Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Pumpkin Rule

It was so great having fall break, Monday and Tuesday off leaves only 3 days of classes until another relaxing weekend. Over break I decided to get a "classic" fall activity out of my system, carving pumpkins!
The first step in carving pumpkins, and maybe even the most difficult part is picking the perfect pumpkin. There are so many things to consider, size, color, texture, and shape. When I was growing up as a kid, my family had a rule for picking pumpkins. The rule stated that your pumpkin could only be as big as you were willing to carry back from the pumpkin field. I definitely had some trouble with this rule back when I was younger, I would always choose the biggest pumpkin and had to stop a few times on the way back because it was so heavy.
Now, older and wiser, I decided to take a different approach. Price was my main concern, and I ended up choosing a handsome three dollar pumpkin that was on the petite side. I was going to be carving my pumpkin with Clint, who chose a bigger, taller pumpkin. His pumpkin is on the left and mine is on the right.
After carefully picking our pumpkins, we brought them home to carve. I remember carving pumpkins being very different as a child, it seemed to take forever, was fairly difficult, and extremely messy. Having now carved a pumpkin just a few days ago, I realize those things had more to do with me as an individual, than about carving pumpkins. Here are few pictures of Clint and I during the carving process.
It surprised me how different our pumpkins turned out. I took a fairly simple approach, sticking to basic shapes and created a cat face for my pumpkin. Clint decided to do the silhouette method and created a wolf howling at the moon. Here are the finished products!
Overall, I would say I had relaxing, fun, much needed fall break. I'm glad to be back at St. Mike's with my friends and pumpkin carving has only made me that much more excited for Halloween!

Monday, October 10, 2011

7 Survival Tips for Week 7!

Week 7 of the semester already? Are we really almost halfway through the fall semester? It's Columbus Day and unlike many other colleges, St. Mike's students are not home for fall break. This year, St. Mike's changed our fall break to a week later than in past years. A week may not seem like a huge change, but to students working hard, midterms and papers are definitely on everyone's schedule for the week. In order to stay on top of my work, I've created: 7 Survival Tips for Week 7. Hopefully, using some combination will help everyone get through the week so we can enjoy the four-day weekend ahead.

Survival Tip #1: Don't skip on sleep.
Even when the work seems to be piling up, don't forget to get some sleep. Lack of sleep will only catch up with you later in the week.

Survival Tip #2: Exercise.
Sometimes, a 30-minute run or walk around the nature trail or track is just the study break you need. My dad always recommends this to me when I'm stressing about work, and surprisingly it works to calm me down every time.

Survival Tip #3: Don't forget your friends.
Although you may not be in the same classes as your friends or roommates, we're all working hard. Be respectful of their work and help each other through the week by balancing fun and work.

Survival Tip #4: Alliot is your friend.
Instead of skipping meals because you're too busy cook, use your Alliot meal swipes. Eating well will give you the energy you need to power through the studying, so take the time to go to Alliot for a meal or two if you're feeling crunched for time one day.

Survival Tip #5: Do something crazy.
Do something completely unrelated to schoolwork at least once. Break up you're studying and stressing by adding one thing to your week you normally wouldn't do. Volunteer with MOVE for a few hours, go on a hike with the Outdoor Club, or spend a hour hanging out with your peers at a club you've always been interested in, but never experienced.

Survival Tip #6: Coffee is key.
This one is pretty self explanatory. A little caffeine can go a long way, so grab a tea or coffee on your way to the library.

Survival Tip #7: Listen to music.
Even if you don't like music while you work, take a few minutes when you're stressing out to listen to your favorite song or two. My sister recently recommended this song to me, maybe it's just the four minute study break you're looking for!