Archives by Month: February 2013

A Night at the Museum

A couple days ago, a few friends and I decided to head over to the Tate Modern. Although I’m not a huge fan of modern art, the Tate is free (like nearly all museums in London), so I figured I might as well check it out.

We spent a little over an hour walking around the entire museum, and, after finding only one piece of art I truly appreciated (‘Water-Lilies’ by Monet), I found myself really missing Colby’s art museum.

That might seems like a strange thing to say, since I’m living in London–home of dozens and dozens of amazing art museums and galleries–but at Colby we are spoiled by our museum. I’ve visited several other college and university art museums and have yet to find one that compares to Colby (okay, I may be a little biased). Even before the museum underwent expansion (set to be finished next year), Colby’s collection of art was extensive and the museum large enough to display several exhibits at once.

The new additions to the museum, which started last year, will make Colby’s Museum of Art the largest in the state of Maine.  If I thought the museum was large before they started construction, I can only imagine what it will be like when building is finished!

Here’s what the museum looked like before expansion:

And here’s a projected image of what it will look like after the addition is complete:

The expansion will open on July 13th of this year.  Maybe if I’m around, I’ll head down to Waterville for the grand opening. Colby has so many things to be proud of–our academics, our community, our 200th birthday. Now we can add our museum to the list, though, for most of the students and faculty, it was already on there. For those of you who are planning on visiting Colby this spring or summer, make sure you make it to the museum! Even if you go before July 13th, there are still exhibits open! It will be worth your time; there is such a wide array of art that you are sure to find something you like!

Until next time,






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A Pair of Jeans that Fits Just Right

So I just came from a screening of “Pandaemonium,” which is a Sammy T. Coleridge biopic. Apparently, Williams Wordsworth was a manipulative snake and, when used in moderation, opium will make you famous. College is for learning.

I completely forgot to post last week about my friend’s band having played here, which I feel really bad about. My roommate freshman year joined an already established band on campus called The Joint Chiefs – a name I thought was stupid until I learned that the JCS was a thing, which made me further realize that I have some growing up to do. Also that I should probably read more.

Anyway, this band has stayed together even when the members started graduating, and now they’re kind of a big deal around here. Like, they used to play on campus for free but for their latest show I had to pay $5 to get in. They’ve played shows in New York, Boston, all around Maine – mostly covers but some original stuff too. Here’s a picture of them here at Colby:

My friend is the drummer. His name is Carson. I guess the singer is also a friend, but he calls me Jules and I hate that, so in retaliation he can stay anonymous. All the kids are Colby grads/students except for the keyboard player, who Carson knew from high school and who currently goes to Berklee. You should hear these guys play “Chicken Fried;” I’m no country boy but seriously that song makes me feel like it would be all right to get tossed out of the bed of a pickup.

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TEDxColby College

Sorry, I would have updated the blog yesterday but my plate was kind of full already. Yesterday was Colby College’s first TEDx conference, put together almost entirely by students.


I was part of the team, but I want to give a special shout out to Jacob, Ryan, and Max who really went H.A.M this last week to make sure everything was prepared and though out. And really, for something that was put together by students, it was shockingly error-free.

Here are some great pics from the event (I run/ran the Facebook page):

Ostrove Auditorium was completely transformed, as we and PPD put up black curtains, set the screens, put up additional lighting, and even handed out free little notepads and pens with TEDx stickers on them. Pretty legit.


The talks themselves were great. I was running the guest check-in table for the majority of the event, so a lot of them I’ll have to wait until their uploaded onto youtube to see, but the ones I did see were amazing. But each talk ran for about 15 minutes and ranged from Physics to Poker to Yiddish to Human Rights and more. Actually, here’s a copy of the program:

It was a ridiculously long day. I had to get there at 7, the even started at 10, and we didn’t leave until 5. And I ate so much cheese and cookies and drank so much coffee that by the end of it I thought I was going to blow chunks, but I made it and it was really worth it. I don’t know that Colby has ever had something like this happen before, and I was glad to be a part of it.

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Celebrating the Bicentennial from Abroad

I am completely loving my time here at Oxford but, each day, when I scan the General Announcements and read about all the lovely things that are happening on campus in honor of the Bicentennial, I can’t help but miss Colby. I am especially sad that I won’t be at Colby to watch the Bicentennial video (I watched a trailer for it online, and I’m hoping that, at some point, the entire video will be online) or to see Gloria Steinem give the SHOUT Keynote Lecture this year.

Some places here remind me of Colby, but, for the most part, it’s very different. Here’s a picture of one of the study areas that I frequent in the Gladstone Link; the chairs resemble and feel like the comfy ones in Miller.

The Link as a whole, though, does not mirror Miller in very many other ways. You have to walk through this long tunnel to get into it, and I always feel like I’m walking into architecture that was made for the future when I go there (this is not a common feeling that I get at Oxford because, not surprisingly, most of the buildings are very old).

Worcester College also has tons of grass at the center of its campus, which reminds me of Colby in a roundabout way.

I recently went to a Colby reunion dinner at Magdalen College within Oxford with a few other students who are also studying here at the moment. We had a toast to Colby and to the Bicentennial, and it was nice to bond over our college and talk about the things we were all missing about Colby: sunshine; Jan Plan; and how Miller Library always look beautiful, no matter which season you happen to snap a photo of it during.

Well, that’s about it from Oxford.

From all of us abroad: Happy Birthday Colby!


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Early Mornings

Sometimes, waking up on Friday morning can be horrible.


It’s rough, the life of a college student.

Friday morning, suddenly turned into the best thing ever. Thanks Kennebec Cafe!

Photo creds to Marguax LeBlanc

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Life in Waterville

My post last week was totally unrelated to Colby, and I realize that.  Something I forgot to point out is that I got all excited to talk about my gap year because I’ve been reading the blogs of some of the other insideColby people who are abroad and got a little jealous.  I should start thinking about what I want to do in terms of travelling abroad, but I still have some time before I really need to start thinking about it.

In the meantime, I’ll be living in Waterville (obviously).  I don’t have a car, but I have a few friends who do and who are kind enough to let me ride with them to places like the cinema or out to dinner.  On Thursday, one of my friends and I zipped into town between my first class of that day (11-12:15) and my last class of that day (2:30-3:45).  I was a little worried about getting back to campus on time, but everything ended up working out perfectly.

We went to Jorgenson’s for lunch, which I hadn’t been to since I toured Colby and my mom and I ate lunch there – it must’ve been July of 2010.  It’s a café and they have all kinds of sandwiches, coffee, desserts, etc.  There was a fair number of Colby kids there, but it wasn’t dominated by them.  Colby is in Waterville, but at the same time we’re removed because we’re atop our hill.  You could walk or bike into town if you wanted, but you might as well drive or get the jitney in (the jitney is a student-driven van that can take you anywhere in Waterville.)

Then we went to Barrel’s Community Market.  I had thought about volunteering at Barrel’s at the beginning of the year…but I never got around to it (plus, I don’t have a car and I wouldn’t want to rely on the jitney to get me there!)  It’s a market with local food, produce, and other things like kitchen bits and bobs.  I bought what turned out to be vegan graham crackers but they’re actually pretty good (my only other venture into veganism being the vegan chocolate cake I tried once in Foss, which offers some vegan-friendly fare… I didn’t love it.)  We then went to Holy Cannoli, which is exactly what it sounds like, and I still haven’t tried it despite the fact that they’ve been on campus a few times.  Maybe next time…

My point is, there’s a lot in Waterville that you (or maybe it’s just me) forget is here.  I don’t often go and venture around “downtown.”  I would not say Waterville is a “college town” for exactly the reason that while we were in a café at lunchtime during the week, it wasn’t dominated by Colby students.  I like being this kind of distance from town because then it’s nice to be there sometimes, like how a few weekends ago I escaped to Starbucks for some reading time.  But Colby’s campus is big enough that there are places you can go to “get away” if need be.  And tonight I am going to my favorite place in Waterville, the Railroad Square Cinema!  I guess we have it pretty good.

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Home Suite Home

This morning I received an e-mail from Colby about the upcoming room draw. Freshman year, everyone lives in a double or a triple with a random roommate (or roommates), but for the next three years you are allowed to choose who you want to live with and where you want to live.

Colby has many dorms, several of which are special interest housings, such as Substance-Free and Quiet Housing. Sometimes there are other special interested houses, such as a Green dorm, depending on if the housing committee approves them.  You can also choose to live off-campus, though not that many people choose to do so at Colby.

As a senior, my biggest decision was whether to live in the Alfond Senior Apartments or not. The apartments, as the name suggests, are only open to seniors. They are different from other Colby dorms because they are all suites; suites house either four, five, six, or seven with a living space and a kitchen.

Actually, the Senior Apartments are pretty similar to my living situation here in London. Here, at the Great Dover Street Apartments, I live in an 8-person flat with four British students and four American students. We have a shared kitchen (where the sink is always full of dirty dishes) that also acts as our television common room, and we each have our own bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms.  I’ll admit, having my own bathroom is a huge bonus.

This is our kitchen/common room (and my lovely flatmate) at its cleanest moment of the semester so far.






My desk, which is surprisingly clean in this photo.


My bed, and lovely collage of Maine pictures on the wall, to remind me of my great home state! You can just see the corner of my window in this picture… my window is perhaps my favorite part of my room (besides the ensuite bathroom). It’s a massive window, and when the sun shines in the afternoon it warms up my room splendidly.

As for my living situation next year, I think I’m going to opt for a suite in one of the dorms rather than a suite in the Apartments. After this semester of living in London, I think I’ve had enough of cooking for myself! I can’t believe it’s already time to start thinking about where I’m going to be living next year–my last year at Colby! Time seriously goes by so fast,

Until next time,


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SEO optimization

It’s that time again. Shameless plugging again.

The Colby Space Club’s Facebook page is up and running – ya’ll should “like” it:

The Club Expo was held earlier this week as well, which gives kids who were abroad or away for another reason in the fall semester a chance to see what on-campus groups are all about. Here are the new ads I ran for the club (if you look back at the old ads, you will see what a difference designing on Adobe products makes in comparison to trying to make something aesthetically pleasing on Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word is not a design platform. Remember that.)

Also, probably should have mentioned this before, but this coming Saturday, Colby is hosting its very own TEDx conference. You should like that Facebook page as well:

So besides all of that, I have a new roommate. I live in an apartment with 3 other kids, and for a reason that was definitely not related to me in any way, one of them had to move out. Replacing him is my roommate from freshman year. See? College. Lasting relationships. Put that in a brochure somewhere.

And here’s something that shouldn’t go in a brochure. When I came back from winter break, the room was a complete mess – the two of my roommates that had stayed for Jan Plan had really let the room go. I’m talking old plates in the sink with standing water, crusted on floor, smelling like a subway station. So, I made an executive decision and just threw everything out. Unfortunatley, that meant a lot of my roommate’s stuff, like dishware and cutlery. Scrubbed the rest of the apartment clean and hoped we could call it even.

We could not. I fought with him, fought with his mom, but when it came down to it, I guess I was wrong for the simple fact that it wasn’t my stuff to throw out. Believe me, if I could have bagged all the garbage up and left it in his room until he got back, I would have. I tried, but his door was locked. So needless to say, we started out the new semester with some roommate beef. But thankfully, it’s resolved now, and actually, the messy room thing had been a tension all year and this allowed us to talk about it. Which allows us to get along together better.

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Research and Pad Thai Too

This time of year always gets me thinking ahead to sweet summer. I find myself working on summer job applications instead of homework and the longer days get me thinking about being far away from here, somewhere new and exciting.

However, filling out those job applications has made me grateful for the cool things that I get to do at Colby that will hopefully help me get those summer jobs. This spring I’ll be working in Professor Cathy Collins’ lab, joining a group of students that have been helping her go through seed samples that she’s brought back from her forest restoration research project in the south of Costa Rica.

We all got together for lunch today to meet and get organized. As we exchanged stories about our Janplans over take-out from local restaurant Pad Thai Too, I realized what an awesome opportunity working in Professor Collins’ lab would be. Not only would I get research experience in this semester, but I would get to meet and make connections with some awesome people. Plus, anything that involves food from Pad Thai Too is automatically great.

I imagine that students at many colleges get to do research with their professors. Still, I feel lucky to be at Colby where I can be a part of research in a setting that allows for some fun. What’s more, putting this research on my summer job applications can only help!

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To London and Back

I had a pretty exciting week at Oxford. On Monday, I traveled from Oxford to London to work at the Charles Dickens Museum for the first time. The museum is on Doughty Street, which is where Dickens lived from 1837-1839. While living in this house, Dickens finished writing The Pickwick Papers, wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, and started Barnaby Rudge. Dickens had ten children, and three of them were born at the house.

The greatest challenge of my trip to London on Monday was navigating the city. I took the Oxford Tube to Victoria Station, but then I had to find my way to Doughty Street, which is in a residential area, so it is not exactly in central London. I managed to determine the appropriate bus line to take, and I took that to Bloomsbury Square, from which I walked for about ten minutes to get to The Charles Dickens Museum.

The Museum is surrounded by several quaint coffee shops, so I was able to pass time in those.

On my way back to the bus station, I noticed that The Charles Dickens Museum is close to a bunch of other museums—such as The British Museum and The Charles Darwin Museum—so I plan to check those out when I am in London in the coming weeks.

In addition to spending time in London, I also had the opportunity to hear Terry Eagleton, a renowned English professor and cultural theorist, give a lecture this week as part of the Oxford University Chaplains’ Heaven Sent program, which was a week of events that explored the relationship between art, culture, and Christianity through lectures and performances.

I have read two of Eagleton’s books this term as part of my tutorial on material culture—The Idea of Culture and Marxism and Literature—so it was great to see and hear Eagleton in person after extensively discussing his ideas with my tutor.


P.S. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and my favorite coffee shop here served me a latte with a chocolate heart design on it. How fun!

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