Tag Archives: skidmore college

SkidMolly: The Ins and Outs of Work-Study

Greetings earthlings.  I write to you in a very good mood, having just turned in the last paper of the semester — two exams and I’ll be 7/8ths finished with college.  Occasionally I’ll think of a question that you prospective students might have, and I’ll try to pre-emptively answer the question so you don’t have to go all the way to my Formspring box and ask it.  That’s right — I’m trying to READ YA MINDS.  Spooky.  So here’s some basic information on work-study, that hallowed institution intended to get some cold, hard cash into student wallets.


When I first saw my financial aid package included a work-study agreement, I didn’t understand what work-study was.  I thought it was some baroque way of slowly funneling minimum wage paychecks to help pay tuition or room and board.  Nope!  At Skidmore, the money you make from work-study goes straight to you and is meant to cover the extra costs not included right on the bill: textbooks, art supplies, travel costs, doing your stinky laundry.  Working at an on-campus job means having a little extra cash for all the predictable and unforeseen costs of going to college.  Plus, you can receive your money by direct-deposit into your checking account, or it can be put on your Skid Card payroll.


If you are a first-year student who got a work-study agreement as part of your financial aid package, you can pretty much expect to work in the dining hall or another dining services location for your first.  It’s not so bad, and if you’ve ever worked a food service job before, it’s actually easy as pie in comparison — easy as a slice of d-hall blueberry pie.  Jobs include making sandwiches in the deli station, swiping people into d-hall, selling coffee at the Burgess Café, washing dishes, flipping burgers, you get the idea.  It might feel like drudgery, especially in comparison with all the cool academic and social stuff you’ll be doing, but don’t fret.  It is as fun as you make it.  I loved working at the deli station because it meant I could interact with dozens of people without having to move!  Like speed-dating, except not!  And now I pride myself on my sandwich-making abilities.


Well, you can’t work as a professor…I hear you probably need a PhD to do that.  But the job opportunities really open up after freshman year: you can work as a tour guide/student ambassador in Admissions, an office assistant in Career Services, in the box office of Zankel, as a TA for a studio art class, as a student caller for the Annual Fund…anything goes.  You search for job opportunities on the Skidmore site, apply, and start working.  Simple as that.  I started as an Admissions ambassador, giving tours to prospective students and parents (thus mastering the art of walking backwards) and filing paperwork in the office.  Then once I became an RA, I chose to start working as an office assistant in the Res Life Office, doing administrative tasks, researching other schools’ residential life policies, and occasionally wrestling with a paper shredder.  (I still work there, too.)  And blogging for Skidmore is my latest employment experience…needless to say, it’s grand as sand.  So there’s a lot you can do to make money at Skidmore, and because they know your first priority is being a student, on-campus employers are really flexible with class schedules and other concerns.


I happen to get financial aid, so my work-study experiences have been from that end, but you can also find student employment at Skidmore without receiving financial aid.  Money for everyone!  Dollars raining from the sky!

Hope this gives you a good picture of what work-study and student employment are like here.  If you have questions about this or any other subject, ask me!  And a little bird (aka the WhySkidmore Twitter) told me Skidmore will send out Early Decision I decisions this week.  A big hearty good luck to everyone — please, please, tell me if you got in so I can say hello and congratulations!



Skidinternet: Cool Skid Kids on the Blogosphere

As we all know by now, Skidmore College and the internet are both things that exist.  Occasionally they intersect, and that’s when good things happen.  Here’s a few Skid kids who blog about things that often relate to Skidmore:

KeithListensToMusic: In his spare time, this neuroscience major and Photo Club president blogs about sweet tunes.  If you don’t know what “math rock” is, just read/listen to a couple pages of his blog and you will most definitely find out.  Sometimes Keith gives a nod to Skidmore’s own musical wizards, like the band Slim Charles, whom he writes “has some of the best use of distortion I’ve heard in math rock in a while.”  Wait, you STILL don’t know what math rock is?  C’mon dude, click the link.

Caroline, A Broad: This young lady is my homegirl and housemate, so I may be biased, but Caroline’s abroad-blog-turned-everyday-blog contains some lovely insights on college life.  On Halloween at college: “We discussed our costumes in terms of tiers.  Thursday was third-tier, Friday night was second-tier, and Saturday was top-tier.  Sunday? A day of recovery, dressed up in nothing but pajamas and surrounded by textbooks.”  She often posts relics from her time abroad (get it, abroad, a broad?) in Copenhagen, like this picture of a photo shop/café where you can drink coffee while you wait for your pictures to develop.  O, Europe.

The Skidtorialist: They’ve taken a bit of a hiatus, but the ladies who run this blog sneak around Skidmore’s campus looking for fashionable lads and lasses in the same manner as street style photographers like, well, the Sartorialist.  A brief stroll through the archives reveals that Skid students are a stylish bunch, capable of hunting through boutiques and sample sales as well as Salvation Army and your grandmother’s garbage can.  One student said of her orange fluorescent chapeau, “If you want this hat you can get it at Farm ‘N’ Fleet in Platteville, Wisconsin for 99 cents.  It’s a bargain, that’s for sure.”  Also, you’ll certainly see many examples of the winter boots on parade during the winter months:

Lots of Skidmore groups and clubs do a bit of blogging as well: SEC, Lively Lucy’s (the people who organize Thursday open mic nights), the Skid Shop and WSPN Skidmore radio; plus there’s Skidmore Unofficial, which, along with compiling campus news and events, never fails to give a pleasantly sarcastic look at Skidmore goings-on.  Skidmore: we’re here, we’re weird, and we’re on the interwebs.

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!

People Who Like Things and Do Things: SkidTV, again!

I’ve already professed my undying devotion for those zany kids at SkidTV, but after watching this ad, I’m just going to have to do it again.


Two things I learned from the ad are that 1) that green screen is rad, and 2) Thiviya, the girl in the video, has an endearing screen presence.  Just another nugget ‘o’ gold from SkidTV.

SkidMolly: The Best Things About Thanksgiving Break


I didn’t appreciate my hometown nearly enough until after I went to college.  Skidmore is grand as sand, but there’s nothing like driving up 22A back to Burlington past the kind of snow-covered mountains you usually only see on postcards.  If you hate where you live at the moment, chances are going off somewhere else for college might change your mind a little.  Saratoga Springs is my second home, but Vermont will always be my first.  I’ll stop gushing — there’s probably some Robert Frost poem or Neil Young song that says this stuff a little better than I can.


As a freshman and sophomore, I spent a lot of time each semester gorging myself on chicken fingers and other d-hall delicacies, so coming home to my mom’s cooking was very, very necessary by Thanksgiving break.  And now that I’m cooking for myself, having someone else cook for me feels weirdly luxurious.  Thanks, Ma.  This year’s turkey-cranberry sauce-gravy-mashed potatoes-stuffing-pumpkin pie extravaganza came at just the right moment…no, really…the only food I have in my apartment is a lonely box of linguine.


This is a no-brainer.  Literally.  I have no brain right now.  Thanksgiving break is the perfect time to recover from Skidmore burnout.  I will return to school with my mind all minty-fresh like it’s been dipped in a bucket of Listerine.  Promise.


As I write this, I’m sitting in my house, wearing my glasses and a pair of pajama pants that are at least six years old.  I haven’t showered or done anything to my face to make me look like a real human being.  It’s awesome.  At school I’m pretty relaxed about the whole grooming thing, but before leaving I usually put on a pair of real pants, or, you know, comb my hair.  But at home, my mom doesn’t judge me.  The world is my oyster.  Hopefully you guys won’t judge me either.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving and, for those applying ED II or regular decision, I hope all of your applications are looking fly.  As always, feel free to ask me your burning questions.  Happy Black Friday, or as I like to call it, Buy Nothing 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!


SkidMolly: The Insider’s Guide to Majoring in English at Skidmore

The professors are incredible

Caveat: I figured out I was going to be an English major around the time I started to read — reading and writing are my two major talents, besides being pretty good at Skee-Ball.  But my choice was solidified once sophomore year started and I got a sampling of how killer the English professors are here.  Class sizes are usually quite small (English classes have either a 15:1 or a 24:1 student-to-professor ratio) and that means professors have more time to give you individualized attention.  Each professor has office hours where you can go in and talk about whatever’s due soon, or just check in.  And these people aren’t just amazing thinkers — they’re published writers and experts in their respective fields.  My Ulysses seminar professor, Tom Lewis, has written and directed TV documentaries that have been nominated for Emmy awards; Linda Hall, with whom I took a cultural criticism writing class, has written for Vogue and New York magazine.  Next semester I’m taking the senior advanced fiction workshop with Steven Millhauser, who just had a story in the New Yorker.  Needless to say, you’ll be learning from the best here.

Get ready to read a lot — and a little bit of everything

Be prepared to read upwards of six or seven novels in a typical semester-long literature class.  Taking multiple English classes inevitably results in a hefty amount of reading per night — a few hundred pages a week, maybe — so staying on top of English work requires diligence and careful plotting.  Lucky for you, the courses offered each semester are quite diverse, from Milton to Willa Cather and everything in between.  I’ll go ahead and say there aren’t many writers, genres, eras, literary forms or literary movements that go overlooked.  Sample course titles for next spring: the Victorian Illustrated Book, Queer Fictions, the Wild(e) ’90s (that’s the 1890s of course), Environmental Journalism, Chekhov, American Gothic Fiction, Food Literacy.

Some of my reading this semester, Punk Planet book not included.

Oh, get ready to write too

The first big essay I ever wrote was my senior year of high school; it was a five-page comparison of Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights, and boy, did it stink.  “Get ready,” said my AP Lit teacher, “It’s going to be like this all the time in college.”  He was right!  There’s a lot of straight-up word hustling going on in English courses, but you won’t be assigned one-size-fits-all papers every time.  I’ve had to write everything from blog-style reading responses to 15-page research papers.  Right now my African-American Novels professor is all about the two-page assignments — long enough to get the point across but short enough to have to choose the right words and topic.  So be prepared for everything, including the 25 – 50 page capstone writing project your senior year, and don’t worry — you’ll have plenty of professors who will help you with style and grammar and all that tasty mumbo jumbo.


^ Rick Moody reading at Skidmore’s Summer Writers Institute

Your future is going to be AMAZING!!!

Hmm.  That subtitle is a little heavy on the exclamation points, but still, it’s the truth.  If you decide to be an English major, you might get a lot of people either wrinkling their nose and telling you that you won’t get a job, or else assuming you want to be a teacher post-graduation.  I’m of the mind that the English major prepares you for all kinds of jobs because it teaches you how to communicate ideas.  Communicating ideas well happens to be a very useful vocational skill; plus, we’re all regressing from phone calls and meetings to emails and texts, so writing skills are essential.  Plus, Skidmore is a liberal arts school and encourages all kinds of academic exploration during undergrad, so don’t be shy about majoring in a subject for which you have a passion.

Four words: fruit and cheese platters

The English department brings amazing writers to campus for readings and Q&As, both internationally known authors like Lorrie Moore and Dave Eggers and home turf heroes like Daniel Swift and Greg Hrbek.  These department events are usually accompanied by the renowned Skidmore Catering fruit and cheese platter.  It is sumptuous.  Splendid.  The peak of luxury.  Perfectly ripe grapes, cellophane-tipped toothpicks, Muenster cubes AND cheddar cubes.  There’s nothing better than walking away from an Allan Gurganus reading with a swirling brain and a pocket full of cheese — that really sums up the English major experience for me.

Skid Vid: A Walk Across Campus

Hello all!  It was so warm out today that I saw a theater class rehearsing some sort of kinetic performance outside near the science building, so balmy that people put on shorts and lounged around on the green while a DJ…er…DJ’ed.  It was too hot to wear tights with dresses, and way too hot for winter coats.  I’m not complaining.  Winters here are cold and snowy, so I’ll take as much freaky global warming weather as I can get.

Here’s a video I made for you guys.  It’s basically a li’l story about walking from the gym back to campus at night.  Sounds dull, but it isn’t!


Happy Wednesday! For those of you applying ED I to Skidmore, may the force be with your applications!

How Was…SEC Big Show w/ TV On The Radio?

SEC is Skidmore’s Student Entertainment Company, and they’re responsible for pulling in all the big acts we see, including the revered Big Show of the semester.  Past Big Shows have included Grizzly Bear, Talib Kweli, JFK from MSTRKRFT (a show heavy on consonants), Janelle Monáe, Dan Deacon, Dead Prez and Girl Talk.  This year SEC really outdid themselves and snagged TV On The Radio.  The show was bananas.

The show was in the big gym in our athletic center; these dudes blasted the huge room with so much sound that I thought my eyes were going to pop out of their sockets.  Everyone freaked out when TVOTR played “Staring at the Sun” and “Wolf Like Me,” but people were generally excited as it was.  Fridays are when you let the stress go, and what better stress-relief than semi-moshing in a large crowd of fellow Skiddies?

Because I am a sneaky person, I gradually weaseled my way closer and closer to the stage, trying to get a better view of all the trombone-blowing, tambourine-shaking and guitar-shredding that was going on.  Only caveat of the night: tall guys!  Why you gotta stand in the front?! (said in a Marlon-Brando-in-the-Godfather-style accent). You’re at least six feet tall, can’t you see over all our heads anyway?

But at last I made it to the second row.  They launched into a Fugazi cover and I was smooshed in a very energetic and sweaty mosh pit.  Elbows flew but no injuries were sustained.  Pretty sweet.

So thanks TV On The Radio for including Skidmore in your massive jams.  ‘Twas another successful Big Show.  And what do people do after Big Show and before heading downtown?  They get fried, cheesy sustenance at the Spa.  I never saw so many giddy people mowing grilled cheeses and cherry-picking french fries from each other’s plates.

SkidMolly: Sundays

I have a feeling that when I look back on my Skidmore life, Sundays will be what I’ll remember most fondly.  A Skidmore Sunday is special, alternately anxious and dreamy, usually revolving around coffee and light naps and wide wooden library tables.  Sunday is when you catch up on all the work you said you were going to do on Saturday but didn’t do because you decided to watch ten straight episodes of Boy Meets World with your friends instead.  Sunday is when you go to Burgess Café and get a large Pumpkin Spice coffee and eight packets of sugar.  Sunday is when you hit the library unshowered in a flannel shirt and sweatpants, dragging a backpack full of Shakespeare and sociology up the stairs like you’re Sisyphus on the hill.  Sunday is when you write astounding amounts of a paper in record speeds only to follow it up with a silent Skype chat with your best friend at a different school.  Sundays are pleasant and exhausting.


When I lived in the res halls freshman and sophomore year, my Sunday routine was set.  I’d wake up too late, scarf scrambled eggs in d-hall, then hole up in Scribner Library for the next five hours until the dinner hour arrived.  D-hall (that’s what we call the dining hall, seeing as “Murray-Aikens” and “the dining hall” both have too many syllables) has a pretty great track record for serving sushi on Sunday nights, so after six pieces of California roll and a trip to the Sunday Sundae table (that’s right — buckets of ice cream, zillions of toppings) it was back to the library.  Late-night — the period of time between 8pm and 11pm during which all kinds of fried and cheesy goodies are up for grabs at d-hall — was optional but preferred.  My Sundays were long bouts of schoolwork punctuated by meals.  It was awesome.


Now I no longer have an unlimited meal plan, so d-hall doesn’t have much of a place in my Sunday, but the same relaxed, overtired, work-stimulated mood persists.  They aren’t Sundays, they’re Sun-dazed.  Everyone’s tired, still in pajamas sometimes, nodding to each other.  “How was your weekend?”  Sundays have a wonderful progression of time.  I can finish reading a novel for class, catch up on the news, outline an essay, read a few classmates’ short stories for fiction workshop and still have time to go to my friend’s house off-campus for chocolate cake and the new Family Guy episode.  Sundays are wide swaths of space for both work and play.  Monday’s due dates loom, but I still float through the day like one of the Frisbees whizzing softly across the green.  Skidmore Sundays are special because they make the busy weeks worth it.