Tag Archives: Whistler

Flying Past Mountains… and other airplane thoughts

Today marks the end of my last college Thanksgiving break. I’m sure my dad is reading this and laughing outloud to himself, because my entire Senior year so far I’ve been saying everything is “the last first day of school,” “my last Fall in Boston,” “my last class registration” – basically just being overly-emotional and making a big deal out of everything… but, really, isn’t that what girls are supposed to do? If you’re a girl reading this, don’t try to tell me you didn’t do the same thing your senior year of high school and/or college…!

Anyway, I guess the real reason I’m putting such a big emphasis on the “last” of everything is that it’s pretty weird knowing I’m going to be graduating from college soon… in a few days less than 6 months, to be exact. And who knows where I’ll end up, what I’ll be doing (please hire me!). All I know is I’ve changed a lot since I first started college.  And one of the ways I’ve changed I just noticed today while I was at the airport.

When I first headed to college, I had only ever flown on a plane by myself once or twice before. I wasn’t very used to it. Walking around the airport, I felt like a little snowflake in the middle of a huge snowstorm (gotta love winter-themed similes!). I didn’t know my way around the airport, I took way too long taking my shoes off and my laptop out of my bag getting through security, and I definitely couldn’t entertain myself for 6 hours on the plane.

But not only have I learned to deal with airports and airplanes, I’ve grown to somewhat love traveling. Because I decided today (this morning, rather) that being a college student at the airport is actually very empowering!

Here’s why:

1. College students outnumber other people at the airport at many times during the year. I don’t have any actual statistics to prove this, but really, we all fly on the same days during the year, and there’s hundreds of thousands of us… college students, unite!

2. We fly a lot. And consistently. While many people only travel at random times during the year for vacation or business, college students generally (besides the occasional vacation or spur-of-the-moment trip) fly during the same times each year: August/September (going to school), Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, Spring break, then May/June (going home). Many of those are very busy times of the year, because of holidays. So we are pros at navigating our way through busy airports, we don’t get annoyed or fed up waiting in long security lines, and we know how to find the good food and places to sit in each terminal. So we can walk with a certain kind of swagger, knowing we’re airport pros, while we smile and nod at our fellow students throughout the airport… the real question is, will we still be airport pros after we graduate and become “real people”? Well, at least for that last flight home after graduation…!

3. As college students, we have many more ways to entertain ourselves on long flights than other travelers do. Because a.) we’re used to traveling (see #2), and b.) most of us (I guess I’m generalizing here, but at least this is true for me and most of my friends at Emerson) love technology, social media, the internet, etc… For example, right now I’m on a 6-hour flight to Boston. But instead of trying to force myself to sleep, I’m blogging! I’m also tweeting… and checking-in on Foursquare (yep, in the sky!)…

4. One of the main things that defines a college student is having homework – and what better place to do it than on the plane? I guess this really would fall under reason #3, but it’s not so much “entertaining” as it is just something to do… So while I personally am not doing my homework right now (blogging is much more fun, and I can do my homework later…!), I’m sure there’s many other students on my flight doing theirs!

5. As college students (or at least myself), we don’t exactly have much time to spend doing recreational reading. If we’re reading, it’s probably a textbook, or another book required for class. So for me, the airplane is one of the few chances I get to just simply sit down and read a book! Right now I’m reading the 4th Twilight book, Breaking Dawn (don’t judge!).

So all you college students out there, whether you fly home, train home, drive home, bus home, or walk home (does anyone really do that?), just know there’s tons of us out there! Like I said before, college students unite! I’ve seen at least 5 people from my high school class at the airport and on the plane so far today… it’s like a mini-reunion! So if I’m seeing college students I know, imagine how many there are that I don’t know! Just look for the young-ish looking people wearing sweatpants, sweatshirts, and leggings…!

And on that note, since it is my LAST THANKSGIVING BREAK EVER (!!!), I figured I should mention some of the things I’m thankful for. I’m sure I will forget at least a few of them (there’s so many!), but here’s 10 things I’m grateful for in my life, and specifically in this past year:

1. My family. Words cannot describe how much I love you all and how grateful I am for you guys (and how grateful I am that you actually read my blog posts…! That makes 3 people… haha)! You are THE most important people in my life.

2. My health (and my family’s health). I have a cold right now, but I’m not complaining… it could be much much worse.

3. My sorority sisters. You are always there for me, to support me, to laugh with me, to cry with me, or to just have fun with me!

4. The Olympics/Paralympics. And the people I worked with at both. This past February-March was probably the best 2 months of my life so far. Such an amazing experience! And to those of you I worked with (or worked for!), you are all amazing and I hope to work with you again in the future (London 2012, anyone?)! I brought my volunteer backpack on the plane with me…!

5. Technology. Ok, I know that sounds kind of superficial, but really… what would you do without the internet? Well, maybe you’d be just fine and dandy, but I don’t know what I would do without it! I mean, I’d be fine, but life would not be as fun or as productive! Thank you internet for Twitter, blogs, video blogs, and all the other fun things that I love (and hope to have a job related to someday)! And thank you for the free wifi I’m using right now on the plane…!

6. Emerson. Yes, I have my complaints (but so does any college student about their school!), but really, Emerson has been great to me in this last year. I got to take a semester off but still receive credit for a directed study about the Olympics (in which I blogged and video blogged about the Games), and now the school has let me skip prerequisites to get into a 300-level Marketing class (I wish I could just magically have a Marketing major…!), and skip prereqs to get into the capstone I wanted for my Broadcast Journalism major. So thank you, Emerson, for letting me bend the rules a bit to get everything I want out of my expensive education!

7. Airplanes. I had to say it. I definitely couldn’t go to Emerson if airplanes didn’t exist… or do a bunch of other amazing things!

8. Beautiful views. I have never appreciate how beautiful Seattle is until going to college, and especially this past year. Also, the beautiful views on the Boston Esplanade, and from the airplane!

thanks again, technology, for letting me take this picture on the plane!

9. Whistler. Thank you for the Olympics, Thanksgiving breaks, and too many days of snowboarding to count (especially the days with the fam!).

Pops, the (not-so) little bro, and me on the mountain yesterday! We missed ya, mom!

10. And last, but definitely not least, all the necessities in life. The ones most of us take for granted most of the time. Housing, clothes, food (my personal favorite), and everything else we need to get by in life. Take a moment today to remember and appreciate everything you have in your life, because there’s tons of others out there who don’t have those things!

I hope you all had a great (LAST or not last…) Thanksgiving break! Let me know some of the things you’re thankful for in the comments! Or just what you did over your break…!

— CQB

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8.5 months of living the dream…

In the words of my dad, I’ve been “living the dream” since December… that’s a long time! And now, tomorrow, this Dream Life is finally officially coming to an end, and it’s time to go back to school!

The Dream really began a couple years ago, when I first learned that the Olympics were coming to Whistler in 2010. I did some calculations in my head, and figured out that the Olympics were going to be during my 2nd semester of my junior year in college… which is when a lot of people study abroad. So I told my parents I was going to take that semester off (which at this point was at least 2 years away), and work at the Olympics, and then I put that thought in the back of my mind… and my parents laughed.

Then one summer day in 2008, I found the online application for Olympics volunteer positions. Of course, since it was summer, I had free time, and I figured it couldn’t really hurt to apply… so I did! My parents just smiled and nodded…

Then 10 months ago, I found out that I had been offered a volunteer position for the Olympic and Paralympic News Services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (although I didn’t learn how to correctly say the title of the Olympics until I started working…!). I was so excited, I couldn’t stand it! I immediately forwarded the position offer e-mail to my parents, with the note “Ahh! Now what do I do?!” – let’s just say, their responses weren’t exactly in favor:

Dad: “You tell them that you can no longer do this!   You are the best!  What an exciting life you have today, and ahead of you.”

Mom: “Congrats on getting the Olympics gig — just don’t quite think it’s worth skipping a whole semester of school for….”

Well, of course, being the determined (or stubborn) girl I am, I didn’t listen to their words of advice. I knew there was some way I could figure out how to get to the Olympics! So I went to the Emerson advising center, met with my advisor, did everything I possibly could to figure it out! Eventually, with the help of my advisor, I set up a directed study for a journalism elective, that allowed me to receive credit for going to the Olympics, if I blogged, vlogged, and wrote some papers about my experience. I also figured out that I could somehow still graduate on time (still a mystery to me!) if I took that semester off.

So there it was! I was all set to go to the Olympics! But then I realized… what do I do with my apartment?! I clearly didn’t want to pay for the 8 months I wasn’t going to be in Boston… well, after a very long, obnoxious, and frustrating process of posting the apartment on every site I could think of, having people look at the apartment, and having 2 different people almost take it… my very nice landlord for some reason decided to let me out of my lease (phew)! I doubt he will ever read this, but landlord, if you’re out there, you’re a life saver! Or a Dream Life saver…!

So finally, about 3 days before Christmas break, and about a month and a half before the Olympics began, I finally really KNEW I was going to the Olympics! Woo! And that is when the Dream Life officially began…!

I spent my winter break at home in Seattle not having to worry about going back to school at the end of January like all of my friends. Instead, I was “worrying” (aka being super excited) about when I was going to attend Olympics training, pick up my volunteer uniform, and pick up my accreditation, Opening Ceremony dress rehearsal ticket, and free bottle of Olympic wine… Yes, it was a very stressful break! (ha)

Then finally it was time for the real Dream to begin! The Olympics and Paralympics combined were the best 29 days of my life. Really, I don’t think they’ll ever be topped (unless I make it to London 2012! Which I will… mark my words). They were the busiest, craziest, most fun, most sleepless, most ridiculous days I have ever had, and can ever imagine having. I worked so hard, learned so much, and had so much fun! I didn’t even think about school the entire time, because it didn’t even seem like school mattered anymore – I was out in the real world, doing exactly what I want to do with my life, and meeting amazing people while doing it!

Of course, all good things must eventually come to an end… so soon, at the end of March, there I was, back in Seattle, with nothing to do but relax and be depressed about the end of the Olympics and Paralympics…! Then I decided I wanted to do the Emerson College Los Angeles Program that summer, even though I was signed up to do it in Spring 2011. But, once again, being the determined (stubborn) girl I am, I figured it out, and soon began the process of searching for LA internships!

I ended up interning at NBC News, which was an amazing experience (read my post about it here: https://cassidyscoverage.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/the-update-blog-continues/ )

My summer in LA was so much fun, so much hard work, and so many learning experiences. But, at last, it was time to return to Seattle, and time for me to face the reality of heading back to school.

Now, after 8 months, I returned to Boston in the middle of August. It wasn’t time for classes to start though, not yet. I came back 3 weeks early to work for the Emerson Channel, making TV shows to air during Freshmen Orientation Week. I hosted a show called the Common Agenda (watch here: http://word.emerson.edu/ca/), anchored the news segment on Good Morning Emerson (watch here: http://word.emerson.edu/gme/), and was a correspondent on Backyard Boston for the On the Menu segment (the best segment… I just went around Boston getting free food and being on-camera! My dream…! watch here: http://word.emerson.edu/byb/category/on-the-menu/).

But now, after making lots of new friends at the Emerson Channel, making some great TV shows (if I do say so myself), learning to Assistant Direct a live show (ahh! So scary/stressful, but so fun!), Floor Directing a live show (again, so fun!), eating way too much free food, and spending way too many late nights in the Emerson DPL, Orientation Week is over. And for all of us Emerson students, whether you’re a new kid or a senior (like me… ahh!), the end of Orientation means one thing… the beginning of classes – tomorrow!

Honestly, it’s going to be a bit tough going back to class. I’ve gotten really used to not being a student – for the past 8 months, the work I’ve been doing has been out in the real world, and though I haven’t gotten paid for any of it, it still seems real. It’s all been exactly what I want do in my life. But it’s time to suck it up, and go headstrong into this last year of college. Time to see how many more things I can learn, so that by May, I’ve gotten everything I can out of this place. Time to work on as many TV shows as possible, so that I’ll hopefully be able to get paid for doing these same kinds of things eventually…! And time to have fun, because once you graduate, that’s not allowed, right? (nah)

So, mom and dad, don’t worry, I’ll get that diploma. And sorry for being so stubborn (determined). Bet you won’t doubt me next time I say I’m going to do something! haha…

And Dream Life, it’s been a great run, but although this is goodbye for now, I’ll be back… right after I graduate!

– CQB

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Paras Power! (aka the Paralympics are really cool!)

The Paralympics are half over… already! So here’s an update on what I’ve been doing. I am in awe at these amazing Paralympians. The athletes have fought through so much just to be here in Whistler/Vancouver. All I’m fighting through is the weather!

(March 17th)

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The Paralympic Torch has arrived!

I went to the Paralympic Torch Relay Celebration in Whistler. The torch was passed between 40 torchbearers, before finally lighting the Whistler Live! stage cauldron. The spirit of the Paralympics has reached Whistler, BC — and it is amazing.

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It’s Over?!

So the Olympics are officially over. And I’m home. In Seattle.

Now, normally I would make a video blog (or vlog) about how I’m feeling and what I’m doing right now, but that will have to wait, because I have the biggest bags under my eyes, and I look like I haven’t slept in a month (which is kind of true). I doubt any of you would want to see me in front of a camera at this point…!

The past month has been amazing in many ways. And it has also been the busiest month of my entire life. And, if you know me at all, you know that for me to say it was the busiest month of my life – that’s saying a lot. I am always a very busy person – I love being busy. I love the feeling of going from one thing to the next, and surviving solely on adrenaline. But the Olympics brought a whole new meaning to that!

In the past month, The Whistler Sliding Centre (where I worked during the Games) has hosted 13 days of competition, including 30 competition runs, and over 48 training runs. Combined, that’s about 100 hours of events. Add to that 15 minutes of Mixed Zone time for each athlete/team after each run, and then an hour for the press conferences after every medaling event… That’s a lot of time.

here's the Whistler Sliding Centre at its most crowded

There’s more clock time I could add to that tally, but I think that’s enough to give you a sense of what the past month of my life has been like.

In one word – it’s been wonderful.

Right now, I have swollen glands in my throat, a terrible headache, I’m dizzy, my ears haven’t stopped ringing/throbbing for 2 days, and I’m more tired than I’ve ever been. But I’m not complaining. I’m loving it. To me, my physical and mental state right now just shows how hard I worked.

I did work hard! I learned so much, and met so many great people in the journalism industry who gave me some great advice. My coworkers are all great people whom I hope to stay in touch with (maybe we’ll even see each other at future Olympics!). I met many broadcasters and print journalists from newspapers and television stations all over the world, and they all had something different to say about the Games and the journalism industry.

Here’s a few of the things I learned:

  1. How to take notes fast – I’ve been typing on a computer since I can remember, so I haven’t been hand-writing anything much lately. But in the Mixed Zone, I did not have a voice recorder or a computer, so it was up to my hands, a pencil, and a notepad to get quotes from all of the sliding athletes. My first day on the job, I had a very hard time writing down quotes quickly. And on the really cold days at work, my hands couldn’t still couldn’t accomplish the task very well. But, cold or not, by the end of the Games, my brain and hands learned how to get quotes, and write them down fast.
  2. Be someone people want to work with – now, I obviously already knew this; it’s common sense. But the Olympic Games reinforced this. People in the Mixed Zone and the Venue Media Centre who weren’t nice to work with, frankly, weren’t as successful at their jobs. And in a situation like the Olympics, you’re working with the same people for 17 days straight, and if someone is unpleasant to work with at the beginning – you can be sure it will affect the success of everyone’s jobs by the end.

    this is how crowded the Mixed Zone is -- everyone's squeezed in together!

  3. Never be afraid to talk to someone – whether it’s interviewing an Olympic athlete, breaking the ice with a shy coworker, or networking with a professional in your career field. As long as you approach people prepared and with a smile, it never hurts to say something or ask a question. Oh, and on the subject – I also learned not to be star struck by athletes, oranyone else. The athletes I spoke with at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games were all so nice and down to earth. Some of them had a bit of an ego, and others had only started their respective sport 18 months ago and were in awe of all the talented athletes around them. Some of them may have been even more nervous about talking to me (and the rest of the media) than I was about talking to them!

Since I am extremely tired, as mentioned above, I should leave you all with those words of wisdom, and head to bed. This next week, before I head back up to Whistler for the Paralympic Winter Games, will be the time for me to sleep, sleep… and sleep. I need it.

Because, in the words of my dad, “[I] worked [my] frickin’ butt off.”

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Last Day of the Olympics!

It’s my last day working at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and I’m sad! But excited for an excellent last day. Right after I woke up this morning, here’s how I felt about it…

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More medals for Canada! And the Roots!

I got to go to the Victory Ceremony where Team Canada received a Gold and Silver medal in Women’s Bobsleigh! Then, The Roots performed! Here’s what I had to say about it.

(February 25th)

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