Comfest: Thank You

Went to Comfest and loved it!

I had never been to a Comfest before, but as you know, my newly gained knowledge of the event’s founding has gotten me pretty juiced up about it.  I went on Saturday night and saw two acts.  The first was a 6 person sketch comedy group named Bleak! (the exclamation is in their name.. really it is).  They were ok.. All I am saying is there is only so much flabby man-chest I can look at before I get totally bored.. just saying.  The second group was BriTANic, or BRItanIC, or BriTanic, or some other combination of capitalized and un-capialized letters, and they were great!  It was two guys and four chairs.  They would set up invisible sets with their chairs, and then proceed to play every character in the scene.  One of their last scenes included a wild wild west bar with too many characters to remember… ANYWAY, it was great and I am a little miffed that I didnt see a Comfest earlier..  So now, you, go forth and enjoy comedy at every comfest you can find!

The Wheels on The Bus

Skidmore has been coordinating with transportation officials in our area for as long as I can remember (which is only as long as I have been here: 4 years).  The bus system that runs from campus to downtown has become my go to transportation as the cold of winter is finally thinking about showing up.  I am beginning to recognize drivers, they are beginning to recognize me and my annoying premature departure at Vermont St instead of Van Dam.  Next stop, friendship and frolicings with my new bus driver bffs.  How does public transit tie into Skidmore?  Skidmore makes that bus ride totally free, unlimited-ly!!!! Its great.  Swipe a card, ride the bus, pay no money.  We used to have free taxis, but too many underagers were using them as puke buckets coming home from the bars every night…


On a separate note, Bolt bus is now running from saratoga!!! This means easy access to NYC and Burlington (and maaybe boston?) for only like… 2 bucks!!! Woo Hoo!!

Cool Environmentally Greeny Things! Skidmore Gets It!

Hey!  There is something neat a-brewing at Skidmore!  It is the Skidmore College New Energy Forum!!!  I’ve never heard of it before, so that means it is brand new!  Actually, I have heard of it before, but only because I’ve heard its brand new…


It is going to have some cool sh*t!! There will be info on wind, solar and geothermal technologies!  The cool thing is, Skidmore has mad Geothermal energy pumping into our entire arts quad!  This includes our magnificent Zankel Music Center!  It’s state of the art right down to its energy supply!  Besides the fact that geothermal uses really brilliant methods (basically using air heated up under ground) it can also share energy!  Meaning, if Zankel is warm enough, and Filene is cold, Zankel will pump some of its warm air next door to heat up Filene!  Cool!

The Forum will also have really interesting speakers, and even a Career Services workshop  aimed at this type of work!  YES SKIDMORE!!

With Eyes to The Future

Let me first outline a disclaimer for this post: I am not an informed News consumer.  With the little that I do consume I do my darndest to construct viable ideas about the happenings in the world today.  With special consideration to the “economic crisis” which began in “2008” I know little other than the hearsay.  However, the gist that I get is that there were a lot of greedy men at the helm of many finance, consulting, banking, or hedge fund type organizations that sucked up all the cash in the U.S. economy while the rest of American Citizens picked up the dividends.



Where that disclaimer come to importance is in regards to this NPR story.

When our system of education is looked at this way, as the story quietly suggests, we all lose.  If this story is to be believed, then we all lose by missing out on the inovations that the graduating cohort could have been creating.  Skidmore College is, unfortunately, well within the grip of this recruitment system.  As a sociology major I am consistently disapointed with the wealth of opportunities for business or economics majors, and the lack of depth in opportunities suiting my skill set.  What I think this trend says is that we, as a culture/society/nation/group of people have lost touch with what education can be used for.  Education is here so that we as sentient beings may expand our ability to think, create, write, build, reconstruct, reform, or any other action one may learn from academic pursuits.  We are here today because we have started to look at education as a resource.


Education is undoubtedly a resource.  Education has been the resource that has fueled The United States accession.  But, when we treat our educational system as such, we miss out on its true potential.  Instead of encouraging students to enter into higher education for societal and self betterment, they begin to enter into higher ed to make money.  We as a student body, nationally, are OBSESSED with what comes after school.  Should a student ever be insecure about their academic pursuits?  The answer, I can say as a confident and proud sociology major, is NO.  People like me should not feel pressure to engage in careers that are not in areas where we have spent years developing ideas, and strategies for thinking and writing.  What we need to be encouraged to do is to engage with our peers across disciplines.  We need to have students from the business department coordinating with students in the sociology department, who then may need to work with others from the english, art, environmental science, or chemistry departments!  Why would we ever feel encouraged to do this if we are worried about post-grad jobs?  It is not so much of an issue, then, of what happens at the end of college (in regards to recruitment of our best brains) but what we think about going into college.  The issues about what is happening at the end of our college years are just a signal that we have a warped perception going in.


That being said, think about the power places like Skidmore have!?! They bring together people not only with different academic interests, but they bring together people with different backgrounds, perspectives, and brains!  So in an atmosphere of receding finance from government agencies, what are we to do?  What is to happen to our educational system, and our nation?


UJIMA: Black Couture

Wow.  I went to the UJIMA Fashion Show this weekend and it was absolutely phenomenal!  The theme was Black Couture, and while I don’t really know what couture means, they did spend a good amount of time highlighting the achievements of African Americans in the fashion industry.  There was even a surprise speaker! The is a magazine named Essence that is for African American women.  I am totally unfamiliar with the magazine, but I have heard great things about it being an uplifting and empowering publication for African American women.  All in all it sounds like it reaches and touches a great deal of women.  The surprise speaker, however, is a News Editor at Essence!  Her name is Wendy Wilson and she is a Skidmore College class of ’96 alum!  How cool is that!  A national (international?) publication that touches so many American lives daily, and there is a Skidmore alum behind the wheels.  I couldn’t be more proud of her, or my school!


But aside from the surprise speaker, the fashion show and the acts that came on in between themes all performed really, really well.  It was a multicultural event that touched on every corner of the Skidmore community.  The acts included the Step Team, the Bandersnatchers (all male a capella), the Tap Club, the Gospel Choir, and I hope I am not leaving any out.  The models also killed it.  Our own Skidmore Blogger Altagracia Montilla helped to organize and walked the runway looking oh so fly.  All in all I was very impressed by UJIMA and my classmates.  I will definitely be looking forward to more UJIMA events.

But let’s be serious, about not serious stuff

Just wanted to let you all know about Skidmore’s Comfest.  This year it is hosting some comedy groups that I, frankly, have never heard of.  Bleak! Comedy is one, and BriTaNica is another.  What I am all jazzed up about is the origins of this whole ordeal.


It is not just a “Skidmore College Comfest” what it really is is a “national” (meaning schools in the north east) college comedy festival. The cool thing is, though, that it was started by a Skidmore ALUM!  This annual event has attracted acts such as derrick comedy, the group that gave rise to Childish Gambino.  Both being worthy contenders for your procrastination schedule. The guy who started this festival (the skid alum) is actually a producer on 30 Rock AND Parks and Recreation… EXCUSE ME?  Were those two of the best comedy shows on tv right now? (and of all time in the case of 30 rock)!! HELL YES!


Anyway, I have never been to Comfest, although I’m pissed about that.  THis year there is going to be an awesome panel on women in comedy aside from the pure laughs coming from the acts.  I am so excited… I love skid alum alot sometimes!

I love technology, but not as much as you, you see

Oh man oh man.  Today’s topic is an exciting one, its TECHNOLOGY!  Skidmore recently completed the construction of a secretive new base for Media Services.  And, its amazing.  When you descend into the layer of technology that is the new Media Services, you are confronted with 22, 24 inch, Mac desktops…. its really awesome.  Not only could I not be happier that our campus is a Mac campus, I could not be happier with this new media-cave.  Its right on campus now, instead of tucked away in some dark room in the maze-like Palamountain Hall, its newly constructed and renovated, and if you couldn’t tell by now, its AWESOME!


Other students don’t seem to be privy to this secret study zone just yet, so I am going to milk it as much as I can.  I am going to leave you all with this video so you can better understand how this new place makes me feel!

Skidmore UnOfficial: It’s Official is an amazing site.  It is the anonymously run site for all Skidmore news relevant to skiddies. What’s even better, is that is run anonymously by students.  So really it is a fun newsblog for students, by students, and ultimately, about students.  In other words, its really great!


Basically they take events that are happening on, around, or involving Skidmore, report them in a tastefully satirical way, and make everyone laugh!  They are so talented, in fact, that their reporting on the Four Loko outbreak of ’10 attracted the interest of the prestigious news network, The Onion.  At the time of the Four Loko epidemic the editors of Skidmoeunofficial attracted the interest of news syndicates all over the country, but only The Onion had the gusto to approach them and bring one of them on as a highly skilled intern.  Damn SkidmoreUnofficial.

One may ask, how do you know so much about this secretive site?  Well I clearly have the inside track.  I’m not an editor of the site, but I may know one or a many of them.  One of the best parts about it is that it has survived the passing of its founder.  The reins of the site have been passed down, and will hopefully continue to do so.  It’s just another example of great Skidmore ingenuity.  Long live Bruce, Frank, Rowley, and ThivNav.

Skidmore O’ Skidmore

Just thought I would explain why the flying F I am at a school like Skidmore.


For me, in the beginning, Skidmore was absolutely the opposite of the sort of school that I wanted.  It was small, close to home, and not located in a large metropolis.  All I wanted was the excitement and hustle-bustle of a large city surrounding a large student body and large campus.  What I wanted was something far away and completely different from my rural upstate home.


In high school I played soccer, and gained the attention of the coach here, and so begins my Skidmore adventure.  I came, I visited, and I decided that if I could get in it would be the best place for me to play soccer and meet people.  Also, if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted it had enough esteem in the name so I could easily transfer to one of my top choices like North Eastern in Boston.


What unfolded for me at Skidmore was the last thing I would have ever expected.  First, I stopped playing soccer.  Second, that change threw much of my college decision into doubt and I decided to take a semester off.  During this semester I traveled and spent a whole lot of time alone (probably too much time).  During this time I began to realize that I was homesick.  I was homesick for my school, not my home town.  I missed my friends there, I missed my room there, I missed the feeling I had living on campus and going to class with thousands of my peers.  Skidmore had transformed from a stepping stone to my home base.


And all of it was because of Skidmore.  It wasn’t just dumb luck  that I found friends that brought me back.  Skidmore attracts these kids.  Skidmore attracts smart, compassionate, and open-minded students that are all prepared to push each other and create great things and develop great relationships.  But students don’t end up at Skidmore by chance either.  The professors here are absolutely phenomenal.  Veterans like Rik Scarce, Suzan Walzer, Kristie Ford, and John Breggeumann are all examples from only one department.  Furthermore Skidmore attracts great newbies like Debbie Warnock or Kimberly Tauches.


Along with Skidmore comes Saratoga Springs.  ‘Toga speaks for itself upon one visit.  Vibrant, exciting, and welcoming are only a few adjectives that begin to describe the positive attributes of our community here.

The Turkey Day Drop: The TTD

At Skidmore, we are not some group of lilly-livered good-for-nothing wimps.  We don’t need no stinking October break! We start in September and trudge straight through until Thanksgiving.  We don’t even get the the Monday and Tuesday off before the Great Feast.  We’re fricken AWESOME!


If you detected a slight hint of sarcasm in my opening, good job.  We at Skidmore suck very possible day of learning out of our academic calendar.  But, what that means is that once Thanksgiving hits, the thinking caps fly off, the feet go up, and the beers crack open (if you are at least 21 years of age, of course).  It feels great to get a full three weekdays off towards the end of the semester.  It turns out to be the deep breadth that you need in order to cope with the onslaught on finals, papers, and projects that await us when we get back to campus.  I love the TTD.


Whatever your tradition over the Thanksgiving break is, have a happy one, and get prepared for the work that’s waiting for you when you get back.


Happy T-Bird Day!