Latest Event Updates

Pre-Career Fair Events!

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Every year the Career Center does a great job of putting on a big career and internship fair for students and the greater community. This year, for the first time, they are including some pre-fair events. This is so we can know what to expect and feel prepared to talk to potential employers, especially for the graduating seniors among us that are participating in#SaintsHaveAPlan and preparing for the not so distant future. All students are welcome to attend. The four pre-career fair events will take place next week (March 31 – April 3) at 6 pm. Each event will feature a different aspect of job searching, from how to dress to meeting real business people, including our alumni. Here’s a little sneak peek of what’s in store:

March 31 | Resume Workshop | NWCC @ 6PM

Work with the Career Center to spiff up and improve your resume so it’s ready for the Career Fair on April 8. I’ve had the Career Center edit my resume before and it definitely improved what I already had. Also, doing it in a “workshop” setting that is face-to-face will make the process easier and more straight forward.

April 1 | Dress for Success | TUB @ 6PM

This one is definitely the most interesting of the four for me. I’ve always been mystified by the differences in dress codes and what’s appropriate when. Thankfully, we have the Career Center to help us out, because this event is aimed to de-mystify these differences and show us how to really “dress for success”. In addition to the Career Center crew, Kathleen Heynderickx will be presenting her tips as well.

April 2 | Mock Interviews | TUB @ 6PM

The saying goes “practice makes perfect” and boy is that true. Thankfully, the Career Center is providing just that for interviews. Interviews are often the most daunting part of the working world and being able to practice answering questions beforehand is a great way to relieve a little bit of the anxiety associated with interviews, which in turn will make for a better interview when you get there.

April 3 | Professional Networking Social | NWCC @ 6PM

The week of pre-career fair events will end with a networking social and give students a chance to interact with people that are already in the working world and begin to get their name out there. People want to hire people they know and a networking social like this is a great way to meet potential employers.

These four events are open to all students and if you’re a graduating senior praticipating in #SaintsHaveAPlan you’ll receive another raffle ticket for each event you attend. Sign up today!

Selecting the Perfect Room

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The year is absolutely flying by. I cannot believe it is already midterms and nearly spring break. Of course, midterm also means it’s time to chose housing for next school year. I’ve lived on campus for the past (almost) three years and been through the room selection process twice. I’ve had the opportunity to live in three different room types here on campus and I enjoyed all three.

My first roommate and I at Winter Ball, December 2011
My first roommate and I at Winter Ball 2011

My first year I, like most other first years, lived in the first year part of Parsons Hall. I was lucky enough to get a room that was directly across from the bathroom, the one thing I was particularly concerned about before coming to school. The other thing I was worried about, originally, was having a roommate that I didn’t know. This too worked out better than I could imagine. I had two roommates my first year (one/semester) and both were Japanese exchange students. My first roommate and I got along super well. We would (with a bunch of friends) all hang out in our room and enjoy each other’s company. My second roommate kept more to herself and spent more time out of our room than in, but we still smiled at each and talked every now and again. I feel extremely lucky to have gotten not one but TWO great roommates for my first year of college. Our room was big and spacious with our beds against the far wall. I am so grateful to Residence Life for placing me with two such fantastic roommates.

My roommate and I at St. Gertrude's Cafeteria, May 2013
My roommate and I at St. Gertrude’s Cafeteria, May 2013

As a first year, when I was going through the room selection process, I and three other friends decided we were going to get a suite in Spangler for the four of us. But when it came time for our selection, all the rooms were taken and we had to quickly choose something different (tip for room selection: have a backup plan). We were able to sign up for two suites in the Upperclassman side of Parsons. Obviously I don’t know how it would have worked out if we had gotten our first choice, but I think that being in Parsons was the best way to go. I loved living in the newest building on campus, I loved having a bathroom I only shared with one of my best friends, and I loved having my own space. In addition, I had a fantastic RA and throughout the year a great “3rd Floor Upperclassman” community formed. We hung out during pretty much all of our free time, had movie nights every Sunday, and planned group outing together). That’s definitely going to be the number one thing I will miss about not living on campus; I won’t be able to walk down the hall in socks and hang out with so many of my friends.

My current roommate and I dressed as Flappers for Halloween Kids Club, October 2013
My current roommate and I dressed as Flappers for Halloween Kids Club, Oct. 2013

Around this time last year, one of my best friends  here at school and I were talking about her recent application to be a RA. Though I was happy she was doing something she was excited about and being involved at SMU, I was a little sad we wouldn’t be able to be roommates. I was insistent that I would be in an apartment and there was just a slim chance that she would be RA for the Burton Apartments. But, low and behold, that’s exactly the position she was offered and I was thrilled. Yet again, I was going to live with one of my best friends and in an apartment to boot. I have been so fortunate with all of my room selections and I’m so happy Saint Martin’s Residence Life has provided three great years of on-campus living. With room selection today and tomorrow what are doing? Are living somewhere new? Are you sticking with the tried and true? Tell me your room selection story!

What to do on a long weekend

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With President’s Day just behind us, I thought it might be fun to put together a small little “things to do in Lacey/Olympia” post. Lot of people go home for long weekends, but for those of us to have to or want to stay for one reason or another, we need something to do. Obviously this isn’t exclusive to long weekends, but with more time comes more want for things to do.

The first place I always check when looking for things to do are local calendars and the first local calendar I check is the SMU Calendar (can’t really get more local than that). Events at SMU can be found on the homepage (under smuEvents), on the dedicated events calendar, and the SMU Events Twitter. Some other good calendars to look at for events outside the university are the Olympian’s and Thurston Talk’s.

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MattAtSMU, Alex Hendricks, and I at #SMUDragonBoat, April 2013

When there aren’t any events going on, one of my favorite things to do is walk around downtown Olympia and browse through the shops there, grab a cup of coffee, or just walk around Capitol Lake, Percival Landing, or Port Plaza. Port Plaza is one of my favorite places in Olympia. It’s fun most of the time (sometimes it’s a little to windy or rainy to really enjoy it), but it’s particularly fun during The Dragon Boat Festival. I was able to go last year for the first time (pictured left with MattAtSMU and Alex Hendricks) and I can safely say I won’t be missing one for quite sometime. It’s definitely a fun day. This year, it’s on Saturday, April 26. See you there!

Other than downtown Olympia, there are a lot of amazing outdoor activities in the Lacey/Olympia area. The Chehahlis Western Trail is just steps from campus and  is great for jogging, biking, or just enjoying the scenery.  There are also a bunch of parks in the area with a variety of things to do (like playgrounds, basketball courts, trails, etc.). My favorites are the one that have beach access because I love being on the water. Burfoot Park and Priest Point Park are my particular favorites.

Photo by Kathleen Hendricks
Photo by Kathleen Hendricks

Hands down though, my favorite outdoor activity in Olympia is walking Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. It’s beautiful all year round with views of Mt. Rainier, interesting wildlife, and  a boardwalk style path over the land, which is covered in water in the Fall/Winter and dries to soft mud in Spring/Summer. The picture on the right was taken last fall and the whole refuge is just as beautiful . If possible, bring binoculars, because the birds often hide in trees or far out from the boardwalk.

Of course, Washington weather does not always cooperate with outdoor activities. In that case, I like to hang out in one of many cafes in Olympia, going to see movies, or baking in my apartment. When I tried to think of which cafe I wanted to recommend, I couldn’t decide on just one. They all offer different things, depending on what kind of atmosphere you’re looking for. I would just recommend some trial and error; try one out and if you like it, stick with it and if not, try something else. For movies, I always make sure to pick up my $5 movie tickets from Campus Life and if you’re into baking or cooking too, check out my #CookAtSMU posts for new ideas!

What are you favorite things to do in Olympia/Lacey? I’m always looking for new things to try so if you know any secrets I didn’t mention, let me know!

Practicum Round Two

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After a month off for Christmas break and four weeks of classes, I am so excited to be getting back into a classroom again. My first practicum was so great and let me see what it really looks like to be a classroom teacher. But I’ve already shared my thoughts on my first practicum; let’s look towards the future. I’m not taking any methods classes this semester so I don’t have any large practicums (like last semester’s), but I have two smaller practicums. The first is for Intro to Exceptionality, where I will observe 10 hours in a special education classroom. The second is for Reading Intervention and Assessment, which is focused on reading groups.

Last Friday, I ventured out into the beautiful, albeit freezing, morning to meet with my new mentor teacher. I’ll still be at River Ridge High school, but it will be nice to see another teacher’s style and classroom. The teacher I am paired with this semester specializes in English and Special Education so I’ll be able to complete both practicums in the same classroom. In addition to seeing her teach, the first class period I’ll be there each week she co-teaches with another English teacher. I have never seen co-teaching in action at the high school level, so I am particularly excited for this.

I am so grateful for the Education program here at Saint Martin’s for getting us into the classroom as much as possible. There’s only so much talking you can do in class without seeing the it in action. With these practicums, that’s what we’re able to do and everyone in the program will be better teachers for it. I can’t wait to see where this semester takes me.

#CookAtSMU: February Soup of the Month – Winter Lentil Soup

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This weekend I made some soup and was inspired! How about feature a soup a month from #CookAtSMU? I LOVE soup, especially right now while it’s cold. Soup is also really great because you can make a ton at once and save it for throughout the week. Then, it’s great to reheat for lunch or dinner and can be taken to go or eaten at home. My goal is to make a big pot of soup once a week, but know my hectic schedule that’s not entirely realistic, but once a month I can definitely do! Look out for future Soup of the Month posts!

But now, without further ado, I give you this month’s soup: Winter Lentil Soup. As we were fully in the thick of winter, I thought this was an appropriate soup for February. I’ve seen this recipe multiple times on different sites, but I first saw it on Yummly.com (my favorite place to find new recipes). This recipe makes 6 servings, so you can share or make lunch for the whole week! Here’s the full recipe:

Winter Lentil SoupIngredients:

  • 4 leeks, in 1/4 inch half moons (I ended up only using two… mostly because I wrote it down wrong on my shopping list)
    • 1 bunch kale, destemmed and in 1/2 inch strips (I used purple kale, but any kind of kale works)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 28 oz. whole tomatoes (after making this, I would have preferred to use diced tomatoes, but I don’t think it really matters. Choose whatever works for you!)
    • 6 cups water
    • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
    • 1/2 cup brown lentils
    • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, fresh (If you’re using dried thyme, only use 1 teaspoon)
    • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in the kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Spoon into individual bowls.

Also, if you like cheese like I do, be sure to add to some parmesan after serving. It makes it even more delicious!

Let me know what you think of this soup if you try it and lookout for future Soup of the Month posts!

#PackThePavilion

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Photo Jan 23, 10 03 44 AM Photo Jan 23, 10 09 47 AMBefore the crazy, sound-shattering awesomeness of #PackThePavilion, Matt and I got a chance to the see the UN-packed Pavilion (pictured above). We had fun walking around the then silent court, taking #CenterCourtSelfies (pictured left), and practicing our dunking skills.

Soon after the Pavilion was packed with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and all the other great SMU supporters. The student section was a sight to see on Thursday. Never before have I seen that many students at a game. It was great and a lot of fun! We were able to fill the regular student section AND a whole extra section . Also, the Tenino High School pep band was there which made the game that much more awesome. They played throughout the game and definitely added to the overall experience of #PackThePavilion.

Photo Jan 23, 8 21 17 PMAs much fun as the game was, the pep rally beforehand was definitely my favorite part of the evening. The TUB was filled with students, playing games, making signs, painting faces, and posing with Marty. It was cool to see everyone all decked out in their new #PackThePavilion shirts, SMU scarves, and other “white-out” gear. The pep rally was a great way to get everyone psyched up for the game.

During the game, I heard some of the alumni talking about how much fun they had had at the alumni pep rally beforehand. It was cool to see past SMU students still enjoying the camaraderie and school spirit. Because of this, I am excited to be attending some of the #SaintsHomecoming events in a couple weeks, namely the Benedictine Institute Lecture with Ken Butigan. Definitely stay on the look out for some blog posts and tweets about those events!

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Welcome to Spring Semester!

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I cannot believe it is already the spring semester. It feels like just yesterday I was moving into Burton, it was 90 degrees, and the fall semester was beginning. But here we are, at the beginning of another semester.

I am so excited to be back on campus, back in classes, and back in the office. I don’t know about you, but I get bored pretty quick with no classes to work on. This semester is going to be a very interesting one for me too, which is adding to my excitement for it to start. It is also going to be a lot of work. With seven classes for a total of 17 credits, I am definitely not going to have a chance to be bored anytime soon. Now that I’ve completed all of general education requirements, all of the classes I am taking are directly related to my future profession, becoming an English teacher. While I loved the gen ed courses I took (shout out to Dr. Werrett’s RLS111 class!), I am so excited to be getting into the nitty-gritty of the teaching profession.

The only class I am a little worried about is ED 383, which is Child Abuse/Teacher as Counselor. I know that this class is going to be very difficult to be in and learn about the awful things some people can do. But I’m trying to stay positive and I know that it’s an important class and that by being prepared I can better protect my students.

What are you most excited about this semester? What are you most worried about? I’m sure this is going to be another exciting semester at SMU and I cannot wait to see what it has in store for me!