Common Ground Fair

Last weekend I decided to forgo my giant pile of work for a much needed Sunday escape to the country! Hannah and I roused ourselves early Sunday morning and drove way up north for the Common Ground Fair ! Though every year I’ve known about it, this was the first time I’ve been able to go. I’m SO glad I made it up there before I graduated. It was full of incredible things– crafts, animals, food, agriculture, environmentally conscious people, social justice organizations, the largest gourds (and other veggies) you’ve ever seen, stone masons, and much much more.

Here are some photos, all taken by Hannah Zweifler.

Pretty lovely right?? Ah, the joys of a beautiful day in Maine…

Copenhagen for a weekend? Pour quoi pas!

I took my first training wheels euro trip this past weekend. And let me just say– it was a great success!! This is the last week before classes begin at the Sorbonne, and since most of my friends are taking half of their courses there, it was our last chance to take a trip without homework and other scholarly responsibilities hanging over our heads. So, we logged onto the easyjet website (to those of you who dont know easyjet, it is a budget airline that flies all over europe. my savior) and found the cheapest place to fly from Paris. Copenhagen won! So we went, with nearly no idea of what we’d do, but we went and it was lovely. So… photos?

In CPH, everyone is gorgeous and rides bikes. The weather is usually very brutal winter weather, more like Maine than Paris– but we lucked out. It was only ever grey, no rain, snow or freezing temps.

I had a delicious danish breakfast– the bread there was more substantial than french bread. Not that I’m complaining, but it was a nice change. Also, the produce. How I’ve missed fresh fruits and veggies!!

Much of Copenhagen is around water– crossing bridges means wind wind wind but also very beautiful views.

Like I said before… bicycles. If I were to sum up Copenhagen in a photo, it would be this one.

Standing outside of the coolest part of Copenhagen– Christiana. Check out some info about this place (where I couldn’t take pictures inside!)

Our hotel room comfortably housed 4 girls in a small space–this is because the hotel was designed in the spirit of a cruise ship… on land. Bunk beds on bunk beds, ya dig?

It only took ONE Danish pastry for me to fall in love..

On my last day I was lucky enough to meet up with two Batesie friends, Kaitlin and Brad, who are currently studying in Copenhagen for the semester. We ate soup in a cozy basement restaurant before they showed me their dorm rooms. It was such a pleasant reminder of home, though in a very different location. Hopefully, it is the first of many Bates reunions in Europe.

Well, that was Copenhagen in a nutshell. More adventures to come!


WRBC, the student radio station, puts on many events throughout the course of the year. Our most popular are often concerts, bringing smaller, unknown acts to Bates to rock out. We do, however, (and I say we because as the Publicity Director and a DJ for 5 consecutive semesters, I feel connected and responsible for the things WRBC does) have one annual event that doesn’t involve live music but is still one of the best nights at Bates– TRIVIA NIGHT.

These are the rules to trivia night, (I wrote these last year as one of my first tasks as a new board member) and last night when we were reading them on the air I had no problem taking credit for how clever and great they are, and I attributed this to the fact that I am an English major. Go english majors! We can write things!!

To participate in Trivia Night, you need a team. Said team can have as many people you want, but there are no limits. Tea…ms greater than seven are recommended. Also necessary: a knack for figuring out the obscure songs and trivia questions that WRBC throws at you. Each team is evaluated according to how many points they win. There are three ways to receive points:

1) Trivia: While tuning in to 91.5 FM all night, you will hear all sorts of songs, from pop hits to obscure chinese folk ballads, and each song has a corresponding trivia question. Using the special trivia night telephone number, call in (before the song ends!) and tell us the title of the song, the artist who is performing it, and the answer to the trivia question. Each of those answers are worth 1 point, so every song is an opportunity to get 3 points.

2) The real excitement begins with Physical Challenges. So maybe you didn’t know in which state it was illegal for mourners at a wake to eat more than three sandwiches? Well, luckily, you can earn more points through a random assortment of the physical challenge, which are announced on the hour, and then performed on the half hour at the WRBC studio. Winners of Physical Challenges are given 15 points, 2nd Place 10 points, and 3rd Place 5 points. These challenges are judged by a group of trivia night staff.

3) Make sure you’re paying attention, you don’t want to miss: Random points events. Because we’re nice people, sometimes points will be offered for certain requirements to be filled. These could really help you out, especially if you’re creative and listening carefully. So be on the look out!

At the end of all the many hours of radio, trivia, and challenges, each team must perform a skit assigned during the last hour of the broadcast. This final challenge holds a very high point value, so if you want to win, make sure you make it entertaining and ingenious.

Once all that’s happened, a winner is declared, prizes are awarded and it’s really early in the morning. WRBC officially recommends sleeping.

DOESN’T THAT SOUND LIKE FUN?? Well it is. However, when I woke up this past Tuesday with a terrible, debilitating cold, I was scared. I barely did anything except go to class Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; I stayed in bed and drank fluids and quietly focused on getting better. I had a ton of fun putting together my hour of music and trivia with my friend Katy; in our humble opinions, our hour, from 12-1 AM, was the best. Still, after all my best efforts of staying up all night, around 3:30 I was fading,  fast, and our general manager (aka head honcho) insisted it was a-okay that I bail. Our concert director walked me home in the eerie early morning snow, and while I felt terrible for not making it through the night, I knew that I needed to SLEEP if I am going to make it through until the end of the semester alive.

I did the whole night last year, so I know what I missed but I also definitely stand by my decision to choose sleep over three more hours of red bull and trivia. So I couldn’t stay up all night, but in general I try to avoid all-nighters, so it’s not the end of the world.

Hey Last Week of Classes? Bring it on. I’ve already taken a big bite out of the 44 pages of writing I have due by Friday. And after Friday? Exams Exams Exams. THEN WINTER BREAK!

The Friday Lunch Series

At the beginning of the semester, my friend Schuyler and I decided that we would make good use of our class-free Friday schedules and always reward ourselves with a lunch out. Well, here we are halfway through the semester and let me tell you, I have had some good lunches. We’ve yet to repeat a restaurant (other than the den once) and the small culinary vacation is always a welcome treat. Because I love food, I will try my hardest to relive each meal by listing them, starting with yesterday.

Heidi’s Deli– Heidi’s is what every student crosses their fingers will cater a meeting/event/lunch that provides food. Amazing sandwiches. AMAZING. I had a Cajun Turkey and avacado sandwich on sourdough. MMM. It’s also right over the bridge in Auburn AND close to Shaws and starbucks making my other Friday errands easy to check off my list.

The Library Cafe– This pick was Schuyler’s, who discovered it at the Taste of Lewiston/ Auburn, which is a showcase for local restaurants for the entire Bates community in the fall. It’s a new little spot in the basement of the Auburn Library, and a great stop on our lunch tour. It was pouring rain that day, which also happened to be the opening day of Fuddy Meers, but we walked into the cozy spot and we were greeted by a delicious menu and friendly staff. I had a “Thoreau” (all of the sandwiches had literary names. Get it? Library?) which was some sort of turkey and cheddar sandwich with good spreads on great bread. (I’m kicking myself  for not remembering the exact combination. Well, looks like I’ll have to go back and check..)

Commons– On the day of Parent’s Weekend, in preparation for the gluttonous parent pampering to come, we decided to stick to campus. Boy, we wish we hadn’t. We were so used to our calm Fridays in quiet restaurants that a parent-overloaded commons made us immediately swear to go back to our lunching out plans for the rest of the semester.

The Bobcat Den– There have been two times where  we’ve opted to stay on campus, but instead of going to commons we head over to the den. The Den used to be the late night food place at Bates (before my time) when Old Commons was in use. Now, it’s operational only during the day, and therefore is a faculty and staff hangout. As we painfully found out, if you go at 12 to the den you will experience a similar horrible rush as going to commons at noon; but instead you will see your boss, your favorite professor, your least favorite professor, and everyone in between. Still, I’m partial to chicken salad on borealis bread when I go to the den, with a hot chai!

Marche- I wrote about Marche in my Parent’s Weekend post. It’s fuel’s (probably the best restaurant in Lewiston) little lunch spot, who also does one dinner on Mondays. Well, you would never guess that it was an ‘order at the cash register and pick up your food at the counter” place from the ambiance. It’s decorated very well: sophisticated, with a little fun in the pictures on the wall and the objects being displayed. Anyways, I had this amazing steak sandwich with cheese, peppers and onions and with horseradish mayo on a really delicious roll. Schuyler and I both ordered the same thing and were satisfied for probably three days. If anyone’s a repeat in this series, it will be Marche.

Grittys- A classic. We headed to this Maine pub-style restaurant early on in the semester. It’s a really good place and you know you can fill up on burgers, sandwiches, and other great pub foods no problem (and if the season’s appropriate, you can sit outside overlooking the river). I had a burger (of course. I love burgers) with bbq sauce, bacon, and cheddar cheese. MMmmm! Just thinking about it makes my stomach rumble.

There you have it– the Friday lunch series. Although I am spending a little bit of extra cash each week, it’s totally worth it and a great little vacation after a full week of work. I think we are almost running out of suggestions, but we have 5 more weeks to fill. We’ll see where we end up in the future! Who knows, all I can say is it better be delicious…

Southern Escapades

As promised, photos from my wonderful trip to visit my friend Schuyler in her hometown of New Orleans before we both head back to school in a week. All photos taken by the lovely Schuyler.

First thing’s first. Get this girl a po-boy.

We went out to dinner and were over come with our excitement at being together!

There was an awful lot of legacy at that dinner. From left to right, Margaret ’10, Rob players president 09-10, Schuyler ’11, Rob players president 10-11, Taimur ’07, Rob players president 06-07… and me. PRESSSURREEE.

We ate delicious gelato. Schuyler’s was tiramisu!

Mine was sweet cream, I’m a sucker for that flavor.

Schuyler’s parents took us out for an amazing fancy Louisiana dinner at Herbsaint. Because I was visiting New Orleans, I had to try gumbo and WOW what a place I picked to take the plunge. The gumbo of the day had rabbit and sweet sausage in it and was SO GOOD. I will be the first to admit that I am not the most adventurous when it comes to new foods, but I figured I had too. MMMMmmm. The taste was incredible and spicy and delicious. I followed that up with gnocci with pancetta and cherry tomatoes… and for dessert I had a banana butter tart with caramel sauce. I could barely move I was so full at the end. BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT!

We spent my last day split between traversing the French quarter and running through the aquarium. Here we are sitting in front of the St. Louis Cathedral.

The aquarium was SO COOL. I love aquariums. They are severely under-enjoyed by my age demographic. More people in their twenties should appreciate marine life, they’d live happier lives. This is the amazon rainforest room!

This is a slightly embarrassing photo, that I only post to emphasize how going to the aquarium=having more fun in life. I was trying to synchronize swim with the penguins.

Schuyler made a new friend and his name was MR TERRIFYING. This white alligator was asleep with eyes shut when she sat down, but upon examining the photo his creepy eyes are open! Scary!

Then, we hugged penguins in the gift shop.

And we ended our day eating beignets, the most delicious thing in the entire world. Beignets are only sold at this one cafe in the French Quarter, Cafe Du Monde, who, of course, are famous for the “French doughnut” that is absolutely DOUSED in powdered sugar. As a result, it is impossible to effectively eat a beignet without covering yourself in the white sugary mess and therefore all photos taken are entirely top secret.

Instead, I will post a scene from the Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog” about beignets. This is actually the first place I was introduced to the New Orleans specialty confection, when we watched it during a rainy day at camp earlier in the summer. Though animated, throughout the movie they appear just as delectable as they are in real life, and I was terribly excited when Schuyler took me to the home of the pastry.

Whew. So there you have it. A few days in New Orleans running around, giggling, using funny accents and pretending that I was a Southern Belle. It was just what the doctor ordered post-work, pre-school. Countdown to Bates: ONE WEEK!

Things to look forward to:

Today, I booked a flight to New Orleans for a few days to visit a friend a week before I go back to school. This is incredibly exciting to me. I find that it helps when you have wonderful things to look forward to, and not in a way that leaves you wishing away the current situation, but one that leaves a hint of excitement lingering in your not-so-distant future, smiling and shining at you as encouragement. That might not have made any sense. But that’s my philosophy.

I haven’t done a lot of solo-traveling, so this jaunt down south will be a new and educational experience. Maybe a practice round for all the traveling I’ll be doing winter semester, running around Europe? I think so! I’m going to be staying with my friend and fellow Batesie Schuyler, who is an elegant southern belle, of course.

I remember last summer, after work ended, I still had three weeks until school started and, once most of my friends from home started heading back to school early, I was stuck with NOTHING to do but sit around eagerly awaiting Bates. Now, at least, I’ll have something super exciting to fill the space between work and school. And, it isn’t a bad thing to look forward to for the next three weeks!

Filling Fake Summer

I don’t start work until July 6. JULY SIXTH. I got home from school on May 30. That gives me the ENTIRE month of June with nothing on my plate– no responsibilities, no plans, nowhere to go… This may sound appealing, but let me tell you that this period of time, known among my friends from home as “fake summer” gets boring. Fast. It’s a question of finding worthy pursuits, making plans where there are none, seeking out babysitting or other filler work. So that’s what I’ve done. And in about a half hour, I’ll be heading to Montreal for the weekend!

This is very exciting for me, because the last time I went it was during October break, and it was with 9 other Batesies. Check out that post here. Anyways, this trip is only with one friend from home, and we won’t be staying at a hostel (instead a real house!! FOR FREE!!!) but I definitely feel more prepared to have a great time in the bustling city. Last night as I was packing, I was going through all the cards and papers that I’d saved from October. Despite the rain, we really made it all over the place. One afternoon was spent walking down streets that were filled with art galleries and we stopped in every one. I have all those cards still! It’s a great way to piece together the journey we made over a vacation.

This trip will certainly be different than my first Canadian adventure– but I have high hopes that it will be equally satisfying.

And hopefully there will be more silly photos taken on Olympic podiums. Like this one.

Ronjstock, how I love thee

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of short term, one spent in the sun with free food, live music, and fun activities: Ronjstock. This annual outdoor event is put on my the Ronj, a student-run coffee house on campus. While the weather seemed a little sketchy for a while, it held for the entire day and students were able to mingle on the ronj’s lawn all afternoon enjoying the day.

Last year, this event was combined with another event as the Block party. Read my post about it here. Again, I have to admit, my favorite performer was Computer at Sea. He came back again this year! How sick is that! And, since I knew what to expect this year, I was not skeptical at all when he began creating music out of the craziest set up. When I say crazy, I mean really wild. Proof:

Photo by Brad Gee, May 15 2010.

I even got to chat with him afterwards! It was kind of a bummer because only about 8 or so people were brave enough to get dancing during his set. (Which, of course, means the other like hundred there at the time were staring at us like we were crazy…guess what? it was worth it).

Anyways, it was a lovely way to spend a short term Saturday. And my Sunday? Well, I have a sunburn and sand stuck in everything, so i obviously took advantage of Range Pond today! Finally. I’m so glad the weather is beginning to warm up, I’ve been waiting for it to do so for weeks!

SHORT TERM, and a little bit of Maine College love

Hello and welcome to Short term 2010. Already a week has gone by? I can’t even believe it. Just like last year, I’m finding myself with seemingly tons of free time, but never having a second to spare! I really like my class, Politics in theater. I already had to write a paper, though! Anyways, I’ve been doing very short term-y things lately- spending hours in commons, steering clear of the library, going to lounge at Range pond… So lovely! For a while, the weather wasn’t cooperating with us (to all prospective students who came up for accepted students day— the weather was such a bummer… it’s not usually like that!!!) but luckily it got beautiful just in time for the weekend.

I spent today outside having a blast– but it was at Bowdoin. A great thing about being a small liberal arts school in Maine is that you’ve got two other friends nearby– Colby and Bowdoin. This is a great resource when it comes to CONCERTS. Often, our events are open to the public and students from Colby and Bowdoin will come down to see the cool act. In this same way, I’ve had the pleasure now twice of heading up to Bowdoin to see a sick show. Last fall, we got to see Deerhunter in an amazingly intimate venue (their student center) with a TINY crowd, for FREE! And today, for their annual Ivies weekend, I hung out and saw PASSION PIT, COOL KIDS and REEL BIG FISH, again, all free. Just a thirty minute drive away, all my friends got in cars and caravanned into Brunswick. Now, I don’t know ANYONE at Bowdoin, but we all got checked by Bowdoin students who offered to get us in as their guests. Super great. Everyone was outside, all day, having a great time. The concert was held on their football field, with a stage set up and one end, and the dance floor forming on the outdoor track (by the way, a great surface to dance on!) I had SO MUCH FUN! And, just like the last time I saw Passion Pit, they covered the Cranberries again. It went a little like this.

Short term, short term. What adventures will week 2 have in store for me?? We’ll see…

So Bates

So last Friday, I did something I really never thought I’d do. Something that is SO BATES, but seemed SO SCARY. Well, guess what, I jumped in the puddle anyway!

The second week of second semester is Winter Carnival, where the Chase Hall Committee and the Bates Outing Club put on tons of sweet events all week long, culminating on  Friday afternoon’s annual dip in frozen Lake Andrews (affectionately known as the Puddle). Last year, my freshman dorm was right next to the Puddle, and I watched eagerly the whole time as my peers jumped in the hole cut in the ice, each looking more crazy than the last! I was wearing coats and scarves and mittens and drinking hot cocoa and could definitely not understand how these people could strip down and dive in. I should have taken advantage of having my own lovely steamy shower a hundred yards away from the icy pond, because let me tell you, Frye street is a LONG, CHILLY, clumsy walk back after all that.

Anyways, this year, I decided to take the plunge, literally, holding 4 or 5 of my friends’ hands so we’d all go in together. I’m so proud to say that I did it! I really do feel like it’s something you HAVE to do while you’re at Bates, and I’m pumped I’ve gotten it out of the way– with photos to prove it!