Archives by Month: July 2012

A Colby Students Path – In Video

So today we began wrapping up our summer work here on the hill to get ready for the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium that starts Thursday. The conference is around two days long, and we get paid lodging and food. The first day we go to the actual conference and present our work, and the second we get to enjoy whitewater rafting as part of the retreat. It should be a ton of fun and I’ll probably talk about it next week, but I thought for today I would focus more on the academic side of it: I just uploaded my final video for our project to YouTube, and got a little sidetracked watching past YouTube videos I’ve made. While the one detailing our robot soccer project only took a couple of minutes to whip up, I think it’s pretty cool to watch for those of you who aren’t too computer science-y and gives you a pretty good idea of what we’ve been doing here on the hill.

 

It doesn’t really delve into the specifics of what our code looks like, however, and I would love to remind you that we got a lot more done that the video shows! Anyways, I thought that by showing you these videos I’ve created over my time at Colby, you’d get a pretty good idea of what really goes on here on the hill and what cool things a Colby students path through college will invariably include.

 

This first one I didn’t actually create as a part of a Colby specific project: I actually created it in the two week gap between the end of first semester and beginning my position on the hill over the summer. The intent was to send this video out to around ~15,000 physicians and healthcare workers around the state of Maine and New Hampshire to get out word about what the MMC PHO (the organization I was a media intern for) did for them.

 

We Work for You – The MMC PHO

 

Next comes my very, very quick and rough video that I whipped up as part of my JanPlan class at Colby. I think I talked about it in a bunch of blog posts before, but basically it’s an installation that we created in Pulver, our student center, and it tracked students as it walked through. Their locations were shown creatively on a projected screen, and a music track was created as they walked through based on their locations. So, students could add parts of the music track by walking in a funny or interesting way.

 

Colby Interactive Tracking Floor

Last of all comes the video from this week itself. I won’t go into details as I’m sure you’ve hear a lot about it already or will next week, but needless to say it’s pretty cool and I can’t wait to present it at the conference Thursday.

 

Colby Robot Soccer

 

-Nick

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Political Involvement at Colby

With only under two weeks to go here at Colby over the summer, I’ve been looking forward to the fall and the regular school year, and thought I’d go in that direction and say something about the normal campus! Having just ran into my government professor and kind of getting inspired again about politics, I thought I’d share a little about the political atmosphere on campus. While I don’t think political views should be too high on your list when looking at a school, I know they were definitely up there for me and probably are for some of you guys too.

Being a private liberal arts school with a large amount of it’s students coming from the Boston area, Colby is of course very liberal. I can’t say with certainty what the exact percentages must be, but I would say at least 80 percent of students on campus would classify themselves as liberal, if not more. While there isn’t a hostile atmosphere in the least to people with different political beliefs, I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a huge amount of liberal influence just in the various posters, emails, and other things going on around campus. And by this I don’t just mean liberal in the strictly political way, students tend to have a very liberal mindset in general. That being said, the political atmosphere on campus is pretty great and accepting – I personally lean conservative for many social issues and have an awesome time discussing my views and the like.

Besides being liberal for the most part, I would say that Colby students also are very engaged in worldly affairs and things going on in other parts of the world. As you walk across campus for class during the school year, you’ll be sure to pass Amnesty International booths, UNICEF fundraisers, and all other sorts of activist students.

Nick

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.. And Other Colby Summers!

I’ve been talking a lot lately about what goes on here at Colby during the summer, but in reality only a small amount of the student body stays in Maine. Out of the 1800 kids here, only 200 stay on campus for the summer months while the rest go off and, well, do other things. It’s always so interesting how we all end up being in one place for 8 months, then go and spread out around the world for the summer, going back to where we came from or doing other things, before all coming back together. Being Colby students, a lot of us find interesting or unusual things to do that don’t fall under the latter categories, but generally I think most people I know end up doing one of the below.

 

Getting an Internship:

This is a more popular option especially among upperclassmen, offering an opportunity to go into the real world and get ready for life after Colby. However, the process getting one, as I found out this spring, is complicated, a lot of work, and usually extremely competitive. Generally Colby students do pretty well in getting the upper edge among other competitors, and we land summer internships all over the globe. Since I’m a government major, I’m more familiar with government related internships – I have a bunch of friends in my gov class that landed internships in the White House, with members of Congress, and other prestigious positions. Although, I can’t say those are the norm – most people end up having a more local and not intense experience! Outside of government, students intern in hospitals, small companies, and in many other fields. Next year, this will hopefully where I’ll be – either down in DC or another big city.

 

Camp counselor:

Working at a summer camp is probably the most go-to summer job for any college student, and Colby is no exception. While generally most people who do this are underclassmen trying to find something fun to do over the summer, there are a bunch of us juniors and seniors who are having a hard time leaving their roots and going out into the real world! Last summer I worked at a sailing camp for kids 8 – 15 years old, and while I can’t say it’s the best resume builder, I certainly miss it and going back there before my senior year is still definitely an option.

 

Home:

Many of us end up working the typical high school summer job at home and having a relaxing and laid back summer – working at a corner store, a fast food chain, or something along those lines. While this is pretty rare especially for a Colby junior or senior to-be, it feels good to kind of go back to your roots. After I’m done working at Colby this summer, I should be working in a restaurant on the water for the month of August which I’ve done the past now three summers and am immensely looking forward to.

 

Abroad

A good amount of students end up using their summers to explore other cultures and help out around the world – since this is probably a whole other blog post in itself, I’ll just say that I know a bunch of people helping out in Africa, exploring China, getting to know Europe, and working to build small rural towns.

 

Nick

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Colby During the Summer – Sports and Weekends

If you didn’t read my last blog post, this one is a continuation of a sort of series I’m doing to create a snapshot of Colby summers. Last week I talked about jobs (the important stuff) and this week and next I’ll be talking about what else goes on around campus during the summer!

 

Sports:

While most Colby students are pretty athetic and work out a fair amount, it definitely seems as if more kids than usual are at the athletic center and going for a quick run around campus during the summer. Every day after work I try to go for some sort of a run- either just around campus, the 3-mile loop, or if I’m feeling very amibitious, the 7 mile run that goes past a nearby lake. Rock climbing seems also to have sprung up in popularity over the summer – while I haven’t really gone, a lot of students spend afternoons and evenings at the rock climbing wall. Also, there are various rock climbing trips over the weekends which I’ll talk about in my next section. Usually there are a bunch of pickup games too – either soccer on the football field (we’re just too lazy to walk to the actual soccer fields) or volleyball outside of Dana. There’s a Facebook group some kids created as well to get the word around, as well as the general announcement emails.

 

Weekend Trips:

Around the first week or so on campus, a couple of Facebook groups sprang up for summer kids. One was a summer sports page, where pickup soccer and baseball games are posted, and the other is a Colby summer hiking board. While I haven’t had time to do any of the hiking trips, there are always ton going on – students got together and went to Acadia, Baxter, Katadhin, and a bunch of other cool places to camp and climb. The best part about it is that you don’t really have to know anyone, usually the trips are completely open regardless of whether you know the other people, and it’s a great way to get to know people. While there’s no SPB or anything like that during the summer, these just really sprang up by the students, but there are ocassional “official” trips such as a trip to Baxter that summer Campus Life (or something like that) created where buses were offered to bring some of us to moose watch for a weekend. Besides these kind of open big trips, you obviously have groups of friends doing their own thing for the weekend to, going to family camps, the ocean, Portland, Boston, Acadia, Canada, and other awesome things! So far, I feel like I’ve spent every weekend doing something or other, driving around Maine, hanging out with different friends and things like that.

Nick

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