It has been a while since I last wrote a post. But, a lot has happened since then. Basically, A LOT of homework. The Ada Open House event also occurred which was a huge success! There was a lot of information for prospectives to learn about and even though I felt like I was making your heads spin, there are a few things I want to highlight here.
1) What are your goals in life and how are you going to accomplish them?
2) Start creating efficient notes on all of the information you receive about Smith because it will make for good practice for classes here.
3) I cannot say this enough, ask questions!
4) Get involved in a club or organization because trads (traditional studentes here) are awesome.
5) Only you know your limits.
6) This is a journey that will test all of your limits
Speaking of limits, I realized yesterday how I have been pushed not only academically, but also just in my communication. With the diverse community here, empathy and respect will get you far. The art of communicating through email, over the phone, and in person are powerful tools for your tool belt.
I have also felt the power of feeling grateful. My world was flipped upside down this past summer. But, I cannot tell you how EVERY single night, I sit in bed or at my desk and for a minute just realize how fortunate I am for being here. How my drive has been continually nourished as I trudged through the hard times of school work or my personal life. Here is an article I found not too long ago about how gratitude will get you far.
Anyways, I am off to work more with my pet rock for the semester. Good ‘ol enstatite is waiting for me to determine its unit cell parameters :)
I will be posting up some more photos over the break! Enjoy your Thanksgiving breaks and stay warm!
Yesterday was Otelia Cromwell Day. All afternoon classes are canceled and there are workshops, lectures, and entertainment to attend in celebration of Otelia Cromwell. She was the first African American to graduate from Smith College in 1900! I attended the Keynote Address “Ain’t I a Woman” by Julianne Malveaux. She was a fabulous lecturer about how African American woman are ignored and to change this, she suggests that there be more available research; "because information is powerful." It was truly inspiring to be there and to see Otelia Cromwell’s niece, Adelaide Cromwell(who graduated from Smith in 1940), who looks amazing at ninety-four years old! Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures, but here is a link with the history of Otelia Cromwell and one about the book that Adelaide wrote about their relationship.
In the evening, there were dancers and drummers featuring rythyms, dances, and songs from Africa. They eventually had a huge group of students up on stage playing various instruments and here is a picture of two Adas participating! Melissa front and center and Maribel sitting behind and to the right.
Other events i have attended in the past week or two:
Movie Night!!! Every Friday evening and Saturday afternoon there is a free movie in the Weinstein Auditorium. During Family Weekend they played Monsters University. Laughter is extremely important to me, especially during the stresses of school, so kid movies are a necessity.
Montage!!! An evening of music and this year’s theme was heaven and hell. Glee Club, Acapella Groups, Wind Ensemble, Wailing Banshees, Orchestra, and Chorus! If you love music, especially singing, Smith is a musical playground.
And going for a walk just soothes my soul….
Right now is the perfect moment for me to explain the opportunities here. I am thinking about applying for a Fulbright Fellowship through Smith because the process here is amazing and rewarding. But, to do this, I really have to think about who I am and what I want to accomplish while I am here. This summer will be a deciding factor because I could apply for a Global Engagement Seminar in Greece where I would learn for three weeks with two professors from Smith about the geology and history and it’s amazing relationship with each other. Then for the next six weeks I would be assigned an internship and can use the rest of my free time as I please! Or, I could find another program outside of Smith such as a Geology intern at a mining company out west, or a field camp for geology. (My major is geology if you have not noticed). For these programs there are a variety of ways to help fund an unforgettable opportunity such as:
Praxis Internship Funding
International Experience Grant
I am completely overwhelmed with these opportunities, yet so grateful to have them because they will help me determine my next step with whatever path I end up taking. I am just in the process of thinking about the future. If you come to the Open House event, there is going to be a Smith in the World Conference here that you can attend. Here is a description:
The annual Smith in the World Conference explores the relationship between formal classroom education and learning that takes place off-campus. The conference features students whose sustained off-campus experiences with internships, study abroad and community service have changed the arc of their educational careers and goals.
In their presentations, students explore and reflect on the insights, intellectual growth and learning that occur and address how their studies at Smith have shaped their off-campus endeavors and how those experiences have enriched their academic programs at Smith. Recent panels have featured students who worked with Tibetan Buddhists in China; volunteered at a hospital in Zimbabwe; and who did internships and community service in New Orleans, New York City, Springfield and Holyoke, and many other local, national and international locations.
Smith in the World is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College, the Career Development Office and the Committee on Academic Priorities.
The reception is from 3:45-4:40, then there are two sessions of presenters. Here is the link that describes each students’ abstract:
And Ada Jenn Christensen will be presenting her scientific research!
The Red Room at the Campus Center is now one of my favorite places as the weather gets colder.
This week has been one of my hardest weeks, but at the end of everyday I am incredibly thankful to be given this challenge of Smith. Because with Smith there is a lot of joy if you know how to find it. This past weekend was the inauguration of our 11th President; Kathleen McCartney. One you go to our website, www.smith.edu, her gracious face welcomes you to the website. To get to know her a little better, click on this link:
I could go on and on why everyone, including myself, love her. She is humble, approachable, and real. She is overwhelmed with this opportunity of leading one of the top all women’s colleges and you can feel her gratitude in every word she speaks. Most of all, she loves everything and everyone. To have an open mind at Smith College is where you will succeed, and with this she will be an incredible President.
Here are some photos from the weekend of the inauguration:
Starting off with our very own Ada, Lydia Warren (an AMAZING Blues singer) performing at the Inauguration Student Party
The next morning, bagpipes led a procession from one end of the campus to the ceremony and the other end. On the way they picked up students from houses and of course our new President from her doorstep.
One of my favorite buildings on campus is the Campus Center and this year is the Campus Center’s 10th anniversary! One way of celebrating its young life on campus, the center is hosting a ten year tea series! I attended the first tea where there was a small panel consisting of Tamra Bates, Director of the Office of Student Engagement; Kathy Zeija, Director of Dining Services; Susan Etheredge, Professor in Education and Child Study; and Gary Hartwell, Project Manager in Facilities Management. They were all part of the creative process with architectures on what they envisioned as the new campus center. It was awesome to hear how they wanted to create this space for a vibrant, yet calming environment. Just when I walk in the building, I feel like I can breathe easy with all of the natural light and white space. I especially like the contrast with all of the old fashioned buildings. I love both styles especially when you have one to compare with the other. Having this large, modern campus center on such a traditional campus also symbolizes for me that new changes are possible while holding onto old, cherished routines.
Aside from my rant about the meaning of life, I scored an awesome free mug! And even better, Tamra Bates told me how when she originally ordered the mugs, the labels were printed on the wrong side, so the labeling company just said to donate them and they would send her a new batch of mugs. So for the mug I am sipping on, someone else in need received a mug as well!
Eventually, I will make time to sit by the fireplace in the Campus Center since this was a big goal for the planning committee to have a nice fireplace for students to enjoy. Be sure to walk all around the Campus Center when you come to visit! Also, if we never built the Campus Center, we would have never had the Chapin Lawn. Nowadays, on a beautiful day (which is most of the time), people tend to lay out on the lawn soaking in rays while napping.
Thursday is almost over!!! Which means it will be Friday and after classes on Friday (or if you are lucky, Thursday) it will be…
At all of my other schools, I NEVER had the pleasure of experiencing fall break. Not just the excitement of the break itself, but now I;m realizing the excitement leading up to the break is even better. A lot of us are feeling the academic pressure, so to receive a four day weekend in exchange of all of our hard work will be AMAZING.
In other news, I just attended the second of six lectures for “Principles of Investing.” This is a free event led by Professor Roger Kaufman who explains, well, the principles of investing. It was great seeing quite a few other Adas there with me. It felt even better witnessing about fifty or more women gaining their knowledge in finances as we should be doing as independent (or soon to be) beings. Today, Kaufman discussed how we can buy stock, where to go, how the brokers buy it, what we get in return, how to determine the value of what we are buying and the difference between value and growth stock. Next week he will go into mutual funds which he suggests is better for us to look into. Did I mention we get free lunch too? I enjoyed a great vegetarian rice and bean wrap, some salad, and amazing cookies. There was also coffee and a few other various drinks available. This is an example of one of many of the great free events Smith has to offer.
Principles of Investing
That reminds me, I got to see Anderson Cooper here last semester. Oh! And Gloria Steinham, more than once. Mind you, I have not even been here for more than two semesters.
Ok, fall break, free events, free lunches, famous icons…. Sounds surreal right?
No big deal, because I’m a Smithie, an Ada that is!
Downtown Northampton 10/9/2013
I just got accepted into the Gold Key program! One thing I love to brag about Smith is how Smithies love this school SO MUCH that they apply to be a Gold Key guide without pay. A Gold Key guide gives prospective students a tour of Smith’s campus, and each guide adds their own personality and knowledge. I will be an Ada tour guide! Hopefully I will meet some you on a tour if not at the Ada Open House on November 11th.
Now, I just have to fit training into my schedule…
Busy…..and LOVING every second of it
Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.
– Douglas Pagels
I don’t know about you, but I will never arrive at point B because life is constantly changing my flow. Yet, all the stops in between are building me into something bigger and better. I guess the Ada Comstock Program saw that in me and I am continually trying to make the best of being at this AMAZING school!
On another note, Smith is so charming that even our gardens are polite!
And here is the beautiful Lyman Plant House and Conservatory!
Here is a link if you’d like to read about the history of Smith’s botanical gardens:
At the Ada Open House, you’ll get a chance to see the Fall Chrysanthemum Show!
One thing that I knew about my myself was that I LOVE to travel! For my two Geoscience classes, I have been attending numerous field trips. Two full weekend ones and countless day trips. Enjoy these beautiful photos I took along the way!