Category Archives: Student Life

The View Looking Down

While I was technically at inauguration this past weekend, I was also technically inside the library, on the third floor, as opposed to sitting on the quad. And, since Anh did such a marvelous job covering what it was like being on the right side of the convocation, I’m going to stick to my side. The side looking outwards and onwards. Isn’t it beautiful?:

While the inauguration went on in the rain, any other festivities that might have occurred were postponed to a later rain date, making this past Saturday the perfect day to check out all the ins and outs of the renovated Miller Library. Boys and girls, am I impressed! What I considered enough of a travesty to write about it in The Libel (the school satire paper) last spring has miraculously turned into a fantastic, new, state-of-the-art library.

Yes, many of the books have been moved. But now instead of a ridiculous amount of open spaced tables encouraging way too much conversation and not enough solitude and silence, the library has been set up in a way that makes me excited not just to do my homework, but find a little nook to read my Kindle.

So let’s work our way up the library from the windows to the walls, beginning in the basement, aka “the street”. The tables are still there to work late, late night or early, early morning, but one side of the stairs has been removed for renovations upstairs. Without context, I’d be upset. But once you walk up the stairs, the first floor now has an amazing addition. In a space where I literally can’t remember ever going to before, there is now a giant reading room with magazines, newspapers, giant volumes of books and long oak tables. It is well lit, and if you can get a spot before it fills up, I think it might be the place to be. Directly across from it, right next to archives and special collections, what once used to be an austere and old-world-esque reading room, there is now a “cordoned” off, well-lit study room that only the brave will find.

Now, into the actual library, there is a grand new entrance hallway with a massive help desk that leads into the first floor. The first floor hasn’t changed much, but now that I’m used to it, it’s fine for the conversation and group-work floor. Similarly the second floor is sort of a group/study/quiet floor that has been better sectioned off, but like the street’s renovations, isn’t that different or life-changing.

But the third floor? The one upon which I looked out on inauguration (on the classroom side of the library.) Finally, it’s back to “the real deal” Evander Holyfield silent study room it was born to be. There are rows of cubicles, tables that are sectioned off littered across the third floor like Emperor Qin’s Terra Cotta army. Desks for days! I couldn’t be happier. So come check it out yourself.

Now, I could give you pictures, but then that would ruin the surprise, so you should probably just visit the new Miller 2014 Library.

About Jeb Waters

I'm a philosophy major and administrative science minor from Hancock, Maine. I play on the varsity lacrosse team, am the director of operations of the student-run investment fund Mayflower Hill Capital, and I run the school's satire paper. This summer, I worked in business development for my family's artisan jam company, Blueberet.
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APT’s

When you arrive at college, everyone older than you says in some sappy form or another that college is over in the blink of an eye. Or that you’ll be a senior sooner than you could even think. Well I’m here to tell you the hype is the real. I’m only a week into actual classes and I’m still wondering how it is I ended up on the top of Mayflower Hill in The Alfond Apartments.

 

Part of the perks of being a senior is improved living conditions. You enter, wide-eyed full of trepidation, usually into a double or triple in a dorm full of other freshmen or sophomores. Gradually you gain entrance to the most coveted rooms on or off campus such as the apartments. The Alfond Apartments are reserved solely for seniors except on the weekends when there is an influx including most of the campus body resembling Nantucket, Bar Harbor or the Jersey Shore during peak tourist season. Just as soon as they’ve come, they’re gone with (late) Sunday morning’s arrival.

 

Having lived off campus, I can safely say there are some pros and cons to the apartments. On campus, you are close to everything and can walk everywhere. Thus, you don’t have to wake up in the morning with a car and drive to school. At the same time, the apartments are literally on top of Mayflower Hill, so the walk back up requires a Nalgene and a pair of hiking boots. However, everyone has a pretty similar sized room (there are 4,5, and 6 man apartments), there is a nice living room area and a kitchenette. Unfortunately, if you like to cook, the apartments are a far cry from a house kitchen, but you can make it work. And maybe one morning you’ll wake up in the Alfond Apartments how the time could fly by so quickly. And if you’re lucky, you’ll have a patio right outside your room where you can go sit down and contemplate on top of Mayflower Hill.

 

About Jeb Waters

I'm a philosophy major and administrative science minor from Hancock, Maine. I play on the varsity lacrosse team, am the director of operations of the student-run investment fund Mayflower Hill Capital, and I run the school's satire paper. This summer, I worked in business development for my family's artisan jam company, Blueberet.
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Barefoot Bubbly

The smell of champagne wafts up to the third floor of the library and into my nostrils like the scent of my mother cooking breakfast on a Sunday morning. I’m startled, alarmed and pleasantly surprised. I’ve yet to pass my sommelier test, but I can categorize the different beverages being blown about in the wind. Barefoot Bubbly. André. Nothing too fancy, just the types to get the job done.

I thought champagne on the steps had been shut down, but six weary revelers outside Miller Library are determined to save the night and maybe fight the break of dawn. They have finished their final classes at Colby College and find themselves sipping champagne on the steps.

I’d heard rumor of such a tradition in a class the other day. A professor of mine once smelled the same thing and came outside bemused to find every senior running towards Johnson Pond in the buff. The only thing clothing them was mud dripping from the pond.

Way back when there was a tradition called Champagne on the Steps. It occurred on the last Friday of spring semester for seniors. Champagne was served quite literally on the steps of Miller library. But after too much revelry and broken glass the tradition was shut down. And caput, just like that no more.

In this new age of 21st century society, traditions like this have ended. For better or for worse, they have also ended here at Colby. Obviously, the less hospital visits for stepping on broken glass the better. There is too much liability, too much danger and there was probably a bit too much fun. But for the six seniors sitting outside, they pay no heed to the end of traditions and celebrate their final class with some bubbly. Cheers.

About Jeb Waters

I'm a philosophy major and administrative science minor from Hancock, Maine. I play on the varsity lacrosse team, am the director of operations of the student-run investment fund Mayflower Hill Capital, and I run the school's satire paper. This summer, I worked in business development for my family's artisan jam company, Blueberet.
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Home away from Home — Dinner at Cito’s

It is tough to start college, and being in a new country does not make it any better. However, Cito Cruz knows the best way to cure homesickness is through the stomach. Every Friday, Cruz and his wife, Sue, will make enough home-cooked food to feed fifty , and drives international students and their friends to his home for a big meal. Some students will be deep in conversation and enjoying chicken teriyaki and miso soup, while others are playing games and laughing out loud. “There’s something about the house gives it a very homely atmosphere” explained Cruz.

Students know their ways around Cruz’s house; they would pull out the foldable table and chairs one they arrived, Cruz’s three-legged dog would be greeted and stroked; she had a content expressions that say, “Welcome back, old friends.” “Ladies first!” Cruz would shout when the food is ready, and students would hurry and grab the plates and folk and eagerly wait in line.

Cruz, who have been hosting these dinners around the world for more than thirty years, knows how tough it being an international student can be. “I was a foreign student myself long ago; nothing compares to [the crave of] food, hot sauce and rice.” Cruz was also in a host family, like many of Colby’s international students. His host family once drove 150 miles to take care of Cruz, who literally got sick from missing home; back then, a letter took at least two weeks to reach his family, and making a phone call was expensive. Cruz’s host family gave him the master bedroom and slept in the basement for a week. He loved his host family, and decided to share the same kindness with Colby’s international students. He became a host family when his family moved to Maine because of his wife’s career, and also because of his intentions to write and publishes books. He brought a house by a lake; one of his main considerations when he brought the house was that it needed to be big enough to accommodate the students he would invite.

Being a faithful Christian, Cruz see his actions as his devotion to God, which prompt him to love his neighbors as his own; also, with his children all off to college, cooking for the student is just like cooking for his children  once again.

“There’s something about food that bonds people together,” said Cruz. In Cruz’s house, you can see international students and American students working together to win a game of Pictionary. “For the international students, it [international dinner] makes them easier to simulate into the American culture; for the American students, it raises their awareness of other cultures,” said Cruz.

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Snowed In — Part 1: the adventures

Ah, snow.

When I am old and wrinkly, I will fondly remember Colby as the snow covered wonderland where students built snowman in JanPlan and little cardboard red hearts on Valentine. I will remember the warmth of hot chocolate on the Street, and tiny snowflakes that covered the roofs like powdered sugar on ginger bread houses. For now, I will struggle through the knee deep sludge to class while avoiding the icy slopes of death.

Colby is covered in snow around five months of the year. When spring rolls around, there will still be stubborn mounds of snow that has been seasoned to rock-hard ice bricks, refusing to melt away, as if judging your willingness to shed the large puffy coats and wearing sleeveless.

With snow comes lots of fun activities. I have heard tales of cross-country skiing (I have no clue what that is), sledding (it counts when I did it with lunch trays, right?), snow shoeing (that just sounds like what I do everyday to school, but made fancy), and (normal? regular?) skiing. Fun fact: I did skied once and it was amusing when you get the gist of it; when I was learning and skiing down the slope with the speed of a turtle fearing for a icy death, it was amusing to others. Especially the kids.

Being less of an outdoorsy person, I enjoy quieter, less deadly activities. I love going to Boston on the weekends to have hotpot in Chinatown with my friends; there is something soothing seeing beef and veggies and tofu and seafood bubbling in a delicious stew. Since it turns dark at around 5:00pm during the cold months, I usually could not fight the urge to curl up on my comfy chair (which I got in the Rescue Sale for $8) and read while nursing a hot cup of tea. Hot beverages are the God’s reward for freezing cold, so I indulge in hot chai, apple cider, coffee, tea, matcha latte, and everything else.

One of my favorite things to do is to take a hot mug of tea and walk to the bench in front of the Alumni Center in the middle of the night. Staring at the blue light of Miller reminds me of the beauty of Mayflower Hill, and memories over four years in Colby.

The second semester is always busy for me; I tend to overestimate my ability, or I like to think that  I am inherently a daredevil who loves a challenge. There are many sleepless nights, so perhaps my favorite winter moments are sitting in front of Runnals after a long night and watching the sky turns from Indian ink blue, to a rich royal purple, a fiery red, tangerine, and finally a crisp blue of a winter morning. The bird chimes and another Colby morning has broken, bringing another day of adventures.

 

 

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The Other Side

Mathematically speaking, there are three ways to get to the other side of the spa. Practically speaking, there are two ways. We can rule out the path that curls underneath the spa from Eustace that passes closest to Diamond. Someone who walks that way is clearly out of their minds. The route is longer and the only reason you would take it is to get to Olin. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when you consider all the places you could go, the long walk underneath seems shortsighted.

That brings us to paths 1 and 2. One goes above the spa on the Heights side and the other through the spa. Logistically speaking there is no clear winner. If you’re going to Dana from Miller or Hillside or Bobs then above Heights makes sense. If you’re going further south to Foss it make sense to go through. If traveling the reverse direction, it makes sense to go to Miller above the spa or through it. For Lovejoy or a lower building in the quad like Eustace if you’re getting a package, going through the spa makes more sense.

But eschewing logistics, let’s take a look at the soft qualities. We’ve been talking like quants, time to go a bit more qualitative. Call these personal opinions with experiential evidence. These qualities probably number more, but I want to delve into two specifically. First, the weather is a strong factor and next is your current level of sociability.

Depending on the whether strongly determines above or through. If it’s sunny, I would almost always recommend going above the spa. You need that vitamin D. The only thing ruling this out of course is temperature. There are some days that are literally ‘wicked’ cold-and the indoor time factor walking through the spa provides is essential to survival. Obviously rain makes the decision to go through a clear go ahead. Snow is tricky though. I can’t say I have a full decision on snow because while it’s usually cold, walking in a winter wonderland is wonderful.

Sociability levels are a lot more clear cut than weather. Basically, if you want to be see people, go through the spa. Perhaps you’ll get sucked into a conversation with 1-47 people. If you’re looking for that it’s an easy choice. If you want to be alone, you could probably go through the spa, but it’s a high risk protocol. I recommend going above instead. Occasionally, you pass someone, but it’s a great way to avoid the usual foot traffic. Just depends how you’re feeling.

Regardless, the crowd makes its way to the other side. Which way will you choose?

About Jeb Waters

I'm a philosophy major and administrative science minor from Hancock, Maine. I play on the varsity lacrosse team, am the director of operations of the student-run investment fund Mayflower Hill Capital, and I run the school's satire paper. This summer, I worked in business development for my family's artisan jam company, Blueberet.
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A House Divided

Often, these blog posts rant and rave about the various pluses, pros and benefits to all the aspects of my Colby life. But today, we need to take a step back and recognize a vital flaw in the system.

 

A flaw? An obtrusive crack? But where? Well. It’s right in front of you in the most central location of Colby College: Miller Library. A not so long time ago, during the spring 2013 exam season, a restructuring of sorts began. Drills began to roar and books were tossed about like notebooks after a final exam. The noise was about 7 decibles above white noise. This made studying without ear plugs and a pair of Dre Beats or Bose sound cancelling headphones playing classical music on top close to impossible. Plus, it was sunny outside. But I digress.

 

The problem was not so much that a renovation was in process, but that the acolytes of the basement library were to finish their spring exams and find themselves homeless the next time they wandered into Miller bleary eyed, none too worse for wear and tear. Homeless? But don’t the disciples of the underground section of Miller have homes in the Apartments, Hillside, AMS, off-campus? Yes. But what about their home away from home? Their second home per se. Destroyed. Annihilated.

 

This fall when they and I, in other words we, entered Miller library we were aghast. Not only had the first floor and second floor and third floor (all topics for three more blogs) been changed beyond recognition, but our cubicles and tables amongst the stacks of Hemingway and Faulkner and Government documents had been replaced by the Great Miller Basement wall. The message was clear: “Thou shalt not pass.”

 

I’m not sure if the message meant my classes or into the basement, but one by one we discovered we were now to be sent on a journey to find a new place to study. RIP.

About Jeb Waters

I'm a philosophy major and administrative science minor from Hancock, Maine. I play on the varsity lacrosse team, am the director of operations of the student-run investment fund Mayflower Hill Capital, and I run the school's satire paper. This summer, I worked in business development for my family's artisan jam company, Blueberet.
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Beginning of the End (and Other Optimistic Thoughts)

Welcome to the beginning of the end. Yes, after four years at Colby I have reached my final semester; a semester filled with longing and uncertainty for the future, a semester made of equal parts fear and hope. It is definitely an amazing thought that around three months from now, I could be traveling with a fellowship and invest in a project that I love, or I could be working in a lab, or studying public health and working with the PeaceCorps, or doing exciting NGO projects. It is also a scary thought that three months from now, I could no longer turn to my professors for help, or have health insurance, or be very certain that I have grocery money. The price of freedom in a wide, wide world is the uncertainty of it all.

Well, come what may; many do not have the advantage of a great education and chances that are presented to Colby students, and managed to do great things. I was taught to reach for the skies as children, and I was lucky enough to be handed a fairly long ladder as a head start.

I wonder what advice I could give to freshman me (that is what people do when they reminisce right? Writing to past selves and hope for a wormhole?). I am a fairly average student (at least that’s what my teachers used to tell me), but I do not think I would ask past me to take less classes to attempt for better grades; I enjoyed every hard class, even the math and science ones that are obviously tough for me. I would tell me that friendships would be forged, and there is no need to feel lonely when your roommate moved in with a fridge and TV, helped by parents; I would find my place and my family right here, even at an unlikely place like Waterville. I would tell myself not to fear that first snowstorm, cause you would be in Quebec making snow angels at the side of the street not giving a damn to the pedestrians. I would tell myself that people would find me valuable, that I would always run into new and exciting things even through I have been fairly average all my life. I would tell myself that being “fairly average” means that I just need to work more passionately; it does not mean that I could not dream to save the world in my unique ways; there are no small dreams, only pursued ones, and sometimes the journey is all that mattered.

Well, it is almost 4am in the morning and I could not sleep, so here are some grand thoughts (that I need to review in the morning) about the beginning of the end. Shhhh…. everything is going to be alright.

 

 

 

 

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The finals are here. Be scared, be very scared.

Alas, tis the season of finals are upon us again. After three years, I have perfected my routine for optimal cramming. What are some of the tips to survive this intense period?

  1. Wake up early. The campus is full of people trying to secure a spot in the library or an empty room to hit the books, and the earlier you drag yourself out of bed, the higher the chance that you don’t need to share a table with three other people in the noisy part of Miller. The campus is a battlefield, and you want a snipper spot.
  2. Take short, power naps. Let’s be realistic here, most of us are not going to sleep a lot during this week. It’s perfectly okay, it is part of being in college. No judgement. So, I take short twenty minutes naps every few hours to recharge. Suit yourself, some people like to go for a run, some people eat hot pockets, some people make snow angels, some people gosip. Just relax once in a while.
  3. Healthy snacks. I eat food during the finals week. Somehow I am Takeru Kobayahi, inhaling everything in sight like a vacuum cleaner. If you see me you will wonder where all the food went in my five feet frame. I don’t even eat because of flavor but to focus on the wriggly lines in books. In order to prevent future health problem, I buy healthier snacks like dried fruits, carrots and hummus, and greek yogurt.

Finals are scary, I am not going to sugar coat it. However if you set up daily plans and take breaks, you will be just fine. Christmas is right around the corner!

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On the article “5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder”

This is such a vile article that I feel violated by sharing it on this blog, but not talking about something is not helping in any way; that is the whole reason Colby has groups like Campus Conversations on Race. So here it is:

http://www.returnofkings.com/21313/5-reasons-to-date-a-girl-with-an-eating-disorder

The publisher wrote a response to this article and it is equally insulting:

http://www.returnofkings.com/21637/publisher-response-to-the-eating-disorders-article

The publisher try to argue that it is an article to tell people not to “overlook” dating those with eating disorder, but he completely missed the point; the most horrible idea about this article is how the writer talks about exploiting the insecurities and conditions of those with eating disorders. Pay close attention to how the article is all about the male receiving benefits base on someone’s vulnerabilities.

Just look at this sentence:
“This level of vulnerability often brings out the best in men, whose protector instinct can’t help but get activated.”

I am sorry but women are more than arm candy to show what a manly man you are. In fact, the idea that you need a women to show how masculine you are shows just how you need to work on that self confidence.

Also, I am pretty sure that even though I am not that strong, I can kick your gonads in one swift swing and make you hurt like having your first period. However, I won’t do that because I am not that kind of person and I understand that violence and bullying, whether it is verbal or physical, does not solve anything but causes all kinds of tragedies and sadness.

If dating is all about saving money and leeching on free stuff, you should probably look into going back to your parents’ basement. Grow up. Girls are not ATMs. Little gifts are tokens of appreciation, and I really don’t think that if you love someone, it would be because of the materialistic aspect.

First of all, don’t write about taking advantage of someone with a serious disorder. And if you are really trying to write a satirical article about the issue, remember what the focus should be, talk about how they might just need someone to help them work with the problem, how they could be so interesting and intelligent and the disorder does not define them. Don’t create caricatures of both the people in the relationship.

Yes, all people needs love and care and attention, but what you are advocating is like telling people to take candy from a lonely child with the promise of playing with him/her. Love comes in all forms and shapes, but should not comes in any form of price tag.

I am going to the gym to get ripped. Just so you know, Tuthmosis, it has nothing to do with you and your lover called the mirror.

#&#*  @^^  %@&  $#@^#!*$

That was me swearing, but I think the TARDIS swear filter is working. This is a very subtle hint of why you should be very excited about the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.

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