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September 25, 2008

Almost October...Already?

I can't believe it's almost October already!!! Time flies when your studying and having fun. Well this week seemed to be the busiest so far this year. But some of the stress has been relieved since I only have one test left and I'm playing Intermural Softball TONIGHT!!! Go Beasts!!!

One really exciting thing has happened in the last week I've started my Practicum for the elementary education program. A practicum is kind of like student teaching but you are not teaching all day. You do three mini lessons for each class and then you are observing and helping in the classroom. I was placed here in Morris at St. Mary's in a first grade classroom and I can already tell I'm going to have a lot of fun being in 1st grade again :)

Homecoming is next week and I'm super pumped because I applied to be a Homecoming Ambassador; so cross your fingers. The theme for homecoming this year is Survivor, which is totally cool because I like the show a lot and you have to be a true survivor to be here at Morris and go through the brutal tug of war! Go Indy! For those of you that don't know we have an annual tug of war between the to large freshman dorms; David C. Johnson - Independence Hall and Clayton A. Gay Hall. Anybody is welcome to participate in the tug of war so all alumni of a certain dorm can come join in. The hall that wins gets naming rights over the lake (small pond that is grass in the summer) in between the two halls. Last year the rope broke during the tug of war and the lake was nameless last year. But Indy will hopefully reclaim victory this year! Also the second annual powder puff game is next week also, Go Upper Classwomen!!!

Enough of my bias shouting...good luck with your things going on in your life and I will leave you with this...
Did you know that your nose is as long as your thumb...go ahead try it. Can't figure it out, let me know.

September 17, 2008

How time flies!

So guess what? I've been in Brussels for almost 5 weeks now! Time is just flying by! In two weeks we'll have our mid-terms, and a week later fall break! I am really enjoying my stay here. Any second thoughts I may (or may not) have felt at the beginning have long since disappeared. This is my second study abroad trip (the first was July in Paris) and that may be part of the reason it has been a relatively stress-free experience.

There have definite differences between my experience here and my experience in Morris. I think a list is the best way to describe it.
1. There is MUCH less class time here. Classes are only 2-3 hours per week. There is also much less work, really only one or two tests. Maybe a paper as well.
2. Time is different over here. Not anywhere near to the extent of Southern Europe, but if you need something quick, it's probably not going to happen.
3. Hot showers do NOT exist here. Luke warm? Consider yourself lucky.
4. There is more of a fatalistic approach over here. How things happen is how they will happen--you're not so much in command of your own destiny.
5. Bureaucracy is king here. Something one person can do, 6 people are assigned to it in 4 different departments.
6. Nothing is open on Sundays. And I mean nothing. No chain stores, few restaurants.
7. Belgian beer and chocolate are the pride of a nation. Both are rather tasty as well. (Umm, don't worry because I'm 21?)
8. The lunch breaks are fabulous. Think you're lucky if you get a 30 minute break? Try 2 hours!
9. Politics over here are CRAZY. Think the US election is nuts? Try not having a government (we've been without for 2 months).
10. Language is more important than any American can understand. To speak French to someone from Flanders, or Dutch to someone in Wallonia, is quite possibly the biggest insult you could do; and being in Brussels, a bilingual city, it can be a tight line to walk.

I'm sure my list will only increase as the semester progresses, but I look forward to the challenges and adventures to come!

Tell them I remember you

I remember too a distant bell
And stars that dwell
Like the rain out of the blue

When my life is through
And the angels ask me to recall
The thrill of it all
Then I will tell them
I remember you
~I Remember You

September 16, 2008

Students arrive, I hit the road...

August in Morris is one of my favorite times of year. The month begins with the oh so awesome Stevens County Fair and ends with all the students arriving on campus. Sunday, August 24th was a perfect day on campus as mini van after SUV pulled up behind the residence halls. The Morris Move-In Crew was back on campus early to help the new students bring in all of their computers, plasma tvs, disco balls, drum sets, cases of easy mac, and snowmobile suits. It brought me right back to September 1997 when my family and I pulled up to Pine Hall in this place called Morris to unload all of my stuff into room 20. It was quite an exciting day, especially the anticipation of meeting my roommate Conor for the first time. Long story short, my first year was all that I could have hoped for.

A lot has changed since I moved my things to Morris in the year of Hanson and the Spice Girls. Of course I no longer have MmmBop stuck in my head, but more importantly I'm working to find the future Morris students that I know are out there. Sunday, September 7th marked the first day that I hit the road from Morris for another year of recruiting. Much to my surprise, North Dakota would be my destination for the first time in my five years of Admissions at Morris. I packed my bags, stopped at Willie's Supervalu for some Cheese-Nips, fruit snacks, and granola bars, and I set out for certain fun in Dickinson, ND. I arrived at the Holiday Inn Express just after dinner on Sunday. "AAAwwweeesome!" I remember yelling out loud to myself as I saw the giant sign for Happy Joes pizza in the parking lot next to my hotel. For those of you that have enjoyed a Joe's pizza before, there is no explanation necessary. I grabbed my pizza, turned on some football, and prepared for a week of college fairs.

Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed my first extended visit to North Dakota. I even found a little time to explore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, ND.

I've met some really cool students over the past two weeks in North Dakota. I am actually back this week for some more college fairs and am writing this entry in Jamestown, ND. My first couple days back on the road have given me a full tank of energy for another year of travel and meeting a lot of future Morris students. If you happen to be one of those students reading this, take this opportunity to explore the Morris website. Look for your major, find the student club you want to be in, scope out the next jazz concert (email me for free tickets), and surf over to our visit page and set up your campus tour! Oh and don't let me forget, now is the perfect time to submit your application for admission, which can also be done online... how convenient! While you start your exploration on the Morris website, I'll be looking forward to meeting you, the future Morris student, on campus or on the road this year.

With that, it is time for me to track down some dinner and find the Twins on TV. Reporting live from Jamestown, ND, I'm Mike Vandenberg for the Morris Admissions Office.