Tag Archives: schenectady

so long

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Last week I graduated from Union College in upstate New York. It was an absolutely magical day as my parents were there, my sisters were there, The Boy was there, my best friends from college were there, and my grandparents were there. It was extra special to have my paternal grandmother at the ceremony because her husband, my late grandfather, graduated from Union in 1956. My father received his BA in history from Union in 1987 and also got his MAT from Union. My mom received her MBA in Healthcare Management from the Union Graduate College.

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Union College is such a special place to my family and it became even more meaningful to me over the past three years being there. After an unhappy freshman year at Boston College I transferred to Union hoping that I would find a better fit. Without a doubt I did. I have made beyond incredible friends at Union, met so many amazing professors and administrators, and really felt like I found myself during my brief time there. I happily majored in economics with a minor in Russian language and am proud to share that I graduated as the Salutatorian of the Class of 2014 (despite only having three years of grades to factor into my GPA!). Next month I am headed down to my most favorite city in the entire world, New York, to begin a job in finance.

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TheGarnetLetter began as a work study assignment for Union College. Back in 2011 the school had a few student blogs running, many of which played an important role in my decision to attend Union. When I finally got to Schenectady, I wanted to be able to share my unique insights into the school and college life in general to hopefully help other potential students like myself find their perfect fit. Eventually Union combined all of its student blogs onto one platform, the award-winning Union Unfiltered, but I kept TGL going on the side as my own college lifestyle blog and creative outlet.

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Having TGL in my life has shaped me in more ways than I can ever describe. The blog has chronicled my years at Union and the many amazing experiences that I am so grateful to have had. It will be difficult closing this chapter of my life (you might have noticed that I’ve been putting off this farewell post…), but like everything and anything it is time to turn the page and start on yet another, hopefully marvelous, adventure. This will conclude my time writing for TheGarnetLetter, but those savvy enough might find me elsewhere on the blogosphere in a more anonymous sense. I will never lose my love of blogging or my need for a creative outlet, but the real world dictates that my time curating TGL must come to an end.

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Farewell, beautiful readers! Thank you for joining me on this beyond amazing journey and hopefully I will hear from you all again soon somewhere else in this wonderful blogging world 😉

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With much love and many thanks,

Cat

Let the Grecian dream of his sacred stream,

And sing of the brace adorning,

The Phoebus weaves from his laurel leaves

At the golden gates of morning,

But the brook that bounds through old Union’s grounds

Gleams bright as the Delphic water,

And a prize as fair as a god may wear

Is a dip from our Alma Mater.

 

Then here’s to the, the brave and free,

Old Union, smiling o’er us

And for many a days as they walls grow gray,

May they ring with thy children’s chorus!

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naples

the view of the Gulf from my grandmother's balcony

the view of the Gulf from my grandmother’s balcony

Last week I spent my spring break down in Naples, Florida with Julia and The Boy. Simply put, it was an absolutely magical week. The weather reached 80 degrees nearly every day and the colors of the ocean and sky were more vibrant than anything I have seen in months. It’s tough to be back in rainy Schenectady when this is what our schedule looked like on a typical day:

10am – Wake up and have a delicious breakfast on the balcony with the bay to our left and the Gulf to our right

11am – Head down to the beach and walk along the shore finding magnificent shells

12pm – Read in the sun while working on our tans

2pm – Go back to the house for a quick bite to eat and get a little break from the rays

3pm – Lounge by the pool diving into more chapters

6pm – Shower off the sand and salt and get gussied up!

7pm – Have a delicious dinner that makes for hours of awesome conversation

9pm – Watch some TV/read while reclining on the world’s most comfortable couch

11pm – Hit the hay dreaming about another awesome day!

I’ve been on plenty of fantastic vacations over the last four years while in college, but this on was by far the fastest. It’s frightening because today is the first day of my last trimester of college. In just 10 short weeks I will be graduated and I know the term is going to disappear in a heartbeat. Follow me the whole time and wish me luck!

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enjoying a delicious dinner

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always need to make time for lilly!

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both Julia and The Boy found twins!

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goofballs being abducted…

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a lovely sunset

cookies & cream

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I’m always down for a delicious recipe and if it includes chocolate? Then definitely count me in! The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest and stumbled upon this amazing cookies & cream frozen hot chocolate recipe. Perfect hot chocolate twist for the spring time (yes, my fingers are still crossed for this warmer weather that will be here any day now)? YES and YUM! Can’t wait to try it out, plus it fulfills two of my college student recipe requirements: cheap and easy!

get ready to dip!

dd1This Sunday, March 9th, members of the Union College community will be plunging down a 30-foot slide into icy cold waters in order to show support and raise awareness for three young and cancer-stricken members of our campus community.

dd2This year’s second annual Dutchmen Dip will be supporting 11-year-old Kristen Shinebarger, Justin Lloyd ’16, and Nate Greenberg ’14.

Kristen Shinebarger is an 11-year-old member of the Union College community has recently undergone treatment for Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer for the second time. On September 11, 2012, Kristen’s leg was amputated in order to battle this disease. Money raised will assist the cost of her prosthetic leg, which must be continually changed as she continues to grow.  Shelly Shinebarger, Kristen’s mother, is the Director of Student Support Services at Union College.

Justin Lloyd ‘16 was diagnosed in February 2013 with Adenocarcionma. He has undergone right colectomy surgery to remove a tumor, and chemotherapy treatment to beat the disease. Justin is a member of the Varsity Baseball team and is planning to become an Economics major. His hometown is Milton, Massachusetts.

Nate Greenberg ’14 was diagnosed in August 2013 with Ewing’s Sarcoma. He has undergone a full hip replacement, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment to beat the disease. Nate is the captain of the Varsity Lacrosse team and an Economics major. His hometown is Westport, Connecticut.

dd3Last year the Dip was an absolute riot. It was freezing outside, yet our Dutchmen braved the cold to show support for little Kristen. This year should be even more fantastic. It was not an easy year for our college, learning that so many kids near and dear to our hearts were now fighting a life-or-death battle against sicknesses so ruthless, but in typical Union fashion we know how to come together as a community to show that our friends are not fighting alone.

dd4All of the money raised this year will be split between the three families in order to help cover treatment costs and medical bills.

If YOU want to be a part of this incredible cause, please donate HERE. Please click on the green “Contribute” button on the right to make a donation!!

If you’d like to create your own personal fundraising page for this cause click HERE.

If you want to learn more about the event or join the conversation, please check out the Dutchmen Dip Facebook page or check out the Dutchmen Dip blog!

that's my best friend's chinchilla, Skittles, that Kristen is snuggling with!

that’s my best friend’s chinchilla, Skittles, that Kristen is snuggling with!

Remember, “It’s never too cold to make a difference!”

break the habit

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I have a tendency to run my life on autopilot. I am a girl who loves her schedules, which is definitely a good thing in terms of personal organization, but it also means that sometimes I get into a groove where I am not completely conscious of my actions. By no means am I saying that I am doing anything wrong, but it is sad to space out and just go through life out of habit. I want to lead a more intentional life. I think it is very important to be aware and appreciate every moment. It is all too easy to get caught up in the go-go-going and miss out on life that way. Heading into a new month I want to be more proactive about taking a step back every once in a while to slow down and appreciate everything around me. Do you have any February resolutions?

julie and julia

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The other day I re-watched Julia and Julia. I really love that movie. Something about seeing people so passionate about what they are doing really speaks to me. I was always jealous of friends growing up who absolutely knew for certain that the wanted to be X, Y, or Z. I always felt like I was just tumbling through life without a real goal in mind. While I have some short-term and medium-term and probably even some long-terms goals, I don’t have any over-arching passion that’s driving my life. At least not one that I am aware of! There’s something so beautiful about having a calling in life… guess time will tell for me!

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my week in photos

I can’t believe I’ve been in Cali for nearly two weeks now! Where has the time gone?! Here’s a little photo montage to give you a better picture (hehehe) of what my past week has looked like:

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The Boy and I went to Muir Woods to check out the giant red wood trees. It was absolutely incredible and I wish we had had more time to explore the park!

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I treated myself to a new Lululemon top (see here). Words can’t even begin to  describe the attention to detail or how much I love it.

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We ventured into the city to visit a friend from Union who was in town for a geology conference. We really only drove through, but I am looking forward to exploring more next week with my sister.

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Got a beautiful shot of the Golden Gate from a great look-out to the north.

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The Boy and I are taking full advantage of Union extensive winter break (read: 6 weeks what whatttt) and reconnecting with our childhood roots. I was creating a house out of Legos when the cat stepped in and decided to add his own touches.

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On Wednesday we drove 6 and a half hours down the state of California to visit my sister at Caltech! Here she is with the beautiful boys.

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I had the most incredible Waffle Chicken Salad for lunch at Caltech‘s faculty club, The Athenaeum — “a buckwheat waffle made with pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, topped with frisee, apple, crispy chicken, goat cheese and maple vinaigrette” — that’s one equation that equals YUM.

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The Boy enjoyed exploring the Caltech campus and seeing all of the neat scientific displays, including this artwork representing 4D space.

IMG_0139Julia took a glamour pose near J. J. Thompson’s original cathode ray tube — BIG DEAL!