Sunday, April 21, 2013

@Hall_Gabbi and I finished our book! And other stories

Sorry for the long delay on the blog post.  Everything has been so busy, but I have a lot of good news!!

The day has finally arrived.... Gabbi and I have finally finished THE BOOK.  After almost a whole academic year of hard work, we have finally produced our final product and are in the process of sending it off to get "perfect bound" (when it actually looks like a real book).
Our book!! Printed by the Saint Michael's College print shop.

We were in Bergeron every day the week before the book was finally due with a goal set for each day.  The awesome thing about being a media studies major at St. Mike's is that whenever big projects are due for different classes, Bergeron is filled with all of your classmates and fellow majors! It really builds a community within the journalism department, so spending hours in Bergeron is never as bad as it seems because there are always tons of other people with you.  At that same time, the Global Communication class also had a big project due too, so the labs in Bergeron were packed every night.
Ready for our practice presentation! Photo by my bff Alex Byrne

Gabbi and I also did our in-class presentation, which was a huge success.  We had the class live-tweet our presentation, implementing one of the aspects of the new social media environment that we discuss in our book.  After the presentation, we took several questions from the Twitter hashtag (#mediaevents) as well as questions from the audience.  It was a very successful presentation, and I'm relieved it is finally over.

We also had the second PALS dinner this year a few weekends ago.  We had about 25 students, both national and international, come to the event and we ate food from Moe's and hung out all together for a few hours.  I cannot express enough how enriching the PALS experience has been for me and how much I love speaking and spending time with international students.  As I write this post, my PAL is sitting across from me at one of the many homework "parties" we've had this semester.  Even though we're doing something as simple as homework together, there are still so many opportunities to learn something new about her culture or teach her something new about mine.


Me and my PAL! 

Me and my friend Jonghoon! 

Wait... what is Chanhee's name again? 

The last bit of good news is that I was inducted into two honor societies this weekend – Phi Beta Kappa (liberal arts) and Kappa Tau Alpha (journalism).  It was such an honor to be chosen out of my classmates for induction, and it was even more fun to have my family visit and meet friends, professors and faculty members at the school.

Kappa Tau Alpha! 

Inductees and professors in the MJD department (from left, adjunct Professor Mike Donoghue, Professor Jon Hyde, Professor Traci Griffith, Professor Jerry Swope and son Henry, me, Colin Ellis, Chris Moskal, Professor David Mindich, and Professor Kimberly Sultze)
Getting ready for the Phi Beta Kappa secret handshake! (Yes, I'm serious)

Me and my parents!

My sister Katie and me. 

From left, Adrianna, Anthony, President John Neuhauser, me and Jill. 

Uncle Tim and Aunt Jackie and me. 

Professor Dameron from the History dept. and me.

If you have any questions about my life at Saint Michael's College, please do not hesitate to email me ( or Tweet me (@LizMurraySMC)!

Ciao xoxo

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Design and Title

Hi everyone,

As you can probably see, I gave my blog a bit of a facelift and I changed the title.  I hope you like it!

My reason for changing the title is simple: even though I defined myself as a journalism major for my first few years at St. Mike's, I can't define myself as that anymore.  I am technically a double major in media studies, journalism and digital arts and history, so the title seemed a bit misleading.  "Wonderings and Wanderings" seemed a bit more relevant since the mission of the blog is to tell you all about what I think about St. Mike's and what I do here.

Again, I hope you like the new layout.  If you have any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to Tweet me (@LizMurraySMC) or email me (

Unfortunately, Formspring has announced that it will be shutting down its site, so any final questions can be sent via that site until March 31. Until then, please feel free to contact me that way as well (lizmurray3).

Ciao for now!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Break!!

Hi everyone!

I am currently on my Spring Break, so I decided to take the opportunity to tell you about current happenings.  As much as I wish I was lying on a tropical beach or exploring a land where the sun always shines, I must tell you that is not at all how my Spring Break has panned out.

I traveled home for the first half of Spring Break, bringing my two friends Suyeon and Akane with me for the trip.  It was a very relaxing first half – and the weather was actually pretty warm for Massachusetts at this point of the year! We slept late every day, made homemade pancakes one morning, spent time with my family and went shopping.  Even though there was not a lot to do (and even less to do without the use of a car before 2:30 since my sister used it for school), we were still able to have a nice visit.  We did manicures one evening and hair curling another evening, and we watched movies every night! It was tons of fun and really relaxing.

First night home (from left, Suyeon and Akane)!! Petting Chloe and visiting with family :)  
Grocery shopping! 

Curled hair and red lipstick! Such gorgeous girls!

Selfies in the backseat of Uncle Tim and Aunt Jackie's car

So much fun :) 

Now, I am back at St. Mike's for the remainder of my break.  It is crunch time for my senior seminar project, as my book is due on April 3 (about 2 1/2 weeks from now).  As of right now, Gabbi and I are about 6 chapters (almost halfway) through writing our book – and we still have 2 more days of break! We've each been writing one chapter per day since I've come back to campus, and I think we're in pretty good shape.  We have a few interviews set up within the remaining time, so it should turn out to be a pretty good product!

Our working book cover.  That's my picture on the front! 

Other than that, I'm just using the remaining time during break to prepare myself for the storm of business that will hit when break ends.  I am applying for jobs and doing other homework as well with the free time I have.  Graduation is getting close, so it's time to get going on everything!

If you have any questions about my life as a student at St. Mike's, do not hesitate to email me ( or Tweet me (@LizMurraySMC).

Ciao for now!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Awesome Tap Club Happenings

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to share with you all a cool thing the Tap Club and I got to take part in on Friday, March 1: The Annual Dance Team Showcase! Below, you can watch a video, taken by my friend Lauren Simano, of our performance.  

In case you didn't know, the Tap Club was formed during my freshman year by me and my friend Mary Jo.  We both loved tap dancing and had different backgrounds in the dance form (I do mostly rhythm tap, and she does broadway style tap), and we wanted an outlet on campus for our interest.  We've come a long way since then, and I'm very proud of what the club has become! 

This particular dance was choreographed by Katie Copp and me, and it took a few weeks to put together.  Enjoy!! 

If you have any questions about my life at St. Mike's or clubs on campus, please do not hesitate to email me (, Tweet me (@LizMurraySMC) or ask me a question on Formspring (lizmurray3).  Hope to hear from you all soon! 

Ciao ~ 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Reuniting with Rui!

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the short hiatus. Things are REALLY super busy as my senior seminar project is due in just one month! WAH! *insert mini freak out here* By today next month, Gabbi and I will officially be done with our book and impending published authors!

Anyways, the real point of this blog is to quickly update on a pretty awesome thing that happened this past week:


Look!! It's Rui!!! :)

Even though it was only for a few days, it was still so nice to see her and catch up with her.  Now, I've spoken about Rui before on my blog, most notably as my Japanese friend who came home with me for Thanksgiving during my junior year.  When I left to go abroad, Rui left to go back to Japan.  We have corresponded a few times, mostly via Facebook, and have also been able to Skype once.  Other than that, it's been difficult for Rui and me to stay in touch, mostly because of the humongous time difference between here and Japan.  So, it has been about a year since I have seen Rui in person.

During her break from school, Rui decided to pay a visit to Boston and then to us up in Burlington! I cannot express how wonderful it was to see and bond with an old friend!!  My schedule was very busy last week, so our hangouts were mostly limited to my townhouse, but it was awesome nevertheless.  We bonded over my making ramen for the first time (yes... I am a college student), catching up on our lives since we left each other, and having fun with smartphone apps like Line and Snapchat that can help us stay connected even better while miles and miles away from each other.

When it came time for Rui to leave, the second good-bye proved even harder than the first.  However, I realized later when I received a Snapchat from Rui from Japan, that it wasn't a good-bye, but rather a "see you later."  Hopefully, I will be able to visit Rui in Japan someday (as well as all of the other Japanese friends I have made over the last few years)!  St. Mike's is awesome because I have been given the opportunity to make not only great American friends, but amazing international friends as well.  Every time I speak to them, I learn something new, and that, for me, is awesome.

If you have any questions about my life at St. Mike's, please do not hesitate to email me (, Tweet me (@LizMurraySMC) or ask me a question on Formspring (lizmurray3).

Ciao ~~ xoxo

Monday, February 18, 2013

What Is It Like to Be An Editor for the SMC Defender?

Hi everyone!

This week I thought I'd shake things up a bit.  My friend, senior seminar partner, fellow Defender editor and fellow blogger Gabbi Hall and I have created a vlog for you so we could talk about being on the Defender staff and what it's like to be an editor (as well as other random things).  This is my first vlog (though Gabbi is a vlog veteran) so I hope you enjoy it! It was fun to create and involved way too much giggling, so there will probably be more to come.  Thanks for watching!!

~ Liz

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thursday Night Glee Night


With new semesters often come new weekly rituals.  One of my new favorite weekly rituals happens on Thursday nights this semester.  At 9 p.m., my friends Suyeon (from South Korea) and Akane (from Japan) come over to my townhouse so we can all watch Glee together. Glee has been a favorite show of mine for a few years now, and Suyeon became interested as well when I showed her that the cast did Gangnam Style on the show.  Akane was interested in seeing the show too, so we decided to start having weekly Glee nights!

From left, Akane, Suyeon and me earlier in the semester at Starbucks in downtown Burlington.

The biggest difficulty so far is that we have not been able to figure out how to make the English subtitles on the television work.  Since English is a second language for both girls and characters on the show often speak fast or use American slang, it is much easier when they can see English subtitles.  To remedy this problem, we mute the television at each commercial break, and I then explain to them what is happening on the show if they do not understand.  Of course, some of the context gets lost because of this difficulty, but I try to fill in as many details as possible (even giving some background information when necessary – I am such a gleek!).

After the show ends, we often chat about interesting culture differences or watch videos on YouTube and giggle our heads off.  I love having international friends because not only are they lovely people, but it is also interesting to learn about their cultures and how they see American culture.  It's also a chance for me to explain American cultural things that they might not understand and learn some new words in either Korean or Japanese.  I am now able to say the word "eggplant" in at least 6 languages, though I'm not sure why just that word!

Needless to say, Suyeon and Akane have become some of my best friends, and I enjoy hanging out with them and the other international students so much! I am so excited for our Thursday Glee night tradition to continue.

If you have any questions about my life as a student at St. Michael's College, please do not hesitate to email me (, Tweet me (@LizMurraySMC) or ask me a question on Formspring (lizmurray3).


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Global Eyes (or "Globalize")

Hi everyone!

Lately, I've been going through all my pictures from my semester abroad to choose the three I have now entered into a study abroad photography contest at St. Mike's called "Global Eyes." Before I left to go abroad, the director of Study Abroad Peggy Imai told all of us students going abroad about the contest details.  Returnees are allowed to enter a maximum of three pictures into these categories:

- City Life
- Creative/Artistic
- Culture Most Distinct from SMC
- Landscape
- Nature and the Environment
- People and the Human Spirit
- Politics/Peace and Justice
- The Essence of Study Abroad

With those categories in mind, I photographed away, taking pictures not only on tours and of myself and my friends, but also of random people and details that others may not have noticed.  The judging will take place later in the spring, and contest photos are displayed in the Daily Room in Durick Library.

I took at least 1000 photos or more abroad, so needless to say, the elimination process was tough. With the help of some of my friends, I was able to narrow it down to the three pictures I would enter.  Here are the three I have chosen.  The descriptions accompanying them are also the descriptions I also provided on my entrance forms.


The day my tour group and I visited St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy, was a beautiful, sunny day.  Not only was I struck by the beauty of the architecture inside the basilica, but the light streaming through the windows created an almost heavenly atmosphere.  As my Czech professor spoke about the features of the inside of the church and urged us to go “steal pictures” of the deceased pope displayed in the church, I could not help but stare in wonder at the natural light that created such an awe-inspiring scene.

People and the Human Spirit:

In Venice, we stayed in a hotel near the main canal.  Every day, my friends and I would leave our hotel and see an old man playing an old, battered violin.  He would greet us with a polite “Buongiorno” in the morning while he played a beautiful solo, and he would still be there in the evening playing the same melody.  “Buona sera,” he would greet us (“Good evening”). He never collected much money in his violin case, but he would be there every day without fail in the same location playing the same tune. 

The Essence of Study Abroad: 

The John Lennon Wall in Prague is one of the only places in the world where it is completely legal to graffiti. Thousands of people visit the wall every year from all over the world, meaning the colorful drawings and beautiful messages, song lyrics and inscriptions are different every time one visits.  Most of the messages center around world peace, of which John Lennon was an active advocate during his lifetime. This wall is the very essence of studying abroad as people from different cultures all over the world come together to read the messages left by past travelers and write their own for future visitors. The wall connects people, whether they realize it or not, and it is that cultural connection and curiosity that is one of the most important aspects of studying abroad. 

To see last year's contest winners, please click here.

Hope you enjoy the photos! I'm really excited for the contest and curious to see what the other returnees entered.

If you have any questions about studying abroad or about my life in general at St. Michael's, do not hesitate to email me (, Tweet me (@LizMurraySMC) or ask me a question on Formspring (lizmurray3).


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Back to School: The "Last Semester" Edition

Hi everyone!

Sorry I've been MIA for so long. I've been crazy busy trying to adjust to my new schedule and get back into schoolwork.  I'm officially back for my last semester in college as an undergrad... EVER. As weird as it is, I've made it my mission to make the semester count by keeping up with classes, making some awesome final memories with friends, and doing activities I have not done yet (like going to the Mardi Gras parade in Burlington or going on LEAP).  So far, it's been a good two weeks back and I'm looking forward to the rest of the semester.

One big change from last semester is I have a new roommate, Amanda! My roommate Jill graduated a semester early, so Amanda moved in with us after returning from studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain.  I miss Jill A LOT, but Amanda is turning out to be a pretty awesome roommate.  Since pretty much everyone knows I will take just about any opportunity to talk about studying abroad, it has been really fun to bond with Amanda over all of our experiences.

From left, Tori, Amanda and me on the bus back from Burlington.

My class schedule this semester is pretty awesome, and I'm more than happy to say I am back in Bergeron again in full force.  Last semester, I had no classes in the journalism building (and really had no good reason to be there), so I felt pretty displaced.  I am taking both Social Media - Theory and Practice and working on The Defender again as well as spending time working on my senior seminar book with Gabbi, so I will be in Bergeron A LOT this semester. I am more than ok with that.  I really love all my journalism classes, especially the social media class. This is the first time St. Mike's is offering a social media class, so I am really excited about the skills I will gain from the class that I will be able to take with me into the 'real world'.  For example, we recently got to follow the Inauguration via Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of different news sites and later analyze how the different news sites used the tools.  It was really fun.  Never have I ever heard the words, "Ok class, grab a computer and log onto Facebook," until now.  The final class I am taking right now is called "Deviant Women," and it is also super interesting.  We are currently learning about witches, and will be learning about more women who 'misbehave' throughout history during the semester.

Lastly, I've been trying to spend time with friends.  This past Friday, I met up with my friends Suyeon (from South Korea) and Akane (from Japan), and we went downtown to Starbucks.  I was able to have dinner with them and more of their international friends downtown at the Asian Noodle Shop afterward.  It was a lot of fun, and definitely an interesting cultural experience!  Instead of giving the food recommendations, I was able to be given recommendations for food at the restaurant.  It was a little intimidating to have to use chopsticks in front of all my international friends, but it was so much fun in the end! I really enjoyed the experience.

It's a little blurry, but (from left) Ah Young, Suyeon, me and Akane on Church Street last Friday!

From left, Akane, Suyeon and me at Starbucks on our coffee date!

Also on Friday, I was able to cover a concert downtown at a place called Nectar's.  I went with another Defender editor who was writing the review, and I took pictures during the concert.  The coolest part was we got to get in for free because we were "with the press," and the music was REALLY good.  The main act was a band called Spiritual Rez, a reggae funk group based out of Boston, MA.  Not only  were they impressive, but their opening act (Richard James and the Name Changers) was also really good.  Of course, the way they caught my attention was by playing a lesser known Beatles song, "Taxman," and turning a two-minute song into a really funky eight-minute jam.

If you have any questions about my life at Saint Michael's College, do not hesitate to email me (, Tweet me (LizMurraySMC) or ask me a question on Formspring (lizmurray3), and I will do my best to answer them!

Ciao ciao for now :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sharing Christmas Traditions

Hi everyone!

Today I want to tell you about the special opportunity I had this Christmas.  As you may know, I am one of the founders of P.A.L.S (Partners Applying Language Socially) which pairs international students and four-year American students together based on similar interests to enrich the college experience for both partners. My P.A.L. Suyeon (from South Korea) and I have become GREAT friends, and I consider our friendship one of the many success stories we've had with P.A.L.S. so far.  Before the holiday break, Suyeon and I were sharing stories about our different holiday traditions.  This was when Suyeon told me that she had never had a real Christmas, which had always been a wish of hers.  Suyeon said it was because her family was not religious, so her parents never felt the need to celebrate Christmas.  This left Suyeon to have little celebrations with her friends, including decorating a mini-tree and exchanging presents.

So, my family and I made it our mission to give Suyeon her first real Christmas - an American Christmas! My family invited her home with us for about two weeks, and she became practically another member of our family.  Though Christmas activities were spread out over the two weeks, we still kept ourselves busy! Not only did we go Christmas shopping to find presents for family members, but we also...

Putting the first ornament on the tree! 


Me and Suyeon in front of the finished tree :) 

Making paper snowflakes!
Oooh how fancy! 

Our "special" snowflakes.

Homemade chocolate chip cookies before the oven...

...and after the oven. We didn't add enough flour, but they tasted pretty darn good! 
Decorating Christmas cookies :)  
Aunt Jackie helps out! 

Suyeon got to keep the first ornament she put on the tree! 
 Suyeon even came with my family and me to a Catholic mass on Christmas eve, and then to my aunt's house for a pre-Christmas gathering.  On Christmas morning, she got to share in the excitement of opening gifts, eating Christmas dinner, and spending quality time with the family.

Christmas morning! 

Christmas break wasn't all Christmas preparations though.  We also attended my sister's high school's production of A Christmas Carol and visited the fourth grade classroom in which my mom is a paraprofessional.  Suyeon is an English and Education major, so she told me it was really interesting to visit an American classroom.  The fourth graders were able to ask Suyeon about South Korea and her experiences in the US so far.  Suyeon didn't think the children would ask so many questions, but they really knew nothing about South Korea so they were very curious. Does Korea have television?.... Did you drive here?... Can you say something in Korean?  It was all very interesting to watch and listen to Suyeon's reaction afterward.

The best part of Suyeon's visit was the little things – the inside jokes, learning Korean, trying to find English subtitles for movies, trying out a Korean aloe face mask.  That is only the short version of the many memories though – there are too many to count! We both had so much fun together, and I think I can speak for Suyeon when I say she gained an American family.

Asian pose :) 

Me, Suyeon, John and Katie.

Suyeon and Dad.

Suyeon and Mom.

Uncle Tim, Suyeon and Aunt Jackie when we dropped Suyeon back off at SMC!
If you have any questions about my life as a student at Saint Michael's College, do not hesitate to contact me via email (, Twitter (@LizMurraySMC) or formspring (lizmurray3).