Let the Games Begin

August 31, 2010

Yep, it’s that time of year again in Steamboat Springs. The time of year where everyone drops the fun, and begins the educational activity they came here for in the first place. That activity I speak of would be going to college. Living in a marvelous place like Steamboat Springs, it’s often times hard to remember that we are here mainly for a college education. Yes the mountain is right down the street I know that; But a college in a ski town is much more appealing than a mountain in a college town. CMC Alpine Campus is that very place. Every year thousands of students across the country take their first step in the academic side of college life. Whether it be in a college town or a ski town like Steamboat, today was that faithful day.

Today, students at the Alpine Campus said no more to sleeping in, and yes to going to class. Collectively, every CMC campus from Dillon to Spring Valley officially began their fall semester today, on August 30, 2010. Just like last year, CMC students from all over steamboat did their job realizing the importance of their educations and the will to go to class. I myself was one of those students. Once again, the halls of the Alpine campus flourished with eager students ready to learn. I myself was one of those students. With all my books paid for, and a case of instant coffee packets ready to go, I can say I am ready for anything my professors have to throw at me. I am not the only one ready either. “I’ve got the tools for success,” said student that wished to remain anonymous, “bring it on.”With a stack of homework sitting next to me, I really need to cut this blog short and get to work. Blogging isn’t my only job ya know. With that being said, I wish any CMC reading this the best of luck for the upcoming year. Its going to be a great one!

Academic Convocation

August 29, 2010

Steamboat Mtn in the background. Incredible view.

For the past two days, Colorado Mountain College has been making preparations for a very important event called Academic Convocation. CMC Staff has been setting up tents, getting banquet food ready and booking live music for Fridays assembly. For those of you that don’t know, Academic Convocation is an introductory assembly that introduces students to the college life, gets them prepared for what is ahead, and gets them off on the right foot and right state of mind. Since this event was mandatory for all CMC students, we as Resident Assistants were up at 10:00 a.m. knocking on doors making sure everyone was going to make it. For the most part however, everyone at hill hall was already up, awake and ready to go to the event.

Full house

At around 10:45 a.m. students made their way down to the tent on the soccer field. Very few clouds were in the sky and Mother Nature was gracious to CMC on Friday. The weather was gorgeous. The view of Steamboat Mountain awed new students as they walked down to the tent. Mark from Ohio, said “This is like a blessing. Yes, I am going to a school event, but look at what I get to see on my way to it.” I really wasn’t paying attention because I was here last year, but when I actually thought about what he was talking about, I realized how right he was. I was blindsided by the beauty of that wonderful day.

CMC Professors in their graduate gowns

Katie Olson giving her motivational speech

Anyway… enough about my poetry. Let’s talk about this Academic Convocation. The tent was absolutley packed. Students were everywhere and all the staff was present wearing their extremely flashy graduate uniforms. Man did those professors look flashy in their PhD gowns. It made me want one real badly haha. After the cliché introduction, a man rolled up in a wheelchair to speak for us. His name was Craig Kennedy and boy did he have some powerful advice for us students. He introduced us with a warm welcome and went right into how he ended up being in a wheelchair. Apparently, 16 years ago Kennedy was skiing down a famous Steamboat ski run called vertigo. He wasn’t going fast or anything, just having a good time when all of a sudden he lost control and had a nasty crash. He remembers waking up in the hospital with severe back injures asking the doctor, “Am I going to be able to ever walk again?”  According to Kennedy, him becoming paralyzed from the crash was devastating to his lifestyle. He could not even live with the fact that life without legs could possibly happen. He almost gave up he said. “After long reflection on my own life, I came to the understanding that everything happens for a reason” Said Kennedy, “What I realized is that we all learn and we all grow. This I definitely learned from.”

Craig Kennedy Himself

To Kennedy, breaking his back was almost the best thing that happened to him. It totally revamped his life all over again. He may have not been happy the first few years of being handicapped, but it taught him a lot about what it’s like to lose it all. “I had to make the decision to either be happy, or be miserable.” This is the revamping I am talking about. I could see the sincerity in his voice. His words hit home hard for me. He taught us about seizing every moment and taking advantage of everything CMC has to offer. If he were us, he would do it too. After his speech I was totally enlightened. He gave me and the rest of students inspiration and enlightenment. I was so excited for the rest of my life! “One is only disabled when they are incapable of overcoming challenges presented to them.” –Craig Kennedy.

After the assembly, everyone made way to the upper monsoon parking lot for a barbecue. Thanks to the wonderful CMC dining hall staff, we were able to have an incredible lunch out in the sunshine. We were greeted with great food, free t shirts, and live music. It was a great way to start the year and students everywhere were showing it. Its going to be another great year in Steamboat. I just know it.

Move in Day!

August 27, 2010

long line out the door

Every year, thousands upon thousands of eager 18 year old kids embark out of their home territory in search of an education, a new beginning, and some adventure. The majority of these soon to be college students choose to stay close to home because they fear the harsh reality of homesickness. A few of them choose to go out a bit farther but they usually reside in the same state, within tolerable driving distances from home. Very few however, make the decision to take off on a plane, across the country to go to a college or university thousands of miles away. These few, actually make up the majority of Colorado Mountain College’s student body. CMC students are ambitious, cunning and adventure seekers. There is just something about being a CMC student that makes our student body incredibly diverse and extreme. This is why I love this school so much. Everyone is here for a reason and everyone here has a story. Those stories were told on Monday, when everyone finally moved in.

Monday, August 23, 2010, 1/3 of the residence hall students were expected to move in. This final orientation group was the out of state crowd and without doubt this was the biggest out of state crowd the Alpine Campus has seen in quite a while. The RA’s made preparation to set up for students moving in and they worked incredibly hard at it. 1/3 was expected, however, more had arrived. Easily, the number that showed up on Monday made up ½ of the residence hall population and I can vouch for that. I guess there is just something about this school that makes people from all over the country and all over the world desire to live in the wonderful Rocky Mountains. At precisely 12 oclock, there was a line out the door, going all the way into the parking lot. 120 eager, ambitious, and excited out of state students were getting ready to begin life in wonderful, beautiful Steamboat Springs.

“I have never seen a place like this before” said Megan from New Hampshire, “I know I’ve died, because I am now in heaven.” This truly is truly a desired spot from all over the world and I did my part making them realize that. “Welcome to my world,” I replied. They knew exactly what I was talking about.  This crowd is so much better than last year’s. There is a lot of diversity. I met students who are here for mountain climbing, skiing, hiking, yoga, cliff diving, rafting and even the sushi in town. So far, there hasn’t been a dull moment and its really making the student experience here on campus one of a kind. Man I love this school.

Hey everyone! Long time no see eh? I hope everyone’s summer was amazing because I truly had a summer that I will never forget. This summer was hands down, the best summer I have experienced and boy do I have a lot to share with you. Back in late April, I left Steamboat on great terms and went home to my wonderful family in Denver. Within the first week of being home, I scored a great job working for a woodshop in Denver making great money. I was fortunate to score this job early, but the work was hard and enduring! That wasn’t a big deal though. After 2 months of saving my money, I managed to conjure enough cash to afford my first road trip! My friend from CU Boulder and I decided to make our way north to Canada. We spent 3 days driving up to a wonderful town in Montana Called Polson. We then made our way to Glacier National Park. Let’s just say Glacier is THE most beautiful places in the entire world. I was simply breath taken by its majestic beauty. It was life changing. The picture to the left is of me standing at the top of going to the sun highway in Glacier National Park Anyway… enough about my summer. I have some great news for you all.

About 4 weeks before college started back up in August, I ran into a bit of a financial situation. My family was making some second decisions about being able to afford another year for me at the residence halls. I was worried I wasn’t even going to be able to return! Luckily for me, I had my connections with CMC and managed to apply for an RA job at Hill Hall. Within a week, I got the job! Fast forward a month, and here I am, sitting here in my own personal dorm room typing this blog up. The entire week we have been training for the position. We literally got the full scale overview of the position. We went over everything from fire safety, first aid training, building code etc. We even managed to meet every staff member at the Alpine campus. That was tons of fun!

Another cool part of this training week was being able to train with the other RA’s from the other two CMC campuses with residence halls. Since it was our turn this year, the RA’s from the Timberline and Spring Valley campus made their way to wonderful steamboat to train with us. I originally thought this was going to be a big headache but I quickly realized how much it helped me as a new RA. Getting the perspective from other students from other CMC campuses helped me understand what being an RA is all about. Its all about being a positive role model that is there to help other students. The two days Timberline and Spring Valley students were here, we had diversity training. We learned about what it is like to be a minority and how stressful it can be for a student. We also learned how to treat people equally and with respect. I found it to be very valuable information.

On our day off together, we enjoyed a day in wonderful steamboat hanging out enjoying what we do best. We gave them a taste of what we like to do. We visited the river, played guitar in the back, played volley ball and basically enjoyed life. We even made our way to the downtown library to see an incredible display of Tibetan monks performing a ritual sand image. They spent one week with no rest masterfully creating a beautiful piece of art out of sand. Yes. Sand! The RA’s from the other campuses loved it and it really put the cherry on top of our diversity training. When we returned to hill hall, it was time for them to leave. Relationships were made, tears were shed and smiles were exchanged but in the end everyone had a great time. We got to be very close and it made the training that much more enjoyable. It began to rain very hard when it was time for everyone to leave and we all celebrated by running around in the rain like children. Everyone’s gotta be a kid too ya know! Thanks for reading. See ya next time!