If you have read my blogs or know me personally you know I have a fairly serious love for sports. Some call it a crazed passion or even an unhealthy obsession. Call it what you will but I have an unwavering love for my sports teams and a general interest in everything sports related and am proud of it. I could write a 50 page paper on why I love sports and prove to you that it is a big part of my life but I will spare you… except for the following anecdote: My room is so full of sports related paraphernalia (mostly NY Ranger items) that my room is called ‘The Ranger Shrine’ or more simply ‘The Shrine’.
Now that you know this, and see that the title of this post is March Madness, I bet you think I am going to write about the NCAA basketball tournament. Well you’re only half right. Of course I am involved in the March Madness tournament… and by involved I mean I have three different brackets filled out and I follow all the games closely. But that isn’t the only March Madness around here. March at Bates means choosing short term classes, choosing courses for next fall, participating in the housing lottery, and preparing for finals. There are a host of other events and responsibilities that have to be taken care of or attended that are tiring and exciting.
March is a month of madness in the sports world and here on campus.I am hoping I have success in my NCAA brackets and in everything else going on the rest of the month…
My dad came up to Bates this weekend for a visit of the campus and a bit of skiing. The skiing was excellent and it was great showing my dad the new dining facility and all my usual stomping grounds. My dad told me on Friday that we could go out to dinner wherever I wanted to go and I immediately suggested Davinci’s Eatery. I had heard great things about the Italian restaurant but had never been able to go. I actually tried to go once with a few friends but it was on a Saturday night and there was a ridiculously long wait so we were forced away feeling dejected and hungry. This time, I refused to be denied. My dad and I arrived at Davinci’s around 6:30 and were told we would have to wait 45 minutes. We decided to stick it out and boy was it worth it. Davinci’s slogan is: ‘Casual Dining… Seriously Delicious’ and that fit my experience just right. I started with the mozzarella caprese then had some chicken parmigiana served with penne pasta and homemade marinara sauce. I also devoured a side of roasted garlic potatoes and garlic knots to further shame myself.
The following night we went back to Davinci’s again (this time with a few friends of mine) and luckily only had to wait about 25 minutes. Once again the wait was well worth it and once again I shamed myself by devouring everything on my plate (Steak this time).
The food was excellent as was the company and now that I have gone to Davinci’s twice in two nights I think I have gotten my fix for a little while. Perhaps I should expand my horizons and try a new restaurant next time. For now I am still too full to even think about it. Check out Davinci’s (which is just 5 mins from the Bates campus) menu.
Last Friday was the deadline for signing up for a short term class (the 1 course we take here at Bates during the last month of school in the spring) and our classes for Fall 2008. This was my first experience with signing up for a short term course and other for regular classes and it went fairly well. The signup process is pretty simple. There is an online course catalog and you register for your classes through the internet. The online registration was open all last week. When too many students sign up for a course the computer randomizes who gets into the class. If you don’t get in and you are still interested in the course their is a petition period in which you can explain to the professor (in writing) why you deserve to be in the class. Most professors here at Bates are very understanding and don’t mind taking in extra students.
I got into all four courses I want to take in the fall (Wartime Dissent in Modern America, Latin American History, Criminology, and an upper-level Spanish course). Unfortunately I was not able to get into my short term which was called Spy Games: The Role of Espionage in International Affairs. The course sounded very interesting so I am a bit disappointed. However rather than petition for it I will most likely choose another course to take this spring since there are a plethora of options.
I think my first experience with online registration for courses (not counting signing up for freshmen classes) was relatively easy. You can’t always get the courses you want but luckily here at Bates we have understanding professors and a fair petition period that make the process a whole lot easier.
Here is link to learn more about short term. It is a very cool program that is unique to Bates and I encourage you to read more about it. Once short term begins I will be sure to fill you in on my whole experience.
Last night I attended the Bates College Gamelan Orchestra concert. The performance was the last show of Bates’ 2008 World Music Week. The focus was on ‘Musical Legacies of South and Southeast Asia’ and everyone who attended the event in the Olin Arts Center was treated to an amazing show. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable on a wide variety of musical genres but last night I realized how little I know and understand about the musical cultures of other countries. Guest artists who specialize in Gamelan music participated in the event last night. Nano S. from Indonesia was the guest composer and each of the three other visitors had their own role in the show (One played drums, one the bamboo flute, and one danced). The music was like nothing I had ever heard before and I was grateful to have the opportunity not only to hear the Bates students play this unique style of music but also to be able to watch the native artists perform. It was an amazing show but because it was being recorded I was unable to take any photos. Below is a youtube video of a Gamelan band from Bali. It is not quite the same as the Bates Gamelan Orchestra but it gives you a little idea of what Gamelan is like if you are not familiar with it…
For those of you interested in sports I thought I should let you know about the mens hockey team here at Bates. The hockey team won their league championship for the third straight season and for the first time won the NECHA (Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association) Cup. The team, after winning the league championship in the regular season, got a bye in the first round of the playoffs but then went on to win straight games to win the cup. They beat Daniel Webster College 2-1 in overtime in the championship game. I actually wrote an article about it for the Bates Student, the school newspaper here. I encourage you to read the rest of the student paper. Enjoy. By the way, I have now posted some photos of the napkin board so check them out!
This past week I have been working on a research project for my American history class. Here at Bates we have the Muskie Archives. The archives have all the papers, documents, videos, interviews, letters, audio clips, and everything else that involves or belonged to Edmund S. Muskie. Muskie was a Bates graduate in 1936 and was governor of Maine, U.S. Senator, a U.S. Secretary of State, and a democratic presidential hopeful in 1972. Muskie wanted his documents kept at his alma mater and that provides us Bates students with a great resource. The paper I am writing focuses on Muskie’s participation in the first Earth Day 1970. He was ahead of his time in his understanding of pollution and environmental problems. It’s pretty cool that we have the opportunity to do hands on research with primary documents. It sure beats doing internet research… Below are some pictures of the Muskie Archives building. I don’t think I am allowed to take photos of the actual documents but I wanted to give you some visual guide…
Here is a video I found on youtube talking about Muskie. It isn’t the most enthralling video but if you are interested in Muskie or want to know more about him it is pretty cool:
Okay so I will admit I am a bit obsessed with the new commons. As you can see in the post below I am struggling to keep myself from laughing and being giddy like a little school girl. If it were legal to marry an inanimate object I clearly would have tied the knot by now and been standing side-by-side with the new facility. If it were… alright you get the idea. But in all seriousness commons isn’t 100% perfect. It does have its faults. Being an optimist I am sure most of these issues will be worked out in due time but in an effort to not sound too crazily in love with the new building I thought it only fair to point out some of the flaws. First of all the increased number of new food stations, which were set up to decrease traffic flow, have caused some unfortunate problems. Without being forced in any one direction, students listlessly wander from station to station confused, disoriented, and hungry. I personally have been involved in a few ‘accidents’ thus far in which, distracted by delicious foods calling me from all directions, I walk directly into another Batsie who also was distracted by the plethora of food options and the spread out food stations. These ‘accidents’ are often followed by awkward defenses or weak excuses such as, “sorry I wasn’t thinking” or “I… ummm… sorry I was just… yeah… okay sorry bye.” As Batesies become more acquainted with the new facility I am sure that these embarrassing collisions will decrease dramatically. Other minor problems include the introduction of decreased tray sizes (I don’t understand why a bigger building means we should get smaller trays) and the installation of carpeted floors (perhaps aesthetically pleasing but certainly not good for food and drink spills). Commons isn’t 100% perfect. But who/what is in this day and age? I still love commons even if I am accidently running into people with my tiny tray and spilling soda all over the brand new carpet. By the way… for those of you who were wondering about what became of the napkin board it is up in the new commons and I will snap a picture of it tomorrow so you can see it in all it’s glory… until next time…