May 6, 2013 by Kylee Ponder
I have three magical days left of student teaching. Three days left to get in all of the hugs that I can. Three days left to gaze over the shoulders of second graders as they complete their morning handwriting practice. Three days left to see their eyes light up when they walk in the room and I greet them with a “Good Morning” and a smile. Three days left of excited whispers in the hallway when I walk by on my way to observe other teachers. Three days left to beg, borrow and steal all of the incredible ideas from other teachers at my school. And most importantly, three days left to watch my sweet 20 kiddos sit on the edge of their seats as I sit in my director’s chair with a class microphone around my neck reading the last 50 pages of Charlotte’s Web.
I didn’t plan it this way – to be finishing Charlotte’s Web on the last day of student teaching. I started the book and hoped we’d be finished with it already. But with standardized benchmark testing, PALS testing, Spring Break and an incredibly rigid Reading/Language Arts schedule, it’s been hard to work it in. In fact, I’m almost dreading finishing it. I have a feeling my voice will be quivering and tears will be streaming down my face on Wednesday. In preparation, I was flipping through the book and immediately was drawn to turn to the back, remembering fondly the voice of my parents as they read this to me as a child. I stopped when I read this excerpt –
“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.” “You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
Powerful words written by a powerful author. These words helped me realize how incredibly grateful I am for so many different interactions that I have had over my undergraduate and graduate career – the ways in which people continually go out of their ways to help me or to make my life better or easier. There’s just something about William & Mary people. Something in the water we drink. Something in the green and gold blood we bleed. Something in the cobblestones that are under our feet. Something in our love of ampersands. Something powerful. Something that draws us together.
In this last week of my graduate school career, I happily am sitting back, embracing the incredible challenges and successes that this beautiful place has brought me, and remembering all of those people who have helped me along the way. Those people who brought me a coffee when I really needed one. Who took a drive with me on the Colonial Parkway when they knew I’d had a bad day. Who took initiative on a project because they knew I didn’t have time then, but that I would soon. Who motivated me to run and finish my first 5k. Who gave me a hug every single morning when they walked into their second grade classroom. Who forwarded along kind words to help me get further in the job application process. Who have had me over for dinner and wine. Who have met me for coffee and breakfast and chit chat. Who have nurtured me and loved me for the past 5 years.
I am so grateful for those people. I am so grateful for William & Mary. I don’t feel like I deserve it. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything exceptional for it. But just like Wilbur, I realize that sometimes, friends are what gets you through things. They push you farther and make you believe in yourself and achieve your dreams, whether those dreams are not getting turned into bacon by the Zuckermans or finding a teaching job.
Hark upon the gale,
April 26, 2013 by Skyler Paltell
It’s that time of the year again: the last week of classes, the final push before the warmth and relative freedom of summer. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, here are twenty-five ways you know it’s the end of the Spring Semester:
- You begin to feel a weird attachment to your dorm room, even though it’s dingy and in the Units and you’ve absolutely hated it all year.
- You’re sick—you have some sort of cold, sinus infection or other respiratory illness courtesy of the Williamsburg pollen.
- You feel extremely nostalgic about everything, like the last meeting for that club you didn’t like, or your final AMP Late Nite trivia.
- You have a detailed, color-coded Swem schedule that documents how much time, down to the minute, you’ll be spending in Swem during finals week. Also, you have your study schedule organized and taped to the ceiling above your bed.
- You’re out of Flex, and you’ve been out of Flex since the beginning of April.
- You have at least one group presentation to give this week, and you’re running around trying to figure out what you own that is “business casual” that does not need to be ironed.
- Your bank account has been decimated by eight months worth of Wawa runs, and you’re trying to figure out how to buy gifts for all of your graduating friends with the $1.60 that is currently in your wallet.
- Your room needs to be cleaned. Because it’s not a successful semester if you don’t have weird stains on your floor and ceiling.
- You spend most of your time daydreaming about your amazing summer plans, most of which include working forty hours a week, with the occasional trip to the beach and 1,400 pages of War and Peace to read before Fall Semester.
- You’re panicked about finals.
- You’re excited about Finals Fun Week at Swem, because the therapy dogs are coming back. Also, Ben and Jerry’s—always Ben and Jerry’s.
- You’re regretting that you still haven’t talked to that gorgeous guy/girl in your Religion class.
- You can eat three free meals a day with all of the free pizza, bagels, and snacks available at end-of-the-semester meetings.
- You’re realizing you owe at least four people money and you should probably pay them back before finals.
- You’ve gotten a dozen summer storage flyers in your CSU in the last week.
- Qdoba knows your order by heart, because you’ve eaten there at least once a week for the course of the entire semester.
- Professors start warning you they don’t want any “shenanigans” on the last day of classes, and you had better be coherent and in class or else.
- Your professors cancel your Friday classes because they know there is nothing they can do to prevent shenanigans and general anarchy.
- You realize you should not have duct-taped your poster to the wall back in September, because when you try to take it down, you peel off half the paint on your wall.
- Your hall bathroom was finally cleaned for the first time all semester.
- You’re having a quarter-life crisis, and generally questioning your decisions, your future, and why you didn’t go to the Career Center more during the past year.
- You’ve been looking forward to Last Day of Classes since the first day of the semester.
- Your senior friends have been eating a lot of wine and cheese recently.
- You’re trying to stretch your clean laundry to the end of the semester, but you’ve been wearing the same pair of pants for a week.
- You have a restrictive hold on your account from all of the printing charges you’ve accumulated, but have somehow managed to avoid paying because eServices won’t take Visa.
April 26, 2013 by Claire Gillespie
I would love to freeze time right now.
My philosophy exam and mounds of take-home finals I still need to outline and write are currently staring me down from my desk. As much as I’d like to avoid the work I need to begin to do, I’d like to freeze time for a different reason.
This college has introduced me to truly incredible people. And a number of those people will graduate in a couple of weeks. Others will study abroad (or even just in Washington D.C.) next semester. One professor I have really come to admire will take a research leave.
And I will no longer be a freshman. As silly as this sounds, I love being a freshman. I love asking questions and learning so many things – the way a club is run, the dress code for the first warm day in spring – for the first time. I loved not knowing Wawa had milkshakes, how to sign up for my piano jury, what I should wear to meet President Reveley, because I could overcompensate or under compensate and simply enjoy figuring things out.
I’m sure I’ll still be figuring things out next year. But some of those people that helped me figure things out initially won’t be there with me. They will, of course, be off in the world, working, studying, teaching other people.
Right now, I’m sitting with some girls from my freshman hall reminiscing about the past year. Our adventures have ranged from traipsing over to the Lake Matoaka Art Studio to watch the stars, to ordering late night pizza and sharing each others care packages, to meeting boys who have become my hall mates’ boyfriends who have become my friends. And we are about to scatter for the summer.
As sad as I am to see my senior friends leave, my hall mates disperse, and my teachers shift offices, I have such faith in this school to attract and encourage incredible people. I’m so excited to meet more of them.
April 22, 2013 by Madelyn Smith
Lately I have been having a lot of moments where I stop and pause to think about the past four years at William & Mary. I find myself slowing down when I walk to and from class, pausing to notice little treasures about the College that once seemed unimportant. Have you ever noticed that there is a bed of tulips walking into the Sunken Garden where the willow tree fell, did you know that the echo wall can be used by two people at once, or that the portraits in the Great Hall of Wren are former presidents?
So many little things about William & Mary that we, as seniors, still don’t even know – and that is the beauty of our college. To each individual the College represents something else; a special place where you’ve grown into the person you’ve always wanted to be, a place of hardships and frustrations that only worked out in the end, strictly an academic institution where you chose to sped the past four years, and the list goes on.
Something pressing on my heart recently is the idea of philanthropy and the value of giving at William & Mary. Without philanthropy so many of the little treasures at the College that make it so unique would cease to exist. With less than 13% of our operating budget being state sponsored, the College is heavily dependent upon private donors to sustain its successful programs. People praise the community that is so strong here at the College, but the community will only remain strong if we, as friends, family and alumni of the College invest in its well being.
When I first came to William & Mary I thought it would be crazy to donate anything above the sum that the financial office asked for tuition. It seemed ludicrous that anyone would want to give back to the College after paying so much money to simply attend.
Over the course of the past four years, I have seen first-hand the impact of private giving and the importance of participating in philanthropy. In cultivating a community, all members must be engaged and participating in some capacity. So much value can be derived from even a small donation; time or money. Clubs, organizations, academic facilities, staff, genuinely every subset of campus benefits.
The prestige, recognition and value derived from a degree at William & Mary is directly correlated with the opportunity that we, as students, have . The culture of academic excellence, vibrant engagement and immense student participation can all be attributed to the experiences that we have as a result of the private monies that we have given.
Just as we have a responsibility to change the world with our education, I believe that we should be accountable to those students behind us who deserve to have the same incredible opportunities that we have had at William & Mary.
For those of you who are seniors, please consider donating to the Senior Class Gift today!
April 22, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
I bet you are super stoked, nervous, excited and ready to finally start your freshman year at William & Mary! If you are anything like me, I bet you’ve already picked out a few student groups and organizations that you would like to get involved with on campus. That’s great! But if you have no idea at all what you want to get involved in at William & Mary, that is completely fine as well. Commitment is great, and if you plan on continuing a hobby or activity that you did in high school then go for it! At the same time, my biggest recommendation for all of you is to try something new too!
Take this opportunity of starting over in a new place with new people to expand your limits and to let loose. Try something that makes you a little nervous, uncertain, and uncomfortable. Do something that will totally surprise your parents when you call home to talk to them. My surprising involvement was my participation in the Vagina Monologues this year. I had never done any sort of theatre production in my life and the idea of the Vagina Monologues made me a tiny bit unsettled. However, I strongly connected with the mission of the Vagina Monologues and decided to audition to perform, in spite of all of the voices inside of me telling me not to. Being a part of the Vagina Monologues was way outside of my comfort zone, but at the same time, I really liked seeing the reactions on people’s faces when I told them what I was doing. My family and friends were beyond shocked that I was in it, but they were also so proud of me. I loved challenging myself and knowing that I tried something so out of the ordinary.
My hope is that all of you will have the same sort of out-of-body experience, where you realize that you can and should join groups and organizations that may not have been something you would have done in high school. Take advantage of this opportunity to be daring and creative. It will definitely be worth the risk. Welcome to William & Mary! I can’t wait to hear about all of the new opportunities you will take advantage of during your time here.
April 22, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
WELCOME CLASS OF 2017!
We are so excited to have you here. For those of you I didn’t meet on Day for Admitted Students (DFAS) I look forward to getting to know you a little better in the fall.
Before making this post, I was going to attempt to write a long list of different pieces of advice for all freshmen over their 4 years here. While that may be possible, I think it is better to be simple and say: just be you.
I was certainly nervous coming to college. How do I meet new people? What if everyone on my freshman hall is weird? Worst of all … what if I was the weird one? These questions and others streamed in and out of my mind as move-in day occurred. Then it hit me…
All of this won’t matter. If you just act like yourself, get involved with activities you love, and be a little open-minded, you will have the time of your life at W&M—I guarantee it. Have you ever wanted to play water polo but never had the opportunity? We have that here. Have you always wanted to audition for a play but was too scared? Do it. Have you ever wanted to research a certain subject, but didn’t know how to start? Our professors can help.
College is a new beginning, a fresh start—embrace that!
See you in the fall, ya’ll!
April 22, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
As a senior at William & Mary my time is oh so very quickly dwindling. Currently, we have one full week of classes left until the whirlwind of final exams and graduation. I honestly can’t believe it has flown by this fast and I am so jealous of you all, the class of 2017, because you are just starting out on your adventures with W&M, while my chapter is coming to a close.
I know you have heard this at least 100 times by now, but congratulations class of 2017, you did it! The excruciating application process is done, there are no more Saturday mornings of standardized testing, no more forms to fill out or essays to write—it is truly time the to celebrate! So welcome, welcome to a place that I have come to truly call home in the last four years. Welcome to a place that will challenge you to become a better student, a better friend, a better person. Welcome to a place I love, a place I hope you will learn to love as well.
Of course I feel like it is my right, or duty to pass on at least one piece of wisdom to you. Here it goes … EMBRACE William & Mary and William & Mary will EMBRACE you. Take advantage of the multitude of opportunities offered by this wonderful institution: do research, study abroad, join clubs and organizations, play sports, go to shows and musicals, GET INVOLVED!! Let this process begin in your freshman dorm, don’t be afraid to wander around the halls wrecking havoc and introducing yourself to others, you never know who will become your best friends and make all the difference to your college experience (shout out: YATESMATES love!).
April 12, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
A blog series from your Admission Ambassadors…
Now that the weather is FINALLY starting to get a little warmer (come on, Virginia!) here is a list of my favorite things to do in Williamsburg during the springtime.
- Colonial Williamsburg. This answer may sound a bit cliche, but Colonial Williamsburg is absolutely gorgeous in the spring. When it starts to get cooler, one of my favorite things to do is wake up early—not too early of course, and jog down Duke of Gloucester (DoG) Street. Last year, a few of my friends in my a cappella group would head over to the lawn on the Governor’s Palace most Fridays and eat a Cheese Shop Picnic.
- The Farmer’s Market. Although I have only been once or twice, the Farmer’s Market takes place most Saturdays on DoG Street. Check it out for some great vendors—crafts, foods and more!
- Busch Gardens. If you haven’t ever been (a surprising number of W&M students haven’t gone!) GO! Busch Gardens is a fun, clean (as far as amusement parks go) way to spend your Saturday when the temperatures get a bit warmer. Most of the time, the Student Assembly on campus holds a W&M Day at Busch Gardens where students get half price off tickets!
- Fridays at 5. These are one of my favorite events in the Spring. Alma Mater Productions (AMP for short) puts on concerts each Friday at 5 on the Sadler Terrace. It is a great way to de-stress from work and welcome the fun of the upcoming weekend.
- Screen on the Green. Another AMP event! Screen on the Green is a large event held on the Sunken Garden from W&M students. AMP provides snacks (popcorn, cotton candy, drinks) and always shows two popular movies. Some of my best times at W&M have come from hanging out with my friends at Screen on the Green!
April 10, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
So I may be a child of the ‘90s, but my heart will always belong to the ‘80s. Michael Jackson made the leather jacket popular again, Kevin Bacon stole the hearts of women across the country, and Admiral Zumwalt created the Be The Match Foundation, all in a decade. This decade would not only define my teenybopper years, but also my years in college. With the leather jacket making a comeback in every color you can possibly find, these night-out staples are becoming more appealing to everyone. Leather jackets are not just for tough girls – and thank you Michael for paving the way for us, but keep the gloves.
My Saturday night included my best friend’s birthday party, where my leather jacket proved both versatile and downright adorable. Footloose is still a song you absolutely cannot sit still to, nor listen to at a reasonable volume. It’s a song that always reminds you of a great memory. Kevin Bacon is stealing the show again in “The Following,” which is currently the scariest show I’ve ever watched because of its realistic psychological pretenses. Joe Carroll’s (portrayed by James Purefoy) ability to manipulate and capitalize on people’s weaknesses sparks fear in every viewer. I highly recommend it to everyone.
Lastly, my weekend was spent putting the final touches on our Spring Bone Marrow Drive Day. The Alan Bukzin Memorial Bone Marrow Drives works with support from Be The Match Foundation to enter students into the national bone marrow registry. With two students who have donated in the past three years and over one thousands students entered since then, William & Mary continues to be the largest collegiate drive in the country. Without the ‘80s my weekend would have been much duller. Aside from the heinous trench coats Bender wore and the overuse of “Danger Zone” in Top Gun, the ‘80s was magic. If I’m being honest, I loved Bender (coat and all) and what better song to ride down a runway to than Danger Zone? (Thank you, yet again Kenny Loggins, you never fail me.)
April 9, 2013 by Admit It!
We Admit It! We’re pretty excited about the upcoming Day for Admitted Students. Okay, we’re over-the-moon, so-ready-for-the-day-to-get-here, can’t-wait-to-celebrate-the-Class-of-2017, out-of-our-minds enthusiastic. Saturday can’t get here soon enough. So, future members of the Class of 2017, this blog is for you.
A few weeks ago we were so excited to send off the thick envelopes. Now we want to put all those names with faces. Come to campus on Saturday. Explore it. Soak it in. Meet our students, our faculty and our staff. Everyone, and we do mean everyone (and that includes a mythical beast that is 1/3 lion, 1/3 eagle and 1/3 awesome), will be on hand to make sure you have an amazing day discovering what W&M has in store for you over the course of the next four years.
Want to meet with our pre-professional program advisors? They’ll be there. Want to learn more about study abroad? We have a session for that. Want to explore the vast array of student organizations you can join as a member of the Tribe? The Activities Fair will help you with that. Have questions about fraternities and sororities? Our Greek Life staff will be on hand. Already decided to attend W&M and want to know what comes next? Our Orientation staff is also presenting a session. And then there’s the mock faculty lectures, the student panels, the spring football game, the sessions on everything from Career Services to residence life, the campus tours, the student performance showcase, the departmental open houses, the list goes on and on. This day is intentionally jam-packed so that you can determine whether or not W&M is the best fit for you.
More information about Day for Admitted Students including a schedule of events and registration information can be found through the Welcome website.
One Tribe and now it’s yours. Enjoy it. We’ll see you Saturday.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission