Category Archives: Uncategorized

Breakfast Thoughts

I write this blog from Dana dining hall, where I am enjoying my usual Monday morning breakfast of oatmeal, fruit salad, and coffee. I confess that I have rarely made it to breakfast for most of my Colby career. My classes generally begin at 11, so I usually just eat lunch right after them. I like to workout in the morning, and I rarely have time to do that, shower, and prepare for class, while also making it to breakfast. Yes, I typically skip “the most important meal of the day.” Well, I do usually eat a granola bar on the run, so that counts, right? On Mondays, however, I have an early AM tutoring shift, so I always eat breakfast before it.

I am a big fan of breakfast food. I love oatmeal, I love boiled eggs, and I love hash browns and the fruit bar. I often find myself wondering why oatmeal and fruit salad, in particular, are not served during the lunch hours, or even during the dinner hours. I could eat those foods all day!

There’s something incredibly relaxing about breakfast time. The dining hall doesn’t feel as populated during breakfast as it does during lunch, for instance, when many people are hustling and bustling to eat some food after an 11-12:15 class (most, after all, are rushing to eat something before a 1:00 class or meeting). Instead, everyone is calm: they are sipping coffee, flipping through a newspaper, chatting with friends over a pastry or bagel, or reading an article or book for a class later in the day. It really is a wonderful time of day.

If you come to Colby, I hope that you are able to enjoy the breakfast hours more than I have been able to throughout my time here!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

International Extravaganza

If there is one piece of advice I would like to give to departing seniors/incoming freshman (I assume, my main audience), it would be to never be afraid to do what you want and try something new. There have been many things this year that I wish I had partaken in. One example, would be dancing in the International Extravaganza.

Every year, students coordinate dances from different cultures around the world, usually led by an international student from the dance’s origin. I attended the event on Saturday and there was such a variety of performances and representation from different nations. The auditorium was packed by the time I arrived so I was left standing in the back for 2.5 hours but it was worth it. It was fun to watch people perform and show their pride. I heard so many songs in so many different languages. It was beautiful.

Here is just a small sampling of some of the acts (there were about 20). I apologize that I do not know the correct term for each dance or song or country of origin but I will relay the information I do know.

Belly Dancing (led by my friend from Turkey)

 

Karate (brought to you by the Karate Club, I didn’t even know we had one!)

Taiko Drumming

 

Poem about Diversity (Solo act! Very brave and very wonderful)

African Dance (seriously, some crazy awesome moves. I don’t know how they do it but it was impressive)

Bollywood Dance

 

Japanese Fishermen’s Dance (my friend was in this one! So proud of her. Apparently, this is a typical United World’s College – UWC – dance)

 

Chinese Dance to the song “Bu Yao, Bu Yao” (this is the song that won the World Division Song Contest earlier this year. VERY catchy song)

 

Russian Song (my friend is playing the guitar! The music to this song was so beautiful. There was a violin, a cello, two guitars, and a flute)

I imagine that each group devoted so much time and effort into their performance. Each group wore native clothes for the dances and songs, which really made the acts seem authentic. What a great show!! I am always sad when I miss out on an opportunity to try something new that seems really fun. Sometimes I feel like I am just too shy to put myself out there for the world to see. But slowly, I am trying to change that about myself and crawl out of my shell.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Seconds Please!

Desserts are AH-may-zing. I have always been a huge fan of dessert, and I truly think my sweet tooth really takes up most of the space in my mouth. There is just no room for anything else. The dining hall has some pretty stellar desserts, and I can bet that I have tried them all. My favorites would definitely have to be the vegan (yes, vegan, healthy, and delicious) apple and oats parfait, hermit bar (molasses and raisins never tasted so good), apple pie (classic), snicker doodle cookie (perfect with a chai latte), or the classic brownie (especially tasty with ice cream on top). As you can see….I have a lot to say when it comes to dessert.

This week has been especially full of cookies and cakes. Many events hold receptions afterwards with, of course, dessert. Sometimes I feel like the reason people get their butts out of their room is to learn something interesting and stuff their faces with goodies. After a movie I watched on the human-elephant crisis in Sri Lanka, I enjoyed chocolates with carrot cake inside and eclairs…..they were little morsels of happiness with every bite.

Yesterday I attended a cooking class taught by one of the dining hall chefs. He wasn’t sure what to have us make, but he thought of a basic skill everyone should know how to do….cut up a chicken. He had a tray of cold, slimy chickens and we were expected to chop it up into drumsticks, wings, and breasts. Alas, I had to leave the lesson early and did not have the opportunity to cut up a chicken, but I listened intently and watched fellow students slice away. It looked surprisingly easy. He ensured us that even if we messed up, the chicken was still edible! To start off the class he said a quote from one of my favorite movies….Anyone Can Cook.

Sorry to deter away from desserts but I thought that experience was both interesting and fun. I stared at my friend’s chicken today. It looked just like one of the ones my friend cut up yesterday….hmmmm.

Yesterday also marked the Math Department’s big Dessert Extravaganza! The event was for potential math majors and minors but everyone who was even vaguely interested in math came. Apparently, people had heard about the wonderful desserts (and oh boy were they scrumptious) and flocked the math floor in Mudd. I socialized with current majors, math professors, and friends who are as clueless as I am about whether to choose math or psychology or chemistry. But let me tell you, those desserts were no ordinary desserts. They were the decadent kind that you order at a fancy restaurant and devour in two seconds. There was mousse and pies and cakes and ones that I didn’t even know their name! Saying pies and cakes seems disrespectful for these masterpieces! And, of course, they were delicious.

My final event with tasty treats is the Admissions Ambassadors meeting I just attended. This weekend I will be hosting another prospie for Accepted Students Day and Open House. We had a short meeting where we went over the schedule and the basic protocols. At each meeting there are always marvelous desserts. This time on the menu was three different types of bars. One with cranberries and vanilla drizzling on top, one that was cheesecake with crumbs on top, and one with chocolate on top (I can’t tell you much about it because I only ate the other two). Yuummmmm!

My stomach is very happy right now. At the beginning of the year when I told a friend that I felt guilty after eating my third brownie, she told me something I will never forget. Never regret something that once brought you joy.

P.S. This may not seem that momentous but LOOK! NO SNOW!!! Spring is finally here. :)

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Spring is in the Air!

The weather has treated us well lately, and there is a general buzz on campus because of this. With the temperature approaching the fifties nearly each day in Waterville, all know that summer is almost here.

Spring at Colby marks the beginning of several informal traditions, including class outside with willing professors (alas, this won’t be possible for a few more weeks, I’d say, because the ground is wet, given that more and more snow melts upon it each day), skirt day, cracking your dorm room windows open after a long winter, afternoons spent reading on the various “hills” that comprise Mayflower Hill, barbeques and picnics, iced coffee and other seasonal delights, pleasant runs outside, drives in friends’ cars with the sunroofs open, and the thrill of not having to do laundry one week, because you have officially transitioned from wearing pants and sweaters to shorts and tees.

This weekend, several events will be happening on campus, all of which, I think, typify what Spring feels like at Colby. Most representative of the general ambience is probably the Colby Outing Club’s 100th Anniversary Celebration that will be taking place: there will be food, drinks, games, and live music out on the lawn for students on Friday night. Besides celebratory BBQs like this one, Spring also means lacrosse games—and there will be one on Saturday afternoon—Woodsmen’s team competitions, and many other spring sporting events that are open to students and the public.

Spring at Colby certainly gives students several reasons to smile!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

When Someone Famous Visits Your Class

One of the most exciting things about Colby is that dozens of guest speakers visit campus each day. These talks are sponsored by several departments and organizations on campus, so the subjects that these individuals bring to our attention are truly varied and numerous. In many cases, a talk will be co-hosted by three or four groups. More thrilling than hearing a speaker talk about a topic that particularly excites you, however, is meeting someone whose work you’ve read in a class. I’ve experienced this a few times in my Colby career, and, most recently, it was with Jael Silliman, the author of The Man With Many Hats.

Jael Silliman is a Jewish and Indian writer, whose first novel, mentioned above, I read in my Global Women Writers course. She visited campus last week in order to give a talk on the archive that she is compiling on the Calcutta Jewish community. The novel that we read in class was, in many ways, a kind of critical ethnography about this community, but what was most fascinating was that I was able to hear her talk about, show pictures of, and share stories about a community that I could initially only relate to through a work of fiction. Not surprisingly, the lines between fact and fiction were thin, for her’s was in large part a historically-based novel.

The talk was on a Tuesday, and, on Thursday, Jael agreed to visit our class. She answered students’ questions about several subjects related to her book and about the archive, including but not limited to how history figures into her fiction, her inspiration for the novel, how she thinks about identity, the role voice plays in her book, and the process of self-publishing and what literary freedoms that gave her.

She was truly a wonderful person to interact with and learn from, and I left both her talk and class feeling very well informed about a community that, prior to last week, I had known nothing about.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Oh the Places You’ll Go

Choosing a college is extremely difficult. Having just been through the process and now helping my sister decide, I feel like I am a bank of wisdom and knowledge. I have learned a lot about different types of colleges and universities, and I want to help others navigate through the maze because it is complicated and sticky and messy. This is why I enjoy hosting prospective students, and it just so happens that I will have one in just a few minutes! This weekend is College Match, in which Colby arranges for juniors to visit the campus and stay with a variety of students. I will have a little baby to show around.

College is a big deal. Not only is it super expensive, but you are learning the necessary skills to be thrown out into the real world and tackle the big bad responsibilities of having a job. When I was picking a college, I randomly added a bunch on my list based on what my guidance counselor thought suited me. It seemed like every place I visited, I loved and every website showed only the best points of the university. Pretty much, I had no clue what I wanted from a college. Only after being in college do I realize what I should have been looking for. And now I can pass my knowledge onto you…..

1.) Variety of Classes/Majors – this is the time to figure out what you want to do and what you are interested in, but this can only be achieved through taking a wide variety of classes. By taking classes in a bunch of different fields you can try out new subjects like anthropology and archaeology and maybe even discover that you have a hidden talent or passion. Make sure the college offers ALL of the majors you are interested in.

2.) Connections to a Job – what is the point of college? To get a job! Yes, yes, there is also the growing as a person, expanding your mind, widening your perspective aspect but ultimately, you hope to come out of college and be able to attain a job. So you should make sure that the college actually helps you get a job in the field that you want. For example, at Colby there is the Career Center. They have helped me create a resume and cover letter, figure out what I am interested in doing as a profession, and develop a plan to gain engineering experience. Aka very helpful.

3.) Resources for Learning – what is the other point of college? To learn! Classes can be tough. Not everyone is going to be stellar at every subject so you may need some help on the way. Be sure to check if the college has tutors to help you. Colby offers free tutors in every subject. I have received help from teacher assistants (paid student helpers) in Calculus and Computer Science and my literature class…actually I think they have helped me in all of my subjects. They are always so friendly and patient. Sometimes they have to explain something to me 3 times before I understood what I did wrong. There is also the Writer’s Center to aid with any problems while writing a paper, proposal, or brainstorming venn-diagram. Being a small school, Colby professors are also very willing to spend time sitting down with each student, getting to know them, and helping them with any issues in class or in life.

4.) Opportunities Outside of the Classroom – You won’t be spending all of your time in class, so you have to check to see what kind of extracurriculars and outside activities the college offers. Do they have the dance team you want to join, the musical lessons you want to take, the orchestra group you want to play in, the sport you want to try? Do they have the clubs you are interested in? What about on-campus jobs and volunteering opportunities?

5.) Sense of Community – Friends are what make the college experience so incredible. They help you survive the all nighters during finals week by giving you coffee. They wake you up for you 8am classes. They eat with you so you don’t have to sit in the dining hall alone. You want a college where you can see yourself fitting in with the people and befriending them.

6.) Quality Food – Enough said.

I hope this helps make the college decision process a little easier. Good luck!

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Censorship Day

Each year, the Colby Center for the Arts and the Humanities organizes events related to a primary theme. Last year our theme was comedy, the year before that it was terrorism, and this year it is censorship.

As part of our programming and in celebration of this theme, today was Censorship Day at Colby. Typically, events like film screenings, debates, and talks on the annual humanities theme are spread out throughout the year, but, this year, we decided to concentrate these events by sponsoring many of them on the same day: this way, people would be able to really seriously think about censorship in a more engaged manner than would be possible were the events more sporadic.

The day began with the distribution of free t-shirts; students who could name a person who had been censored or a work that was censored were given these t-shirts. These flew like hotcakes, but, after they ran out, we had a “burn it or bind it” book demonstration with cash prizes and pizza. At the same time, Special Collections was running an exhibit showcasing published and unpublished materials related to censorship. In the evening, we hosted a lively debate on whether censorship is a necessary good or a necessary evil, which sparked a lot of conversation and an equally animated informal discussion afterwards. The evening concluded with a Censorship Around the World Panel.

Censorship Day has now come to a close, but there are many remaining events on the theme to come, including a talk by the famous and censored author Salman Rushdie in a couple of weeks!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

The Numbers are Out

And the numbers are out!! Drumroll please people………..oh what numbers you ask? Well, the one and only housing numbers for 2014-2015! Seniors get first pick on where they want to live on campus and then juniors and then sophomores (that’s me!). You might think well at least sophomores are before freshman so at least I don’t have the worst selection, right? Alas, this is not true. Freshman are guaranteed housing and must be dispersed across campus. Therefore, they get spots before sophomores……..which puts me all the way at the end. I get to choose amongst the scraps left behind from all the other class years. It’s good to be a sophomore.

Imagine being the senior who has number 1! You would get to choose from ALL of the rooms on campus. You could go wherever you want, be it a suite in the senior apartments, a 5-man in Dana, or a sweet single on frat row. It must be nice to be lucky number 1. My number isn’t too bad. I am in the 900′s out of all of the Colby students, but out of just sophomores I am in the first 100. Not bad at all.

This year for the first time, Colby has moved their housing selections from a crowded room full of anxious students to the web! And I don’t mean some spider web, but the Internet (haha). I will be amongst the first group of students to try out selecting housing online. Each student is given a time that they can sign on and choose a room from all of the ones left on campus. If a room has been taken, there will be a big X. People are already starting to talk about how the system is doomed to crash, but I have high hopes for it. However, you only have one minute to pick a room before another person is added to the system. This is a very short amount of time and if the system does crash, I don’t want to be the one left there without a room (but with my luck, I probably will be).

When choosing a room, you must look at everyone as if they are your enemy. Everyone else has the potential of snatching your room from you. This is not a time to make friends. It can actually get pretty vicious. Friends can be lost! Or so I hear……For example, if three friends are planning on living in a triple but all the triples end up being taken, two friends will snatch a double and leave the last friend scrambling to find someone to live with. True story….and pretty frightful! I am quite nervous for the whole process. You need a plan a, b, c, d, e, f, and g in case your room is taken. What an ordeal! And as you know, I am not one to be good at being on time…….oh goodness. So much pressure on one little number.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

The Last Forever

Today is the last episode of How I Met Your Mother. I have been following this show for the past 9 years. Every Monday for the past 9 years of my life, I have tuned into CBS to watch my favorite show. A show that at first, I didn’t even understand what was going on. Now, Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily, and Barney have become my family as I have slowly grown with them. I don’t even know the actors/actresses real names and I don’t care, because to me they will always be Ted, Robin, Lily, Marshall, and Barney.

This show ending is like Harry Potter ending all over again. I have this feeling like I want to burst into tears but at the same time I can’t. Maybe it’s because I don’t really know these people and I know there was a screen separating us the whole time. But I felt the unrelenting misery and pain when Ted was left at the altar and when Lily left Marshall with her engagement ring in the rain. I could feel each high five, each slap, each laugh. I was there waiting in suspense for each legend wait for it…….I was rooting for Ted and Robin, Ted and Buttercup before we knew her name was Victoria, and Ted and Stella, actually maybe not Ted and Stella, but Robin and Barney and Lily Pad and Marshmallow. Oh and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant…..DARY!

It’s so weird. It’s over. My friend, Dylan, and I watched the show on tv together and we were both nearly in tears at each twist and turn of the episode. I won’t give away any spoilers but it was a roller coaster ride, and not the four feet tall to ride one, but the one with loops that hangs you upside down and then the ride gets stuck while you are upside down. That was the finale.

But it got me thinking….could that be me in the future? Who would be sitting with me at MacLaren’s Pub? Honestly, I could imagine a lot of my friends from Colby sitting there. I already eat every meal with them and spending a single day apart is devastating. As I walk back up the Foss stairs, I head straight towards my friend’s room right down the hall from my own. My friends are all there already gathered and even though none of them watch the show, they can share in my excitement and sadness. We already start telling stories and laughing and yelling at each other and I just know that this is where I belong. This is my MacLaren’s Pub.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am a freshman living in Foss (Foss is Boss) ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, some sort of wildlife, and a smile.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Colby Apps

We live in an app-dominated society. It is taken-for-granted and almost expected that a person will have a smart phone these days, and with smart phones, of course, come apps. I recently went through the process of deciding which grad school I want to attend for the next few years. As I was reflecting on my options, one of the things that I did was download the apps of my top schools: I wanted to see what kind of lectures and events go on at these places on a daily basis, what kind of food is served, what kind of transit is available from place to place, and what the latest news on these universities was. The apps, in other words, gave me a way to learn about what these universities were like on an intellectual level and in daily life, both before and after I visited these campuses.

So, I present to you, the newly-developed Colby app, and I encourage all students thinking about attending Colby to check it out.

There are several features on this app, including dining hall menus, events listings (both featured and campus events), the latest news, athletic schedules and results, and a copy of the athletic calendar and of a campus map.

There is also an insideColby app and a Colby Libraries app, so get those, too! The insideColby app has everything that you are reading about on this website (blogs, articles, tweets, photo galleries etc.). Perhaps you are even reading this blog on the app right now! The Libraries app includes information on all of the libraries’ hours, a searchable catalog, a news blog, and listings of new resources.

Library App:

insideColby App:

Apps are obviously crucial resources for enrolled students, but they can also be very helpful tools for students deciding which college to attend.

Happy downloading!

~Kristen

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments