Category Archives: Uncategorized

Let’s Eat!….with 6 Strangers

One day, I was standing in line waiting for food in Dana. That’s how stories always start, isn’t it?…..with food. As I always do, I started up conversation with the girl in front of me, remarking on whether it was worth it to stay in line or not. Randomly conversing with a stranger is often met with two responses: either the person is friendly and we continue the discussion, or the person looks around as if wondering, why me?, gives me a ridiculous look, and ignores me. Luckily, the girl was friendly and we enjoyed our small time in line together. She was a freshman and we parted ways afterwards. I know these moments seem small, but they are the foundation to building a friendship. I realized that I really enjoy talking to freshmen, because they are always so open to talking to new people. Then it hit me, how come freshmen are the only ones being super friendly? Why is it so hard to start up conversation with someone? Why do we confine ourselves to our friend bubbles?

Although Colby is a relatively compact campus consisting of a small population of students, it never feels that way. There are always people you don’t know and can learn something new from. Last night, Colby put together an event in order to get people out of their set friend groups to engage with other students and alumni. I attended the Dinner with 6 Strangers in order to get to know new people, because I really like to talk to people. To start off, the food was amazing. Sodexo prepared a special meal for us that was exquisite. On the menu was a salad with a cranberry vinaigrette and pear slices, breaded chicken with apricots and rice pilaf, and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. Mmmmmm heavenly.

Although food is very important, the dinner was all about the people and the conversations that arose. I sat at a table with an ’09 alumni who works at the Career Center now, a freshman, two seniors, and two juniors. It was really interesting hearing from such a wide range of class years how their time at Colby has been. I loved hearing stories about their day, their study abroad excursions, their five-year Colby reunions, and their first experiences with such a grand campus. There were some awkward moments, but most of the time we were just talking about our lives and I laughed a lot, which is always a good sign. From this you really get to understand how involved and diverse Colby is for such a small campus. There are people interested in so many things and getting involved in some way. At the end, everyone concluded that every single person has a story to tell, whether you have been through some drastic change or not. Everyone has a story and if you are willing to listen, you can learn a lot.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still 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. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I usually really like the rain. One day this summer, I had just finished buying groceries and it was pouring rain; there was a huge mob of shoppers standing by the sliding doors waiting for the rain to stop before going to their cars. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to let the rain slow me down, so I indulgently leaped across the parking lot, grocery bags in hand, getting a good healthy soaking on the way to my car. People stared at me like I was crazy, but I didn’t care. To me, the rain was poetic and natural and beautiful. I was happy to run in the rain.

Well, this week in particular I find my present-day-self laughing sardonically at my old rain-loving-self. It’s been miserably rainy and cold for the past few days, and according to my iPhone, this cold and rainy mix will continue for four more days… YAY. But forgive me. My negativity is uncalled for, I know. Like a slight breeze to a flame, my hatred of this rainy weather is only heightened by my increasing levels of stress as I chip away at the mountain of work I have to get done this week.

Papers, presentations, reading, reading, reading, midterms… the list goes on. But don’t worry, I won’t bore you with all the gory details.

Negative energy is contagious, and freezing cold rain stirs up a lot of that type of energy in the air. Our moods are often contingent upon the weather. Sun = happy. Rain = sad. I also know that me writing about the rain and about having a lot of work just makes my readers more stressed out, so now I will turn this into a happy post! I like putting pictures in my posts because it reminds me of picture books, and picture books are fun to read. So, let me tell you about some things I’ve done this week, picture book style:

1. I took this really cheesy selfie with my parents and my brother Nick during Family Homecoming Weekend this past Saturday.

2. I hibernated in the Bixler Music Library (one of my favorite places to study!) writing my Latin American history paper. This picture shows a little room in Bixler where you can sit and do work. The couches are slightly too comfortable… I tend to fall asleep on occasion.

3. I ate Honey Nut Cheerios for lunch at Bobs because I love Honey Nut Cheerios and Bobs is the only dining hall that has them (Dana just has plain Cheerios…it’s just not the same)!

4. Tessa ate strawberry ice cream in Foss and I documented the event.

5. I took a picture of the rainy sidewalk up to Diamond.

6. I rehearsed for the play that I am in with Powder and Wig. It’s called R.U.R., and it’s about robots taking over the world (I am a scientist in the play, not a robot).

7. I went to the gym (yay me!).

8. I drank a Chai Latte at 11 p.m. without realizing it had caffeine in it. Let’s just say, me + caffeine (at any time of the day, let alone 11 at night) is not a good combination.

9. I practiced my singing and my piano (two of my loves).

10. I spoke lots of Spanish and sang lots of Spanish at rehearsals for the World Vision Song Contest. Look out French, German, Italian, Chinese, Russian, and any other languages I’m forgetting… the Spanish team this year is looking good!

11. I laughed a lot with my friends.

12. I RAN THROUGH THE RAIN!!!

^ You know, looking back on it, this week hasn’t been all that bad. I do like to run through the rain. I’ve noticed that a lot of my fellow Mules like it too… or maybe the just run out of necessity. Mules love running (I just made that up. Gotta study up on my Mule facts, right after I finish all of my homework). Hooray for a rainy week. I think that me and Rain can be friends again… maybe.

For the record, selfies make me slightly nervous because I tend to drop my phone when trying to take them (yeah, I’m a cool college kid, I know), so this was a risky move in the rain. #daredevil #isacrificedmydignityforthisblogpost

About Katie

I’m Katie and I’m from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I'm a freshman, I live in Foss, and I love Colby! I am currently considering majoring in Spanish or psychology (or both). Some of my favorite things include: acting, singing, playing the piano, writing, fuzzy socks, chai lattes, lying in the grass, Broadway show tunes, Jane Austen, hedgehogs, TedTalks, baby animals, Gilmore Girls reruns, blue Freeze Pops, the ocean, and hugs. I’m so excited to continue my adventures here at Colby and share them with you all.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Concert Goings

I never used to be a big concert go-er. There was never anyone that I was interested in enough that I would go through all of the work of buying tickets, driving there, and waiting in line for what could be hours. I also wasn’t willing to spend a lot of money on one fleeting moment. But things change.

Bastille Concert over Fall Break

This past weekend we had our Fall Concert. I really enjoy how Colby hosts a Fall and a Spring concert, because we are able to experience two different types of music (or the same) from the comfort of campus. Last year we had GroupLove in the Fall and Krewella in the Spring and the year before that we had Macklemore in the Spring. As you can see, the Spring ones tend to be more exciting, bigger names. That makes sense though because in the Spring everyone is celebrating the return of warmth, sunshine, the freedom of summer, and the end of the term, and most amazingly, the end of work. So…it’s a big deal.

Spring Concert - Krewella (photo credit: Verge Campus)

This Fall we hosted Chance the Rapper, who frankly, I had no clue who he was. As per usual, I wasn’t planning on attending the concert. Somehow my friends talked me into it and I’m glad they did. Concerts are quite the experience. There is the pushing from side to side, the shoving to the front, the tall people who always happen to be standing in front of you, and the suffocating air thick with sweat. And then, there’s the music and the quiet right before the roar from the crowd as the main performer walks on stage. That is my favorite moment at concerts: the giddy anticipation before the big reveal of seeing the artist/band up-close and in the flesh.

Yes, I was elbowed in the head a few times, my hair was pulled, someone took my hair elastic, and there happened to be a shoe next to me at the end of the concert, but there was also the mutual exhilaration, the swaying, the leaping as we all let go of our worries and enjoyed the music together. In my Social Psychology class, we discussed happiness. I learned that if you think of doing something in terms of the experience you will gain over the money you will spend, you become more willing to do things and have less regrets, and thus are happier. And let me tell you, concerts are quite the experience.

photo credit: Verge Campus

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still 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. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

First Midterm of the Year

To the envy of all my non-English major friends, today was my first and only midterm of the year. The classes I’m taking rely solely on essays for assessment, so I haven’t taken a test since last April. And let me tell you, it’s been wonderful. Yes, I may spend three or four times as long writing an essay than I would preparing for an exam, but it’s worth it to forego the stress of a time limit and the regret of not studying that one thing that you wrongly assumed there was no way, none at all, that the professor would ask. In high school I grew used to the stress, but now that I take tests so infrequently, the fear strikes me anew, like a child seeing a horror film for the first time.

The midterm was for my Global Women Writers class, in which we examine the intersection of colonialism and patriarchal hierarchies in the works of women from the Global South. It’s actually a really great class, not half as pretentious as it sounds, although some of the jargon in the articles we read does at times give me pause. Here’s an example from Derek Wright’s article, “Regurgitating Colonialism”:

Much has been said in recent literary theory about patriarchal discourse’s monologic and omniscient voices and its phallogocentric closures that presume to penetrate and possess truth through language. (120)

If “much has been said” about this topic, I shudder to think of the more obscure topics that are discussed in literary theory circles. But I digress.

The exam consisted of placing quotes from the novels we read into their thematic context and then writing three short essays. It was supposed to take 70 minutes, but our generous professor, Professor Roy, whom I admire to an outrageous degree, let us stay for seven more–which was lucky, because I’d started my final essay with two minutes on the clock.

At this point, I have no idea how I did. My ideas were unorganized and my handwriting a frantic scrawl, but there weren’t any unfamiliar topics. I suppose I’ll see how it all balances out. Until then, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.

About Catherine

Hi. My name is Catherine and I'm a sophomore English major, currently enjoying my first year at Colby. I was born and raised in Berwick, Maine, an exotic little town near the New Hampshire border. I am involved in Let's Get Ready, which provides free SAT prep for local high school students, and Inklings Magazine, which is a literary journal here at Colby. Like all English majors, I enjoy reading and writing, and Virginia Woolf. A hobby more specific to myself is that every Christmas I spend far too much time making elaborate snowflakes. It is a very seasonal form of artistic expression, but it is also, unfortunately, the only one in which I have any talent. Thanks for reading.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Bad Good Movie Weekend

I really need to get my priorities in order and stop procrastinating on my assignments, But if you happen to suffer from chronic time wasting as I do, here are some things you can do that I did.

What is the Best worst movie out there?

“Troll 2″ was the unanimous decision. I had never seen it before and after watching it I can definitely say it has some very skeptical special effects and surreal plot. We watched the movie in Lovejoy 100, a large lecture hall. The best part of the entire experience had to be right after the movie ended. Someone knocked on the door and in fear of getting int trouble (which there was no reason for) we dashed out the back as quickly as we could all the way back to our dorms. As we sat in my room discussing the movie my roommate barged in complaining why we didn’t open the door when he knocked. We’d ran out without realizing who has knocking. The experience was rather humorous for everyone that was not my roommate.

The following night we had a similar outing. My friends and I watched the Grand Budapest Hotel. The first good movie I had seen in a while. We came prepared this time with brie, crackers, and cheese.

Then judgement day came for me, Sunday. The day I had to do all my work. Spending 8 hours in Miller Library is not a fun day. The only notable thing I did other than study was attend the CCAK (Colby Cares About Kids) mentoring session. CCAK students are paired with a child and the two grow together over the years. An interesting experience I look forward to partaking in. Now if you’ll excuse me it is time to do my literature reading.

About Tanvir

I am a first year student interested in the biological sciences. In addition to being a blogger, I am a research assistant in the biology department and a writer for the Colby Echo. In my free time I play table tennis and billiards. As someone born and raised in New York City, Colby College is a change of pace that I look forward to experience these next four years. My long term goals include completing a novel, becoming a physician and being a professor. My goals may be lofty but your moral support will help me reach them. So, Thanks for reading.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Papers, Papers, Everywhere

A few days ago I read a really excellent article about tips for productivity. The author argues that schedules are much better than to-do lists because schedules force you to be realistic about the amount of things you’ll be able to accomplish. This advice couldn’t be more applicable to my week.

Over fall break, I had planned to finish all my short-term and long-term assignments, which included reading two books and writing three essays and an outline. Despite working consistently between family events, all I wound up accomplishing was reading the two books. Then I planned to write the three essays over the next three days. Again, I was overambitious. I finished the first essay the first night, but to do so I had to stay up late, which led to me accidently falling asleep the next day, which left me with only enough time to do the 120 pages of reading for my next day’s class. (I had for some reason thought this reading would take hardly any time at all. Unsurprisingly to no one but myself, it did take time. Quite a bit, in fact.)

Then it was Friday, and I spent the afternoon writing an outline for an essay before spending the evening avoiding the Chance concert with my friends. So now it’s Saturday, and I’m once again planning over-ambitiously; on my to-do list is to write an essay and an outline by the end of the day, leaving tomorrow open to study for my midterm. Here’s to hoping I get it all done. I believe strongly that work expands to fill the amount of time you have to do it, so I’m sure I’ll soon see a rise in productivity.

About Catherine

Hi. My name is Catherine and I'm a sophomore English major, currently enjoying my first year at Colby. I was born and raised in Berwick, Maine, an exotic little town near the New Hampshire border. I am involved in Let's Get Ready, which provides free SAT prep for local high school students, and Inklings Magazine, which is a literary journal here at Colby. Like all English majors, I enjoy reading and writing, and Virginia Woolf. A hobby more specific to myself is that every Christmas I spend far too much time making elaborate snowflakes. It is a very seasonal form of artistic expression, but it is also, unfortunately, the only one in which I have any talent. Thanks for reading.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Quebec Trip!!!

After all the mid-terms and essays, I finally had a nice break! Colby organised a trip for mostly international students to go to Quebec City for 3 days and 2 nights. It was amazing!!! I hope I could stay for longer though.

The views and architecture there amazed me every second. My friend, seoyoung and I didnt go to the waterfall, but we heard that it was stunning and beautiful. Perhaps next year we will go there again! But I asked others to send me to photos so you can see the photos in the photo gallery!!!

On the first day, we went near the harbour, and visited the art Museum there, it wasn’t a big one but we had a plenty of time so we did go. The streets were already decorated with Halloween, and there is even a shop that sells christmas decoration (you can see it in my gallery :) )

On the 2nd day, a small group of us decided to go to an Indian restaurant which is supposed to be 1 km, but we ended up walking for 45 minutes. When we got there, we waited another 45 minutes for the food to come. There is nothing we can do except for chatting and playing games. Haha, thanks to the Indian restaurant, we bond with each other. Since most of us are international students and it is also a mixture of different class year, I get to know more people from the globe!! Talking about our own experience as an international student is so much fun as well.

About Stephanie

I am a freshman at Colby College, originally from Hong Kong. For the last two years of high school, I studied at Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC). I am very interested in economics and economic policy. Presumably, it will be my major. Living in a business hub since I was born, I am always very curious about how international and local businesses find opportunities in a tiny city. Music is very important in my life, too. I have been playing piano since I was four and I also play the clarinet. I wish to learn Jazz piano at Colby and the professors here are amazing.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Say “Yes”

My best friend from back home, Laney, once gave me some simple, yet wise advice: “say no when you don’t want to, say yes when you can’t think why not.” This idea has stuck with me for a long time. I’ve come to firmly believe that one of the secrets to happiness, and also to making progress in our lives, is saying yes (with discretion, of course).

There are times in our lives when we are faced with decisions, and we must give a clear answer – yes, or no. Sometimes these decisions are small:

“Yes, I’d love another cookie.”

Or big:

“No, I won’t marry you.”

Regardless, these questions require answers. Of course, sometimes the answer is simply “no”, but when I am faced with a decision where I get that see-saw feeling of uncertainty, I try to make myself say yes. “Yes” is a door that can be opened to amazing possibilities and closed up again if we change our minds, while “no” is just a wall – solid, permanent, and without openings. For me, saying yes has become a way of life.

At Colby, saying yes to things and being generally open to new experiences has brought me so much happiness and it has helped me to cultivate a life here. Within the first week of being at college, I quickly noticed that opportunities were constantly jumping out at us. Invitations to hear a guest lecturer speak, movie nights, free yoga classes, pie eating contests, trips to New York City, hikes (the list goes on)… and then there were the clubs. Colby has over 100 different clubs to choose from, and practically anything you could possibly be interested in is a club (there’s even Napping Club). At the Club Expo in September, I literally signed up for 24 different clubs. Okay, I know that this was excessive, but it ties into my concept of saying yes. There was no way that I was actually going to commit myself to all of the clubs that I signed up for, but by putting my name down on their email lists, I was giving myself the opportunity to later “say yes.”

In the end, I was happy that I had signed up for so many clubs, because some clubs that I signed up for randomly, not really intending to join (like Ballroom Dance Club, for instance), became some of my favorite things I do on campus.

At the very start of school, I also made the decision to “say yes” and to audition for the One Week Musical that happens the first week of every school year at Colby. The One Week, essentially, is when a group of Colby students comes together to put up a full length musical with just one week of preparation. This year the musical was Kiss Me, Kate. At first I was uncertain about whether or not I should do it, because it seemed like a huge undertaking, but I went through with it and got to sing the whole opening number by myself, learned a bunch of fun dance numbers, and made a ton of new friends. Two of the girls that I met through the One Week, Kathryn and Isabel, have remained two of my closest friends on campus. If I hadn’t said yes to the opportunity to do the musical, I may never have met them and my life wouldn’t be half as fun without them.

Two other examples of “yes” in action:

I was walking back from dinner one night when some girls from my theater class ran over to me and said “Katie! You should audition for the Powder and Wig fall season!” Powder and Wig is the student run theater group on campus. I decided to “say yes”, and I walked into the audition 10 minutes before it ended, and by the end of the night, I had been cast in a play about robots called R.U.R.

I was eating lunch at the Spanish lunch table one day and one of the Spanish language assistants had seen me sing in the musical, so she asked me if I would want to be on the Spanish team for a music contest in which all of the different language departments sing and dance in their language. I said yes to this opportunity and have met so many cool people and have gotten to practice my Spanish a ton and sing (two of my favorite things to do!)

So, my general message here is, say yes. Take opportunities that come your way, even if you don’t know what will come from them. Try new things even if they scare you. You hold the magic word that opens the doors to possibility – use it.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

- H. Jackson Brown

 

 

About Katie

I’m Katie and I’m from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I'm a freshman, I live in Foss, and I love Colby! I am currently considering majoring in Spanish or psychology (or both). Some of my favorite things include: acting, singing, playing the piano, writing, fuzzy socks, chai lattes, lying in the grass, Broadway show tunes, Jane Austen, hedgehogs, TedTalks, baby animals, Gilmore Girls reruns, blue Freeze Pops, the ocean, and hugs. I’m so excited to continue my adventures here at Colby and share them with you all.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Anthropology 101: Combatting Ethnocentrism

From my last post, you may notice my anthropological skills coming into action. I really enjoy observing other people (not in a creepy way) and trying to decipher the reasoning behind their action. As you may have guessed from previous posts, I am a big believer in the nature perspective of sculpting people. I feel like the environment has such a big affect on your actions! Perhaps this is because I value other people’s opinions….sometimes maybe too much. However, Social Psychology and Cultural Anthropology made me aware of society’s effect on you.

Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s culture is superior and evaluating other people and cultures based off of your own. People have a tendency to look at other people’s habits, traditions, and beliefs as “different” and thus somehow worse just because it does not match their own. I’m not sure how it became so engrained to degrade something just based off of it being different. I think people are insecure and find it threatening for anything to be different. Perhaps it’s just the desire for consistency that we homogenize everything. Nonetheless, just because something is different does not mean that it is wrong or bad.

Cultural Anthropology made me realize that this is how people act. But the first step to combatting ethnocentrism is being aware that you are doing it. That is why I loved Anthropology. I enjoyed learning about different cultures and understanding their different lifestyles not as weird but simply different. In addition my professor was beyond kind. She put in an extra effort in order to ensure that each student understood the material. In addition, she adjusted her lectures and assignment to correspond with the needs of her students. Although lectures were important, she included movies and discussions every week. She listened to every student’s troubles and comments and invited critiques. At the start of the semester, she wanted each student to meet with her during office hours simply to talk and get to know each other. Because only by understanding each other can you really defeat ethnocentrism.

 

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still 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. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments

Noggins

Sorry dear readers and day in/day out followers for my absence. I have been away with concussion. The past week has been a whirlwind of catching up on missed work and getting my life back together.

Three weeks ago to the day, I hit my head. As it were, I got a concussion which it turns out is actually pretty big problem. I took an imPACT test in the health center, which determines how your brain is working. I thought I was in perfect condition, but it turns out I was not. The second time I did it, I realized that first time was way way harder than it should have been.

Regardless, I had to spend a week at home just chilling out. I couldn’t read. I couldn’t watch any screens. I was basically bored out of my gourd. I went for one to two walks per day and chowed down on food. I think it was the definition of boredom eating.

Luckily, when you get a concussion or any health issue that requires you going home, the dean emails your professors and you are okay to miss some classes. One of the nice things about having such small class sizes, is that when the dean emails your professor, the professor actually knows who you are. And furthermore, because you aren’t just one of 50 to 100 students in a class, you have a relationship with them, so they both care and understand your situation.

Of course, once I got back to school – things picked up again. I am supposedly concussion free. But I am chained to my schedule and back in the grind. Midterms abound and applications surround. But I’m back in blogging form – which I’m not sure is a form at all. So welcome back? I’ll be performing my duties bountifully from here on out.

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.
This entry was posted in Student Life, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Comments