CCD Loves You Too!

Good Morning Future Owls!

So last week I told ya’ll a little bit about my favorite building on campus: The Wellness Center.  However, the Huff House, which holds Rice’s Center for Career Development is a close second.  I’ve worked as a student assistant here all semester, and it’s been a fantastic way to start my Monday and Wednesday mornings.

I like to think of the CCD as the “middle man” between Rice students and employers.  The counselors and advisors work hard to find career and internship opportunities for rice undergrads, grads, and alums, as well as encourage potential employers to come check out what we Owls have to offer. They also offer career counseling, resume advising, and host tons of information sessions and workshops for everyone on campus.  And when the time comes for Rice students to seek employment, a lot of it will take place through the CCD’s career website: RiceLink. The CCD is a wonderful resource – so when you’re here be sure to look out for their announcements and flyers and take advantage of some of the cool stuff they bring to campus.

Actually, the CCD has found an awesome opportunity for you future owls too!

If you’re still looking for summer plans and you think your future may lie in the computer sciences, Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute could be the program for you.

“Up to 60 aspiring computer scientists will be selected to attend one of the all-expenses-paid CSSI sessions at either Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California or Google’s office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Our first session will take place from June 24 – July 12, 2012, while the second will take place from July 22 – August 10, 2012. This special institute will include an interactive and collaborative CS curriculum, as well as a unique residential experience in which students can build a network with other attendees. They will meet alumni from their schools and other Google engineers while immersing themselves in daily life at Google. Students will also enjoy technical talks by Googlers, lectures by guests from across the technology industry, and local area social activities.”

If this sounds interesting, I definitely encourage ya’ll to apply here: by this Friday (April 20th).

And if computer science isn’t quite your thing – the CCD caters to everyone’s needs. So be sure to check them out for some career tips and resume advice when you get here.

My Favorite Place on Campus

Nestled deep within the hedges of Rice University, past the hustle and bustle of the RMC and beyond the sweaty maze of bodies in the Rec Center, there lies a magical oasis, a land of peace and tranquility.  I call it paradise, but you may know it by it’s more formal name: The Wellness Center.

It's Tea Tuesday!

At first, The Wellness Center and I were just a fling.  I came on Tuesdays for the free tea and relaxation, and often found myself venturing there throughout the week for a few moments of bliss petting Jack, the Australian Shepherd that calls The Wellness Center home. But soon, my infatuation grew. As Valentines day approached, my involvement with this glorious place intensified while I coordinated the Love Your Body Monologues (check out my past post for a full description).  When February drew to a close, I was determined to ensure that our relationship remained strong. Throughout March, I participated in The Body Project, a Wellness Center workshop devoted to combating the thin ideal and building self esteem in young women.

We’re reaching the end of the semester, but I have no fear for my future with this magnificent building.  I know it holds many more resources and opportunities that I have yet to take advantage of.  For example, The Wellness Center offers massages and acupuncture to students for a heavily subsidized price.  And, of course, Maria Tsakalis, our registered dietitian, is available for consultations along with awesome pieces of advice for college campus healthy eating. Plus, I can always check out any of the educational books and movies that line the walls if I want to learn more about yoga, meditation, or living a healthy lifestyle.

I almost hate sharing my little secret getaway with you, but it’s just too great a place to keep to myself.

To check out the website:


The Real Reasons I Chose Rice

So it’s March, and if you seniors are anything like I was, you’re probably perfecting the art of doing the bare minimum in all of your classes to slide by with a passing grade. (Just kidding – that’s an awful idea! Don’t do that!) Anyway, you’re probably also spending a lot of time worrying or fantasizing about college.  And if you’re exactly like me, you may have applied to 16 different schools. And as the acceptances are beginning to roll in, you’re forced to admit that you have absolutely know idea what you’re going to do with your life.  And that’s where the list comes in.  Now I’m not talking about the list that you’re going to make with your parents that calculates academic rigor and financial value…blah blah blah. (Kidding again, that stuff is important.) But I’m talking about the real list. The one that determines exactly what sets each college over the top.

I stole this photo from my friend Joseph - he's an avid squirrel watcher as well.

Searching for some inspiration? Take a look at mine.

  1. My Hogwarts Application was denied.

On my eleventh birthday, I waited and waited and waited for Hogwarts acceptance letter.  When it never came, I assumed I’d be a late admit – that my powers just weren’t ready yet. When senior year finally rolled around, I had to face the truth: broomsticks and spells probably weren’t in my future.  So I began my search for the most Hogwarts-like college I could find and I found Rice. The residential college system has been explained umpteen times in this blog, so I’ll try not to do it again, but the best way I can describe the colleges at Rice is to compare them to the four houses of Hogwarts.  Like houses, each college is close-knit like a family. Like houses, each college has a faculty “head” who is there to support the students.  Like houses, each college has its own unique traditions, cheers, and rivalries with other colleges. And like houses, the entrance to each college is behind an enchanted talking portrait. Oh wait…now that’s not right.

  1. Squirrels

If you haven’t yet visited Rice, it’s something I strongly recommend you do. And while you’re examining the library or the physics lab, take a look at the squirrels.  Rice has the happiest, friendliest, most well-fed squirrels – and that’s a fact. The squirrel-watching opportunities alone should send Rice straight to the top of your list.

  1. Water Balloon Fights

At the end of March this awesome thing takes place on campus: Beer Bike. It’s this huge, campus-wide tradition that I will tell you all about once it occurs. Google it if you’re still confused.  Anyway, before this event takes place, there is a water balloon fight. And not just a couple of kids running around throwing balloons.  Oh no, this is a full-out water war that is prepared for weeks in advance.  Confession time: I haven’t actually experienced this yet – but just the mention of this epic battle gets my heart racing. And it should get yours too!

  1. Endless Food Options

Lots of schools have one cafeteria, maybe two or three at most.  Rice, however, has six serveries! With that many meal options, how could I ever get bored?  And that’s without the Hoot, Willy’s Pub, or Coffehouse.

  1. Dorms with Air Conditioning

Some schools don’t have air conditioning. We do. This one is kind of a no brainer.

My list was longer – but I know most of you only skim these posts anyway. So go ahead, make your list, come to Rice.

Love Your Body Month

So I want to tell ya’ll about something I’m involved with this semester: Love Your Body Month.  Love Your Body Month is put on by the Wellness Center and takes place throughout all of February.  The month has been full of activities that encourage acceptance of all body types and treating the body well.  During the first week, free yoga and nirvana sessions were held on campus.  In the serveries, our wellness center dietician helped to “rate our plate” and give tips on how to make healthy lunch choices.  This past Monday was Revitalize Day; the wellness center stayed open offering free massages and a strawberry shortcake bar.  Next week we are chalking the academic quad with tons of positive body messages.  

I was selected to be the coordinator for the Love Your Body Monologues, the grand finale of the month.  This event is an evening entirely dedicated to positive body image! Back in December, we collected monologues written by students, alumni, or faculty associated with Rice.  The monologues span a variety of topics which include struggling with anorexia, the horrors of braces, and acknowledging body quirks with pride.  In January, we recruited undergrads to perform the monologues. And next Monday, we will see them come to life at 8 PM in Duncan Commons.

Being a part of the Love Your Body crew has been such an awesome experience. I’ve made new friends and I’ve learned a lot about how put on a function on campus.  One great thing about Rice is that it’s easy to get involved, regardless of your age or experience.  The wellness center and Love Your Body Month are both fantastic programs and I encourage you to check them out if you’re on campus.

Visit the wellness center website for more information on Love Your Body Month!

Culinary Arts…at Rice?

Greetings from the worst blogger on the planet! Haha – I feel like beginning these posts with an apology is starting to become the norm. So, in keeping with tradition, I am so sorry for the complete absence of my voice from this blog for over a month. I hope ya’ll had a super fantastic awesome winter break and returned to second semester rested and rejuvenated.

Anyway, I return to you to discuss what is, as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, my favorite topic: food.  But this time there’s an academic spin. When I came to Rice, I worried I was giving up the opportunity to take some of the more obscure classes that I’d probably find at a larger university.  I figured I’d only be taking the standard upper level courses: psychology, math, philosophy, etc. So last semester when registering for Spring courses, you can imagine my excitement to learn that Rice offers a cooking class.

What!?  I can spend time perfecting my rosemary biscuits or chicken soup – and get college credit!?

The answer is yes.  So obviously I signed up. This semester, every Thursday night you can find me in the West Servery kitchen, eagerly awaiting instruction from Rice’s master executive chef, Roger Elkhouri.  Each time the class meets we spend a portion of the time learning about kitchen safety, food preparation techniques, and different style cuisines, then we break out our cookbooks, put on our gloves, and go to town on the menu for the evening, which always has bread, soup, salad, two main dishes, dessert, and, of course, biscuits!

This class is one that I look forward to every week.  Plus, I know that all I’m learning will come in handy when I have to *gasp* enter the real world, where buffet style dinners are not a daily affair.

Bottom line: should you attend Rice University, take Cooking with Chef Roger. Even if it doesn’t ignite a passion for sautéing deep in your soul, your Thursday nights will be full of yummy sauces and freshly made biscuits.  Come on, do it for the biscuits!

An Ode to Study Breaks

I know, I know, this is my second post about my love of study breaks. But guess what — they really are that great. Plus, this post comes with a theme: finals week, bleh, a time marked by a significant increase in the number of visitors to Fondren Library and a significant decrease in the overall personal hygiene of Rice students.  Why yes, I have been wearing these sweatpants since Sunday.

As I’m sure you’ve gathered, Rice final exams began yesterday.  And let me tell you, it has been rough.  Last night around 10:00 pm, I was walking back from my three-hour, soul-crushing math 101 test, trying to hold back tears. (Just kidding, I was totally crying already). I trudged into Wiess commons, ready to admit defeat at life, when I looked up and was greeted by what was, perhaps, the most glorious sight since I arrived at Rice.  The doors of our servery, which generally close at 7:30 pm sharp every night, were opening and several smiling chefs welcomed us into a place that can only be described as a breakfast wonderland.

Immediately, I was overwhelmed by the scent of fresh churros and cinnamon rolls as I took in the sight of the counter, that usually serves as our salad bar, lined with every brand of cereal imaginable.  Hot chocolate and coffee flowed freely for those of us who planned to pull all-nighters or who just wanted something to wash down the warm sausage links, omelets, croissant sandwiches and chicken and waffles.  Oh yes, I did just say chicken and waffles, the greatest breakfast creation known to man.

Chicken and Waffles - try it and your life will never be the same.

Needless to say, I quickly forgot about my math test trauma as I drowned my sorrows in deep fried goodness.  I don’t know who provided us lucky Rice students with this fantastic breakfast themed study break, but they just may be my favorite people ever.

No, scratch that, they are my favorite people ever.

So what’s on the agenda for tonight? Study break number two, complete with a Kinect tournament, fondue station, and, wait for it, a supply of puppies solely for petting, cuddling and stress reducing.  This is why I go to Rice.

That’s all for tonight – must go plan a puppy-napping.

Good luck with the apps ya’ll!