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SkidMolly: Fridays at Skidmore

Hi all!

First of all, congratulations to the Regular Decision admits!  I hope you’ll all consider visiting campus before the semester is over, either on your own or during an Accepted Candidate’s Day.  (Connect with other future Skiddies through the Skidmore 2016 Facebook community.)  When I went to an Accepted Candidate’s Day at Skidmore, it really solidified my feelings about where I wanted to go to school and what I wanted out of college; somewhere between the student panel, psychology professor Sheldon Solomon’s lecture, and the t-shirt that said “Creative Thought Matters” on the back, I had a gut feeling that Skidmore was the place for me.

Here’s a video I made last weekend detailing the INSANE NICE SPRING WEATHER and what all us Skid kids do when the sun comes out and temperatures finally climb above freezing:

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

Today is Friday, a day close to my heart at Skidmore.  Here’s what you can see on a nice Skidmore Friday:

  • Big tour groups walking (veeeery sloooowwwly and attentively) around campus, led by enthusiastic student ambassadors.  Hi tourers!  If you see me, wave at me! I’ll wave back!
  • If it’s sunny, sunbathers abounding on the green.  Not to mention Frisbees.  And acoustic guitars.
  • A super busy and bustling Case Center: student markets, a senior art show in Case Gallery, people picking up packages in the post office, Saratoga Apple and the mini farmer’s market both selling their wares downstairs…
  • Students waiting for the bus (it comes every half hour, and it’s FREE) to go downtown to get iced coffee at Saratoga Coffee Traders, or take a slightly longer trip to Target/Wal Mart/the mall.  A little Forever 21 shopping trip before Friday’s social activities begin?  Indeed.
  • Athletic-looking individuals, done with classes for the week, trekking down to the sports center, clad in spandex and toting water bottles…yep, Fridays mean fitness for some folks!

As for me, I’m relaxing in front of the television (Food Network is on, of course) before I start getting into the weekend mindset.  Ahhh…

Got questions?  Ask!  As always, check out my Twitter and YouTube channel.  Happy weekend, everyone.

 

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

Skid Vids: Dance Department, Pulse, Weekend Update

Ello ello! How’s it going? I write to you feeling extremely ill!  The college plague has gotten me at last.  Every February, various kinds of colds, flus and bugs zoom around campus faster than a speeding text message.  It’s gruesome.  I’m overcoming it with a steady stream of tea and sweatpants pockets bulging with Ricolas.

For your Wednesday entertainment, might I suggest watching these Skidmore-related videos?  This first one has to do with our dance department.  Our dance program is really good; it’s conservatory-level training that students can still pair with other liberal arts studies.  (Like if Juilliard had a baby with Wesleyan.)  We get lots of cool guest choreographers and collaborators, students can take technique classes and choreograph their own pieces, and occasionally there’ll be a REALLY stellar dance concert like last semester’s, which was a collaboration between Skidmore’s orchestra and a bevy of Skidmore ballerinas.  Yep, that’s right: Swan Lake.  Here’s the rehearsal video.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ecD5hyCwPA

Next, here’s a video of a performance at the Tang Museum two years ago.  There are plenty of performing groups to join on campus — a capella groups, Japanese drumming, tap dancing, Irish dancing, gospel choir — but Pulse might be Skidmore’s most unique performers.  These clever percussionists drum on whatever they can find: recycling bins, trash cans, random metal objects.  And they’re really good at it!  This is not some lame toddler banging on a soup tureen!  Watch them in action at the ever-gorgeous Tang.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bg5TfZ14fI

Lastly, I started my own little video series (employing some Jenna Marbles-style editing) called Weekend Update.  I figure I might as well tell you what I’m up to myself, y’know, face-to-face, one-on-one, just me and you, having a one-sided conversation.  If this is successful, I’ll start answering questions with videos too.  So send me your questions!!!  And watch my vid.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttm8xr7tZ9I

Hope those who applied to Skidmore are surviving the long wait for decision letters.  It’s brutal.  Occupy yourself by reading the #StudentChat we did with the College of St. Rose; there are lots of tips and tricks and 140-character doodads.  There will be more to come on that front, too.  Toodle-ooo!

How Was…Senior Capstone Show at Case Gallery?

Last Monday senior Jasmine Yamazaki debuted her senior capstone show in Case Gallery; it was a combination of English and studio art disciplines, part art installation and part illustrated story.  A bunch of Skid kids wandered into the gallery in Case Center, checking out the dozens of handmade flowers, wax mushrooms and interwoven paper spheres hanging from the ceiling.  Jasmine transformed the small gallery space into a colorful simulated garden.  She hand-wrote her story (about a girl who visits a forest and becomes a tree) and set it up so it spanned three walls with horizontal panels.  So cool! Congrats Jasmine!

Her installation is just one example of the many options Skidmore students have for their senior projects, otherwise known as capstones.  You can write a traditional thesis, take a senior seminar in your major, plan and carry out a lab experiment or psychological study, write a short story collection, create an art show, do a translation of a foreign language text, direct a theater performance, film a documentary…Anything goes as long as it shows a mastery of your subject matter.  Jasmine did a fabulous job of combining her major and minor.  Senior year of college might be a long way in the future, but it sneaks up fast!  Here’s a few more pics:

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.

SkidMolly: Surviving Tripledom

I’m not a huge fan of the oft-dubious Princeton Review lists, but Skidmore has received their “Dorms Like Palaces” honor a few times, and rightfully so.  The double-occupancy rooms at Skidmore are luxuriously portioned in comparison to those at other colleges I’ve visited.  Sizeable closets, carpeted floors (no cold feet) and window seats with comfy, spongy cushions are all Skidmore dorm amenities.  (Room service and minibar not included).

And these days, Res Life puts the extra space in our res halls to good use — double rooms are usually triple rooms for first-year students.  A majority of the class of ’12 was placed in triples freshman year, and that has increased in the past couple of years.  I was in a triple and our room ended up de-tripling near the end of the first semester; because my room situation was an epic fail, hindsight has given me a few ideas for succeeding in tripledom.

ACCEPT YO’ FATE.  Excessive complaining about being placed in a triple — “Awww, dang! This sucks!” being one example — or referring to your newfound housing situation as a “forced triple” will not magically spirit you away from tripledom and toward a suite in the Waldorf.  Not to sound all New Age/Oprah/Dr. Phil, but positivity is a good tool for learning to deal with being in a triple.  Don’t think of it as a prison sentence — consider it an easy-to-overcome inconvenience, a little pothole on the road to college awesomeness.  Plus, there are monetary incentives for staying in a triple; this past semester, those assigned to triples received $200 on their Skid Card and an extra $300 tuition credit if they stayed in a triple past October 15th, and that incentive will be repeated this semester.  $200 goes a long way toward large coffees and multiple laundry cycles.

ACCOMMODATE.  The worst attitude to have is this: “Being in a triple is annoying.  I don’t care about my roommates at all, and I’m going to live life exactly the way I want to.  Everyone else can kiss my tush.”  Remember that you will be living with two other people, both of whom have needs and desires and habits and requirements.  One person will want to Skype with their significant other at 3am; another will need extra sleep because they have crew practice early in the morning.  Someone will have a peanut allergy; someone else will show up to school with an economy-size jar of Skippy.  This is how life works.  Compromise is very, very necessary.  Which leads to…

COMMUNICATE.  This amalgamation of needs can’t be addressed unless people express those needs!  That guy who’s allergic to peanuts has to speak up to his roommate, lest he face a horrible Death By PB & J.  Talk to your roommates.  It’s the quickest way to find out how to fix things.

RELATE. Your roommates will probably be different from you in some way.  Maybe they’re from the opposite side of the country, or from another country entirely.  Triples have a way of bringing science geeks and theater freaks and philosophy nerds all together in one small space, so embrace those weird combinations.  You don’t have to be best friends with your roommates — sometimes it’s better if you aren’t — but take the time to hang out with them outside of the room.  It’s easy to bond over a plate of fries from the Spa.

In the words of Blue Öyster Cult, don’t fear the reaper triple.  If anything, living in a triple is a learning experience: I discovered a lot about myself and even more about human nature, plus I got that sweet t-shirt pictured above.  It’s a scientific fact that free t-shirts make everything better.

Have questions about the logistics of living situations? Ask away, my dears.  Good luck to everybody applying ED II and Regular Decision — apps are due in nine days!

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!

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: 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?