Monday, October 31, 2011

Winter Is Upon Us!

So here I am, sitting in my dorm room on Halloween night after some homework done and a long day of classes. However, today my mom, who is a school nurse, and sister Devon, who is an art teacher, were back home in cozy Worcester, Massachusetts enjoying the first snow day of the year. Wait, WHAT!? It's only October! I couldn't believe it when my mom told me that many parts of Massachusetts had received almost a foot of snow yesterday. On top of it all, much of the state's population has been without power for over 24 hours. Again, it's only October. I was very disappointed that up here in Vermont, where there is supposed to be tons of snow, got nothing more than a dusting Saturday night that had melted by Sunday morning. Bummer!

The winter season is one of the big reasons I chose to come to school here at St. Mike's. Let's put it this way, I love snow. As I have mentioned many times before, I am an avid snowboarder. Everything about it is amazing to me. being here in Vermont, the winters are pretty brutal at times, but they produce massive amounts of snow.

UPDATE: My mom just called, and yet another snow day for her tomorrow. UGH!!

Anyways, if you are a skier or snowboarder, you would love going to school up here. Some of the best mountains on the east coast are a short drive away. My favorites are Jay Peak and Smugglers' Notch. Both mountains offer some incredible terrain, and the best glades you can find out east. I'm not much of a park guy, so most of my time is spent in the glades where I can find some fresh powder. Nothing like the feeling of getting first tracks on a foot or two of new snow. It's like you're floating!

St. Michael's has a deal with Smugglers' Notch that allows students to purchase a season pass for $30. That's right, $30. I can guarantee you will never find a better deal. Even if you don't buy the pass and decide to go skiing once you will end up paying more than you would with buying a season pass. So, buy the pass! I don't have any classes on Thursdays this semester, so hopefully once we get some snow up here I'll be able to get some early season turns in. Fingers crossed!

 I'm still looking forward to our first major snow storm. I'm predicting a nice 2 footer...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Interested In Physical Therapy?

As I have mentioned before, I am interested in going to graduate school for physical therapy once I graduate from St. Mike's. I have always been extremely into the anatomy of the body, and how we can develop ourselves into greater physical shape. I also had to go to physical therapy throughout high school after suffering some serious muscle injuries from lacrosse. I really enjoyed learning about what the professional physical therapist does on a day-to-day basis. I guess it doesn't help that my dad is also a physical therapist! I have always loved learning from his experiences in the field as well. Knowing how to stretch, strengthen, rebuild, and perform movements to the body is very important to me. As an avid CrossFit athlete, I need to know how the body works and what I can do to avoid injury, or how to rehabilitate an injury. I also love being able to help people around me with their aches and pains. Although I am not a physical therapist yet, I have done a lot of research on the body. My friends usually come to me for help with an injury, a certain type of stretch, or workout routine. I truly enjoy this type of work.

The University of Vermont holds three spots open in their physical therapy program for students coming from St. Mike's. This is an agreement the two schools have had for some time now. It does not guarantee that three students will make the program necessarily. The three students must complete some prerequisites here at St. Mike's before they can enter the program. Here is a link to the document which lists all the prerequisites: http://www.smcvt.edu/images/userimages/sgabriele/4533/PThandout.pdf
And here is a link to the University of Vermont's Physical Therapy page: http://www.uvm.edu/academics/programs/physical_therapy/

I am very interested in attending UVM for grad school, but have not made a definite decision yet. There are many other schools that I am considering as well. I may even want to go to school out west to enjoy some awesome skiing, but I am not sure yet. I hope it all works out for the best though. I am excited to see where the next couple of years bring me in terms of a career.

Semester Update!

Well, we are officially more than half way through the first semester of school. Time truly does fly by. Staying busy with school work makes your days go by without even noticing. But, I'm loving it! Classes are going pretty well so far. Although I don't have the greatest grade in Organic Chemistry, I am still putting in as much effort as I can. I am being consistent with getting homework done, and preparing as much as I can for quizzes and tests. However, I can not wait until next semester because it will mark the end of chemistry classes for the rest of my life! Sweetness! Anatomy is going excellent. Although it is probably my most difficult class besides chemistry, I am getting great grades and feel as though it is truly preparing me for physical therapy grad school. There is no better feeling than learning something in the classroom, and then being able to discuss and relate it to your every day life. That is what this class is doing for me. Spanish is going very well. I was nervous about taking it at first because I didn't remember anything from taking it in high school. Luckily it came back to me quick, and I am doing very well. Statistics is going pretty well also. Math has never been my strong suit, but I am putting the time into my homework so that I do well on my quizzes and exams.

Even though I am not playing lacrosse this year, I am happy with my decision. My stress level has been much more manageable, because I have a lot more time to get all my work done throughout the week. Lacrosse is in-season during the spring semester, which is when you have much more lacrosse, and much less time for homework. So I know I'll be thanking myself again next semester. I also have a lot more time to experience things that I didn't get to do last year. Whether that is something on campus or off campus, it is fun to be able to do something for yourself every once in a while. I also joined the Founders Society, which is a organization on campus that brings bloggers, tour guides, campus media, and advertisement for St. Mike's together in one room. We go over better ways to serve the students on campus, as well as in-coming freshman and perspective students. It is really interesting to see how hard St. Mike's works for all of us here! I also joined a CrossFit gym in South Burlington, which has truly made an impact on my college experience. I will explain exactly what CrossFit is, and why I am so obsessed with it in a near-future post. Stay tuned, it may change your life like it did mine.

Birthday Weekend



A couple of weekends ago, I celebrated my twentieth birthday with a bunch of my friends here at St. Mike's. Whenever someone in our group of friends has a birthday, the closest weekend to that day is considered "birthday Weekend". Basically, a two or three day long celebration of whoever's birthday it may be. It's always a great time, and a good excuse to relieve the stress of school work for a little bit!

For my birthday, my and my friends went down to Burlington and had dinner at Panera. Panera is relatively new to Church street, and it seems to be a huge favorite among all the college students here in the Burlington area. Personally, I think it takes away from the local businesses around the area, but that's just my opinion. After dinner, we walked around and eventually made it to Ben and Jerry's for some awesome ice cream. Once we made it back to campus, we all hung out and had a little party in my room for a bit before returning to Main campus for a couple hours. All in all it was an awesome time, and its always great getting together with all your friends on the same night for once.

Going to school in an area surrounded by so many different things to do or go was something I always wanted as a part of my college experience. Here at St. Mike's, there are a TON of fun and exciting things to do on the weekends, or even breaks. Montreal is a mere two hour drive from campus. I haven't made it up there yet, but I have heard its amazing. In the winter, you have some awesome mountains to ski on. Jay Peak, Stowe, and Smuggler's Notch are all about a 40 minute drive. Plus, a $30 season pass to Smuggs is never a bad thing! Burlington offers a ton of restaurants, shops, entertainment, and gorgeous views down on Lake Champlain. So, if you need to simply get off campus for a day or a weekend, there are more than plenty of options to do so. Get as many experiences as you can!