Saratoga Young Professionals Network

March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Saratoga Young Professionals Network cordially invites you to attend the event, “The Ins and Outs of Networking and How to Put the Right People in Your Corner.”, Tuesday April 1st from 5:00 to 7:30 PM at the Tang Museum. Refreshments will be served, sponsored by The Adirondack Trust Company.

For more information call 518-580-5790, to register go to your MyCDC account.

Today’s Wired Student

March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

I discussed five questions about today’s wired students with a couple of close friends. Unfortunately, I could not get any of them interested enough to get into an active discussion, but I did get some interesting thoughts that helped spur me into further analysis of the questions.   From your perspective, how are students today […]
Avatar of Sophie

by Sophie

Springtime in Paris

March 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

IMG_5447

Warm weather means touristy adventures in this beautiful city!

Bonjour!

Springtime in Paris has a magical connotation to it: cherry blossoms blooming against rows of Haussmann apartments, afternoon strolls through the perfectly manicured Jardin des Tuileries, balmy bike rides along the Seine. All of these images fed my desire to study abroad here, especially when I compared them to the ever-lastingly dreary weather (I mean, winter wonderland…) of Saratoga this time of year. But I was informed early on that these romantic visions would go unrealized until early April, when Paris typically begins to bloom into something that more closely resembles a fairytale than a mere season. I packed accordingly, and the indistinguishable mass of noir that inhabited my suitcase served me well right up until two weekends ago.

Overnight, the Paris of oversized-scarves and layers that I’d come to know and love transformed into a leafy, green, temperate, practically unrecognizable city. Green buds peeked out from balcony gardens, trees made themselves known above the rues and boulevards, and the sun warmed the smiles on all of our disbelieving faces. Waking up to springtime in Paris is exactly as I would’ve pictured: each morning, I “take a coffee” (as my host brother says) on our balcony, looking out over a view of our apartment parking lot (and some slightly more appealing Parisian rooftops). The first few days of this seventy degree weather have left their mark on me in the form of freckles and a mild sunburn, which my vitamin-D deprived skin eagerly welcomed.

But it hasn’t all been sunshine and daisies—accompanying the sunshine was smog, which settled in a thick haze over the city. While pollution levels have long been on the rise in Paris, this choking and visible reminder of it prompted the city to offer free public transportation via the metro and Velib bikes for a full week in March. After a rainstorm finally broke the heat wave last week, we can all breathe a bit easier now.

With newly rosy skin and happy eyes, I’ve spent these lovely days wandering through parks and gardens and indulging in innumerable picnics and outdoor cafe-sessions. I’ve mostly found myself jogging (…or eating ice cream) in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont—which is just down the street from my apartment—or ambling along the Canal Saint Martin with a baguette, bottle of rosé, and good company. Wherever I am, I am pinching myself, because it is Springtime in Paris and life is pretty sweet. 

My balcony view (pas mal)!

My balcony view (pas mal)!

The loveliest way to wake up in the mornings :)

The loveliest way to wake up in the mornings :)

Saturday morning picnic along the Canal, ft. the most delicious organic take-away brunch from Tuck Shop!

Saturday morning picnic along the Canal, ft. the most delicious organic take-away brunch from Tuck Shop!

Sunny days, picnics, and yummy take-away brunches make me the happiest girl :)

Sunny days, picnics, and yummy take-away brunches make me the happiest girl :)

Silly sunshiney-selfies with Samantha and Sophie

Silly sunshiney-selfies with Samantha and Sophie

Exploring along the canal

Exploring along the canal

People watching in the Tuileries

People watching in the Tuileries

Afternoon stroll through the Tuileries

Afternoon stroll through the Tuileries

Loving the sunshine and exploring with new friends

Loving the sunshine and exploring with new friends

Sunny daze & touristy smiles in front of the tower!

Sunny daze & touristy smiles in front of the tower!

Place des Vosges in the sunshine!

Place des Vosges in the sunshine!

Afternoon coffee break in Place des Vosges

Afternoon coffee break in Place des Vosges

Cherry blossoms and blue skies by L'Hôtel de Ville

Cherry blossoms and blue skies by L’Hôtel de Ville

No Friday classes means afternoon coffee (or wine) in St. Paul

No Friday classes means afternoon coffee (or wine) in St. Paul

"Taking a coffee" outside in the Marais

“Taking a coffee” outside in the Marais

Beautiful garden & gallery tucked away on a side street in Le Marais

Beautiful garden & gallery tucked away on a side street in Le Marais

Playing in the garden

Playing in the garden

Beautiful blooms in a secret garden

Paris, or the tropics??

Visiting the Espace des Femmes feminist art gallery

Visiting the Espace des Femmes feminist art gallery

View from atop the Galleries Lafayette! This was at the height of the pollution (see how the Eiffel Tower is so hazy)?

View from atop the Galleries Lafayette! This was at the height of the pollution (see how the Eiffel Tower is so hazy)?

Sunday morning brunch on Kate's terrace

Sunday morning brunch on Kate’s terrace

Sunday morning brunch view from Kate's apartment

Sunday morning brunch view from Kate’s apartment

Homework isn't so bad when you can people watch with some white wine!

Homework isn’t so bad when you can people watch with some white wine!

The lovely Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The lovely Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The crowd of people that come to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont to enjoy the great view and even better weather

The crowd of people that come to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont to enjoy the great view and even better weather

Picnic in the park with my darlings, Sam and Kate!

Picnic in the park with my darlings, Sam and Kate!

Leisurely soaking up the sun

Leisurely soaking up the sun

Cherry blossoms coloring the park

Cherry blossoms coloring the park

Shade-seekers

Shade-seekers

The "buttes" (hill) of Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The “buttes” (hill) of Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Man-made waterfall in the park (am I still in Paris...?)

Man-made waterfall in the park (am I still in Paris…?)

Enjoying the sunshine under willow trees in the park

Enjoying the sunshine under willow trees in the park

Nature walks through the park

Nature walks through the park

Picnic-ready!

Picnic-ready!

Beautiful views from the top of the hill in the park

Beautiful views from the top of the hill in the park

More views from the park

More views from the park

Kate and Emily in front of the famous Temple de la Sibylle in the park

Kate and Emily in front of the famous Temple de la Sibylle in the park

More nature walks

More nature walks

Romantic views in the park

Romantic views in the park

View of Paris at dusk from the temple in the park

View of Paris at dusk from the temple

In a word (bubble): Skidmore in Spain

March 27, 2014 in Homestay, Language, Off-Campus Programs, Skidmore in Spain, Spain

The Resident Director for our Skidmore in Spain program is coming to visit next week and I’ve been going through past evaluations to try and learn as much as I can about this program. I’m a visual learner and so after reading three years’ worth of quotes from students I decided to cut and paste the whole thing into a word bubble generator. I think this image says a lot about the program:

spain bubble three

The part that really stood out for me was the sense of community these students all seemed to have – with their host family, the staff, the other students on the program, and the people they interned and volunteered with.

Here are just a few quotes on the homestay experience:

“The home stay rocked my world. I loved the language immersion part of the program. I will always recommend to people to study abroad with a home stay because this is how my language improved leaps and bounds. Also, it was so nice to have such a caring host mother. She made me transition and my entire experience so comfortable and enjoyable.”

“The housing was wonderful and I loved having meals at home and having the stipend for meals in the city. I loved this part of the program! I loved my host mother and we had an awesome relationship. We would watch movies together, go grocery shopping together, eat meals together, etc. She was so helpful for learning the language and getting to know the city.”

 
“The home stay was the best part of my experience. This program truly immersed us in the Spanish language and culture, and my host family was the highlight of this immersion.”

 
“We were very well taken care of in Spain. My host mother was amazing and really enhanced my experience. The program center was a great place in a great location. The staff there were very friendly and helpful with whatever I needed in Spain. The program was very centered in Spanish immersion and creating a community within our program.”

“The best aspect, BY FAR, was the host family. When I look back on my experience, I think of my host family, how wonderful they were to me, how kind and generous and loving, how they treated me like family, and of course how much Spanish I learned living with them.”

Want to learn more? We’ll be hosting a Meet & Greet with Susan Sánchez Casal on April 2nd from 4-5pm in Starbuck 202!

And with spring comes rabbits and cats…and some other things I failed to post earlier

March 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

As I was returning to my apartment after looking at all the flowers, I noticed a girl outside a building with a white something in the grass.  As I got closer, I saw that it was a rabbit!  I was so excited to see a rabbit and I stopped to look at it.  The girl noticed that I was standing there looking at the rabbit and we started talking.  Granted, she did not speak English and my Chinese is nowhere near where it perhaps could be, but I managed to ask if it was hers.  She said no, that it was her little sister's, who then came out of the building.  I asked the little sister if the rabbit had a name and she said no. I then asked if she liked rabbits and she said, "Of course!"  I got to pet the rabbit and feed it grass and then the little girl picked it up and handed me the rabbit.  It was so soft, but a little dirty.  Nonetheless, I took pictures, said thank you, and then nearly skipped all the way to my apartment from having such a wonderful day of being outside in the sunshine and getting to play with a rabbit.  
As I have mentioned in other posts, there are lots of stray cats and dogs that run around the city.  There are a few cats that hang out mostly around the apartments and I see them almost everyday.  But they are all literally scaredy cats.  They will not let you any closer than four feet near them before they bolt off.  One of them is kind of mean and will hiss if you walk by too close, but the others will just run away.  Once in a while I leave some dried shrimp out for them and I see them ate it after I go into the building.  These are just some of the pictures I have taken of them.
The head of the English Language department wanted us American teachers to get to know the Chinese English teachers better, which all of us agreed was a good idea, so Jason and I set up a salon style get-together.

We did a couple ice breakers, which were ok, but I think it confused the Chinese teachers and there was a lack of motivation from some of the American teachers to help.  After that we discussed how to improve pronunciation in the classroom and how to help students correct some of the mistakes that they have learned already though so many years of being taught improper grammar and pronunciation.  Overall, it was a fun event and the next one is scheduled to focus around literature.  

After the salon, some of us teachers went for dinner at a mutton soup restaurant down the street from the camps.  Unfortunately, my phone's battery died, so I could not take pictures of the delicious soup and skewers we all ate.  And it was a nice evening, so we all enjoyed being outside and talking with people that all of us had seen and passed in the hallways of the college, but had never stopped to talk to.
Jason's birthday was earlier this month and so Makenzi and I decided to have a small party.  We ordered a cake from one of the bakeries near campus and then we took Jason, Matt, and Mike to go eat a dinner at one of Jason's favourite restaurants downtown.  After dinner, Makenzi and I went back to the bakery to retrieve the cake whilst the guys went to a cafe to get drinks.  We met up with them and surprised Jason with the cake.  The big centerpiece played happy birthday on a loop and did not stop whilst the other candles were trick candles that did not go out.  It was amusing as Jason tried to blow out the candles and to get the centerpiece to stop playing.  The cake was good and I think we all enjoyed an evening of walking around Qufu.

A new course for study abroad students!

March 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

If you’re planning to studying abroad next spring, you should think about enrolling in the new fall course FL 275: “The Study Abroad Experience“. This one credit course is designed for students who intend to study abroad in a non-English speaking country.

For more information on the course, contact Professor Cindy Evans!

 

Spring is here!!!

March 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

Happy Spring!  

After many cold nights with the heaters going full blast and with three blankets, it is wonderful to be able to open the windows and let in some sunshine.  It is still cool in the evenings, but during the daytime, the weather is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  

And since it is springtime, the trees and flowers have begun to bloom.  I have spent many afternoons waling around the campus, taking pictures of the blossoms.  Some of the cherry blossoms have begun to bloom and so have the magnolia trees.  Fun fact, in the movie Mulan, in the scene where Mulan and her father are in the gardens, they are sitting under a tree with pink flowers.  Those flowers are supposed to be magnolia flowers because in Chinese, magnolia is 木兰花, and the pinyin is mùlánhuā.  In the movie, Mulan's family name is Fa, which is the Cantonese pronunciation.  However, the Mandarin pronunciation is Hua, so Mulan's name is Hua Mulan.

These are just some of the pictures of the flowers on campus.
Prunus cerasifern.  Cherry plum trees.
I saw Rowena walking around doing the same as me, so I snapped this picture of her walking through a row of trees. 
There are many of these flowers around campus.  I like the shade of red they are. 
These are the pink magnolia trees and flowers, off of which the flowers in Mulan are based.
See?
White sakura...I think.  Or otherwise they are more plum trees.
I do not know the name of this flower, but there are many all around campus.
Pink sakura
White magnolia
This is my lone houseplant.  It is an African Violet.

 Right now it is the very beginning of the season, so for the next month, many people be enjoying the spring landscape.  I will post more pictures as more flowers bloom.

Skidmore College Career Development Center 2014-03-24 15:14:44

March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daniel Seddiqui, author of 50 Jobs in 50 States

Daniel Seddiqui, author of 50 Jobs in 50 States


Daniel Seddiqui, National Speaker & Author of “50 Jobs in 50 States” Is Coming to Campus!

This inspiring speaker who has appeared in colleges across the country

will be on campus to discuss the importance of working with purpose and finding joy in your work.

Students Will Also Learn the 5 Elements to Successfully Find a Job!

PLUS: Students will learn the importance of not limiting themselves because of academic major, environment, or fear of rejection.

Daniel’s book, “50 Jobs in 50 States”, will be given to the 1st 10 students to arrive.

~ Sponsored by the Career Development Center ~

The Wired Student

March 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

The readings for this module contained a great deal of information on a variety of related topics. Because of the volume of content I’ll answer the questions posed one by one but try to speak generally about the overarching topic … Continue reading
Avatar of Sophie

by Sophie

Spring Break: Interning for PFW

March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Because who could resist playing dress up at a fashion show in Paris?

Because who could resist playing dress up at a fashion show in Paris?

Bonsoir!

For anyone who knew me my Freshman Year of high school, it’s safe to say they never thought I’d end up working in the Fashion Industry. Though I’ve tried to delete most of the photographic evidence, an uncomfortable number of my friends are still in possession of serious blackmail material—I’m talking monochromatic pink outfits (complete with pink sequined high tops and an oversized pink bow), Hot Topic tutus, and a wide variety of unflatteringly colored tights. How I ended up winning “Best Dressed” in High School, I’ll never know.

Safe to say, it took me quite a while to find a style that truly felt like my own, and it’s still constantly evolving as I adjust to fit the city or season or mood that I’m in. My interest in fashion beyond my personal style blossomed my Senior Year of High School: I graduated a semester early and moved to NYC to intern with a  fashion production company called AO Production. I worked with them on the Fall 2012 shows for designers Tibi and Carolina Herrera, with my tasks ranging from calling editors at Vogue to confirm Anna Wintour’s attendance, to bringing food and water to models on the verge of fainting. Even if I was just labeling seating charts for the shows, I felt like an integral part of the team and was absolutely enthralled by the world I’d been immersed into.

When New York Fashion Week was over and the company began to prepare for their next big show—Nina Ricci in Paris—I dreamed of what it would be like to go with them (literally, I dreamed about it for months). As cheesy as it sounds, I never expected that those dreams would turn into reality.

And never did I expect that my reality would land me here, in Paris, where the streets themselves function as runways for those sporting Chanel boots and Céline bags. But, as Paris Fashion Week approached this season, I emailed my boss on a spur of the moment decision and inquired about the possibilities of helping out with the Nina Ricci show. I was sure she already had help lined up, but I had to check. In some beautiful twist of fate, she responded that her usual Collection Coordinator was unable to work that season and that my help would definitely be useful. Magically, the dates that she needed me lined up perfectly with my Spring Break, and just like that, I was on board.

Fast forward two weeks and I’m walking up the gilded stairs of the Nina Ricci offices off of Avenue Montaigne, frantically checking that there are no pulls in my sweater or runs in my tights. Ready or not, my first day was a whirlwind of introductions, instructions, ogling the collection, and trying to pretend like I wasn’t ogling the collection. I was prepared to have a “The Devil Wears Prada” experience; I didn’t expect anyone to pay attention to me, least of all to learn my name. I couldn’t have pictured anything further from the truth—the entire Nina Ricci staff was warm and welcoming, generously encouraging me to practice my French with them and to feel like a part of the team. I felt at home immediately, and as the day wore on I began to get the hang of the flow there. Models would be ushered in and out for casting photos, much time would be spent waiting around and gossiping in Franglish with the stylists and designers, and eventually—hallelujah—we’d take a lunch break.

Since the homestay families for the Arts & Business program aren’t expected to provide meals during vacation time (although mine happily offered to), it was a serious bonus that food was taken care of for the week. And when I say taken care of, I mean taken care of. On my first day, the PR team and I hopped across the street from the Ricci offices to Cafe de la Mode, where I was treated to some wonderful people watching and a salad that cost the same as my food budget for the week. Seriously.

But the glory of that lunch break was short lived; as the show was fast approaching, all further meals were catered to the office (not that I’m complaining). It was hard not to laugh as we all crowded into the stairwell or cramped kitchen to refuel, preparing ourselves for yet another ten hours of work. After spending our days dressing and undressing models, you’d be surprised by how quickly we devoured the pizzas.

Though I’d been forewarned that the hours were long, I didn’t fully anticipate sleep deprivation’s capacity to effect me. Working between seventeen and twenty two hours a day for the entire week, it was honestly just my excitement to have an opportunity as incredible as this (and roughly ten cups of coffee) that was keeping me awake. The night (morning) before the show, I got home from work at five a.m. and took a two hour nap before heading back out to get everything set up at the tent in the Tuileries. It was a crazy day, to say the least.

While my Spring Break wasn’t spent exploring new countries or cultures like the rest of the people on my program, I couldn’t have asked for a better adventure. Being around such visionary and artistic minds—not to mention the celebrities and clothes—made for one of the most thrilling weeks of my life, and served as a reminder that the line between dreaming and reality is only what you make it.

Bisous,

Sophie

 

Aaaand let the adventure begin!

Aaaand let the adventure begin! 

 

Sweet treats to welcome me to the office :)

Sweet treats to welcome me to the office :)

All black, always.

Day One!

View from the office window

View from the office window

The perfect spot for a coffee break, right around the corner from the office!

The perfect spot for a coffee break, right around the corner from the office!

Free pizza and red wine? Yes, please!

Free pizza and red wine? Yes, please!

Miranda Kerr!

Miranda Kerr!

silly selfies after Miranda's casting

silly selfies after Miranda’s casting

 

made it onto the Nina Ricci Instagram!

made it onto the Nina Ricci Instagram!

behind the scenes before the show

behind the scenes before the show

getting the models into makeup

getting the models into makeup

hair & makeup team in action!

hair & makeup team in action!

Getting silly with the models backstage

Getting silly with the models backstage

Models rocking their own street style before the show

Models rocking their own street style before the show

the perfect evening clutches--obsessed!

the perfect evening clutches–obsessed!

the cutest bosses a girl could ask for

the cutest bosses a girl could ask for

couldn't stop drooling over the accessories table

couldn’t stop drooling over the accessories table

lights, camera, action! getting the stage set before the show

lights, camera, action! getting the stage set before the show

One of my favorite fashion bloggers, "The Man Repeller," getting a sneak peak of the collection

One of my favorite fashion bloggers, “The Man Repeller,” getting a sneak peak of the collection

Jessica Alba was all smiles during her chat with Ricci's artistic director before the show!

Jessica Alba was all smiles during her chat with Ricci’s artistic director before the show!

Anna Wintour (editor of Vogue US) getting a pre-show walk through of the collection with Ricci's artistic director, Peter Copping.

Anna Wintour (editor of Vogue US) getting a pre-show walk through of the collection with Ricci’s artistic director, Peter Copping.

The famous bob. Seriously star struck with this one.

The famous bob. Seriously star struck with this one.

Jessica Alba looking radiant during an interview

Jessica Alba looking radiant during an interview

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Babes in brocade

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Loved the pop of lilac eyeshadow with these black ensembles

one of my favorite pieces from the show

One of my favorite pieces from the show, it’s as cozy as it looks!

Vogueing backstage

Vogueing backstage

Finale lineup!

Finale lineup!

aaand we're done!

aaand we’re done!

had to snap a shot of my "all access" badge ;)

had to snap a shot of my “all access” badge ;)

reward for a job well done: dinner & dessert at my favorite restaurant, market!

Reward for a job well done: dinner & dessert at my favorite restaurant, market!

the tuileries post sun-showers, not a bad place to have a fashion show!

The tuileries post sun-showers. Not a bad place to have a fashion show!

 

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