Monthly Archives: October 2009

Going Back A Bit

I finally had time (or rather the motivation) this week to upload a film of mine to YouTube. Last fall, I made a documentary film for an advanced filmmaking class. The film explored a notorious hiking trail here in Colorado Springs, The Manitou Incline. I believe I have, and maybe some other bloggers here, mentioned the Incline in other posts. The Incline is a set of old railway ties that ascends Mt. Manitou at the base of Pikes Peak. The ties stretch for about 1 mile and 2,000 vertical feet. It is an unbelievably strenuous workout. The trail is popular with a diverse group of people from around Colorado and is used almost everyday. Despite its popularity, the trail is actually illegal to do. My film covers what the Incline is, the history behind it, and the current land issues. The film’s facts may be outdated seeing as it was filmed about one year ago, however, I have not heard any updated news recently about the land issues. See the video (in two parts) below.



The fun part about this film for me is that it somewhat exemplifies why I came to a liberal arts college (as cliche as that might sound). I absolutely love the fact that I will graduate from Colorado College as an Economics major with a solid documentary film to my name. In fact, the councilman in the film asked to use it in his efforts to work out land issues surrounding the trail. Nearing the end of my time at CC forces me to reflect, and this film is one of the things I am most proud of. It is just one example of the numerous other areas, outside of my major, which I have been afforded the chance to explore while here.

I encourage anyone and everyone to check out The Colorado College YouTube Channel. You’ll find countless great student films there.


NYC Halloween Advertisment

Halloween is almost upon us in the city, and spirit (and decorations) abound. I took the F train to the land of Brooklyn a couple of days ago, just so I could wear my hipster apparel and use my trendy messenger bag, and when I stepped out at the Carrol Gardens stop, the world had changed. In place of Manhattan’s impressive buildings, wide bustling streets and frenetic horn-honking-people scurrying-cars swerving vibe, a human sized environment had emerged: narrow shady streets with families out for walks, couples with their hands in each-others pockets, dog walkers and stroller pushers galore. If I ever needed a family vibe to set me right, I should come here. Most of the brownstones (2-3 story connected houses built out of brown sandstone) had tons of decorations. No. I mean TONS. I couldn’t even see facade of one entire house it was so loaded with skulls and fake spiderwebs and scythes and pumpkins and plastic tombstones and whew, I could go on. This happens to be a post of run on sentences, but it fits my vibe right now, so hang tight.

I kept wandering and found these things:

Forty-three carved pumpkins, numerous spider webs (hard to count for obvious reasons), 2 children who decided to dress up early (1 michael jackson and 1 sesame street bigbird, related?), 20 cozy coffee cafes, many hipsters, 1 Trader Joes, 1 3rd floor balcony with a giant ladder leading to the ground (break-in? bored tenants? fire!?) and 40 people on bikes.

Thousands of golden orange leaves dotted the asphalt, with most trees in that lazy stage of half-dress, where thousands of the leaves are gone but many still remain. So many people whizzed by on bicycles that I though I might be back in Colorado or even the NW. Here, though, people do the craziest things on bikes. They shoot through intersections, don’t wear helmets, wear helmets from the 1960’s (did they even have helmets back then?), and lock their bikes with the thickest chains I’ve ever seen. Crazy stuff. At least they ride their bikes and the subway, though. One of the ads on the F train states that NYC residents use 75% less energy than the majority of Americans, simply because they use public transportation. It’s one of the things only things I hate about Colorado- public transportation sucks. To get into the mountains takes more gas than I care to admit and though CC’s ski union does offer a ski-bus, it only goes to a couple resorts and fills up fast. That said, if you have a friend with a car, you’re set for 4 years of POWDDEEERRRR and great company. Long story short, I wish Amtrak was as reliable and widespread in the West as it is here in the Eastern Corridor.

To conclude this conglomeration of random thoughts, I shall orate on the celebration of this coming weekend. NYC has, no not the world’s largest ball of twine (1,475 miles long, Cawker City, Kansas), not the world’s largest rocking chair (Cuba, MO), nope, not even the world’s largest yogic circle (unknowable because yogis don’t care about such things). NYC does have the biggest baddest Halloween parade, fo sho. It’s in the west village, near where I live and it’s been an institution for 36 years. Needless to say:

I AM STOKED for this weekend.

More Halloween NYC news at–its-halloween_b_338233.html

POST SCRIPT:  If you don’t read the HUFFINGTON POST, you should. While it sounds like a bad dream from the 241th Harry Potter movie, the Huff is actually a very well respected news organization, second (in my book) only to the behemoth of the New York Times. The great thing about the former company, is that it is strictly online- and free. (Question of the day: how are newspapers like the NYTimes staying afloat?)



The Glass House

Last year, I talked about living in Slocum.  It was an amazing experience; however, this year just doesn’t compare.

This year, I live in the Lennox House or, more informally known as, the Glass House.   The Glass House is a themed learning community that focuses on encouraging multi-cultural awareness through discussion, support, and programming.

For first block, our programming was to help out with H(unger) A(ction) M(onth) Jam (HAM Jam, for short!) through the CC community kitchen.  Second block, we held a dance party in our basement called, “Mash Up at the Mansion.”  It was incredibly fun, and our house was PACKED.  In other words, our dance party was a success.  mashupThis coming block (3rd block), our house is holding a haunted house for the campus and community!  I’m so excited, because the haunted house is based on folk tales from the residents of the house.  I won’t give too much away, but I’m telling the story of Ma Lai, a Vietnamese story of a ghost who only eats when she’s sleeping.  I know it doesn’t make much sense, but I’m planning on writing another entry on the haunted house (complete with pictures).

I know that at one point or another, you always hear residential life horror stories.  This hasn’t been the case for me at CC.  There are so many options to where you can live on campus.


The President Came to Town

The President of the United States, home of the free, land of the brave, visited New York City yesterday. People thronged along 34th street between 8th and 9th that evening as I walked home, pressing up against the long metal barricades erected by NYC’s finest. Black school girls did chants, white Rastafarians looked cool and grungy, holding up big ‘Make it Legal’ signs and I went to the YMCA and did yoga instead. I know, I know, I go to college for a reason, but 10 hours of staring at a computer screen will do that to a girl. And besides, with Obama in the media so much, I can probably YouTube him tonight and get a better view than if I had stayed with the hordes.
We’re shipping articles to Washington DC (National Geographic headquarters) this week and the pace at work is frantic. I got to work at 9:30am (we usually start around 10) and except for taking a few minutes for lunch with the other interns, my butt was firmly planted to my red yoga ball until 6:30. My eyeballs must be getting muscles of steel worked into them. Ok, so maybe I did cycle between my yoga ball and the copy machine, but that was it, I swear! And every time I came back to my desk another stack of something was waiting for me to fix in Illustrator, Quark (who names their computer program Quark?) or Photoshop. I love the pace! The people I work with are awesome, and we got through the day with Pandora (my favorite internet site EVER) and a little bit of laughter. So anyhow, that’s why I skipped the Pres’ and did some down dogs instead. In New York City, life goes on.
Claire, the Art and Production Intern

Senators, Politics, and Law School Apps, Oh my!

George McGovern

My Roommate, Doug, and me with Senator McGovern (and his new book) before heading off to dinner (picture from CC Website).

It’s been a jam-packed two blocks full of American History and law school applications. Last block, Senator George McGovern visited CC. At 87-years-old, he was surprisingly witty. He gave an enthralling lecture about his new biography on Abraham Lincoln, followed by an intimate dinner at President Celeste’s house. It was such an opportunity to gain insight into the career of a political icon. We asked him questions like what he wished he’d done differently during his 1972 presidential campaign, what he’d change about his political career, and what it was like to be a daytime bomber during WWII. The Poli Sci major in me was in heaven. I admire the senator’s dedication to stay involved in American politics despite suffering a landslide loss amidst Nixon’s duplicity in the Watergate Scandal. I still am amazed that I spent an entire evening with George McGovern.

Part II of my American History lesson was over block break when I visited our nation’s first capital, Philadelphia. One of my best friends, Kristin, is from Philly, and invited a me and a mutual friend, Branden, to visit her hometown. Branden and I rode our very first train, ate our first genuine Philly Cheesesteak, visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, and the Eastern State Penn (where Al Capone stayed). I also visited the University of Pennsylvania Law School. We spent the rest of the break relaxing at Kristin’s family beach house in Delaware.

Block II was a little unusual because it was my first thesis block. As such, I did not have class…just independent research under the guidance of an Economics professor. My flexible schedule permitted me to take a week off to travel with my FYE (First Year Experience) class to Washington, D.C. FYE is the first two blocks every first year student takes at CC, and is freshmen only. Each class has one or two upperclassmen mentors. This year, I am a mentor for the Principles of Economics FYE. The students spent the first 6 weeks of the class learning about economic theory and then had the opportunity to apply it in the form of a policy proposal that they researched in D.C. We had meetings with USDA, NASA, PhRMA, The World Bank, The Fed, Grameen Foundation, Department of the Interior, Colorado Senator Udall, and everywhere else you could imagine.

Now that I’ve come back from D.C., it’s time for me to finish up my law school applications. As you’ll remember, I spent all last winter writing about studying for the LSAT. I got my score back, and I performed well enough that several top institutions contacted me saying that they’d waive my application fees for this year. Initially, I wasn’t planning on applying to more than one or two schools because I was thinking that I’d take a year off in between college and grad school. However, I’d be foolish to turn down an opportunity to apply to top law schools for free. Accordingly, I have a lot of work to do to get all of my applications in order before Thanksgiving Break…which is why I’m spending block break getting it all done. On that note, I’m off to work on my personal statement.

Time Keeps Ticking

Hey Everyone,

I accidentally left my last post as a draft so it was only published yesterday even though I wrote it about a month ago.  In any case, I’ll get you all up to date with what’s been happening in Argentina.

After spending about a month in Chile in 2007 studying with author Antonio Skarmeta, I returned to my old stomping grounds for their equivalent of independence weekend.  Boy, was it sure a good weekend to go back!  Our journey started with a 22 hour bus ride.  I know what you’re thinking but the buses here are like being on first class, and the scenery going through the Andes was amazing.  I’ve seen some incredible things in the mountains, but the drive from Mendoza to Santiago was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen between 24,000 foot snow-capped peaks to the crystal blue lakes along the way.  This visit to Santiago was not one for sight-seeing, that was exhausted on my last trip.  We wanted to immerse ourself with the people because it was ‘el dia de la patria’.  We had plenty of activities between family asados, patriotic songs, and the return of pisco – the wonderful Chilean national drink.  All in all, we crushed Chile…again.

After a few more weeks in Buenos Aires, which are never dull, we decided to head to the middle of the country to a city called Cordoba which is the second largest city in Argentina and happens to be the second largest population of students.  The weather felt more like home with hot, dry air and long sunny days.  The city has beautiful colonial architecture and the people are one of a kind.  Even though everything starts late here, at 4AM the streets were packed with people who were just starting out their night.  Just outside of Cordoba, they also happen to have the third largest Oktoberfest in the world; although we couldn’t figure out where the second largest one was.  The festival was held in a little town called Villa General Belgrano that was settled by German immigrants in the early 20th century.  The town looks like it’s straight out of Europe and combined with the festival it was quite a sight and without a doubt a good time.  Back to BA for class, but on the way back we did happen to engage in a 2 hour political debate with a pair of lawyers from Rosario – Argentines love to talk, especially about politics.

After all this play time, it was time to dig in and get ready for my midterm exams last weekend.  However, in between studying I did have time to revel in Argentina’s thrilling win in the rain over Peru and subsequent qualification for the World Cup with a win over Uruguay yesterday.  You could hear yelling all over the city when they scored in stoppage time and there was singing for the rest of the night.  Now that midterms are over and done with, I am heading to Mendoza for the long weekend to relax and unwind.

I was saddened upon my arrival from Chile that a good friend and teammate of mine, Chris Quon, had passed away suddenly over the weekend.  This news, coupled with the accident of another friend studying abroad in Switzerland, has given me a good reminder about the unpredictability and value of each and every day.  Although I try and make each day in Argentina special because of how unique this experience is, it’s given me new meaning towards my general outlook on life.  Don’t waste any moments, live life to utmost, and accept every invitation that comes your way.  In addition, in light of everything that’s happened and after speaking with all of my friends, it also made me realize what a wonderful group of friends I have at school.  I can’t even express how much they mean to me and what an influence they are in my life, even 5,000 miles away!

More to come.


– To Bryce: I hope you make a speedy recovery.  You’re always on my mind, and we can’t wait to have your contagious, larger than life personality to make us whole again back at school.

Movin’ on Up

The old studio at KRCC - it had it's charm!

The old studio at KRCC - it had it's charm!

We are now in the seventh week of The SOCC (The Sound of Colorado College) broadcasting from an entirely new location… Loomis Hall. For anyone who doesn’t know, The SOCC is Colorado College’s new student-run radio station. We began making noise in the spring of 2008, when our studio was located in the basement of KRCC’s Weber studios. You may ask what the difference between KRCC and The SOCC is. KRCC is Colorado College’s radio station and has been for the past 60 years or so. A few decades ago, KRCC began its transformation from a purely student-run college radio station into a professionally operated NPR affiliate. Today, KRCC’s licensee is still held by the college, but little student participation took place until a few years ago. In 2008, KRCC finished the purchase and upgrade to three HD channels on the regular 91.5 FM signal. HD radio, simply digital radio, is still terrestrial radio – no subscription is required. All you need is a new HD radio. To bring back extensive student involvement, KRCC gave HD3 to the students at Colorado College to do with it as they saw fit.

Today, The SOCC (KRCC-HD3) now broadcasts on the HD3 broadcast as well as over the internet at WWW.THESOCC.ORG. Run by three student staff members, The SOCC has around 50 volunteer DJs who man the station from Noon-2AM, seven days of the week. Some highlights of the 2009-2010 school year include an enormous crop of new DJs, the CC Debate Team Hour, and the continuation of some popular shows run by DJs who have been with the station since its inception.

Our new studio just after countertops and shelving were installed

Our new studio just after countertops and shelving were installed

As mentioned at the outset, The SOCC recently moved studios. We started in the dark, somewhat smelly basement of KRCC. This summer I worked with multiple folks on campus and at KRCC to initiate a move that had been discussed last semester while I was in China. Things came together, and now we are succesfully broadcasting from a small room off the Loomis Hall lobby.

The move has done wonders for The SOCC’s exposure to the campus and community. Before, people would often be surprised when told that we have a new student station. I think I can confidently say that most students, faculty, and staff have at least heard of The SOCC by now. It has been a personal pleasure working to bring something like this to the forefront of the CC community. Community radio is alive and well, even in this age where television and the internet seem to rule the communication stage. My goal is to make The SOCC as much a part of a Colorado College students daily routine as visiting Worner Center to check a mail box. As we grow and build upon our previous experience, I have no doubt that The SOCC will make a name for itself. Our move to this new central location is a great start. While it is sad leaving the folks who have nutured us through our infancy, it is time for us to try and walk on our own. KRCC will continue to keep us afloat through our struggles, but I am excited to see what we can do on our own a bit.

Check out our website to get more info and see a program schedule. Also, listen in over the Internet by clicking on the “listen now” links on the top left of our web page. Click the logo below to visit our site….


The first car load of equipment installed this summer in the new space

The first car load of equipment installed this summer in the new space

Vinyl, decorations, and little bit of character begin to fill in the new studio!

Vinyl, decorations, and little bit of character begin to fill in the new studio!

Catching Up…

Hey Everyone,

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted so I thought I’d get back in the swing of things after a long and much deserved break.  Summer was a relief from the fast pace of 8th block.  I coached for the second year in-a-row the Under 15/13 Colorado Select Boys Lacrosse Team.  I had the pleasure (with a hint of sarcasm) of traveling with them to Ohio, which made it visit lucky number 3 to Ohio this year.  I also worked in the Colorado Office of Economic Development doing policy research directed towards business retention and biotechnology.  Otherwise, you could find me fly fishing in the mountains, groovin’ at Red Rocks, or enjoying the mellow Colorado summer.

I had to pack in a whole summer’s worth of activities into two months because my abroad program started almost 6 weeks ago from today.  I’ve been in Argentina since July 19th and it’s been a whirlwind since I’ve gotten here.  The first month or so, we had an extended orientation because of the Swine Flu Outbreak and subsequent extension of winter vacation.  I am happy to report that I am Swine free and classes finally picked up in the last few weeks.  I had the horrible realization that I’m not on vacation anymore with a frenzy of reading; over 400 pages this week for just one class!

Although school is becoming more of a primary focus, I have done a bit of traveling, most notably to Bariloche to go skiing.  Yes, I have already started counting my 2009/2010 ski days.  Spring is rapidly approaching and I am ready for more adventures outside of Buenos Aires after exhausting this city and myself!  Some nights don’t end until 9 AM the next morning.  Anyway, just a brief account of my whereabouts the last few months, and much more to come from the Southern hemisphere and the wonderful city of Buenos Aires.