Nala Keegan

9 May

I may just be the first person to ever buy an iPad case before actually purchasing the iPad. Last night my father picked me up from school for a doctor’s appointment that turned to be more then either of us had intended it to be. After my appointment we went to pick my little brother up from a track meet and headed over to Crossgates mall for some dinner and a much needed haircut for my brother. After scarfing down a veggie burger at Uno’s we then headed over to the hair salon so my brother could get his hair tamed. During this process I then decided to hitup the Apple Store in order to innocently gaze at all the beautiful iPads just waiting to be purchased. This was perhaps the greatest decision of my life as the second I saw the new iPads I fell madly in love. It was game over after that. I had to have one right that second and as I was already planning on buying one in the summer, I figured I might as well buy one a few months earlier. But I first I needed to go check out cases to make sure my new baby would be super protected from any sort of harm. So I headed over to Best Buy which was a complete let down as the cases were expensive and also hideous beyond description. My last stop was Brookstone where I was told I would be able to find some nice quality cases or at the very least a hard, durable outer shell. That was where and when I found my gorgeous turquoise blue case that also acts as a stand for my little baby boo. It was expensive, but absolutely worth every penny.

After making this purchase I then headed back to the Apple store to buy her. I immediately chose the new white iPad and after forking over more than $500 (a painful thing for me) I was soonholding little Nala in my hands. The Apple tech people treated me with supreme kindness and let me set her up myself so I got to fall in love that much faster. When I got back to the dorms I couldn’t help showing her off to my roomies. She is that awesome. I have currently had her for less then 24 hours, but there are no complaints here. She is my pride and joy and I really couldn’t be more ecstatic!!

ISIC

3 May

Isn't it lovely?

Today I finally went to pick up my ISIC or my International Student Identity Card from the International Programs Office in Old Chapel. I felt a serious sense of accomplishment handing over my $22 (a dollar of it all in change…) and beamed when the card was placed in my hands. Suddenly my study abroad trip to Rennes seemed so real, so close I could almost breath the cool French air. I was definitely hallucinating that last bit, but this new card made me feel elated. Granted I have much more to do to even be granted a student visa, this didn’t seem to matter as much with my little green card glistening between my palms.

What does this card do you ask? It is my insurance card for over seas. This card means that if I were to fall ill and need to be transported to a hospital in France or even a hospital in a different country I would be able to be transported free of charge and hassle. This card also means that if I were to tragically pass away over the course of my trip (crossing my fingers that doesn’t happen or if it does I die from some epic cause such as sky diving over the Eiffel Tower or falling through the crack while kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland) my body would be transported back to the U.S. once again free of charge. Yeah! What an absolutely morbid thought, but I suppose that would be one less stressor for my family to have to worry about after my untimely demise.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of this card is the photo. The school opted to use my Union ID photo for this new ID and let me tell you, I could not be happier about that decision. I’ve always liked my ID picture (probably the only time I will ever say that in my life) and was just happy I didn’t have to get my photo retaken as I’m sure there would be some massive flaw with the new one. It’s not everyday I can take a good ID photo, especially not in the case of my drivers license where I look like a 15 year old school teacher from 1865 with bad teeth and frizzled hair. I will not be posting a photo of that ID anytime soon.

This is perhaps one of the most exciting things that has happened to me in a while which either proves just how excited I am for France in September or how I really don’t get out much and should probably find a new hobby. Either way this little baby is going on top of my drivers license in my wallet where it will stay nestled until I find some way to lose it in Europe.

Chobani Addiction

2 May

As of recent I have switched up my dairy routine for the better. I am a HUGE dairy person (becoming a vegan is not an option for me) and I have to have at least one yogurt or lump of cheese a day otherwise I go insane. For the longest time I was obsessed with Yoplait Lights, that is Yoplait low fat yogurt in delicious flavors such as Strawberry Banana, Strawberry, Peach, and Blueberry. But after skimming through an article that many nutritionists had come together to write I realized that all of them said to stay away from any yogurt other then greek!! I was shocked. I thought I was being the healthiest I could be with my light yogurts, but as it turns out they have nowhere near as much protein or nutritional value as greek yogurt does. All of these nutritionists swore by greek yogurt, in particular Chobani greek yogurt.

Mmmm...I'm hungry just looking at them!

About a year ago I had stumbled upon this said Chobani yogurt in my fridge at home and deciding to try it I stuck my spoon in it and brought it to my mouth. YUCK! It was disgusting. I thought for a second that I was even eating straight sour cream, but after glancing at the packaging again there was no mistaking that it was greek yogurt. I gaged trying to get the stuff down my throat and vowed never again to try greek yogurt, especially not something as horrible as what Chobani produces. So I was very, very sad to read that greek yogurt is much better for the body and as my body is my temple I forced myself to re-evaluate my yogurt choices. The next day I headed over to Reamer to see if they sold this yogurt which of course they did in the bookstore. I bought a Blueberry and a Peach Chobani and headed back to my dorm room to experiment with my taste buds. I decided on the Peach first (my love for Blueberries being too great to potentially spoil) and took my first bite with a cringe. It was DELICIOUS! I was once again shocked. I had spent an entire year cursing the very yogurt I was ingesting only to find out it was actually some of the best yogurt I’d ever tasted. It wasn’t until later that I figured out the reason I’d hated it in the first place was because it was plain old yogurt, no fruit to be found at the bottom. Since this moment of true clarity I have never picked up a Yoplait yogurt again. In fact I fell so in love with Chobani that I went out to the supermarket and filled my entire fridge with them (much to my roommates astonishment and slight horror). I have since tried all different kinds of flavors from my two favorites, Peach and Apple Cinnamon, to my least favorites, Pomegranate and Passion Fruit. I have also discovered that they are sold all around campus including the Bookstore, Rathskeller, and they even have cartons of it at West Dining Hall. Honestly, I don’t think I will ever go back to any other kind of yogurt. I even stick my nose up in the air when I see different brands of greek yogurt. I’ve become some sort of a yogurt snob, but it just might be the best form of snobbery out there.

Old Chapel Party

30 Apr

This weekend was the first weekend I decided to do something different then the usual partying at frat row. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fraternity’s just as much as anyone else on campus, but I really wanted to just dance! So instead of putting on my heels and preparing myself for the chilly trek over to the frats I instead put on comfortable shoes and headed to Old Chapel. Old Chapel puts on a party a few times a trimester and I was super excited to go as my friend always tells me it’s the best place to dance. And she was completely right! We showed up around 11 pm and danced until we couldn’t anymore. At first there really weren’t a lot of people there, but we didn’t care. We all huddled together and shook our stuff on the dance floor. Around 1 am a lot more people began to show up and the dance floor got a little more packed. Perhaps my favorite part of the evening was when Spanish music began blasting and everyone grabbed each others hands to join in. My friend Victoria and I danced to most of the Spanish songs together and had a lot of fun watching everyone around us doing the steps to the dance. She had to teach me a few of them as I hadn’t danced to that rhythm in a long time.

The entire experience was so much fun and I’m really looking forward to doing it all over again when the next old chapel party comes around. The music and dancing are ten times better then the frats and are so totally my taste that it is hard to imagine going back to a frat to dance to techno again. Another great thing was that I got to meet a lot of new people that I had never met before and was able to dance my way to three am when the party shut down!!

Current Stressor: France Applications

26 Apr

It has begun! What has begun you may ask? My France Study Abroad process, and what a long process is it turning out to be. I first began this little journey when I attended two meetings, the first for all study abroad students and the second specifically for those going to Rennes. I then filled out a subway form for a subway card that I’ll be able to use on the entire subway system. Next I had to fill out a housing form in order to be placed with a family that best suits me in Rennes. On top of these two forms I also had to fill out another ten with my signature and both my parents. These included conduct forms, alcohol and drug policies, housing preference forms for the Winter trimester etc.

After completing all of these forms I now have the task of creating an application for Campus France, sending in my information, signing up for a visa with the French Consulate, and then getting interviewed at the French Consulate in New York City. I will then hopefully have my visa and actually be able to study in France. On top of all of this I still have to buy my plane ticket, which hopefully will happen in the next few days. This is perhaps the most stressful part as $1000 is on the line and could be potentially be lost if I don’t receive a visa. So I am a little stressed by all of this, rather I am super stressed about getting all of this accomplished in a timely manner.

Oh well. That’s life, or rather c’est la vie.

I am a Disney Princess: Dreams do Come True

19 Apr

Look at the resolution of that screen!

After dreaming about getting the new iPad for several months my dreams are finally going to come true! The main issue in regards to successfully being granted this fabulous gift was of course money. Capital M-O-N-E-Y. The new iPad costs over $500 and as a college student paying off a trip to Rennes in the fall, I really don’t have an extra 500 lying around. I was resolved to save up as much as I could and if I could scrounge together enough pennies to afford it at the end of the summer I’d buy it. But recently something deliciously wonderful has happened to me. No I did not win the lottery, although that would be pretty sick if I had. I had the luck of it being spring trimester here at Union as my Federal Loan Refund check came to me in the mail. Now I expected it to be the same as last trimester, around $200, but this time there was a great difference. My check was worth an outstanding $650!!!!

Beautiful white iPad (soon to be mine!)

What luck to have exactly the amount I need for an iPad. I almost fell to the floor I was so excited (flashback to last year when a hot guy texted me and I fell on the floor in a puddle of utter happiness). I now have exactly the amount I need to purchase a plane ticket to Europe AND the iPad AND an awesome case for it. I can hardly wait to go deposit my check to purchase my new little baby. This will be the first time I’ve had a new electronic gadget in over three years. That in itself is reason to celebrate.

Cases, Cases, and more Cases. Loving the striped Kate Spade in the right-hand corner.

Hot as Hades

18 Apr

Schenectady circa Monday

So Monday was pretty warm. And by pretty warm I mean it felt like the sun was about to collide with the earth, specifically the city of Schenectady. I was unprepared for my first foray out into the sun baked world. Thinking the weather was going to be warm, but that a light spring breeze would help cool off the air I dressed in a striped sundress, sandals, and a cardigan. Stepping outside at 9, this seemed appropriate attire for the rest of the day. It was hot, but decidedly not as hot as everyone had been telling me it was going to be. I made it through class in Humanities at the perfect temperature in my cardi. This was all about to change.

I immediately went to get lunch and then made my way back to Fox. I didn’t have to leave the room again until 2:30. I donned my cardigan again and headed outside for what I thought would be similar weather to that morning. WRONG. It was blazing hot. I was barely out the door before I started perspiring. I ripped off my sweater and jammed it in my bag, the bag that now seemed to be giving off heat like a live, dog sized creature. I tried to hurry to class at first, dying to be comforted by air conditioning, but that only made things worse. I quickly learned my best bet was to take it slow and to stop darting around like a deranged lizard. I made it to Lippman only relatively sweaty and had a chance to wipe off my sweatstache before entering the over populated building. My first thought upon entering the building was that it really wasn’t much cooler then outside. My second thought was to question why it was so dark inside. That’s when I realized I was still wearing my sunglasses and also when I realized part of my brain had probably fried during the walk over.

I was in for a rude awakening when I stepped into my poetry classroom and realized it was almost hotter then outside. I had forgotten that there were no windows, no air conditioning vents, and no fresh air to breath. I felt like I was suffocating on hot, overly recycled air. To top all of this off I also realized that my partner for our oral presentation that day had failed to show up. Wonderful. I made a mental note to pierce a hole through his soul with my eyes next class and waited for my teacher to enter. She immediately deemed the classroom too hot and set about making preparations for us to be moved to Humanities, aka a building that has rooms with windows. We trekked over to Humanities like a herd of camels whose humps had recently been depleted of all water and made it to the second floor before collapsing in our chairs. The room was barely cooler than the one we had just left, but at this point we were so beaten down I think we would have accepted anything.

By the end of my class my hair was a massive curly frizz ball from the humidity, my body was coated in a sheen of sweat, my legs felt like two dead logs, and my breathing was shallow and irregular from the extra energy it took to breath. Getting out of that classroom was one small pleasure in a day full of almost none. Entering Fox I was greeted by a wave of chilly air and immediately thanked my lucky stars this heat had just descended on the city, allowing the building to retain its coolness. I collapsed on the futon, splayed out like a dead fish, and watched mind numbing television for the next hour with the shades drawn and the lights turned low. I never again want to experience that kind of intense heat on this campus. Old buildings and an explosion of 90 degree weather do not mix well, trust me.

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