Sunday, May 1, 2011

Every end has a new beginning

As we all know, the semester is coming to a close for most students IU. And while some are graduating and moving on to jobs in their respective career fields, others are once again entering the summer job market to further their work experience and hopefully make garner future references for job applications. And for all of my loyal followers, I hope my posts have been entertaining and informative throughout the year and that any questions you may have had about IUB were answered at one time or another. It has been a wonderful opportunity to take you on a weekly tour of the inner workings of my time at IU, and I hope that I have sparked interest in what IU, and the local community, has to offer it's students.

Thanks again for reading and I hope to see you around campus next year.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Moving Out, Moving On

It is now that time again when final exams are looming over our heads and the smell of sweet freedom is in the air as we prepare to say goodbye to yet another school year. The only thing that is really on our minds of course is the moment after our last exam when we finally get to pack up the moving van and begin our treks back home. For many people this could be a daunting task, however, if you have the proper organization and planning skills it will go rather quickly and seem effortless. Here are a few tips to make moving out of your residence hall a little bit easier:  

1) Plan Ahead
             If you decide whether or not you want to stick around Bloomington and find a semi-inexpensive sublet, there are plenty for the taking and can be found through any concise google search. Not staying in Bloomington but need your belongings stored? No problem! There are several college student friendly companies around town that offer moving and storage for the summer and do not charge and arm and a leg. Such businesses as Guys & Dollies, Soft Touch Moving and All American Storage specialize in all your moving needs and deal exclusively with IU students. Lastly, if you are definitely going back home for summer you should schedule a time with your parents when you believe residence hall traffic will be at a minimum. 

2) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
    Sift through your belongings and make piles of which things should go to Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. and which should be tossed into recycle bins. If you saved your moving in boxes like a good eco-friendly student then you can simply reuse them to move out, thus saving some trees in the process. And if you’re an avid online shopper, hopefully you saved all those seemingly annoying air filled bags that filled out that grossly oversized box that your orders came in, as they are quite handy when trying to figure out hose you’re going to get picture frames and TVs home for the summer. Although, if the temptation was too great and you succumbed to stabbing them with scissors just to make noise, use some shirts and/or bath towels instead.

3) Organize
            Now that you have your summer planned and you have sifted through your belongings, you should be at the stage of organizing. Suitcases, boxes and other storage containers are all helpful when moving, but make sure they are sturdy or else you could have potential problems later on. Finding the best way to package a mixed assortment of items is never easy, but my advice is to try and keep similar/complimentary items together. For example, if you have a TV, you most likely have a remote, power cable, coax cable and various other cables that go along with it… Keep all of those things together, you’ll lose your mind a few weeks later when you don’t have a remote to change the channel because you decided to back it in a box labeled “Miscellaneous Stuff.”
I would imagine by now the wheels are turning and you’ll figure out some other creative ways to package all of your treasures for a safe journey home, but don’t forget to keep things that you use often and together in the same box!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Griffy Lake Activities

As the final weeks of the semester come and go, everyone is counting down the days until they officially done with class and freed from hours of homework, studying, and anxiously waiting to take their finals. Although, everyone needs a change of pace to get away from the rigors of school work, and what better way to do than go out on the water on a warm, spring afternoon. 
At just $6 an hour to rent a small boat, kayak or canoe, it’s an inexpensive way to burn off some energy, explore the outdoors, and give your mind a rest from studying.

The Griffy Lake Boat House is open from April to October on the weekends and May to September all week. No prior boating, kayaking or canoeing experience is necessary to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of nature at Griffy Lake.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Annual RSO Fashion Show

As yet another school year nears the end, special events are happening all over campus. This weekend’s signature event was the Retail Sales Organization’s (RSO) fashion show at the Indiana Memorial Union. The show featured works from aspiring designers studying Apparel Merchandizing and Fashion Design at IU. 

For those not familiar with the workings of a real life fashion show, like me, the event was very easy to understand and enjoy. Models donned various works from the participating designers and walked the U-shaped runway for everyone in the audience to see. And with a full house anxiously awaiting the models to appear one after another, the atmosphere nearly had me convinced that I was in New York watching a high profile show with world renowned designers.

Unaware of the true levels of dedicated talent and creativity that goes into making fashionable clothing, the annual RSO fashion show has convinced me that clothing does not magically appear on the rack at a clothing store. Seeing the enthusiasm and attention to detail present in the production of the clothing and the event, one can only appreciate the work that these students have done throughout the year. And the best part of it all, the annual RSO fashion show is an energy filled experience that anyone can come and enjoy regardless of their interest in fashion, and admission is free.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kirkwood Observatory Open House

For many students at IU, the Spring season offers a forgotten opportunity to break out of their dorm rooms, take a break from studying, and explore campus. Although it can be somewhat brisk at night during the Spring semester, many exciting weekly activities are happening all across campus this time of year. One very rare and exciting opportunity that most students do not hear about is the weekly open house at the Kirkwood Observatory. Assuming the sky is clear, the Astronomy Department opens the Historic Kirkwood Observatory to the public every Wednesday evening from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

The Open House is a great time for anyone interested in star gazing, the solar system, or massive telescopes to stop in and ask questions and even peer through the historic 110 year old telescope. And while some may think that their limited Astrological knowledge may leave them clueless or helpless, the passionate faculty, staff and students of the Astronomy Department are always encouraging guests to ask questions.
Between the unique atmosphere offered by the historic building and the large telescope housed beneath the rotating dome, and the talkative nature of the friendly staff, the Kirkwood Observatory is well worth the trip across campus. 

To see if the Observatory will be open on a particular Wednesday, simply visit the Astronomy website,, to see the current status of an Open House event.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Day Away

With spring break over and the end of the school year still a few weeks away, taking a weekend trip out of town is a great way to get outside and enjoy the spring weather. There are many options around Bloomington; the only real challenge is deciding which direction you want to travel.

One option is to travel south on State Road 37 until you reach West Baden Springs, Indiana. Here you will find the historic West Baden Springs Resort. Just under two hours south of Bloomington, West Baden is an easy one day trip that won’t drain your gas tank or your wallet.

Access to the resort property is open to anyone, so no special permissions are necessary. And for those who prefer to be guided through unfamiliar places, daily tours are given by National Historic Landmark tour guides. These two-hour tours are a great way to see the property, inside and out, while learning about the rich history of the resort.

So if you and your friends are heading south for a weekend, stay on 37 and go to West Baden Springs for a walk through history. And don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants before you head back to campus.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Automotive Maintenance on Campus

Having a car on campus is one of life's necessities for many students, even with gas prices on the rise again, but this luxury still involves a little upkeep every once in a while. And as many college students with cars will attest, spending money on repairs or maintenance isn't usually a high priority so long as the engine starts and the wheels spin. But for those moments of ambitious automotive care, there are many resources around Bloomington to lessen the blow of keeping your car running smoothly.

With warm weather once again becoming commonplace in the weekly forecast, giving your car a fresh wash is never difficult to complete with four self-serve and five automatic car washes in the Bloomington area.

For those who like to keep their tires at the right pressure to maximize fuel economy and tread life, almost all Circle K gas stations around town offer free access to air hoses. Considering that other stations often charge $.25-$.75 for a measly minute or two of air, this seemingly insignificant resource is quite helpful and can save you a few dollars over the course of the year.

Leaving a car out in the cold weather is never easy on batteries and other electronic components that vehicles rely on to run properly. And with check-engine lights being triggered by anything from a loose gas cap to a dying transmission, it's difficult to know what you need to fix when these warnings illuminate your instrument panel. Luckily, most of the auto parts stores around Bloomington offer free check engine-light readings without any appointment or advanced notice. If you're lucky, the sensor can be simply reset or, if a part is needed, it can be purchased and installed on the spot.

And when things go beyond jumping a battery or changing out a flat tire, Bloomington has an abundance of trustworthy, competitively priced automotive repair shops to choose from. Everything from domestics to imports and tires to engines is available. So don't skimp too much on basic care for your car while at IU, there are plenty of ways to keep the costs low while still ensuring that your car is properly cared for.