Stormy Night

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my long days during the week. I have back to back to back classes from 3 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. While the classes are all great, I’d be lying if I said they don’t run a little long, sitting in a desk for four hours. It’s odd to remember that just a few years ago, I was in high school every single day for seven hours. Anecdotes aside, the walk home after my last class felt more long and toilsome than any of my classes that day combined.

In hindsight, I should have seen it coming. The warning signs were all there. The weather forecasts warned of some serious rain coming to Newport News, but I didn’t catch exactly when. Another warning sign was when my friend came to class saying she was “definitely getting a ride home from leadership class.” Regardless of all these signs, I didn’t put the pieces together. When I left my last class of the day, and I walked out of McMurran, I was shocked to be welcomed with a gigantic rain storm. It was definitely the wrong day to wear flip flops.

I began trudging through the rain, my flip flops smacking and splashing all the way. I think the rain added 10 minutes to my normal walk time. When I finally arrived to my house on East Campus, I was dripping wet. I quickly changed and hopped into the shower. When I came out, I sat with my roommates, who had an equally tumultuous trip home, and we laughed about it. In warm clothes, we all relaxed together and talked about our plans for fall break.

I definitely could have gone without the rain that night, but it’s always so comforting coming back to my house and seeing all of my housemates. They’re always there to hang out and laugh with, even after a stormy night.

Engaging Professors

Today, I played tag in class. Yes, in a 200-level college class, I played tag. And I loved it. It was in my theater class, and it was an exercise to help us get comfortable with the space as we ran lines for some scenes we were working on. The lengths Christopher Newport professors go to engage their students never ceases to amaze me.

It’s not just my theater class, plenty of my professors design their curriculums around fun and worthwhile activities that get us out of our seats. For example, in my leadership class last year, my professor would put us into groups every few weeks and we would have to solve a puzzling situation or be forced to make hard decisions that directly applied to the coursework we were learning. It was so much fun to be removed from the traditional learning atmosphere and discover the implications of our findings firsthand.  It’s an alternative style of learning, much more entertaining than a simple lecture.

Lectures are a necessary evil. No matter the class, there will likely always be a fair amount of lecturing. And that’s OK. Christopher Newport faculty lecture just as any other professor would. Though, what they do differently is they also ensure that there is more to the class. There’s always more than just sitting and taking notes. Group projects can be a pain, but at least they inspire collaboration and creativity among peers. Professors at CNU engage us, they want us to apply what we learn and explore the subject in a different way than just lecturing.

Everyday at Christopher Newport, I’m always excited to go to class. I’ve had my share of “boring” classes in high school, and I haven’t had anything close to those experiences now that I’m at Christopher Newport.

A Captain’s Wardrobe

The other day, in argumentation class, my professor brought up an interesting thought. We discussed how advertising is everywhere, and we advertise without even knowing it. She gave the example of how most all of our shirts were branded or had some sort of location or such on them. Then, she asked how many of us owned more than three Christopher Newport articles of clothing. Nearly everyone raised their hand.

We all went around and shared our favorite Christopher Newport pieces that we own, everything from bobbleheads to posters to sweatpants. It makes sense that we all have loads of Christopher Newport gear, I mean, we’re all students here. Though, I realized that there was something more at work. Not only does everyone wear and display their Christopher Newport merchandise, but they cherish it. And yes, as my argumentation professor noted, it’s technically all advertising, but to us these pieces are so much more than that; they’re memories.

One day, we’ll all be graduated and onto the next phase of our lives. The mementos we save, even if it is just a shirt, are something that we can always look back on to reminisce about our time at this university. We’re proud to be Captains and we’ll never forget the amazing experience we shared together during our years here. It may be a little silly to sound so sentimental over a shirt, but I’m glad that my school is so passionate. It proves to me that Christopher Newport is more than four years; it’s a lifetime.

Music – Not Just for Majors

College is a time to grow as an individual and seek out new avenues to explore. Coming to Christopher Newport, I knew there were many things I wanted to pursue and discover about myself, but I was determined to also bring with me my commitment to violin. I have been playing violin since the fifth grade and was incredibly worried about how I could continue throughout college if I was not a music major. Orchestra in high school had given me such a passion for violin, I didn’t want to leave those experiences behind. When I went through orientation I expressed my concerns with my crew leader and she instantly found me the contact information for the Music Department.

I emailed them and was happy to find my answer the very next day: non-music majors are welcome to join the orchestra! I could take the class as a creative expressions credit that would contribute to my liberal arts learning and I would just audition to determine seating arrangements. The Music Department was so welcoming and immensely helpful when it came time to the auditions. I was a little nervous because I had never played with such experienced musicians, but they eased my worries by informing me that all levels are welcome and the audition is just for placement purposes.

As a sophomore this year, my schedule conflicted with when the orchestra classes were offered, sadly meaning I could not partake in orchestra this year. Once more I notified the department of this disappointment and they offered me the opportunity to join a student-led quartet. This is so wonderful because now I can continue the joys of playing with my peers while also maintaining my current schedule for this year.

I love playing as an ensemble and I am so grateful for the opportunities the Music Department has offered me here. Regardless of schedule, major, or level, all musicians are welcome at Christopher Newport. I highly encourage you, music related or not, to bring the passions unique to you, because Captains were made to inspire.

Fall Farmers Market

During the beginning of the fall semester, before it gets too chilly out, the fall farmers market is held from 3 – 6 p.m., each Thursday. The market is a student favorite on campus, and is the fun event that many of us look forward to each week.

Just two semesters ago, current farmers market president and my friend, Caroline, was a member of the Green Team, the environmental sustainability organization where the farmers market originated. It took only a couple of weeks for Caroline to realize that the market would have greater potential if it separated from the Green Team and became its own organization with more manpower. As Christopher Newport makes it relatively easy for a student to start a new organization, Caroline was able to create the farmers market at Christopher Newport as its own entity.

Caroline, and the dedicated team of the farmers market, are doing an excellent job of bringing in better vendors from the local community and introducing different activities that students get excited about. Artisan wood-fired pizza is made fresh each market. Puerto Rican food is sold from the new food truck. Everyone’s favorite, kettle corn, tastes as delicious as it smells. I have a secret soft spot for the sweet treats sold by local bakers and enjoy looking at the offerings of fresh salsas, vegetables, honey and sauces, and cute little houseplants. Students have the ability to sell their own crafts and perform at the market, too! $5 yoga classes are another new addition to the market this year that I think is super neat.

No one wants to see the fall market season coming to an end, but there is still one more market to look forward to, and I will definitely not miss it!

Business Etiquette!

There are many perks to being a senior in the Luter School of Business, and the Business Etiquette Conference is at the top of the list. I mean, it’s not everyday that we – those of us of age, of course – sip a glass of red wine and eat a four-course meal with our professors and local business professionals. However, events that teach professional development in a manner that is enticing to students who are my age, are kind of the norm in the Luter School. As the entire evening was complimentary for each senior attendee, it became clear to me how deeply the Luter School of Business cares for its students’ success.

My evening began with the first of two break-out sessions. The concept of the first centered around the power of branding yourself using the popular, business-centric social networking site, LinkedIn. The guest speaker, Dawn Edmiston, was one of the most passionate women I have ever met. Her face lit up when she proposed creative ideas on how we could stand out from a crowd when applying for a position. The second session I chose to attend explained what not to do in a business setting, from having a weak handshake to forgetting to send a handwritten follow-up card, which was very insightful.

After cocktail hour, networking with my business professors and the company representatives from across the state was the part everyone was waiting for: free dinner! Professionals who have mastered business etiquette for a living, taught us the ins and outs of the proper way to sit, speak, dress and eat as any business professional would. I even learned how to take an olive pit out of my mouth. Who would have known there was a proper way to do that? Not only was the dinner delicious (especially the ice cream sundae for dessert), but I learned more about business etiquette than I could have imagined. Now I cannot wait for my first business lunch to put my newfound skills into practice!

Five Places to Eat on Campus (other than dining halls)

The dining halls, Commons and Regattas, are fantastic. There’s no doubt about it. Today, I had some delicious mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes and vegetarian “chicken” with asparagus. Though, it’s nice to be able to switch things up every once in awhile, and that’s why Christopher Newport offers so many other dining options.

 

  • Discovery Grill: I wanted to start this list off strong, so I’m going with my favorite option, Discovery Grill. Wow, their mozzarella sticks are something else, absolutely amazing. Once a week, I have an order of those as well as an egg and cheese croissant sandwich. Now, I know that’s a bit of an odd pairing, but trust me, it’s delicious. The grill has so many choices: burgers, salads, melts, subs and plenty of sides. There’s something for everyone!
  • Discovery Pizzeria: Every great college campus has a pizza place, and Christopher Newport is no exception. Though, I’d argue the most special thing on the menu is their garlic breadsticks. They’re only $2.40 and they’re worth every penny.
  • Discovery Bistro: The bistro is a little pricier than the other restaurants, but don’t let that stop you. It’s definitely a great place to splurge every once in awhile. They have tons of great sandwiches and sushi to choose from.
  • Chick-fil-A: I mentioned how every great college campus has a pizza place; well, every great college should have a Chick-fil-A, too. Those waffle fries can get me out of my bed anytime, any day.
  • Einstein’s: Most people go here for the coffee, but they also have a huge menu with plenty of delicious foods to choose from. They have a breakfast and lunch menu with tons of options, but also snacks and drinks that are served all day.

 

You don’t have to always go to a dining hall. There’s always something new and delicious to eat at Christopher Newport!

Late Night Reward

Last night, I’m proud to say I was up until 2 a.m., working on an essay. Okay, I know that doesn’t sound like something to be proud of. Consider this though, the essay isn’t due until Thursday! So, why did I stay up so late?

Well, yesterday I was sitting in my room, dreading all of the homework I’d have to squeeze in before the start of fall break. I was pouring over the syllabi for my classes, very disheartened. Then, I had a thought, a radical thought. What if I finished all of my homework today? How crazy would that be? I opened up my laptop and got started.

For theater, I had to read through an entire play and catalog every description of my character that is said by my character or one of the other characters about my character. Even with skimming, that took me a solid 90 minutes or so. Next up, I had to watch a movie for English class and make a short presentation on it. This took up the majority of my afternoon. Though, once it was done I felt a huge weight lifted. It was nice to have my schedule a little less full! I ate a late dinner and finished up a few other assignments. There was just one left.

I had an essay due on Thursday for my leadership course. For me, the hardest part about essays is starting. It was already 10 p.m., I figured “maybe I should just go to sleep.” Then I thought, “well, if I’ve come this far, I might as well at least start my essay.” To my surprise, once the ideas started flowing, I couldn’t stop myself. Seven pages later, I had a fully APA formatted and cited leadership paper finished. The only issue was, well, it was 2 a.m. and I had a class at 9:30 a.m. I crawled into bed. I was tired, but proud.

Now, my week is wide open and I can spend it with my friends. Although, I think tonight I’ll probably go to sleep early!

A First Date

It’s that time of the year again, autumn is almost upon us—also known as “cuffing season.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it means the time of the year (usually the colder seasons), in which everyone wants go get into a relationship and snuggle up with their partner under a blanket in front of a warm fireplace or some other such romantic gesture. I’m no exception, as I found myself on a first date the other day.

Christopher Newport is a place for a lot of different things, and you’ll hear all about most of them on tours and brochures. It’s a place for an amazing education. It’s a place to make lifelong friendships. It’s a place to experience and try new things. Though, one thing you might not be talked to about, is how it’s a place to maybe meet your significant other!

At our campus, we all hold our core values very close to the heart. The honor code we sign and live by is something we take seriously. As such, it’s easy to find common ground when talking to anyone on campus. We all share something very special! At Christopher Newport, you’re bound to meet hundreds, if not thousands, of wonderful, lovely people during your years here. Who’s to say one won’t end up being your wife or husband one day?

I had a great time on my date Friday. I have no idea what’s to come of it, but I am so excited to be a part of this community that fosters such amazing people and relationships!

Midterms on the Horizon

It’s that time of the year again … midterms. I can’t believe how quickly the semester is flying by. It feels like just the other day when I was moving into my apartment on campus. That’s how college goes though, the quickest four years of your life!

This week, I’ve started receiving some midterm reviews. It pains my heart, but I suppose it was inevitable. Thankfully, I’m not going through it alone. Everyone else on campus has midterms coming soon, too! I’m also thankful for the new library expansion, which has almost doubled the size of the building from last year. That means there’ll be plenty of space to find a study room to buckle down for the night and cram.

I’ve been getting in contact with my peers in my classes to sort out study groups. In college, since there is usually very few assignments in each class, the midterm is a HUGE chunk of your grade. So, I’m working very diligently to ensure that I can ace every exam. Christopher Newport is a very social community, but we’re also very academically minded. No matter what, there’s always plenty of spaces to go study at (whether it’s 4 p.m. or 4 a.m.)

Midterms are certainly daunting, but thanks to the emphasis on academics that Christopher Newport ensures its students are taking – I’m not too worried. I know my peers and I will study hard and we’ll get through midterms week, just as we do every semester!