Since my last post was rather boring/repetitive/box-of-rocks, I figured it’s time to let you know about life outside of the lab. After all, summer on the Hill (a.k.a. Hamilton) is part of the experience – including 5:30 a.m. fire alarms!
Two of the dorms are open for students during the summer. I’m living in one of “the Suites,” which typically means that groups of six people share a kitchen and bathroom. However, Jennie (my roommate) and I ended up in the not-suite which does not have its own kitchen and full bathroom, so we are sharing with the suite next door. A personal mini-fridge was a must, because the single fridge in the common room does not have enough room for eight people who have to cook every meal for themselves! Speaking of cooking for ourselves, fire alarms are abundant – at least two a week, if not more. Somehow, college kids and stoves just don’t always get along – surprise!
I must admit that I often find myself wishing I was back in British Columbia, sleeping in my tent with only the birds to wake me up at ungodly hours. In fact, I have frequently found myself missing field school this summer, much more than I ever expected to. Despite not really being the “outdoorsy type,” I miss relaxing on the river, being surrounded by trees, and the feel of dirt between my fingers. At least, we have the Glens at Hamilton. I have spent a few calming afternoons walking along some of the more adventurous paths in the forests and swaddling myself in a hammock.
There’s a farmers market in Clinton every Thursday, which the summer students look forward to each week. In addition to fruits and veggies, you can get fudge, crepes, pizza, jewelry, bread, and even gelato! Another much anticipated weekly event is the Community Lunch. Bon Appetit, the food service at Hamilton, puts on a free lunch every Wednesday for the students and faculty that are here over the summer. The lunches are always well attended and provide time to talk with professors, catch up with friends, and make new friends. After all, what college student doesn’t love free food?
As nice as Community Lunches and an unlimited supply of hot water are, the occasional adventure is required to escape the monotony. The first weekend after graduation, I spent a Saturday afternoon exploring an antique fair in Bouckville and Rexford Falls in Sherburne. A few weeks ago, Jennie, a friend Emma, and I went on a major adventure to Vermont. After missing our turn and adding about an hour to our drive, we finally took the ferry across Lake Champlain and drove up to Burlington, VT. Then we headed for the Ben & Jerry’s factory nearby for a tour, complete with a sample of Cherry Garcia ice cream. Yum! We ended the trip with tea from Dobra tea, a Czech tea shop, and crepes from Skinny Pancake’s food cart in Burlington. Finally, Jennie, another friend Talia, and I went to Syracuse one night to see Bernie Sanders speak at a rally (mostly for the experience points). I felt vastly under-politically interested and under-hipster.
That about sums up the adventures for now. Only two more weeks on the Hill! It’s crazy how fast time goes by!