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I have decided that the second semester of the school year is the harder semester. The weather starts to get nicer and nicer, and all you want to do is soak in the sun. Also the spring semester flies by at an incredible rate. It seemed like I just came back from winter break, or I just went on my spring break adventure, but that was a while ago. Before I knew it, I had my last 3 tests to take and a final paper to turn in.

            April was a super exciting month on campus. We started April off with E-Days. “What is E-Days?” you may ask. If you were to ask that to some of the upper classmen, they might be insulted by your innocent question. Well E-Days is a three-day celebration of engineering that definitely surpassed anything I had dreamed it would be. The weekend started early Friday morning with the Ore Cart Pull. It was the most exciting walk I had ever experience. We walked about 8 miles down Colfax Avenue to the capital building pulling an ore cart, with our mascot Blaster the burrow parading along with us. We owned the street for those few hours, which was super exhilarating. Matt and I raced from the back of the pack, to the front where we helped pull the ore cart and back again to find our friends. It was quite the experience, and even though we had to wake up at 6:30, it was totally worth it. Later that day, my floor competed in a field day, which had the themes of mining and drilling incorporated into them. We raced with Emma on a mattress, learned to pan for gold, and thawed a frozen t-shirt in record time. We competed hard, but ended up just barely missing first place. By barely missing first place, I mean we didn’t place in any of the events. That night there was a concert for Sound Remedy at which I decided that techno music isn’t really my style. I did however very much enjoy the small line to get into the concert that the women had the privilege of using.

            The next day, I woke up a bit later to find that I had missed the cardboard boat race. I heard it was a great event hosted on Clear Creek, where students put their cardboard boat building to the test. However, I went to the car show on campus that morning with Amy, Rachel and JP.  JP taught us three gals what different parts of a car were. Amy and I giggled when we found a minivan in the show, saying that it was the most impressive car there. After the brief tour around the show, we headed to the carnival. As soon as we entered the gates, we found ourselves surrounded by food, music, and lots of excitement. We quickly came across henna, and jumped in line to mark the momentous occasion. We proceeded to the bounce obstacle courses in which we raced each other and our friends. I tried the tug-a-war basketball arena where I battled Matt to the basket on the opposite side. I’m sure it was super entertaining to watch Matt pull me back every time I thought I was making progress. We then moseyed on over to the human bowling experience, where we made Allen sit in a human sized bowling ball and rolled him into 8 huge pins. Matt, Amy and I felt accomplished as soon as we rolled him into them for a successful strike!

Unfortunately, I had to leave the excitement behind to set up for the trouser trot/color run. Undergraduate Student Government puts on the event every year, and since I’m a member of the council, I volunteered to throw color. It was very thrilling running the event (haha running—that’s punny because it was a run) except I felt bad for accidentally throwing the chalk in a few runners’ faces. After the race, we collected the leftover chalk and headed for Kafadar, where the chalk was being used for a huge color fight! Matt chased me around trying to make me more colorful since my clothes were spotless. I found Dilan and Billy (an RA that I will be working with next year as PA, and one of his friends) soon after. The events that occurred next left me a bit scared of colored chalk. They trapped me in a bear hug and had a friend from USG dump green chalk all over me. Weeks later I could still see the green tint on my head from the chalk. I am planning on pranking them back in some way, but the creative process for that is currently at a halt with the end of the year coming.

The weekend concluded with a 3OH!3 concert. I didn’t go to the beginning part of the concert, due to a headache, but as the headache faded, I joined my friends and enjoyed it quite a bit. After the concert, I experienced the most incredible firework show I have ever seen. I can’t even begin to describe how awesome it was. I was in awe the whole time, and I have seen some pretty great firework displays. That’s all I am going to tell you about them. If you want to see just how great they are, you will just have to come to Mines. 

Before the festivities for E-days, I found out via twitter that the US Women’s Soccer team was practicing at Mines. After rounding up some friends we headed for the soccer fields. As soon as we arrived, I was amazed by the quality of play before my eyes. My little brother is a soccer player, so I had spent quite a bit of time watching the girls play on tv. After the practice, we recognized and waved to players like Rapinoe, Solo, and Wambach. Heather (the other RA I will be working for next semester) and I ended up snagging a picture with Rapinoe and we chatted for a minute with Heather O’Reilly.

The last weekend of the month, my hall participated in Relay for Life. In case you don’t know, Relay for Life is an all night even where the team takes turns sleeping and walking through the night in an effort to support cancer treatment. I was very proud of the fact that I went into the event with over 500 dollars raised from my family. My Grandma actually showed up on campus one day before the event to present me with 200 dollars worth of donations from herself and her bridge club. It was incredible how much my family supported me with the walk. As for the actual event, it was a night I will never forget. I participated in the minute to win it competition (during which I won the hula hooping contest…I went for 4 minutes 45 seconds…no big), midnight zumba, and willPower and grace fitness routines throughout the night. I also found myself quite touched at one point when the whole group did a silent walk around the track in honor of those who lost the battle to cancer. I took a moment after to honor my own losses: my Aunt and Grandpa. When the sun finally rose again, I was awake, and enjoyed the famous voodoo donuts.

            It freaks me out that my freshman year is almost over. It has been a year of learning for sure, but not only academically. I learned how strong I am, what I am interested in, what kind of a person I am, how I deal with situations, what I want from the next four years, and for the rest of my life. It sounds very cliché but I truly have learned things about myself that I never would have thought of before this year. I have tried so many new things and enjoyed a lot of them. I have experienced struggle, which wasn’t super fun, but I’ve realized that overcoming those struggles is one of the best feelings in the world.

Best Food Creation- I didn’t really try anything new this month.

Biggest Accomplishments- GETTING AN A ON ONE OF MY TESTS!!! WOOOO! Raising $500 for Relay for Life, first all nighter at Relay for Life, being reelected for USG, receiving two packages full of cookies in one week (not really an accomplishment but I really enjoyed those cookies), finishing my last chemistry lab

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I spent spring break with Emma and Amy, roaming the country to find laughs, memories, challenges, and good food…and also to forget about homework. We were scavengers, explores, innovators! Actually that’s not exactly what happens, but we’ll say that it is. We spent the first two days of our expedition in Breckenridge, CO where we stayed with a friend, Allen, and his family. When we arrived at the cabin, we were faced with the challenge of snow on the mountain roads. We may or may not have gotten our car stuck in a snow bank near the cabin. We tried desperately to prove to ourselves that we could dig the van out with good ol’ girl power and determination. Unfortunately, we had to give up, and wait for Allen’s family to help us. The next day, Emma and I decided to stick with our college budget, and skip skiing in Breckenridge. Instead we were able to explore the town. We found multiple captivating art galleries, a store dedicated to crazy hats (my dream store), and an ice cream shop (yup, it was snowing…the perfect time for ice cream). The best shop award went to the rock shop we found, which satisfied all of my nerdy needs.

            The next day was a skiing day at Copper Mountain. This was my first official time skiing on a mountain so I didn’t know what exactly to expect. Emma was in the same boat as me for this monumental day, having not ever skied before. I had been to ski school when I was very young, but didn’t remember much other than how to stop a.k.a. the pizza. We strapped on our skis and headed for the first and most feared step (in my opinion); the ski lift. I made Amy repeat the instructions multiple times; fearing that I wouldn’t get on the right way, or that I would fall off once I was on it. It ended up not being a problem at all, which I also found for the dismount off the lift. At this point, I was too excited to try this new sport, with my friends and the beautiful view from the mountaintop. Amy instructed me enthusiastically that I should try to make wide “S” patterns while skiing. Skeptically I tried it, and I was surprise by how I well I did. I made it down to a slow zone with little trouble. I was so excited, and finished my run with only few falls, which were mostly due to my inability to stop when I needed to. By the end of the day, I had gone down three blue runs, and even a mogul’s run (I may have tumbled down the hill many times but I still made it down). In the process, I made a great skiing buddy in Anna Marie, Allen’s little sister who joined Amy, Allen, Emma, Kurtis, and I. She liked to take it slow down the mountain, so I went just her speed.

            After our day of skiing we traveled North to Winter Park to spend the next two days at Snow Mountain Ranch. The first day consisted of tubing, looking for animals, playing ping-pong, and being lazy. That’s right, being lazy. We COULD NOT get ourselves to do anything productive. If anyone was left alone for very long, they were found napping, or playing games on their phone like a child. We tried everything to wake ourselves up to make our day more exciting but we COULD NOT. We even drove into Winter Park searching for an ice cream shop except we could not find one! We looked everywhere, while trying to convince ourselves that we weren’t tired. When we were about to give up and go to McDonalds, we found a gelato shop! We were so happy we almost started crying. After eating our ice cream and being energetic for about 15 minutes, we were once again the walking dead. We gave up by ordering a pizza for dinner, and then spent the remainder of the night watching the Emperor’s New Groove and How I met your Mother. On our last day of the adventure, we enjoyed Snow Mountain Ranch’s craft barn where we painted lovely pictures. Yes, three college students were crafting with little kids running around us. Were we ashamed of it? Heck no.

            The last Saturday of break, I was privileged to go to the Imagine Dragons concert with some of my closest friends Rusty (my RA), Amy, and Matt. It was an incredible concert that left us shocked for days to come. I could write a whole blog about it, but instead I’ll give your some key words; confetti, pig-heads, sing-a-long, last stop of the tour, cell phone flashlights, drums, bigger drums, gigantic drums, so many drums, and amaze sauce to say the least.

            As for the next week, I had to catch up on all the homework I had neglected over spring break and I had two tests to study for. To say the least, the week after spring break wasn’t very fun. The last week of the month, however, was the exact opposite. It ended up being a very relaxing week. I was able to get ahead on all my homework and even had some time to go over my tests. While I had some down time, I finally built up the courage to cut all my hair off for locks of love. I was nervous for the results, but I have decided that short hair is a lot easier to deal with. I’m proud not only for giving my hair to a great organization, but also because I was patient enough to wait for my hair to grown out.

I helped organize an event called Into the Streets for the second time this year. It is a community service event put on by Student Government. This year, we hiked down the hill to the Golden History Museum where we picked up trash and dug holes for a fence. After it was all done, I was satisfied with our work, and the job we had done in setting up the event. Also during this time, I started my campaign for sophomore class representative for Undergraduate Student Government. I have enjoyed being apart of the group this year, and hope I will be able to join my fellow representatives and president for our sophomore year. We hope to keep the Fantastic Four together. Fingers crossed!

Best food creations-the super waffle made for National Waffle Day, the mashed potato pizza taco strikes back

Biggest Accomplishments-getting used to the taste of coffee, getting Emma to watch How I met Your Mother, Getting a Chemistry lab done at 7 the night before it was due ( I usually procrastinate on those…oops), getting 2nd place in the Softball tournament (we joke that VPA don’t stand for visual and performing arts hall, but very poor athletes), cutting my hair off for locks of love, and last but not least WINNING THE FLOOR SCAVENGER HUNT IN DOWNTOWN DENVER!!!!!

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            As February started, the snow began to fall more frequently, people started staying in a lot more, and most of my friends were headed for the hills for the weekend to enjoy the snow. For me, February meant the start real life, which consisted of tests, labs, and business. On top of that for the majority of the month I was sick with a cold. Boo.

During the month I applied to be a programming assistant for Resident Life, which is a position that works with the resident assistants in the resident halls. I have always enjoyed the company of the RA’s on campus and thought it would be fun to work with them, but I decided that I am definitely not responsible enough yet to handle 36 plus students. My compromise is the PA position, so if I get the position, I will still get to be a part of res life, help enhance the freshman experience, and I won’t have too much responsibility. Don’t get me wrong, I find myself to be a very responsible person, but to be responsible for 36+ people’s mental and physical health is bit of a scary thought. I also want to work on balancing my activities before I dive into a 24/7 job. The application process was very fun. It took 2 early Saturday mornings, but it was worth it. It was the most interesting interview I have ever be a part of. We participated in team building activities for two hours and got to know some fellow students better. One of the activities was drawing your ideal RA, and Mines Residence Life tweeted about our drawing on twitter. No big. P.S. Go team Fuchsia!

            I also applied to be a peer mentor for next year. A peer mentor helps the freshman adjust into college life, and I think I would really enjoy it. I ended up getting an interview for it, and I got the wrong time. It happens. They must have still liked me though, because I ended up getting the job! I also found out that I was offered the programming assistant position. HURRAY! Now it’s time to decided on which job to take, or find out if I can do both.

            My first round of tests has passed and boy am I relieved. The test weeks were crazy weeks full of too much to do and too little time. I had a physics test on Tuesday, homework due Wednesday, a lab due Thursday in addition to a Calculus 2 test. The busy-ness continued throughout the weekend with interviews for both PA and peer mentor. The next week I had my Chemistry 2 test on Tuesday. I didn’t get the results I tried for, but I am working on reaching my goals but paying much more attention to concepts I don’t comprehend as much. I believe half the battle is realizing what you don’t understand very well, so I we’ll see if it’s true after the second round of tests.

            One Friday night, my roommate, Claire, and I were bored sitting around watching How I Met Your Mother. Of course, this isn’t a terrible way to spend a Friday night, but there’s not much excitement in sitting around. We decided at 11 that we wanted to bake cookies. After a quick run to Safeway, we acquired cookie dough in addition to the unanticipated ice cream. We returned to Maple Hall to bake the delectable intoxicatingly pleasantly smelling creations. While prepping the cookies, we referenced Frozen too many times by singing, “Do you want to build a doughman?” And we ended up actually make a doughman, which wasn’t a doughman once he came out of the oven.

            For Christmas, Claire treated me by buying me a ticket to the Pentatonix concert. After anxious months, weeks, and days, the time had finally come. We arrived a bit early to the Paramount theater, off of 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, so we proceeded to freak out, watch the clock, take pictures, and tweet the talented artists. The concert was the most incredible concert I have ever been to. The crooners sounded even better live than they do in their amazing YouTube videos that I have listened to multiple times (which may or may not mean that I know all the parts, and words to the arrangements). At one point, I made eye contact with Scott and he smiled at me. I decided that I am indeed a fan girl for them, but in my defense, it’s better to be a fan girl over some crazy talented acappella singer than some other popular groups today.

            Since I am planning on living off campus next year, my roommate and I have been looking for apartments to stay in. Claire e-mailed a man about touring an apartment she had found online. It is in Downtown Golden. We walked around the small condo trying desperately to act mature while trying to contain our excitement. We came off a bit giddy, but we were so excited for the idea of living in our own place next year. It’s such a big step, and I’m really starting to feel like an adult yet again.

            I spent quite a bit of time at the rock wall in the SRC (student recreation center). I was super excited to conquer three new top rope courses this month. Unfortunately, this week, the wall is closed due to the wall renovation for the bouldering competition this weekend. My friends and I seriously don’t know what to do. So what have I been doing instead? Playing Frisbee because of the nice-ish weather, and doing homework. That’s right. I’m actually getting ahead on my homework with all this extra time, and that just won’t do. I’m kidding, it’s good for me. It’s a good eye opener to see that if I do focus more, I will get ahead.

Best food creations: doughman, waffle with strawberry ice cream and cheesecake pieces, thin crust pizza turn mashed potato taco (it’s delicious even though it sounds super weird), my mom brought more cookies to me (!!!!)

Biggest Accomplishments: Finishing 3 top rope routes, living through my first physics test (don’t ask about the results), getting a decent amount of sleep again, being offered the job of Peer Mentor and Programming Assistant.

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When I came back to school, I was ecstatic to see my friends again. I missed them dearly and in between the goofy snapchats and the constant texts I’m guessing they missed me too. Lydia, one of my best friends, attacked me when she saw me. I smiled the rest of the day happy to be home. Over the next few days I was lucky to spend some down time before the busy rush called school started. After a night of planning, Jessica and Emma, girls from my hall, joined me in a downtown Denver adventure that started with a trip on the light rail. One of the longest snapchat stories I had ever documented started on this trip. With little effort we made it to the aquarium. We spent the next few hours running around the aquarium like kids. My friends decided that if Mines didn’t work out, they would become mermaids, Emma geeked out with me when we spotted topics having to do with what we learned in our Earth and Environmental Studies class, and we managed to find Nemo somewhere in between. After the aquarium trip, we hopped back on the light rail for lunch at a cute crepe shop downtown. If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I LOVE FOOD and that was a fantastic place to eat. The three of us savored every bite we took of the delicious treats and vowed that if things didn’t work out at Mines or as a mermaid, that we would become crepe chefs.

A few days later, after the majority of our hall was home, we started new adventures. In addition to my love of food, I also found while at school that I love bouldering. I have become a regular at the climbing wall, and I even asked for climbing shoes for Christmas. I love the mental and physical challenge, and I also like meeting new people there. Anyways I finally got the chance to go climbing again, after a long break away from the climbing wall I adored. I promised my friend, Matt, that we would climb in our new shoes for the first time together, so I had to be patient for a few days before he arrived. We performed the ceremonial “Simba” chalk swipe across our foreheads and climbed. A few days later, he finally got me to take a belay test, which would allow me to do the harness climbing above the bouldering line which I had become comfortable with. I tried an easy route, and I have to say, it was scary as heck! I am not scared of heights normally but I was a little uneasy, not used to a rope being there to catch me if I were to fall. I did however enjoy the experience and I found myself in the midst of an adrenaline rush after climbing down. I have ventured onto the top part of the walls since then, conquering the slight fear of heights.

In other news, my part of my hall participated in a snowball fight on Kafadar commons. We saw a flier in the stairwell and were super pumped to play like kids in the snow. It turned out that mostly girls from our floor went, and it was mostly guys on the other team so you might be able to guess the results. What do you expect though? It is a 3 to 1 ratio. I also introduced my floor to geocaching and the people who came thoroughly enjoyed it. We adventured around Golden looking for the boxes that would reveal hidden treasures (or junk however you look at it). By introducing my hall to this, I was named resident of the week for our building, which was exciting. My RA, Rusty, broke the news to me, and as lame as it sounds, I felt a little honored. He proceeded to put a picture of my face on a triceratops, and displayed it in the lobby of Maple for everyone to see. He’s a goofball like that, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And besides, who else can say that they’ve had their head on a triceratops?

The last weekend of January my friend, Amy, and I were looking for something to do. We explored the possibilities of playing Frisbee, fruit baseball, or other activities we were familiar with that we could play on the beautiful day. Then a thought came to mind that had nothing to do with the nice weather, but the exact opposite. I remembered that the X-Games were that weekend. As soon as I suggested this, Amy agreed that it was a wonderful idea and we went into research mode. Research mode then turned into planning mode and then into recruiting mode. We found 5 other people interested in the adventure and left that night for our recently booked hotel room in Glenwood Springs. The hotel was concerned that we were going to be rowdy college students, but we relieved their fears as soon as we stated that we were from Mines, and we had homework to finish. The next morning we grudgingly got out of bed and started our journey. We were ecstatic all the way to Aspen. When we arrived, we were amazed at the sight before our eyes; enormous man made hills, snowmobiles practicing on their courses, and the iconic super pipe being perfected for the competition. We watched the Snowmobile SnoCross finals, Ski SlopeStyle finals, and after a 4-hour wait in line, we witnessed the men’s Snowboard SuperPipe final. We hiked up the side of the superpipe, and got great spots to watch the snowboarders fly over our heads. We danced with strangers, traded sandwiches for our friends who had been lost in the crowd of the line, cheered loudly for everyone, and shivered in the cool mountains night air. It was an experience unlike anything I have ever done before, and I’m hoping to return to Aspen again next year.

That’s all for now…stay tuned for more new stories next month!

Best food creations: mac and cheese pizza, waffle-cookies and cream ice cream-fondue chocolate sauce-rice crispy treats-deliciousness, homemade raspberry chocolate chip muffins (from my mother), the best chocolate chip cookies (again from my mother) (not even joking when I say THE BEST)

Biggest Accomplishments: Finishing all the beginners bouldering routes (until they put up new beginners routes a day later), living through my first physics lecture and studio, almost having a 1 fully decorated wall in my room, resident of the week, picking a new freshman representative for student government (with the help from the other freshman representatives)

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A snapchat from the Downtown Denver Adventure.

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Hawaiian Climb night at the rock wall.

Hawaiian Climb night at the rock wall.

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The super pipe super selfie. Yes, that is Louie Vito behind me midair.