Friday, April 23, 2010

The Summer is near...

Across the nation, college students are preparing and bracing for finals. Champlain is no exception either. So far, I have completed one course, and have four more to go. However, most of these exams are presentations of final projects, which is one thing I quite like about Champlain. Some courses offer varied challenging ways to test a student’s knowledge.

Fortunately, through thus turbulent time, I have discovered through a friend a very nice tennis court. The tennis court is at Leddy Park, on North Avenue. I’ve wanted to find someone to rally and play a few sets with since coming to Vermont. Additionally, this is the best weather to play – the sun is out and warm, but not hot enough to make it not enjoyable anymore.

So if you’re ever interested in a less winter-dependent sport, try tennis. Leddy Park’s tennis court is free of charge and has excellent lighting equipment for night sessions.

For me, once summer holidays begin, I will be off to Boston for a while, and then back to Hong Kong for the rest of my summer. I will return to Burlington again, of course. There are still 2 more years of studying to go!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Parkour Parkour!

As some might remember, I wrote a blog earlier on Red Rocks and Cliff Diving. Well this Thursday, I went to Red Rocks finally.
However, I wasn’t there for cliff diving this time. Instead I went there with two other friends for some trail blazing. Basically, it was a little of:

Of course, we went through the forest with slightly more efficiency and less stumbling. I personally never thought that Red Rocks would be so enjoyable, I encourage anyone considering a brisk walk (or “hardcore parkour”) to try Red Rocks.
On another note, I went to Bove’s this Friday and tried their pasta, and I will say that I definitely will be paying another visit. Their pasta is excellent and isn’t too pricey.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stall Street Journal - Haha!

Recently I attended a lecture at school called Virtually Religious, presented by a professor from Ithaca College. The topic was quite interesting, as it discusses virtual worlds and how it ties in with religious meaning.

Anyhow, what struck me with that was how we had quite a heated debate after the lecture in one of my COR Classes. One other faculty even joined us and participated with the debate also. The faculty was bringing in a new concept that our professor had overhead him voice at the Q and A at the end of the lecture, and decided to bring him in. And what started out as a discussion turned into a debate that then completely derailed at the end of class – but it was a fun, constructive debate. Very enlightening too.

Champlain regularly holds different kinds of activities and its IDX Student Activities hub has quite a bit to do – and it has a really comfortable lounge. That lounge is an excellent place to eat in between classes. They have pretty comfortable seats (seriously).

Anyhow, when I still lived in the dorms, we would move along to the IDX every now and then. They have some pool tables and a table tennis set up over there so it’s honestly not a bad place to just chill in for the weekends sometimes.

Champlain College has this journal stuck everywhere – The Stall Street Journal. And as the name suggests, yes it is everywhere. Which is cool, since it effectively tells everyone in Champlain what activities there are going around each week. I really thought that it was an excellent idea and got a really good kick out of the name anyway.

Anyway, just bringing you guys a little perspective into the student activities situation at Champlain. They offer free buses to the mountains too – obviously have your own car would be better but if you don’t, at least you will still be able to get up there!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Unfortunately for me, I’m experiencing a little crunch time. I have a few projects, essays and larger pieces of homework due this time around. It is the cost of having a very quiet spring break, basically.

Fortunately for my friends, though, they were able to squeeze a trip up to Montreal. Four of them seized the opportunity to visit Champlain College's Montreal Campus the day before I went there. Aside from the homework holding me behind, I also didn’t go because of the financial dent I know it would place upon my measly wallet.

However, I still remember last year’s trip to Montreal vividly. A lot of us from the international house went up together for a night of fun. I had a wonderful time at the Casino du Quebec – and profitable time that was too. I walked away from the Poker tables with a little of earnings and, just before my friends and I were about to cash out and leave, we find the roulette table so conveniently (oh, so very conveniently) situated right beside the cashier. Of course, who would pass up on a chance to win (or lose) some more money when you’re holding a stack of chips right next to a table?

In a few minutes, my stack of chips had already diminished to an unhealthy amount. I thought, what the heck, and placed my last few chips. Amazingly, the last chip I placed just before they stopped taking bets was the one that won me a healthy sum of profit.

To top it all off, the place we stayed at gave a free iPod every month to customers. Since I was the one who did the bookings, my name went into the pool names – and of course, or else I wouldn’t be telling you, I was lucky enough to win the iPod that very month.

I don’t know what my friend’s thought of the Montreal Campus, but I definitely liked Montreal a lot. Students interested in a larger city with a very diverse population - and many many fun things to do, should consider studying abroad at the Champlain's Montreal Campus.

Friday, March 19, 2010

China Studies

Spring break always goes by way too quick. Over break, I devoured roughly 4 books and enjoyed the warming Burlington sun. It’s nice to see that everyone’s back also – once spring hits, it just seems that everyone becomes more active. Church street becomes much more busy, and there just seems to be a better vibe in the air.

A few weeks ago, one of my professors handed out a sheet to the class detailing next year’s COR courses. To my surprise, next semester, the COR department is offering a series of courses on China.
As I mentioned before, Champlain is really working hard to promote diversity and a global education. This is evident effort on their part, and I’m very glad that they are making such visible and significant progress.
I am particularly interested in one of the course, which takes a look at Chinese medicine versus Western medicine, and examines the differences. Although I already have an understanding of it, it is always interesting to learn things in a different perspective. I would also encourage students to take this course. My understanding is that Chinese herbal medicine has been misunderstood in America the whole time – and that truly, people don’t understand the merits of Chinese medicine. After all, how many Americans have tried Chinese medicine?

Just so you know, these COR courses are taught by, at least from what I hear, Professors that have traveled to China just for preparation on teaching the courses. It’s a really good effort that the COR division wants to make these courses truly authentic and not simply a course that comes straight out a textbook.
In the spring semester, there will also be COR courses covering the Middle East – although no information regarding the courses has been revealed yet, at least to my eyes. On another note, when a professor asked how many students were studying abroad next semester during one of my classes, I am glad to report that at least a third of the students raised their hands. It’s nice to know that you’re not the only one studying abroad!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Entering March

Entering March, there are a few important things to the Champlain student.

1. Spring is here.
2. Spring break is here.
3. No students are here.

Spring Break is perhaps my favorite time of the year, because this is when Burlington’s weather starts to reach perfect.

On-campus students have gone home, as the dorms are closed for Spring Break. Students living in International House, though, are able to stay at their dorms, due to their special circumstances.

Sidewalks piled with snow are now green and dry. It’s a wonderful season, spring. Red Rocks, as I mentioned earlier, is somewhere I am dying to go to soon.

Another thing that I’m excited about is the Study Abroad Program Champlain offers. Many students choose to study abroad their Junior year and this is the time when applications are rolling in. I think that it’s a wonderful opportunity and very glad the Champlain has continuously expanded their efforts in offering a global education. I, however, will not be participating in the program as I am already studying abroad.

On another note, my Macbook Pro has recently taken an unfortunate hit, so I will need to be making a quick trip to SmallDogs, which is the local Apple store. Hopefully, this means that they will be able to return my computer back quickly.

Surprisingly though, even though most students have gone back home, downtown Burlington is still very busy, as I have witnessed this morning. So, do not fear of being lonely – there’s always something going on down at Church Street.

Friday, February 26, 2010


As everyone living around Burlington has noticed, it’s been snowing like crazy the last few days.

Within one night, Burlington has become covered with snow again. When I woke up on Wednesday morning and saw the weather outside, I was hoping for a snow day. Shame that I had class that day, or else I would have gone straight to the mountains.

However, the blowing snow on Wednesday night reminded me of a nocturnal adventure I had with some of my friends last year. We were all from International House on 215 S. Prospect and decided to go sledding with trash can covers, a snowboard and whatever plastic we could find. We ended up on Aiken field at Champlain.

Aiken field has a really nice slope with some good distance. We spent an hour on that slope trying to see who would go furthest and ended up soaked. If anyone else is interested – a snowy night at Aiken field is quite fun.

If playing with snow doesn’t suit your tastes, try some hiking during warmer seasons instead. There are many trails around Burlington that have exceptional views and breathtaking scenery. At the start of my last semester, I went hiking with some of my friends at Mt. Mansfield, just opposite Smuggler’s Notch, which is another Ski Resort. Even for me, someone who rarely hikes, the trail wasn’t too difficult.

In particular, I found one spot on that hike to be my favorite spot. It was kind of a flat and wide field with a gradual slope leading down the mountain. During the winter, it was probably a spot where skiers and riders frequently passed by, as one of my roommates who was familiar with Smuggler’s Notch pointed out. Perhaps it was because of the breadth of the scenery that view offered, but the mountain was literally towering over a town.