August 28, 2009 by Richard Walsh
Miller Hall is Open for Business
In April, I wrote an entry for the Tour Guides blog about Miller Hall, the new home of W&M’s Mason School of Business. At that point construction crews were still in and out of the area, finishing up the interior of the building and beginning work on the landscaping. Fast-forward to the morning of this past Wednesday, the first day of classes. I have an 8am in Miller, so when I woke up at 7:56 I knew it was going to be an interesting morning.
After throwing on a t-shirt and speed-walking across campus, my thoughts of the looks I’d get for being that guy who rolls in late on the first day of class were brought to an abrupt halt. I found myself standing in front of the completed Miller Hall, and I was speechless. The building is simply gorgeous.
When you approach Miller from Ukrop Way, you’re greeted by the W&M cypher, which is beautifully incorporated into the iron railings of the porch above the front doors. Everything on the inside is fresh, modern, and classy. There’s so much room to lounge, get together for a group project, or check your email before classes. The classrooms themselves are comfortable and spacious, and I’m a big fan of the open courtyard in the middle of the building that leads right up to the path to Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre.
My favorite part of Miller just might be the dining facility. The tomato and mozzarella sandwich on ciabatta bread I had for lunch that day really outdid the Pop-Tarts I had devoured for breakfast. The Mason School of Business website has a cool feature about student reactions to the new building. The videos have some good shots of what everything looks like.
I’m taking four classes in Miller this semester, so I’ll be spending some quality time in the new facility. Seeing Miller completed reminds me that my last year at the College has officially begun. I plan on learning a lot this year, but if my last few semesters are going to run smoothly, I probably should figure out how to use my alarm clock first.
June 30, 2009 by Richard Walsh
Just before my freshman year began in the fall of 2006, I was told that many of the other new students I was about to meet would become my best friends. While I have come to learn that this was definitely true, I’ve also been lucky to have friends from home who I still call/text/telepathically message on a daily basis. One of these incredible people is Jessi. Jessi and I have essentially operated as brother and sister since our 9th grade geometry class (inside joke alert: “When my boys get on the line…”). Last weekend, Jessi and one her best friends from school (who I absolutely adore) named Hilary came to visit me in the ‘Burg. Read on for a brief summary of the splendid Saturday we spent together.
We began with a walk through Colonial Williamsburg (“CW” if you’re part of the Tribe). There was a Farmer’s Market taking place in Merchant’s Square, so we looked at all the different fruits, vegetables, and fanny pack-clad tourists that surrounded us. Taking a page out of their book, we snapped some pictures to document our visit. Hil met a potential colonial boyfriend in front of one of the churches, and Jessi and I went to the tourist extreme and got our photo taken at the pillory. We checked out the Governor’s Palace and the Magazine, and after I got shut down by some colonial women who were just not that into me, we turned around and headed back toward campus.
On campus I showed the girls all the classic spots. We walked through Ancient Campus and saw the one and only Wren Building – the oldest academic building still in use in the United States (Wikipedia agrees). We walked through the Sunken Garden, and stopped by the Tyler Family Garden as well. This is where the Echo Wall is located. If you stand in the right place and speak while facing the wall, you can hear yourself echo, but no one around you can. After talking to the wall for about 5 minutes and appearing to passersby as though we were deranged, we headed to the iconic Crim Dell bridge. By this point we had had enough of the afternoon sun, so we went back to my place for a break.
For the rest of the day, we took a joy ride in my ’96 Camry (jealous?) and visited some of Williamsburg’s finest establishments. We got lunch at Pierce’s BBQ, wreaked havoc at the gargantuan Yankee Candle store, and took in the all the sights. We decided against going to the nearby Prime Outlets because we knew we’d run up a combined bill that would rival the GDP of a small country. We ended up back on campus, laying out on the stage at the Lake Matoaka Amphitheater, where we just chatted for hours about such pressing issues as the economy and the primary differences between the East Coast and the West Coast. Later on, Jessi and Hil made me enchiladas for dinner – the first real food I’ve had in weeks. Before they left, we stopped in at Sno-to-Go for dessert, and of course ordered stuffed snowballs. This treat, composed of multiple layers of icee and soft serve ice cream, was the perfect end to the day.
One of the reasons I love W&M is because of the amazing individuals I have built relationships with over the past few years. While these people will undoubtedly be with me for the rest of my life, it’s pretty evident to me that people like Jessi and Hil are irreplaceable. To the prospective students out there: When you go off to college, make sure you keep in touch with those people who really matter in the long run. To Jessi and Hilary: Please come back soon…I still can’t cook.
June 10, 2009 by Richard Walsh
After throwing on my Asics and doing a quick stretch, I headed out the door last night for a jog. It’s summer in Williamsburg, so it’s best to run early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid melting in the afternoon heat. I’ve been adjusting to the 8 to 5 work schedule at the Admissions Office (read: rolling out of bed, inhaling Eggo waffles, and just barely making it to work on time) and am not too keen on the idea of waking up at 6am, so I went out to run at dusk.
As the latest Beyoncé track blared through my headphones, I headed down Jamestown Road and passed the corner of Barksdale Field. I couldn’t help but smile; this is the place where Running Club meets three times a week for practice. Since high school, running has been the perfect way for me to work up a sweat, blow off some steam, and sort through my thoughts. Coming to W&M, my cross country and track record was not exactly on par with the varsity teams here, but I wanted to keep running on my own time. My friend Christina and I got into Running Club (RC) during the fall of our freshmen year and have been hooked ever since.
RC is a great example of how club sports at the College allow you to continue an athletic passion in college if the varsity level isn’t for you (read more on all levels of athletics at W&M). I have friends on the club teams for soccer, rowing, ice hockey, ultimate frisbee and lacrosse, and I know all about their serious practice schedules and how they often travel far and wide for tournaments. RC is a little more chill. We run all over campus, on nearby trails, and do road races together. Some of my favorite memories are from our socials. We have a yearly picnic at Jamestown Beach, eat breakfast together at the Chickahominy House restaurant, and always push ourselves to the limit when we run to Ben & Jerry’s on Free Scoop Day and attempt to run back. No matter what we’re doing, we’re always having a good time.
After trailing through Colonial Williamsburg and then heading back up Richmond Road, I turned back onto campus via Dillard Street, and was greeted by the massive structure that is William & Mary Hall. This building reminds me of body-paint at basketball games, Commencement, and a very cool race I’ve been running for the past few winters. Along with my friend Christina and other teammates from RC, I have completed the Colonial Half Marathon every February since freshmen year. While I’m not so happy about getting progressively slower each year, I am thrilled that I’ve been able to train through the colder months and finish the race without passing out on the side of the road.
When I finished up my run last night, I stopped my watch and cut off my music. I was panting, grimy with sweat, and really thirsty…and I felt great. Though Williamsburg can get pretty humid in the summertime, it is without a doubt one of my favorite places to experience on the run.