Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why Wandering Nomad, Part 2

August 20th, 2012
I decided to write an addendum to my blog post: "Why Wandering Nomad". Feel free to check out the link there for more! 

As I've explained in that post, I believe college students are nomads. My own journey to Bath, England for study abroad becomes more and more cemented as I've sent in all my stuff, gotten back my passport and visa, and I found out that I'm living in a house a mile away from school with my friend Eleanor! Yay!

A is home for me, B is SMC and C is ASE!
Study abroad seems to currently run my life, like applying for visas, booking flights and trains, and slowly whittling away my closet. I'm also planning my study break when my mom, our friend Jenn, and my friend KK are coming to visit! So far we're planning to travel to London, Paris, and maybe Edinburgh and Mont St. Michel. It seems like it's so far away but really I know (maybe hope) it'll fly by. 

Right now I'm just feeling anxious about going abroad. All the preparations are slowly coming together, while some...like packing...need to happen like yesterday. I've said most of my hard goodbyes already, some more tearful than others. 

I know that once I get there, the UK will just sweep me off my feet and I'll be having so much fun! It kind of reminds me of my first day of freshman year two years ago. WEIRD. When did I become a junior? Haha. 

28 August 2012
So I wrote the beginning of that post before I left for Bath - so much has happened since then! I will write another blog post about my adventures in Bath, but as a wandering nomad, I will share the tale of my trip to get to this wonderful city. 

I arrive at the airport with just enough time to check my bag, find the currency exchange, and say goodbye to my family. 

Walked through security without a problem - although I forgot to remove my liquids which I then found out it was optional...go figure. 

My flight was supposed to leave JFK at 7:10, Sunday the 26th. By the time I got to my gate, there was an insane line for the next gate and no seating room. I had to sit across the terminal and pray to God that I would hear/see the boarding call. Boarding did not happen until 8, (where I went in the wrong boarding entrance and got to see what the other half lives like with full chairs and space to stretch) and we didn't actually leave the runway until 10:10 - a good three hours later. 

By that point, I was tired and hungry. I had just taken my Tylenol PM for my headache and then out come the food trays. It's then I remember that I didn't make a food reservation. I asked one of the hostesses if I could still get a meal if I didn't order one and alas, the answer was no. So to quell my angry stomach, I slept for a good 5 hours. 

I did get breakfast though and I was extremely happy! I also thought I didn't have a personal TV until I opened my armrest and voila! Didn't end up using it until about 30 mins before we landed in Paris. 

Of course because we left late, I missed my connection flight to Bristol. Had to wait in line for the connection service for a good 20 mins before figuring out that somehow my flight reservation also got mixed up and had me taking another two connections from Paris to Strasbourg, Strasbourg to Amsterdam, and Amsterdam to Bristol. The next possible flight would've been at 5 PM or the next day. Thank God for that wonderful AirFrance woman who thought that was messed up too and was able to find a flight for 3:55 to land in Bristol for 4:35. I was happy and went to go wait in my terminal for 3 hours. 

Tried to phone ASE and I kept dialing wrong because my phone still thinks its in the US and my battery had died on my laptop so I couldn't figure out how to contact them to tell them I was going to be late. After finally getting through - I called my mom and after some stress tears, took a nap, and read on my Kindle for a bit. 

Of course, our flight got delayed because they had to switch planes for maintenance reasons. Then we got called to board only to return to our seats because the plane wasn't clean. Bum-mer. 

Finally we boarded the plane and left Paris around 5 (Paris time). Arrived in Bath around 5 (Bath time) and made it to the bus to Bristol with no problems. It was a gorgeous view and I couldn't help but smile to myself as we drove through the gorgeous countryside. I kept thinking, this isn't real, I'm still in Vermont. And then I saw sheep and I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore. 

Got off the bus at the Bristol Temple Meads train station - found my way to the rail card purchasing area 5 minutes before they closed. I tried to make it to the next train (2 minutes later), but didn't know where to find the platform. It gave me a chance to settle down and just sit for a half hour. 

Took the bus for 10 minutes to Bath where I then picked up a taxi to my house where I was greeted by my friend Eleanor and a few housemates. Everyone is really nice and we're all very similar so I'm looking forward to some new friendships and a great house. 

I'd post some pictures of the journey but frankly, I didn't really take any. No worries though - I took some pictures today and I should post them by the end of the week along with a summary of my time in Bath so far. 

I'm loving it and I'm so glad to be here - I can't wait to see what the rest of Bath and England has to offer!
Sending all my love back to the States, 
Katelyn :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Packing Process

If you haven't already figured it out, I will be studying abroad in Bath, England for a semester starting on Sunday! EEP! So much has to be done in the short amount of time that I have left.

Literally all of the clothes I own covering my bed

First round of packing...60+ items of clothing

I felt like a new freshmen trying to pack and figure out what I need. It's been quite an adventure and I finally got my clothing down to approximately 40 items. That's 40 items for the next 3-4 months. CRAZY! Bath is already colder than CT so no sandals and shorts for me! Had to break open the winter clothes...meaning taking up more space. Oh well! Plus I need to weigh my suitcase...I still haven't packed my carry-on or my personal item so I know I have some overflow into those.

Tomorrow I'm finalizing EVERYTHING so I will not have to stress or worry on Sunday that I won't fit everything or forget something. Granted I will be wearing layers onto the airport (sweatshirt, winter/rain jacket), which will probably make me hot and get some looks from people, but I will feel good once I get on the plane!

UPDATE: I just weighed my suitcase and it's a glorious 34 POUNDS! WOOHOO! I've literally shoved it full it looks like it's about to burst! All that's left is my carry-on and personal item. I'll be filling those with important things that I'll need to have on hand and things to keep me occupied on the plane, waiting in multiple airports, and on the train into Bath!

Next time you'll hear from me will probably be from the JFK airport tomorrow or when I make it across the pond!

Cheers! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Night with Monsters and Men

Just a short walk or bus ride to South Burlington hidden behind Dunkin Donuts is Higher Ground, a place where many music artists come to perform for the BVT crowd. Tickets are relatively cheap (depending on who you're seeing) in a great intimate setting (standing room only) and where, if you get there early enough, you can stand in the front row and jam to your favorite music. Recently I was there with my friends Marci and Mary to see Of Monsters and Men!
Elle King - one of the openers. She was phenomenal!
Check out one of her songs here.
Of Monsters and Men! 3rd row - they were AMAZING!
Check out this video of their song "Little Talks"!

You can check out Higher Ground for more concerts and events that are held at their venue in South Burlington and also other places around the area! Some big names stop by so grab your tickets before they're gone!

Hope you find the chance to make it here - it's a great experience!
As always, feel free to ask me any questions!
Sending all my love, 
Katelyn :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Formspring Question!

Hi Katelyn! Sorry to ask you another question, but I was involved with Campus Ministry in my high school and sort of want to pursue it in college. I've seen that you're involved and just wondering if everyone is accepting and is it strict at all? Thanks!

I can't believe I'm just seeing this now! I fail!

Campus Ministry at Saint Mike's, aka VITA, is awesome. I've been involved in one form or another since my freshman year. There are many options for everyone if you'd like to partake in events, participating in Mass, or going to our Dessert and Divine, small-group Connections or big-group LINK. All of the leaders are so welcoming and try to make everyone feel comfortable. As for strictness, there really isn't that much - we just respect what people share in the group setting and keep it in the group. You can make your commitment as big as you want! When you get on campus during orientation weekend, be sure to look for our VITA leaders in VITA red and white shirts - they'll be more than happy to meet you!

I hope this answers your question! Feel free to ask more :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Quirks and Perks of Technology at SMC

Since many of my fellow blogger friends have done posts catered to the incoming class (check them out here: Alex, Mike, and Gracie), so I thought I would write a post on Technology at SMC!
Working at the Helpdesk is awesome! You can check out a post on info here and here and how I enjoyed working here during the summer! I just got off the phone with a parent who was downloading Microsoft Office on her daughter's computer and got to talking about all different aspects of SMC - gotta love it!

So as promised: here are some Quirks and Perks of Technology at SMC:

1. New this year: the mySMC portal! Clicking on the link brings you a a page where you can sign in with one password and access your KnightVision account, SMC e-mail, eCollege, and other resources on campus. It really cuts down on the number of passwords you need to remember and makes it more convenient for everyone. *Note: this will be open to ALL undergraduate students today! Faculty and Class of 2016 should already have access. 
Take a look at what you'll see!
2. Also new this year, you can reset your Mikenet password yourself! Just go to passwordreset.smcvt.edu You can enter in your Mikenet username, pin number (the last four digits of your Social Security Number), and your SMC ID number (without the 80), and then change your password within the parameters listed on the side.

3. Once you get on campus, you can set up your computer on the campus-wide FREE printing! Just follow the documentation here for both Mac and PCs

4. Also once you get on campus and you have gaming devices (xbox, playstation, etc.) you can get them hooked up online. Connect them with an ethernet cord to the data jack in the wall and submit the MAC address to ithelp@smcvt.edu and you can get online!

5. This is something I found that I use on my Kindle - A list of Apps that are free to help in all aspects of college life! 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!  
Katelyn :)