April 20, 2013

Final Blog - April

April Blog Post –

Hey all, the school year is wrapping up so this will be my final blog post of the year.  IN April and March many important college-type events occured.  First of all, March means spring break, which everybody loves. I mean who doesn’t enjoy having week off to do no homework, and if you are really lucky – go someplace warm.  This year I happened to be one lucky duck and took my spring break in Austin, Texas with some family, just hanging around a lake. 

But spring breaks are the same anywhere, so I know you are wondering what makes April at CSM so very very special.  To every Mines student, April means one thing: Edays


Now if you haven’t heard of Edays, let me fill you in a bit.  First of all, Edays is short for Engineering Days. This tradition has been going on for a long time, and the holiday allows us engineering students to celebrate being an engineer the Mines way.  Now Edays has a couple key components. For one, everyone is more relaxed and happy and fun-loving that you have ever seen them, because they have a long weekend where they are free to have fun.  And hopefully no homework to do. And everyone goes out and has fun – who wouldn’t with all the cool stuff there is to do.

The first major event of Edays that I participated in was the Ore Cart Pull. Basically, I escorted an ore cart and Blaster the burro down from Golden to the Capitol of Denver. It’s no small task considering it is a long, 9 mile walk. But I had fun and everyone who does it just bonds together and it makes the walk go pretty fast.  Plus you get free tshirts (see below) and chipotle at the end.  

Another fun event of Edays?  The carnival. Basically there is a free carnival, where you can go and get free food (I recommend the deep fried snickers or the turkey legs).  There is also henna tattoos and games, and cotton candy and its just a lot of fun. Simultaneously there are trebuchets shooting loads towards a castle in the field. People built their own machines to see how much weight they could throw and how far. It was pretty crazy to watch, but unfortunately I never got a picture of that. 

My friends and I participated in an event called the Undie Run. Now no worries, not as scandalous as you think for the most part. The Undie Run has you donate clothes at the beginning of the race, so you race in whatever you are wearing beneath them.  And in the end you get free boxers and a free sandwich.  

Now there was also a masquerade rave, called the Masquarave which was a ton of fun, where you designed your own masks and just danced and had fun with friends.  Another night they there was a foam dance party at one of the frats which was also very fun and very bubbly. Literally. 

And then there is the grand finale to the weekend - a concert with fireworks.   This year we had AWOL Nation come play for us, followed by some of the most amazing fireworks.  It was beyond cool as they were perfectly timed – once the concert ended you were able to turn around and watch the most amazing fireworks show ever. 

The whole weekend so much fun and so refreshing but at the same time so tiring because you are constantly out having fun with your friends and trying to participate in all the activities, that there is hardly time to sleep.  But there is so much fun that you love every minute of the activities and free food.  

If there is no other reason for you to come to Mines other than Edays – come to Mines for Edays.  I cannot wait for the next three years of this amazing celebration that is so unique to CSM.  Maybe we will get to celebrate together in the future!!

 

Have a great summer everyone!

Love,
Taylor 

March 4, 2013

February Post

February Blog Post - Champions, Fun, Bananas, and Baking

Hey all,

Sorry this blog is a little late in getting posted.  Trying to get  all my homework done and studying for tests before spring break has made these last couple days a little crazy busy.  But never fear, I am posting now!!  P.S. Has anyone else felt like first semester just flew by, going way to fast.  Its crazy how even though its just a few days shorter than normal, it seems likes it’s a whole week. 

So first of all, I know you all were anxiously awaiting news on my IM wrestling tournament.  Cheers to this girl, I was champion!  So that is exciting!  I won my first  Mines IM championship t-shirt (hopefully there are more to come).  But I am super excited.  Below you will get to see photos of the t-shirt and my beautiful singlet and hairdo.  Please reserve judgments, I might have gone all out.  I called myself team America. 

Other things that happened that cracked me up this month was a conversation in my differential equations class.  We were talking about integrating, and my teacher started comparing the integration  to integrating bananas, because he felt we get too stuck just integrating in terms of one single x or a single y.  To open our minds he somehow thought bananas was the way to go. As a joke, my friend dressed up in a banana suit to the next class. I thought it was funny.  So there is very badly taken photo to show you. 

Other things that have happened, one of my best friends had a birthday this month. Just a little shout out to my friend Chelsea.  Now, birthdays in high school are great and all, but in college you have to do a lot of improvisation.  For one, you are no longer living with your parents, and most importantly their kitchen.  It takes a trip to Safeway, maybe two because you forget to buy eggs for your cake mix, and renting out your dorms kitchen to make a cake for your friend.  College becomes your new home, and since your parents are no longer there to make a cake for you, it is cool how your friends start taking care of you to make you feel like you are still at home.  And you have to find ways to wrap presents.  My picture features a nice magazine wrapping paper.  Came out pretty cute actually. 

I actually baked banana bread this month, another thing that I forgot about. But I did, you can see me and my friend Hanna baking it in our friend Joe’s kitchen (a cool part about living in the dorms at Mines Park – they come with a kitchen).  It was a snowy night, and we didn’t feel like going out, so we decided it was a perfect night to bake and expose our friends to the beautifully quotable movie Mean Girls.  And as a reference, our friends were all guys and had never seen the movie. It think they enjoyed it more than we did. 

As I write this, I just came back from an IM arena football game. Unfortunately my coed team lost, but we almost pulled a comeback in the last minute. And I almost scored two touchdowns! 

Also this weekend, Weekends at Mines (WAM) put on a carnival. My friends and I went and played games. One prize we won was bubbles, which we used to rediscover our childhood.  See picture of Stephen below twirling like a little fairy with my bubbles.  You can’t even tell that big dude plays football from that photo. 

This past week I had a test in Physics and Chemistry. I still am waiting on my Chem grade to be posted, but for Physics two I killed it and received my best grade yet in that class which is exciting. 

Everyone have a great month! Enjoy your spring breaks! I’m going to Texas for mine, and can’t wait.  And guess what , we are almost to St. Patrick’s Day and E-Days. 

Talk to you again in a month!

My wrestling outfit 

 Chelsea and I with the champ t-shirt

Wrestling Champion - picture made the intramural news flyer

Banana suit

Cake and the present

Banana Bread with Hanna

Carnival Prizes

Taylor

January 23, 2013

JANUARY

For this month, I am just going to catch everyone up on life since it became second semester….  So without further ado, here are five things about my life at Mines that are new or exciting about second semester.

FIRST AND FOREMOST - I survived first semester, actually I dominated first semester.  So it can be done. Don’t worry. You can dominate at Mines too.

Second – its second semester and that means news classes. So as a little update on my newest class load: 16 credits.  Half a credit less than last semester. Which means that I am taking Nature and Human Values (NHV – a English and ethics class), Physics II, Chemistry II, and Differential Equations. Oh and Physical Activity.  But that’s the easiest class ever.  

Third – I signed myself up for the Intramural Wrestling tournament.   I am really excited.  I have been getting lessons in wrestling basics from my friends on the Wrestling Team, and my friends and I even picked up some singlet’s for it.  We would like to look as official as possible.  Its next Monday.  And I promise to let you know how it goes.  I hope to obtain my first official Mines Intramural Tournament Champion T-shirt. 

Fourth – New Year’s Resolutions: in general I don’t like to share, but since this one relates to school I feel like I can share it.   This year, I am making a conscious effort to start to homework sooner, so that I don’t have to hurry to catch up on it at the last minute.  Hopefully you all have New Year’s Resolutions too.

Fifth - This month at Mines, there is a super special even that everyone is super excited about: Winter Carnival. Basically Mines is offering discounted lift tickets to Eldora Mountain. They also give you a free t-shirt which makes it pretty exciting.  Included in the cost is transportation up to the mountain, they give you Chipotle for dinner, and there is a costume contest.  It makes for a great opportunity for the students at Mines to get away from school for the weekend and all hang out together. 

To end here are a couple pictures: One in my wrestling singlet for the tournament (Sorry we are all sweaty after working out, its not my most attractive picture), and the second of my friend Hayley slacklining on a nice day. 

And a final little shout out to my suite-mates    You all are wonderful, and I am glad this blog is at least read by all of you.  LOVE YOU. 

November 27, 2012

NOVEMBER

Hey all!  Here is an update on my life at Mines for this month.  As you know, after November comes December, which means break and as such is the end of the semester.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t excited for the break and have some time off of classes, homework, and tests.  But knowing that it is almost December means that I have done it. I have survived a semester at Mines.  Which means that if I did so can you, so have faith. Mines is definitely difficult, but also most definitely do-able. 

Other highlights of my month included Club Soccer Nationals and my first ever registration for classes. My club soccer team here at Mine went to Nationals in Memphis, Tennessee this past week.  We finished the tournament with as many losses as we did ties but it still was an amazing experience to go to the National tournament as a school team who only has 5,000 people and to play against teams that have 30,000 students to pull together a team with.  Overall, even though the team had hoped to perform better it was still an amazing experience and I had a great time bonding with the girls and boys teams.  So even if you are debating on getting involved around campus do it.  If I hadn’t done club soccer I would never have met some of the amazing friends I have now and also I would have never had the chance to travel to have some of the best barbecue I have ever had in Memphis. 

The girls and boys team at the Rendezvous barbeque place in downtown Memphis. 

All the girls after the last game… we are all going to miss the seniors. 

Registration for classes next semester was both very, very exciting and very, very nerve-racking.  On one hand, you had total control of choosing what classes you wanted to take, and even better, what times you wanted to take them at (I mean, I don’t have to wake up for 8am class four days a week? Say what?). Also, having upperclassmen friends during this time helped a ton because they were great resources as to which classes were best to take and which teachers were better than others. So make some friends with those peers older than you before registration. You will want themJ The stress from this time came out when classes started to fill up; seniors and grad students register first, then juniors, followed by sophomores, and freshman bring up the rear.  That meant for some of my fellow friends they had to watch classes fill up and hope that they could still get into the classes they wanted.  And for the most part they did.  Luckily, my registration wasn’t too stressful because I had enough AP credits that transferred in that I was technically registering with sophomores because I had enough credits under my belt.  Which made the whole experience way less stressful and I was able to register for my ideal schedule. 

Also in the wonderful month of November was one of the top holidays out there: Thanksgiving.  It was a great and much needed break to go home, see my family, and  take a break from classes. Now I feel ready to try to push through this semester and get to winter break… AND CHRISTMAS!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and I will talk to you all in December!

PS. One last thing, I love the Bro-vember mustaches that pop out during this month.  What about you?

I apologize that I don’t have as many photos as normal.  

Love, 

Taylor 

November 2, 2012

Activities Around Mines (Part 1)

Hello all!  Hopefully you all have loved the wonderful month of October as much as I have (its by far my favorite month).  This time for my blog I am writing about all the college activities there are to get involved in.  So many to write about and so little space. I might have to do a part 2 later in the year.   So let me begin. 

Warm weather, which we had an abundance of this October, makes it perfect for many outdoor activities here at Mines.  One of the most popular: Slacklining.  Whether you are ridiculously good  at it, or whether you have no coordination and balance whatsoever (like me), everyone at college tries it at least once.  For those who have no idea what this “slacklining” thing is, let me explain.  For the most part it consists of balancing on a tight woven belt tied between trees a few feet off the ground.  I wish I had picture of my own to show you, but I grabbed this one from the internet, thank you minesnewsroom.com. And best part is, the picture is even on Mines own Kafadar Commons. WHOOOO! 

Another great warm weather activity is climbing Table Mountain.  The  hike is relatively easy and its a quick five minute block to the base from my dorm. My friend Hayley and I climbed it one Sunday this month.  It was perfect overlooking Golden, seeing the entire town, and all the fall colors were in full brightness.  Check out this beautiful picture!!! I love it soooo much.  And just because I love the fall colors so much there is another photo I took walking around campus one day because it looked so good.  I love our campus because there are so many trees.  I really wish I would have gotten a picture of Kafadar too because the trees there were out of control beautiful the past couple of weeks. All the leaves have mostly fallen now, and so there is the satisfying fall crunch of leaves beneath your feet each step.  And leaves work great as hair decorations too, my friend Logan thought it would be funny to attach it to my hair for a day because the leaves matched my red hair evidently.

Even with all the nice weather we still had the exciting first snow of the year. Everyone was happy to pull out their sweaters and scarves and embrace waking up to a blanket of snow coating the entire campus.  All the out-of-staters loved the snow most of all, so we had to take advantage of key snow activities. Therefore, there were several snowmen constructed on Kafadar, and quite a few snow angels on display for a couple of days. 

This next activity can be done both indoors and outdoors. Guess what it is? Rock climbing!!!!  Not only does our rec center have an amazing indoor climbing wall, the ORC (Outdoor Rec Center) also organizes real rock climbing trips to the great outdoors for fun too.  The first weekend in October my friends all went down by Colorado Springs, Colorado and climbed all weekend just for fun on a trip organized by the ORC.  They had a ton of fun, and even agreed to let me show you their fun pictures.  Now we all know that the great outdoors here in Colorado don’t stay warm too much longer, which is why the wall inside the rec center is a great way to get in a daily workout.  The paths are consistently changed up so there is always a new challenge to conquer.  And for those who are serious about the sport, there are many paths that vary in difficulty.  Anyone can come in to boulder (only climbing about 10 ft up the wall during open climb hours.  Belayed climbing (attached to the rope) is something that a person needs to certify for, but the test and certification are very easy and only take a few minutes.  The certification is definitely worth it and a great opportunity to try something new here at college.  

Another great part of college? Getting into the holidays.  Perhaps your parents send you a wonderful care package of decorations to decorate your room?  Check what my friend Monica did to her room!

 

As a college kid, you don’t have a lot of money to spare.  But nothing is better than a homemade costume.  Hayley cut a skeleton face in the back of a black shirt then painted a skeleton on the front. Cheap, homemade, easy costume for the wonderful holiday that is Halloween. 

The whole school really went all out for Halloween for the most part. Which made the entire day pretty fun.  For example, the cafeteria had a Halloween themed lunch.  Feature items: green “bat” wings (chicken wings), green mac n cheese, barbeque ribs (ooooh spooky, where did they get those), dirty worm pudding for dessert and cookies with ghosts and bats and spiders.  Very festive.  And every thirty minutes there was a costume contest.  Check out these top costumes… We have a “sexy” version of Steve Erwin, Thor, a pink pyjama party man, a large scary skull on top of a small body, and Boo from Monsters Inc.  All solidly done costumes. And out of the corner you can see my friend Ryan’s wig as he is dressed as Mick Jagger. My costume is below. I was a pirate and my friend Sarah went a trophy wife, in all Gold.  Gotta love Halloween.  

 

Additionally, fall means football.  And football games are the main attraction of Saturdays.  The team is always pretty good and as our school is small, you usually know a couple players so you are always excited to see them do well. The crowd gets loud and rowdy, and you can show off your newfound love of the school fight song, which thanks to M climb you now have memorized.  And you and your friends need a break from the weekend duty of homework, which is the chore of the weekend. 

And after the game, a nice walk down to Golden makes for a relaxing and perfect Saturday.

And for one last activity:  whenever a homework break is needed, there is always someone in the dorms up for a little competitive game of Just Dance.  Bring your “A” game. Here is a picture of Christine and Lori breaking it down.  No caption necessary, their moves say it all.

 Homework and a blanket = Studying like a champ!

Here’s the end of my blog on activities around CSM.  Until next time everyone!

October 2, 2012

Living the Mines Life

Hello everyone!  Hopefully you are reading this blog to learn more about Colorado School of Mines. I hope my perspective of the school here at Mines helps you to see how there is no better school to attend than Colorado School of Mines.  So to begin, here is a little bit about me.  My name is Taylor Chott and I am a freshman here at Colorado School of Mines.  Right now I am thinking I will major in Applied Mathematics. I currently reside on campus in Weaver Towers.

A nice view of the M from Campus

So now I know most of you are probably curious as to life in college, so I will catch you up on my first six weeks here at Mines.  The first weekend here at Mines consisted of the Orientation Weekend. It really helped me to get to know the campus and be comfortable with where I needed to be for each of my classes.  This really helped ease my nerves; I didn’t feel like I would be that “lost little freshman” on the first day. I also had the opportunity to meet a ton of new people, eat free food, and meet with all the students from one entire class.  At the conclusion of the weekend, I participated in the traditional hike up to “the M” on Mount Zion, carrying my own rock from home.  This consisted of water fights, lots of singing the school fight song, and free popsicles. At the top, all the students had the chance to splash each other…… I mean the M with whitewash before being bussed back down the hill to have a nice barbeque.   

Me and 4 friends pre-climb up to the M.

After the Orientation Weekend, classes began. The first week the professors were all extremely nice, and took it easy on us students to give us time to adjust. As another bonus, there were only lectures; meaning no labs or recitations so my schedule was very stress-free.  My schedule currently consists of Calculus 3, Chemistry 1, Physics 1, Epics, and CSM 101. I also take a PE type class we call “PA” or “Physical Activity.”  As of right now, I just finished my first round of exams for each of these classes… and look I am still alive!  So not to worry, the exams at Colorado School of Mines will NOT kill you.  Tests at Mines are hard, but there are plenty of resources available to all students that become very useful come test time. Many of my professors held extra review sessions at night and extended their office hours so students had the opportunities to come in and ask questions.  Personally to prepare for my tests, I took advantage of the extra review sessions and I made study groups with my friends which really helped me feel prepared for my tests.  And now it feels great to have all my exams over with (at least until the next one in two weeks).

Other happenings that have occurred at Mines include Celebration of Mines and Career Day. For those of you who don’t know, Celebration of Mines is a great day in the life of a college student, if nothing else just because of the free food and goodies.  Basically, on this day, I had the chance to see all the clubs campus and talk to each one.  And I was stunned to see that there were an insane number of clubs here.  There is club for just about everything. There are art clubs, off-roading clubs, professional organization clubs, sports clubs, religious clubs, and clubs just for the fun of it. I went around and signed up for a ton of clubs just so that I had the chance to become involved  in each one, knowing that I could always back down from them later.  I HIGHLY encourage all of you to take advantage of Celebration of Mines, walk around to every booth, grab some free prizes (I picked up key chains, food, a coffee mug, a cup with a straw, and a yo-yo,  and sign up for anything and everything that sounds remotely of interest to you. Also they bring out the school mascot, Blaster, seen below with my friend Lori.

 Lori and Blaster, best friends :)

The second event, Career Day, provides college students with free stuff, and more importantly a great opportunity to gain experience in the job search.  Obviously Colorado School of Mines offers not only a top-notch education, but they prepare you and work with you to find employment and experience as a student and alumni. Career Day offers companies the chance to come to campus and talk with all the students. Only Mines students and alumni are allowed, and there are amazing opportunities for jobs and internships. As a freshman, I was totally unprepared for the craziness that surrounds this momentous day around campus. Dressed in my best clothes, gripping my resume, I thought I was adequately prepared to walk into the gym filled with companies. Yet it still astonished me to see the massive number of companies present and the number of students working hard to impress representatives with their resumes. Massive numbers of students navigated their way through booths upon booths of companies.  I found the entire experience worthwhile and beneficial.  First of all, it was amazing to get to first nerves out of the way so that in future years, Career Day won’t be as overwhelming. Also, I took the chance to watch how the upperclassman presented themselves and see how those with more experience got the attention of companies. Some companies were even nice enough to walk through my resume and point out spots where it could use improvement or better ways to highlight important skills that companies will be looking for. I recommend even if you are not serious about Career Day and gaining an internship after freshman year, to go to Career Day as it is an amazing opportunity at a caliber above anything another school could provide for you

Homecoming Fireworks

So I hope this helps to see how great Mines is and lets you know how the first few weeks went in the life of a freshman.  Stay tuned, I hope to do a new post soon regarding activities around Mines!

-          Taylor Chott