August 8, 2012 by Rebecca Avison
As a college student, there is nothing better than free food. Whether it be give-aways or free samples, we can never get enough (when Chipotle offered free burritos opening day, we stood in line for over three hours to get one). So in this post I would like to give a shout out to Professor Clay Clemens, who is officially the Chancellor of the Government Department and an alumnus of the College.
Professor Clemens has had our group of twelve senior interviewers over to his house for not one, but two barbecues this summer. He is a master chef who makes scrumdidlyumptious burgers! He always also has delicious appetizers such as endless chips and salsa, guacamole (which goes great on burgers, by the way), hummus, and cheese with crackers (basically we are full even before we eat real dinner). Professor Clemens is always sure to end the meal with something to satisfy the sweet tooth such as cookies or ice cream sandwiches.
So here’s to you Professor Clemens (we raise our glass), thanks for all you do for William and Mary and its students. We really do appreciate you!
July 30, 2012 by Rebecca Avison
Some things in life are fabulously wonderful, a trip to Cancun, sailing on a yacht, or owning a Lamborghini. Unfortunately, as a college student, most of these things are unrealistic for us. Instead, we must take pleasure in the simple things in life such as:
1. Running into people you know in places you never expect to see them: This past weekend I had the pleasure of going to New York City to visit a few friends. Though I planned to see a lot of people who were in the city for the summer, I also ran into two friends from school completely out of the blue—one on a rooftop terrace and one in line to take a bus back to DC. These by-chance happenings always make me smile and think just how small our world really is.
2. Finding money in odd places you didn’t know it was hiding: Putting on a pair of jeans and finding ten bucks in the pocket, or opening up a bag to find some singles, is one of the best feelings in life. It’s basically like free money! When I was little I used to purposely hide money in these places, just so I could have the joy of finding it at a later point in time (I was a slightly odd child and I am sure I lost more money this way than anything else).
3. When two things come out of the vending machine instead of one: When you’re really craving a snack to get you through your day and you head to the vending machines for a pick me up and realize if you get a bag of chips, you’ll actually get two for the price of one (this does mean however that someone else got the short end of the stick, but you never think about this).
4. When you reach your destination just as your favorite song ends on the radio: No waiting around for you, its that satisfaction of perfect timing that can’t really be explained in words.
5. When you don’t know an answer on a test but the answer is in another question: This was always always the best in school, I don’t know if teachers would do it to see if you were paying attention, but free points on an exam, always fabulous!
6. Finding a pull through parking spot: When you go around a corner and find a parking spot, this is always great. However, A PULL THROUGH SPOT is the jackpot of parking. Its so wonderful that you know you wont have to put in the extra effort of backing up!
7. Making a yellow light: Maybe you’ll make it, maybe you won’t. AHH, the decision, go for it when its yellow and it doesn’t turn red. Maybe you do the kiss the ceiling trick, either way the success of making the yellow light is something that totally makes the moment.
8. Realizing you have more time to sleep: That groggy time when you wake up before your alarm and still have twenty minutes to sleep. That extra time is a small gift and seems to make a world of difference on your functioning for the day.
9. Not dropping a sock when taking your clothes out of the dryer: Your hands are full of clean fluffy clothes, and you’re taking them to your room. One of the most accomplished feelings is not dropping anything on the floor on your way, especially socks. Point one for you!
10. Reminiscing about old times: Hanging out with friends is always fabulous, but reminiscing about past times (like mud sliding in the Sunken Garden, trips to Jamestown Beach to picnic, and evenings out on the town) is one of my biggest simple pleasures in life. Good friends and good stories, you can’t get much better then that!
July 19, 2012 by Rebecca Avison
There is a place I know that makes me smile,
That is building memories of a fun filled child.
Golden sand and an ocean of blue,
A perfect place for two twins I knew.
Fun filled days so much to do.
Never enough time for these wonderful two.
A walk on the promenade is such fun,
Especially at evening in the setting sun.
An ice cream and a candy bar,
A dizzily ride on a coaster car.
Ill always remember this place that makes me smile,
This strip of land that is called Sea Isle.
-courtesy of grandpa
This past weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world at one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. I went with some of my best friends from freshman year (shout out to my yatesmates) to the shore: aka Sea Isle City, NJ.
There are some key things that make a trip to the beach a complete success, besides the company of course.
- The weather: though you don’t have complete control over this aspect of your beach trip, be sure to make the best of it. This past weekend, it rained Saturday morning a bit, but we didn’t let this stop us! Instead, go in the water. Once your already soaked through it doesn’t matter if it’s pouring outside.
- The games: now don’t get me wrong, I am 21 years old and totally love doing nothing some days (as well as being a mature adult sometimes, though not usually), but the best days at the beach are the ones filled with ladder ball, bocce ball, and clam toss. This trip, we played for hours upon hours a range of activities from lacrosse to football and threw around a skip ball for at least four hours total (even if you can’t throw a spiral or have a bum arm, this is no excuse to not participate in beach games). I was literally sore the next day from all the ball playing!
- The supplies: the beach is great yes, but sunburn is not. So don’t be stupid. If you’re pale skinned and pasty, be sure to apply and re-apply sunscreen, bring a hat, and sunglasses (even if you swear you look bad in them) so you don’t end up looking like a lobster. In addition, always remember that if the breeze is coming from the bay be sure to put on bug spray because the green flies will be out and about.
- The grub: the last and probably most important part of a beach weekend is the food! I say go for the barbeque, you really can’t go wrong with hot dogs and hamburgers (unless of course you have invited a crazy vegetarian, in that case veggie burger?). Add in homemade potato salad, and your meal can’t really get much better.
So yes, here you go. This is my fail proof recipe to a great time at the shore. Just grab some friends, make sure you have a full tank of gas, and go soak up the sun.
July 12, 2012 by Rebecca Avison
So I have recently moved into my apartment for the summer and I FINALLY have my own kitchen. No more meal plan for me; instead, its time for me to branch out and start “feeding myself”. I have gotten into cooking lately and have been making relatively simple but delicious meals like tacos, salmon, burgers, and lasagna. However, I realize that these meals could be too complex for someone really just starting out in the cooking arena (say my fellow intern Karthik). So, I want to give you (and him) the tools to make a simple dish, one that pretty much everyone will like, and that can be as varied as you want to make it. Yes, if you haven’t guessed, I am referring to an OMELET.
Step 1: Shopping- Now this can be done in a variety of ways. You could go to the grocery store or shop in your own fridge (or a friend’s fridge). Just remember, there is ONE CRITICAL INGREDIENT: EGGS. Other then eggs, feel free to use anything you have around. I love my omelets with spinach, tomatoes, onions, and goat cheese. But you can literally put whatever you like into an omelet (love meat: add bacon and ham. Love veggies: go crazy with everything in your fridge). The opportunities and variability of an omelet is endless!
Step 2: Preparing: So depending on what you’re putting into your omelet, there is usually some prep time involved.
-Tomatoes: you should probably chop them.
-Onions: maybe sauté them first.
-Cheese: be sure to open the container (this can be a little tricky, be careful if utilizing scissors).
-Pan: be sure to prep the pan (a small fry pan is key) with a little bit of butter or cooking spray. Also, remember to crack the eggs, add a little water or milk and beat with a fork or whisk.
Step 3: Cooking: Just a heads up, this is the hardest part! Add the eggs to the pan and let them cook till the bottom is hard, then push part of the cooked egg into the center of the pan and let the runny part cook (repeat as needed). Then add the good stuff into the omelet! At this point (once all the egg is cooked), fold the omelet over so it is a semi-circle. Then flip to ensure it’s fully cooked and WALA! There you have it, your own gourmet meal that you can impress your friends and family with. ENJOY!
July 5, 2012 by Rebecca Avison
So I wouldn’t say I have a lot of free time this summer. As interns, we work 8-5 each day, which means I wake up at seven. And because I have to wake up around seven, this means I usually try to go to bed at a reasonable hour (say twelve). Add in dinner and seeing friends and the days just fly by. However, even with the busy schedule I have found time to watch one of my favorite new, but really actually old, TV shows called American Dreams.
If you’re not familiar with the show I’ll give you some background. It’s a family drama set in Philadelphia (close enough to my hometown, West Chester if you were pondering) during the 1960s. It chronicles the Pryor family and their four children.
- JJ, the eldest, is a star athlete who joins the Marines to fight in Vietnam.
- Meg, the eldest girl, is in high school, and is a regular on Bandstand (American music show with host Dick Clark).
- Patty, the youngest girl, is exceptionally bright, but doesn’t really fit in with her family or friends.
- Will, the youngest boy, has polio because his parents did not trust the vaccine when it came out.
The family deals with many of the issues of the time first hand, like the assassination of JFK, the race riots in Philadelphia, and the Vietnam War. The show also incorporates an African American family whose father, Henry, works for Mr. Pryor in his television and radio store. The relationship between Henry and Mr. Pryor demonstrates the changing relationships between blacks and whites and highlights the race issues of the times. Another main reason I really like the show is because Mrs. Pryor is used to highlight the role of women during the time and how they were changing their roles in society. She deals with issues such as being a stay-at-home mom, deciding to go back to school, and the issues of birth control.
There are three main reasons I love this show!
3. It teaches you about history. Its great to be able to watch a family really deal with issues that I have learned about in textbooks. Now don’t get me wrong, I know this is a TV show and all, but it still sheds a lot of light on what was going on at the time and the attitudes and actions of individuals.
2. The family drama aspect. I have always wanted to have a big family. I have a twin brother but that’s it (I mean he’s ok, most of the time)…. BUT I have always wanted an older brother and older sister, as well as a younger brother and younger sister. Basically, I wanted it all, every possible relationship. By watching American Dreams, I get to have these relationships (with fictional characters of course).
1. The old school music. I love oldies, and this show is chock full of them. Watching your favorite actors play Aretha Franklin, the Beatles, and Tom Jones, it doesn’t get much better than this!
So if your looking for a new, kinda old show to watch this summer, I would 100 percent suggest American Dreams. Beware: it is a little corny but absolutely fabulous nonetheless!
June 28, 2012 by Rebecca Avison
After making the decision to fly the coop of William and Mary last semester and study abroad, I am now back in Williamsburg and having a slightly hard time making the adjustments from the bright lights of London to the quaint town of Williamsburg. There have been certain things in particular that I still have not yet gotten re-acclimated to. So here is my laundry list of things that I am still not used to about the States or miss from London.
1. Looking to the left when crossing the street. Yes, this sounds like a silly thing. BUT it took me five months to get used to looking to the left when crossing the crazy streets of London (drivers don’t stop, ever) and that habit has been hard to break. In London, they realize that their system is confusing so they write in big letters on the roads LOOK LEFT and LOOK RIGHT which I think would be very helpful for the US to adopt!
2. Driving on the right side of the road. Yes, I know this sounds dangerous and I know that I never actually drove while in London, BUT so many times when I am in my car I second guess myself as to what lane I should be turning into or where I should look to see if I can merge into traffic.
3. Afternoon tea. This is probably the most genius invention of the British. Who doesn’t need a pick-me-up around three in the afternoon? Add in an orange scone with clotted cream and jam and your day has gotten infinitely better almost immediately. I am thinking about bringing this tradition to the Admission Office and since I bought my own glass teapot in London I think it could be a fun way to keep some British culture in Williamsburg.
4. Borris biking. So London has this ingenious system in which there are bicycles stands all around the city that you can rent for an allotted time. It’s a pound for 24-hour access and if you return the bike within thirty minutes it won’t charge you anything else. Then in those 24 hours you can use the bike for as much as you want! This was my favorite way to get around the city and was a ridiculously convenient way to get around. Since being back, I have already bought a bicycle and can’t wait to continue using it.
5. British accents and word of the days. I miss the accents soo much! I miss all the weird words and vocabulary of the Brits. It’s hard to transition back to saying apartment instead of flat, to saying steal instead of nix. I never did get good at the accent, though my flatmates and I had hour conversations trying to help me pronounce yoghurt (ya-ghert) and aluminum (al-oo-min-ium). They also gave me word of the days to help me get adjusted so I learned to say post box, trousers, and many many more.
6. Markets. London by far has some of the best markets in the world. Portobello Road, Brick Lane, Petticoat Lane, Spitalfields Market, Camden Market, and Borough Market. The last is by far my FAVORITE place in London! It has tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, the best steak sandwiches, gruyere grilled cheese and just so much AMAZING FOOD. The best part: you can eat your way through the market based on samples! In the London like, I have decided to go to the Williamsburg farmers market on Saturday morning to get my market fix!
So yeah, I miss it. I loved it. I would tell everyone to study abroad because I think it’s the best thing I have done! BUT, I missed Williamsburg. I missed the cobblestones that always cause me to stumble, I missed seeing colonial reenactors in the grocery store, but most of all I really missed the people that make up my days.