!

My Wreath
This event is put on by the Alumni Office with the assistance of Mike J, the Alumni Coordinator for the Founder's Society. This event wouldn't be possible without student volunteers, all of which were Founder's Society members.  Students were from all class years and surprisingly, there was a great mix of both genders. Usually there are more girls than guys.

Students were assigned different craft stations like face-painting, Santa pictures, and wreath making. The idea is that the students would man the stations assisting the kids of the alumni, faculty, and staff with the projects. As a coordinator, I moved from station to station assisting when I could and of course, taking pictures to tweet about the occasion. :)

The best part about the part was making decorations. Obviously, I am artistically gifted, so I made the wreath pictured to the right. Our common room was lacking in Christmas decorations, so I took it upon myself to make several decorations and ornaments to hang on our Angry Bird Tree. Now, our common room is much more Christmasy.

The christmas party was bumpin'!
For the kids, I am sure the highlight of the day was Santa's arrival. Santa listened to all the kids. Requests included cell phones and veterinarian kits. Guess whose kid was there? Traci Griffith, my Media Law professor. She totally rocks! I don't even think it is weird seeing professors outside of class any more. It's just my life. Also, Traci is just hysterical. Her son was wearing reindeer antlers, so when we looked for him, we would just look for antlers.

'Twas a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon and forget about all the things I have to do in the next week. Don't forget, we have the final KnightChat of the semester this Tuesday, Dec 6th from 7:30 pm to 9 pm!

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