Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside

At Saint Michael's, being in Vermont means you need to be prepared for all sorts of weather that is thrown your way. This week is especially cold. We're experiencing temperatures of -22 degrees! If that doesn't give you a chill, I don't know what will. Unintentional rhyming. 

Any who, here are a few pictures that capture a week in January for me! I'm looking forward to the days where the weather will be a cozy +32 degrees and it'll feel like summer!

Prepared to weather the weather,
 in style!
A typical snowy walk on the way to
work at 7:15 AM.

I found a delicious cafe off of Church St.,
a perfect way to warm up with a caramel latte!
(Visit New Moon if you have the chance!)
I'll have to keep you posted on what warm and fun activities I'm doing to keep me out of the cold...although it involves walking across campus in the cold. Thank goodness for fleece-lined tights and layers!
Sending warm thoughts and hugs your way, especially to everyone in New England who's getting hit by the snow - I wish I had a snow day to play in the snow!
Katelyn :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Beginning of the End: The Eve of my Last Semester at Saint Michael's College

I know I have said this before, but truly this is the beginning of the end of my academic career here at Saint Michael's. Now I don't want to get all sappy (I'll leave that for May), but instead, speak to something that has made my SMC experience simply wonderful. 

As you're scrolling through this post, feel free to listen to this song (Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets) , as it was the main song for our VITA retreat this weekend:

Being apart of VITA Team has shaped me as an individual, leader, and team member. Most recently Team members were invited back early to participate in a retreat and planning process for the semester. 

When the day got closer and closer to go back to SMC, I was apprehensive. Why did I say yes to go back early? Why do I need to leave home? What did this mean for me, physically, emotionally, spiritually? 

Once our VITA Team reached Saint Anne's Shrine on Isle La Motte, about an hour from campus, my anxieties were subdued.  The Edmundites, along with benefactors and donations, built five gorgeous cabins so that SMC retreats could be held in a specific area instead of having to be moved around every semester. 

The cabins themselves are absolutely amazing, feeling very shiny, new, and cozy. The only thing that I missed was a fireplace! It was the perfect setting for our retreat. 

It was a great opportunity to connect as a VITA Team. We don't normally have the opportunity to be all in one space together as we all run different parts: LINK, Connections, Dessert and the Divine, Taize, and Socials. Meeting before the semester was ideal because we're all so busy doing so many things that we don't get to share in our faith all together at the same time all that often. 

The Christ Candle in the center, to each of our own candles,
demonstrating that we each have the light of Christ within us.

The theme for the retreat was "Celebrating Our Stories".  We focused on how God is working in and through our lives in obvious and not so obvious ways. I learned so much about myself and my VITA community that really set the tone for this semester. It was a welcome beginning to this last semester at Saint Mike's. I was able to reflect on where I've been and where I want to be. 

Times of prayer, reflection, and discussion enabled us to see that there are many stories that we can relate to, even if the details aren't the same. We were writing squares based off of questions and Scripture passages our Campus Minister Anna had chosen for the weekend. In the end, all of our squares were combined and we were able to see how even though there are parts that are different in our stories and our lives, they all come together to create something beautiful.

Our "Patchwork Quilt"

I am so grateful that I was able to start off my semester with this beautiful opportunity and I can face the semester head-on feeling refreshed and revitalized. 

Now I am off to finish unpacking and organizing for our first day of classes tomorrow! EEP! I can't wait to see all my friends coming back from break and make more SMC memories. 

As always, sending my love to you and yours!
Katelyn :)