Doing Art

As a Skidmore Student, there are a number of requirements that you need to fulfill to graduate.  These range from the qualitative reasoning requirement, to the lab science requirement.  One of the more notorious requirements, at least amongst athletes, is the art requirement.  This is probably because most of us don’t have a shred of art talent, like myself.  Or at least that’s what I thought.  I kept putting my art requirement off until the next semester, and then, next semester was my last semester of college.  So, I am currently enrolled in Visual Concepts, one of the intro level art classes.  I couldn’t take Dance, which is the go to for most athletes, because it wasn’t enough credits, so I took an art class instead.

To be completely honest, I had very low expectations of myself.  I had never even been in the art building.  Like never. Not once.  In four years.  I didn’t even make it to the Tang until the middle of my junior year.  So that should tell you where my mind was regarding art.  I thought for sure I was going to be the worst artist in the class.

But, I guess these things have a way of surprising you, because, I’m not half bad.  In fact, I am right on par with every other student in the class.  And, on top of that, I’m actually enjoying myself.  Who would have thought that art is a ton of fun?  I have a blast going to the art studio.  Just turn on some Stevie Ray Vaughan, get to work, and time flies.  I’m definitely glad I signed up for it.

I guess what I take from this experience is that art classes shouldn’t be so intimidating because they aren’t.  If you’re a prospective athlete, take an art class.  Its more credits than Dance, and you don’t have to wear the tights. Plus, the ratio of girls to guys in the art department is through the roof.

“After ten years in the minors, I don’t try out anymore”

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The Best Week of the Year

I promise I’ll tell y’all about the idiocy of the final semester soon.  But first, we’ve gotta discuss the best week of the year.  It’s not spring break (although that’s a close second), or Shark Week, or the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  Those are all great weeks, and are usually a blast, but all are trumped by the king of them all.  Of course, I’m talking about the week before the spring semester starts.

My love affair with January 13-20th began four years ago, during my freshman year.  I received a team email over winter break from one of our captains at the time, describing how he hoped that our break was going well, how he hoped we were making up with high school girlfriends just for the break and overall just making sure we were still being college baseball players, with everything you may imagine that entails. He also included an invite to stay at his off campus house during the week before school starts up.  It seemed like a good idea, so I did.  And ever since then, I’ve been hooked.  More or less what ends up happening is we work out, throw and hit during the day, and at night we hang out and do….stuff.  Past shenanigans have included winter hikes in the Adirondacks, late night bowling, endless games of pickup basketball, and I believe there was even a stripper party in there somewhere.  Imagine everything you love or will love about college, just without the class part.

This year was a special year.  It was my senior year, so I wanted to make the week count this year.  I came down the Friday before the week began to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and the chaos began.  Some of the other seniors were here, and we didn’t miss a beat.  When the week started, I had about 230 dollars in my account.  When my mom called to remind me about how much I had left the next Sunday, there was six.  While feigning disbelief and regret on the phone, I couldn’t help but think to myself, ‘Job well done Geoff, job well done.’  And it was.  It was an unbelievable week, going out every night with teammates, having a great time. I wouldn’t change a thing.

If you have the opportunity to come back a week early, by all means do it. Take advantage of this, because 25 years from now, I’m going to be glad I did.

“Hey Taylor, hows your wife and my kids?”

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So it’s all come down to this.  One last time around for me to act like an idiot, live without too much responsibility, and support myself on my parent’s dime.  I’ve been waiting for this one.  But before we get into that, I’d like to begin by talking about winter break.

Winter break is a time to reunite with old friends and rekindle things with your high school sweetheart for a few weeks before you come to your senses, or just be an absolute slug on the couch.  Seeing as I haven’t stayed in touch with friends from high school as well as I should have, and that I’ve rekindled that flame a few too many times, I chose the latter.  And it was fantastic.  I don’t think I got off the couch for anything besides New Year’s and to get another drink.  I would sleep until about 11, make some food, and then watch TV or dick around on my computer all afternoon until it was time to eat dinner.  It really was a great lifestyle for a few weeks.  But then it got old.  The point where I began to skip lunch because I a) didn’t want to take the time to make it, and b) didn’t want to get off the couch to do so was when I called it quits, and moved back to Saratoga early, where I could hit and lift and do baseball things.

As depressing as that sounds, It was just what the doctor ordered.  I came back to school rejuvenated, reenergized, and excited for the last semester, and promptly blew through all the money I had on my debit account. Couldn’t have written it any better.  Keep your eyes open over the next few days for a post about the best week of the year, the week before spring semester starts. It’s coming soon, because I’m broke.

“Hen-en-en-ry-ry-ry Row-ow-ow-en-en-en-gard-ard-ner-ner-ner”

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I’m gonna tell you a little story about the grind.  I had a 10-15 page term paper due today on Bill Clinton’s health care speech, and it was going to take some serious work.  I didn’t even get around to the actual writing until Monday, when I wrote two pages.  I felt that I had sufficient time between Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to take care of the other 13 pages I would need.  Except there was a party that I wanted to go to at a bar in town Thursday night, and everybody knows the night before the paper is due is the night when most of the work actually gets done.  You’re back is against the wall. It’s do or die.

But I really wanted to go.  It was at my favorite bar, a lot of people were going to be there, it looked like a pretty good time.  So, I decided to annihilate my term paper.  I only got another page and a half done on Tuesday, leaving me at 4 pages in total.  Wednesday, I got out of class at 1:15 pm and went straight to the library.  From then on until 12:15 am I spent writing this paper, with only a half hour break to eat.  I rewrote two of the pages that I had, and then proceeded to write the next 12 that my paper would require.  That was the single longest library session I’ve ever had in my Skidmore career. And after I got home I felt like an absolute champion. I guess that now I know I’m capable of such feats when I want to free up my weekend, there’s really only one thing left to say.  Ladies, look out.

“Hey! I’m your new pitcher!”

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Beyond Thunderdome

Remember how I told y’all about how I was more or less a slug over break? And that the only real reason that I got off the couch was to come back to Skidmore? That was probably not one of my better ideas.  As relaxing as it was, it is basically the sole reason that I am in the library on a Friday afternoon after my classes have finished up for the week.  And why I’ll be here all day tomorrow, and all day Sunday.

Let me step back and explain the situation a little better.  Thanksgiving break just finished, and there is roughly 2 weeks between now and finals, in which time, everybody has to write all of the final papers they may have, put together any group presentations, and study for finals week.  I like to call this two week period “Thunderdome”. Now I’ve never actually seen Mad Max, or any of the sequels, although they are on my list, but I am familiar enough with the concept to know that the conditions and the consequences of Thunderdome are roughly comparable to these next two weeks.  For instance, the feeling of “well f–k, I’m in pretty deep now” that one must get upon entering Thunderdome is pretty similar to the feeling that you get when your professor casually reminds you that your 15 page term paper you haven’t started yet is due next friday, like mine did the other day.  Or if you just straight up don’t get your work done, or do a pretty poor job, the consequences stay with you (or on your transcript in this case) for the rest of your life, much like they do when you get killed when you lose a fight in Thunderdome. Still wanna go to college? At least in Thunderdome there’s a chance you might get the girl after.

“You bob for apples in the toilet…and you LIKE it!”

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Feast Week

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I’m coming to you live from Underhill Vt, where everything is just as slow as it needs to be.  That means not moving at all. I’m serious.  My first day back, I don’t think I got off the couch.  The last few days have been more or less a blur of old TV show reruns, naps, and food.  And chances are, so will tomorrow and Sunday.  Let me tell you, we have these fantastic recliners in our living room, complete with footrests; you can stretch out in one of those with a nice tall, cold glass of whatever, the remote, and nothing else seems to matter.  Maybe make a run into the kitchen for some pretzels and hummus, but other than that, you’re all set.

Unfortunately, Skidmore doesn’t recognize Thanksgiving as the week long holiday that it was in high school, so our break is only three days plus a weekend.  Sounds pretty pathetic. And it might be, but those five days away from the grind can be a lifesaver.  The constant activity that can become every weekday during college really takes a toll, and you may not even know it.  I think the first day I was home this week, I slept for 12 hours.  I had no idea how tired I was. And thats not including my complete inactivity during the day.

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My Bad Guys

Wow, I’ve been slacking.  My bad guys, I’ll try to make it up to you somehow.  I promise these next few posts will be Fitzgerald-esque.  Actually, we’ll see how that goes.  I’m sitting here forgetting my problems in my favorite style listening to “Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo” and having a grand ol’ time, so no promises on the quality of the writing. But here goes.

There is a lot more to life at Skidmore than is at Skidmore. The last couple weekends, I’ve taken a few trips away from Skidmore.  This is pretty common among students everywhere.  People have friends at other colleges, or they just wanna get away for a weekend.  The weekend before last, I went out to Cortaca, to visit a friend who goes to school out there. He used to go to Skidmore, but transfered in the middle of our sophomore year.  It was nice to hang out with him again, we got into our usual trouble and mischeif, and had a good time going out in Ithaca.  I think I may have gotten ahead of myself.  Cortaca is the yearly football game between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland.  It seems simple enough, but it turns into a gigantic, town wide party, at which anybody and everybody is having people over.  You can’t go wrong.  But my focus was on hanging out with him, and I had a great time reliving the past a bit.

And just last weekend, a few friends of mine on the baseball team took a trip up to the great white north, and spent a night in Montreal.  We toured around, barhopped a bit, before ending up at a brewery and spending a substantial amount of time there, before heading back over the border to crash and spend the night at one of my buddy’s houses.  We spent the next day sprawled out on the couch watching football, and talking about everything from girls, to beer, to sports. It was another good getaway weekend, and I don’t regret anything about it.

I guess the point here is that it is possible to have fun away from Skidmore, or wherever it is you may end up. College is college, but it never hurts to take a trip away once in a while.

“Cerrano hurt a living thing?”

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Election Central

Its election season again, and Facebook and Twitter abound with posts begging people to vote one way or the other.  Personally, I’m getting a little bit sick of it, although some people come up with some pretty creative statuses.  But lets talk about Skidmore on Election Day.  A long time ago (it really doesn’t feel like that though, trust me) I registered to vote.  Outside the Dhall no less.  You see, when I left for college, I was not yet 18, and therefore not eligible to vote.  And since no major elections were going on in the next year after my 18th birthday, I didn’t.  Until about three weeks before the 2010 midterms.  There was a stand outside the Dhall telling everybody who would listen that they needed to vote, and that they could register to do so right then and there.  I figured that since I was spending 7 months out of the year in Saratoga and that the elections in Vermont are pretty much unanimously for the Democrat, I might as well register in a state that actually gets talked about on national news.  So I did.  A few weeks later I voted at Skidmore.  They actually have a pretty decent set up.  The polling station is set up in Case Center, and everybody who cares enough to vote swings by.  It’s fantastically convenient.

This year, as it is a Presidential election, the hype around campus is a little more than I recall from my sophomore year.  With Skidmore being an institution that attracts a much more liberal student body, the sentiment on campus is generally pretty one sided.  However, there are a few lone Republicans on campus, so every now and then you’ll hear a lively debate in the Dhall over which candidate is cooler.  Either way, the festivities here will abound.  I know there is going to be a viewing party tomorrow night in the Tang, complete with food, drinks (unfortunately not that kind, although it might not be a bad idea around 11:30 or so…) and even some stand up comedy from everyone’s favorite government professor, Ron Seyb.  But we’ll see this event goes, it could get dangerous in there.

Unfortunately, classes at Skidmore don’t stop for the election like the rest of the world does, so, ich muss Deutsch studieren. Ich habe ein Examen Morgen.

But real quick, lets play a little game.  Leave a comment guessing who im going to vote for tomorrow, and maybe I’ll disclose it in my next post.  If I don’t, its probably because I moved to Canada.

“Wild Thing! You make my butt sting!”

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Status Report

Some of you may not read this until a few days from now, especially if you live on Long Island or the Jersey Shore and are busy swimming back to land.  Sandy ‘s eating up the northeast, and Skidmore is no exception, despite what the administration seems to think.  I’m sorry, they didn’t deserve that.  They did quite a bit to prepare campus for the hurricane; I’m just bitter about  walking to class tomorrow in 60 mph gusts at the only college on the Atlantic seaboard still in session.  In actually, Sandy isn’t hitting us here anywhere near as hard as really anywhere else.  It seems that upstate New York (real upstate, not that messed up definition you city people have of “upstate”) and VT are basically getting missed compared to the rest of the Northeast.  If we get over an inch and a half of rain, I would be surprised.  It’s windy, but I don’t think I’ll be canoeing across the green tomorrow.

Either way, Sandy has brought out everybody’s adventure instinct here. People have been talking about stocking up on food, water, and other necessities.  We broke out our maglights and lamps, put a towel under the backdoor because water leaks in a bit.  I think people were actually looking forward to a really bad storm, and are kind of disappointed its turning out to be not that bad. I mean, who doesn’t want to hunker down around a lamp in the living room, wrapped up in blankets, and eat cold sandwiches because you have no capacity to make hot food besides make a fire? For God’s sakes, you get to put off you homework! Fortunately the back up generator came back on here, so we don’t have to deal with any of that.  Although I would have like to put off my German homework for a bit.

Its Gon’ Rain!

“Well would you look at that? We got ourselves a godd–m natural disaster!”

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I don’t have much time

I’m writing this as quick as I can.  We’re leaving to go out soon, and I don’t have much time.  But I thought I would enlighten you about the best deals in town. Food deals that is.  Like if you go somewhere at a certain time, or if you have your SkidCard or something.  So here goes.

1)D’Andreas Pizza.  Not only do they have the best pizza in Saratoga or even North America, but they have one of the best food deals around.  If you go there on any weekday before 6, you can get two slices of any pizza and a drink for $4.25.  Great deal, considering one of their slices goes for 2.50 and is probably worth 10.  And on tuesdays a large cheese pizza is only 6 dollars. For you econ prospects, the utility is fantastic.

2) Amore’s Pizza.  A close second to D’Andreas, Amore’s features the all you can eat pizza deal on Mondays for only five dollars.  And their slices are ENORMOUS.  I mean, the largest one they feature is literally  over a foot long.  Their selection is fantastic, from barbecue chicken to chicken parm pizza, you can’t go wrong.

3) By far the best food deal in town is at Moe’s.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Moe’s, its a chain burrito shop.  Everything they have is pretty typical for burritos topping wise, however for some reason its delicious.  And on top of that, if you show them your SkidCard, you can get a Homewrecker (I can’t explain, but this thing is like a bomb its so huge), unlimited chips if you eat there or a large helping if its to go, and a medium drink for SIX DOLLARS!  Without the SkidCard, the burrito itself normally goes for about eight.  You can get all that for only six dollars.  In my four years here, I just realized why they feature this deal. It’s because I go there about twice a week.  Somebody over there got an A in Marketing class.

“S—! I got cut already?!”

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