Sunday, March 31, 2013

Taking a Break from Easter Break

Hello and Happy Easter everyone! It's been a nice, relaxing break at home in New York with my family. I am finally getting around to some homework before I pack up and head back to St. Michael's tomorrow, and first up is my Social Media assignment. I have to compile two lists to supplement two articles. One is about the string of maple syrup burglaries in Vermont (here), and the other is a hypothetical story about moving into college in the Burlington-area. I hope that you enjoy what I have come up with.

5 Weird Burglaries Around the World:

1. Bridge
Thieves in the Czech Republic claimed to be hired to demolish a 10-ton bridge. The bandits showed depot employees forged paperwork and told them the bridge over unused railroad tracks needed to come down. "The thieves said they had been hired to demolish the bridge, and remove the unwanted railway track to make way for a new cycle route," says a railroad spokesperson. They proceeded to dismantle the bridge and 650 feet of track. (Source)

2. George Washington's Wallet
"One hundred and ninety-one years after his death in 1799, George Washington's battered wallet was stolen from an unlocked case in the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, New Jersey. The wallet was later returned to police. In a separate incident in 1986, a lock of Washington's hair was taken from a museum in France. Five years later it was recovered, along with a lock of hair belonging to the Marquis de Lafayette, by French police during a raid on a drug dealer's hideout." (Source)

3. Manhole Covers
"In July 1990, Los Angeles police broke the case of the Great Manhole Theft Caper when they arrested two culprits who later confessed to stealing 300 manhole covers weighing as much as 300 lbs each. The Manhole Men were selling the covers for six dollars each to scrap-material dealers. They could have made 30 times as much money by recycling the same weight in aluminium soft-drinks cans. Two years later, manhole mania hit Lillehammer, Norway, site of the 1994 Winter Olympics, after local officials began stamping the covers with the Olympic logo. Three of the 140-lb covers were stolen, but one was returned after the thief 'sobered up'." (Source)

4. Buttons
 Felicidad Noriega, the wife of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, was arrested in a Miami-area shopping mall in March 1992 for stealing $305-worth of buttons, which were removed from clothes in a department store. (Source)
5. Sand
Hundreds of tons of sand from a beach on the northern coast of Jamaica was stolen in July 2008. (Source)

 College Move-In Tips

1. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Everyone is overwhelmed while moving into college for the first time. There will be plenty of helpful people around to answer questions or give you a hand lugging that fridge up three flights of stairs. Make sure you become acquainted with your RA and orientation leaders (If you have them). They are all there to make your transition into college a smooth one.

2. Rubbermaid containers are everyone's friends. You have pack tons of things in them and fit them easily into the trunk of your car. Having tons of loose items or overflowing garbage bags can be messy and cost you time when loading and unloading the car.

3. Talk to your roommate ahead of time. Meeting a stranger who you are going to be living with for the next year in a cramped room in a new place can be intimidating. It's helpful to chat with them beforehand (if possible) and get to know them. You can also figure out who is bringing the microwave and who is bringing the fridge. Those little things can take a load off of you and your parents before move-in day and take the edge off of any nerves about meeting your new roomie.

4. Keep your door open. Everyone is friendly during move-in day and orientation. People are much more open to making friends the first few weeks than a month or two into the semester. If you keep your door open, your hall mates can pop by and introduce themselves or check out your cool set-up for ideas. Don't forget to make your rounds and stop by their rooms too.

5. Don't forget to breathe. Everyone around you is going through the same thing and you're undoubtedly all feeling nervous about starting this next big chapter in your lives. It's an exciting and nerve-wracking step, but don't let it overwhelm you. Take a minute to walk around campus or hang some posters in your room to make it more homey. Don't power through the unpacking, greetings, and goodbyes. It'll all be over before you know it so soak it all in and relax as much as you can.
There you have it! I'm going to spend some more time with my family before tomorrow. The season finale of The Walking Dead is on tonight and my household is brimming with excitement. Enjoy the rest of your Easter everyone!

Coloring Easter Eggs with my sister, Maggie, yesterday night.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Figuring Things Out

Sorry to anyone who checked my blog in the last hour. I've been trying to figure out a layout and I'm sure it will be a long process. As I was trying to choose a header photo, I realized how many beautiful photos of St. Michael's and Burlington that I have taken since last year. I figured I'd share some here.

St. Michael's quad last fall, 2012.
House in Burlington during the Art Hop in September, 2012.
"Danger Falling Ice" sign on Cheray at St. Michael's College.
Some of my beautiful family and I outside of Hoehl, the Admissions building at SMC.
Sunset on Lake Champlain on April 13, 2012.

Flowers at the Farmer's Market in Burlington.

Flowers on campus at SMC.

Little girl on Church Street in Burlington.

The teaching gardens.

Lake Champlain on April 13, 2012.

St. Ed's in fall 2012.
The pathway behind Alliot.                 The library in the fall of 2012.
Forgive me for the formatting errors. Blogger was acting up and I have spent way too long trying to add captions to these pictures. I hope you enjoy them! I better go work on my research project for Global Communications now. I've procrastinated long enough. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again soon.
(All pictures were taken by me, except for the 5th picture down which was taken by Shawn Ward, and the one of me & my family which was taken by my cousin, Sue.) 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wise Words from Jane Lindholm

Hello again! It's been a lovely week and today was the perfect way to start off my last weekend before Easter break. My first class was cancelled, which is always a pleasant surprise. It gave me a little more time to get ready and relax before my Social Media class at 11am. Today was an exciting day because we had Jane Lindholm, a co-host of Vermont Edition on Vermont Public Radio (VPR), come in to speak to us about her experiences and use of social media. She was really informative, interesting, and down-to-earth. The class flew by without any glances at the clock and I definitely took away from some of the things she told us.

Jane Lindholm is the host of Vermont Edition on VPR.

Lindholm, a Harvard graduate (the birthplace of Facebook), has worked at VPR since 2007. She is a Vermont native and has lived in and traveled to many places. She is a co-host of Vermont Edition every Monday-Thursday, which is a newsmagazine on VPR. You can read more about her on VPR's website.

During her visit, Lindholm spoke to us about social media and how it pertains to her professional career. She has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a blog. Her main advice was to monitor your posts and consider who may see them and how they may affect you in the future, especially when you are looking for a job. Although social media can be used as an important tool to connect and crowd source audiences, it is also a personal forum for many people. Lindholm suggested that we all let our personalities shine through on social media sites, but to refrain from posting damaging content.

"I sort of think of Twitter as a way to work on my brand," Lindholm said. "How do I want to portray myself? What do I want people to see? What don't I want people to see?"

These things are all important to keep in mind when posting on social media sites. It is really easy to post something on a whim and get immediate reactions from friends and family, but Lindholm suggested that we all wait ten minutes first. If we still want to post whatever it is after ten minutes, we should "go for it."

Although social media is a tool that Lindholm uses to expand her professional network and connect with fans, it is also a forum for her to share quirkier information than she would on air. She can use a more informal tone on the internet than she can at work. This allows her followers to glimpse a peak into her daily life without breaching her privacy too much. She is in control of what people see and how much they can see.

Her conscious use of social media is inspiring and definitely made me think about how I use social media. Until college, my Facebook and Twitter were filled with solely personal information. Since last year I have learned how I can utilize these networking tools to enhance and promote my work. Now it is vital that I monitor what I post on the web. I have always been pretty conscious of my internet activity, but it is clearer to me now how detrimental ignorance can be when using social media. When used properly, social media can be a terrific forum for discussion, promotion, networking, and leisure. I suppose that like anything else, giving too much information can be poor for your reputation and may come back to bite you in the future.

So take it from Jane Lindholm, an expert in her profession, and consider how you use social media. Journalist or not, it could make or break you in the pursuit of your future career.

Twitter can be a great way to network with people. I mentioned Jane in a tweet after class and I got a response from her a few hours later.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Allow Me To Introduce Myself

Well, here it is... my first post! I'm Sheila, and I am a Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts major and Political Science minor at St. Michael's College in Vermont. I absolutely love my classes and I am really passionate about everything that I have been learning. From social media to investigative reporting, I am learning  the skills that I need from some of the best and brightest professors in the field. I'm from Poughkeepsie, New York which is about four and a half hours from St. Mike's. I have a younger sister, Maggie, who will be a freshman here in the fall. I guess you could say that my family has a lot of love for St. Michael's!

My blog's mission is to document my experiences here in Vermont, and to reflect upon what I am learning in my classes. I am currently halfway through my spring semester of my sophomore year, and I am taking four classes: Social Media Theory and Practice, Advanced Writing for Media, International Relations, and Global Communications. It's been a tough semester but I've had some pretty awesome experiences to show for it. I've been meaning to set up a blog sooner, since I always wanted to blog for St. Mike's, but I guess it's better late than never! My social media class is creating blogs to post some of our experiences and assignments, but maybe I can keep it up after the semester ends.

That's all for the moment, but I'll be posting more in the near future!