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

New England

Public Transport Rant: The Good, The Bad, and The Super Delayed T

Maria Reilova

Being from a small town in Florida means that for most of my life, I have had pretty regular access to a car. My high school didn’t even have a school bus option for where I lived. The closest grocery store was under 5 miles away but there was no direct bus line and if you wanted to walk it would be through 90 degree weather and 100% humidity, not my ideal afternoon out. Also subway systems in Florida just don’t exist since Florida is basically sand. So moving to Boston and having so many public transportation options is a super new concept for me. I’ll start by saying that I am very lucky to have been able to live with my cousin whose from MA and lived in Boston for a little over a year, so when I arrived in August I had a guide waiting with a Charlie Card for me. I still remember though my first T ride alone following along on my phone with google maps. I quickly learned my stops…

A Fall Outing

Sarah Callanan

I went on a wonderful fall outing this past week!  Ever since I moved to Massachusetts I’ve been working on trying to explore the area more.  I research things to do and places to visit online, I ask classmates and colleagues where to go, and sometimes I just stumble across places as I go about my day.  One thing that several people told me was that I couldn’t go through a fall in New England without a trip to an apple orchard.  I’ve noticed that there is an abundance of apple orchards near where I live, and it feels like there are far more here than there were North Carolina.  This past week, I decided to take the advice that was given to me and I visited an apple orchard with my family.  We went to Tougas Family Farm in Northborough, MA.   At the farm it is currently apple and pumpkin picking season.  During other times of the year, you can pick other kinds of fruit such as strawberries (early June to early July), cherries…

Fall is Here!

Sarah Callanan

Fall has arrived!  Well, technically fall doesn’t start until September 22, but it certainly feels like fall.  The weather is getting slightly colder, the leaves are beginning to change, and the fall semester has just begun (my class literally just started last night).  I must say, I really enjoy how classes do not start until September here.  Even the elementary, middle, and high schools in Massachusetts didn’t start until last week (at least that’s when they started in my area).  My entire life, school has always started in early-to-mid August, no matter what state I have lived in.  I’m really enjoying waiting until fall to go back to school.  As the seasons have started to change, I have been trying to partake in some fun fall activities.  Last weekend, I went to the Autumn Arts and Crafts Festival at the Historic Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA.   It was a great outdoor craft fair with a ton of vendors and exhibits, and I bought some fabulous items!  There seems to be a lot of festivals in…

The Boston Marathon!

Ashley Jackson

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…

Adjusting to Life in New England

Sarah Callanan

I have lived in nearly every part of the country except for the New England area, and it has been a bit of a transition.  Every place I’ve moved to has its own culture and has been a different experience, and I’ve loved them all in their own way.  Here are some experiences I’ve had that are unique to this region: The Driving:  I have never been more terrified on the road.  Double yellow lines apparently mean nothing here, and everyone is so aggressive on the road.  Public Transportation: Even though I have lived in cities, I’ve never lived in a city that has had a super comprehensive public transportation plan like the Boston area does.  Just today I rode the Commuter Rail, the T, and a bus.  Learning to navigate the MBTA has been an interesting learning experience though.  I’m so happy that we have the MBTA and that I can easily get in to, around, and out of Boston.  The Accent: Why is Worcester pronounced Wooster? And Quincy pronounced Quinzy?  I just can’t…

Winter in Boston:

Josie Snow

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

Megan Ondricek

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…


Josie Snow

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

Giuliana Gilbert-Igelsrud

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…

Hands-On Archival Experience

Elizabeth James

As an online student, I almost felt a twinge of jealousy when I saw that school would be cancelled in Boston on Thursday due to the imminent snow storm. But then I remembered that means I don’t have to deal with the snow. Or the ice. Especially the ice–with an armful of books, I’m a walking disaster, and it’s a rare moment that I am without an armful of books. Instead, I decided to gear up for internship season–with deadlines looming, I feel as though I am constantly sending emails to professors arranging for references when I’m not reading course material. Now that my Introduction to Archives course has begun, I have also been spending a significant amount of time at my internship location. I currently work at a non-archives job while attending school, so it has felt unbelievably amazing to get my hands on archival materials again. These materials belong to a public library whose archive contains a significant amount of local history materials. I am currently processing the personal papers of one local…