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Monday, August 30, 2010

Feeling like a freshman

Third year back on campus and I’m greeted by…no one? As I walked through Emory’s campus during my first week of classes, I recognized almost nobody.

Is this what it feels like to be a junior? Watching freshmen hesitantly mill about between classes searching for White Hall and the Rich Memorial Building, while sophomores, with their heads held high, assert their no-longer-newbie statuses.

Then again, who wouldn’t feel like a freshman walking into the new Barnes and Noble bookstore decked out with an Apple room and a Starbucks? And they take your Dooley Dollars!

Or how about that new yogurt shop, Yogli Mogli, right across the street from the bookstore? Their cake batter yogurt will definitely keep me coming back.

And now that the bookstore’s moved out of the DUC, there’s more space for Eagle Fly By and additional seating for dining, studying, lounging, whatever your preference.

Over at Cox Hall, there’s a new stir fry area called the Mein Bowl, and there’s also Dooley’s Burgers and Wings, baked not fried. Either way, their sweet potato fries taste just as good.

And who wouldn't want to be a freshman this year living in the new freshman dorms with their grand common study areas and their stone fireplace?

I guess there are some things that can tie a junior and a freshman together, but it still feels awfully good to say, "that wasn't there last year."
--Lindsey Bomnin 12C, EAA communications assistant

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's not goodbye, it's see you later

Is it me? Or does time seem to fly by faster these days?

Today is the final day of my summer communications internship at the Emory Alumni Association (EAA). I cannot believe it! I feel like it was just yesterday when I walked through the doors of the Miller-Ward Alumni House (MWAH)
on my first day--greeted by the quaint courtyard and the elegant, McLarty spiral staircase.

This internship has been worthwhile and wonderful. I have gained more writing and editing skills as well as meaningful relationships with my co-workers. I loved being a contributor to EAAvesdropping--where I wrote in a wittier, personal tone rather than formal and academic (no offense, Samford's department of communication studies). However, I did have more serious assignments such as press releases or EmoryWire pieces, so I got the best of both worlds.

I am also going to miss everyone at the EAA. I've never been around so many hard-working, friendly, helpful, and all-around FUN people! If I ever had questions or concerns, someone was always willing to help. Any time I walked down the halls of the EAA, I was always greeted with a smiling face. Some of my favorite memories are lunch breaks with the other interns, piling in someone's car like sardines to go take a tour of something on campus/lunch outings, and surprise baby showers.

Like I said in the title, it's not goodbye, it's see you later!

Thank you EAA for this amazing experience!

--Farah Shackelford, communications intern, EAA

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Passing the torch

Have you ever dreamed of going to the Olympics?

A group of Oxford College Alumni Board (OCAB) members (a few of us are in the picture at left) did just that Saturday night as they volunteered for the 2nd Annual Oxford Olympics. The Oxford Olympics, which is the brain child of OCAB member Rhiannon Hubert 05Ox 07C, is a new Oxford Orientation tradition that brings together all incoming freshmen in a battle of residence halls to win the coveted title of best hall.

The students showed their skill in a relay tricycle race, tug-of-war, Dooley, Eagle, Zebra (a version of rock/paper/scissors) and a sing-off of the alma mater and the Emory fight song.

OCAB members and their families gave out water/snacks and staffed the first aid station. Luckily we had no injuries. It was a lot of fun and great exposure for the recruitment of potential legacy students!

-- Jennifer Crabb 98Ox 00C, director, technology and online services, EAA; Oxford College Alumni Board

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Terrible, tumultuous traffic

Welcome to Atlanta (no, I'm not about to quote Ludacris)--where driving somewhere that is five minutes away takes half an hour (or more). Where all 12 lanes on I-85 are somehow in a complete standstill no matter what time of day. Where we say things like "I guess I'll work an extra two hours tonight because I don't want to sit in traffic."

If you're from Atlanta, you can definitely relate to this. Especially if you work at Emory.

As we all know, summer has come to a close, meaning it's time to go back to school. Yes, this is a good thing, but not so much for the traffic. The roads are full of moms in minivans packed with kids going to school, teenagers eating Pop-Tarts as they head to high school, teachers, commuting college students, grad students, AND those of us who are going to work.

Has anyone noticed there are TWICE as many cars on the road today than there were a week ago? Particularly on the roads around Emory. Crazy.

Once I finally got into work this morning, I walked from office to office in the Miller-Ward Alumni House (MWAH) to discuss traffic in the area. I noticed that a majority of my colleagues were the most frustrated about Houston Mill Road. One would think driving on a tucked away, quaint, two-lane road would be pleasant--but not between the hours of 7:00-9:00 a.m.

The photo above is what most of Emory's employees have to wait in to get to work (including myself). There are times where I have actually said out loud "I am SO close (because I can see the Emory bridge and the turn into MWAH) yet SO far away" (since I'm completely stopped in bumper-to-bumper traffic ... and I'm not adventurous or rebellious enough to hop in the opposite lane to get to work faster).

Clifton Road can be rough, too. It's an extremely busy road packed full of people who have places to go and there are important buildings such as Emory Law School and the Rollins School of Public Health which are constantly bustling. It's like an obstacle course--cars must constantly dodge buses and pedestrians and wait at long red lights.

Construction on the North Decatur Road roundabout began this week too. It'll be wonderful when it's finished. Next year. Ugh.

OK ... so let's switch to a more positive note. How can we solve this traffic issue? Unfortunately, there is nothing I can say that will magically fix this problem (I wish), but there are ways we can make the grueling drives to and from Emory a little bit better.

Jennifer Crabb 98Ox 00C, director EAA initiatives/technology, rides with her mother to and from work every day. Even though she gets stuck in gridlock traffic like the rest of us, she has company. Maybe carpooling with someone who lives near you will help the commute go by a little faster and make it more enjoyable.

We all know that the buses that constantly stop on the sides of Clifton road tend to hold up traffic. You've probably experienced road rage or possibly yelled out an explitive or two after slamming on the breaks behind a stopped bus.

Maybe we should look at this as a sign, since Emory is a pro-bus/pro-sustainability university. If more of us ride buses, the less cars on the road (and pollution in the air)! Our stress levels will decrease (which leads to less gray hairs and wrinkles ... always a good thing) as well as our commute times.

Or maybe the idea of creating rockin' playlists, purchasing albums/Emory podcasts on iTunes or listening to books on tape doesn't sound like such a bad idea.

I'll see you guys on I-85 during rush hour this afternoon! Can't wait! (Can we sense the sarcasm?)

--Farah Shackelford, communications intern, EAA

Monday, August 23, 2010

Alaskan adventure

I am Paul McLarty 63C 66L, Emory Alumni Board president, and I recently returned from a trip to Alaska and the Yukon with Emory classmate and fraternity brother, Jim Alexander 63C.

There were many highlights on this trip, including visits to Denali and Wrangell-St. Elias National Parks, the Chilkoot Trail, gold mining ghost towns, breathtaking mountain passes, Top of the World Highway, viewing wildlife (bears, moose, caribou, eagles, dall sheep), glaciers and salmon fishing. We covered over 3200 miles in two and a half weeks.

In preparation for this trip, we tried to find Emory alumni who live in the areas on our itinerary. We made contact with Jodi Bailey 91C. This turned out to be one of the most interesting visits on our trip. Jodi grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, attended Emory, earning her degree in Drama and Anthropology in 1991. The summer after her freshman year at Emory she went to Alaska to study Athabascan storytelling in Fairbanks. She fell in love with Alaska and returned there immediately after her graduation in 1991. Someone talked her into taking a sled dog and that was the beginning of her passion for mushing.

Today, Jodi and her partner, Dan Kaduce, operate Dew Claw Kennel. Jodi is a faculty member of the University of Alaska in rural and community development and Dan does seasonal work with TJ’s Land Clearing.

The dogs, however, are central to their lives. As Jodi says, “I think I mostly got started as the natural progression of my love of the Alaskan lifestyle and the outdoors. I began mushing as a fun way to get out and explore in winter. But as our kennel grew and we gained experience the next step was trying races and events. I enjoy working hard with the dogs all season and then having the opportunity to participate in events with other teams. It adds fun and excitement. Plus, it gives me a chance to travel by dog team in parts of the state and places I would not get to see otherwise.

Dan had a background in competitive sports, and was the first to race seriously. After a while of being involved in every aspect of training and preparation it was natural that I would also want to take a turn at running the race team in events.

Mushing is a lifestyle – not a hobby. Racing has really helped me to improve as a musher, and given me a great sense of focus in life. When I race, those are some of my most treasured times. You are out there with your team totally focused on the dogs and the trail ahead of you. The rest of the world melts away and you don’t have a job or email or bills. It is just you and the dog and the trail. I feel very lucky to be able to get out in the Alaska back-country and feel that way.

I know the Iditarod will be the biggest challenge the dogs and I will face together, and I am really looking forward to it.”

Jodi has registered to race in the Iditarod in March 2011.

In addition to the Dew Claw Kennel website, you should also check out http://iditarodblogs.com/news/files/2010/05/2010-Awards-Photos.pdf. Dan was the Iditarod Rookie of the Year in 2010 and there is an article about Jodi having registered to race in 2011.

If you are going to be in the Chatanika, Alaska area (about 35 miles from Fairbanks) you may want to arrange a visit to Dew Claw Kennel. At the very least you should have lunch at Chatanika Lodge and learn about outhouse racing. I am not kidding!

--Paul McLarty 63C 66L, president, Emory Alumni Board

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome to Emory, future lawyers of America!

The Emory Alumni Association (EAA) not only reaches out to alumni, but to students as well.

On Wednesday, students attended the School of Law's orientation--complete with tours, locker assignments (yes, really), and brown paper bag lunches.

One of my colleagues from the EAA and I worked at a table during the hustle-bustle of orientation. There were other tables set up as well, including one with parking/shuttle information, campus dining, and student health.

Our goal was to welcome incoming law students by handing out the Emory Memory books (a cute, spirited collection of Emory history and facts) and other EAA goodies such as luggage tags and highlighters (perfect for law students). And of course, another important goal was to promote the EAA and the wonderful things we do for Emory!

We had a few students ask basic questions about the EAA and possible volunteer opportunities. I even told one student about internships and work study programs (like mine)!

At first I was hesitant and not feeling very peppy about the idea of handing out books to people, but I actually enjoyed it a lot. I saw the law school, encountered a lot of new faces, crossed paths with many friendly people, and represented the EAA in a positive way.

Best of luck to the incoming class at the School of Law!

--Farah Shackelford, communications intern, EAA

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our special project ... with beer cans (fifth in a series)

Read part 4 ...

Read part 3 ...

Read part 2 ...

Read part 1 ...

So I promised you a story about a "special project" in the previous blog post. Here it is!

Coming out of Singapore, the Orthopaedic Surgeon and my good friend, Matt Provencher researched fun things to do in Darwin, Australia for our much-needed four days off. One of the first things that popped up was the "36th Annual Darwin Beercan Regatta." The idea is to build a boat out of soda or beer cans and race it. Although there is no beer on American ships, there were nearly 1,000 people onboard at that point and there were lots of soda cans around.

First question - how do you secretly build a sizeable boat without knowledge of it reaching the people who could make you stop?

Second question - how many cans are we actually talking about?

Third question - once you build it, how do you get it off the ship and through the very strict Australian customs and agricultural inspection station?

Before proceeding further, Matt contacted the event coordinators for more details. The event chairman, Des Gellert, was thrilled to have an international competitor, the first American entry ever. He emailed us the entry forms and rules and would end up playing a larger role later...

After reviewing the rules and having a brainstorming session, we knew we needed organization, materials, and dedicated and discreet people. Enter Kevin and Ruth. Kevin is our malcontented ENT surgeon and a fellow veteran of the 2008 mission--I knew he could be trusted. Ruth is one of our civilian nurse volunteers working in the OR and has a background of rowing crew in college. Both were immediately recruited and sworn to secrecy. We had an executive committee (me, Matt, and Kevin), a design committee (Shaun and Dave), a fledgling building committee (Ruth), and an entire ship at our disposal.

We launched the "special project" with a massive soda drinking campaign and set aside special containers in which to collect the cans. Shaun figured that we would need about 1400 cans to float a 4-person boat. Our team decided that a catamaran design would be the most stable platform.

The next several days en route to Indonesia were spent scouring the ship for materials. We figured out that we needed to bring additional people into the project if we were going to succeed. LTJG Gomez, the Seabee who controlled all the saws, drills, and other fun stuff, donated tools. He was also young, light, and strong, so he ended up on the boat as a paddler with Ruth, as did Shaun. We also had to enlist one of the civilian mariners who works as permanent ship's crew - Elvis (yes, really). Elvis got us some aluminum railing which aided the final structural strength of the craft.

The next dilemma was how to put all the cans together. We debated everything from duct tape to silicone caulking but finally decided on epoxy at Shaun's insistence (good call, Shaun). As we sat in the middle of the Moluccas islands, we asked - "Where in the hell are we going to get some epoxy?" LTJG Gomez suggested that we go to the local hardware store. Gabe (LTJG Gomez) frequented the local version of ACE Hardware almost daily to pick up supplies for his engineering projects ashore. We collected Rupiah (9,000 rupiah to the dollar) and sent Matt to the hardware store.

Our boss, Commodore Franchetti, was baffled when she rode back on the boat with Matt who was carrying sheets of ¼' plywood, PVC pipe, and several epoxy cans. She admitted that she was so flummoxed, that she thought it best not to ask questions.

Next step - Where do you secretly build an 8 foot by 7 foot catamaran on a ship with nearly 1000 people working day and night? Enter Machinist Mate First Class Adrian Pena. MM1 Pena is another trusted veteran from 2008 who let us build the boat in the Oxygen generating plant. This was perfect since it was one level removed from the cranes on the flight deck and was not subject to routine inspection. The only caveat was that we’d have to move if they needed to light off the plant to generate some oxygen for the anesthesia machines (more on this later).

We were excited to have a project that diverted us from the doldrums of mid-deployment. The can collection started very slowly, so we had to make personal rounds every evening throughout the ship to collect. Based on international maritime laws, we have to sort our trash, so several cans were pre-sorted for us by virtue of being in the metal collection bins! People found it very odd that two Commanders and a Navy Captain rummaged through the trash every evening.

The cans poured in and were sorted by color and type (Mountain Dew was the most common, followed by Diet Coke). Shaun mixed epoxy and sealed the cans together. Ruth, Tess, and Erica spent hours in the stuffy oxygen generating plant roughening the edges of the cans with files to allow a tighter molecular bond with the epoxy. We'd collect cans, file down cans, or go to administration spaces and make sure no one knew about our secret project.

Over the course of several weeks, we ran into various dilemmas. First, our oxygen reserves became low and the Chief Engineer indicated to MM1 Pena that he needed to fire up the oxygen generating plant. Second, epoxy levels were low--and we were about to move to a different island with an unknown ability to resupply. Third, Des Gellert from the Darwin Beercan Regatta, was so excited about our international entry that he advertised our boat on the local radio.

The executive committee sprang into action. We promoted Shaun and Ruth to the executive level based on sound decision making, proven discretion, and the ability to get the job done.

Step 1 - Move the boat. Fortunately, we only had about 400 cans glued together in rows of 10. We put the frames together with industrial sized zip-ties courtesy of Elvis. Just to be sure, we poured epoxy over the whole thing. MM1 Pena relocated us to the Medical Gas Storage Locker on the first deck. It had wide double-door access and air-conditioning. Everyone was relieved to see the new work space. That night, we spirited the rows of cans and the plastic framework out of the O2N2 plant and relocated everything one floor down.

Step 2 - Get more epoxy. Since Matt's interaction with the local orthopedic surgeon was successful, it was time for a follow up with our host nation colleague. I got Matt and one of our trusted CRNA's on a morning boat to “teach." A few hundred thousand Rupiah later and we had enough epoxy to finish.

Step 3 - Damage control. With Des airing radio ads about our imminent arrival in Darwin and causing interest in the arrival of the MERCY, I let the boss know about the project. I put a very positive spin (BS'd my butt off) on the opportunity for us to highlight Pacific Partnership through entering the race.The Commodore fell in love with the project! We received official permission to enter the race and build a boat aboard the ship.

We were almost ready to leave Indonesia for Darwin. The previously mentioned visit by the Indonesian President was a blessing in disguise. The security lockdown on the city of Ambon was impressive and for two days we did not leave the ship and surgery finished for the mission site. Our team took action.

Rows of ten cans became rows of twenty. Used sealed water bottles with a laminate of thin plywood provided buoyancy. Matt drilled and put screws in things faster than we could lay cans and tighten zip ties. We used duct tape to hold the cans in place while they dried. We finished construction of the individual pontoons the evening prior to arrival in Darwin. The final step was relocating to the helicopter hangar for final assembly. Naval aviators put a soda can boat right next to their $15 million dollar Seahawk helicopter (thanks Cooter and Bacon!).

Last step - Get the boat off the ship and to the race. Des gave us a flatbed truck to haul the craft over to Mindil Beach for the event. Elvis rigged a series of ropes to sling the boat for the crane ride to the customs and agricultural inspector. I gave her the paperwork for bringing the boat into Australia and she mentioned that she had heard about this on the radio--she was going to have to let it in.

When Elvis went to crane the boat over the side, the executive committee let out a collective cheer as it lowered to the waiting bed of Des' truck. MERCY crewmembers finally got a glimpse of what had been only a shadowy urban myth.

Race Day - The "USNS NO MERCY" sat proudly atop two sawhorses from the high-water mark. It was the most photographed vessel of the day, largely due to the beautifully painted sail that young HM3 Jones designed and decorated. The other big hit was the giant "NO MERCY" sign that MM1 Pena engraved.

When race time finally arrived, our paddling team of Shaun, Gabe, Ruth, and Nicole climbed aboard. We had about 300 people from the ship watching and cheering. The Commodore was there to help launch the boat as well. Our crew was strong and the boat well built. We placed 5th out of 30 entries and sustained little to no structural damage. Apparently, Indonesian epoxy is some really strong stuff.

NO MERCY won best soda can boat and best international entry (there were 2 Japanese entries and one from Ireland). It was a great way to spend a day and it was the culmination of a lot of hard work. It was also a bittersweet ending to our time in Australia and the fact that we had to say goodbye to many of our new friends and colleagues.

Interestingly, the story of NO MERCY is not over. The local Lion's club wanted to keep it and we were all too happy to oblige since the Commodore made it very clear that she didn't want it coming back on the ship. It is currently on Ebay Australia and being auctioned for charity. The auction will start on the 19th in the States. Click here and search "beercan boats."

The boat project has been among the most enjoyable that I have ever had while deployed. New friendships were made, existing friendships were cemented, and lifelong connections were established. I learned more about organization and leadership with the executive committee than I have being the director for surgical services during the mission.

The NO MERCY team has scattered in to the wind and either already gone home or are preparing to do so in Guam. The summer is definitely coming to an end and I was glad to have just one shining day in the sun with good friends. I'm ready to go home.

--CDR Trent Douglas 95M, director, surgical services, USNS Mercy

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stinky fruit ... but a good time (fourth in a series)

Read part 5 ...

Read part 3 ...

Read part 2 ...

Read part 1 ...

I have some wonderful, new tales from the high seas aboard the USNS MERCY. I promise it's worth it.

Our four-day stop in Singapore was a much-needed respite from the daily grind of shipboard life. After finishing two grueling mission sites in Vietnam and Cambodia, a soft hotel bed, no reveille in the morning, and the opportunity to get some real food were all welcome departures from our routine.

The highlight of the trip was meeting up with two of the Singaporean ophthalmologists who had worked with us in Vietnam. They treated a small group of us to dinner at one of their favorite local restaurants. We enjoyed the Singaporean specials of peppered crab and chili poached fish-- both dishes were spicy enough that I was sweating from every pore on my body. Always willing to try new foods, I made the grave mistake of agreeing to eat durian for dessert.

Because of the pungent odor, durian is not allowed in taxis or subways. Our Singaporean friends cracked them open and dug right in, literally. After watching the proper technique for scooping the squishy yellow pulp from its bed, I lifted a section out and stuffed it in my mouth - big mistake. The texture and flavor combined to overload my taste buds and sent me into a tailspin of gagging and retching. The Singapore guys were on the floor laughing out loud.

Singapore is a bustling city and our time there passed all too quickly. Before I knew it, we were all back on the ship and heading for Indonesia.

Heading south from Singapore, we crossed the equator and the ship's usual routine was interrupted as we participated in the time-honored naval tradition of the "Crossing the Line" ceremony. This involves the uninitiated "pollywogs" (see what this is in the previous link) having to prove their seaworthiness to the "trusted shellbacks" through a series of physical and mental challenges. Having gone through as a pollywog in 2008, I can definitely say it is better to participate as a trusty shellback. My directorate did win the Pollywog Talent Show with an inspiring cover of the Village People's "In the Navy."

As a senior shellback, my role this year was as the Royal Surgeon and personal advisor to Neptunus Rex. Essentially, I got to sit in a lawn chair right up front and watch the festivities directly in front of me. The good-natured fun concluded with a "steel beach" picnic on the flight deck to welcome over 700 new shellbacks to the fold. It was about at this juncture that our “special project” for Darwin, Australia was hatched (more on this later).

Our arrival in Indonesia was much heralded as the current model of these Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief missions was originally borne out of the MERCY's disaster relief efforts after the tsunamis of 2005. This year marked the first time that MERCY had returned to Indonesia since 2006 and we received an overwhelmingly warm and generous reception. Our area of operation was the central Moluccas islands, which are famous for the spice trade. At any of the open-air markets one could find fresh pepper, nutmeg, or cloves. The local cuisine was richly invested with these spices and the dishes found in the local restaurants were a treat to the palate.

Indonesia is largely a dry country, and a good bottle of wine with which to enjoy a meal was not easily found. We visited three islands during our month in Indonesia, the corresponding cities were - Tobelo, Jailolo, and Ambon. Each had its own unique beauty and there was an active volcano spewing ash into the sky as we lay at anchor off Jailolo. I immediately knew this would be a great stop.

In 2008, I had met Indonesian Colonel Arie Zakaria, a well-trained orthopedic surgeon who spent a month on MERCY with us. Colonel Zakaria was back again this year, and this time with his own Indonesia hospital-ship - a converted Korean amphibious assault ship complete with hyperbaric chamber and landing craft. The inside of the ship looked remarkably similar to MERCY even to the point of being painted the same horrible 1950s lime green color down the passageways. Arie is a bit of a mover and shaker in the world of Indonesian politics and he arranged for five of us to come over and visit his ship on the day that the president of Indonesia was going to be there.

The MERCY's stop in Ambon was part of a large disaster relief training mission and also an opportunity for their leader to present an award to us for the ships role in the tsunami relief efforts of 2005. In any event, I found myself face-to-face with the Indonesian president in the operating room lounge aboard the Indonesian Hospital ship. He was extremely gracious and invited all of us to take photos with him. What a great time!

Tune in tomorrow for an enthralling story on the “special project” I mentioned earlier. You won’t regret it!

--CDR Trent Douglas 95M, director, surgical services, USNS Mercy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Photo of the Day: Getting ready

Orientation Weekend is just a week away, and Emory has shifted campus beautification into overdrive. Thousands of new students will be welcomed to the Emory community, and the University wants to look its best.

McDonough Field, for instance is getting some nice, new sod in preparation for the weekend and the Homecoming activities (including a free Indigo Girls concert) that follow at the end of September.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Here's to free pizza and a new chapter of life!

Last night was Atlanta’s Let’s Go Emory! party at Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint. This party is thrown for incoming freshmen, current students, and alumni—to talk and learn about Emory, meet new people, and for this particular event, feast on delicious pizza. YUM!

Upon arrival, I immediately was surrounded by smiling faces, despite the late-afternoon heat. Incoming freshman slapped on their nametags and were already discussing dorm room plans, class schedules, and move-in dates. One of my jobs--other than mingling with a portion of Emory’s stellar student body-- was snapping photos of people at the event.

I felt a wave of nostalgia for the beginning of college when I captured the excitement of the incoming freshmen in the photos. The students were ecstatic and more than ready to start a new chapter in life at Emory.

After being mistaken for an incoming Emory student several times (hey… I’m not complaining if I look four years younger than I really am!) and meeting a lot of new people, I sat down with some of my colleagues from the Emory Alumni Association (EAA) and a few others to enjoy pizza and each other’s company.

They are all Emory alumni, so it was quite entertaining to hear crazy stories about things such as “The Girl We Graduated With Who Is Sweet But Has A Foul Mouth” or “The Guy Who ALWAYS Reveals Too Much Information.” By just experiencing the laughter and happiness, I knew these alums genuinely enjoyed their experiences at Emory (cheesy, but true!).

To all the incoming Emory freshmen—You have a lot to look forward to!

Check out the photos on the EAA’s Facebook fan page.

--Farah Shackelford, communications intern, EAA

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Living large in the new Longstreet-Means

On Tuesday, a handful of us from the Emory Alumni Association (EAA) made the trek from the Miller-Ward Alumni House to Longstreet-Means, the new dormitory on Emory's campus.

I heard through the grapevine that this freshman residence hall was extremely lavish, but even after hearing that, I never fully believed that the words "lavish" and "freshman hall" could EVER appear in the same sentence.

Especially after living in a dorm my freshman year of college (not at Emory) with chipping paint on the walls, a "closet" with enough room to fit two outfits, frequent visits from roaches, and never knowing if the room was going to be stifling or frigid when I first walked in. (Not going to lie though ... freshman year was memorable and FUN ... my biggest worry was what cool party I would attend on a Friday night ...those were the days!).

So it turns out the grapevine was correct. The new Longstreet-Means Hall (located just a few yards from where the original, dearly departed Longstreet and Means halls once stood) was pretty awesome.

We immediately ooh-ed and ahh-ed as soon as we walked in and laid our eyes on the massive, stone fireplace in the main lobby surrounded by leather couches, chairs, and wood tables. I could not wait to see the rest!

As we scoped out the community kitchen, comments like "This is nicer than my house!" and "Is there extra space so I can move in?" popped up. There were high-rise tables and chairs, four burners on the stove, and a shiny, black refrigerator. I could already picture students whipping up batches of chocolate chip cookies or brownies to cope with the stress of finals or huge projects.
I was particularly amused by the mini bulletin boards outside each dorm room in the freshly carpeted halls with internal stucco walls (which we learned are more durable). The views from the windows in the hallways and in the various study lounges throughout the building were wonderful! Some windows showed the Atlanta skyline, bustling walkways (great for people watching), and other surrounding Emory buildings.

The dorm rooms even had new furniture! And the community bathrooms were sparkling (I wonder how long that will last?).

Enjoy your new residence hall, Emory freshmen!

See the photos on the EAA's Facebook fan page.

--Farah Shackelford, communications intern, EAA