Category Archives: CTM

CTM: 50 Kinds of Students Who Go to Skidmore

Here’s a list of 50 kinds of people you’ll find at Skidmore College:

  1. Soccer players
  2. Writers
  3. Dancers
  4. Biologists
  5. Computer nerds
  6. Crossword puzzle enthusiasts
  7. Readers
  8. Banjo players
  9. Arabic, Korean,and Hebrew speakers
  10. Jugglers
  11. Quidditch players
  12. Documentary filmmakers
  13. Dog lovers
  14. Tour guides
  15. Entrepreneurs
  16. Equestrians
  17. Actors
  18. Meme-makers
  19. Costume designers
  20. Liberty League championship game-winning basketball players (WOOO)
  21. Painters
  22. People who are really good at doing math
  23. Resident Assistants
  24. International students
  25. Those who deeply love the library
  26. Theater directors
  27. Bloggers (hi!)
  28. Comedians
  29. Graphic designers
  30. Radio personalities
  31. People who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and more
  32. Fashionistas
  33. Art historians
  34. Vegetarians and vegans
  35. Those obsessed with chicken fingers (hi!)
  36. Curators
  37. Discussion leaders
  38. Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer/questioning/intersex/allied students
  39. Ballerinas
  40. Orchestra musicians
  41. Swimmers and divers
  42. Television producers
  43. Economists
  44. Do-gooders
  45. Outdoorsy folks
  46. Culturally aware students
  47. A capella and gospel singers
  48. Bucket-drummers
  49. Cinephiles
  50. People who know Creative Thought Matters

CTM: What to Do Between Now and College

Hi y’all.  I’m catching you at a weird time, huh?  Some of you have already gotten into Skidmore early decision — congrats!  Some of you have to wait a bit longer to find out your fate.  That’s cool — patience is a virtue, or at least that’s what a fortune cookie once told me.

Because the period of time between now and college is so gosh darn awkward, here’s a little list of things to do between now and when you pack your Honda Odyssey full of stuff and drive off to Skidmore.

Half the college experience is buying the t-shirt, no? Also I have no idea who this person is.

STAY IN SCHOOL.  Yeah, I’m looking at you.  You, hitting the snooze button for the ninth time.  You, ditching the second half of the school day to eat ice cream and French fries and do whatever the cool kids are doing these days.  Resist the urge to ditch!  Get the high school diploma before the college degree!

DO YOUR WORK! Don’t show up to class like a zombie and forget all about your final papers.  Skidmore asks for your final high school grades, and it is possible to have your acceptance revoked if your marks take a sharp downturn. You’re a smart cookie.  Just put in a little more effort and all of a sudden it’ll be your graduation day.  You’ll wear a terrible cap and gown made of garbage bags and almost die of heatstroke.  It’ll be awesome.

MAKE A SENIOR BUCKET LIST. What do you want to do before you leave your school and hometown?  Compile a list of things you want to do before college, whether it’s sending a poem in to your school’s lit magazine or eating a restaurant in your town that you’ve never been to before.  It’s all about makin’ memories.

TAKE A TRIP WITH YOUR FRIENDS. Chances are, even the strictest of parents will loosen the rules a little bit so that you can spend time with your friends before leaving home.  A few weeks before college started, I took a train to New York City with four friends.  We spent a few days bumming around, living on questionable street food and meeting Australians at our hostel in Chelsea.  (For some reason, every hostel in the world contains at least one Australian.  It’s a fact.)  Plan something totally nuts with your amigos: day trip, road trip, random excursion to see the world’s largest ball of yarn, you name it.

PICK A HOBBY.  Your schoolwork might finally start to lessen as graduation looms.  Don’t be bored!  Boredom is for people who don’t have hobbies.  Knitting is a good one, especially now when everyone’s getting Seasonal Affective Disorder from the winter weather.  Watching Jeopardy! is also a good hobby.  Bird watching?  Needlepoint?  Fixing the songs on your iTunes so they actually have the right titles?  All worthy of your time.

BUY SOMETHING AT THE SKID SHOP.  Nothing will get you more excited for school than buying a fluffy collegiate sweatshirt. As Ferris Bueller might say, Skidmore Shop apparel is “so choice.”  Plus, you can wear it to school and no one will even need to ask you about your plans for next year.  Buy some Skid stuff here.  Also check out the Skid Shop blog here.  There’s good stuff on it, like pictures of donuts and a video of a snoring mouse.

In conclusion: don’t be a fool, stay in school, bucket list, largest ball of yarn, bird watching, Skidmore t-shirt.  Do all of these things and the time between now and the beginning of your Skidmore experience will go by in a jiffy.

CTM: Winter at Skidmore

Brrr!  It was actually really cold out yesterday, cold enough to wear like four sweaters for the brief walk between my apartment and Case Center.  Cold enough to break out the thermal socks!  I actually like winter at Skidmore — frigid conditions make any warm indoor area feel heavenly in comparison.  Another winter bonus: the good folks at Skid have put together a little holiday slideshow, and it’s heartwarming enough to combat the stress of finals and saying goodbye to good friends for winter break.


Ten more reasons to love Skidmore during the cold months:

  1. Covered walkways that connect the art studio, the library, the student center, d-hall and a few residence halls.  They help keep the snow out of your hair at the very least.
  2. The annual Saratoga Chowderfest, when downtown restaurants offer samples of their own signature chowders.  Chorizo and blue tortilla corn chowder?  Spicy bacon clam chowder?  Yee yee.  Mark your calendars for February 2012!
  3. SGA usually hosts some kind of winter carnival with hot chocolate, games, fun stuff, yadda yadda yadda.
  4. There are a ton of lectures, concerts, a capella jams, and movie screenings to distract us from the fact that it’s four degrees outside.
  5. The Snow Sports club arranges carpools to nearby mountains for ski and snowboarding trips.
  6. Don’t worry about slipping and falling on the ice on your way to an apartment party…there are hefty buckets full of salt stationed strategically around campus, so slippery sidewalks are rare indeed.
  7. D-hall has enough comfort food to obliterate Seasonal Affective Disorder; they serve a full-on Thanksgiving dins (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce) every two weeks.
  8. Winter brings two fun fashion events: the Element Fashion Show, which involves vintage, recycled and repurposed clothing designed by students, and the Ujima Fashion Show, an event created by Skidmore’s African/African-American/Caribbean awareness club.
  9. You can go ice skating at the Saratoga City rink, or just watch a Skidmore hockey game.
  10. Winter does end…eventually!

CTM: Skidmore Student Market

Today is a fabulous day for three reasons: it’s the last day of classes for the semester (WOOOO!), it’s Friday (WOOO-WOOO!) and it’s Skidmore Student Market Day.  Two seniors, Katie Humphreys and Alex Maddalena, devised the Market as a collaboration between the radio station, WSPN, and the studio art club, PROARTS.  Since its first go-round back in October it has bloomed into a full-on Friday extravaganza of arts, crafts, vintage clothes and baked goods.


Nick Mittelstead ’12 — the Artist Formerly Known as Prints.

The market is a sweet opportunity for Skid kids to sell their goods and make some pocket change.  Skidmore is home to a heck of a lot of art students, jewelry makers, knitters, crocheters, bakers and candlestick makers, so there were a lot of interesting doodads up for sale.  One student sold hand-beaded hair accessories.  There were a few miniature thrift stores offering everything from fluffy pink sweaters to one particularly fabuous beaded flapper dress.  Hot cider was up for grabs, as were a plethora of holiday-flavored biscotti from Caitlin Allen ’12, who this year started her own cookie business.  I sampled a scrumptious Peppermint White Chocolate Chip.  Sooo good.


Caitlin, holding down the fort at the Cait’s Cookies table.

I also snagged a couple of Christmas gifts and got a peek at the Skidmore Spur, the annual nude calendar.  Yeah, that’s right.  Skidmore’s illustrious Photo Club snaps 12 different clubs ‘n’ organizations, all completely in the buff (with some creative cover-ups).  And the proceeds go to charity!  This year’s effort is a masterpiece, and that’s the naked truth.  Pun intended.


Students millin’ around at the Market. (Hey, is that Reg?)

Chatting it up, selling cool earrings.


Evan Cohen '12 takes a break from art-selling to munch on a Cait's Cookie.

A good time was (presumably) had by all.  If you’re touring Skidmore on a Friday, make sure to check out the student wares in Case Center!

SkidMolly: Ten Ways Creative Thought Matters, All the Time

Below is a quick list of recent and less recent Skid phenomena that have all proved our motto, Creative Thought Matters, isn’t just a saying — it happens every day.

1) My Shakespeare professor is holding his once-a-semester Culture Day this week.  He’s going to play the violin for us.  Personal violin concert from Victor Cahn?  Super-CTM.

2) One of my writing professors, Steve Stern, had his most recent novel serialized in Tablet, a online magazine about Jewish culture.  It involves a rabbi frozen in a block of ice for hundreds of years.

3) When it snows here, people really take the concept of CTM to the next level; they make insane snow sculptures and sled down the roof of the Tang museum.

4) Two of my friends, Phoebe and Alec, recently curated an art show in the Zankel Music Center.  They managed the student art submissions, compiled a catalog of the exhibition, and orchestrated an opening complete with a jazz band playing in the elevator.

5) There’s a lot of food variety in d-hall, but I’ve seen people do some crazy Top Chef stuff to really liven up their meals: making fried rice on the do-it-yourself grill, stirring up chocolate-peanut butter milkshakes, turning sandwiches into salads and vice-versa…CTM with soy sauce and soft serve ice cream, y’all.

6) Last weekend there was a student theatre production called “Cosmicomics”  based on three different Italo Calvino short stories — director Ruth Morrison ’12 adapted the stories into scripts, arranged gorgeous lighting and sets, and generally put together a really well-done show in the JKB theater studio.

7) There’s no dearth of creativity over the holidays here.  On Thursday the Traditions Committee (yes, we have a group dedicated to various kinds of holiday spirit) helped to put on a Tree Lighting Ceremony.  Groups like our wonderful Gospel Choir performed and now the Case Walkway is all lit up, non-denominationally!

8 ) Last year a few people put together this video in reponse to the Planned Parenthood crisis.  Creative, non-apathetic responses to political issues?  Skidmore really stepped up here.

9) Back when I toured Skidmore for the first time, it started to rain right before we left the Admissions building.  I was promptly handed a Skidmore poncho.  If that isn’t CTM raingear, I don’t know what is.

10) On Friday Case Center became the Skidmore Student market; crafty and artistic students sold drawings, stickers, prints, photos, baked goods and more, and 30% of their revenue went to charity.  CTM for a good cause.

CTM: My Skidmore Experience in Ten Photos

Right now the “Show Us Your Skidmore” CTM photo contest is in full swing and lots of folks are sending in their photographic evidence of awesome Skidmore-osity.  I thought I’d share a few pictures with you that represent my cumulative Skidmore experience in various weird ways.


A silly/serious sign on the third (silent) floor of the library. I was all about the silent floor freshman year. It has a womb-like feeling of tranquility amid all the academic stress. The perfect place to write a ten-page research paper the day before it's due (oops).


One of the first nice days in spring '09. People flocked to the green like ravenous seagulls to a crumbly baguette.

The Skidmore Dynamics a capella group performing an interpretive-dance version of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" in 2009.


This one time I loved the d-hall chocolate-chip scones so much I took a picture of one. And then I ate it. With fake butter. It was great, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

This is my friend Victoria. She's a Filene scholar and she plays the violin beautifully. This was from a Skidmore orchestra concert my sophomore year.

I took this at a Tang Museum art party; "art party" mostly means looking at student artwork and dancing to the sweet tunes (read: '90s pop song covers) of student bands. Not a bad way to start a Saturday night.


First semester junior year I participated in a business competition held by Skid alum Ken Freirich. I won one of the categories (by writing about my dream career) and the prize was two VIP tickets to a Jets game! Obviously my dad and I were psyched.

Then I went abroad to Prague second semester of junior year. My program involved a lot of cool and random excursions, including one to the middle of nowhere Czech Republic. Here I am hanging out with some new friends. On the left is Radim, eating a schnitzel sandwich. Petr, our mountain guide, is watching him. Frauke seems to be wondering why her picture is being taken. I hope this picture conveys how much I loved studying abroad.


A variety of frozen yogurt sundaes at Plum Dandy, the dandiest frozen yogurt joint in the land. (They're off-campus but I really wish they weren't. Plum Dandy kiosk in Case Center, plz?) They have College Tuesdays and you can get two fro-yos for the price of one. Yum.


The Northwoods Village Res Life staff for 2011-2012. We are an athletic crew. We eat success for breakfast...with skim milk.

Happy Monday everyone! November 28 is Panama’s Independence Day!

CTM: Beatlemore Skidmania and Atlas Sound at Zankel

What’s up folks?  It’s a beautiful day in Saratoga Springs and I’m gonna tell you all about a few rad musical happenings on campus.  First up is Beatlemore Skidmania, which happened last weekend.  Beatlemania is probably one of the most popular events of the year; my first two years here we had it in Filene, the semi-crappy old music building, but since 2010 it’s been in the gorgeously lit, higher-capacity Zankel Music Center.  This year was a doozy: nineteen musical acts playing over two hours worth of intense, energetic Beatles tunes.  All Beatlemore photos were plundered from Facebook.

This guy's version of "A Day in the Life" was insane.

This year the theme was “Beatles And Beyond” so anything from “Love Me Do” all the way to Wings and the Plastic Ono Band was fair game for the musicians.  Of the many talented acts onstage, I had a few favorites.  The Bandersnatchers, Skidmore’s only all-male a capella group, did a pleasant barbershop quartet-style rendition of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

The Skidmore Sonneteers, singing John Lennon's "Real Love."

A few of my neighbors from last year pulled a crazy jazz version of “Blue Jay Way,” complete with saxophone harmonizer and a didgeridoo.  (Yes, a didgeridoo.  That’s what happens when you go abroad to Australia.)  A trio of first-year students played “Can’t Buy Me Love” with a reggae twist, and two lovely ladies, MaryLeigh Roohan and Carolyn Bottelier, performed “Eight Days A Week” with only a guitar and vocal harmonies and still had the audience hanging on their every note.

Carolyn and MaryLeigh, absolutely killing it.

The concert concluded with a sing-a-long “All You Need Is Love” and everyone went off humming Beatles tunes and babbling away about which band they liked the most.  Another successful Beatlemore Skidmania and — eek! — the last one for me as a Skid student.  Talk about bittersweet.

Then last night Zankel and SEC hosted Bradford Cox, the leader of Deerhunter, who did a solo show as Atlas Sound.  Atlas Sound is sort of the bedroom, laptop composer, introverted, introspective, ideally-heard-on-headphones version of Deerhunter (who came to Skidmore back in 2009).  A slew of bespectacled, plaid-clad Skid kids wriggled in their seats, waiting for the 7-foot-tall maestro to come onstage.  First up, though, were openers Laura Stevenson and the Cans.  I caught the tail end of their set and was very intrigued by Stevenson, who had impressive vocal cords.

Then came Cox, who filled the auditorium with ragged, mumbled vocals, layers and layers of looped sounds, weird bleeps and bloops, and guitar that sounded like violins and harpsichords and also sometimes just like a normal guitar.

His live versions of “Mona Lisa” and “Walkabout” almost trumped the studio versions.  Of course, Atlas Sound music is mostly beatless and atmospheric, so it definitely had a sopoforic effect on the audience.  One of my friends said the girl sitting in front of her was in a deep slumber halfway through the show.  I myself closed my eyes a few times.  But calling the Atlas Sound show “boring” is not quite right; it was relaxing to the point of hypnotizing, and sometimes, especially after the week before Thanksgiving, a relaxing show is exactly what you need.

Freaky, man.

I’m not sure if I’m breaking thousands of copyright laws by posting this, but here’s a sampler of the evening: it’s Cox opening his show by playing “Recent Bedroom.” Enjoy!


How Was…Skidmore Halloween?

Yesterday around lunchtime I was getting my daily dose of Food Network in between work and classes; housemate Caroline entered the house and bewilderedly proclaimed, “It feels like we’ve been on vacation.”  Such are the effects of Halloween weekend at Skidmore, a multi-night bacchanal of face paint, glitter and I-made-it-myself-so-it-might-fall-apart-at-any-minute costumes.


Pure, unadulterated patriotism: Taylor Swift and Betsy Ross.

First, I must say I am extremely proud of this school because just about everyone assembles their own Hallo-outfits themselves, culling bits together to make extremely unique costumes.  This is not a place where you can get away with buying a French maid costume out of a bag from the Halloween store at the mall — find your own feather dusters, y’all.  Some of the amazing, über-CTM costumes I saw over Thursday-Friday-Saturday include: Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, a frumpy ’90s Mom and Dad duo, the Black Swan, a Toddler in Tiara, a bumblebee (with hair in corresponding beehive), a Campus Safety officer, a Freudian slip, the cast of Hey Arnold!, a “motivational speaker,” two astronauts, two adult film stars, and an insouciant Frenchman.  Skidmore goes all out for this weekend.  Fun-haters and/or those who think they’re too cool for Halloween need not apply.

A coupla sock monkeys, clownin' around

The first night I was Betsy Ross, the second night I was a Beanie Baby (the Princess Diana Beanie bear, for anyone who was alive/conscious during that short-lived toy trend), the third night I had to think of  a last-minute costume and went as Mean Girls’ Regina George after a certain prank involving scissors and a white tank top.  I will spare you those pictures, but enjoy the rest of the Halloween evidence.

I had to choose from one of about 8,763 group pics. Oh, college.

Moorebid is the big Skidmore Halloween dance, called so because it used to be held in Moore Hall on the old downtown Saratoga Springs campus; my freshman and sophomore years it was a barrel of monkeys — I guess that meant “really fun” in the olden days.  The past two years it’s been more like a cage of wild lemurs.  Was this year’s Moorebid a victim of bad planning, overindulging youth, poor crowd control, lack of true Halloween spirit?  Not sure.  Either way, I guess the metaphorical Great Pumpkin didn’t show up, but if anything the fact that the dance was a bust only made me appreciate the pre-Moorebid festivities with friends even more.  Them’s the memories you’ll actually keep!

Moorebids come and Moorebids go, but the photobooth evidence lasts forever.


CTM: Design More, Doodle More, Skidmore

Sometimes you have to take stock of your life and realize you didn’t come up with enough blog categories — hence, the first installment of CTM (Creative Thought Matters, of course), meant for all the random and cool things happening around campus that deserve some blog lovin’.

One cherished annual event here is Beatlemore Skidmania, a performance in which students and professors play Beatles songs for everyone’s listening pleasure.  (My French professor usually plays bass in one of the professorial bands.  Sadly he probably won’t be here this year, as he’s in…France.)  Skid kids go bananas for Beatlemore Skidmania, almost as bananas as the Fab Four’s original screaming fans.  Once the event actually occurs in November you’ll get the full recap from me, but at the moment, there was just a little contest for Beatlemore’s poster and t-shirt designs.  In addition to offering courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, textiles and printmaking, the studio art department also has a more electronic component: communications design.  Professor Deb Hall’s Comm. Design II class took part in the contest, and the offerings from the students are trippy and colorful and amazing — the decade of the ’60s, brought to you by Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.

Annie Roos '12 designed this one. So cool!


All the entries together. ...Imagine all the posters, living for todaaaaaay, ah-haaaaa...

The winning design by Sam Shneyer '12. Check out that yellow submarine.

[All photos courtesy of Skidmore’s website]

As you can probably see, the art department is chock-full of clever artists and designers.  Doodlers also abound here — last summer I worked as an RA for Skidmore’s Pre-College Program and got to hang out with a lot of the art students.  Pre-College alum Roni Ramirez recently drew this lovely rendering of our D-hall.




Trust me, if you’ve eaten in D-hall, you’d draw pictures of it for the rest of your life too.  It’s a memorable experience.  This drawing looks like it could be part of a graphic novel set at Skidmore — hey studio art majors, anyone want to take a crack at it?