Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Square Off: El Pelon v. Crazy Dough

Battle of the BC Food!!!
When friends come from off campus to visit, it's usually considered good manners to feed them. (MY friends don't usually let me forget to feed them either way...) Boston College's dining halls offer a lot of variety, everything from the grill to the pasta station. Also, compared to other colleges I've visited, our food is pretty good. My personal favorite is the Wok-a-Way station on Wednesdays, I absolutely adore stir fry. However, unlike other schools, we don't have many commercial food chain companies on campus. Well actually, on campus, we have none. There's a Dunkin' Donuts across the street (try their hash browns sometime) but that's it for big names. There's also a Flatbreads sandwich store and White Mountain Creamery, both pretty delicious but clearly not your typical Subway or Coldstone's. This year we have TWO new power players on our off campus food line-up! El Pelon, a taqueria with funky t-shirts and a splash of cultural flavor, and Crazy Doughs, a funky dim lit brick oven pizza place. The food at both are wonderful, but which of the two reign supreme? Let's check some specs.

In terms of affordability, Crazy Dough's is a bit on the pricey side. A personal mini flat pizza runs a bit higher than the BC mini pizza price (which is not a good thing, over priced food is NOT as psychologically enjoyable). Also, the size of the pizza was a bit disappointing for the price and Crazy Dough's line also tends to be very long, so their space is VERY cramped. The dim lit seating area is nice, but the clunky black iron chairs detract from the natural lighting and are hard to move around, especially when the last person in line is an inch or two away from the back of your chair. BUT, their selection of foods are awesome; they have a new salad bowl that's in the process of being patented, and they give free refills!

El Pelon's prices range just a bit lower than Chipotle's, but their food is just as good. Their spacing tends to be a bit cramped, and their bottled drinks are on the expensive side. Also, though the El Jarrito soda bottles look and taste awesome, they can't be opened without a bottle opener, so woe be unto you if you decline their polite offer to have it opened. For me, one of the big things at a place like this is the meat quality and vegetable freshness. Burritos and tacos are made up of pretty much just vegetables and meat, so raw steak and wilted lettuce is a no no. I can happily say that El Pelon uses pretty good stuff in their meals. It's not like Chipotle, where you can often see into the kitchen and watch what's being put into your food. The kitchen's barred off and creation station is hidden, but so far this hasn't been cause for worry!

I still have yet to pick between the two. I've frequented both, both still have that "new" factor and both are BC friendly, but Crazy Dough's is a bit more so since you can use EagleBucks there. [Hurry and hop on the bandwagon El Pelon!] My advice? Come over and try them both for yourselves to pick a favorite!

O & O!
-Sam


Ice Jam

Hello all,
a couple weeks ago I attended an event called Ice Jam at Conte Forum. At Ice Jam Conte was split into half and half between the ice and the basketball court. This event was hosted by Bob Costas and the legendary Doug Flutie even came not to mention the fact that Vanilla Ice performed his hit single "Ice Ice Baby." The purpose of ice Jam was to introduce the 2010-2011 Men's and Women's soccer and basketball teams. Each team was introduced separately with the coaches arriving in style. Everyone booed when a BC patrol Car delivered the women's hockey coach. The car drove onto the ice entering where the Zamboni usually does. Not only were the teams introduced, but they also put on a show. The women's basketball team did a dance off vs Aero K one of BC's many dance clubs. I'd say Aero K won the day but the basketball team put in a solid effort. Also 3 members of the men's hockey team and 1 member of the women's hockey team participated in a fastest shot competition. The highest shot by a member of the men's hockey team registered a whopping 99 mph. As if that wasn't enough a few of the hockey players participated in a trick shot competition. Then there was the basketball competitions. First there was a 3 point competition which Doug Flutie took part in and ended up losing. although he wasn't bad I think he should stick to playing football. Equally exciting, was the dunk competition. This was my favorite event on the night solely because one of our star players Reggie Jackson was able to Dunk over Josh Southern who is 6 ft 11. When he made that dunk, crowd went crazy. Finally, to round out the night, 1 student was given a 2 year lease on a brand new BMW covered in eagle designs. This was the highly coveted Eagle car that had been the subject of conversations for weeks, as it had sat on lower campus. About a week previous to the concert, all BC students received an email that told them about the car. In the email was a coded message. The instruction were to crack the code which would reveal a question and then to send in your answer to the question. From those who answered the question right, 10 students were randomly selected and given a chance to win the car. On the night of Ice Jam, the 10 students filed out onto the court. The car like the BC patrol car arrived through the Zamboni entrance. From a set of 10 keys each student chose a key. They were told only 1 key would start the car and they would have to go one at a time and try there key on the ignition. If the car turned on they would win the car. The crowd watched as key after key failed to start the car. Finally it started and there was a resounding yesssss from the student with the winning key. After that the crowd dispersed and the unforgettable night came to a close. BC plans to make Ice Jam an annual event. I can't wait to see what they come up with for next years event. As always feel free to contact me. I am a sophomore in the college of arts in sciences. My email address is rossmama@bc.edu.

Thanks, Matt

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shaw Meets with Father Leahy

This past week, the Shaw Leadership Program Freshman got to meet with Father Leahy, the University's President. He spoke with us about leadership and the skills one needs to become a leader. His words were quite insightful and it was a great experience to meet and talk to our University's President. The Shaw Leadership Program fosters these types of learning seminars every week and through the program, I have only had great experiences. The influential leaders that have graced our presence have made significant impacts on how I interact with people during the day. Yet, it has also taught me to be patient and listen more. More to come from Shaw soon!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Stokes

Hello Everyone

As everyone has probably noticed by now construction on main campus is underway. Between the remodeling of Gasson hall, and the building of Stokes hall (RIP Dustbowl) the noises of construction are starting to become a norm while walking through main campus. Although this may seem bad in the immediate view I believe that this is a great opportunity for Boston College and the students. If these buildings are built in the time frame the school has said, they will be done by the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. As a freshman this is very appealing because this means that by the start of my junior year there will be two new halls on campus which will greatly increase the aesthetic appeal of the campus. Through this endeavor Boston College will become a even better university than it already is and will hopefully attract more perspective students to the college. To prospective students this construction should not be viewed as a determent to Boston College but a encouraging factor; moreover, those who will be freshmen next year will only have to deal with it for one year. The construction on the Boston College campus shows that BC is looking at the best interests of the students and trying to ensure that we can get the best education possible. On top of this it is showing that BC is trying to uphold its reputation as a top university in the country by expanding its grounds and attracting bright students around the world. Although the construction is going to be annoying at times, the benefits of this project will last a lifetime and let Boston College excel to new heights.

-MVM

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Plex

Hello Everyone

As bad as this sounds, today was my first visit to the plex since we got a tour of the place at orientation. The day started off bright and early with a run from Newton to the plex, which may I say is a brutal run when it is 20 something degrees outside. When we finally got to the plex, I have to say I was impressed. From what I have always heard, the plex isn’t that great of a facility. People always say how crowded, hot, and rundown the place is; however, with the exception of a few other people crazy enough to get up at 7 oclock, it was relatively empty and all of the machines were open whenever I needed one. On top of this I never realized how big the plex actually is; between the fitness equipment, basketball courts, tennis courts, and pool there are plenty of places to work out and stay in shape. Staying in shape is a big part of having a healthy experience and a great way to keep away the dreaded freshmen 15 (or 20). So next time your debating on were you would go to work out, (which usually doesn’t happen unless you live on Newton) try out the plex.

-MVM

Love It!

Hello readers of this here blog. As I am writing this, I'm sitting in the Chocolate Bar, the on-campus coffee bar, sipping a hot chocolate. I don't drink coffee because it's gross, but I swear this place makes the best hot chocolate so it doesn't really matter. I make the hot chocolate even better by swirling in my own added mixture of cinnamon. I used to also add a bit of nutmeg, but they took it away this year for unknown reasons. Don't worry, I'm working on getting it back. Despite the absence of nutmeg, this drink is just the thing I need after my twenty minute walk outside in this nippy fall weather.

I've made getting a hot chocolate from the Chocolate Bar on Thursday mornings my own little ritual. My first class of the day is at noon on Upper Campus, not far from here, but fairly distant from just about everywhere else. Anyway, not only do I sip on my hot chocolate, but the school newspaper The Heights comes out on Thursdays and I always complete (or at least try and fail to complete) the crossword.

This ritual is really one of my favorites. It marks the beginning of the end of the week and the coming of the weekend. I reflect on what's happened such as my class discussions on abortion and Buddhism in Japan and lectures on Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophy of imagination and look forward to the coming events of my weekend from trivia in Lower dining hall tonight to the University Chorale concert tomorrow and on and through my trip into the city on Saturday finally landing on my favorite mass at 10:15 on Sunday night to start the week off right. This is what I love about Boston College.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Portico

Hello Everybody

Portico with professor Cioni is perhaps one of the best classes I am taking this semester in the CSOM school. Although it is a required class for all CSOM freshmen, the course load is slim and the class is invigorating. As an intro to business/ business ethics course, the name doesn’t sound that appealing; however, the professors do an excellent job at making the student questioning their own judgment and ideology in business. Now I am not going to lie, the summer work that was due in the first week of august did put an obstacle in my summer plans of sitting around and being lazy; however, do not let the fear of summer work deter you from taking this otherwise enjoyable class. Another element of this class that I find very productive are the Monday night evening sessions. On most Monday nights the portico committee will either bring in a guest speaker from various companies in the US, or have someone from the CSOM community speak on the various topics we are learning that week. These evening sessions do a great job at taking the hypothetical ideas we learn in class and relate them to the real business world. Overall Portico is perhaps my favorite class due to its fair workload, invigorating discussions, and real world application. So if any incoming freshmen are debating on whether or not to go in to CSOM, I would say do it for this class alone.

-MVM

Hello all. It has been an exciting couple of weeks since my last post. Football beat Clemson, and hockey won its first 2 home games vs Merrimack and last night vs Umass Lowell. I can't wait for Friday's University of New Hampshire match up. Its also been fairly busy academically as well as I had midterms last week though it was nothing overbearing.

Anyways, I would like to talk a little about a club I am in called Appalachia. We meet most Sundays throughout the semester and learn about the Appalachia region in the United States. During Spring break we will take a service trip to various Appalachia regions to help impoverished people. This is a great service opportunity because unlike most service opportunities at BC you don't have to apply to be involved you simply come to the meetings and follow the instructions of the trip leaders. There are a lot of students involved (around a few hundred at least) and there is something like 32 different sites that we could potentially go to in the spring. I can't wait.

Again if you want to contact me my bc email is Rossmama@bc.edu. I am a sophomore in the college of arts and sciences. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks Matt

A love of Newton that pays


Hey,

Hope everyone out there is doing well! I just got back from a great shift at work and it inspired me to share a little about my experience working at BC and the special spot Newton has in my heart - I swear the two are related.

The summer before my freshman year, I received the news: I was going to spend my first year of college living in a quad in Hardey on Newton Campus. WHAT? Not exactly the double on upper I was hoping for. However, as cliche as it may sound, I immediately fell in love with Newton during the first days. Largely, I can attribute my love of Newton to the great friends I instantly made. I consider myself so lucky to be able to look at my pictures from my first weekend of freshman year and find most of those same people living in my 8 man suite in Walsh today. For me, Newton was the ideal place to foster such friendships. It was away from the hustle-bustle of main campus and never a difficult place to spot a familiar face.

Soon after school started, I began to look for a job with my friends Kathryn and Kristen. With the recent economic downturn, it was even difficult to find a position to fill a work-study. We ended up at our last resort - Newton Campus' very own Stuart Dining Hall. What was there to look forward to about wearing a uniform and serving food your peers - right? Wrong!

Work has always been a part of my life, and it soon became a very surprisingly enjoyable part of my student life at BC. When I even went in to apply for a job, I felt very warmly welcomed by my soon to be boss, Mark. To this day, I do not think I can say I have met a nicer, more admirable person in my life. In addition, Mark is always super understanding that we are all students and sometimes cannot make shifts because of papers or midterms. At Stuart, where I soon found out that a ton of students work, my friendships with Kathryn, Kristen, and others strengthened and I quickly formed positive working relations with my bosses and chefs. I found an escape from typical student life as I interacted with a variety of very interesting people. One day, I even had an entire conversation in French with one of my favorite chefs from Morocco.

At the end of last year, I applied and was accepted to the position of Student Manager at Stuart. Every year, there are about 7 student managers who are responsible for running the dinner, late night, and weekend shifts. In short, we make sure that everything stays clean, breaks are taken at the right times, everything is stocked, everyone works an equal amount, and all necessary tasks are completed. Already, I have learned so many skills in management that I know will help me in all aspects of my life. And by the time I graduate at twenty-one years old, I will have about three years of a management position under my belt. Although I am not in the Carroll School of Management, I know that management skills are an invaluable asset for all careers.

Ok, so now for the sappy, sentimental stuff. I will never forget the wave of emotions that overcame me I first took the bus back to Newton this year for work and looked in the window of my beloved Hardey. Living on Lower Campus has been a big adjustment for me this year, and I nearly teared when I saw the lawns, the lounges, and the trees of Newton and was flooded with the memories I associate with them.

Now, twice a week, I journey back to Newton for work at Stuart. More than ever, I look to this as my paid escape from busy student life on main campus. My boss always asks how my week is going, I get to catch up with my work friends, eat a DELICIOUS Stuart meal for free, and feel a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the night. I could not be happier that I lived my freshman year on Newton and that the only job I could get was at Stuart. Though I live on main campus now, I know that Newton and Stuart will be defining parts of my college experience throughout my four years.

Later,
Alexandra