Category Archives: friends

Dear Class of 2015:

In roughly two weeks (give or take a couple days), you will step foot on Colorado College. Some of you have visited, while some have not. Regardless, that first glimpse of Colorado College will be something magical for this will be your home for the next four years.

This is the place where a ‘unique, intellectual adventure’ is about to take place. You’ll have the opportunity to be a biologist, an historian, or a philosopher for 3.5 weeks. You have the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas in a classroom with students from across the world. Professors become your friend, and really do care about your well-being and your many existential crises.

This is the place where you get a Block Break after that mind-blowing and exhausting FYE course. You then decide to go camping, visit some friends in Boulder, or stay on campus to catch up on sleep.

This is the place where you will meet incredible friends. You lived on the same hall, went on your NSO trip together, or bonded over your FYE.  You sometimes can’t get over how special your fellow classmates are, but more importantly, you can’t get over that they share your passions.

This is where you belong: the most magical institution of higher learning.

I will hopefully see some of you during NSO week!

CC has a Baseball Team?

The Story of Four Kids Motivated by the Love of the Game

The 2011 season for the Colorado College Club Baseball team was a roller coaster ride that will never be forgotten. We came into the season with 6 returning players, and hope that we would get enough support from the incoming freshman class. We no graduating seniors, we knew this was going to be a rebuilding year, and the season started out as such. However, before we get to that point it is worth noting how this team came to being, Four years ago a group of motivated sophomores decided it was no longer okay for CC not to have a baseball team. They set out in the hopes of creating a club team, thereby bringing a baseball team to the school for the first time since Title 9 was passed.

Led by Matt Kerns, Eddie Spears and Tristan Kanipe and Brad Dixon, a baseball team was formed, and placed into the NCBA (National Club Baseball Association) Division II league. While the first two years were rough, both ending with CC possessing a losing record, the 3rd year proved to be different. Last year for the first time in the programs history, CC finished with a winning record, and even more impressively won the series against division and city rival UCCS, who had dropped down from DI club that year. It was awesome to be able to celebrate a winning record with the seniors who had created the team, because for them it justified all the hard work they had to put into it. However, as happy as it was to celebrate the accomplishment, the harsh reality set in that this core of the team, our four seniors were graduating and moving on to bigger and better things. What was remaining was four sophomores and two freshman, and a whole lot of confusion.

The Team in 2010

With Matt Valeta and I both studying abroad in the fall this year, the day to day operations of preparing for the spring season was left to Russ Pagan, Chuck Lovering and Sam Brody. These three sat in on activities fair, met with prospective students, etc. and managed the team, while a lot paperwork and necessary busy work for the season was done abroad by Matt and I. We both came back excited about the possibility and praying for enough freshmen to continue this club. What we found was a whole host of new faces ready to step in and fill some of the roles that had left to go work in Washington. Reuben Mitrani, Jayson Post, Jesse Paul, Bradley Bachman and Stephan Gayle joined us as freshman, Will Allenbach transferred in from Tulane as a sophomore, and Chris Lowenstein joined the team as a junior. All of these additions gave us hope for the season to come. However, we also realized which such a young team, that there was going to be a lot of road bumps and learning experiences.

The season started out rough, with the rust of the team being the most apparent aspect of the team. This culminated in a 8-2 lead being blown in the 7th(final) inning against Western State. Lots of errors led to bad losses, and about halfway through the season we got together as a team and decided we had had enough. We started playing better, and took two of three from Fort Lewis, and played better against UCCS and Western. I injured my ankle over spring break, and took on the coaching role during two of our biggest series. However, the season ended on a positive note, with us ending the season on a 3 game winning streak, finishing with a 2 game sweep of Fort Lewis. With the season coming to a close, one thing stood out to my co-captains and I; we weren’t graduating anyone. We plan on returning at least 13, with hope for 5-6 freshman, and a couple current students joining on. However, while our regular season was over, one of the most inspiring moments of the season was yet to come.

Earlier in the season the coach from DU had let the league know that a player on their team had passed away from a skiing accident. While we as a team were unavailable to attend the memorial, the coach Jared Floyd proposed a memorial game between DU and CC in honor of Joe Lubar. We thought it was an incredible idea, and said we would love to participate. Son on the second Sunday of 8th block we drove down to Denver not quite sure what to expect. What we encountered was an incredible afternoon full of events that made us completely forget the fact that it was over 90 degrees out. The day started with the announcement of both teams, and both of us lining up on the field, followed by the Lubar family coming out to the pitchers mound. Then an accapella group from DU performed “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel, which brought tears to the eyes of many. Afterwards a music student at DU came and sang an incredible rendition of the national anthem. After that DU retired the jerseys of Joe Lubar, and presented the framed jerseys to the family. We then presented an engraved bat on behalf of CC and the club baseball team.

Finally the younger brother came out and threw the first pitch, which began the game. The feeling that overcame both teams was that this game was not about beating their rival, but instead something much bigger. Both teams were cheering for one another, and simply enjoying the 9 inning game that insued. Both teams were able to use all their players, and over 100 fans were in attendance, including families from the Colorado College team. Overall it was one of those experiences that moves you, and you walk away from knowing you took part in something special. The coach and I talked after the game about making this a yearly tradition, and it may be that it would come to CC next year, which is something that CC should look forward too if given that opportunity.

Dear Blog Readers,

It has been months since I’ve last posted.  I sincerely apologize.

Let me catch you up on the ‘exciting’ world of Melissa.


  • I worked at high school job again. I secretly love it, but I disliked waking up at 4:30 in the morning to open the bakery.
  • My friends Hannah and Justin drove to see me in all my Oklahoma glory. Accent and all!
  • I went to Disney World and Universal Studios (including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!). Six theme parks total in six days. phew!

Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Now the new school year:

  • I co-led an New Student Orientation trip to an organic farm. It was lovely!
  • I was the First Year Experience mentor for Freedom and Authority taught by Susan Ashley and Tip Ragan.  The students were brilliant! I loved baking them goodies all the time…
  • I took Social Theory with Jeff Livesay blocks 1 and 2. Hardest sociology class I’ve taken.  Definitely loved the last couple of weeks where I learned about modernity and postmodernity (maybe it’s the history major in me?).
  • Now! I’m in Hero! Honor, Outlaws, and Order in East Asian History and Culture with John Williams. I haven’t been in a history course in about 8 months! GASP! I’m really enjoying the class.  I’ve so far grasped that the course is about studying the concept of ‘hero’ and how its definition changes through historical context. An interplay on tradition versus modernity (modernity, again…?! Maybe I truly am a historian-ish).
  • Also, I’m working as the research assistant for the History Department. It’s lovely, except that I have to be at work at 7:30 in the morning! eek! I get to see this in the morning (win/lose situation):
  • I’ve been freaking about what I’m going to do once I graduate from CC in 2012.  My options: masters in social work, masters in education, masters in public affairs (focus on nonprofit organizing), Teach For America, and taking a couple years off to learn French so I can apply to programs for European history…

My life, thus far, in a nutshell. Sorry everyone!

With much love and MANY apologies,

Melissa Tran

p.s. Here’s a funny picture to make up for everything.

the aspens

“I like being near the top of a mountain. One can’t get lost here.”
Wislawa Szymborska

Colorado high country is known for its aspens. The beautiful, color-changing trees lose the green of summer leaves and take on a rich yellow hue in the beginning of fall – generally around mid-September. Travelers come from all over the country to watch the aspens turn gold, and to explore Colorado in car, on bike and on foot. Over the year’s first block break, a few friends and I went up to the Maroon Bells outside of the city of Aspen to spend some time outside and watch the colors change ourselves.

maroon bells

Though our original plan was a four pass loop, we ended up backpacking over Buckskin Pass and camping near Snowmass Lake, taking day trips away from our beachfront home. We were completely isolated and alone – surrounded only by water, trees, sky and 14ers. We passed afternoons lounging by the lake, eating trail mix and peanut butter, and mostly appreciating the peace and four and a half days to adventure in the mountains.


It was a great first block break and a perfect way to relax between classes, spend time with friends and breathe in some fresher, high-altitude mountain air. And, of course, to walk amongst the aspens as they changed color.


some things just require [pie]

“A great many things can be solved with kindness
Even more with laughter
But there are some things that just require cake.”

Pie 1

Or pie.
I realize all I ever talk about now is food. Perhaps my greatest love – and I feel no shame in sharing it. This pie is AWESOME. We picked up the peaches from the farmers’ market in Old Colorado City and they made for absolutely mouth-watering unforgettable deliciousness.
Bonus lesson: pies make friends.

Pie 2

Try it yourself:
Peach Pie the Old Fashioned Two Crust Way

– 1 (15 ounce) package pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
– 1 egg, beaten
– 5 cups sliced peeled peaches
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 cup white sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts. Brush with some of the beaten egg to keep the dough from becoming soggy later.
3. Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour over the peaches, and mix gently. Pour into the pie crust, and dot with butter. Cover with the other pie crust, and fold the edges under. Flute the edges to seal or press the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in egg. Brush the remaining egg over the top crust. Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam.
4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through the vents. If the edges brown to fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking. Cool before serving. This tastes better warm than hot.

Happy baking!

happy birthday America

One of the things we love most about summer? Barbeques. Fourth of July? …Barbeques. What a perfect day to go big with the grill – meat, corn, bananas, peppers and whatever else finds its way to that metal rack. Then of course add “potluck” to it all and pies, salads, watermelon and a beautiful array of salsas magically appear.


This year’s Fourth consisted of serious sun, food, porches and games. (And around 10pm a hailstorm.) The procession began at the big red house with the first barbeque, the backyard and tunes. We moved on to Yampa Field for Slip N Slide, soccer, Frisbee, and more lounging, music and meat. We found ourselves welcoming the evening from porches and pretty much forgot altogether the clock from then on.


Just a quick insight into our birthday celebration at CC! What a wonderful day to spend time with friends, eat delicious food and enjoy a summer afternoon..


Hope you all enjoyed your Fourths as well!

making caramel apples in July

Sometimes fall comes early. As a native Washingtonian and lover of all things fruit and candy, naturally making caramel apples seemed the ideal summer activity. I was recently informed by a friend’s mother (thank you Mary) that we are not actually in the prime of apple season, and the apple-making party would have been better suited for fall. I still maintain that the apples (especially those loaded with caramel, graham crackers and cinnamon sugar) were amazing and the day could not have been better spent. How could anyone ever say no to sugar.
So on a hot Saturday in July, we fast-forwarded to the apple harvesting of October, dipped, rolled and sprinkled our Granny Smiths, letting the sunburn sink in as we went.

Caramel apple

Sounds delectable, doesn’t it? Below is an incredibly simple recipe for the caramel. I would strongly encourage creativity with decoration – we considered Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, marshmallows, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, any nut, M&Ms, butterscotch chips and Oreos.
My tips and recommendations: 1) Let the caramel cool and thicken (perhaps more than you would expect) before dipping; 2) Wrapped caramels will generally come with traditional popsicle sticks – don’t worry about buying a separate pack; 3) Add a bit more caramel to the mix to allow for more deliciousness on apple; 4) Let apples set on wax paper (obviously, save the mess); 5) Let apples cool in fridge, and definitely not the sun.

Now for the deets, thanks to
– 6 Granny Smith apples
– 6 wooden sticks
– 1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
– 2 tablespoons water
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Insert wooden sticks 3/4 of the way into the stem end of each apple. Place apples on a cookie sheet covered with lightly greased aluminum foil.
2. Combine caramels and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until caramel melts and is smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Dip each apple into the caramel and gently run apples around insides of saucepan to scrape off some of the caramel. Scrape excess caramel from the apple bottoms using the side of the saucepan. Place on the aluminum foil and chill until ready to serve.


Click here to view the recipe online

(And check out other awesome caramel apple recipes!)

Garden Level Life

I am a self-proclaimed ‘blogaholic’. I will be the first to admit that during my college years, my blog reading has quickly become the perfect study break, escape, and my personal favorite, guilty pleasure. I am always impressed by how honest, whimsical, and witty blog writers are, and have found it easier to stay connected ‘behind the scenes’, always being the anonymous reader, never leaving comments, simply reading once in a while daily, and moving on. So, when we, as CC Admission Fellows, were asked to join the student blogging crew this summer, I was excited terrified. MY writing? On the INTERNET? Of which ANYONE can read? No way. But, here you have it. Enjoy. I am excited to see what you have to say.

As far as blogs go, here are some of my favorites (because I know you all were waiting with baited breath):

Brave New Words: The world travels of my big sis, Meg. Brilliant writer, brilliant girl.
Life Behind a Lens: The fantastic Denali Johnson, little person, BIG heart. Shout out, D!
Hootenannie: Miss Annie Parsons; singer, songwriter, and all around beauty.
The SHU box: A glimpse into the daily life of Sarah, a pediatric resident.
Post Secret: My Sunday morning tradition.
DOOCE: If there was a monarchy in the blogging world, she would be queen.

On tap for Summer 2010:

-Rachel and Jeremy’s wedding
-House sitting here, house sitting there
-Mom and Dad’s 26th wedding anniversary (holy guacamole)
-Megan’s 24th birthday
-APARTMENT MOVE IN! Pictures to follow…
-Boston to visit my lovelies, Emily Brenner and Amanda Saunders
-DISNEYWORLD with Mama and Meg Berry
-Fellowing with the ever fabulous Jacquie, Meg, Diego and Nate (also bloggers, check them out!)
-Tri training (tri season is upon us, people)
-Yogaing (I am well aware this isn’t a real word…but you get it, right?)
-Entertaining (=BBQing) with the sassy Meredith Smith

Fun, right? But I am convinced that this list would be more fun with:


And one of these.

A pair of these.

And this beauty.

I also met some kids who spoke Navajo today. Pretty neat. Okay, REALLY neat.

Happy Summer, y’all! Rock it out.


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?)