Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Boston

Some Thoughts on Cars and Parking Permits

Hello, people of the world! I’d like to pass along some practical advice about what it’s like to bring your out of state car to Massachusetts, because there are a number of things I’ve had to learn the hard way since I did just that a couple of weeks ago. First off, there are a number of cities in the Greater Boston Area that will require you to have a street parking permit if you aren’t lucky enough to land in a place with a driveway or garage. Know that you have been blessed by the parking gods if such fortune falls upon your head. And since the spaces in the lot behind my apartment complex were already filled up, I was in need of such a permit. I made a big, fat assumption that since I was a grad student living here temporarily, I’d still be able to get some kind of permit. Oh, I was wrong. So very wrong. It turns out that when you’re living here and have your vehicle here, you’re…


Local Discoveries

I’m not going to lie, I’ve kind of failed on the planned adventuring. As I said last time in my post, I was planning on discovering more of Massachusetts on the weekends, and I was going to plan out my trips, and report back. I had a great adventure planned to write about, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I initially planned to go into Boston and meet up with my sister (to see her for the first time in five months!) and I had a list of places to go, things to do, where to eat; however, I was unaware that first, the MBTA is doing construction on the Commuter Rail that I take on the weekends and that has messed with the schedule, and second, that Boston Calling was this past weekend, so I did not end up going to Boston.  However, I have made some discoveries about Massachusetts in my own neck of the woods. For example, the wildlife. So, as someone who is not from New England, I have had encounters with…


The Prettiest Afternoon

I went on a lovely little outing this past Saturday! I met a friend at Copley Square and we went to treat ourselves at L.A. Burdick’s, an amazing and decadent chocolatier that I highly suggest you try at least once in your life. After we had armed ourselves with drinking chocolate–yep, that’s a real thing–and pastries, we made our way over to the Public Garden and then strolled into the Beacon Hill neighborhood. The city was pulsing with activity, with everyone coming out to sunbathe and play and enjoy the general splendor of the afternoon. It. Was. Delightful.  Once we had finished up there, I was off to pick up a new library book…one of many that are piling up in my room now that the semester is over and I can genuinely read for pleasure…called The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin. I recently joined a sci-fi feminist book club, which promises to be awesome on a whole lot of levels, and Le Guin’s book is next up in our queue.  I’ll…


The Boston Marathon!

The Boston Marathon was yesterday and what a day for it! Being a new resident of the Northeast, I was not too keen on how big of a deal this was for the residents of Boston.  Of course, I have heard of the marathon, it is major, but being in the city to experience it first hand was a whole other thing.  Restaurants and bars offer free food and drinks to the runners, my local nail spa provided free manicures if you had a runner’s bib, and that’s what I noticed just walking down Beacon. I have the pleasure of living only steps away from Beacon Street (not too great for studying- those cowbells are loud!), one of the last major stretches to the finish line on Boylston. First, the weather.  Holy moly. I am not a runner, but I can imagine this wasn’t the most ideal condition for 26.2 miles of running.  What I understand is the streets are usually full of people cheering on the runners, but with yesterday’s conditions, there were still…


An Apprehensive Baseball Fan

Baseball Season is upon on. Opening games were just last week! I was never one to really watch baseball on television (so long!), but I did enjoy watching the World Series last year (ASTROS!).  I do enjoy going to games because everything’s more fun in person in my opinion.  Plus, it’s a chance to drink beer and partake in the food I usually would not. Hello junk food! I learned a bit about the game by watching the World Series, which I mean, the most elementary fundamentals of the game. Enough to watch, cheer, understand, but still feed my always curious brain so I can ask ridiculous questions most baseball fans will roll their eyes at. I don’t care because it’s a learning opportunity. Right? I have a feeling that this year things will change for me as a baseball fan.  The Red Sox are literally just around the corner from us here at Simmons, and it’s across the street from my work, so I am expecting to be inundated with all things Sox this…


Winter in Boston:

Winter in Boston: The Autumnal colors left, and the chill air changed, carrying the scent of frosty leaves, and a crispness that makes it hard to stay outside. Here the wind sweeps in, and that combined with the wet cold makes the feeling of cold settle in your bones whenever you go outside. Everyone walks around in a bundle of coats, scarf, gloves–and yet, they are still very stylish. Fashion,it seems, still applies even when one must layer constantly.  I also found the winter weather to be very mercurial, shifting constantly. One day it is rainy and cold, another day sunny and chilly, then rainy and warm, or perhaps snowy. The snow here comes in bursts and then doesn’t stay long, it turns to ice, or is washed away in the rain. I keep finding new things to marvel at as far as the weather is concerned.


Staying Sane (and Productive) in the New England Winter

This is the New England winter in a nutshell, courtesy of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: We’re approaching that part of the season when it really does feel like winter is all you will ever know. The New England winter is soooo long. You can expect everyone to start talking about and anticipating spring around mid-March, but the spring-like weather won’t actually show up until May. It is not uncommon to have snow in April. So if you’re thinking of moving here from a warmer location: you’ve been warned. That being said, there are a lot of healthy ways to cope with the winter and you certainly do not have to love the cold to love New England. Here are a few of the tips and tricks that I have found effective for chasing away those winter blues: 1. Embrace the beauty and necessity of winter. Every year I have to prepare myself mentally for the winter ahead. Accept the fact that it’s going to be very long and very cold. Now look for the…


Reflection:

A few weeks ago, I flew home to visit Colorado. I watched as the land beneath the plane transformed, slowly developing cracks and wrinkles that formed themselves to canyons and hills. I watched breathlessly as those hills grew larger, until they became mountains. The instant I saw them, a phrase, half remembered from a high school Spanish report flits across my mind–Yo soy una chica de los montañas–I am a girl of the mountains. In that moment, I am sure, the mountains are the landscape of my soul. How can one resist the scenery, or the wonderful people that live in the mountains?  Then, when I flew back into Boston, I looked out of the window to see rivers glinting in the light of the setting sun, their ice-covered surfaces glowing, and trees bordering the edges of neighborhoods and cities, framing the scene. The lights in the trees greeting all the people who happen to walk by. Again, my breath caught…Boston is its own kind of beautiful, and it is weaving its way into my…


Scholarship Appreciation Time

I’m extremely thankful to have a merit scholarship from SLIS. Every semester (when I take at least 9 units) I receive $6,000 from Simmons; that’s $24,000 over four semesters, which is nothing to scoff at. As a scholarship recipient, I have been tasked to write a short thank you letter; I thought I might post it here. The cost of higher education has absolutely skyrocketed in recent years, and the only reason I have been able to afford Simmons (and with relatively low financial stress) is the SLIS Merit Scholarship. Simmons was one of two schools I applied to that offered me any financial aid, and by the time I received my acceptance letter, had become my top choice. I was thrilled to see that my academic efforts had paid off, literally! I cannot overstate how much I value the unique experience I’m having at Simmons. I’m from California, and I went to UC Berkeley for my Bachelor’s degree, so you can imagine how different it has been living here and attending Simmons. I never…


A Language of BEEPS

One of the biggest things I have had to adjust to is the traffic, and the noise that comes with it, especially the horns honking. Each day as I walk to school there are horns blaring, tooting, and bleeping… at first it was all terribly overwhelming, I could not identify any real purpose to it, after all, what difference does it make if you make a lot of noise while you are stuck in traffic? You will still be stuck even if you honk your horn…but slowly I have begun to distinguish between the sounds, and I have noticed that there are patterns to how people honk their horns, and you can sometimes tell what they are trying to say by the noise their car makes: The long drawn out HO-O-O-O-O-O-NK= frustration, usually in the term of “SOMEBODY MOVE!!!! Or “HEY I’M DRIVING HERE!!!” or “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” An abrupt double HO-ONK-HO-ONK= ” STOP THAT (you idiot)” But a quick double-tap Beep-beep= “Hey there” when you see someone you know walking beside the road,…