Traditions and Events
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 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 11, 2013 by Bailey Thomson
Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa, where fall has officially begun! While the College is getting warmer and the Sunken Garden is filling up with sun-soaked students, I am turning on my space heater and bundling up in my cottage. I often wish I could just move from place to place following summer on its annual journey across the globe.
Since I last posted, we opened a school! On January 14, Spark Ferndale Primary School opened its doors, and three months later, we are going strong! The school serves 161 students and their families and employs 9 incredible educators. Our students hail from across Johannesburg; they are eager to learn, absolutely hilarious, and so kind. Our teachers are hard working, mission driven, do-what-it-takes educators committed to their students. I continue to be grateful to serve on the eAdvance team, a visionary crew with a no-excuses attitude. The second school term (of four) began this week, and we are in the midst of celebrating our students’ academic and personal progress from last term. That’s a very short way of saying much has happened since I posted in October, and I have much to be proud of and thankful for.
During school term holidays, I had the opportunity to return to the United States for about ten days. I spent half the time in California, where I visited friends in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Oakland, and San Jose. I also got to see and teach my former students at Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary School during two afternoons. Then, I flew to Richmond, Virginia for the last half of the trip. There, in addition to spending time with family, I had the privilege of speaking at TedxCollegeofWilliamandMary, an independently organized TED event at the College.
Let me give you a peak inside my brain for a moment: I got to return to the place I love the most (the College) to speak at a conference licensed by my favorite “ideas organization” (TED) about the cause I am most passionate about (education reform) alongside the people I most respect (William & Mary students, alumni and professors). I was absolutely thrilled—and also seriously nervous.
What I should have anticipated was that my talk was not even close to the highlight of my Tedx experience. My talk was the last in a 4 hours series of thought-provoking talks on innovation in storytelling, data-driven international aid, myth in religion, community engagement, gender equity and more. By the time my talk about education reform and habits of innovation came around, I felt like much of what I had to say had been expressed over the course of the afternoon by the other speakers. It’s a beautiful thing to feel like the essence of your ideas is also encompassed in the ideas of others. This community conscience – one that simultaneously values tradition and newness, and in all things, seeks to serve others – may be the William & Mary-est thing about William & Mary.
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
April 9, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
Drum Roll PLEASE … it’s almost here, it’s almost here, it’s almost here!! AHHHH … I am more excited than a six year old at 6:00 am on Christmas morning. We have been checking the days off our calendars, and counting down hours, minutes and seconds till Day For Admitted Students, known lovingly by the admission office and interns as DFAS.
We are excited beyond belief to have you all visit our home, and have events up and down the wazoo prepared! I wanted to highlight some of the “don’t miss” events of the day!
- The Activities Fair: So this might be slightly biased (considering John & I have been organizing it for the last two months), BUT the number one event to not miss is the Activities Fair happening from 12-2 in the Sunken Garden!! Currently there are over 125 student clubs and organizations signed up. We want to show the multitude of ways to get involved on campus and get you excited about your future at William & Mary.
- The Performance Showcase: Have you ever wanted to see ballroom dancing or listen to amazing a capella!? If the answer is yes, you will have things to check off your bucket list after watching the Performance Showcase on Saturday during lunch. We have two hours of entertainment and a few surprises!
- Screen on the Green: If you are planning to stay in Williamsburg for the evening, I would definitely make this event a priority. On Saturday night, our student-programming group Alma Mater Productions (AMP) will be screening two movies back to back on the Sunken Garden. My inside sources have informed me that the movies will be Wreck it Ralph and Silver Linings Playbook. The first movie will begin at eight o’clock with the second following after. Remember to bring a blanket to sit on and munchies to enjoy!
There are so many other fun and exciting things to learn and see this weekend in Williamsburg. Feel free to check out the schedule of events online for more information! We can’t wait to show you everything William & Mary has to offer. So bring on the masses—we REALLY can’t wait to meet you.
March 25, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
As you walk in, excitement fills the air. Kids, college students, and adults run up to the entrance. You can just barely hear the whoosh of roller coasters hurtling down steep drops at 60 mph and the terrified screams of riders. It’s spring W&M Day at Busch Gardens and it is awesome. In case you haven’t heard of it, Busch Gardens is a theme park about a ten-minute drive from campus. Once a semester, W&M students get half-off tickets sold through the school and free transportation to the park! It’s a great deal, and lots of students take advantage of it. The park is divided up into different European countries: Britain, France, Italy, Ireland and Germany. Each “country” is a Disney-fied version of itself, ie. France has a café serving croissants and hot chocolate, and Ireland has a store called “Girls Sham-rock!” (Hehhehe). So it’s definitely not the most authentic European experience, but it is a TON of fun. For any roller coaster fan, Busch Gardens provides endless options. My new favorite is Verbolten, a wild ride through Germany’s Black Forrest in faux Mini-Coopers (Hint, there’s a surprise in the middle!). Note to self for next time: do not eat the slightly suspicious “German hotdog” (really a bratwurst wrapped in a pretzel) AND the cinnamon pretzel bites before this ride. I have to warn you, because the pretzel smell is very enticing…. You can also take a picture with the Easter Bunny…which I never got to do as a child (aka I made everyone in my group stand in line amidst a crowd of four-year-olds to take a picture. While normally my weekend is not as exciting as sitting front row on the Griffon (two vertical free falls), the W&M day at Busch Gardens is a great example of all the fun activities available to you as a W&M student!
March 18, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
Hermey turned to Rudolph and said, “hey, what do you say we both be independent together, huh?”
I remember my freshman move-in day like it was yesterday. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. to make it across town for the earliest move in time, 8:00 a.m. All of my friends from home had left already, so I was antsy to experience what they had been talking about. I had already met my roommate at Day For Admitted Students, and we were ready to start our next chapter. So here we were, unloading everything we could fit into suitcases onto the sidewalk and waiting to have them picked up and carried in for us by move-in helpers from various organizations. We arranged and rearranged and then rearranged our room again until it was exactly how we thought we wanted it. Finally, everything was put away and in its proper place. Knowing that it would only stay like this for about a day, we soaked it in and took off for Orientation day 1.
First activity? Name Game. What adjective starts with a K? Kooky? That’s a great way to present myself…And seriously, how many Katherines and Kaitlins can we have on a hall? We can’t all be kooky. I’ll settle for clepto with a k. Klepto Kelley.
So here we were. Dupont third east. The 32 girls who would live together for a whole year. The best year. A Puerto Rican, a Chicagoan, a Brit, a Williamsburger, and everywhere in between. And somehow, we worked. We all joined different organizations and took different classes. But without fail, every Wednesday at 9:00, our hall went absolutely silent because Criminal Minds was on. With all the lights off, the smell of popcorn and cookie dough radiated through the hall, and not a single sound was heard between 9 and 10. When the clock struck 10:00, it was back to the Book of Mormon for GER 7, or Pseudoscience for a freshman seminar, or the six developmental stages being taught in Natural Psychology.
One of the foundations of modern psychology is the Gestalt principle. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This idea could not be more accurate when applied to William & Mary. You can read all the statistics and every Princeton or Forbes review that you want, but we, those 32 girls and the neighboring 32 boys and the hall after that: that is William & Mary. One Tribe, One Family. Independent together.
March 14, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
2012 was a great year, so far 2013 is sure to be even better!
March 13, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
First of all, I have to make a confession: I am a Christmas addict. My family starts listening to Christmas music Nov. 1. We spend every weekend decorating, making cookies, or wrapping presents, and we ALWAYS go see the National Christmas tree on the Mall. Last semester was my first in Williamsburg, so I got to experience everything the city has to offer for the first time! Luckily enough for me, Colonial Williamsburg shares my enthusiasm for the holidays. At the end of November, CW decorates the colonial district with holiday themed garlands, wreaths, and candles. The non-colonial part of town (Merchant’s Square) also throws itself into the spirit; lights cover the trees and quaint businesses.
The W&M Bookstore and Merchant’s Square also host an event called “W&M Night in Merchants Square,” which consists of a canned food drive and free goodies for those who participate! Three cans gets you a holiday themed W&M t-shirt, a bag full of coupons, and, most excitingly, a picture with Santa! Many of the restaurants also give out free food and hot chocolate. After donating our cans and taking a picture with Santa, my friends and I walked around Merchant’s Square, where we happily sipped our free hot chocolate and watched a street performance of “A Christmas Carol.”
This event leads up the crowning jewel of CW’s Christmas celebrations: Grand Illumination. Hundreds of people travel to Williamsburg every year to see the spectacular fireworks and the beautiful decorations throughout town. Many students and professors also attend, making the event one of the many ways in which the community of W&M interacts with the greater Williamsburg community. I watched the fireworks with a few friends from school and family friends who visited for the occasion, but I spotted many people I knew while strolling down DoG (Duke of Gloucester) street on the way to the show. I could not imagine a better start to the holiday season than watching fireworks light up the sky with friends and fellow students. This was one of my favorite memories of 2012 and I cannot wait for you to experience it too!