Friday, June 26, 2009

Run in with Fame-ishness

Okay, just to give some perspective about where I am, I just want to post about one of the professors here at Bread Loaf. He won the Pulitzer Prize. He was on the Colbert Report and he gave a reading of poetry last night at the first kegger of the summer. (Yes, I went, but don't judge me. I went for the poetry?) He has an official website and below is also the video clip of the Colbert Report. Granted I knew nothing about him before coming here, but now that I'm here it's awesome. So many of the professors are widely renowned authors, teachers, and academics. Anyway, I think it's cool. I'm not in his class, but I did serve him yesterday or breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where in the World?

I know my actual GPS coordinates seem to be ever changing, but as of Monday I find myself staying relatively stationary. I left Washington DC on Sunday and arrived at Bread Loaf School of English campus in Vermont on Monday for the new student orientation. I don't really know where to start in telling of my travels. I'm so "in the moment" here, it seems like OBX and DC were so long ago. Anyway, the week following all my sunny beaches and relaxing days in North Carolina, my friend Kassie and I drove further north to spend some time in Washington, DC. My Uncle Doug and Aunt Sara were kind enough to let us stay at their place for the week. Kassie and I had a great time. Granted I got grumpy while driving, but if you've ever tried to navigate the streets in Washington you might feel my pain. But once we got the hang of things (thank goodness for the Metro) we started knocking out the tourist sites. We went to all the museum and monuments we could. We even drove out one day to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. It was all so much fun and fairly educational. My favorite place of the trip was probably the National Museum of the American Indian. Not only was it nice that it is brand new so not a lot of school tours were there, but it also had so much enriching information about culture and the plight of the American Indian (if I'm allowed to call it that). I was fascinated. Everything seemed representative down to the layout and architecture of the building. We also ate in the cafeteria that featured authentic dishes to different regions and tribes throughout North and South America. Awesome!
Once all the site seeing was through, I took Kassie to the airport on Friday. I hope she wasn't too worn out from all the traveling. Sometimes vacation can be so tiring :) Maybe we should go again.
Grandma and Grandpa Snow came back to DC from Delaware on Friday and flew out Saturday. It was fun to spend some time with them before they flew out. Doug and Sara had a great dinner on Friday night with G&G Snow as well as Sara's parents. I had never met them before so that was fun too. On Saturday I spent the afternoon/evening with my friend Casey. I know him from my last two summers at camp. He joined the Navy and is stationed in Arlington, so it was great to spend time with an old friend too. Overall the week was amazing and I can't begin to thank Doug and Sara enough for their hospitality. They did so much for me.
On Sunday, they sent me on my way with my atlas in hand and a route to follow (it was pretty twisty and windy with all the road switches). I stayed over in Newburgh, NY for the night and finished the trip on Monday after paying nearly 25 dollars in tolls along the way. I had no idea that Northern New York and Vermont are so beautiful. The word beautiful doesn't even begin to capture it though. For the first time on the trip I felt home again as I saw mountains on the horizon. And even though there are lots of trees, I also didn't feel trapped by them like in other parts of the U.S. The campus here is an old Inn converted into a college campus. It has many side buildings for housing and one for classrooms. We also have a theater were the Acting Ensemble will put on The Changeling for us at the end of the summer. I'll take pictures soon and post them.
Classes have been great and most of the students here are teachers as well. Out of the 250 students, about 90 percent of them are teachers. It is awesome to get the chance to do so much collaboration. I am also on the wait staff here, which adds its own element of interestingness. I work every meal for about an hour and a half. So far it seems like just as I start to get something done after a meal I am back in the dining hall. Though, I can't complain too much. The food here is nothing less than gourmet and I'm being introduced to foods that I've only ever heard about. Also, the rest of the wait staff is so much fun. We are forming our own great little bond.
So moral of the story, I am certainly enjoying myself. I feel extremely blessed to be in this situation. Be advised I have no cell reception, but we do have campus wide wi fi if you ever want to email. Well, love from Bread Loaf Mountain :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Outer Banks (OBX), North Carolina

So here I am on the first leg of my summer adventures. This week I have been in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Jealous? Yeah, you should be. My mom's family is having a family reunion out here and it has been great. Most of the family got here last Saturday, but my friend Kassie and I got here Monday. We drove across the country in just about 49 hours. It wasn't too bad, but I'm glad I won't have to do it again until August. All week we have been sitting in the sun and working on my tan. Earlier I described myself as having pasty English teacher skin, but now I'm a little bit tanish. We are staying in a huge house right on the beach. Literally we have our own private boardwalk to the ocean. I've never been IN the Atlantic before, and I'm willing to come again any day. It is glorious. We've been boogie boarding and body surfing everyday the water is so nice. Also, Kill Devil Hills has a lot of other attractions. It's home to the Wright Brother's Monument and Museum. Apparently, the brothers didn't fly out of Kitty Hawk on their first flight; they flew in Kill Devil Hills. I learned a lot so ask away.
One day we drove out to Cape Hatteras, the home to a super famous lighthouse (see slideshow). Kassie was like a kid on Christmas. We could barely keep her in the car in the parking lot. She was already out the door taking pictures. We read up on the history of the Cape. They call it the Graveyard of the Atlantic because so many ships have met their end on the shallow waters of the coast. Also there are some really cool stories about Blackbeard the pirate and all his Bootie.
Last night we celebrated my cousin McKenna's birthday and went out dancing. I've never been to a bar/club before, so it was an enlightening experience. It made me super grateful for Utah's indoor clean air policies. We bailed at about 1 when we were all danced out and getting sick of the crowd. Overall, I had a pretty good time being one of the only sober people in the room.
Today is my last full day here. Needless to say I won't be much longer before I'm out on the beach soaking in the last rays of Carolina sun and sand. We check out tomorrow and Kassie and I head for Washington DC for a week. My uncle Doug and Aunt Sara are going to let us stay with them for a few days while we see the sights. They are so nice. So, be prepared for more updates, and more photos (with tan instead of pasty skin).