Big Sky Ski Practice

Last weekend, I took the day off of work and school on Friday and headed up to Big Sky to ski with my brother. He works at the resort and as a benefit he has coupons for half off of the lift ticket and rentals, which comes out to about 50-60 dollars all together. I only went up for half of the day to ski because he thought I would get tired if I tried to go all day. Jokes on him, though, because I shredded down that mountain (note: I don’t know how to stop, so that’s my only option).

We did a few runs at big sky and then skied over to moonlight (A resort owned by big sky) and skied there too. After the mountain closed at 4 we went and got some good food, hung out in the hot tub pool, and then I headed home. It was a good day. So good that I’m going back this Saturday to do a full day!

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Valentines Day Procrastination

Oh, Valentines Day. What a weird and useless holiday. Couples make reservations all over the town (mostly on main street), go to the movies, buy each other gifts… basically, a lot of money is spent. I’ve done it before, so I understand, but this year for me has been all about pinching pennies.

So, I spent around $5 on food and a movie. How, you may ask? I went to the procrastinator theatre! It is a student run theatre on campus that plays popular movies, new and old. I have been wanting to see “The Theory of Everything” for a while, and it was playing at 6:30 last night. I paid my $2 to get in and brought my $3 worth of candy and my water with me… boom, perfect valentines day. It was a low money and low stress option that myself and my movie date enjoyed.

If you’re looking for something to do thats cheap, check out what’s playing at the procrastinator. Alone, with a friend… whatever. Take some time out of your day to enjoy a good movie without all the spending.

Check it out here.

Community Event: The Experience and Science of Mental Illness

Singer Jason DeShaw

Singer Jason DeShaw

This past Wednesday, I attended a free community event called “The Experience and Science of Mental Illness” out of interest and to take notes for my interest. It was an incredibly interesting event. The first speaker, Jason DeShaw, is a country singer from Montana who has Bipolar I disorder. He discussed his experience with Bipolar Disorder, weaving songs into his story. A line from one of his songs regarding being diagnosed that stuck out: “I carried a different toon”. Jason walked the community through what it felt like to be on the Manic and Depressive ends of Bipolar disorder, talked about suicide in our community, and what it means to give people options and hope. He ended his discussion by saying that mental illness is not just a matter of health, it is a matter of humanity.

Dr. Matt Byerly

Dr. Matt Byerly

The second speaker was Dr. Matt Byerly, who discussed what to expect in the next five and ten years in the science of mental illness. He has done some amazing work regarding schizophrenia and adherence to medication, Down Syndrome, and Fragile X among many other research project. I look forward to keeping tabs on what he discovers.

This was an important community event because 1 in 4 individuals struggles with mental illness. When you come to college, you yourself or someone you know may be struggling. It is important to try and understand what is happening and how to help. We are fortunate to have a number of resources on campus, from the Counseling Center to the VOICE Center to Student Health. Know how to get the help that you need.

Final Semester… Here we go.

Last week began my final semester of undergraduate college, which is terrifying. Let me put the anxiety about graduating to the side for now, though, and let you know what my schedule looks like:

Monday/Wed/Friday classes

  • 9:00-9:50: Introduction to American Government
  • 12:00-12:50: Professional Issues (Senior Seminar Class, Wednesdays Only)
  • 1:10-2:00: Managing Work and Family
  • 3:10-6:00: Parenting (Monday’s only)

Tuesdays/Thursdays

  • 10:50-12:05: Gender, Race, Class and Family Diversity

When I’m not in class, I am working in the Dean of Students Office or interning for Associate Dean Aaron Grusonik (Director of Safety and Welfare). I also take the VOICE Center crisis phone home on Monday nights. And, of course, I get my exercise in my attending cycling class on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 6:15 for 75 minutes.

I’m pretty busy, but not as busy as I’ve been in the past, which is going to be interesting for me (Free time… what? I don’t even know what that is).

What kinds of classes are you looking forward to taking?

The Reality of Going Away to College

This past month was winter break, meaning I went home to New Hampshire for a bit. While home it finally hit me… I’m graduating. I’m graduating, and I have no idea what I’m going to do.

When I went to Montana, graduation seemed so far away that it wasn’t even on my radar. I was nervous, but I was blanketed in the secure college-kid world where everyone wants to make friends and getting a job is kind of a breeze and I could go home for all my breaks and know I still had time to figure life out.

Now? I have to figure out what my next step is, and I’m terrified. My reality is that I chose to go far away to college, and now I have a home in two places, and I have no idea what to do. Realistically, I have choices. Grad school, work, internships… It doesn’t make me feel any better though. Do I go somewhere else and make a third home? Go back to New Hampshire and figure out what’s next? Stay in Montana and further make it my home? Also, what do I do about the massive amounts of debt I already have? It’s making me dizzy trying to figure it all out…

I just can’t even believe how fast time flies. I still remember the feeling when my Mom finally left me at MSU four years ago. Don’t take it for granted, folks. The security of four years of college is a wonderful thing.

Wanted nothing, got everything I wanted nonetheless

I asked for nothing for Christmas this year, which bothered my mother to no end (“you’re no fun!!”), but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy to receive things… plus, I said nothing about birthday presents (my birthday is the 29th).

It actually worked to my advantage to ask for nothing, because I have ended up with all the things that I wanted to continue on my quest to become an outdoors woman.

First and foremost, I got the most AWESOME early birthday presents (see picture below). I have wanted trekking poles for a really long time to take backpacking with me, and I now am the proud owner of some! I had also wanted a backpacking tent for a really long time, so I now have a 3 person tent to bring on my next trip.. yay!! And, lastly, I got 60 spiced ciders, just because I love them.

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For christmas, I got some hiking socks- which I really needed- another nalgene- which I also really needed because I have been using my one water bottle forever, and gift cards to american eagle and barnes and noble. Plus money, best gift a girl can ask for.

I have about another week and a half of break before I head back to bozeman. Cheers to a fantastic break so far…

Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival

This weekend, my friend and I stopped by the Ice Climbing festival in Bozeman to watch a couple of climbers compete. I have to say, it was pretty awesome. It was more awesome beyond just seeing people ice climb because, I was told, the festival was also the World Cup for the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation.

Anyways, witnessing ice climbing for the first time was very eye opening. I had a mental image of people with pick axes dragging themselves up a sheet of ice monotonously, but that definitely wasn’t right. Instead, the climbers made their way up the ice wall by traversing and going upside down and planking sideways and I can’t even tell you what other odd contortions their bodies went into to get up that wall. More incredible was that they had seven minutes to get as far as possible up the wall for the competition, and in that seven minutes their expertise could clearly be seen as they raced their way up.

So, yeah, it was cool. Thought of picking up a new hobby? If you are able to buy all of the expensive gear, do not fear extreme cold and the potential for severe injury or death (risk-takers), and have a lot of time on your hands… this might be for you!

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Note to Self. Re: Hyalite

Hyalite in the winter is a bad idea. Very pretty, but a very bad idea.IMG_7438

Why did I decide to drive up to Hyalite lake? Well, it had been so cold that I figured the waterfall had frozen over and my friend and I thought it would be cool to see.

Why was it a bad idea? Well, I and many other cars ended up getting very, very stuck in the deep snow. I couldn’t get myself out no matter what I did and was dangerously close to the edge of the road, which happened to be a cliff. A big truck finally came and pulled me out but by then there were other cars stuck and it was a long line of maneuvering and problem solving as we all tried to get out of there.

On the bright side, I was lucky it was so busy at hyalite with all the people who had gone up there to cut down their christmas trees (free in the woods, the best way to get them) and were so kind to want to help strangers who did not plan as well for the snow as they did.

Looking for something fun to do this winter? Perhaps make sure you are prepared for the adventures you go on, with things like snow tires and four wheel drive and snow chains and whatever else people use…

Dead week, Finals Week

Here we are, at the end of dead week, heading into final week.

If you haven’t read any previous posts or are out of the loop, dead week is the week before finals week, aptly named because everyone is studying so hard that they feel like zombies by the end of it. By everyone, I mean everyone but me, as I have been fortunate once again to have very little to do.

Here is what my dead week/finals week looks like:

  • I was supposed to have an in class exam this Thursday for my finance class, but my teacher decided to make it online… I’d call that a win
  • Final exam today (Friday) at 4pm in my developmental psychology class
  • Final paper due in my research methods class Tuesday, final exam at 4pm Tuesday
  • Final paper due in my public policy class Thursday, exam online
  • The end.

I have to do a bit of studying, but overall I’m feeling good about finals. And ready for a break before my FINAL semester of undergraduate college!!

Snow, snow and more snow

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Well, winter is here (although it’s been a little iffy), making the skiers and the snowboarders and the snow fanatics very happy. I have to admit, I prefer it to be snowing over the negative degree temperatures we had a few weeks ago and that seem to be coming back…

If you’re a big skier or snowboarder, I would suggest visiting MSU in the next few months so that you can check out Big Sky or Bridger while you’re here. All of my friends got the students passes to Big Sky this year, which opened on Thanksgiving day. They’re on the mountain as we speak, if you’re wondering..

Not a skier or a snowboarder? That’s okay, you can be like me and most of my other friends who prefer to stay inside and watch movies and drink hot cider until the temps warm up…

I have to admit, it is pretty out there in the winter though!

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