Thursday, November 19, 2009

Italian Class

Hi everyone!

I know that a lot of students on this blog have given their personal stories about how they have been impacted by our wonderful Boston College professors, and even as a first semester freshman I can definitely say that my professors have already left their mark. One professor I can definitely say has impacted my education is Professor Brian O’Connor, who teaches my elementary Italian class.

I took French for 10 years before coming to Boston College, and I did not like it. I never really received the foundation I needed in primary and middle school to succeed in my high school French classes, and therefore I was never a stellar French student. French was a struggle for me, and so I decided that I no longer liked foreign languages and that I was looking forward to never taking one again. This, of course, was not really possible, because Boston College has a language requirement, so I knew that I would be taking some sort of language, I just didn’t know which one. I knew for a fact that even though I could take one semester of French and fulfill the language requirement, I wanted a fresh start. I chose Italian because I have been to Italy a few times and I really love the country (plus the food is amazing!).

I went to class on my first day not really knowing what to expect, but preparing myself mentally in case I was as bad in Italian as I was in French. Instead, I was greeted with a very energetic professor who made class fun and very stress-free. I can definitely say that I love going to my Italian class twice a week, and at 9am as a college student, that is saying a lot! I think what I have learned from this is that no matter what you are taking, you should keep an open mind and feel free to try new subjects, even those you might not be too excited about, and you may even get a professor who will change the way you think about a certain subject.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Ali McDonald

Holidays in Boston - Part I

Happy almost Thanksgiving! In the real world, Thanksgiving is still a week away, but here at BC students are counting down the hours until classes cease and a much needed break begins. Classes technically end next Tuesday afternoon, but some students with light class schedules are heading home this weekend. It’s hard to believe that the semester is almost over, but when we return from Thanksgiving break there will be only a few short weeks until finals and Christmas! It seems that this week, everyone either has a lot of work (my roommate) or no work at all (me). At BC, it all depends on your professors – some classes have midterms early, around Halloween, while others are just taking them this week. Regardless of test schedules though, everyone at BC is eager to get into the holiday spirit! The great part about fall semester is that there are lots of holidays to celebrate with decorations, special events, and of course, great food.

This week, lots of roommates and friends are having their own “Family Thanksgivings” where one person, or lots of people, cook a Thanksgiving dinner in very small residence hall or apartment kitchens, to feed anywhere from 4 to 17 people. Although it’s often hard to find time at BC to cook, it is one of my favorite things to do, and a really great way to chill out after a lot of tough schoolwork. On Sunday, I cooked a new Italian soup recipe, and made a pie by myself for the first time. I had some questions about my pie crust, but luckily it came out delicious.

Anyway, I have to go get ready for class, but have a great Thanksgiving, and stay tuned for more about the decorations and events for a great Boston Christmas!

Rachel Craft
craftr@bc.edu

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Winter Weekends

Hi everyone!

Here at Boston College, it could be argued that nothing is more important on a Saturday afternoon than filling the Alumni Stadium student section and cheering on the football team. So, with football season winding down, what is there to on campus on weekends? Plenty! Just as the regular football season is about to end, the basketball and ice hockey seasons begin. Personally, I love ice hockey, and it is so much fun to walk into Conte Forum and cheer on the team in my Superfan shirt. Last weekend we beat Northeastern 5-1. Go BC!

If you don’t like sporting events, or even if you do, Nights on the Heights is also a great way to have fun on the weekends. Nights on the Heights is the name of a group of activities put on by students and faculty. One event coming up is the Black and White Soiree, which will be a fun black and white dance complete with fondue. Other events include movie nights and open mic nights, and all the events are free, so you can have fun without breaking the bank.

Winter also brings a new group of intramural sports, including ice hockey, basketball, and tennis. Intramurals are a lot of fun and a great way to continue playing a sport you love now with your new Boston College friends.

Until next time!

Ali McDonald

Monday, November 9, 2009

Professors

Hi all, from unseasonably warm Chestnut Hill!

As midterms (finally!) end, I thought that it would be a good time to talk about my relationships with professors, and how it’s one of BC’s biggest strengths. Yes, BC is an undergraduate research institution with around 9,000 undergrads. That said, this is not an impersonal place. It may take a little bit more effort to find professors you like and build relationships, but once established, professors become your advocate, your mentor, and a great sounding board for ideas and worries. When you first arrive freshman year, you will be assigned an advisor. If you are an undecided major, you will be assigned a professor to mentor you until you declare and become involved with a specific department. As a part of the Honors program, my first year professor automatically became my advisor. This was fantastic because he got to know me very quickly. He became familiar not only with my life goals and plans, but also with my work and personality inside the classroom. Therefore, when I had a question about choosing a course or a major, he was all the better informed and able to help. This isn’t just an opportunity for students in the honors program though – if you elect to take either Perspectives (a philosophy and theology class), Courage to Know (an English class) or a freshman topic seminar, your professor in this class will become your advisor. Whether it’s through a class or just in office hours, take advantage of the opportunity! You never know when you’ll need advice or an advocate, it’s a great feeling to know exactly who to call, email, or see.

While my relationship with my freshman advisor has continued through this year, I’ve also come to know professors from my other classes. I’m a French minor and a History major, so it’s especially helpful build relationships with professors in the Romance Languages and History Departments. I now have a new History advisor, and he has been especially helpful in advising me on major classes, helping me get overrides into classes that are full, and providing specific advice when I have questions about my history classes and history professors. Professors absolutely love it when you go to their office hours, and it doesn’t have to always be about a specific class. I’ve gone to office hours with questions about papers and homework, but also about study abroad, research opportunities, and just to say “hi”. Some fantastic and brilliant people have already shaped my BC experience.

That’s all for now, don’t hesitate to email or comment with questions!

Rachel Craft
craftr@bc.edu

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Men and Women for Others

Hey Everyone,

One of the things I love most about Boston College is this school’s mission to shape students into “men and women for others.” We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend college, especially a great one like BC. The students here really reflect the Jesuit ideologies that this school was founded upon. Students here are committed to serving others through a variety of different ways. On campus there are a number of different service organizations, clubs, and trips that are designed to help those less fortunate than us.

One of these campus groups is Appalachia Volunteers, a BC organization that sends around 750 student volunteers down to the Appalachian region during spring break. During the trip, students work on a variety of different service projects. There are also a number of international immersion trips, such as Arrupe, that give students the opportunity to learn about the reality of those living in situations of “economic, political or social marginalization.” In addition to these, there are a number of groups and organizations that focus their attention on those in need in and around Boston.

I am involved in one such program called Peer Health Exchange. PHE is an extraordinary program that trains college students, like me, to teach a comprehensive health curriculum to students at high schools that lack health education. I felt especially compelled to become involved in this program because I know how important this type of education is. Especially as these students grow older and near college-age, it is even more important for them to have the knowledge to make healthy decisions, hence the programs mission. PHE aims to “give teenagers the knowledge and skills they need to make health decisions.”

One thing I enjoy most about PHE is that I get to go into the classroom and teach teenagers who are close to my age; they are my peers. I feel that, not only can I talk more openly with them about the importance of all the things we teach in the program but they also feel more comfortable asking me questions. Sometimes it is just too hard to talk about these subjects with adults.

I absolutely love the program and feel fortunate to be involved in it. At BC, service is not a chore nor is it used as a resume builder. Students here feel strongly about helping others. There are great opportunities to get involved, and these experiences can teach you things that could never be learned in a classroom. If you come to BC I assure you that you will find yourself doing some sort of service. However, this is just a small window into the many extracurricular activities available at BC. I implore you to check out the Boston College website to learn even more about the service opportunities, as well as the various other clubs and organizations, here on campus.

I’ll write again soon,

Greg Sacharoff
College of Arts & Sciences '12

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Comes to Boston!

Hey Everyone,

Its Madeleine again! Just a refresher about me if you missed my first post, I'm a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Communications.

So, I just finished up all my midterms this past week, and I'm so happy to have a little free time to post on the SAP blog. Recently I've been up to a lot of things on campus that I want to tell you about. First of all, I'm a Teaching Assistant for a class in the Communications Department called Interpersonal Communications. I helped proctor a test two weeks ago which was really cool. I stayed after the test and helped my professor grade the multiple choice portion of the exam. My professor is really great so I love when I get to spend time with her. She's also my adviser, so she gives me really great personal advice on classes and what I might do after I graduate.

I've also been having so much fun lately in University Chorale, the singing group that I'm part of. We're all going to Germany this spring on a tour of the country and singing some wonderful German music. I'm so excited for this. Chorale was a great way for me to make friends, so I really encourage everyone to join a group when they come to Boston College. I'm also planning on running for an officer position in Chorale in the spring.

Today me and my roommate made a video for our Business Law class. I got the camera from Media Services here at BC and they were really helpful in showing me how to use the camcorder. I love how my professor makes fun assignments for us that really help us make the material relevant and stick in our minds.

Well that's about it for me tonight. Thanks for visiting the SAP Blog, everybody!

Peace,
Madeleine

We are BC!

It’s almost Halloween in Boston! Sorry for the long time between posts; the middle of the semester often turns into a crazy whirlwind of school, extracurriculars and fun. I’m writing from the Amtrak MetroNorth, just outside of Boston. I was in NYC this past weekend with my family, and am just returning to campus. The train is a great way to get up and down the East Coast; I often take it home to Philadelphia and have time to do lots of reading and napping.

This weekend I met my family in New York. It was great to get off campus for the weekend, but I’m wishing my train would arrive in Boston faster. Lots of BC students were traveling this weekend, but most were traveling to South Bend, Indiana for the BC-Notre Dame football game. Sadly, Notre Dame prevailed in the end, but my friends and roommates assure me that it was still a great experience, whether they traveled by plane, car or RV across the US.

One of my favorite things about BC is the school spirit. In New York, South Bend or Boston, it’s likely that you will meet another BC fan. Current students, families and alumni all traveled to cheer BC on at Notre Dame. It was cold in Indiana, but our gold “SuperFan” T-shirts filled the crowd.

I personally felt the reach of BC school spirit last weekend at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge and Boston last weekend. Held every October on the Charles River, Head of the Charles (HOCR) is the world’s largest regatta. Boats large and small compete on the twisting, narrow waters of the Charles to be the fastest. It’s a “head race”, so boats start every 12 seconds, trying to pass the boats ahead and hold off the boats behind. This makes it entertaining for spectators, as boats often crash into bridges or each other

I raced in the Collegiate Men’s 8+ event last Sunday. The BC Men’s and Women’s rowing teams had a banquet at our new boathouse Friday night, and there were a plethora of races Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, I spent the day with my parents watching races in the beautiful, chilly sunshine. Sunday dawned cold, rainy and raw. As I was putting on many layers of spandex pants, BC fans were braving the rain to travel to the Charles. Even in the rain and snow, roommates, friends, parents, former rowers, and alumni came out to stand along the bridges and riverbanks to cheer us on. From the windy racecourse Sunday afternoon, we heard the shouts of encouragement. Near or far, BC fans are always there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Voice from last year!

Hello friends!

Its been a LONG time since I posted so I will re-introduce myself. My name is Justin and I am a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The traditional intro on my major is kind of complicated because I am majoring in American Studies, an independent major here at BC. Basically, that means that I did not find a major I loved and decided to create my own. I wrote a proposal to incorporate English, History, and Sociology into my new major and study the culture of American cities...it should be interesting. I am particularly excited these days because after a great deal of work, the major finally got approved!

I am also involved in the Undergraduate Government of Boston College! I am the Executive Director of the University Affairs department and have the pleasure of leading directors of Sustainability, Diversity Development, Academic Affairs, Student Formation, and Service issues. Its a challenge to manage such a large group but its hugely rewarding and something I love to do.

Getting involved here at BC is very important and I would recommend doing so whether you end up at BC or not. Coming to college you have MUCH more free time and its always better to fill it with things you care about and eventually people you grow to respect and enjoy.

That's what I have for now. Happy application writing!

Justin
pikeju@bc.edu

Monday, October 19, 2009

4Boston - My First Day

Hello again!

A few weeks have passed since I last posted and a lot has been going on. I am ecstatic to report that after finally completing all of the necessary forms, I was able to start volunteering with 4Boston, which is an amazing program unique to Boston College.

Within 4Boston, a program run through Boston College’s Office of Campus Ministry, students spend four hours a week volunteering in Boston and one hour a week in a group reflection. It was founded based on the three pillars of community, spirituality, and social justice, and as volunteers we strive to help those in the Boston area who may be poor or marginalized while looking inside of ourselves to reflect on our experiences and grow as people and as members of the community.

4Boston has many different kinds of placements, and mine is with the Jackson-Mann Pre-School. I volunteer on Mondays from 2-6 pm. I volunteered in a pre-school in high school, and I loved it so much that when I graduated I promised myself that I would look for some place at BC where I could continue to work with children, and so this program with 4Boston was perfect for me. If you don’t like working with small children, don’t worry; 4Boston has many other placements that allow you to tutor, volunteer in a hospital, cook meals for the homeless, and much more.

On my first day, I hopped on the T (Boston's public transportation system), conveniently located right across from Boston College’s lower campus, with my two co-volunteers and arrived at the Allston stop, which is just a short seven or so minute walk from the pre-school. I entered the school and walked to the pre-school classrooms where the children were silently napping. My friends and I were in charge of making snack, which today consisted of macaroni and cheese, apples, and pears. When the kids woke up from their nap, I brought in their snack and met my class for the year. They were all very cute! For the rest of the afternoon we played fun games in the classroom, ran around on the playground outside, read books, and played with play-doh until all of the children were picked up by their parents. Needless to say it was a very fun and busy first day!

I would sincerely recommend the 4Boston program to anyone at Boston College. Today was only my first day and I can already tell that this experience is going to be rewarding for both myself and the children in “my class.”

Until next time!

Ali McDonald
College of Arts and Sciences Class of 2013
mcdonaay@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Typical Tuesday

Happy (rainy) Wednesday from Chestnut Hill!

This week, I thought I would talk about a “normal” day on campus for me during the week. Every day is a little different: my class schedule is such that Tuesday and Thursday I have the same classes, and Monday, Wednesday, Friday are another set of classes, although I only have one class on Fridays. It sounds confusing, but there is so much more free time than in high school so you get the hang of it pretty fast. So, this is what my day looked like yesterday:

5:35 AM: My alarm goes off for practice. I’ve laid out all of my clothes and my backpack the night before, so I’m at the corner of campus by 5:45 to get a ride down to the boathouse.

6:00-8:30 AM: BC Men's Crew practice along the Charles River. The guys start with some warm up on land, then we launch from the docks of our boathouse. Sometimes we see a gorgeous sunrise from the water.

9:00 AM: Back on campus, either for breakfast with my team in the dining hall (I have oatmeal, the guys love the breakfast burritos) or breakfast in my room. Yesterday I came back to my room, went to the gym to bike for half an hour, took a shower, and made myself breakfast.

10:10 AM: Leave my room to start walking to my class at 10:30 in Gasson Hall. Leave an extra 5 minutes early so I have time to stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee.

10:30-11:45 AM: HS524 US Bill of Rights. The first of my two history classes of the day, this is a 35 person class about the US Bill of Rights.

12:00-1:15 PM: HS171 Islamic Civilization. My other history class this semester (I’m a history major), it’s a lecture about the culture, religion and history of the Islamic world.

1:25 PM: Back in my room for lunch and a nap.

3:00 PM: Wake up, start my homework for the day. Read A Man for All Seasons for my honors class – we’re talking about Sir Thomas More and Utopia this week.

4:00 PM: My roommate is home from her organic chemistry lab. We hang out and talk about our days and decide that we’re going to hang out in our room and have dinner while we do some homework.

4:30-6:30 PM: Head to Hillside Café on campus to do some reading and homework before dinner. Order a Caramel Macchiato before I start my French writing in hopes of becoming inspired.

6:30 PM: Dinner in my room with my roommate.

7:30-8:30 PM: Attend a Maison Française event on campus. The Maison Française is primarily an option for specialized living on campus where the residents agree to speak French in their dorm. But, they also host events: last night there was a presentation on becoming an English Assistant teacher in France.

8:30-9:30 PM: Meet a friend in Lower dining hall to study for our Islamic Civilization test, finish up some homework.

10:30 PM: Bedtime, it’s another early morning!

This is just a sample day, and clearly everyone’s day will be different depending on their activities, their test schedule, and even the weather.

Feel free to ask any questions, or if I failed to explain something clearly, please let me know!

Rachel Craft
craftr@bc.edu

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just a Few Things Happening @ BC

Hey all you prospective students, my name is Greg Sacharoff and I am a sophomore enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am currently majoring in Communications with a concentration in Broadcasting. I hail from Glen Rock, New Jersey, a small suburban town about 25 miles outside of New York City.

As Rachel stated in her post, it is a beautiful time to be in New England right now. Fall is upon us and up here the leaves are beginning to change. Very soon our hilltop campus, and everywhere around us, will come alive with color. For those of you who don't live in the Northeast, it is truly a sight to see. The changing leaves signal that we are now well into the beginning of our academic year. By now all students have really had a chance to settle in and brush off the last remnants of summer. Classes are in full swing and with it, the work has slowly been piling up. But nonetheless, there are a variety of different activities and events going on campus all the time for students. It is just one of the great things about attending such a well-regarded and respected university. Especially now, during fall, our campus is buzzing with activity before the cold and wind of winter arrive.

This past weekend, many BC students got to enjoy a little time off from their day-to-day routine because of BC's annual Parents' Weekend. Though, my parents were not able to make it up this year to see me, it was still a fun experience meeting all my friends and roommates parents. Parents typically arrive here on Thursday or Friday and spend the day going to a variety of different events. On Friday, many parents came to class with their student to get a sense of what academic life is like at BC. It is an interesting sight to see so many parents walking around campus, but even more interesting to see those students who would have clearly preferred their parents not come with them to class. Throughout the weekend, parents and students got to enjoy a benefit concert at Conte Forum with the Boston Pops and a football game on Saturday afternoon; this year BC played (and won) against Wake Forest. Both of these events are a lot of fun. Parents' Weekend also gives students an opportunity to get off campus and get into the city or surrounding areas with their families. Whether or not you enjoy every moment with your parents over the weekend, it is always nice to see them for just a little...plus you always get a few free meals out of it.

This coming weekend (October 3rd & 4th) we have another home football game. The Boston College Eagles will take on the Florida State Seminoles at Alumni Stadium. Every football game here is an all day event. Our campus comes alive on game days as alumni and BC football fans take over. There are an endless array of different things going on all over campus. Though each game is exciting, this weekend BC will play host to ESPN's College Game Day broadcast. It’s going to be a really great time and a really unique experience that you can only find at a Division I school. I can't wait to see all the different things that ESPN brings to our campus, though mostly I am hoping that I get on TV. Hope you guys tune in to ESPN on Saturday to watch the Eagles play. Plus you’ll get a little taste of what it’s like to be a Boston College Superfan. You can’t miss the student section. We are always a cheering sea of gold because all BC students receive a gold superfan shirt when they arrive here for freshman orientation.

Another great upcoming event is Homecoming. Unlike at others schools where Homecoming coincides with a football game or large sporting event, at BC Homecoming is a huge dinner and dance. It is one of the few big dancing events that is hosted on campus. It’s a great event hosted under a huge tent that is set up on Lower Campus. Last year I couldn’t get a ticket to it because there is such a high demand, but thankfully this year I was able to snag one. I’m really looking forward to it.

So those are just three big events that happen on campus during the fall. However in addition to those, there are lots of other different things always happening. There are lectures, seminars, game nights, movie nights, club events, and a variety of other different programs going on every single day. If you’re interested in finding out more about all the different things that are going on at BC right now, just check out these two links: UGBC.org and the University Calendar.

Well unfortunately it’s time to get back to work; midterms are already here. Seems like just yesterday I was just starting classes. I’ll post again soon.

Peace,
Greg
College Arts & Sciences '12

Student Activities Day - A Freshman Perspective

Hi everyone!

My name is Ali McDonald and I am a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am from Summit, New Jersey, and I am currently an English major. In my first semester, I am taking Western Cultural Traditions (my honors seminar, which counts as two classes), Introduction to Psychology as a Social Science, Elementary Italian, and Studies in Poetry. I absolutely love all of my classes.

Although it happened a few weeks ago, I would like to talk about my first Student Activities Day experience. At Student Activities Day, student clubs and organizations set up tables along the Dust Bowl (the big, grassy area on campus in front of McElroy used for activities, barbeques, etc.) and students are given the opportunity to walk around in between their classes. It is basically a huge club fair that typically takes place in September after school has started. Although I heard about all of the activities and ways to get involved on and off campus at Boston College, what I saw on the Dust Bowl that day was above and beyond what I had imagined. BC has tons of clubs to join, whether you are interested in club sports, dance, drama, a cappella, mock trial, community service, language clubs, and much more.

As I walked around to the different tables, everyone was so eager to talk to me about what their club is, and all of the club leaders patiently listened to any questions I had. I signed the e-mail lists of about eleven clubs, but the best part is that you are in no way required to actually participate in the clubs you sign up for, which makes it easy for you to “shop around” and find the club that is right for you. Sign up for anything, even if you have never done it before. I signed up for Mock Trial (a club in which you work on and then try a case against other schools in competition) having never been on a Mock Trial team before, tried out, and made the team! Don’t be afraid to try new things; that is what college is for, and you could surprise yourself! That being said, a lot of the clubs I did in high school are also at BC in another form, like Ecopledge (the environmental club), or Special Olympics, so BC also has plenty of opportunities for you to continue with what you loved to do in high school.

Well, I have to go to class. Until next time!

Ali McDonald
Class of 2013
mcdonaay@gmail.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall, Sophomore Year

Hi everyone!

My name is Rachel Craft and I’m a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m from suburban Philadelphia, about 5 hours from BC. I’m a history major, a french minor, and maybe an art history minor as well. This fall I’m taking 4 classes, although one is a “double” so technically I’m taking 5. I’m taking Western Cultural Tradition (part of the honors program requirements, it’s a double credit class), Islamic Civilization, US Bill of Rights (both history classes), and a French class called Artists and their Writings, all about artists such as Van Gogh and the relationship between their writings and their art. It’s a good balance between small discussion and lecture format, although even in my Islamic Civilization lecture, they ask questions and people participate. Last year as a freshman I took art history for the first time and loved it, so I’m hoping to have time to take some more and add a second minor. But, if not, there are plenty of opportunities for art in my major, and within my minor. Both Islamic Civilization and my French class this semester have visual/artistic components.

In terms of other activities, I volunteer with the Student Admissions Program (SAP), and with the Red Cross, but my main activity is that I’m a coxswain for the Men’s Crew team here at BC. It’s a serious time commitment, but one of my favorite things at school. I had never been a part of crew or rowing before coming to BC, and I barely knew what a coxswain was. FYI, a coxswain is the person who steers the 4 or 8 man boats, and acts as a coach within the boat, talking over a microphone to correct technique, keep the rhythm and motivate the rowers. I ended up trying it last fall, and loved it! Despite the fact that I get up very early (5:35 on weekdays), I love my team and what I do. This year, one of my goals is to find some more activities to take part in on campus as well, but crew has given me something to be passionate about, to be very involved in, and I have found some amazing teammates, mentors and friends.

It’s a beautiful time to be in New England, the leaves are changing but it’s not cold yet, and I’m going to take advantage of the sunshine and do some reading outside before my next class. Email or post with any questions, now’s the time to ask!

Rachel Craft
craftr@bc.edu

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hello everybody on the SAP Blog!

Thanks for visiting our site. My name is Madeleine and I'm a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, majoring in Communications.

The start of school has been exhausting and exhilarating, with classes starting, football season, and all of the activities that are starting. I went to the first rehearsal of University Chorale (a great music group that sings lots of wonderful church music) and as usual had a blast singing a ton of fun music with my friends. We're getting ready to sing with Bernadette Peters and Keith Lockheart (two major players in the world of music) for Parent's Weekend. I also did some work for my job on the yearbook, Sub Turri. I'm one of two Assistant Business Managers so more work is coming my way as I get closer to becoming an actual business manager next year.

I finally got all of the classes I wanted (just in time!) since Add/Drop (our class shopping period) ends tomorrow. I stopped by one of my old classes to chat with all the new students today which was a lot of fun. One of the things I really love about Boston College is how upperclassmen consistently reach out to freshman to try and help them have the best BC experience they possibly can.

Well, that's all for me today, I've got to get back to my math homework!
Peace,
Madeleine

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Anything but Trivial

Hi everybody,

It's Brennan, you local friendly English/PoliSci major. It’s been a while since my last post; sorry about that – the volume of visitors here at BC has skyrocketed in the last few weeks. It’s exciting, but very tiring.

Last night, a bunch of us from SAP went to the Applebee’s right next to campus for trivia night. We had a blast – teams from BC took 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. Eagles represent!

To me, events like trivia night do a lot more than showcase what fun things happen off campus. They show what kind of people we have here at BC. During the day yesterday, we all worked hard to help visitors get to know BC, talking about all of our experiences and accomplishments during our time spent here. Later, we played a hard-fought game against Northeastern in softball (besting our Husky friends). Then, we all put our brains to work trying to guess which animal has legs but cannot walk (actual question!).

As a whole, yesterday really illustrates how multifaceted BC students are. We love to work hard but have fun. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends.


-Brennan Harkins
A&S '11
harkinbr@bc.edu

All She Wants To Do Is Dance!

Hello again, everyone! Summer is winding down a bit too quickly for my liking, and I’m anxiously anticipating my final year at Boston College. I’m looking forward to living in one of the senior apartments and to taking interesting (yet albeit challenging!) classes, but what I’m most excited about is my chance to perform in what may be my last dance performance ever. As a member of the Dance Organization of Boston College (DOBC), an audition-based, student run dance group of 40 to 50 dancers, I will dance in our yearly showcase in late January. Here’s a bit more about DOBC and other dance opportunities at BC and in the greater Boston area.

My experience with DOBC didn’t get off on the right foot (no pun intended…): I auditioned for DOBC during my freshman year but did not make the cut; only a handful of freshmen were chosen that year. I also auditioned for the Dance Ensemble, a group which is very similar to DOBC, but failed to make the cut. Although I felt quite discouraged, I didn’t want to give up my passion for dance, so I became a part of the studio class program in DOBC. DOBC is split into 2 groups: one is made up of dancers who made the cut during auditions and perform at the yearly showcase, and the other is made up of students at all dance levels who take open studio classes for enjoyment or technique practice. I took studio classes every night during my freshman year and when I auditioned again at the beginning of my sophomore year, I made the cut for the performance group! DOBC, like the Dance Ensemble and all of the other Boston College dance groups, is entirely student run—we have a board of directors who choose dances, plan out rehearsals, devise a theme for the show and work with Robsham Theater to make for a great performance. Unfortunately, I could not perform with DOBC last year because I was off dancing in Paris, but I can’t wait to come back this year.

Aside from DOBC and the Dance Ensemble, which focus mostly on traditional dance styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and modern, Boston College has a number of other dance groups. Synergy and Phaymus are two of the most prominent hip-hop groups on campus and are well-known for their innovative choreography and creative music mixes. Fuego del Corazon is our Latin dance group and always impresses with its classic male-female partnering and snazzy footwork. The Boston College Dance Team performs with the Marching Band at every football game and wows the crowd with their formations and spirit. Boston itself offers a variety of dance companies and programs for students who wish to take classes outside of BC. The Boston Ballet offers open adult classes for students 16 and older; for just $15 a class, students can take ballet at the elementary, intermediate or advanced level. The Dance Complex in Cambridge is my new favorite spot: the studio is located in an old apartment building in Central Square and boasts an enormous class offering in everything from beginners tap to advanced modern to African dance. At $10 to $13 for an hour to two-hour class, the Dance Complex offers the perfect opportunity for all dancers. I’m already looking forward to my next ballet class there!

Until next time friends, keep on dancin’!

Courtney Kipp
A&S 2010
Resident French Translator, Theology Girl, and Dance Buff

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More about BC Professors

Hello everyone;

Courtney's post below does a great job of explaining how the professors here at BC are really top-notch. I just wanted to add my own story about how the professor-student relationships here have affected my education.

First, I should begin by noting that I was originally solely a Political Science major. How I came to add English as my second major is the subject of this blog post.

I was always good at English in high school - I took AP English Language when I was a junior and AP Literature during my senior year. I liked writing, but I wasn't sure I wanted to continue with it as much in college; I thus declared my Political Science major and assumed that my English career was all but over.

Fast forward to sophomore year here at BC. I took a literature course called 19th Century Irish Literature with Professor James Smith (of the English & Irish Studies departments). The class was structured around 2 essays and a final exam. When I turned in my first essay, I expected the grading to work just like in high school: the teacher/professor running through my paper with red pen and handing it back in due time.

When I did get my essay back, I was happily surprised. Professor Smith wrote a writeup of my essay (essentially an essay about my essay), complete with detailed analysis of what he thought I did very well along with what I could improve to become a better writer on the college level. I went to Prof. Smith's office hours (which all professors have) to discuss the essay; we talked for about a half-hour about writing.

As a result, I became a better writer, and wrote better for all of my English courses. More importantly, I rediscovered how much I loved the English language, spoken and written. With that in mind, I declared English as my second major and haven't looked back since.

Everyone at BC has a story like mine - that of a professor who went the extra mile and made their experience at BC richer. Professors who care about undergrads are truly the rule, not the exception, here at BC.

Brennan Harkins
BC A&S 2011
harkinbr@bc.edu

Monday, July 20, 2009

Professors Will Pump You Up!

Before I begin my next blog, I should probably introduce myself, as I failed to do so in my first entry—I was just too excited to write about my experience in Paris that I forgot all about it! My name is Courtney Kipp, and I will be a senior this fall in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am pursuing a double major in French and Theology, and I’m originally from North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Even though it’s summer and you don’t see them as often, there are still professors who, like us summer student employees, can’t seem to get enough of Boston College. Upon running into my Theology professor and adopted advisor Professor Kilcoyne last week, I began reflecting on my experiences with my professors during my past three years at BC. Many of them have had a profound impact on my academic trajectory, and their involvement in and care for their students’ lives make BC professors one of the school’s best assets.

Upon arrival at BC, every student receives an academic advisor in his or her major. The advisor gives the student his or her registration code and offers advice as to which classes to take and whether or not the major is right for the student. For double majors, students only have an advisor in their primary major, or the major listed first on their degree audits. Since French is my primary major, it was up to me to find a professor in the Theology program to give me advice. Luckily for me, when I came to the Admitted Students Day at BC in April of my senior year of high school, I went to an informational session about the Philosophy and Theology programs given by Professor Kilcoyne, a prominent professor in the Theology Department. He spoke about the Theology major and minor and introduced the 5-year BA/MA program in Theology, which allows BC students to begin taking graduate courses during their senior year and stay at BC for one extra year after graduation to obtain a master’s degree. I went to Professor Kilcoyne’s office early on in the year and talked to him about my “theological aspirations” for my next four years at BC. Before long, he had become my adopted Theology advisor, and to this day, I return to his office a few times a semester to ask for advice and receive guidance in the major.

As I enter my senior year, Professor Kilcoyne and other professors in the Theology program will continue to play a significant role in my academic experience. I have been accepted into the 5th year BA/MA program and will take my first graduate course in the fall. My senior thesis, which will combine both of my majors, will be nearly impossible to complete without the expertise and guidance of my Theology professors. No matter what you study here at BC, you will inevitably find professors who will become your mentors, advisors and, perhaps more importantly, friends. They are the ones who will shape your academic experience and not only help you make the most of your four years here but also mold the rest of your academic life. Until next time!

Courtney Kipp
A&S 2010
kippc@bc.edu

Friday, July 17, 2009

525,600 Minutes...and only 25 Dollars

Hello everyone - and welcome to Boston College's A&S blog! A brief intro: My name is Brennan Harkins and next year I will be a junior here, majoring in English & Political Science.

While I can't say enough great things about BC's academics, I'll dedicate my first post to what is (in my humble opinion) the greatest college town in America (if not the world) - Boston.

Last night, I went into the city with another one of our admissions councilors to see Rent, which is on another tour off Broadway. It took us only a half-hour or so to get downtown. Beforehand, we ate at Papa Razzi's, an amazing Italian restaurant downtown. Boston is chock full of places like this - the dining scene around here is second to none.

Rent
was playing at the Colonial Theatre an elegant performing hall on Boylston Street, right across from Boston's Public Gardens. The best part? Tickets were nearly $60 for regular patrons, but just $25 for students - and our seats were 10 rows from the stage. Boston is home to over 250,000 students and businesses of all stripes cater to us - it's awesome to be 25 and under around here.

Once the play was over, it was great to come back to our own campus - mass transportation took us right back to BC (there's actually a Boston College line on the subway). So while the city is right at our fingertips, we have our own community to come back to at the end. If you visit BC, be sure to not neglect the amazing city at our doorstep.

-Brennan
A&S 2011
harkinbr@bc.edu

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where In The World Is Courtney Kipp?

It’s been over 6 months since I returned from my study abroad experience, and I’m finally beginning to readjust to life back at BC. While I still miss waking up for my morning run to the smell of freshly-baked pain au chocolat at the nearby boulangerie and long to do my back-to-school shopping on Rue Saint-Antoine and Saint Germain-des-Près instead of Newbury Street, my experience has given me a greater appreciation not only for the beautiful city I called home for nearly five months, but also for my three and a half years at Boston College.

As a French major, studying abroad was a no brainer. I spent the fall semester of my junior year studying at the Université de Paris IV: Sorbonne. To say I was a bit nervous to leave is a complete understatement; I was absolutely petrified. Coming from North Attleboro, a tiny town just an hour south of BC, I thought that entering a school of 9,000 students was a huge step. As an only child, I’m incredibly close to my family and, before leaving for Paris, I had never gone more than a month without seeing my parents. The first week of study abroad was a challenge: my airline switched my connecting flight from London to Paris four times before throwing me onto a plane five minutes before takeoff, my luggage was lost and held hostage by the aforementioned airline until late into my first night in Paris, I couldn’t figure out Skype if my life depended on it, and my French speaking skills were mediocre at best. But on my sixth day in Paris, something changed. All of the girls in the BC in Paris program gathered at my apartment, a gorgeous, three-bedroom on the fifth floor on Boulevard Morland, located between the Marais and Bastille districts. We headed off to a club in the Bastille district just after midnight—this is all too typical of the European lifestyle and could even be considered “too early” to go out. As I danced and laughed my way into the wee hours of the morning, I began to realize why everyone raves about studying abroad.

My next few months only got better. Once I figured out my courses, I was engrossed in medieval religious history and 19th century French literature during the week. Through the lectures, papers, and discussions with my fellow Parisian students, my French drastically improved, and I found myself chattering with friends before class and understanding jokes made by my professors. I went to Mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral on a weekly basis and explored the city by foot, uncovering delicious cafés and neat clothing shops that would never be mentioned in a guide book. Outside of my circle of BC friends, I met international students from England, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, and I even began dating one of the English guys (clearly, a transatlantic romance is quite impossible, and I’m sticking with American guys from now on!). When January 9th came, I sat in my bare bedroom and stared at my packed suitcases as I tried to find a way to stay in Paris; I really did not want to return to the States. I had lived a fairytale life for four and a half months, and back in Boston, I couldn’t help but compare everything to how it had been in Paris.

In the recent weeks and months, I’ve finally been able to look back on my abroad experience in a new way. Before, I would have given anything to go back to the loud techno clubs, late nights, whirlwind romances and fascinating places, but as I spend more and more time in Boston and think about my senior year, I understand that I have come full circle. It is because of Boston College, with its wonderful study abroad programs and preparatory French classes, that I was able to go to Paris in the first place. I have grown and matured since living in and returning from Paris, and as I consider all the friends, professors, and opportunities I have at BC, I can finally say that I am thrilled to be back in Boston, and this time, I would give anything to stay here. I certainly wouldn’t turn down another trip back to Paris, but this time, I know I would be looking forward to coming home to BC.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An important Q+A inspires me to return

I've been slacking on the blogging lately - sorry everyone! Final exams are one week away, and as a result I've been scrambling to get caught up on my reading, work on my papers, and finalize my summer plans.

But I was inspired to post again when a reader sent me an email asking an important question about BC.

The emailer asked me about the sense of community at BC. Specifically, he wanted to know whether BC felt like a community, or just a bunch of people going to college in the same place.

My answer:

"First and foremost, congratulations on being admitted to [School X] and to BC. Both are great schools and whenever someone has a tough decision like this, it’s because they have multiple great choices to pick from.

Honestly, in my opinion, nothing defines what it means to be a BC person more than cultivating a sense of community. BC was founded by underprivileged sons of immigrants. They became successful by looking out for fellow BC grads and creating a great network that allowed the university to flourish. If it weren’t for the strong sense of community that has always existed at BC, we never would have risen to the level that we’re at today.

So, in short: yes! A sense of community is a big part of what makes BC what it is, and you’ll find it on service trips all across America and around the world, in cultural clubs and organizations that create vibrant life on campus, or at Conte Forum cheering on the Eagles.

Good luck with your decision-making process and take full advantage of your opportunities wherever you end up going."

**An important addition to the above: The idea of the BC community extends well beyond the students and alums! One of my favorite things about BC is that the staff - from the faculty, to the maintenance workers, to the dining staff, to the admissions office, to the coaches and trainers in the athletics office - all share a deep commitment to doing their part to make BC a better place. You'll find a fierce loyalty among BC employees and that dedication enriches the life for all of us on campus.

Yours,

Joe Gravellese
Boston College 2010
gravellj@bc.edu

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Disneyland, Chestnut Hill?

Yesterday was one of the busiest days of the year in the admissions office. As I waited in the office to give my tour, one of the admissions counselors came over and said something to the effect of "it feels like Disneyland in here... we need a tram to get everyone around to where they have to go."

While the big groups can be a little overwhelming at first as we divide them up in to tour groups of 40-50, I enjoy the larger tours. Ultimately, it means that a) more people are interested in learning about BC, and b) the groups ask a broader range of questions, which always makes giving tours more fun.

The big spring crowds are yet another sign that summer is approaching in Chestnut Hill. I've finally put my winter jacket in the back of the closet, and I feel confident in saying that it's not coming back out.

Summer in Boston is mind-blowingly beautiful - from strolling through the streets of the great city, to relaxing in Boston Common, to just sitting outside enjoying the warm weather. Winter is tough here, but the spring and summer are amazing.

I'm still a bit out of school mode after my relaxing Easter break. Yesterday was my first day back in class, but I only have one class on Tuesdays, so I'm not entirely in the groove yet.

-Joe
BC ' 10
gravellj@bc.edu

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A welcome break

Sorry that I haven't posted since Monday. It's been a busy week. Luckily, we are in the midst of a nice little break - we get off from Holy Thursday through Easter Monday, so most students take advantage of the extra-long weekend to go home and spend the holiday with their families.

This week was pretty much dedicated to making progress on my term papers. I have two major papers to complete this semester - one for Mass Communication Theory and another for Rhetorical Criticism. My Criticism paper is comparing the rhetorical techniques used by President Obama to those used by FDR during the Great Depression. I haven't finalized my topic for my other paper yet (oops).

My presentation for the American Culture War Seminar that I mentioned in my last post went quite well. The class was entirely composed of student presentations, plus Q+A sessions afterward - and it was one of the best classes of the semester. We had good, thought-provoking discussions on the debates over stem cell research, welfare, school vouchers, and more.

Next week looks less crazy than this past week, so I will definitely give a few updates throughout the week.

Good luck to all of those deliberating where they'll be enrolling in the fall.

Joe, BC '10

Monday, April 6, 2009

Still got some catching up to do...

I usually don't refer to Sunday as "Sunday." I always refer to it as "catch up" day. Everyone seems to be catching up on something: sleep (always a good thing), homework (Sundays are usually the day when O'Neill Library is its fullest), cleaning up around the room.

But since yesterday was such a nice day, I didn't do much catching up.

I spent the morning and early afternoon with Josh, my Little Brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer program. Josh is a middle-school student living in downtown Boston. We went bowling, went out to lunch, and played catch for a while. It's nice to just talk about kid stuff once every two weeks or so.

Later in the day, my girlfriend and I took my laptop outside, sat under a tree, and watched a DVD of season 2 of The Office (exciting stuff, I know).

Once 5 PM rolled around and it started to get chilly out, I scrambled to get out my books and get as much work done as possible.

Every Sunday night, I work at Corcoran Commons dining hall from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., serving everyone's favorite meal of the day - "Late Nite," which consists of chicken fingers, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, buffalo chicken sandwiches, barbeque chicken wraps, and all of that wholesome, healthy stuff. I enjoy my job, and I enjoy the pay, but it means that while everyone else spends their Sunday nights cramming in the library, I'm working in the dining hall.


Corcoran Commons is the largest dining hall on campus; it's also the best place to go for "healthy" late night dining

Thus, I was only able to make a small dent in my pile of tasks for the night. I finished my news story for the Boston Metro newspaper, which I write for about twice a week. I also conducted an interview for my other writing job - I'm a staff writer for EagleInsider.com, an independent online magazine covering BC Athletics.


My story about last week's Bruins game in the Boston Metro. Clearly, I'm such a big deal...;)
The accessibility of Boston provides countless opportunities for internships and job opportunities, and BC's career center helps students through that entire process.

I then prepared my oral presentation for the class I'll be heading to in about 35 minutes, the American Culture War Seminar with one of BC's most famous professors, Alan Wolfe. I need to give a brief but insightful presentation on a 'culture war' topic of my choosing - in this case, school vouchers. It's not an opinion-based presentation; rather, it's an analysis of how people think about the issue, why people think the way they do, and what the debate says about American politics.

I started studying for my French exam, but most of that got put off 'til this morning, when I crammed for about 3 hours with my books and my laptop out at the dining hall over a nutritious breakfast of Corn Pops and tea.

It's off to the Culture War class now... I'll check in with an update on how my presentation went when it's over.


Looking toward the beautiful city of Boston from the quad at BC on a much, much sunnier day than today.

Go Eagles! (...and Red Sox. It's Opening Day, sort of - it got rained out, so the Red Sox begin their '09 season tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. Boo.)

JG

Easter Week

Hi, everyone.

I can't believe we're already almost a week into April! The year has been flying by, and it's strange to think that almost a quarter of my college experience is over. We've been having some really nice weather here lately, so the spring has definitely arrived. Unfortunately, today it's raining, and I had a Day Visit student; I felt so bad that she had to walk around with me in the rain and wind!

This week is a big week for the class of 2012. Tomorrow and Wednesday are class registration days for next semester, and Wednesday is the first housing lottery for sophomore year. My friends and I are hoping to get an 8-man (as are most freshmen); of course, many more people apply than can be accommodated, so we are hoping for the best.

We also have off Thursday, Friday, and Monday for the Easter holidays, so I will be heading home for about 5 days. Then, when we get back, we have less than a month left before finals, and none of the weeks are full, five-day weeks! I am so excited for Marathon Monday on the 20th; it's approaching fast. Last weekend I saw a practice marathon going down Comm. Ave. and really started to get excited. Basically everyone here is excited; it's a pretty popular conversation topic lately.

Okay, I'm off to History. I hope everyone has a great week. :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Senior year, staring me in the face

Good morning, future Eagles. My name is Joe Gravellese. I'm a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, double-majoring in political science and communications. I'm a proud native of Revere, MA, a city located about 15 miles from BC - so that makes me the token local guy. I'm also the newest BC blogger. I have joined the admissions blogging brigade for two reasons:
  1. The people who contribute to these blogs do a great job, and I really enjoy reading them - so I wish they posted more often. I tend to get very excited (maybe a little too excited?) about writing and blogging, so I plan on posting here at least every other day.
  2. When I was a senior in high school, I was mostly interested in hearing from college freshmen, and I'm sure that's the case for most of you, as well. But trust me: you want to hear from upperclassmen, too. Think about how fast high school has gone by; multiply that by about 50,000, and that's how quickly college goes. I feel like I was just in your shoes - but now, here I am, staring senior year in the face. So like I said, you want to hear from upperclassmen. I hope to give you an inside look at my journey through my final year at BC, and discuss my forays into the dreaded "real world" away from Chestnut Hill.
As I mentioned, I love writing and blogging, so expect posts to hit on a little bit of everything having to do with life at BC - from what I had for lunch today, to what I learned in Mass Communication Theory class, to what internships or jobs I'm searching for, to how the Boston College baseball team is faring in the ACC.

This is a good time to start blogging. My goal is to eventually take you inside senior year, and my senior year unofficially began yesterday with two important events: the housing lottery, and fall class registration.

Once you get past freshman year, you have the privilege of choosing who you want to live with as an upperclassman; additionally, as a rising senior, you have a plethora of fantastic residence halls to choose from.

But the housing lottery has its perils. A word of advice: try to make an even-numbered group of friends. For senior year housing, you can assemble a 4-man or a 6-man group for a suite or an apartment. Literally 3 minutes before the deadline for the 6-man apartment lottery, my group had 5 people. Thankfully, we found one more roommate at the last minute using the online roommate search feature - a really convenient tool that the Office of Residential Life has to help upperclassmen fill out housing groups. (And, oddly enough, our newest roommate is someone I know well - I competed against him in high school debate, and have run into him many times at BC).

Our run of good luck continued, as we were blessed with one of the earliest picks in the lottery, and got our first choice - a room on the second floor of Ignacio Hall.


Home sweet home in '09-'10: Ignacio Hall.

Most of the early picks in the housing lottery spring for "the Mods" - modular apartments located in the heart of Lower Campus. They are very appealing, as the Mods have backyards - perfect for barbecues, especially on football game days.

But in the end, we decided that the spacious apartments in Ignacio were right for us, as Ignacio is about as centrally located as a residence hall can get. We'll pretty much have a 2 minute walk to classes, a 2 minute walk to Corcoran Commons dining hall (where I work on Sunday and Monday nights), and a 5 minute walk to Conte Forum, BC's hockey and basketball arena. Needless to say, I'm already excited.


The Mods, located on lower campus, are a popular choice for senior housing, as each comes with its own little backyard.

I also registered for my fall semester classes, which made the impending reality of senior year really set in. I still need to complete my core requirements in philosophy and foreign language, so I enrolled in Philosophy of the Person, and Intermediate French I.

My communications major is pretty much all done, but I took an extra communications elective anyway - a course called "Persuasion," with one of BC's best professors, Bonnie Jefferson. I've had Dr. Jefferson twice already, and both times were great learning experiences. She's so adept at blending classic texts, traditional political speeches, and modern popular culture (movies, commercials, YouTube clips) into a coherent course on rhetoric and mass communication. If you get here, I highly recommend taking any of her classes.

My other two classes finish off my second major, political science; I've taken a whole bunch of American politics classes, but I need to fulfill my requirements in comparative and international politics. Thus, I'm taking Rise and Rule of Islamic States, and The United Nations & International Security. Both topics seem important and interesting, although they also both seem to be pretty difficult, with a lot of reading and writing. (But if I didn't want to be buried in reading and papers, I probably should have chosen a different major - so no complaints.)

Oh, something else happened yesterday as well that seemed to signify a sort of unofficial passage into senior year - the BC women's basketball team's season sadly ended with an 82-65 loss to the University of South Florida in the semifinals of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (NIT). With that loss, all of BC's winter sports teams are done for the year - meaning no more trips to Conte Forum until next fall. :(

Conte Forum is now dormant until hockey and basketball start again in October and November, respectively.

Thankfully, the BC baseball team is off to their best start in years. They have a 17-9 record so far, including 2 wins against powerhouse Florida State. They host a 3-game series against NC State this weekend - and since BC baseball games are free to attend for all, I plan on at least attending some of all 3 games.

That's all for now - congratulations to all of you admitted students for the Class of 2013! And for those who are prospective members of the Class of 2014: you make me feel old. But it's all good. I hope my blog will be of service to you over the next year, and will help you decide whether or not BC is right for you.

If you have any questions about anything I blog about, or BC life in general, DO NOT HESITATE to email me at gravellj@bc.edu. Or you can just leave a comment on my post. Thanks for reading!

Go Eagles.

-Joe

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Hello Everyone!

So, acceptance letters have been sent and I am sure you many of you reading these posts are now potential Eaglets and soon to be full fledged Eagles. I know the time waiting for acceptance letters was stressful for me, so I am sure you are all happy to be getting decisions back, good or bad.

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I applied for an independent major in American Studies. This major combines the English Department, History Department, and Sociology Department into one massive interdisciplinary major. Essentially, I thought up, designed, and proposed my own major and it has been almost entirely approved by the Educational Policy Committee, pending my addition of more upper level courses. One cool thing I found out about is that Boston College is in a consortium of Boston institutions which allows me to take classes at BU for no additional cost if I feel it pertinent to my major...very cool.

Also, I have been hired as a Residential Assistant for next year meaning I will live in a sophomore residence hall on College Road. I am very excited for the challenge this position will offer and also pumped that I will not have to pay for housing next year as that is the compensation for taking the job.

Finally, I will serve as the Undergraduate Goverment's Executive Director of University Affairs next year. As the manager of the University Affairs Department, I will be responsible for Directors of Sustainability, Diversity, Academic Affairs, Student Formation, and others all with the goal of making Boston College a better place. We are currently interviewing the many talented applicants for positions and will be announcing our decisions this Saturday.

If you haven't guessed by now, I am very involved here because I am happiest when I am busy. While I would say I have taken on more than the average student, my involvements are an accurate reflection of just how passionate students at BC are for their campus and community as a whole. If you're the type of person who would enjoy this atmosphere, go ahead and send in your deposit to BC. You won't regret it for a second.

In closing, I just want to say that Boston College has proven to be an amazing experience for me thus far. Everyone chooses the college they attend for different reasons and I am no exception, but I would encourage all of you to take an honest look at every school you have been accepted too. Take tours, visit websites, go on day visits, and email students to get a sense of the school that touches you in a unique way. I am confident that any person could find a home at Boston College if you just take a little extra time to delve deeper.

Good luck with your decisions! I hope to see some of you around here in the fall.

Justin

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hi, everyone.

I posted on the blog last Wednesday & just wanted to give an update! This past Sunday was the first really nice weekend day we have had since before winter started. Every open area on campus was covered with people sitting outside to do homework, play sports, or just talk and lay in the sun. And since then the weather has stayed pretty nice. :) My friends and I have been able to sit out in the quad between classes, which is one of our favorite things to do when it's warm (it's more fun than the library).

Also, Monday I went with a bunch of girls from Newton Campus (where I live) to see Britney Spears at the TD Bank North Garden in Boston! The trip on the T is always long, but it was definitely worth it to go to the concert. Then yesterday was St. Patrick's Day; it was great to see so many people on campus showing their Irish pride and wearing green. Other than that, this week has been pretty full because midterms/ tests are really kicking into high gear.

But the weekend is on it's way! I'm hoping to go to ALC Showdown on Friday, which is a big competition between some of the dance groups on campus hosted by the AHANA Leadership Council. I'll keep you posted. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hi, I'm Erin

Hi, my name is Erin McGrail, and I am a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences at BC. I am currently a Communications & English double major, and I am also in the A&S Honors Program. In my free time, I am a member of SAP, and I love attending BC sporting events. I also really like to dance and have been looking into the dance programs at BC; I am hoping to join one next semester.

It has unfortunately taken me a while to start posting because the past few weeks (especially leading up to break) have been filled with a lot of work. I also think many people, including myself, had a little case of "the Februaries." But most of the stress has passed for the time being, and the weather here is finally starting to get a little better (at least we're seeing some sun every now and then), and that seems to have put everyone in a better mood. So I'm going to try to start posting weekly from now on. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Greetings from Paris!

Hey everyone!

I'm about 5 weeks into my study abroad experience at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Sciences-Po) in Paris, France. It's definitely quite a different experience from being back at BC, but I'm having a lot of fun. I live in an apartment with 3 other girls in one of the central regions of the city, about 20 minutes from my school. My neighborhood is a great area with a lot of restaurants and cafes.

I'm taking courses in both English and French, three of each. I'm taking courses in History, Political Science, French, and Law. They're really interesting, especially having a European perspective. There's a lot of work, but I think it'll be a really rewarding experience.

In my free time, I've been trying to explore as much of Paris as possible. I've been to the Musee de Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, Versailles (just outside of Paris), the Jardins des Tuileries, the Champs Elysees, and the Eiffel Tower. Paris is definitely a great city. There's so much to do here all the time. It's kind of overwhelming and hard to remember that I'm in school too!

I'm starting to travel next week, with a trip to Ireland. I'm hoping to get to a bunch more countries and cities, including London and Venice (when my friends come over for a summer study abroad program).

I'll be sure to update you all some more as my program goes on!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The night is darkest before the dawn

Why so serious? Forgive the "Dark Night" inspired theme, but I watched it yesterday and felt compelled to include it in my post.

We, as Boston College Students, are approaching the dawn. Instead of a much improved Gotham City, we are nearing Spring Break, a time to relax and reflect on the veritable insanity that has been our lives since the start of the semester.

Do not be mistaken, insanity is a good thing in college life! Most students at Boston College choose to get involved in a number of different activities and I am no exception. I have been very busy with student government duties, applying to be a Residential Assistant, and applying for my major; these commitments reach a fever pitch right before spring break. With six days left until I return to sunny Los Angeles, I have been hired as a residential assistant, been on the winning team of a campaign for student government, and accomplished many (but not all...yet) of my personal goals for student government.

I now have a chance to sit back, work on my 6 page paper due on Thursday and study for my intro to theater course (woo core curriculum). Of course, watching the Oscars doesn't help any of this but...its a once a year activity and part of college is understanding the world around you...right?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The unfortunate month of February...

Hey all!

So it's been a reallllyyy long time since I've posted, so I figured now was a good time. We have now entered the month of February which, in my opinion, is the worst month of the year. (Why else would it be the shortest?!) It's that awkward month between winter and spring, when the snow is no longer magical, just tired. It's the month of Valentine's Day...need I say more?

Anyways, the semester is in full swing and my word of advice to prospective students of any college is not to take on more than you can handle! This semester I decided to overload, because without marching band this semester I figured I'd have so much more time. Wrong. I'm now in the process of dropping my overload course because my classes are harder and more work...and even though I don't have marching band, I've still got a lot of other stuff going on (brass class and Plex time to take the place of those long rehearsals...). So please, don't bite off more than you can chew! (The grown-ups were right).

This weekend I'm going on 48 Hours, which is a first-year retreat. My group is going to Brewster, MA, and it's supposed to hit 50 degrees this weekend which will be extremely nice! I've heard wonderful things about the retreat so I'm really looking forward to it. It will also be nice just to get away from campus for a few days.

That's really about all that's going on at this moment...I'm off to a clarinet lesson and then to the Plex before I meet my 48 Hours group tonight and go to class. I hope everyone gets through February successfully...and just keep hanging on until those March and April dates when you start hearing from colleges!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A New Semester

Hi everyone,

So the new semester starts this Wednesday and I figured a post was in order. Break was great but, like many of you will, I have gotten bored at home and I am looking forward to the chaos of a new semester. I have student government meetings, Student Admission Programs Meetings (for you all), and classes to boot.

This semester I will be taking: Religious Quest II (continuation of Theology Core), Philosophy of the Person II (Continuation of Philosophy Core), Race & Urban Space, Intro to Theater (Fine Art Core), and Intro to American Studies. Once this year is over, I will be completely done with my core curriculum at BC!

Over the next month and a half I will continue to work on my proposal for an Interdisciplinary major in American Studies and try to stay as busy as possible.

I will try to post again in a week or so to update on all the happenings in my life and on campus. I hope all your applications are done and you are enjoying the tension of having to wait for letters to arrive...it's not fun, I know.

All the best for now,

Justin