The week before finals is known as “dead week.” Supposedly it is a week where classes are for final reviews and homework is reduced or simply not collected. In theory, it is a time for students to study for final exams that take place next week. Dead week is merely an oxymoron, and I am still thoroughly confused as to why and how it was coined. The week before the semester ends seems to be the busiest week of them all. It seems like ten different things are due all at once, projects need to be finished, and a semesters worth of material needs to be studied in order to succeed on the tests that will potentially determine the final grade received in the class. It is what we like to call stressful.
Students who haven’t been to the library all semester long seem to emerge from hibernation, hunt for motivation, and decide this is the week to live in the library and finally do some studying for those tests. Open until two a.m. on most nights, and 24 hours during finals week, the library along with the student body ceases to sleep. Coffee and Red Bull flow like water at all times of the night. Feeling guilty about a caffeine buzz after ten p.m. is no longer an issue, for these next couple of weeks are an exception.
Although it is a busy time in the semester, it also means the end is in sight. Fifteen weeks of going to class, going to lab, going to the library, going to meetings and so forth is winding down and coming to a close. The end of the second semester is bittersweet: yes the homework load and “school” part of things is over, but it also means a summer full of work, hot days, and missing good friends that you won’t see until classes start up again in the fall. Unfortunately, this will be the last blog of the year. It has been a great opportunity to represent MSU and give my readers a personal spin on student life and my lifestyle here in Bozeman. Hopefully you have enjoyed reading my blogs, I sure have had fun writing them and will rev them up again in the fall! A new camera is in order, so be ready for an epic school year. As my friend from good ol’ Terry Montana says, “deuces Bozeman.”
Cheers my friends, here is to a summer full of lobster like skin and good times!
Lift up on a bluebird day
The sun was plentiful last weekend at Big Sky Resort’s annual pond skim. Costumes from the seventies were not in short order and the long straight skis that peaked at a staggering 210cm made a comeback from the nineties to ski one more day on the slushy corn snow. Big Sky offers a “frequent skier card” which can be purchased for roughly 50 dollars at the beginning of the season; cardholders receive two weeks of free skiing. One week is offered in early December during early season conditions, and the other is the last week of the season usually in early April. Apart from the two free weeks of skiing (free?!) day tickets can be bought for 20 dollars less than the regular ticket price all year long. The way I see it, a broke MSU student that couldn’t afford a season pass can get a frequency card and have 14 ski days for 40 dollars, a great deal!
Closing weekend brings a mix of emotions; ski season is over, and the question of “now what am I going to do with my weekends?” finally came to mind. The excitement of spring and summer could be seen creeping right around the corner just waiting to melt the snow that has been piling up on the peaks all winter long. Spring and summer offer an array of activities, especially in the Bozeman area. Biking a favorite trail such as Leverage Canyon or Emerald Lake up Hyalite canyon in the morning to get the adrenaline flowing and then floating the Gallatin River on inner tubes in the afternoon. Fishermen eagerly await the anticipated annual insect hatch that will hopefully land them that beautiful brown trout that has been dancing in and out their dreams for the last few days. Backpacking up Beehive Basin and living off of canned chili and granola bars for a few days and enjoying campfires late into the evening with a great group of friends. Life isn’t all THAT bad without ski season, right?
Apart from the great spring skiing with temperatures in the sixties and the killer goggle tans from the weekend, the pond skim was definitely a highlight. A three to four foot trench was dug on a slope that was flat and filled with freezing cold water, skiers and snowboarders alike gained as much speed as they could from the steep hill above and tried to float across and escape the freezing pond of death. A huge crowd gathered around to watch these daredevils, which sometimes may not be the smartest tools in the shed, hurl themselves down the mountain and more than likely ending up in the bottom of the pond waiting to be fished out by volunteers and workers. There was plenty of entertainment to be had the entire weekend, and unfortunately, it is time to get back to the real world and begin studying for finals that are coming up quicker than I anticipated once again.
Big Sky at its finest
Pond skim action
Bird's eye view
One for the road
Spring is in the air folks. I can tell because one day it is seventy degrees, sunny, and beautiful and the shorts are in full force around campus. Flip flops, Birkenstocks, and Chacos seem to be taking over the feet of students, and sun tanning outside of Montana hall takes precedence over studying in the library. When the sun shines on campus, it’s like zombies climbing out of a dark hole to shed their winter recluse tactics and embrace what could be the only day of sunshine for the next week. The next day it will snow a few inches and the shorts I wore the day before can go back under my bed where they have been hiding for months on end just waiting to be broken out. They will have wait a little longer.
Intramural softball also marks the return of spring with the ever so resounding cracking of balls against cold aluminum, the stinging feeling in your palms after a hard line drive finds the sweet spot of the mitt, sunflower seeds littering the ground, and yells of encouragement after a Barry Bond’s like home run. Two weeks into the season our softball team known as “The Men of Grace” are 2-2, a solid five hundred record heading into the middle of the season, which is a vast improvement from last year. Playing twice a week is a great way to relieve the stress of the waning semester that seems to get incredibly busy. Being competitive is not our motto, but rather having as much fun as possible to blow off some steam. Most of us on the squad have experience in tee-ball, and that’s about it. Besides looking like a bunch of uncoordinated ten year olds out there on the field who can’t catch to save a life, at the end of the night we are all winners!
Easter weekend brought good times with the family back home and even a round of golf with my father. Being spring in Montana, it decided to snow the night before. Thankfully it all melted off fairly quickly and we were able to get in a great 14 holes before another storm hit. Being the forgetful “adult” I am, I managed to forget my golf shoes at the house and was forced to golf in my slippers which turned out not to be a problem. Luck seemed to be on my side that day, after a shaky Tiger Woods like start at The Masters I turned it around with ten pars in a row, all in my casual slippers. I may have gotten some strange looks, but that makes those ten pars in a row that much better! More than likely I will never do that again in my life, but we all have dreams right? Lady luck was sure on my side. Spring fever is in the air folks, summer like activities are starting to present themselves more frequently and campus is buzzing with excitement nearing the end of the semester. Add some sunny weather and the student body will be out in full force to embrace that wonderful Vitamin D.
This weekend is free ski week at Big Sky Resort for frequent sky cardholders. By presenting the card purchased at the beginning of the season at the ticket window and proof of identification, the ticket for the day is free and the deal goes all week until Sunday. It should be a great weekend filled with pond skimming, goggle tans, sunburns, corn snow, and good times. Stay tuned for some rousing pictures next week!