September 5, 2009

Boston Logan-->Halifax Stanfield-->2.5 hour Layover---Halifax-->Moncton-->Sackville

It is 8:20A.M. on September 5th, 2009 and if everything has gone as planned I am departing Boston Logan International Airport for Halifax, Nova Scotia on a plane similar to this one:


Departs: 08:20
Arrives: 10:47
Duration: 1h 27min
Aircraft: CRJ
Change plane in Halifax Time to connect: 2h 38min

Then to Moncton on a smaller 18 seat Beech 1900D.


Departs: 13:25
Arrives: 14:04
Duration: 39min
Aircraft: BEH


If things have gone as planned (but they never do) I'll be waking up right about now to leave in time to catch the plane from Boston to Halifax, another plane from Halifax to Moncton, and a ride from a friend back to Sackville.

I'll once again have relocated from Boston (Population of Greater Boston: About 4,500,000) to Sackville, New Brunswick (Population: 5,411).

It was nice to be able know, buy clothes (you can't buy socks in Sackville...) and be somewhere besides on campus, "downtown", or George's Roadhouse (although George's is a great place to be with friends (and as Entertainment Writer for the Argosy I'll be there more often)) but I'm ready for go back to studying, learning, any most importantly spending time with my friends, who I've missed these last nineteen weeks.

I'm about to leave on this journey...I'll see you on the other side.

As I did in December when I returned to Sackville I posted a song from a great list of 30 Songs That Capture The Spirit Of Travel. Here's two more (Proud Mary by CCR and The World At Large by Modest Mouse):

September 4, 2009

Last Day at Berklee

Today, September 4th, 2009 is my last day at Berklee. Right around now I'll be leaving 939 Boylston Street (accessed through the 921/Uchida building) after the Life on Campus Production and Kick-Off Carnival have ended and have been cleaned up. But this post was written before then...because I'm going to be getting home from my last day of work around 11pm, finishing my packing, and leaving the house around 6am the next morning to catch a plane from Boston to Halifax, a layover (always a joy), and then another flight from Halifax to Moncton

I've worked on average a bit more than 35 hours a week at Berklee...which works out to about 18 hours more a week than I was in classes at Mount it was an adjustment...and it'll be another one soon coming up. My time at Berklee (about 4 months) was pretty interesting...being able to get a feel for Boston and how the students at this collection of buildings in Boston's Back Bay live compared to the residential campus of Mount Allison. If I hadn't mentioned it earlier I have no musical or artistic ability whatsoever so even looking at a specialty school like Berkee never crossed my mind...but I can say that if I had enough talent and motivation as Berklee students have I think I would be going there.

At this moment, 10 P.M., I'm probably saying goodbye for the last time to all of my coworkers (who it's been a pleasure to work with) and heading out the door of 921 Boylston Street and walking through the Prudential Center to catch the 10:35 Needham Heights Commuter Rail home. I'll be thinking of how fortunate I've been for the chance to work at Berklee, and then I'll turn my thoughts to tomorrow...and taking off for my return trip to Halifax at 8:20 A.M.

September 1, 2009

"Mount Allison demolishes 2 heritage buildings"

Apparently I'm not the only one to have taken notice to Mount Allison tearing down old buildings. The Canadian Broadcasting Channel, Canada's national public radio and television broadcaster wrote a story about the demise of the heritage buildings. Earlier it was a headline on but has now been related to the regional news section.

September 1, 2009

Mount Allison demolishes 2 heritage buildings

By CBC News
CBC News

Two 99-year-old houses on the Mount Allison University campus in Sackville, N.B., were demolished last week after the university could not find a buyer for the historic buildings.

Two 99-year-old houses on the Mount Allison University campus in Sackville, N.B., were demolished last week after the university could not find a buyer for the historic buildings.

Baxter and Sprague houses were put up for sale earlier this summer by the university but a condition of any potential sale was that the buyer would have to move the homes before the start of this semester.

A deal could not be reached and now the only signs of their past are an empty lot and a mud puddle.

The destruction of the heritage buildings leaves some Sackville residents worried about the future of other historic houses on the university campus.

Matthew Holmes, a Mount Allison alumnus and Sackville resident, said he's upset that this summer, as in previous summers, more of the university's old houses have been torn down.

"A lot of these great old character buildings are no longer with the campus," he said.

Virgil Hammock, a Sackville councillor and former head of the fine arts department at the university, said the university needs to protect these old houses as a part of its history.

"We won't have history if we don't maintain these kind of properties," Hammock said.

"The university's done a splendid job at inventing history on the main campus where they took a lot of '60s buildings and tarted them up and they look very good, but they're not really historic buildings."

Reducing environmental footprint

While some people are encouraging the university to maintain the aging buildings for historic reasons, the university said they are being taken down for environmental reasons as the campus tries to reduce its footprint and its energy consumption.

Gloria Jollymore, the vice-president of university advancement at Mount Allison, said the closing of the houses was planned as part of the campus facilities master plan.

"Part of that plan is to maintain the historical look and feel of the campus, then also to reduce the physical footprint of the campus so that we're not consuming the same energy that we did at one time," she said.

Another house around the corner from Baxter and Sprague houses has also fallen into disrepair.

But rather than tear it down, next year the university plans to renovate and turn The Anchorage house into a student residence.

Air Canada Itinerary

So I was checking out Air Canada's newly redesigned "Flight Status Tool"...the description reads as follows:
Our Flight Status feature has undergone a complete makeover.
Aside from several purely aesthetic improvements that make the new Flight Status interface more appealing and user-friendly, you now have two ways to search for your flight:
  • You can enter your flight number if you have it handy.
  • If you don’t, just enter your travel date and origin and destination, and we’ll list all the flights that match your itinerary.
And with handy new features like information on yourtype of aircraft and the most up-to-date weather for both your departure and arrival city, you’re pretty much set to go.
For the moment, though, only flights operated by Air Canada or Jazz can be entered to get flight status. If your flight is operated by another airline, you can still view its status by using our former Flight Status tool.
I try to be I'll say that the reality on Saturday comes close to what the itinerary states...and the weather is as perfect as they're forecasting. For most people getting to Sackville from afar will require layovers...and an overpriced taxi from Moncton to Sackville...but that's another story. Anyways, here's what Air Canada is telling me is the plan for Saturday. We'll see how things turn out.

Class of 2013: Up to 850 Students

I've been trying for a while to find out how many frosh there are this year and couldn't find an answer until now. Over the summer the estimate was 730 The expected number of entering students as of Thursday was "Up to 850". . Congratulations Mount Allison Admissions.

Sackville Town Council...really?

At Mount Allison most students don't really have any dealings/problems with town council. But recently the council recently decided to delay discussing allowing the school to play loud music 30 minutes longer than the usual 11pm noise ordinance allows. I don't know him, but it seems that local resident" Bill Evans is the only person in the article that has any sense. Mount Allison students do “bring millions of dollars into this community,” are only asking for a short time extension and there really is no reason why they shouldn’t be accommodated...for thirty minutes.

First-class bash at Mount Allison Univeristy leads to concerns from Sackville community
The Sackville Tribune Post

More than 800 new students are heading to Sackville this fall and will kick off their university life on Aug. 31 with the much-anticipated orientation week at Mount A, jam packed with activities and events to keep the incoming class entertained from dawn ‘til dusk.
Barbecues, karaoke, Mountie Olympics, a huge water fight, scavenger hunt, a hypnotist, and much more are included in this year’s orientation line-up, which will run from Aug. 31 right through until the Sept. 12 weekend.
But one of those activities sparked concerns last week from members of town council, who are worried the event will again disrupt a number of residents in the community.
The annual ‘first-class bash’ is planned for Sept. 8 at its usual location next to the former student centre on the corner of Main and Salem Streets. But that doesn’t sit well with members of town council, who had requested a change in venue for the concert following complaints from neighbours after last year’s concert.
Coun. Merrill Fullerton said it was his understanding that the event was to be relocated to the quad next to the university library.
But orientation chair Brent Williams said during conversations with university administration, it was decided that the quad was not a suitable venue for the event because equipment trucks wouldn’t be able to access it without causing damage to the property and there were too many trees that would affect visibility.
“So we decided to put it back in the same spot,” said Williams, who was on hand during town council’s meeting last Monday night to answer questions about upcoming orientation events.
A handful of residents in the vicinity of the concert site complained last year about the “excessive” noise level stemming from the music, which starts in the late afternoon during sound checks and runs through until 11:30 p.m.
“The decibels have to come down,” said Coun. Mike Tower.
Due to the lateness of the event, town council is asked every year to approve a request for an exemption from the noise bylaw, from the usual 11 p.m. deadline until 11:30 p.m.
But this year, that request has been put on hold by town council until they have further discussions with Mount Allison administration about re-locating the concert.
Local resident Bill Evans, however, pointed out that moving the bash to another site will only mean other residents will be disturbed by the noise.
“It’s going to be loud no matter where it is,” said Evans following the council meeting.
He also pointed out that the students, who “bring millions of dollars into this community,” are only asking for a short time extension and sees no reason why they shouldn’t be accommodated.
“You’re dickering over a half-hour,” he said, noting that the event will still run at least until 11 p.m.
Student Administrative Council president Mike Currie said that the orientation committee will be taking measures this year to let people in the neighbourhood know about the upcoming concert and thanking them for their patience.
Meanwhile, the orientation activities will also include a corn boil on Bridge Street on Saturday, Sept. 5, an event which will be hosted by the town of Sackville to “welcome our new students to the community,” said Coun. Joyce O’Neil.

P.S. This is post #200.

More Residence Information from Mount Allison University

Lately a few e-mails have been sent from the school: ads for part time work, minor repairs, building demolitions, wireless router upgrades, etc...

I'm not sure if you caught that...but Mount Allison is tearing down Baxter and Sprague. Baxter and Sprague? You ask. Yes, exactly. They haven't been used for anything in the past year to my knowledge. If you have the time you can check how this might fit in to Mount Allison's Master Plan. I think it may be fair to assume that a major reason for the demolition is the simple fact that the school doesn't want to pay to maintain buildings that aren't being used.

There are a few interesting things that Mount Allison has decided to make public. The first I'll share is a website about Campbell Hall. Mount Allison has done a lot in terms of planning for residences on campus. When Campbell was in the planning stages one of pages about the new dorm (still available as of this posting) stated that compared to Palmer, Campbell Hall is a    (bold in original)

A Major Improvement

The new building will be better suited to the lifestyle needs and trends of today's students.
Click for larger image.
Click on graphic for larger view
Besides providing larger rooms equipped with new furniture, the new residence will address:
Privacy Requirements, the preference for single rooms and private washroom access. The new residence will be all single rooms, each with direct access to a semi-private washroom. Currently, Palmer has open-style washrooms, with stall-type toilets and showers.

The school decided to be proactive in upgrading its residence facilities because of competition. (bold in original)

Building the New Residence

One of the key things parents and potential students look for when choosing a university is the residence facilities.
Click on for larger view.
Click on graphic for larger view
We are competing with other Canadian undergraduate universities for the top students. Mount Allison must be proactive in keeping its facilities upgraded or we risk losing students to other universities that may be better suited to their residential needs.

The other interesting page is the Facilities Plan for the foreseeable future. It looks a little something like this. If you dig a litte deeper into the planned phases you'll learn that Mount Allison is planning on building two new residences.

Planning for Success - Key Elements

Implementation of the Campus Master plan will enhance classrooms, learning facilities, recreational and student life areas as well as residences.
The crux of the Facilities Master Plan is to center the campus physical environment around three primary areas:

A Residential Area

A Consolidated Academic Area

A Centralized Student Life Area
MTA Students in the Quad.
A Residential Area

Drawing of Residential Area Plan.

• On-the-meal-plan residences will be concentrated on the north side of campus to provide convenient access to the newly-renovated Jennings Hall.

• Off-the-meal-plan residences may be created by renovation or new construction on the south side of campus if future demand warrants.

A Consolidated Academic Area

The central block of campus will be dedicated to academic and administrative functions that are compatible in nature and promote easy access between the faculties and departments of our multi-disciplinary university.

Drawing of Academic Area Plan.
A Centralized Student Life Area

Drawing of Student Area Plan.
The area south of York Street will contain all of the student life activities on campus including the University Centre, bookstore, wellness facility, recreation and athletic facilities and the main sports fields.
Creation of these three areas will be accomplished by a sequential series of renovation/construction projects which can be grouped into four major phases, which are described on the subsequent pages.

Thank you, random stranger from Rock Springs, Wyoming

Someone from Rock Spring, Wyoming visited my blog post about Metric. That seems like more information than you would ever want to know...but I mentioned earlier how...confusing it was to have someone from Taipei reading about Bunnyhugs (Sask. slang for hoodies) and nobody from Wyoming reading posts about current news in Wyoming. Now finally someone from each state. Not a huge accomplishment in this day and age...but now there isn't a Wyoming-size eyesore on the US map. Here's the rest of the stats if you're curious: