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