This is R[e]A[lly] interesting

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Some BT-A residents enjoying a midnight snack

As an RA on campus I’ve had an interesting year. From showing up two weeks early for a brutal training that included long hours and a free steak dinner, to meetings about when to have meetings about another meeting, to hanging out with some really great people I would not have an opportunity to get to know otherwise. It has its ups and downs for sure, but overall it is a unique vantage point of residential life that not everyone going through college gets to see.

Sometimes this vantage point is washing a few gross dishes (not mine) that I promised myself I would not touch, other times it is organizing events for the larger COA community, other times it’s revising policies through the Student Life committee to get passed through All College Meeting.

Student leadership at COA is unique, I think it is a combination of our size, location (and thus either hiding from tourists together or being so isolated all we have are each other), and general operation. I’m proud to attend an institution that cares about each student as a whole person, that offers programming suited towards even the most eclectic interests, and that creates embedded leadership roles that help the residential program run smoothly while also developing leadership skills (and resumes…) of current students.

PS: I’m not getting paid to write this, I promise.

PPS: An info session will be held later winter term for those interested in applying for RA positions for the 2014-2015 school year.

18 Things We Should Have Been Taught As Teenagers

Thought Catalog

1. Hard work will not always equate to success. You can put up a good fight and still lose. There are just some things that, for whatever reason, we have to carry with us.

2. There will probably come a day when you want to study something that has (seemingly) no future benefit. Study it anyway. There will probably come a day when you want to be with someone who you know won’t last forever. Love them anyway. There will probably come a day when you want to leave something, or someone, and instead of looking for a reason, you should let that wanting be enough. Go anyway.

3. You shouldn’t ever assume to know the truth about someone. Addiction doesn’t always look like a drug-addled homeless person on the street, mental illness isn’t always apparent, pain does not always read across a person’s demeanor. Don’t judge people on the…

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I(taly)nterviews

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Veneto, the region Taylor and I will be studying in this spring

As part of a short project for class we were asked to interview someone and then write a profile about them in reference to a topic that could either be predetermined or come out during the interview process. For this assignment I chose to interview Taylor, a friend who is also involved in the Italy program here at COA. The interview was more of a conversation than anything else, we talked about what in Italy we were most excited for and how the program fit with our academic focuses here in Maine.

This interview was productive for both Taylor and myself; she got to articulate her ideas for a project and receive feedback in regards to feasibility (location and resources) and I got to practice interviewing, learn about another persons research idea, and spend quality time with a friend.

Writing the profile was interesting and fun, I incorporated ideas, paraphrased statements, and direct quotes from the interview along with knowledge about the Italy program which I have first hand. Since I am also involved in the Italy program I did not have to do any research before the interview which almost made it feel like cheating.

Pitt girl… reads Pitt girl

Pittsburgh at night

Pittsburgh at night

As a college student in Maine sometimes I miss home. I grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania until 2010 when I started going to school in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has a specific culture that spans across the state, things I appreciated in Pittsburgh were relevant in Philadelphia and visa-versa. While I’m happy to have experienced this way of living for so many years, Maine is nothing like it. Going to school on Mount Desert Island is an interesting and unique experience, it can be really fun as well as socially isolating geographically. Maine has a very distinct culture impacted by its seasonal tourist industry and proximity to the ocean (can you say fisherman…?), a way of living unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. During the long cold winters with very little sunlight I often miss my other home, another place devoid of heat and light come November.

A blog I stumbled across is Pitt Girl which is hosted by Pittsburgh Magazine. This blog covers events and culture in Pittsburgh along with person laments as to how it is truly the best city. You can find PittGirl at: http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/Pitt-Girl/ . This blog features a post that recently went viral titled “10 Reasons Why Pittsburgh Owned 2013” (http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/Pitt-Girl/December-2013/10-Reasons-Why-Pittsburgh-Owned-2013/) , as a way to usher in the New Year, proud Pittsburghers (or Yinzers, as we self identify) posted this blog posting to their own social media, spreading around Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter like wildfire. Something I specifically noticed regarding the sharing of this blog post is literally ‘who was sharing it’, at least in my friend group it seemed to be most shared by students who are studying out of state and people my age employed out of state. This specific post seems to be a trigger for nostalgia, for people to realize that they grew up in a truly unique city that has so much to offer.

I’m so lucky to have grown up in such a diverse, bustling city full of art, music, sports, theater, community, architecture, and food and I’m so appreciative to have a window into what I’m missing while I’m gone. PittGirl gives me an opportunity to live vicariously.