December 24, 2011
"Did you read the blogs before coming to st mike's? are you friends with many of the bloggers?"
I did read the Saint Mike's blogs before coming to SMC! After I got accepted to Saint Mike's, I was pretty certain that I wanted to go here for school, but I was having a hard time making my mind up. I started exploring the SMC website to get a better feel of the school and the blogs definitely helped me understand what SMC is all about. I read about the loving, community aspect of the school, and after coming to SMC, I can tell you that the blogs portrayed Saint Mike's 100% correctly. I've loved every minute of my first semester and I'm so thankful that I go to such a wonderful, happy school with such a caring community of students, staff, and professors!
I'm friends with a bunch of the bloggers! Since we have several blogger trainings and events, most of us know one another. However, I'm good friends with Alexandra and Lauren and I see them just about every week. I also know Marci and Kayley (from Liturgical Choir), Sarah (from my Pre-Orientation Weekend), Maura (from LINK - a group that's part of campus ministry), and Tarah (from my Spanish class). Blogging both helped me meet new friends and allowed me to share my wonderful experiences from Saint Mike's!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 11:43 AM
December 16, 2011
Well, as of today I am done with Saint Mike's for this semester. At 11 AM I’m hopping on Megabus (soo cheap and an easy/quick way to get from Burlington to Boston). I’m a little sad to leave all my wonderful friends & I’m shocked that my first semester of college is already over, but I can’t wait to see my parents and celebrate Christmas!
Since it’s the end of a totally wonderful semester, I felt the need to do that corny-but-also-deep-and-retrospective-because-I'm-so-grateful thing. Henceforth, this post is officially all about my favorite moments from my first semester at SMC!
1. Thanksgiving & Christmas Dinners - so as you may/may not have heard from other bloggers, Saint Mike's puts on a Thanksgiving and a Christmas dinner just before our Holiday vacations. It's absolutely fabulous because the cafeteria gets dressed up with tablecloths, there is so much delicious food, and EVERYONE at SMC attends. It's just so much fun to see everyone so excited for the Holidays!
It was packed!
2. LBLS / Little Brother Little Sister – One group that I was so excited to get involved in was LBLS, in which you have to apply/interview/be chosen to become a mentor to an elementary school girl/boy. It’s a pretty big commitment because you sign on to mentor these kids for all four years that you’re at SMC, but I have had so much fun with my ‘little.’ It’s great to connect with my little and to be a positive light in her life.
3. Chilling in my “Second Room” – During Pre-Orientation Weekend this past summer, I met one of my really good friends, Merrill. We got along well from the second that we met, and we continued to text and talk on Facebook all summer. Merrill’s roommate is named Emma, and all three of us became super good friends. I pretty much spend all my time with them and in their room. I even got a little plaque on their door donning me their “honorary roomie”!
4. ZUMBA – for any girl (or guy) who hasn’t tried Zumba, go to your local gym and sign up ASAP! It’s basically this work-out involving different types of dance with dance & latin music. I am totally not a “let’s go to the gym” type of person, but Zumba is so much fun that you forget that you’re exercising! I go to Zumba once a week for about an hour, and it only costs $10 for six weeks!
This is one of my favorite songs that we dance to!
5. Dinner with my Future Suitemates – Recently, Merrill, Emma, and I have been discussing our rooming situation for next year. We’re really hoping to get an 8-person suite with some girls on their floor. A few weeks ago, the eight of us had dinner together and it was so much fun! It made me so excited for next year!
6. Horses & Healing – My First-Year Seminar, a class required for all freshmen, was so wonderful! It was definitely the best class I’ve ever taken! The class was about the connection between humans and nature, so we spent one day a week in class having discussions, writing, taking quizzes, and listening to lectures. Then, on Thursdays we went to Good Hope Farm to help with riding lessons and barn chores. It was really an amazing learning experience; read more about it in this blog post.
7. Roommate Talks – One of the scariest parts of college (for me anyway) was the thought of having a roommate. I’ve had my own room since I was about four, and I’m a little bit of a neat freak. However, I totally adore my roommate! Her name is Lhanzi, and she’s from Nepal. We have so many deep conversations about politics and God and global warming. Our most recent discussion was about the meaning of life. Our conversations may be little strange, but we get along super well and it’s been so much fun sharing a room with her!
8. Liturgical Choir – In high school I played flute for four years, and before that I played violin for five years. I planned on playing in one of the ensembles here at Saint Mike’s, but then decided to take it easy during my first semester and not join TOO many clubs. However, my love of music drew me to liturgical choir. And it is so totally amazing! We practice once a week and sing every Sunday at church along with a few musicians. Lit Choir accepts everyone (for example, I can’t sing at all but totally have a blast in choir!) and the Choir Director (shout out to Jerome) is amazing! He’s so funny and we have so much fun, but he also makes sure we sound great.
9. The First Snow - Although Vermont is known for its super cold weather, we’ve had almost no snow this December! When it did snow last week, my friend Merrill and I were so excited! We ran around and jumped up and down and yelled really loudly. We got a few strange looks, but we were just so happy!
10. Blogging – I’ve totally loved blogging and sharing my experiences with you all! I really enjoy helping prospective students and, of course, showing my love of Saint Mike’s!
I hope you all have an absolutely fabulous Christmas & Holiday Season! Formspring me with any questions about Saint Mike's! Best of Wishes!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 8:27 AM
December 15, 2011
Just had to share this adorable tweet about Saint Mike's! It totally describes why SMC is so amazing!
(That's exactly why I chose Saint Mike's!!)
Check out my blog's new winter theme & let me know how you like it! Be on the lookout for a post about my favorite moments at Saint Mike's, coming tomorrow! Tweet me with any questions about SMC!
P.S. - check out Saint Mike's "It Gets Better" Video! So proud to go to such a wonderful college!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 6:05 AM
December 7, 2011
"Hi Alex! I'm really interested in St. Michael's, and I was just in a chat with some students from St. Mike's and when I asked about the Elementary Education Major, they directed me to you! I just checked out your blog, and I figured I'd get in touch with you! My main question for you is if you found the major to be too overwhelming with the double major that's required?
Also, I was wondering what made up your mind to decide to go to St. Mike's?! It's definitely in my top 3, but it's pretty far from home. (I live right outside of Philadelphia!) I absolutely loved, loved, loved the vibe that I got when I visited, but it's so hard to make a decision!
Hope to hear back from you soon! :)"
Hey Jenna! SO great that you're interested in Saint Mike's!
About the education major, I haven't actually taken an education class yet. The first education class available to students is in the Spring semester of their freshman year. Since I'm considering switching majors (there's just so many things I'm interested in studying, I can't decide yet!) I'm not taking an education class next semester.
But back to your question about double majoring, there are a lot of classes to fit in. Depending on your second major, if you plan on studying abroad, and which foreign language class you place into, you may not have a lot of time for extra classes. But, when you declare an education major, you get a WONDERFUL advisor! The education professors are great, and I've only heard amazing things about them. Also, all education majors create a "four year plan", which consists of manilla folders and color coded sticky notes (each of which lists a class you need to take during your Saint Mike's college career). Then you plan out your four years at school by organizing the sticky notes. It sounds a little confusing and silly, but it's tremendously helpful. My advisor helped me make my "four year plan" and helped me decide which classes to take next semester.
SO basically, after that extremely long description of the education program, the double major is a lot of work. However, it's totally managable and you have tons and tons of help from the extremely wonderful education department.
About why I chose Saint Mike's - the list is endless! When I toured Saint Mike's during my senior year (one of only three schools I toured) I absolutely fell in love with it. Like you, I totally loved the vibes and it felt so friendly and community oriented. SMC was one of my top picks, but UVM was my number one. But then, the more I thought about it, the more I loved Saint Mike's! After getting accepted, I started reading some of the blogs and found so many reasons to love SMC - the friendly people, the incredibly caring professors, the abundance of Christmas decorations, the crazy amounts of clubs, and the chance to spend four years on a beautiful campus where I felt at home from the moment I arrived. Even though I didn't realize it at first, since I toured the school, I just kind of had this feeling that Saint Michael's was the school for me.
I live in Massachusetts, about four hours from Saint Mike's. It's definitely closer than Philidelphia, and I've been able to go home for every long weekend or vacation, but I know plenty of students who live much farther away - in fact, my roommate is from Nepal! Students who live across the country or are foreign students don't have the opportunity to go home every vacation. Some of these students have a problem with this and I know one that plans on transferring, but most kids are happy to visit a friend's house during the Holidays or spend the long weekend on campus.
I totally get how hard it is to choose a college! But I'm really glad that you loved Saint Mike's (because I love Saint Mike's too!), and I wish you the very best luck in your college search! I hope my incredibly long answers actually answered your questions, but if you're curious about anything else, don't be afraid to ask! Best of wishes!
Send me any questions you might have via Facebook, Twitter, or Formspring!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 5:49 AM
December 4, 2011
Good morning everyone! It is a cloudy, overcast Monday morning, but I am in a surprisingly good mood!
So the next two weeks on campus are CRUNCH TIME. We have finals in one week, and this last week of classes is filled with end-of-the-semester quizzes, tests, papers, and homework. Everyone is feeling the stress! However, the Saint Mike's Campus is also getting Christmas-y!
There are trees in the Alliot lobby, in the dining hall, in Hoehl, the Welcome Center. It's so exciting! There are also two ginormous trees outside between the library and chapel that have lights on them! All these decorations are really getting me in the Christmas spirit!
SO since it's nearing the end of the semester, a few of my friends decided that it was time for some Christmas shopping! We went to bustling Church Street to eat and to find some presents!
Me & my friend Merrill
Vick & Emma - so cute!
THEN we shopped like nobody's business! I got all of my Christmas shopping done!
And finally, we ran into Mike Check - the male acapella group on campus. They were singing on Church Street for a couple hours, and they were great! Check out their blog (with videos!) here! Also, check out the Acabellas - the female acapella group at Saint Mike's. They also have a blog here and if you have any questions, ask my fellow blogger Gabbi (who's in the Acabellas!). There is one other acapella group at Saint Mike's - the Sleepless Knights - which accepts guys & gals.
Mike Check doing some serenading.
Be on the lookout for a few more SMC-filled blog posts before I head home for the Holidays! I'll update you all on the Christmas festivities here, Stress Free Knight (the Friday before finals - I heard it includes free massages!), and the craziness that is the end of the semester! Hope you're all having a wonderful December, and listen to some Christmas music!
Formspring me with any questions you have about SMC! Love always!
And as a side note - the last Knight Chat of the semester is TOMORROW NIGHT from 7:30 - 9. Check it out right here! It's a great way to ask any and all questions you have about Saint Mike's!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 8:08 AM
November 21, 2011
Saint Mike's is crazy right now because tomorrow after classes, we're on Thanksgiving break! Everyone can't wait to go home, see their family & friends, & have some delicious food!
Of course I'm no exception! I can't wait to see my parents & brother! Then, Thursday morning, we'll all drive to New York to visit my Grandma, Aunt, Uncles, and cousin and have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner!
And so, to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, here is a lovely clip from 'Friends':
...now that is what Thanksgiving is all about! Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving & safe travels! Formspring me with any questions about SMC!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 12:15 PM
November 18, 2011
It's so strange that my first semester of college is almost over! In just three weeks, I'll be done with school until January! Ahhh!
As I mentioned last post, I just registered for classes! Although I didn't get into everything I wanted, I'm really happy with my schedule now! So here it is:
Spring Semester Schedule:
9:50 - 10:50
11:00 - 12:00
12:10 - 1:10
Cross Cultural Psychology
1:10 - 2:40
Christiantiy: Past and Present
2:50 - 4:20
I'm really really happy with all of my classes! They really give me the opportunity to try out some different subjects, fulfill some LSC's, and complete some required classess for my Business Administration minor & Psychology major.
...which brings me to my next point. I'm switching to a Psychology major! This will be the third time I'm changing my major (I started with business, changed to elementary ed., and I'm now going to psych.). So as you can tell, I'm not exactly sure what I want to do! However, in changing to a psych major, I'll be able to take more psychology classes than I would otherwise be able to. That way I'll be able to explore psych a little more and decide for sure whether I'd like to major in it.
So now I'm off to Alliot's lovely weekend brunch. Waffles await! Email me to learn more about SMC, or send me a tweet and ask me anything!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 11:01 AM
November 13, 2011
Hi guys! As I told you earlier this week, I registered for classes on Thursday! It's a bit of a complicated process, but I'll try to explain it as well as I can!
Registration is pretty stressful because, first, everyone is split up to register on different days. Seniors start, and freshmen are last. Each class is also split into two groups, for example freshmen group 1 registered on Thursday and group 2 registered on Friday.
Registration goes from 7 AM - 3 PM on your assigned day. This means that, at 7 AM, everybody clicks "submit" and tries to register. Don't wait until later in the day to register! If you do, a lot of classes will be filled up.
So for every class, a certain number of seats are set aside for each registering group. That means that, if I try to register for a Calculus I class, for example, but it's full when I register, I can try to register again after everyone else has registered. After everyone has registered, any available seats from other groups' registrations are open to everyone.
In addition to any left-over seats, there are "petition seats" for some classes. These are seats left open for students that need that particular class for their major but did not get in. These students can then go to the registrar's office, pick up a petition form, and fill in what class they need and why. Then the registrar's office decides if you should be given a petition seat or not. My friend Mary was able to petition into a class the other day for her biology major!
Now, for me, the most confusing part of all this was the actual online registration. During Summer Registration Day, I registered for classes in the same way, but I had a tempporary advisor helping me figure it all out. Down below check out myguide for how to register online through KnightVision (the online class schedule & registration system at Saint Mike's)!
How to register with KnightVision:
- Log in - you'll receive your user name & password the summer before you come to SMC
- Students Menu - on the left
- Register for Sections - under "registration"
- Search and Register
- Select Term & Subject - don't worry about filling in any other info.
- Find Class - make sure you check the days/times the class meets, who the professor is, where it meets, if it fulfills a Liberal Studies Requirement, and if there are any pre-requisites
- Select - click the small box to the left of the class
- Submit - click "submit" at the bottom of the page
- Repeat! - continue this until you have all your classes (four classes, plus you can take an extra two-credit class if you wish)
- Check - double check your selected classes; make sure you fulfill all pre-reqs and that the times don't interfere with each other (also make sure that you schedule in time to eat!)
- Log Out- KnightVision will log you out if you don't stay active on the site! This means that, if you forget to keep clicking on different things while waiting to register, it could log you off just before it's time to register! I prefer to log out and log back in just before registering.
- Log in - I suggest doing this about a minute before it's time to register. Logging in takes a couple seconds, and you can only stay in-active for a minute on KnightVision before you get logged out
- Student Menu
- Register for Previously Selected Sections - this will bring you to all of the classes you previously searched for
- Register - make sure you click "register" on the drop down menu! On Thursday I got over-excited and forgot to click this before registering. It took forever to load before I could click register and re-submit my classes!
- Wait until 7 AM- this is the hardest part!
- Submit - click submit at the bottom of the page! Wait a couple seconds after 7 AM to make sure you're not told that "registration is closed but will open at 7 AM".
- WAIT - for up to a minute or two! So many people are registering at once, it can sometimes take a while.
- Be Prepared - Always have back-up classes! You probably won't get into every single class that you want (at least not as a freshman), so make sure you have some other classes ready that you can quickly look up & register for! Make sure these classes have times that won't interfere with your other classes.
- BE HAPPY - ...that you just got into some great classes because you were so prepared!
- Wake up early! - I got up around 6:30 for registration. This gave me time to wake up a bit, brush my teeth, make some tea, and log into KnightVision.
- Have Back-ups - just another reminder that a Plan B is crucial. I definitely needed back-ups for Summer Registration Day & for Thursday's registration.
- Know your password - you should definitely know your KnnightVision password before the day of registration. You don't want to be stuck, unable to log in or register for classes!
- Check out KnightVision - If you're new to KnightVision, check it out! If you don't have a username or password, just skip the "logging in" step and click on "Student Menu". Check out the classes available and see how KnightVision is set up.
- Meet with your Advisor - when you meet with your advisor before registration, not only does he/she help you decide what classes to take, but he/she also clears you for registration. Bottom line: if you don't meet with your advisor, you won't be able to register.
- Search for Classes Before Registration - Since registration is so stressful, I logged in the week before my registration and selected all of the classes I wanted. That way, on regisration day, I simply skipped to the "Register for Previously Selected Sections" step and clicked submit!
- Ratemyprofessor.com - Usually I'm against sites like these because they can be mean & students often don't like teachers simply because they are hard graders or give a lot of work. However, this site definitely helped me find great teachers to take classes with! When there are three different Accounting classes with three different teachers who I've never heard of, it's great to search for Saint Mike's on this site to find out who's the best!
- Don't Worry - ...if you don't get into your classes! The day after everyone has registered, registration opens to everyone. I got into two new classes because I got up early on Saturday morning to re-register! You can also petition into classes & wait until the add/drop period in January.
SO I hope that helped! A bit of a crazy long description, I know, but registration can be tricky!
And so, that explains all of registration! If you have any questions about it, tweet me! Or email me about anything else you'd like to know about Saint Mike's!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 9:39 AM
November 10, 2011
HEY EVERYONE! So many great things happening lately!
First of all, I registered for classes today! I'll write more about that in a second. I have much more exciting news!
TODAY MY DANCE CLASS FLASH MOBBED IN ALLIOT!!!!!
Yup, you read that right. We choreographed a dance with our teacher & performed it in the middle of a very crowded Alliot. Check out some videos of it below!
I found these first two on youtube, but I didn't take them myself. I also couldn't get them to load onto my blog (so many technical difficulties!) but find them on my twitter profile!
1. "In the Studio: Preparing for Alliot" - you can see our dance really well here. I'm the one on the left with bright blue socks who looks like she's not having any fun (but I really am!).
2. "Alliot Flash Mob SMC" - this is us in Alliot! You can't see me here, but you can see our group as a whole really well. I'm way back in the far right.
3. My Video! - this one's posted below. It's a little hard to see, but it's a view from behind us. I'm the one with blondish hair & the sweatshirt.
In other, slightly less exciting news, I registered for classes this morning! I was going to fill up the rest of this post with wonderful stories about classes & the technical challenges of registering online, but alas, I think this post is getting too long.
I'll blog all about registration Friday afternoon or this weekend (maybe while I'm watching the ALL NEW HARRY POTTER DVD with my friend Merrill?!). Hope you all enjoyed watching our flash mob, & I'll blog soon!
Tweet me with any questions you might have! :)
Posted by Alex Brenock at 1:29 PM
November 7, 2011
Hello! It is a lovely, gorgeous, beautiful day out today & I am in a wonderfully happy mood!
There's a whole mess of things going on in my life right now, but I thought I'd backtrack a little & share about a concert I went to back in October with my friend Emma (who's birthday is tomorrow, so birthday shout out!)
In Burlington, there's a wonderful tiny little concert venue called Higher Ground. It's right close by and really easy to get to by bus (it's about 15 minutes away because you need to switch buses downtown). Tickets are also pretty cheap! This past summer my Uncle got me tickets to see a cool folk/bluegrass band called Crooked Still & Emma came to the show with me last month.
At Higher Ground, we got some delicious nachos for dinner (also surprisingly cheap!) and then sat down to see the show! It started at about 8 PM I believe, and it lasted until 11:30, however we left at 10:30ish because we had classes the next day!
The first band to perform was the 'warm-up act' named Mike and Ruthy. They were SO FANTASTIC! They played a billion amazing songs (the video of my favorite is down below - it's a cover of a Tom Petty song I believe), and they were also super cute. They're married & have a two year-old son who they talked about so much.
Then it was time for Crooked Still! Now, I realize that not everyone enjoys this type of music, but no matter what you have to admit that these musicians are so TALENTED. They played some amazing songs, some of which I hadn't heard before. Two of my favorites are down below. My favorite was written by the banjo player, but I couldn't actually get a video of it (but never fear, I found it on youtube!). The other is a great song called "Ain't No Grave" (which is actually a Johnny Cash cover) that I was able to record at the show.
'It'll End Too Soon'
'Ain't No Grave'
Posted by Alex Brenock at 8:47 PM
November 1, 2011
Just a quick update about my BUSINESS CLASS!
A few weeks ago I blogged about my classes, including my business class. It's an intro. class, so it's pretty much an overview of business and includes marketing, finance, and management. The most exciting part is getting to create a real business on campus! My group is selling 'SMC Winter Beanies'.
This week we need to create a product pitch and show it to the class. We can do a presentation, present a skit, show a movie, etc. My group chose to do a movie starring my friend and fellow blogger Lauren. It's so funny!
And here it is!
I couldn't format it to go on my blog, so you'll have to check it out on facebook!
Hope you all like it, and I hope it makes you all want to buy some hats!
Tweet me with questions about Saint Mike's, or send me an email! Have a wonderful week! :)
Posted by Alex Brenock at 8:58 PM
October 25, 2011
Just wanted to let prospective students & their parents that we will be having a Knight Chat for Parents on Thursday from 7:30-9 pm.
Knight Chats are basically an online chat room, where students & parents can ask questions about Saint Mike's! We have several Knight Chats throughout the year and they can be for prospective students or for parents. If you've been in contact with SMC, you should get emails about upcoming Knight Chats.
At each chat there are several bloggers to answer every question! We have quite a mix of bloggers, so you should be able to hear a wide variety of opinions and experiences.
This Thursday I will be answering questions at the Knight Chat! Fellow bloggers Alexandra, Lauren, Beth, and Sam will be there as well. Check out Lauren & Alexandras' posts about Knight Chats here & here.
Knight Chats are a really great way to learn about & get a feel for the school. They definitely helped me decide that I was interested in Saint Mike's and wanted to tour.
SO TELL YOUR PARENTS ABOUT KNIGHT CHAT! I know that my mom had a million questions when I was looking at schools, and this is a great way for parents to figure everything out.
If you have any questions, ask me on formspring! Can't wait to meet so many excited parents on Thursday!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 6:55 PM
October 24, 2011
Hello everybody! HAPPY FALL! This is my favorite season & it's so beautiful outside!
This is a picture of the quad - the building there is Lyons Hall.
I do have to apologize that I haven't blogged in so long! But I'm starting this whole "better me" thing where I focus more on schoolwork, BLOG MORE & don't have the totally delicious soft-serve from Alliot everyday. It's so difficult!
Just thought I'd use this post to update you all on my classes & let you know about advising sessions.
First thing is classes:
As you might have seen in my past post, I am taking a First Year Seminar called Horses & Healing.
I'm also taking Accounting, Business, Spanish, and a half-credit Dance class.
For Financial Accounting: I have an EARLY class at 8:10 every Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I'm not usually a math person, but as a (possible) business minor I need to take two accounting classes. I've actually done really well in this class and it's kind of fun!
For Business: Again, as a (possible) business minor, I need to take this introductory business class called Critical Thinking and Communication. This class is a lot of work because it's basically an overview of all aspects of business, including finance, marketing, and management. However, the class is also a ton of fun. Throughout the semester, we need to create a real business. My group is selling SMC winter beanies, and it's pretty exciting to have the chance to use so many different business skills right now.
For Spanish: I've taken Spanish since Middle School, which means I've been learning about it for seven years. But in order to graduate, you need to take, or test out of, a level two Spanish class. When I took the foreign language placement test during my Summer Registration Day (learn about that here!) I placed into the level two class. That means that, after passing this class at the end of the semester, I no longer need to take Spanish (unless I decide to minor or major in it).
For Dance: In order to graduate, every student needs to take an Artistic Experience class. This can be music ensemble, dance, painting, etc. I took dance because I thought it would be interesting and would give me a little bit of exercise. Also, since it's only a half-credit course, I have little work outside of class and can fit it in with my other four classes. It's a great break during the day.
Now about advising:
Just quickly about this, every semester each student meets with his/her advisor before registering for classes. The exception to this is the first semester of freshman year when first-year students either mail in their desired classes or meet with a temporary advisor on Summer Registration Day.
As an education major, I feel like this advising session is extremely important. Education majors need to double major, and there are a lot of classes to fit in. Especially if you want to study abroad (like I do!) you need to carefully plan out your courses. That's why education majors all have a "Four-Year Plan" which includes several folders and sticky notes that represent each class you need to take. I'll write about this more later, but this was really helpful for me to plan out what classes I need to take next semester.
I have a little more to straighten out before I can register for classes (on November 10, so close!) & I'll let you all know all about advising, next semester's classes, and registration day when I have everything figured out!
Until then, ask me anything about Saint Mike's! I'd love to hear from you on formspring, twitter, or by email! Talk to you soon!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 12:24 PM
October 8, 2011
Good morning everyone! Hope you all had a great Friday night & wonderful night's sleep, just like me!
I just wanted to remind all you prospective students that Saint Mike's Early Action I deadline is coming up November 1st! If you're considering applying to SMC, I definitely recommend the Early Action I or II deadlines!
The college search is incredibly stressful. Trust me, I did not manage my time well, and when it came time to take SATs and ACTs. write numerous essays, and fill out the common app PLUS supplemental applications for several schools, I was a train wreck. But if you can pull all that crazy amount of work together in time, apply early action!
Let me remind you that Early Action is NON-BINDING. It's different than early decision and is simply an early application. It's great because you hear about your acceptance much earlier!
Just wanted you all to know what a relief it is to hear back from Saint Mike's early. Even if it's not your number one choice (although I'm not sure why it wouldn't be!) it's great to know that, no matter what, you're going to college! I did the Early Action II, and Saint Mike's was the first school I heard back from! It made me so excited to start college!
Below are the different application deadlines. You can also check here to see more about how to apply & why you should come to Saint Mike's!
If you have any questions about the application process, let me know! I can tell you all about my application & answers, and I'll even share my college essay if you're curious (but let's be honest, it's not the most exciting thing to read). Shoot me an email to let me know how your application is coming, or ask me a question on formspring! Have a happy weekend!
EARLY ACTION I
EARLY ACTION II
Posted by Alex Brenock at 10:35 AM
October 4, 2011
Let me start this post with a super awesome family memory. For years my family went camping, for one week every single summer, as our family vacation. While we've gone to Acadia Nation Park in Maine the past seven years or so, we first started camping in New Hampshire.
The first memory I have from camping involves a crazy rainy night when I was seven. It was about 8 or 9 pm and it was pouring outside, so we went to Loon Mountain to get some hot chocolate.
And, TA-DA, there on tv was the very first season of SURVIVOR! It was the first time that we'd ever seen the show, and my family was hooked. It's become sort of a dad-and-daughter thing (I know, just so cute right?), and we've watched the show ever since...all 11 years and 23 seasons of it.
SO now the good part!
While I've been at school here at Saint Mike's, I've been looking for ways to have an "un-common" college experience. Sure I want to have all the wonderful experiences as normal college students, but I also want to do something unexpected! And here is where fate comes in...
About a week ago I was on facebook, and I saw an ad (way on the right in the little tiny column with all of the birthdays and "people you may know" and random movie advertisements). It was some ad for Survivor something-or-others, but I clicked on it anyway.
I explored the Survivor site, and saw an area to apply for Survivor. And OHMYGOODNESS I got so excited. For years I've wanted to be on the show, and now that I'm finally eighteen, I CAN (you know, as long as they pick me and all that jazz).
SO I am now about to shock your socks off and tell you...THAT I APPLIED TO BE ON SURVIVOR. Basically, to sum up all of the above, I may be a future millionaire/have the title of sole Survivor...like whoa.
So for your entertainment, here is my audition video! PLEASE don't judge me; I did the best I could in the few days I had (& during such a busy week)!
And AGAIN to sum up everything, I dare you to find something that excites you and just go for it. I mean sure, there's about a one in a million chance that I'll get picked to be on the show, but what if I do get picked & have the experience of a lifetime?
Tell me what exciting thing you want to do in life! Or, you know, ask about my Survivor dreams, the college search, or about Saint Mike's! Find me on Twitter or shoot me an email!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 8:36 PM
October 1, 2011
Happy Weekend Everyone!
Hope your school year is going great! I apologize for not blogging in a while, but my classes have been so busy lately! But finally I can tell you all about them in the next week or so!
The very first class I want to tell you all about is my Freshmen First Year Seminar. Every freshman is required to take one of these classes (either your first or second semester). There's a whole bunch of classes you can choose from, but all are small (about 15 kids each) and are writing intensive. I think they're a great way to get to know a professor & some other freshmen, as well as get used to college-level writing.
MY first year seminar is called 'Horses and Healing' and it's taught by Professor Bridget Kerr. This class is SO MUCH FUN! We learn a lot about the connection between horses and humans, and we also learn about our bond with nature. We meet every Tuesday and Thursday, and most Thursdays we have an extended class in which we drive to a local horse farm and help with a therapeutic riding program. It's so fantastic!
Now, when I attended a Summer Registration Day in July (see my previous post about this here) I did not get into the 'Horses and Healing' FYS like I wanted. I emailed the Professor, explained why I wanted to get into her class so badly, and was put on a waiting list. Then I waited through July...and August...and then as classes were about to start, I was still stuck on the waiting list. While I wasn't upset about this, I was so disappointed! So, during the first week of classes, my friend Merrill (who also desperately wanted to get into the class) and I went to Horses and Healing. We just went to the class, introduced ourselves to Professor Kerr, and sat in for the day. Afterwards, Professor Kerr was convinced that we were so interested in the class that she added an extra spot and allowed us both to join!
So now, a little over a month into school, I'm absolutely loving this class! When we're at SMC on Tuesdays, we have great discussions & have a lot of fun! We talk about so many different topics, journal before each class, and watch a few videos. The last one that we watched was about dancing with horses. A little bit of a strange topic...but pretty interesting none the less.
I also love our professor. Professor Kerr actually teaches writing at Saint Mike's, but she's a lot of fun. She's very chill and she's so excited about this class that you can't help but feel the same way! This is the fist year that 'Horses and Healing' has been offered, and she created the class herself. She's done a great job of making it unique, hands-on, and really really interesting.
Thursdays are my favorite day of the week. I love going to the farm, helping out, watching some lessons, and seeing the horses! But farm days aren't all that glamorous. We do a lot of chores that vary from grooming a horse (so much fun!) to stacking hay, to mucking out stalls (my wonderful job two weeks ago). But no matter what we do, it's great just to get away from campus and get to see the super sweet horses. Somehow we always find a minute to say hi to them.
Last week I took some great pictures at the barn! Despite the rain, it was a lot of fun.
Bunnies! There's so many animals at the farm.
Gabby, John, and Allie up in the hay loft.
SO MUCH hay!
There are a couple barn cats around. This one's sleeping in one of the stalls. So cute!
I swear he posed for this picture.
Hannah & Susannah showing some love!
And this is all of us!
Hope you all have a super relaxing weekend! I love bragging about SMC, so ask me about anything! Find me on Twitter!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 11:34 AM
September 15, 2011
Good Morning! Today is the kind of day that just makes you want to lie in the grass and sing some Zac Brown Band (or is that just me?).
My super good mood reminded me of an super cool organization I heard about this past summer while in Maine with my girl scout troop. We had a bonfire one night and a bunch of the girls met this kid named James on the beach. He came to our bonfire to play guitar, and we learned all about his organization called "Lad in a Battle".
Basically, "Lad in a Battle" is a 'do-good' organization. There are "Lad in a Battle" shirts (or "Lass in a Battle" if you're a girl!) that James sells, and the proceeds from these sales go to Make-a-Wish Foundation. Also, while wearing these shirts, you're supposed to do one good deed, like helping someone pick up their spilled papers or holding the door open for someone. How wonderful is that!
James also sings and plays guitar. The song I have stuck in right now, Boat Shoes, is posted below! It's so catchy! And it's a little funny. Check out even more songs by going to the "Lad in a Battle" page on Youtube here.
The last point about "Lad in a Battle" is that the name represents the individual battle that each of us needs to fight. In Maine, James told us that his battle was in not being an "average" college student by choosing not to drink or do drugs (this was the part where our girl scout leader was convinced that he was the perfect boy).
Next week I'll post about my classes - what I'm taking, how awesome my professors are - and a little bit about the clubs I've joined!
Send me any questions you have on Twitter!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 1:51 PM
September 11, 2011
For about a week now, I've tried not to write this post. For no particular reason really, I just feel like 9/11 is a day where people focus on the negativity of the attacks in 2001. Instead I really wanted to write about what I remember and the little bit of positivity that came out of it.
When the terrorist attacks happened ten years ago, I was in third grade. My teachers told us nothing at school, and I didn't suspect a thing. When I came home my mom told my brother and I what had happened, but I wasn't extremely upset. As an eight year old, I didn't really have a grasp on what was going on. Instead I was mad that that my teachers hadn't trusted us with that kind of information (but looking back, who in their right mind would tell an eight year old that info.?).
In more recent years, I've learned more and more about what happened in 2001. I've seen videos and heard stories. I also visited ground zero last spring when I went to New York. 9/11 does interest me because it had such a huge impact on our country (for example, can anyone remember a time where there wasn't such tight security at airports?) but there are certain stories that just hit me in this spiritual way.
One story that I think is just so awe-inspiring is about Rick Rescola, director of security for Morgan Stanley, which was headquartered in the World Trade Center. A lot of people know this story, but after hearing about it again this past week, I need to share it.
Rick Rescola started at Dean Witter Renolds in New York City in 1984. Then, after this company merged with Morgan Stanley in 1997, Rescola became director of security, which was headquartered in the World Trade Center. In 1993 there was a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. A truck filled with explosives was detonated in the garage; Rescola was infuriated that the employees of Morgan Stanley didn't listen to his evacuation plans, causing many of them to be stuck in their offices for hours before they could receive help.
After that, Rescola began planning for another, future terrorist attack. Due to the iconic image of the World Trade Center, its proximity to Wall Street, and the huge amount of people working there, Rescola was sure that another terrorist attack was unavoidable. He made sure that there were lights in the stairwells that would not go out after an attack, installed machines to clear the stairwells of smoke in case of a fire, and mandated evacuation drills every three months or so. He also talked with several security personnel, and decided that the next attack would probably come by air. He tried to prepare for this as best he could, but there was little he could do.
On September 11th, 2001, after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, Rescola began evacuating the 2,700 Morgan Stanley employees. As the employees left the building, Rescola, a British army veteran, sang military songs over his bullhorn to keep everyone calm. Then, he went back into the building to make sure that everyone was out. When the tower collapsed, Rescola was still inside. He had gotten all but 3 of the 2,700 Morgan Stanley employees out safely.
This story amazes me because it makes me truly believe that everyone is here on earth for a reason. I think that Rick Rescorla was put here to save those 2,697 people. I can't believe that he predicted what was coming when no one else did, and I marvel at his immense bravery.
Check out the memorial site here to see pictures of the memorial, located at ground zero, opening to the public 9/12/11. It's really beautiful, and I think it's a great way to commemorate all those who died.
God Bless to everyone who was affected by the events on 9/11 ten years ago, especially to the family members of those who passed. I'm praying for all of you.
So what do you guys remember? What reminds you that we're all blessed? I'd love to hear from you on Twitter.
Posted by Alex Brenock at 7:29 PM
September 7, 2011
Move-in Day? Check.
First Day of Classes? Check.
SMC is wonderful! for it's been so much better than I could've imagined!
I've been at Saint Mike's for almost two weeks now and I'm unbelievably happy. It's really surprising how comfortable I feel. Honestly it seems like I've been here for at least a month. SO in all my collegiate wisdom, I thought that I would share everything that I've learned thus far in college.
1. Go on POW (or another optional orientation trip): When I received my 'New Student Guide' in April (the SMC handbook that all first year students receive) I saw the one page that was entirely dedicated to orientation trips, including POW, WOW, and Community Service Weekend. These trips are designed for incoming students who want to explore the school a little, get some logistical things (like language tests and registering for classes) out of the way before orientation, and talk to some upperclassmen. Originally I wasn't going to attend one of these weekends, but my mom convinced me to go on POW, and I'm so happy that I did. It made me SO MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE about coming to college! Plus I made a friend there (who I've been hanging out with since day one of orientation!) and it was cool to know a couple upperclassmen and fellow first year students already. More than anything else, you should go on one of these trips!
2. Research SMC before orientation: I am a person who loves to know what I'm getting into. All of my friends know that I obsess over being prepared, and my overly full backpack proves that. So, of course, I researched Saint Mike's so much before applying, before sending in my deposit, and again before coming to orientation. I think this definitely made my transition smoother because a) I knew the general set-up of campus after studying the campus map so much, b) I knew about the classes I wanted/needed to take, c) I knew a lot of the rules/regulations/schedule for orientation, and d) I knew what organizations I was interested in joining once I got here. A great example of this is the fact that I became a blogger months before orientation, all because I did some digging! Don't be afraid to research like crazy!
3. Don't think that you're going to change: Now by change, I don't mean changing your image or anything like that. What happened to me is that I, the quiet but social girl from a small high school, thought that I would put myself out there so much more once orientation started. I had plans to introduce myself to everyone and make friends like crazy. BUT THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN. Orientation is intimidating because NO ONE KNOWS EACH OTHER and it is AWKWARD. Don't be fooled! It is awkward, but in a good way. It's definitely easy to talk to other people because everyone wants to make friends. And from what I've seen, everyone has been slowly gravitating towards people like them. You won't change, but you will make friends. Which gets me to my next point...
4. You will make friends: Like I said, orientation is awkward, but I made friends from day one. It's hard to imagine that you could find friends in the craziness of orientation, but everyone I know has AT LEAST one or two friends. And once classes start, you'll meet even more people.
5. Orientation is fun: Orientation definitely scared me, and as I mentioned, it's awkward! But that doesn't mean it isn't fun! We played so many silly games and saw the orientation leaders make such fools of themselves (in a good way! - I mean crazy dancing and cheering and whistle blowing) it's hard not to love it. There's also lots of entertaining things, like a hypnotist show or a scavenger hunt. There's something for everyone during orientation.
6. Listen to your Orientation Leaders (or POW leaders): During both POW and orientation, my leaders were great. They're all picked as leaders because they are friendly and want to help you with your transition into college! They're ready to answer any questions you have, and lots of my leaders gave out their phone numbers - both for us to text em if we need help/have a question or if we just want to hang out. It took me a while to realize that these leaders truly want to help you out - after seeing them around and saying hi to them, I finally get that they're really there for us.
7. Dorms aren't so bad: On the first day of orientation, I got to sleep around 11:30 PM. I was exhausted and I fell asleep in minutes. The rooms are pretty good size-wise. I brought tons of stuff and it all fit. My roommate & I get along fine, and I don't know anyone who has a big problem with their roommate. My only advice is to my polite and respectful to your roommate. And inviting them along to dinner is always a great bonding idea. Also invite your floor to dinner! I did and we had some fun. Also, my floor hasn't been loud at all - I can always sleep or study without a problem. And the bathrooms aren't bad either! You get used to sharing them in a day or two.
8. Classes & Professors aren't scary: When orientation came to an end and it was time for classes to start, I got so incredibly nervous. I didn't know what to expect! But as I found on the first day of class, the professors are all SO NICE. You can tell already that they are all super kind, smart people who want you to succeed. Also, the homework that you receive the first week is a fairly easy load; it's not a hard transition into college-level work. Just remember to study!
9. Don't be afraid to talk to your professors: My first week of class I realized just how scary it is to raise your hand and contribute in class. I was very intimidated! Not only are you in college with super smart professors, but your classes have freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors in them. However, once you volunteer, it's not hard to keep it going. And you make a great impression on your professor! Also try to meet with your advisor ASAP. During the first week of classes I met with mine already, and I also talked to my temporary advisor from my summer registration day (during POW you spend one day on campus taking your language test and registering for classes; your temp. advisor helps you register). This also makes an impression on your advisor - it's great to get to know your advisor & other professors well because they will be great resources in the future.
10. Don't think that everyone in college parties: Since last weekend was the first weekend of the school year, I was sure that everyone would be out partying. But my friends and I (who choose to be substance-free) went to a free improv show instead. This show was sponsored by the 'Alcohol Task Force' which is an organization on campus that puts on events during the weekends for all the students who don't drink. The show was soooo funny and lots of kids were there! It was nice to see that we weren't alone; my friends and I also discussed how not drinking in high school sometimes made us feel insecure or like we were missing out. But going to the improv definitely confirmed my belief that I don't need to drink.
11. You need to put yourself out there (a little bit): In high school, I was a VERY dependant person. I didn't like to walk to the next class by myself, let alone meet new people or talk to teachers. But at Saint Mike's, I've already had to find my classes, talk to lots of new people, introduce myself to my professors, discuss things in class, and hunt down random people for help. It's hard for me to do this, but after talking to my advisor, who sent me to the registrar's office, who sent me to Professor Smith, who walked me to Professor Bennett, who had me email Professor Saks-Pavese all to find out how to get an advisor for my education major, I felt very accomplished. I also felt old (in the appropriate 'I'm eighteen and I'm fending for myself here at college' way).
12. Do things just because you can: Of course you can't fill up your entire schedule at school (although there's so much to do, I wish I could) because you have lots of studying to do. BUT I've already signed up for so much! I just went on a trip with MOVE (the community service group on campus) where I played with some kids at a local shelter, I'm going apple picking tomorrow, and I signed up for a rape defense course just because I thought it'd be cool to be able to kick some butt if I ever need to (not that I will at SMC - it's super safe; I feel fine walking home from the library at midnight). Also, my friend and I went to church last Friday and it was wonderful. It should be stated that, despite going to church at home and praying every night, I don't consider myself a particularly religious person (in fact, I really didn't like the 'Catholic school' aspect of Saint Michael's at first) BUT after going to church with my friend last Friday, we both fell in love. Since then we've both signed up to become lectors, are attending LINK, the faith sharing group that meets once a week as a part of VITA (campus ministry) and are joining the liturgical ensemble. I have the feeling that I am going to become much more religious in the next four years...
I apologize for this incredibly long post! But if you've been reading my blog, you've probably seen by now that I have a lot to say! I'm sure that I'll have even more to add to this post in the future, but for now I just want to let you all know that college will be great for you. I was, and still am, surprised by how happy college makes me. I think that if you come with an open mind and are ready to make friends, you won't have a problem fitting in and having a great time!
Send me a message on Twitter or Formspring if you're curious about anything! I love to answer questions!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 12:25 PM
September 4, 2011
Let me start by saying that I have not been homesick at all since I got to Saint Mike's. Surprisingly, I got right into a schedule, met a couple friends, and felt right at home. Since move-in day I've just felt like this is where I belong.
But in the past day or so, I've started to miss my parents a little bit. Not in a sad way, but in a 'I-have-so-many-little-things-to-tell-you that-there-is-no-way-I-can-convey-it-all-in-a-single-phone-call' sort of way. My parents are really some of my best friends and it's just been weird to not talk to them about everything. So my substitute? Writing my mom a three page email discussing everything that happened to me this past week. Therapeutic for me? Yes. Super annoying for my mom to read? Probably.
So today I was still feeling that weird/not exactly sad/sort of homesickness, and the oppressive heat & major amount of studying I had definitely did not help my mood. THEN the kindness monster came out of nowhere.
First, while coming back from dinner, a random girl told me that I had cool sandals (and yes they really are super cool). No major thing, but very nice just the same. Then while doing MORE homework in my super stuffy dorm room, I got a text from my friend's mom. Her mom just texted me saying good luck in college & quoting our favorite country song (Summer Girl by Jessica Andrews). And ohmygoodness I just felt so happy.
After this I started thinking about kindness and how we always always forget how much a little gesture can mean. Complimenting my shoes & sending me a nice text were so easy and quick! And they really made my day! So as of today I'm really going to try to go out of my way to be nice. More than just holding the door for people or saying hi to my floor mates - I'm talking about helping someone pick up the papers they dropped, searching for a classroom with them if they're lost, or smiling at random people because IT'S NICE!
So who's with me? Send me a tweet to tell me what kind thing you are going to do - whether it's at Saint Mike's or in your own town!
And listen to Summer Girl right here (it's such a great song!).
Posted by Alex Brenock at 8:01 PM
August 26, 2011
I'm finally at SMC! Today is the second day of orientation and I'm so much happier than I thought possible! So for everyone who HASN'T gone through orientation before, here's a run down of my first day in my new home!
4 AM: My family wakes up and packs up the car (and yes, I do realize that this is extremely early, but we had a four hour drive ahead of us & I was anxious to arrive!).
6 AM: We actually got it together enough to leave! I said goodbye to my brother, and then my parents & I headed off in our very packed car. This is what we call over-packing folks...
10 AM: We arrive at SMC! That means TONS and TONS of uber energetic Orientation Leaders running around, jumping, cheering, blowing whistles, and of course directing us where we needed to go.
10:30 AM: We head over to Ross Sports Center to check-in. There I picked up my packet (which tells you everything you need to do). There's also a chance to talk to Public Safety, get onto payroll if you have work study, and talk to a few clubs and organizations.
12 PM: MOVE IN TIME! And the Orientation Leaders carry EVERYTHING up for you. Whoo hoo! I was sooo excited to set up my room. And to my Dad's surprise, all of my stuff fit!
1:30 PM: My loft is set up & my parents & I get lunch in Alliot, which is right next door to my dorm (Joyce 255!). On Move-In Day, lunch is free for all parents & students.
2 PM: We head back to my room & meet my roommate Lhanzi (she's from Nepal & she's very very nice). Then my parents & I went to the mail room in Joyce basement to get my mail key. After that we walked around campus to find all of my classes.
4 PM: Everyone from Joyce meets outside to say hello to all of the RA's in the building, as well as the RD & some Public Safety representatives.
4:30 PM: We have a floor meeting. Everyone from our wing (that means about 30 girls) cram into the RA's room, did some introductions, & then talked a bit about policies, like quiet hours, respecting public spaces like the bathroom, and the consequences breaking rules.
5:30 PM: We meet our Orientation Groups (mine's #3!) had a BBQ dinner, & we played some ice breakers. Then we headed off to the convocation at the church, where we heard some speeches by professors, students, and liturgy members.
THEN WE WERE FREE! My roommate & I went back to our room and finished setting up. We rearranged the furniture & organized all of our stuff. This is how it turned out!
My bed's the one on the right, way up there. Lhanzi's is on the left & our desks are to the right of my bed, next to the door.
Our desks! Mine's on the left, and the door is to the right of Lhanzi's desk.
My beautiful, comfortable bed! I have about a million pillows, and under it is my dresser, our fridge, and my giant chest where I store extra towels and things. Directly behind me is Lhanzi's bed. Also, my wonderfully decorated laptop is open on my bed!
This is a little shelf that every dorm in Joyce & Lyons has. My stuff is all in the left cubby & our food/microwave is in the middle. Lhanzi's bed is right underneath this & our closets are to the left.
After that I went around my floor & offered everyone rice crispie treats that I had (<-- definitely an easy way to break the ice when you walk around knocking on doors!) and socialized a bit.
Finally, it was bedtime. Surprisingly, I fell asleep so quickly. And the weirdest part? I didn't feel like I was in some strange place. Even today, after my parents left, I don't feel upset or nervous or alone. Since we pulled into SMC, all of my nervousness has gone away & I've felt like things are just right. I feel like I have a whole community backing me up here. And I feel like I can accomplish so much and meet so many people. Most of all, I feel like I'm home.
Posted by Alex Brenock at 4:13 PM
August 21, 2011
Coming home from vacation is never fun, especially when you have a crazy early flight home. But I am so happy to sleep in my own bed again (ever notice that despite how extremely comfortable your hotel bed is, you can't ever wait to get back to your own?). I also had a little birthday party today with my family - because I turned eighteen while in Puerto Rico! - and I have lots of packing for SMC to get to.
And now, all about Puerto Rico! I had such a good vacation. It was soo extremely relaxing & I had so much fun with my family. It was some great quality time before my brother & I head off to college (we're twins! and he's off to NYU). We stayed at this crazy nice resort, El Conquistador. THE PLACE WAS HUGE! The hotel even has its own private island where guests can go to the beach! (side note, the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie that came out in May was filmed there! Crazy, right?). So without further adieu, PICTURES!
The view from our hotel room! It was so beautiful there - right on the ocean with lots of big palm trees, super green plants, & bright flowers. And the weather was beautiful!
This is the main part of the hotel. It pretty much includes the lobby & pool area & the main hotel rooms. There were also lots of multi-room houses & suites, a marina, a spa, about a dozen different restaurants, and a huge golf course.
Biggest. Hotel. Ever.
There was also lots more that we did in Puerto Rico, but my computer is being really ridiculously weird.
So now, I only have a few days to pack before I need to be at Saint Mike's! Feel free to tweet me to ask all about my transition into college!
Posted by Alex Brenock at 6:46 PM