Student Snippets


Recently in Boston

Making the Most of Boston

Before moving out here, I was too stressed out by the moving process to even think about many things to do in Boston. When I got here, I was dedicated to my classes and getting back home at a somewhat reasonable hour since I was used to an 8 minute commute and had to transition to an hour commute.

However, with two friends moving out here, and my growing irritation at cool things happening without my knowledge, I've tried to be more adventurous over the last few weeks.

I tried to go to a signing for Marie Rutkowski, author of the amazing Winner's Trilogy, but alas her plane was cancelled.

I did go to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. For being in relatively small buildings (think a traditionally sized college campus building), they both had extensive collections. I particularly appreciated the glass flowers in the HMNH and the first level of exhibits in the Peabody. I hope that the Peabody receives funding to remodel their other two floors!

I even went out on St. Patrick's Day! We went to Ned Devine's, which I was informed by two separate people is "touristy". Alas, I'll never grow into a true Bostonian. But I still managed to have a couple pints of Guinness and enjoy some great food and music.

Today, I'm going to the MIT Communications Forum where Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling and fellow Simmons alum, will be discussing the prevalence of dystopias in young adult literature.

With my focus on school, I occasionally forget all the cool opportunities available to me simply by living near Boston. I want to take advantage of my time here. I have no idea where I'll end up when I graduate because I have no idea what kind of job I'll find. Hopefully, I'll remember to keep track of all the neat events and places around me.

Know of something cool coming up in Boston? Let me know in the comments! I'd love to see you there!

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Forced Fun and Productivity

Okay. So you've heard by now how much snow we've had in Boston. Living here, it's hard to forget, but I'm trying. Everyone is trying. Here's what I've been doing to make the time go by:

School Work:

  • Writing an XML schema
  • Reading for classes
  • Writing critiques of the aforementioned readings
  • Gradually making a strategic plan for Emory University Archives for a group project

Things Usually Procrastinate:

  • Doing my taxes
  • Filing my financial aid forms
  • Laundry
  • Cleaning stuff that will eventually get dirty again (i.e. everything)
  • Writing thoughtful replies to e-mails (i.e. more than "Thanks" and "Will do")

Fun Distractions and Outings:

  • Going to a Mexican food restaurant without windows to pretend I wasn't in Boston
  • Many movie nights (courtesy of DVDs from various libraries)
  • Binge watching The Killing on Netflix
  • Tweeting stuff no one cares about
  • Perfecting the art of making warm cocktails (Hot Toddy anyone?)
  • Reading Lisa Genova's Still Alice (which is so good!)

Somewhere in here I also managed to go to work and my internship after dealing with long commutes, but that's another story. I could write an entirely separate post about what I accomplished en route to my various obligations. Suffice to say I'm making good use of my Audible account. Really though, this past week was fun and productive, and I guarantee you I'll be singing the same tune in August when it's 95 degrees and humid.

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An Open Letter to Snow

Dear Snow,

You have been very busy these past two months, my dear friend. Since the end of January, not a week has passed where you haven't unleashed yourself upon the city of Boston. I wonder, is this perhaps retaliation of some kind because the meteorologists were predicting a mild winter? Or perhaps, you simply enjoy covering Boston in your snowy blankets, changing the city into a winter wonderland? Whatever your motivation for delivering snow storm after snow storm upon my beloved city of Boston, I write to you today, as strong winds howl outside my apartment creating clouds of white, to ask you for leniency.  Enough is enough. Please, can we not have anymore snow?
I am fully aware that writing this plea to you is most likely folly, but with 45.5 inches of snow as today (according to, a plea such as this can't hurt. And yes, that's right: 45.5 inches. That's a lot of snow, especially in such a short amount of time. Let me list a just a few of the things that these 45.5 inches have caused thus far.
1. Simmons College has had five snow days thus far; there are students who have not yet had a Monday class! 
2. The city has had to shut down the MBTA three times now. While I have to luxury of being able to walk to all the places I need to get to in case of an emergency, the same cannot be said of others. The closure of the MBTA has inconvenienced a lot of people. 
3. ICE. Just ice.
4. The massive piles of snow created by the city's plows are just that, MASSIVE. They have narrowed sidewalks, trapped in cars, and making the daily practice of walking feel like one is constantly climbing over Everest. They will probably be here until May.
5. Being snowed in so often is very boring. I am literarily running out of homework to do in my spare time.
Snow, I love you, and I am sure that many other people in Boston (especially kids) love you too, but I think the city has had enough for one year. I am aware that more snow is due to hit the city this week but maybe I don't think anyone would complain if the snow DIDN'T happen to fall. I know it seems like I am asking a lot, but consider it. Maybe, for just one week in February, it doesn't have to snow in Boston?
I think I speak for everyone when I say: Please, don't snow on Boston anymore.
Thank you,
Jill Silverberg

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Snowpocalypse and the Brunch Bunch

I survived "Snowpocalypse" (as work called it)! Clearly, librarians love melodrama. It was my first blizzard in New England, and I actually kind of liked it. I walked around in the back yard in the middle of it, and it was so quiet that it didn't feel like I was in Boston at all, more like I was on vacation in some winter wonderland.

The only real trouble was AFTER the storm. No one knew where to put all the snow, so pedestrians couldn't walk on un-shoveled sidewalks and a lot of streets were only one lane even after being plowed. So commuting was a nightmare all around, for drivers and public transportation users. I waited an hour for a bus that never came and another 40 minutes for the T and by that time I was running so late that I hailed a cab, so it cost me more money to get to work than I actually made that day.

On the bright side, I had brunch with some friends the Sunday before the storm and it was nice to see everyone. All who attended started SLIS during the summer of 2014, so we all had classes together for 12 hours a week for six weeks. That makes people bond! A brunch for this group at the beginning of each semester has become something of a tradition that I very much look forward to... that and the tradition of getting many drinks together after the semester ends.


Behold the piles of unwanted snow.


Introducing the Brunch Bunch! (L to R: Lizzie, Amanda, Sara, Sam, Meaghan, Christina, and Nick)
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Kuntz, all rights reserved.

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

So I was wondering if winter was ever going to hit the Boston area. Coming to Massachusetts from Montana, I was told by everyone, "Watch out for their winters! It's colder out there! Make sure you're prepared!" I'd been a little let down by the weather so far.

I'm not particularly a fan of snow. In fact, I usually say that I don't like it. But growing up in Montana, you get use to snow starting around October and lasting through about March. Occasionally, it snows outside that time, like when I went to my Freshman undergrad orientation, and it snowed in June. That was unusual, but I just bought a pair of socks and a pair of sweatpants from the school store and called it good.

Now, I can say that I've finally learned what a Boston winter is like, and it wasn't as bad as I expected. It was a lot of snow. But what surprised me the most was how everything shut down. I never had a snow day growing up. It was one of those things I had read about and seen in picture books and movies, but I never experienced one. If there was school, you went to school. There could be rain, snow, wind, power outages--the only time my school cancelled classes was when we had a water boiler explode overnight and freeze. For me, It was entertaining to see how quickly everything shut down.

I was more excited by the snow we got on Saturday than Monday and Tuesday. Saturday, I had class. I had to get up and catch a train and wander to campus in the snow. And it made me happy. Being without snow was really hard. It makes life seem so different from home. I always think I'd like to live somewhere like Southern California or Hawaii, but in reality, without snow, I just feel very confused about the year.

So while I'm not looking forward to trekking to the train station and to campus from the T stop, I keep getting a little bit happy. Snow is inconvenient, but it's so fun. In it's own weird way, snow is very comforting to me. For those of you who experienced your first Boston snow like me, I sure hope you enjoyed it! I feel bad for people who experienced the bad effects of the storm (power outages and flooding are the worst). But I hope we're all ready to see the next storm with some experience under our belts.

All the Best - Hayley

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