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

New England

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…


Hands-On Archival Experience

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…


Three Fun Places in Boston

For the first time in months, I took some time yesterday to simply walk around Boston and visit a few of my favorite locations within the city. While I probably should have picked a cooler day (yesterday was HOT!), it was still nice to just take some time to enjoy sites that are unique to Boston. If you have not had an opportunity to visit any of the following locations, I strongly suggest you do. They are a part of what makes Boston special and are as notable to city as Central Park is to New York City.  Beacon Hill: I started my day over in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Boston. With history extending as far back as the early 1600s, the neighborhood of Beacon Hill predominately features federal-style houses build during the nineteenth century. I love this neighborhood; while walking around its brick sidewalks and narrow streets one can easily forget that there is a modern city just a few streets away. The Charles Street area is where the old neighborhood and the…


Beach Daze

I went to the beach this week. Word of advice?  Make sure you apply as much sunscreen as humanly possible; and always re-apply it after swimming. My back could make Taylor Swift’s lipstick jealous, though I put on sunscreen pretty often. We went to Revere Beach, which holds the distinction of being the first public beach in the nation, having been established in 1896. The ride out to Revere isn’t bad–if you’re like me, you catch the C or the D and ride to Government Center, then hop on the Blue Line to Wonderland (which, by the way, is actually closer to the beach than the Revere Beach stop. New England…what can you do?)–and the ride home is pretty relaxing too, if you time it right to avoid Red Sox traffic. Revere Beach is pretty quality for a non-ocean beach. Depending on where you set up, the sand is pretty clear of debris and rock, the water is full of seaweed but not super murky, the downside is that the water is absolutely freezing, because…


Wandering Boston Gardens

Since the spring semester ended, I started a new job, Boston got hit by a heat wave, and I’ve been bouncing back and forth from Boston to CT to handle a few things, like getting an air conditioner and getting my dog vaccinated. However, because it is finally summertime, I’ve been doing my best to walk around Boston and just get to know more of the city. Recently, I’ve been wandering aimlessly and stumbling into some of Boston’s cultivated green spaces. For example:  (On the top is the Rose Garden near Simmons, and the bottom is in the financial area near Downtown Crossing) My undergraduate degree in American Studies focused heavily on the history of the environment and environmentalist movements of New England, so I’m always fascinated by these green spaces. A pretty amazing book that discusses Boston’s green spaces in particular is Michael Rawson’s Eden on the Charles. Rawson takes a serious look at green spaces like the Boston Common and this economic, socio-cultural and historical influences which shaped it from an area for cows…


Salem In A Day

My semester ended last Tuesday so, on Thursday, my friends and I went out to Salem for the day. It’s a fast, cheap trip (14 dollars for a round trip ticket on the commuter rail!) and about thirty or so minutes from South Station to the Salem MBTA station. We basically just wandered around the central tourist part of Salem, hitting up the Witch Dungeon museum, which was kind of corny but in that nice tourist-y way. They did a reenactment of one of the trials and then lead us on a tour of a replica dungeon, and discussed the history of the jailing of the witches. We then wandered down to the Peabody Museum, which was amazing and rich in both classic and maritime themed art and newer, more modern pieces. If you haven’t been, the offer a student discount and it’s really affordable to go in. Of course, spending the whole day in Salem, we had to grab lunch. If you’re looking for good food and a nice environment, I would recommend the…


Boston By Foot

One of my goals for 2016 was, as soon as the weather was nice enough, I would walk to work. From my house, it’s only 2.7 miles, which takes me about an hour. Normally, if I am taking public transit, I need to leave by 8:15 to ge to work for 9am; walking the same route only adds 15-20 minutes to my commute (which doesn’t say much for our transit system). One of the top women runners at the Marathon Attending the Boston Marathon on Monday inspired me to step it up (pun intended). After the marathon, I walked to Simmons to do some homework. Unfortunately, the computer lab was closed, so then I decided to walk home across the Charles (I live in somerville). My 3.5 miles was definitely no marathon, but I felt proud of myself because normally it wouldn’t even corss my mind to walk.  View after crossing the Charles I think it’s easy to forget what a small city Boston is when you take public transit, because it can take so…


Sunshine and Seventy-Five

Today, as a friend put it, is the “First Nice Day In Boston”. Although my phone is trying to tell me it is partly cloudy, the skies are a clear blue, the 75 degree temperature is perfect, the grass is a lush green and the trees and flowers are in bloom. You can almost forgive mother nature for turning Boston in this two weeks ago: (Almost) At any rate, the weather has turned from winter to spring, and it is finally gorgeous enough out to just start walking everywhere again. This is wonderful, especially considering the fact that my commute home takes me through Fenway and Kenmore, and the Boston Red Sox opened last week for the season. As much as I’m a fan, I’m waiting excited for those nice, relaxing commutes in the summer when there are no games and there are a lot less undergraduates. (Do I sound like a grumpy old graduate student yet? I’ve been working on it.) While I don’t have plans for this weekend–yet!–I’m happy to force my friends…