Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cheray Science Hall


Cheray Science Hall is by far my favorite academic building on campus. As a science major, it's where everything I need is located! The first thing you see when you walk in the doors to Cheray is a cafe (appropriately named Cheray Cafe!) where it's easy to grab a quick cup of coffee or snack before class. I know for me that coffee was such a life saver before morning classes!

Near the entrance of Cheray, with Cheray cafe
through those windows!

Cheray has 3 floors, and each is home to the labs and professor's offices for a different area of science. The first floor is for Physics, the second floor is Chemistry, and the third is Biology. As a Biology major and Chemistry minor, I've had all my labs here in Cheray! The labs themselves are big and have up-to-date equipment that is so cool to get hands on experience using. The lab sections are also limited in size, so even if you have a larger lecture class you will only have a maximum of around 20 students in your lab. This makes lab a really great time to ask for help and make personal connections with professors - no classes at St. Mike's are taught by TA's, so your lab will always be taught by a faculty member.

The General Biology lab

The smallest classroom
Cheray also has a few classrooms, including both the largest and smallest classrooms on campus. The largest is Cheray 101, which seats around 100 people. I had my first class ever at St. Mike's in Cheray 101 (General Chemistry), and even though it was the largest class size I've had with about 70 students, I still felt really engaged in the class because our professor (Professor Findley) learned my name and encouraged participation during class, and like for every science class we broke into a smaller lab section. Since Cheray 101 is the largest lecture space, it is also where many talks on campus are held. I never had a class in the smallest classroom, and it's definitely a contrast to Cheray 101!

Cheray 101

There are also some more traditional classrooms located on the second floor in Cheray, where I've met for pre-lab lecture many times and had a Statistics class. The classrooms in Cheray aren't just for sciences, and some of my friends have had various liberal studies classes taught in these classrooms.

Another one of my favorite things about Cheray is all the non-academic events that take place in it. There is a movie every Thursday night played in Cheray 101 as part of the St. Mike's film series. A different faculty member will choose a movie and give a short talk before it (not to mention there is free popcorn!). Our Student Association, Saint Mike's student government, also has their weekly meetings in Cheray 101. The SA is a really great club to get involved in if you're interested in representing your class and having a voice in what happens on campus, and anyone can go to the meetings.

Since we are nearing the end of the semester, there have been many honor society inductions occurring and the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors society induction was today! I was inducted into TriBeta last year, and was the Public Relations officer this year. The induction was held in Cheray 111 (the second largest lecture hall on campus), and was attended by lots of students, their families, and Biology faculty.

Newly elected and outgoing Tri Beta officers

Induction of new members!

Now you know all about Cheray Science Hall! Be sure to visit it when you come to campus!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Break Update!

Hi all! It's been a busy few weeks, so I was pretty excited to have an entire week of no classes for Spring Break. My break was last week, and although I didn't go anywhere warm, I still did a few pretty fun things over break (and even though it's technically Spring, it was still 10 degrees this morning…).

Some delicious sangria my
sister and I had at dinner!
To start my break off, I spend the weekend with my mom and two sisters in Saratoga Springs, NY. We saw The Book of Mormon at Proctors theater in Schenectady, NY and ate A LOT of really good food. My older sister recently moved to Saratoga so it was fun to go to some of her recommendations in the area. We also did a little shopping… After having some really delicious olive oil at a local restaurant, my mom and I stopped by Saratoga Olive Oil to buy some (they also have a location on Church Street in Burlington!).

I also found a dress I really like to wear at Baccalaureate mass and graduation! It's weird to think how quickly graduation is approaching - we just got an email today that our graduation speaker is going to be Dr. Sylvia Earle. After reading about her on the Saint Mike's website, I am so excited to hear Dr. Earle speak!

Graduation dress

I spent most of the rest of the week chilling out at home, spending time with my mom and dad and trying to catch up on some homework. On Thursday, I took a trip to visit my best friend from home because her Spring Break was the week before mine. It is always so much fun to spend time with her! Our other best friend from home came on Friday, and we saw Divergent in theaters. I really like the trilogy of books and the movie lived up to my (very high) expectations, especially Shailene Woodley's acting! I can't wait to see her in The Fault in our Stars movie, especially after seeing her in Divergent.

I also got to take a trip to Lake Placid on Saturday with my mom to see one of my cousins play hockey close by. Lake Placid is about an hour from my hometown, and I always love visiting there when I can! Saratoga Olive Oil actually just opened their newest location in Lake Placid, so I snuck in to buy my mom some stoppers for her olive oil. I met some really nice people in the store, and we bonded over what a great place Burlington is! Then on Sunday I drove back to Saint Mike's, and arrived just in time to make it to rehearsal at 5:30 with the Liturgical Choir for the 7 PM mass!

Overall, I'm feeling pretty refreshed after break, and ready to tackle the rest of this semester. It's crazy to think that I only have around 6 weeks left of being a Saint Mike's student - where does the time go?!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Liturgical Choir Trip 2014!

A few weekends ago I went to Albany, NY with the Saint Michael's Liturgical Ensemble and Singers. The Saint Mike's Lit choir goes on a trip annually to play at masses at Catholic schools and parishes. I play the violin in the Lit Choir and went on the trip to Maine when I was a Sophomore. I was so excited to be able to go on the trip again this year!

We left on Thursday from Saint Mike's, and played at two Catholic schools, Catholic Central and Christian Brothers Academy, on Friday. It was the last day of Catholic schools week, and many students came up to us after mass to say how much they enjoyed the music. Alex and I helped Mike Stefanowicz, an Admission Counselor and alum of Catholic Central, at the Admissions table at the high schools and it was great to meet some students interested in Saint Mike's, and congratulate some seniors who had actually been accepted already! On Saturday, we had a more relaxing day and only played at one 4 PM mass at Mater Christi parish. My mom, aunt, and grandmother drove from my hometown in Upstate NY to come to this mass, and the 9 AM mass we played at Christ the Light Church! We also played at the 11 AM mass at Christ the Light, and then headed back to Saint Mike's after a great lunch at the church.

We had a busy weekend, but it was so much fun! In between playing at masses, we went to the Crossgates mall in Albany, ate at some really great restaurants, and got to hang out as a group. All the people in the Lit Choir are really nice, and I always enjoy getting to spend time with them. I was most excited that my friend Adrianna (aka Audrey as I called her this weekend, or Adrian if you're Father Brian) was able to come on the trip! She graduated from Saint Mike's last year, and also plays the violin. It was so great to see her!

Adrianna, Alex, me, and Kelly!

Laura, me, and Adrianna at CBA

Father Brian and Mike were taking great pictures all week, so I compiled them into a slide show. The music is Walk in the Reign performed by the Liturgical Choir when we went to Maine. It is one of my favorite songs, and I hope you enjoy it! Check out the awesome blog Alex wrote about our trip after you watch it!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Roommate Q&A with Alex!

My best friend Alex and I wanted to do something a little different on our blogs, so we decided to answer some questions about being roommates! Alex and I have lived together for 3 years, and I've absolutely loved having her as a roommate. We talk about everything from general tips for being a good roommate, to what it's like to share a bathroom, to our favorite Saint Mike's "pets". I hope you enjoy this video, and make sure to go watch the other half over on Alex's blog!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

End of Semester Favorites

It's officially finals week at St. Mike's. Since I am taking pharmacy classes at Albany College of Pharmacy's VT campus this year, my finals week is actually next week. All my roommates and friends have their finals week this week, so I've been studying alongside them to prepare for my upcoming 6 (ahh!) finals.

As the semester comes to an end, I've been looking back on how this semester has gone. The transition to pharmacy school has definitely been difficult at times, but overall hasn't been too bad and I am happy to almost have one semester behind me. I've also been thinking about things at St. Mike's that I've been grateful for lately during this transition. Here's a few of them:

1. Great friends
My friends have been really great this semester at understanding I've had tough work load. They've been there to have fun with and also understand when I don't have time to hang out as much as in the past. I love them!

Some of my friends and me on the first day of class this semester!

2. Alliot meals
Even though finals week is one of the most stressful parts of the semester, everyone needs to take breaks from studying and my friends and I have been getting dinner in Alliot (our main dining hall on campus) almost every night this week. It is a great way for us to all catch up during this especially crazy time of the semester. As a senior living in a townhouse, I am on the reduced meal plan and get 40 swipes into Alliot per semester, to get as much food as I want per swipe. I especially appreciate this right now because I don't have to worry about cooking, which I'm not that great at and takes up time I could be studying.
 Dinner in Alliot this week

3. Christmas!
Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday. I love the joy that accompanies it, spending time with my family, and all the decorations. It all makes me so happy! I am looking forward to being done with my finals and heading home to celebrate the holidays, but until then there is a whole lot of Christmas cheer here on campus. My roommates and I have decorated our house for Christmas, my friend Megan and I helped out with members of the Founders Society at the annual Children's Christmas party thrown by the Alumni Association, and (my most favorite of all) the lights were put on the two giant trees on campus outside of the library!

Also, my mom sent me this AMAZING advent calendar of nail polish. I have a nail polish obsession, and getting to open a door and get a new nail polish is pretty much the highlight of my day!

4. St. Mike's squirrel population
It's no secret that I love the St. Mike's squirrels. I took some pictures of them this semester and never shared them, so here you go!

I hope you have a great holiday season! Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about St. Mike's!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving at SMC

Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite St. Mike's traditions. Alliot is decorated, the food is great, and everyone on campus goes. There is always the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes, and also multiple vegetarian options. I had the mushroom ravioli (which was delicious) and there was also an entree with seitan. 

Mushroom ravioli!
 (this is actually Alex's because I ate mine and forgot to take a picture…) 

As a senior, this was my very last Alliot Thanksgiving. It made me realize how fast this semester has gone by, and how thankful I am for the time I've had at Saint Michael's so far. It made me especially thankful for my friends at St. Mike's - I've had the same group of best friends since my first year, and I don't know what I would do without them! They're truly like my family at SMC. One of the reasons why I chose to attend St. Mike's was because all the students I talked to said how important the community on campus was. In making my college decision, I really wanted to go somewhere where I could feel at home while I was at school, and  St. Mike's has provided me with this over the past 3 years. I especially have my awesome friends, as a special part of my St. Mike's experience, to thank for always being there for me! 

My friend Megan!

Kate, Alex, and me! 

I had a great Thanksgiving and break with my family too! We had lots of food and it is always fun to see my cousins. I also went Black Friday shopping with my mom and sisters (which is always an experience) and decorated our house for Christmas. Now we just have a few more weeks and the semester is over (I can't believe it!). 

As always, contact me if you have any questions! 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tour of the Quad Commons Student Center!

A new edition to the St. Mike's campus this year is our brand new student center! It has been open all this year, but earlier in the month the entire building was officially opened and dedicated. The official name, the Dion Family Student Center, was revealed! My friends Alex, Megan, and Sarah decided to hang out in the building after brunch, and I took some pictures so you can see how awesome it looks!

The student center is located in the Quad, right near the residential halls where all the first year students and some upperclassmen live. The dorm buildings in the Quad are all connected to the student center by enclosed walkways (it is already getting cold here in Vermont, and this will be especially nice once it starts snowing!). The first thing you see when you walk in to the student center is Einstein's Bagels and the grill, two great food options that are both delicious. Especially the pizza bagels and lemonade from Einstein's - yum! There are many comfortable chairs on each of the three floors for hanging out with friends or doing work. Other things that are a part of the student center include an interfaith meditation room, a student fitness center, our student government offices, and our radio station.

Seating on the 2nd floor

One of my favorite things about the building is all the outdoor space, with balconies on the upper floors and some seating outside. The view of campus and the mountains are really beautiful, from the third floor especially! I am so excited that I get to enjoy this new building as a student for one year before I graduate from Saint Mike's. It is a great place for all the students on campus, and especially everyone living in the Quad area to hang out!

I hope that many of you prospective students will be able to come visit campus and check out the new student center for yourselves at our upcoming academic preview day on November 9th! You can register online, and hope to see you there! As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you have about SMC.

Have a great week!