Clark takes great pride in helping the community and every year “Just Do It Day” is an organized day of service which brings together a hundred or so students to contribute to the area. This year SARC made a group and we went to the Greater Worcester Land Trust to help out.
About 20 minutes from Clark, the Greater Worcester Land Trust (GWLT) is an area of preserved nature trails split by a waterfall and stream. A lot of people see Clark and only ever see the city in Worcester but there is a lot more as showcased by the GWLT. Being how finicky Mother Nature can be the trails always need to be cleared and the signposts replaced we had plenty of work to do.
We started by hanging some new signs and quickly moved onto Squaring timbers for a new sign post and cutting notches for the sign to go into. One of the great things that the trust does is try to use authentic tools that early settlers would have used. So when squaring timbers we weren’t putting it into a machine we were cutting notches with a bow saw every inch or so and then using an Adze to chip the pieces out and the result is a surprisingly square log.
As the day wore on we began to burn through the chore list and began chopping wood the old fashioned way simply because we could. Dont tell my Dad but I actually enjoyed splitting and stacking the wood, its usually a pain for him to drag me outside to do it :p
At the end of the day we were left with some very tired but very satisfied Clarkies, it always feels great to give back to the community and Clark provides a great way for you to do so during ‘Just Do It Day’.
Im assuming everyone this week and/or next will be talking about Gala (which don’t get me wrong is amazing) so I thought I would take the opportunity to show some of the things that I do as an Army Cadet in ROTC.
Similar to a bio lab or any other type lab the army does practical exercises to verse its Cadets in various combat techniques and exercises. Today we did a lab just for our MS3′s (Junior Class) to prepare them for LDAC, a summer training program which is the last big training piece before you commission not including Senior year. The lab today focused on Operation Orders (OPORD’s, notice the acronym use? It gets worse…) and how to turn a Platoon OPORD into a Squad OPORD, a Platoon OPORD being the step above. The idea behind it is to take information out of the larger OPORD and only take whats important to your squads mission out of it. The MS3 class practices this because your grade at LDAC relies a lot on your ability to correctly flip the OPORD during missions. After working for two hours on the process and practice of flipping OPORDs we conducted a STX lane. Essentially a STX (Squad Tactical Exercise) lane is like a mini mission lead by one person who becomes the Squad Leader for the practical and leads the rest of the MS3′s for the duration. The Mission in this case was to setup an ambush at a certain point to attack enemy patrols in the area of operations. While moving to their ambush site they were stopped by a ‘local farmer’ who was angry about the enemy forces (OPFOR) going through his fields and then the US bombing said fields. The Squad Leader was then informed by the farmer he knew of a local cache site where the enemy was keeping weapons. The squad then moved to destroy the cache site but were interrupted by a local carrying an RPG. At theat point the mission was declared over and we conducted whats called an After Action Review (AAR) to talk about whats went well and what did not.
The Military loves to have social functions and this past week we had a Joint Awards Ceremony (the Air Force joined in) to celebrate the accomplishments of the Cadets. I was lucky enough that my family came to support me as I received the American Legion Military Excellence Award. There are approximately seventy awards or so given out either by local military groups (such as the American Legion) or by the Lieutenant Colonels of each force, LTC Cowen for the Army and LTC Provos for the Air Force.
One of the unique things about being a Cadet in New England is that it toughens you up in various ways. We take PT tests rain or shine, or in the case of Worcester blizzard conditions. The Army has standards for the tests that every Cadet is required to meet. As a Male between the ages of 18 and 21, to pass the test I must complete 42 pushups in under two minutes as well as 56 Situps in under two minutes. Finally is a two mile run that must be completed in under 15:08. PT is always random groups of exercises from everyones favorite, Capture the Flag PT to the least favorites hill sprints for nearly an hour with the Master Sergeants competing to think of more tortourous ways of sprinting up a hill sideways or in reverse or various other ways of making it harder. I could swear being a MSG requires you to learn creative ways of working out the body in extreme ways at 6am.
FTX which stands for Field Training Exercise is a various assortment of training programs from the aforementioned STX lanes to Land Navigation to Rappelling to your basic survival skills in the field. FTX can be miserable but like anything when its over you become nostalgic and start reminiscing about the misery and excitement of it all. This past Fall on FTX our MSG was not present because he was moose hunting in Maine, he didnt manage to get one but we managed to get a deer with our van, we werent even trying.
One thing that is often skipped over in the college decision process is what happens after you go to school. Is the school going to give you a diploma and you no longer exist except when its donor time or is the school going to continue to nurture your development? At Clark Alumni are a huge part of campus and CU takes really good care of its Alums. One of the ways it does this is through networking events.
In this down economy events like this are provided to get Clarkies, those unemployed and those looking for employees, together to ‘talk shop’ and help each other out. I had the privilege of volunteering at this past weeks Networking event in NYC, which when you consider I went to NYC for free was pretty cool.
Held on Lexington Avenue at a Clark Alums office the building and setup was amazing. The night starts out with a mixer of sorts where Alums gather and talk. Grad Students then are invited in and there is a long table discussion about various things ranging from the proper use of Social Networks to the proper way to talk to someone in an interview. Following this the group breaks out and ventures to themed tables with themes anywhere from Government to Non-Profit to Nature Science. Each table is hosted by an Alum in the field. All the while hor’doerves are served and the Alums are kept merry, in some cases Alumni will come just to hang out and be with the Clark community.
A wonderful night all around and it is good to know Clark will be taking care of me after I finish my Undergrad degree. (Less then two months!)
Clark is known for always doing things a little differently, and Spring Break is no exception.
This year I decided that I was going to return to London, a city I had only ever seen as a member of a tour group four years ago oddly enough during my spring break as a Senior in High School. Now London is not everyones first choice for Spring break because for one it is nowhere near the tropical zones one thinks of as a usual stopover for Spring Break getaways. This is all fine and dandy but theres more to Spring Break then the tan and late mornings, if your’re going to break out the passport you might as well learn a few things along the way, and learn things I did!
1) When choosing a spring break buddy choose one who can keep you entertained
I took my buddy Claire to London with me, a fellow Clarkie and ROTC member to boot Claire kind of fell into the plans. Claire is a very happy go-lucky person and ended up being the perfect travel companion. Traveling is rough from time to time, you have to catch flights and figure out foreign transportation and it can get very stressful if you are with the wrong people. The great thing about Claire is within five minutes of nearly getting run over and dodging through London traffic (they drive on the wrong side of the road across the pond) she turns to me and straight faced, “What kind of Animal do you think I resemble? I think you’re an Otter.” (I decided she was a Panda)
2) When you’re going on Spring Break expect the best and prepare for the worse and when things don’t go according to plan call it an adventure
By the time we cleared Customs in London it was around 8:30am local time and we decided that instead of the Underground (Mind the gap!) we were going to take a bus into Central London so we could catch some views on the way in. When you buy a bus ticket there is a service code that corresponds to the bus you get on. We had service code 501 and jumped on the first bus with this service code on it. One problem with the integrity system of bus tickets is that the driver never looked at our tickets to tell us that we were not on the local bus service but the national bus service in which 501 was actually the code for Taunton, England, a good 3 hours West. It was a good way of seeing the English countryside and we had an adventure in a town we had never heard of before.
3) When you’re going on Spring Break eat whatever the locals eat, even if you would rather not…
12 hours later we arrived at our Hostel (its about 15 minutes from Heathrow airport max) and having become exceedingly hungry in our travels we asked where we could go to get proper English fare. Three Stags was our answer. Three Stags was a shockingly familiar atmosphere, similar to Clark there was a big sustainability effort and they only served Organic local food. As we were on an adventure we decided to try whatever sounded like something that would not be common in the States. We settled with Marinated Lamb Heart and Wild Board and Apple Sausage: Result= Delicious and possibly some of the best food I have ever eaten. A few days later on the hunt for an English Breakfast we discovered why the English were not known for their culinary abilities.
4) When you’re going on Spring Break talk to everyone, you never know who will tell you to join a Mercenary gang in South America
True story, a conspiracy nut staying in our Hostel told Claire and I that we should quit the Army and join a Mercenary force selling drugs in South America. On a lighter note we met a really cool guy named Paul from Scotland who was spending a long weekend in London. We talked politics and walked around London together, really cool guy. We also met a kid from Georgia who was backpacking Europe, 3 girls from Wisconsin who were studying abroad in Ireland and spending a few days in London, the aforementioned Conspiracy nut, an Australian who was working in London on a visa who had traveled the world many times over already, and 21 French students whom almost got us thrown out of the Hostel for partying in the Lobby until the wee hours of the morning. The French students were a ton of fun and we definitely are considering a trip to Lyon to visit them at their college.
5) When going on Spring Break, have as loose a plan as possible
One of the greatest decisions that Claire and I made when going to London was to not make any solid plans at all. We knew we wanted to go see the Roman Baths in Bath but other then that we just wanted to see everything. Going in with that mindset we walked everywhere instead of using the Underground to get to the closest tube stop and most of the time we never found where we intended to go, and ended up having more fun because of it. Tucked away behind the Globe Theater is the wonderful Burroughs Market which we never would have found had we not walked there. When we planned on walking to Piccadilly Circus we wound up at Buckingham Palace and planning on going to Trafalgar Square we wound up at Piccadilly Circus. We saw all of Central London in a matter of days walking everywhere and we could not have been happier.
6) Have a good time!
Don’t forget to have fun when your on Spring Break, just don’t spend all your leftover foreign currency at the Bar before boarding the plane, other passengers don’t appreciate it
Ive decided to dedicate this post (sorry Brenda I know its been awhile… again) to some of my favorite places at Clark.
1) My Favorite Urinal
One of the great things about being a Male is being able to pee standing up. Its quicker, you don’t have to worry about sitting on other peoples butts, and it uses less water. Within the Academic Commons the Male Bathroom has three such convenient toilets and I have become peculiarly attached to the middle one. I dont particularly know why it has become my preferred outlet for relieving the #1 but it simply is the only place in the AC I will pee. During particularly busy times (about an hour after rushes at Jazzmans our in library coffee place) I will wait if it is occupied simply because thats the one I want to use.
2) The Green
Though currently covered in snow and slush the Green is a wonderful place for the few weeks of the school year it is habitable. As the snow and slush disappears students begin to cluster until whomever is playing Frisbee is also dodging through a minefield of other students, hookahs, and beach blankets. The Green may be called that but it does not start out that way and the brownish dead grass will give way to the greener grass (notice the name corresponds to the color, very original). The greeness of the grass directly corresponds to the number of students missing from any given class with a sharp peak during the 11:00 to 11:50 and 12:00 to 1:15 time blocks.
3) My seat at Jazzmans
Another favorite coming from the Academic Commons (a truly wonderful place to be sure) is my seat directly next to the outlets in front of Jazzmans. One of the advantages too waking up at the crack of dawn to workout is that by the time I get back on Campus to shower and get ready for the day, the Commons is still mostly empty and so my seat is available! On the days when someone does take it I call them names in my head and storm off to another area of the commons (im still in college I can be immature now and then
For a small school such as Clark there is a plethora of talent and arguably some of the best talent from Clark’s robust music scene was on display last night. In honor of Mike Castelli and Jake Hansen’s 22nd birthdays there was a showcase of Clark bands at Moynihan’s, a well known Bar just off campus that is familiar to current and past Clarkies as it has been running for over 77 years.
A small point before delving into the night id like to make is that Clark has a large following of an interesting music style called Ska. I had never heard of this type of music until coming to Clark and I really do not know how to describe it other then Ska is just fun for lack of a better term. Its often fast paced with a lot of upbeat feelings mixed into the songs even if the subject matter is about someone dying or some other macabre event. Ska bands are larger then your typical bands because on top of your standard mix of Guitars, drums and bass’ there are a bunch of horns such as Sax’s, trombones, and trumpets, even a cowbell from time to time.
Accompanying this odd music style is a dance that is called “Skanking” in which groups of individuals run around in a circle while half skipping, twirling, and kicking up into the air. Its an exhaustive form but just like the music its oddly satisfying and just plain fun.
So on to the night! Castelli and Jake are both great guys and it was awesome that they were allowed to throw a big show at a well established venue near campus. Featuring talents from a spectrum of styles from solo act Senior Zach Solomon to a debut show by an up and coming Clark rock Band ‘Abandon Ship’ to a rivalry between two amazing Ska bands: ‘Llama Tsunami and the Without Helmet’ and ‘Lamp Attack’.
The night was great and the crowd was getting really into it. The definite highlight for me personally was as ‘Llama Tsunami and the Without Helmet’ were wrapping up their gig all the members of ‘Lamp Attack’ joined them in band area and they did a joint cover of ‘Reel Big Fish’s’ “Beer” one of my favorite Ska songs of all time. I was too busy singing (i.e. screaming into the microphone in the band area where I probably was not supposed to be) to take some pictures but I would easily chalk it up as one of the top moments of my Clark experience.
It was an epic night with some epic music and some even more epic ‘Skanking’ and it just goes to show, Clarkies love to have a good time!
The links below are to a recording of Lamp Attack in their early years and gives you a good idea of what Ska and Skanking are. Hopefully soon ill be able to post a link to the joint version of Beer that was played last night!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ_23e5WM-0 Cover of Reel Big Fish’s ‘Beer’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R503FVFjB-Y&feature=related Lamp Attack ‘Dressed to Drink’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smH3Bs9_c_A&feature=related Cover of Blink 182′s Dammit
This blog is not all roses and perfume when it comes to writing about Clark, I have a bit of liberty to write about pretty much anything I want and so I thought for once Id present a few things thats not perfect about Clark, and a few things which make it so.
Clarkies cannot park to save their life. I parked in the on-campus garage and on one level were 45ish cars in a place designed for at least 60 and it was full.
Come to find out this car belongs to one of my friends, he doesnt believe in pulling all the way back
Maybe they couldnt see the line…
So Clarkies cannot park, but Worcester has its moments of imperfection too..
This is Main street, one of the main thoroughfares threw Worcester a few hours after snow started coming down and it doesn’t look its been touched
Sometimes there are a few late nights… Enough said :p
And for all of Clark’s little imperfections there are some things so good that you can’t help but love it.
This is Mary and Sally at Jazzmans, the little coffee place in the Academic Commons in the center of campus. I make special trips to the AC every morning whether I am getting coffee or not to chat them up. These two ladies add a little bit of home to Clark. Sally has a son in the Marines so I ask about him and tell her about some of my experiences in the military. These two ladies could just do their job to the minimum but they go above and beyond every day to make coffee for all of us caffeine addicted college students. They are not the only ones, Charlene in the Bistro makes my breakfast sandwich every morning and knows that I like Swiss cheese instead of the American cheese that usually goes on it. Some mornings when its not too busy it’ll be done before I finish ordering!
We play silly games a lot. This snapshot is of a game taught to us by New Zealand Zach. The game is called Cookie Tumblr (add New Zealand accent on the name and it sounds like coookie tum-blah) and consists of putting a cookie on your forehead and moving into your mouth using only the muscles on your face. Hilarity ensues. In this pic from reunion Shawn Goodspeed (Class of 2006, MBA 2007) from University Advancement squares off against Corey Coose (class of 2012) and myself during the 2010 Alumni Reunion prep week.
Having swam less then a year I somehow talked myself onto the Varsity swim team at Clark and soon switched to diving. Three great years I spent on the team making some amazing friends and traveling all over too competitions. Unfortunately I didn’t have time this year but the opportunity to perform with this Varisty team was a real shining star in my Clark experience.
The above picture was taken at 2010 CASE-ASAP conference a conference that SARC attends every year. One of the best decisions I ever made at Clark was joining this group. Doing everything from Conference to Nearly Naked Mile to Trustee dinners for the Presidents office, SARC pretty much does it all and in a fun way too! As you can see below a picture from Oozeball, a mud volleyball tournament hosted at URI that SARC attends yearly.
Those are some muddy Clarkies :p
Through and through what really makes Clark so great are the people that inhabit it. Above is a picture of my friend Nicole and myself freshman year, were still best friends to this day and shes just one of the many people that has made my life here amazing. Sure no one on the campus can park a car to save their life and you will spend a few nights up later then you had planned but thats all part of the college experience. Its what you do between parking your vehicle and staying up to late that counts and makes your experience at Clark one you will never forget.
My last semester as a Clark undergrad has started and in a fury! (literally)
New England is famous for its Lobsters and for it’s Nor’Easters, it was not crustaceans that hit us on Tuesday, the first day of classes. With weather reports calling for an inch to three inches of snow I awoke early on the 18th to at least six with more still falling. The first thing I did was check my email hoping with the same enthusiasm one has in their pre-college years for a snow day but alas it was not to be had. Another thing New England is known for is it’s hardiness, it takes more then a few inches of snow to shut anything down and Clark is particularly notorious for being tougher than any snowstorm that is less then a category 5 hurricane.
The next option is to hope the professor drives something without four wheel drive so that class is canceled. As my friends Facebook status’s mounted increasingly with reports of canceled classes I was again to be disappointed! My professor was tougher then the blizzard and class would indeed be occurring. The snow day was not to occur for myself at least. (but at least I got some cool pics!)
This semester as I mentioned in my last post and the begginning of this one is sadly my last at Clark and though sad about this I’m excited for my classes and some of the events coming up this semester.
I’m taking German 102 (you are required to take two semesters of a language) Marketing Management, Comparitive politics, as well as Military Science for ROTC.
SARC is going to a conference in mid-February which I’ve been looking forward to since last year, traditionally the seniors from the group present something at the conference and this year we will be presenting on our experiences with Clark Reunion and how we’ve affected it over the years we have been part of it. It’s something that’s very near and dear so I can’t wait to show it off to the other alumni clubs through District 1.
In ROTC I received a promotion of sorts to Battalion S3, the training officer of the Battalion. Last semester my roommate was the S3 and I was the assistant S3 and now our roles are reversed. I have some big shoes to fill, my roomie has been hailed as one of the best S3′s the Battalion has had in recent memory.
It’s going to be a busy semester but that’s good because it will give me plenty to write about in the coming semester! As always email me with questions and comments I love hearing from you all!
I was in the midst of our families annual new year brunch surrounded by Both familiar and unfamiliar faces and I keep hearing, “Greg this” and “Greg that” and I realized my parents were rehashing all the Clark experiences (those they know about ) to their friends. It began bringing back memories of all the great things I’ve been able to accomplish while at Clark the past seven semesters.
-Working and then running Reunion for three years
-Helping to put on International Gala
-Learning and then competing in Varsity Diving on the swim team
-Traveling to Puerti Rico with the swim team
-Going to numerous conferences with SARC
-Meeting people from literally everywhere on the planet
-Joining the Army and coming in the top 5 in my Battalion
-Talking to perspective Clarkies and convincing a few fence leaners to come here
-Working as a diarist
-Designing my own research capstone in Psychology
-Met some great Alumni including a number who have buildings named in their honor
And those are just the things I can come up with off the top of my head! Not including all the little things that happen every day. We are now entering a new year and the new (and for me last) semester starts in a few short weeks and it makes me wonder: Where is the rewind button? Can I just start my Clark experience all over again? That’d be great!
Like always email me with questions or comments, as Diarists we love hearing from you and answering any questions you have about Clark!
So because i’m the best big brother ever I took my little sister out to lunch the other day, I even paid :p
We went to New England Roast Beef, affectionately known as NERB. Known for its Roast Beef that is home made; NERB embraces the spirit of Worcester, which is to say the colleges that fill the city. Each sandwich is named after a college or school in the city, the Clark is Turkey, Swiss, Cole Slaw, and American Cheese. Its a fun little sandwich place and the food is really good. Its a couple miles from Clark but if you can bum a ride there it is totally worth it. Try the Clark its really good, though to be fair the WPI (Roast Beef, American Cheese, Tomatoes, Onions, and Horseradish sauce) is also pretty tasty!
In other news I locked myself in the Academic Commons and cranked out all the work I’ve been putting off for months now, who knew being a senior could be so hard? Three and a half papers in ten hours over two days = not too shabby. Ive been struggling with German lately to top off all the busyness. I can get the Grammar just fine, putting the sentences together is a matter of knowing the right formula so to speak. You get the formula down and you’re good to go. The problem i’m running into is memorizing all the words, theres literally thousands that we are supposed to know right now, its insanity! To correct my deficiency I’ve started taking the Rosetta Stone course which I have access to via the Army for free, it is quite the program and I can see why it is known as one of the best language tools available.
Going back further into my crazy life I went to Boulder, Colorado for Thanksgiving. My Brother, sister-in-law, and Nephew live out there and it was amazing! The picture to the right is of my Nephew at daycare, everyone says it but in my case its true, I have the cutest nephew ever! His current obsession is Thomas the Train Engine so when he heard that Uncle Greg was coming to visit he though that Mr. McGregor (the antagonist in the Thomas the Train stories) was visiting. He refused to look at me or speak to me or anything until it was finally explained that I was in fact not the bad guy from Thomas the Train, the name stuck though and now I am affectionately known as Uncle McGreg :p
While in Boulder I got to go to the Bouldering Gym that my brother opened and then sold a few years ago, he still has life passes and free guest passes so it was nice to go to this gym which he started himself. For those that don’t know Bouldering is like rock climbing minus the safety ropes and the extreme heights.
Thats about it in my crazy life. I saw the new Harry Potter movie (like the rest of the world), pigged out on Turkey, went numb writing papers and still cant complain: I am absolutely living the dream