Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April Round-Up, or This Can't Be the Last Full Month

... of my undergraduate career at St. Lawrence. As I scramble during this last week in April to finish my senior honors thesis, see all my friends, attend lectures and workshops, prepare presentations, receive award and inductions, and dress up and dance for theme house and team formals (as if we could dress up to go anywhere else!), it is finally sinking in that this is it. In less than four weeks, this community that I have so wholeheartedly spread my mind and heart into, will no longer be my home. 

Building apple crates with a local carpenter through the North Country Folk Series, a set of programs to connect students with local crafts people and artisans.
Mine's a bit rough around the edges, but certainly a useful piece of furniture!

Elizabeth and I hiked Azure Mountain, a small peak about 40 minutes away, with over 50 friends of the Women's Resource Center for Take Back the Night. The purpose of the event is to give agency back to victims of sexual assult (see the post I read last fall here).
Evening cresting across the St. Regis Valley.
I rallied, and registered l11 adies to revive the Ruckus BusT for one last competitive tournament that would be just women's teams. Unfortunately, sickness, family visits, and work schedules prevented us from going. Nonetheless, I hopped aboard the guy's team and accompanied them to their tournament in southern tier New York. I regained my Georgia tan, tried to film highlights, and provided support however I could, which included driving them back to school after an exhausting marathon of games. A few sets of parents came to watch and feed us, which was wonderful. They men only had 3 subs for the weekend but played some of the best frisbee I've seen from them!

The seniors (it was a mom's idea, for once).
This past weekend we kicked off our infamous Spring Fest with brunch! It was a full team effort to feed nearly 20 people, but I couldn't think of a better way to fuel up for a long day of dancing and celebrating spring.

People milled about the townhouse quad before the concert. There was the most people I've seen since the first week of school, with many from neighboring colleges which we didn't exactly like, but they weren't causing much trouble.

Our Spring Fest featured Mat Kearney and Sammy Adams. Mat demonstrated clear talent and seemed like a genuine man. I removed myself from the crowd for Sammy Adams, who promotes the image of a Boston frat boy. We watched the chaos ensue from a hill side with amusement.  

Following the weekend recovery, I've hunkered down in the library to tie up my thesis and prepare for poster presentations on Friday and Monday. There's no time to lose momentum! But I'll save the rest of my four years of sentimentality for another post.

Listening: "Through the Wire" from Tokyo Police Club's new album, Forcefield.

Scenes from Spring Break, part II

Actions shots from the tournament, partying with the team, and glorious evenings at the marsh. (Some photos are generously borrowed from friends)

It was such a treat to play on a grass field, albeit sandy. The heat, however, took a lot of adjustment. Day one had me quite dehydrated.
The tournament was co-ed, so for seen players on the field we went 5 men - 2 women, or 4-3, which I love because it fosters a need for trust and communication.

High Tide is awesome because it attracts colleges from around the country. We played DI schools like Georgetown and Boston University, and competing against a college from Wisconsin! Despite actual size rankings, every team is a wild card.
We also played a no-clothes point... courtesy of four guys on our teams with speedos.
Frisbee playing makes for some badass snapshots and highlight videos. Holly, Elizabeth, and Sam (our team moms) were terrific with on the sideline with these! 

We ended day 3 not winning the tournament and finishing 4-4 overall, but collectively proud and exhausted of our playing. We drove to St. Simon's Island (where most teams resided) and ate ice cream on the pier.


The Ruckus Bus in prime form.

Would you believe that the snow only finally melted two weeks ago, but night times is still barely breaking 35 degrees? There's talk of the infamous year that it snowed on graduation, but I'm bearing my sandal tan proudly and wearing them whenever it's warmer that forty degrees. Although Georgia is moving farther away in the past, I can definitely say it was one of my best memories of this year. There are so many seniors graduating from the team, we're considering the idea of returning next spring and registering as the alumni Rusty Bus, and renting out the  Bluff House again. I can only hope--being a member of Team Shithead is a full-time job!

Listening: "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac

Friday, April 4, 2014

Scenes from Spring Break, part I

Spring break was March 8th to the 15th and I'm still in denial. Though North Country temperatures have finally crested the freezing point, we have no semblance of new life yet, and we have to go through mud season first.

I traveled 20 hours south with my ultimate frisbee team, the Ruckus Bus, to southeastern Georgia to play in High Tide, the largest collegiate ultimate tournament in the country. Georgia is honestly a different world; we forgot what it takes to defend against sunburn and bug bites, but we adjusted quickly. Traditionally, the team has rented a house on St. Simon's Island, but the home owners are tired of the liabilities and trouble caused by a month's worth of college students. However, we snagged a house a bit farther north situated on a marshland estuary, called the Baisden Bluff House. It sleeps 14 and we actually fit the 25 of us comfortably, and we filled the lawn with games, strung hammocks, paddled down the river, spent mornings and evenings in the enclosed patio, biked under moss-covered trees, played kan jam from sunrise to sunset, slacklined, played bacci, corn hole (the bean bag game), wiffle ball and just reveled at our lovely Ruckus commune.

Forty hours down and back with these fools (Elizabeth was driving at that point)!

The Baisden Bluffhouse lawn, before we filled it with activities. 
With four bedrooms and three baths, couches also became beds at night, though fortunately not too many people had to sleep on the floor. 
The first night we all arrived at the house, everyone was so exhausted! All we could do was collapse in the living room together.
The beautiful estuary. The boys challenged each other to climb onto the beams and catch a frisbee while laying out into the river!

We paddled out to this sand bar at low tide and claimed it as Ruckus Island!
Exploring the roads around Crescent with Elizabeth.

It's raining, and the snow is finally melting away, but we're still playing frisbee indoors. This winter has been harsh, which I took for granted because I was in China at this time last year. Three weeks later, my tan has disappeared, but that makes me appreciate sunshine and summer that much more-- right?!

Listening: "If I Ever Feel Better" by Pheonix