Category Archives: Saratoga Springs

SkidMolly: Five Reasons to Apply to Skidmore

Holy cow, regular decision and ED II applications are due in a mere two days.  This post can serve as either a well-deserved break/distraction from putting the finishing touches on your app, or as a final kick in the pants for you to decide if you’re applying to Skid.  Without further ado, may I present five reasons to apply to Skidmore that actually pertain to you and your current mindset about school.  These reasons don’t have much to do with the academics at Skidmore (hopefully you already know the academics are stellar!) but they do cover the slightly less academic factors that make Skid an application-worthy college.

1. Saratoga Springs: the cutest town you’ll ever meet . Quick overview of why Saratoga Springs is the ultimate college town: it’s beautiful and quaint, it has nice and relatively inexpensive cafés wherein one can drink Americanos and eat bagels and lox, the bar scene is unbelievable for those who are legal, you’re close to Saratoga Lake, Lake George and the Hudson River, it doesn’t die in the summertime (that’s when the race track opens and both the NYC Ballet and the Philadelphia Philharmonic come to SPAC), and boredom is generally not a problem.

Me and a few friends at the Hudson this past summer. 'Tis a 20-minute drive from Skid, and 'tis refreshing indeed.

2. Resources: for people who like resources. Skidmore takes care of you in a way that is impossible at larger, more anonymous schools.  If you catch swine flu, you head to Health Services.  If life is not going well, you can talk to someone at the Counseling Center.  If Organic Chemistry is killing you, you can snag a tutor at Student Academic Services.  One of the first things I noticed upon arriving at Skidmore is that no one wants you to fail.  It’s a great environment because you learn how to be independent and how to ask for help at the same time.

3. The FYE: a boon for frightened freshmen. Ah, the First Year Experience.  Skidmore doesn’t say “whazzup?!?” to their first-year students and then send them to the wolves; the FYE provides a support system that happens to be really good at getting freshmen to assimilate into the college environment.  All first-years take a Scribner Seminar (click here for this past semesters’ cool course offerings) and are housed with their seminar classmates (instant community! instant way of finding someone to eat with!); the seminar itself combines interesting academic topics (crime fiction! Italian food!) with advising from professors and upperclassmen peer mentors, plus an introduction to all of the resources Skidmore offers (the library! the Writing Center!).  The FYE does not coddle you, but it does make you feel warm and fuzzy during the scary time of transitioning to college life.

That's my Scribner Seminar during First-Year Orientation! We had just painted that chair. I'm third from the left -- why so shy, Molly?

4. Chicken Finger Friday: lunch is truly served. Every Friday.  In the dining hall.  11 am to 4 pm.  Chicken fingers.  Veggie chicken nuggets for the groovy vegetarians.  It’s a bacchanal of golden, deep-fried, sauce-dipped, crispy chicken goodness.  I know i’s weird to tell you to apply for the chicken fingers alone, but…seriously.  They are that good.

5. Nocturnal events: good luck even trying to be bored.  Your nights, when not occupied by work or late classes, will be stuffed with such a ridiculous amount of concerts, theater and dance performances, a cappella jams, comedy shows, student bands, open mic nights, lectures, readings, panel discussions, fashion shows, cultural gatherings, apartment shindigs, off-campus parties and other assorted events that you will literally not know what to do with yourself.  If anyone at Skidmore can find a single night devoid of things to do, I will buy them a very large Plum Dandy fro-yo sundae.  This college keeps you busy…be prepared.

That’ll do it: five non-academic reasons to apply to Skidmore. If you already know that Skid’s business major is fab, or that the theatre program is right for you, perhaps one of this reasons will sway you.  Personally, I feel Chicken Finger Friday would sway anyone with a pulse and a set of working taste buds.

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.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUfuW7vXsrs

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: 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!

Around the ‘Toga: Saratoga Apple

As college towns go, Saratoga Springs is about as good as it gets: great restaurants, decent shopping, an art district, an amazing bar scene and statues of jockeys and horses on every corner.  This is a town where your Saturday can be spent hanging out the farmer’s market at noon, bopping at a concert at Putnam Den at midnight and getting eggs Benedict at Compton’s Diner at three in the morning.  It isn’t an overpopulated metropolis and it isn’t Podunk, Iowa.  Like Goldilocks: juuuuust right.

Some might say Saratoga is at its best in the fall.  Fall is when the leaves turn pretty colors and every Saratoga coffee shop offers a pumpkin spice latte.  It’s the perfect time to visit Saratoga Apple and GO PICKIN’.  This is a very popular Skid Field Trip of sorts; freshman seminars sometimes go apple picking with their professors, and people get together to take the scenic drive up to Saratoga Apple.

You can pick half a peck, otherwise known as more apples than you’ll ever know what to do with, for six bucks on a weekday and seven on a weekend.  The farmstand also offers all kinds of veggies and maple syrup and teas.  It smells like a cinnamon-y dry-goods dream in there.  They also sell the best cider donuts you’ll ever eat, the kind of donuts you initially buy only one of but then you rush back to buy a dozen and you tell yourself the dozen will last all week but in reality won’t survive the rest of the day. It’s just the way the donuts are.

My friends and I recently took a trip up to Sar’ App’ to pick our own goodness, and after the picking was over, we hit up the donut stand.

“Do you want sugar on your donut?” the grandma-esque lady asked me.

“YES YES PLEASE.”

“Don’t bite into it yet, it’s hot!” she said, sensing my donut craving.  I ignored her and wolfed the thing.  It was hot.  She wasn’t lying.  Tongue burnt.  Worth the pain.

Pics of the picking:

Sometimes you have to wear a bag on your head.

ApPEELingly rural. (Get it? Peel? Apple peel?)

Jack McDermott '12 picks a winner.

Lily Hewitt '12 and Phoebe Pundyk '12 enjoy the cider donuts.

Oops. This is where my cider donut used to be.

Apples are not excluded from the "click it or ticket" law.

Note: Saratoga Apple also comes to Case Center every Friday with big crates of apple goodness to buy.  Convenience!  But the drive up to the actual place is still so worth it.  Bonus if you do the corn maze nearby.

SkidMolly: Skidmore A to Z

Here’s a li’l A-Z guide to some Skid vocabulary; know this stuff and you’ve practically got a college degree already.  Study up y’all.

A Capella — Skidmore has six a capella groups: the Sonneteers (all-female), the Accents (all-female), the Drastic Measures (co-ed/charity), the Dynamics (co-ed), the Bandersnatchers (all-male) and the Treblemakers (co-ed/all-inclusive).  These groups sing without any instruments in the background.  They sing all the time.  You’re going to leave a capella jams singing things like “dooo be dooo be dooby” and “la la laaaa shoom ba da ba” for the rest of the night.

Burgess — the café in Case Center.  They sell coffee and snax.  If you have a class before 10:10 am you will absolutely hit up Burgess on the regular, as early classes necessitate replacing at least 60% of your blood with caffeine.

Chicken Finger Fridays — it sounds silly.  Or mundane.  What’s the big deal about chicken fingers, right?  Wait until you hit up D-hall on Friday and see mounds of perfectly golden chicken fingers as far as the eye can see, complete with the dipping sauce of your choice.  These aren’t your mushy, super-processed, high school cafeteria-grade chicken fingers either.  These are the real deal.  When I was a junior I got a modified meal plan just so I could eat at Chicken Finger Friday.

D-hall — the dining hall.  I did SCOOP for my Pre-Or (see below) and all of the upperclassmen PAs were talking about “D-hall”.  “What is D-hall?” I, the naive first-year, asked.  “Uh…the dining hall,” they said.  So that’s the great story about how I learned to call the dining hall D-hall.

Elevator (Jonsson Tower) — Jonsson Tower is a residence hall and, at eleven stories, happens to be the tallest building in Saratoga.  Thus it is the only res hall with elevators, making it the top choice for lazy people everywhere.  Hot tip: take the ‘vator all the way up to the Penthouse and check out the nice mountain view.

Fun Day — on one of the last days of the spring semester, SGA puts on a massive daytime event involving student bands, bouncy castles, “sumo wrestling”, freeze pops, and the longest barbecue grill-line I’ve ever seen.  Everyone has gone stir-crazy from staying inside all winter so the ladies put on their bikinis, dudes wear lacrosse pinnies (whether or not they actually play lacrosse), and everyone enjoys the sunshine and eats hot dogs and does other stuff.  So Fun Day is…the best day at Skidmore.  Hot tip: snag the free sunglasses ASAP.

The Green — the huge stretch of grass closed in by Howe and Rounds Halls, D-hall, and Case Center.  Good hangin’ out place.  Frisbees everywhere.  Occasionally someone will bust out a slackline and that’s when things really get crazy.

Health Services — they’re in the basement of Jonsson Tower.  They do a little bit of everything: take care of you if you have swine flu, prescribe meds, do physicals for people about to go abroad, test for STDs, dole out birth control, and generally make sure the Skid population is happy and healthy.

Intramural Sports — people play them.  Tennis, softball, basketball, volleyball, whatever.  Quidditch practice has started too.  Don’t abandon your shin guards and lacrosse sticks just because you’re not playing at the varsity level.

Junior Ring — a semi-formal dance at the end of fall semester.  Hot tip: save your prom dresses, ladies.

Keurig Coffeemaker — when you go to the Admissions building for your tours and interviews, the coffee maker uses K-cups!  If you don’t drink coffee, might as well start now.  Sorry, this was a stretch.  I couldn’t think of anything else for K.

Lucy Scribner Library — the source of all student productivity on campus.  Come to the library to Get. Stuff. Done.  There’s a café, a ton of computers (both Mac and PC), a writing center where you can get help on papers, great librarians, a s*&#load of books, individual and group study rooms, and window seats with cozy chairs.  Oh, and the third floor is silent.  I’m blogging in the library as we speak.

MB 107 — the intro class you need to take if you’re going to be a Business major.  It involves making/presenting business plans and from what I’ve heard, it’s really intense.  Not for the faint of heart.  When you see girls wearing business casual skirts and boys wearing ties and suit jackets, that’s when you know it’s the presentation day for MB 107.

Off-Campus Study (Office Of) — where you go when you want to study abroad or do an exchange.  Here’s a sampling of places you can study: France, England, Spain, China, Australia, the Netherlands, Peru, Ecuador, Ghana, Senegal, Vietnam, Turkey.  59% of the class of ’11 studied abroad. That’s a lot of people.  Hot tip: study abroad.

Pre-Or — programs you can do before starting your freshman year.  SCOOP is probably the most popular; it’s an outdoorsy camping/hiking/canoeing program with different degrees of outdoorsiness depending on how willing you are to live for three days without an actual toilet.  There are on-campus Pre-Ors with the theater (theatre?) department, the Skidmore newspaper, and programs involving volunteering, music writing, and other good things.  Great option if you want to leave for college a few days early!

Questions — have more?  Ask me! I don’t bite.

RAs — your res hall will have an RA on each floor.  You can tell your RA lots of stuff: “I’m homesick,” “I hate my roommate(s),” “My ceiling light isn’t working,” “I’m struggling with an eating disorder,” “The people next door are making too much noise,” “I’m stressed ouuuuutttttt,” and so on.  RAs are concerned with your wellbeing and safety; they are not police officers or party poopers.  I was an RA in Jonsson Tower my sophomore year and can say with experience that RAs are special people who are there to help.  Hot tip: when you meet your RA, give ’em a bear hug.

SGA — Student Government Association.  Class presidents, secretaries, treasurers, social chairs, and so on.  They plan events, they regulate regulations, they do lots of stuff for the student body.  Last weekend we had Oktoberfest — the cats at SGA had games on the green, a dance at Falstaffs, a Dunkin’ Donuts study break, and even a beer tent for us legal folks.  SGA has that whole “of the people, by the people, for the people” thing going on.

Thoroughbreds — that’s us.  We used to be the Wombats but wombats aren’t very distinguished or intimidating (still charming though).  Our mascot goes to games and wears a horse suit and will give you a high-five if you want one.

Uncommon Grounds vs Saratoga Coffee Traders — the ongoing battle of where to go off-campus for coffee.  Uncommon Grounds has a crazy selection of bagels and a good, studious/comfy atmosphere but sometimes the service is rough.  Coffee Traders has wrap sandwiches named after famous racehorses, not to mention amazing hibiscus iced tea and a miniature candy store in the back, but it doesn’t have as much seating as Uncommon Grounds.  I like to split my time between the two.  Both of their bacon-egg-cheese bagels are a Saturday morning necessity.  Also, don’t you dare go to Starbucks.

Vagina Monologues — the Feminist Action Network puts it on every year, student-acted and student-directed.  Great for people who love theater and people who love women.

WSPN — the Skidmore radio station.  You can host your own radio show (first-time DJs usually get a time slot at like 4 in the morning) and theme it or just play whatever random songs you want to play, but beware putting your music on shuffle and risk playing “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” for all the world to hear.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

X-ercize Science — NOT how it’s spelled, but the Exercise Science major is one of the fastest-growing majors at Skidmore.  We’ve got some crazy bone density measuring device that’s only at two colleges: Skidmore and Stanford.  ‘Nuff said.

Yoga Club — we have one.  Join it.  Downward-facing-dog your life away.  Namaste.

Zankel — our new music building, replacing a sweaty, humid old music building.  Zankel looks like the world’s most beautiful hospital.  The main performance hall is supa dupa fly.  Also it’s another place to bring performers (as if we needed any more); last year we had Jenny & Johnny and Ani DiFranco, plus a bunch of classical concerts I happen to have missed.

There you have it.  Any further questions about any of these entities, drop me a line in the comment box or ask me via Formspring.