The Pack https://thepack.unm.edu Student Stories at The University of New Mexico Mon, 06 Jul 2020 14:31:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 71725995 My Third of July in Santa Fe https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/my-third-of-july-in-santa-fe/ https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/my-third-of-july-in-santa-fe/#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2020 14:31:50 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17600 With COVID-19 cases rising, I knew this 4th of July would be different. Last summer I went to Blanding, Utah to meet up with an old high school friend and have a nice camping trip. Between the summer class, work and planning on leaving town soon, I needed a low-key, socially distant Independence Day celebration. […]

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With COVID-19 cases rising, I knew this 4th of July would be different. Last summer I went to Blanding, Utah to meet up with an old high school friend and have a nice camping trip. Between the summer class, work and planning on leaving town soon, I needed a low-key, socially distant Independence Day celebration. The solution was a day trip to Santa Fe with two close friends.

The Drive

Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico. I have visited twice before. The first time was for a day trip to explore downtown and the second time was to see Meow Wolf. It is about an hour’s drive on I-25. The trip always seems to go super-fast and I always wonder why I don’t go visit Santa Fe more often.

The Hike

The first stop was a small walking path by the Santa Fe River. We picked up coffee at Java Joe’s right before we headed toward the start of the path. There were a good number of people on the path. We made sure we took face coverings on the hike. It was a pretty short hike, but it was fun to get outside. The weather was really nice, and the path had lots of shade.

Lunch

The next stop on our trip was to take a walk downtown. We wanted to check out some of the outdoor shops. Right as we found a parking spot, it started to rain. We decided to just do a drive around downtown after the rain and grab lunch instead.

We ate at Taco Fundación. It was super good! I got some street tacos and we all ate outside under a patio covering to watch it rain. There were others out eating under the covering, but we all had at least one table between us.

Canyon Road

After lunch, we checked out Canyon Road. This is where there are a lot of art galleries and outdoor art exhibits in the same place. We were able to go in and out of galleries and look around. Some of my favorite galleries had paintings displaying magical realism or large sculpture gardens.

Heading Home

The last stop before we headed back to ABQ was Shake Foundation. We made the short drive back home and got dinner ready for a socially distant picnic with some friends in town for the Fourth.

My friends and I at Shake Foundation

Takeaways

This was a really fun trip and a great way to feel festive, stay socially distant, and still have fun. We always had face masks on, and we sanitized a lot. While we walked around on the hike and on Canyon Road, we made sure to leave lots of room between us and anyone else out if we had to cross paths. We also traveled with Clorox wipes and used them a good amount.

The trip did really highlight how traveling even an hour away has really changed because of coronavirus. But, all of the things we had planned made social distancing possible, and I still feel that I had the same amount of fun that I would have had if the virus wasn’t a concern.

I hope you all had a safe holiday and have found ways to have fun in a pandemic.

Anna

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Maxwell Museum Online https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/maxwell-museum-online/ https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/maxwell-museum-online/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2020 15:25:34 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17594 During the pandemic, UNM had moved to limited operations. This included closing the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology to the public. The museum is located on the central campus, west of the duck pond. I have found myself in the museum two or three times to check out the exhibits. The museum is free for everyone, […]

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During the pandemic, UNM had moved to limited operations. This included closing the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology to the public. The museum is located on the central campus, west of the duck pond. I have found myself in the museum two or three times to check out the exhibits. The museum is free for everyone, not just UNM students and they accept donations. As Maxwell closed its doors to the public’s in-person visits, they have added to their online exhibits.

Image of the Front of the Museum from Museum’s Website: https://maxwellmuseum.unm.edu/

The Online Exhibits

The current exhibits they have are “COVID-19: Concepts of Sickness and Wellness,” “2019 Chile Wars,” “Chinese Americans in New Mexico,” “China Then and Now,” and “Heritage New Mexico.” Each exhibit is opened on a new webpage. The exhibits layouts differ but most have multiple pages of information and images about the topic.

COVID-19: Concepts of Sickness and Wellness

The coronavirus exhibit was really cool to read about. The exhibit focuses on sickness and wellness throughout history and asks for the readers’ individual story. It also provides updates and pictures of current statistics and events associated with the pandemic today. The most interesting articles to me were under sickness where they included articles from The Navajo Times on previous epidemics.

I found the images depicting wellness dances such as The Grass Dance or The Jingle Dance super interesting. There was even a video of the Jingle Dress Dance. I also really liked learning how colonization led to the spread of disease (specifically the Rio Grande Drainage). All the pages include references which are great to use to do even more research. A really neat touch to the exhibit was asking the readers for their own anecdote of living during the pandemic. They intend to eventually publish the response in the exhibit.

Online Education

The museum also has really great links for expanding digital learning. Their education resources page has plenty of links and online print outs for home instruction. I checked out the “World Music and Folk Instruments” PDF which teaches the reader to make homemade instruments such as a rain stick or maracas. These print outs are in addition to some great handouts and worksheets that pertain to their museum exhibits and some interesting classroom curriculum and lesson plans.

Takeaways

I encourage you all to check an exhibit out. While we are all at home, teleworking, and social distancing, reading the articles and web pages associated with the online exhibits is a great way to pass time. Especially in a time where it seems like you can’t talk about anything else but what is in the news with friends or family, learning new facts from these exhibits can be a fun way to keep the conversation new and interesting.

Anna

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“Let’s Do a Wellness Check” https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/lets-do-a-wellness-check/ https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/lets-do-a-wellness-check/#respond Sun, 21 Jun 2020 20:50:00 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17581 One of the hosts of the podcast I listen to posted a tweet the other night. She checked in on her followers by asking them to do a “wellness check.” Basically, she asked, with everything that has happened (i.e. the pandemic and the protests) how are you doing? I have not been too active as […]

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One of the hosts of the podcast I listen to posted a tweet the other night. She checked in on her followers by asking them to do a “wellness check.” Basically, she asked, with everything that has happened (i.e. the pandemic and the protests) how are you doing? I have not been too active as a Lobo lately. It is hard to be really a part of the community when we all stay home, and any meetings are virtual. So, I am going to do a wellness check.

Where I am now

I am about to start week four of the summer semester. This marks the halfway point of the semester. I have one exam down and two more to go. I am also starting on the 13th week of living in my new house. I moved out of the dorms in March. While the day I moved off campus wasn’t the first day of the statewide stay-in-place, it is my indication of when COVID-19 started to change my day-to-day life.

Where I was before

In March, classes and my job moved to virtual platforms. I was spending all day in the house. I took up home workouts with my roommates and really tried to get out of the house for a weekend hike. For feeling like my days went by so slow, the rest of the Spring semester zoomed by.

The End of the Semester

While classes were online, I still felt connected to the UNM community. I still attended student organization meetings and met with advisors and mentors. After finals, it felt odd. I guess, somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought everything would go back to normal. It was probably the most uneventful end to the semester. I just went back to spending my days in my house and teleworking after classes were done.

The First Signs of Normalcy

The week summer classes started, my other job started to bring back everyone in phases. I had online classes, but I could go into the office to work. It felt like we were back on track to normalcy. Now, more businesses have been able to open. I see more people outside and walking around. I have been more cautious, but I try to go on walks and keep up the home workouts.

Takeaways

I want things to go back. Meeting up with my friends and starting to plan for the next semester with my student orgs. sounds really far away still. Even though I haven’t gone out much, I have found ways to reach out to friends and family. I try to wish them a good day or do a short check-in. So, I am doing good. I am healthy. I am safe. I would love to go hang with friends, volunteer, visit the salon, or practice yoga at a studio, but I will make the most of what I have right now.

Don’t forget to check in with yourself! It is an uncertain time and it is okay to feel not quite like yourself.

Anna

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What I Wish I Would’ve Known as a Freshman https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/what-i-wish-i-wouldve-known-as-a-freshman/ https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/what-i-wish-i-wouldve-known-as-a-freshman/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2020 15:50:00 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17577 Before I started at UNM, I vividly remember looking at blog posts that described things you should know as a freshman. As someone who has graduated and is naturally a reflective person, I decided to go full circle and make my own list of things I wish I would have known.  1. Don’t be afraid […]

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Before I started at UNM, I vividly remember looking at blog posts that described things you should know as a freshman. As someone who has graduated and is naturally a reflective person, I decided to go full circle and make my own list of things I wish I would have known. 

1. Don’t be afraid to branch out of your friend group. 

Quite a few people who went to my high school went to UNM. Because I was in a new city, it was natural to navigate back to what was normal. However, the whole point of college is finding yourself. And you can’t find yourself if you do not burst old boundaries. So, go meet new people.

2. Open a savings account. 

I had no idea what a savings account was when I came to UNM. Open one. If you have a job, put some of your paycheck in it automatically if you can. While you’re at it, learn that there are limits to transferring money from your savings account. 

3. Take every chance you have to participate in campus events. 

You are only an undergraduate once. Because of that, there is a limited amount of times you can do things before you leave that undergraduate window. In my situation, COVID-19 took a lot of final opportunities away. So, I am glad that I experienced them early on and did not wait for my last year.

4. Avoid Friday and 8 a.m. classes at all costs. 

I understand it is not always possible, but when it is—jump on this opportunity. 

5. The most fun comes from spontaneous outings. 

The fun part about moving away from home is your parents can’t tell you no. So, say yes to the late Wednesday night outings (as so long as they do not get in the way of your classes). 

6. Take professors, not classes. 

Find an enthusiastic professor and stick with them. Those classes can get you out of your comfort zone. 

7. Get to know your professors. 

They are people too. Also, you never know when a good letter of recommendation will come in handy (it’s a lot more often than you think). 

8. Don’t wait for your advisor to reach out to you. 

UNM has things like LoboTrax for a reason.  Track where you are at in your degree, and if you have questions, reach out to your advisor so you have a clear path and plan.

9. Complete your degree at your own pace. 

In college, you are not in competition with anyone else. Take the time you need for your degree. 

Good luck future Lobos!

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NSO To-Go! https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/nso-to-go/ https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/nso-to-go/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 20:19:00 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17563 COVID-19 had disrupted a lot. Classes have moved online, and work is being done at home. A new Lobo’s first impression of UNM has also changed. Most of my friends and I experienced an on-campus New Student Orientation (NSO). It was marked by staying in the dorms and listening to lectures in Woodward Hall with […]

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COVID-19 had disrupted a lot. Classes have moved online, and work is being done at home. A new Lobo’s first impression of UNM has also changed. Most of my friends and I experienced an on-campus New Student Orientation (NSO). It was marked by staying in the dorms and listening to lectures in Woodward Hall with hundreds of other students we had never met before. Incoming students are experiencing something new: NSO To-Go!

My Introduction to NSO To-Go

After talking to Jose Villar, the director of NSO, I would say NSO To-Go captures the essence of my NSO experience two years ago and puts it online for easy access and use. I first heard about NSO To-Go after being asked to create a student organization video for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). This video was to go up on the Virtual Discover Fair page. It is meant to help recruit these new lobos going through the digital NSO. Mr. Villar, however, told me this was just a small part of this new orientation.

What is NSO To-Go?

The virtual orientation is made up of self-paced learning modules and virtual presentations and information sessions. The orientation is still done in a number of sessions throughout the summer. And, because it is online, the new lobos can stay engaged throughout the whole summer. There are still NSO leaders and the orientation still covers the same topics that I learned in-person.

Virtual NSO spans four days. The schedule above with some additional information sent out to the students. They must complete the learning modules (“Welcome home, Lobo,” “Advising 1101,” “Welcome to your College/School,” and “The Grey Area”). But, ultimately, they have the entire summer to learn about UNM. They can sign up for info sessions about things such as CAPS Tutoring, Meal Plans, and the Student Activity Center. Incoming students can take virtual campus tours or visit the Virtual Discover Fair where academic support programs, UNM resources, and student organizations introduce themselves.

Advantages of NSO To-Go

While going digital doesn’t allow the new students to visit campus or meet new friends and advisors in person, there are some really great opportunities for new Lobos. Students, since the NSO To-Go site is up all summer, can checkout resources and info sessions all summer. This means, you can show your whole family the campus by doing a virtual tour together or pacing yourself through all the student organization videos.

I think the greatest advantage of the digital NSO is the mobility. When I was going through NSO, I had to be a part of the last session. I couldn’t afford two plane tickets to ABQ being an out-of-state student. This was great for my budget since I could fly out once and just stay in ABQ until the start of the semester, but it made it really hard for me to register for the classes I wanted. You register for classes near the end of your NSO session. So, by the time I had the chance to register for mine, almost every student had already registered. The virtual NSO doesn’t require a plane ticket and when the switch was revealed, Mr. Villar told me the students even got the option to move to a sooner NSO session.

Takeaways

The orientation can be done anywhere with a good network connection and you don’t miss out on the main vibe of NSO. You get the same information from the comfort and safety of your home. You can take your time to get acquainted with the school and reach out to student organizations or resources you may want to learn more about or participate in. I think the site is even helpful for current students who may be interested in learning more about what UNM has to offer.

I hope to see the new Lobos on campus soon, but, in the meantime, enjoy your virtual orientation!

Anna

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Summer Courses: Part 2 https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/summer-courses-part-2/ https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/summer-courses-part-2/#respond Sat, 06 Jun 2020 20:25:00 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17556 Summer courses for Summer 2020 started on June 1st. Last Summer semester, I took two classes. They were both online courses and totaled four credit hours. This semester, I am taking on class for four credit hours. While it was not originally supposed to be online, COVID-19 has moved it to the digital platform. Some […]

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Summer courses for Summer 2020 started on June 1st. Last Summer semester, I took two classes. They were both online courses and totaled four credit hours. This semester, I am taking on class for four credit hours. While it was not originally supposed to be online, COVID-19 has moved it to the digital platform.

Some Differences

The first difference is that this summer, there are Zoom calls during the originally scheduled in-class lectures. With both the courses that were designed to be online last summer, they did not require a specific time where all the students need to tune in. These two classes that were designed to be online relied more on videos or discussion boards to make up for this direct lecture time. This was super helpful last summer since I was working 40 hours a week at my summer internship. I could get my coursework done whenever I had the time. This summer, I am just continuing the part-time work I was doing during the semester. Therefore, I knew I could design my work schedule around my school schedule.

Some Similarities

First, summer classes are always taught at a fast pace. The summer semester is only half the time of a regular semester. This can mean that the material may be harder to grasp because there is less time spent on each topic. So, I can already expect this next class to be a bit fast.

Specific to my experience, all of my Summer courses have been online. Because of this, there is something that is comforting. Going to virtual classes when we went online in the Spring was, honestly, terrible. Many of my professors were not prepared (rightfully so) because of the quick switch to online. I was also taking 18 credit hours in the Spring. What that meant for me was not leaving the dining room table for 9+ hours a day. I had a very short attention span.

I fully admit that I would have had a lot easier time learning if I had in-person courses. But, as I know from last summer, the quality of my learning isn’t nearly as impacted as when I take fewer credit hours.

Summer Expectations

I have a little more hope that I will have a closer to normal experience learning because of the smaller number of credit hours I am taking. I also have learned from the last 8-weeks of the Spring semester that I need to move around every so often. Staying in the same place during the lectures, homework, and office hours is not recommended.

Change it up by studying on your bed and with a furry friend!

I also expect to work a good bit because the class was designed to be in person. This means showing up to every class and keeping myself accountable during the lectures. (No mid-class Twitter breaks). I expect to do my homework a few extra days before it’s due. This will give me enough time to reach out to my professor or lab lecturer with questions. I also need to factor in response time if I email them questions (It is unrealistic to expect anyone to reply to late-night emails right away and even more so in the summer.)

Takeaways

I am looking forward to this summer’s class. With one week down, I am already 12.5% done with the semester! Between the change to virtual learning and the quick teaching pace, this specific class might be a little harder than it would be in a pre-pandemic 16-week semester. However, I can concentrate my time on this single class instead of spreading it between five or six classes.

I hope you are also excited about your summer courses if you happen to be taking them this year!

Stay sane, healthy, and safe!

Anna

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We Need To Do More https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/we-need-to-do-more/ https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/we-need-to-do-more/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2020 23:07:00 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17552 Today’s current climate is not one that is easy to talk about, but that does not mean we do not talk about it. One thing I learned at the University of New Mexico is that in situations where you are the most uncomfortable you learn the most. Another thing that I learned from my peers […]

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Today’s current climate is not one that is easy to talk about, but that does not mean we do not talk about it. One thing I learned at the University of New Mexico is that in situations where you are the most uncomfortable you learn the most. Another thing that I learned from my peers is that when something is not right, you must do something to fix it.

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd– an unarmed Black Man– was murdered at the hands of police sparking outrage across the country. Every single state in the nation held protests; however, many of these protests were met with even more police brutality. This paints the stark reality of our country. Systematic racism is alive and well.

What happened to George Floyd is not the case of a couple bad apples. Breonna Taylor. Sandra Bland. Mike Brown. Tamir Rice. Philando Castile. There are so many more names, and so many we will not be aware of because their deaths were covered up.

Our Black community has faced the realities of white supremacy since the foundation of this country. White supremacy has changed its face over the years, but still exists whether it exists as police brutality, an unequal justice system, micro-aggressions from their peers, and so much more.

As a community, we need to do so much more than say we stand in solidarity to with Black Lives Matter. Words without actions mean nothing. We can donate. We can give resources to people in pain. We can sign petitions. We can hold our institutions and governments accountable. Not for clout, but because we live in a society that claims all people are created equal, yet time and time again our peers are not treated as such.

As a university, I want to call on all of us to be anti-racist. That means learning about micro-aggressions and calling out people who use them on campus. We need to go to the Student Fee Review Board and demand that funding is going to departments that benefit disadvantaged communities. We also need to fall back on the Office of Equal Opportunity to report anything that creates a negative campus environment.

As someone who is white-passing, I will never understand the harsh realities people of color have to face. However, that does not mean I turn my back on them.

Be hyper aware of the realities our Black community faces. Uplift Black voices and have hard conversations with the people around you. Black Lives Matter.

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Honors Pathmaker Program https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/honors-pathmaker-program/ https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/honors-pathmaker-program/#respond Tue, 26 May 2020 17:21:00 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17548 As the Spring semester comes to an end, applications for scholarship and extracurricular opportunities begin to open up. One opportunity is the Honors Pathmaker Mentorship Program. The application was open for students who specifically want to be a peer mentor to incoming Honors College students. The program pairs every incoming Honors student with one of […]

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As the Spring semester comes to an end, applications for scholarship and extracurricular opportunities begin to open up. One opportunity is the Honors Pathmaker Mentorship Program. The application was open for students who specifically want to be a peer mentor to incoming Honors College students. The program pairs every incoming Honors student with one of these peer mentors. The idea is that these mentors are experienced honors students. The mentor would be someone for the incoming Honors students to ask questions. They would also introduce new students to others on campus and in the Honors College community.

Mentor Experience

I have not been a Pathmaker Mentor, but I do have a few friends who were a mentor last year! Kayli and Matthew were Spring 2020 mentors. Matthew enjoyed attending a wide variety of events intended to connect him with his mentees. He liked meeting new people and contributing to the Honors community. Kayli also enjoyed “being able to connect with a broad range of people.” She explained how she met people from “different majors and backgrounds with interests.”

Mentor Eligibility

An eligible mentor must have taken at least one Honors course and be excited to help build the Honors community. Each mentor, if accepted, will be assigned to a group of new Honors students. The hope is for the mentors to reach out over the summer. They can initiate their role as the incoming students go-to Honors contact a guide. The Pathmakers’ website also talks about how they are excited to bring even more mentors on than before!

Roles beyond a Mentor

After this semester, Matthew explained to me how he was asked to join the leadership team for the program. The Pathmaker Leadership Team were all Spring 2020 mentors. They either expressed interest or were asked if they wanted to take on a larger role in the program. Matthew, for Fall 2020, will be the events coordinator. He will organize in-person and virtual events for the mentors and mentees. These events will strengthen mentorship and the mentor and mentee relationship with the Honors College.

The Importance of Mentorship this Upcoming Semester

While the application has been closed, Matthew explained to me how this semester is more important than ever for mentorship. As we begin hybrid courses due to COVID-19 in Fall 2020, it poses new challenges for students. Current students have had experience with the in-person to online course due to coronavirus. This knowledge and their experiences on how to stay connected with classmates and friends will be invaluable going forward.

Takeaways

The Pathmaker Mentorship Program is a great opportunity for current Honors College students. It is also a great resource for incoming Honors College students. While this program is targeted for the Honors College community, there are many other mentorship programs all over campus. With changes in our traditional sense of college, mentorship is even more important navigating these uncertain times. Mentorship does not have to be formal and associated in a program. Find a friend or reach out to someone new! This can help both of you while we tackle a new semester of college!

Anna

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Graduating in a different way https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/graduating-in-a-different-way/ https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/graduating-in-a-different-way/#respond Thu, 21 May 2020 15:37:17 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17543 To be fair, graduating from home is not something that I would have ever imagined, but honestly, nothing these past couple of months could have been predicted. From planned vacations to music festivals, everything was being canceled, so it was no surprise when commencement was postponed, as well.  It was definitely disheartening when this was […]

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To be fair, graduating from home is not something that I would have ever imagined, but honestly, nothing these past couple of months could have been predicted. From planned vacations to music festivals, everything was being canceled, so it was no surprise when commencement was postponed, as well. 

It was definitely disheartening when this was announced. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for social distancing and valuing human lives above anything else, but I think it is entirely granted to mourn the important life events that were lost. This is especially true for events like graduation because it represents the end of a very important chapter in life. Especially because now, we are supposed to find our way into the real world.

After all the hard work, Lobos should continue to celebrate our achievements—safely from home. I’ll be honest, I was not very enthusiastic to celebrate from home. The effort did not seem worth it. However, during this time of social distancing, I am craving any form of change. Because of this, I celebrated with my parents.  

My celebrations weren’t anything crazy. We made a nice meal, ate some ice cream, and I treated myself to some online shopping. While it’s not the typical commencement, it was nice to do something a little bit different then my typical quarantine day where I just wake up and get on my computer. 

I encourage my fellow Lobos to do the same. Just because our commencement was postponed does not mean that it was any less important. If you are quarantining alone, I recommend calling loved ones and celebrating over Zoom. Even something as simple as putting up some decorations will suffice. What we did is important. Let’s be proud of what we were able to accomplish, and get ready for this next step in our lives. 

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Camping Away the Semester https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/camping-away-the-semester/ https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/camping-away-the-semester/#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 23:11:57 +0000 https://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17514 There is no better way to celebrate the end of the semester than a trip! After the last spring semester, I took a trip up to Los Alamos. This time around, especially with COVID-19, I had to watch how far I went from ABQ. I also needed to make sure that wherever I went, I […]

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There is no better way to celebrate the end of the semester than a trip! After the last spring semester, I took a trip up to Los Alamos. This time around, especially with COVID-19, I had to watch how far I went from ABQ. I also needed to make sure that wherever I went, I needed to maintain social distancing. My roommates and I decided to go to Valencia County, NM to spend the night in Trigo Canyon.

Trigo Canyon

Trigo Canyon has a trail that was mentioned in the book my roommates and I have where we’ve been getting all of our weekend hikes. The trail itself was said to be super isolated which sounded like a perfect spot in the midst of quarantine. The hike was in BLM land. It was a 5 mile out and back hike through the canyon. There was a 2,654 feet elevation gain and the majority of the hike was covered by trees like Junipers and Pines.

Camping

There is a campsite right before the trailhead. The campsite has been closed but the trail remains open. There was a gate closed right after the parking lot but ended up setting up camp in the parking lot. There were a few people who came in and out for the hike, but the place we set up camp was just us.

The Drive

We got lost at first getting to the trail. Google maps took us too far and told us to turn in a now fenced off-road. Eventually, we backtracked and got back on Trigo Springs Road. The road to the parking lot was completely unpaved with lots of rocks. Be sure, if you attempt this trail, you are prepared for the drive out. In total, it was no more than an hour and a half drive to the trailhead.

The Night

We arrived at the campsite before sunset. There was a really amazing view of the valley. Once the sun set, we could see the lights from ABQ and Los Lunas. There were also lots of stars that we could see. Before we went to bed. We saw lightning on the other side of the mountains, but it didn’t end up raining on us. There was, however, crazy winds that hit around 1:00 am. Even though it woke me up, I was able to fall back asleep and actually sleep past the sunrise.

The Hike

After some breakfast, we headed to the trailhead. We had my roommates’ dog with us, so we didn’t get to do the whole ten miles. We ended up doing about half the trail. The hike follows a stream the whole way up. If we were able to get all the way to the summit, we would have seen some great waterfalls. The hike had so much shade and some parts didn’t even feel like we were in the desert until we stumbled upon some cactus.

Takeaways

It was a really great trip. I felt that I finally relaxed and let the stress from the semester melt away. The ride was bumpy, but we were well prepared. Make sure that if you go, you take the off roading easy and bring plenty of water for the hike!

I hope you have also found a way to decompress from the semester!

Anna

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What I Will Miss Most https://thepack.unm.edu/coleen-g/what-i-will-miss-most/ https://thepack.unm.edu/coleen-g/what-i-will-miss-most/#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 21:06:07 +0000 http://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17380 It is the end of the semester, by the time this is published I may be officially done with my exchange. Finals end Friday and then there will only be some odds and ends of paperwork to sort out. I feel like the time flew by and it was still too short a time to […]

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It is the end of the semester, by the time this is published I may be officially done with my exchange. Finals end Friday and then there will only be some odds and ends of paperwork to sort out. I feel like the time flew by and it was still too short a time to live in Montreal. My exchange taught me about myself and about Canada but most of all it gave me the opportunity to make new relationships with people from all over the world.

Home for the past 7 months – My Adorable Apartment

A Virtual Good-Bye

After being home for a few weeks during the quarantine I was starting to feel like nothing had changed. I felt almost as if my exchange had not happened. In some ways, the odd limbo of a pandemic was a nice distraction from how much I missed everyone in Montreal. A few days ago my friends from Power to Change made a “We’ll Miss You, Coleen” video. The video was many clips of people sharing the memories we made.

I was surprised by the people who had taken the time to send in a video and say something kind. Watching it made my exchange feel real for the first time since my hurried return. It gave me the closure I needed and a reminder that I had had an impact on the city and people I missed. I hadn’t realized how a simple thing like eating lunch in the same place on campus everyday one of the most meaningful ways I made friends. 

Meal-Prepping for lunches on campus in the apartment kitchen

I miss the People’s Potato, the student-run soup kitchen for students. Eating lunch there I met and developed many friendships. I also miss the coffee shops with French coffee sizing. The truly local grocery stores run by a family I could get to know are hard to find here. I miss the apartment cooking with my roommates in our white kitchen. The maple trees are going to bloom soon and I am sorry to miss the turn of the season to summer with the other international students. I miss my friend’s apartment and playing board games after church. I miss my church that met on the 8th floor of an office building.

The view from our church building

It was a huge shock to go from living in a city of 4.2 million people on an island that’s only 10 miles across by 30 miles long to a town of 100,000 in an area the size of West Virginia. Not to mention the country shutting down. So it has all seemed surreal. But watching that video brought me back to reality. There are many things I left undone and saying a proper goodbye is one. I will return someday but for now, the virtual good-bye will have to do.

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Mentoring in a Pandemic https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/mentoring-in-a-pandemic/ https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/mentoring-in-a-pandemic/#respond Sat, 09 May 2020 18:11:00 +0000 http://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17508 Even though we are sheltering in place and staying socially distant, many university programs and events are still being organized. One resource, the Engineering Student Services Center, had an online Q&A with Jose Hernandez, a retired astronaut, and is planning to hold an online mentoring presentation with UNM alumni and CEO of Cambium Network, Atul […]

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Even though we are sheltering in place and staying socially distant, many university programs and events are still being organized. One resource, the Engineering Student Services Center, had an online Q&A with Jose Hernandez, a retired astronaut, and is planning to hold an online mentoring presentation with UNM alumni and CEO of Cambium Network, Atul Bhatnagar. They already have a Fall 202 event line up and are keeping their tutoring center up and running. Their weekly newsletters even give students a heads up on scholarships and job opportunities that are due soon.

The STEM Mentoring Program

One of their major programs that’s still happening is STEM mentoring. This program is open to all STEM students at UNM. The program works with professionals from companies like the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and matches them with students interested in being mentors. This is my third semester with the program. Each semester you get the choice to 1) remain in the program or leave and 2) continue with the same mentor, get in touch with a new one or become a co-mentor with your current mentor and mentor someone yourself! I have stayed in the mentee role and I have met two mentors from SNL and one from AFRL.

How do we carry on in the pandemic?

Whether the program was continued by the mentors and mentees was left up to the students’ and professionals’ discretion. Since I have had more time on my hands, I decided to keep it going with my mentor! We opted for a video conference. My mentor is a master’s student at UNM. I really wanted to catch up and see how his graduation was changing because of the pandemic.

What did the mentorship look like before?

When I met with him last, it was the second to last day before spring break. At that point, we still didn’t know if classes were going to go online. I was still living on campus in the dorms. There were only about four cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico and I had no idea just how big of a problem coronavirus was going to become.

What did the mentorship look like after?

When we met next, he told me how his life has been changing and how he could still go into work. I talked about how the school transition to online classes has gone and how I have had to start to telework. We talked about how hiking has been relaxing for both of us and what is the best mindset while going through all of this.

My Mentorship Now

Eventually, we had to talk about what we could still do with this mentorship while in a pandemic. Do we work on my resume? Does he help me scout out new research opportunities? We ultimately settled on just checking in every few weeks. I already have a job and I haven’t been applying for too many extra opportunities while in quarantine. What seemed like the best plan for my mentor and I was just to have a friend to talk to for a little bit on how wild this whole process has been.

Takeaways

After talking to him, I reached out to some of my other mentors. I wanted to give them an update on my life and I wanted to hear how they have been doing. Even if I didn’t get a reply, I knew I wanted to just send some kind thoughts their way through this hard time. While the STEM mentoring program’s main intention is to help students make connections and find jobs or internships, the program was a really good excuse for me to talk to someone else and keep me sane in the midst of the pandemic.

Me on Zoom

I hope you are able to reach out to friends, family, and mentors. Try to attend online events and stay in the UNM community! There are some really cool opportunities emerging and I hope you are able to make the most of it!

Anna

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Making Dead Week more bearable https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/making-dead-week-more-bearable/ https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/making-dead-week-more-bearable/#respond Thu, 07 May 2020 22:59:48 +0000 http://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17496 For some reason dead week is somehow worse during the quarantine. I’m not sure what it is; maybe it’s the fact that I can’t go get overpriced coffee and placebo myself into thinking that Zimmerman helps me think better. Nevertheless, it is dead week nonetheless. So, how can we survive this dead week? I still […]

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For some reason dead week is somehow worse during the quarantine. I’m not sure what it is; maybe it’s the fact that I can’t go get overpriced coffee and placebo myself into thinking that Zimmerman helps me think better.

Nevertheless, it is dead week nonetheless. So, how can we survive this dead week? I still think I have some solutions.

Because there is nowhere we can really go to study, it is so important that you designate a certain spot in your house to school work. This way when you’re in that location, your brain will know it’s time to get to work.

Before starting your assignment, make sure you read your instructions thoroughly. This dead season already, I started completely finished a Spanish paper before realizing that I missed a whole section of the prompt. This rule of thumb also goes for deadlines.

Make sure you do the study guides– even if they are optional. With Zoom classes, it’s easy for things to get lost in translation. That being said, the study guide will help you realize where you need the extra work.

Office hours are still a thing. Honestly, a lot of professors are more willing to lend a helping hand during this time, so utilize their office hours. Ya, they’ll be over Zoom, but the gesture goes a long way, and you can clear up any questions you have over your finals.

Lastly, make sure to take some small breaks– whether that is getting on Tik Tok or going on walks around your neighborhood. Happy Dead Week to my underclassmen and for my fellow seniors, it’s our last dead week, let’s get through it.

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Celebrating Earth Day from Home https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/celebrating-earth-day-from-home/ https://thepack.unm.edu/victoria-p/celebrating-earth-day-from-home/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2020 19:40:00 +0000 http://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17389 Earth Day is a day made to celebrate Mother Nature and all the joy that she has to offer. While things may be a little different this year, you can still celebrate Earth Day while practicing social distancing.  Here are some fun at-home activities that match the spirit of Earth Day: You can grow a […]

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Earth Day is a day made to celebrate Mother Nature and all the joy that she has to offer. While things may be a little different this year, you can still celebrate Earth Day while practicing social distancing. 

Here are some fun at-home activities that match the spirit of Earth Day:

You can grow a sweet potato in a glass mason jar. 

Growing a potato is a fun and easy activity to do with the family. Sweet potatoes are a visually appealing, fast-growing plant with an abundance of leaves and vines. To do this activity you will need a sweet potato, a glass jar, two toothpicks, and water. 

1. Stick two toothpicks on each side of the potato. 

2. Insert potato in glass jar. The toothpicks should hold it afloat. 

3. Fill the jar with enough water to cover the bottom half of the potato.

4. Place the jar where it will get lots of sunshine. 

Check the jar daily, adding water when needed to keep the potato bottom wet. Soon you will see sprouts forming on the bottom on the potato. These sprouts show roots beginning to grow. In a week, you will see small leaves growing from the top of the potato! After two to three weeks, you will have several long vines with green leaves. You can continue watering your potato as usual in the jar or transplant it into a pot with soil. Your sweet potato will continue to grow into a leafy green houseplant. 

Make a DIY Bird Feeder. 

If you want to see more birds in your backyard this is a perfect project for you. You will need a water bottle, stick, string, scissors, birdseed, and an x-acto knife. 

1. Carefully cut a square into both sides of your bottle with an X-acto knife. 

2. Poke two holes under the squares

3. Insert whatever stick you have available (wood skewers or a wood chopstick can work)!

4. Fill with bird seed to the opening. 

5. Hang outside with string and enjoy. 

Make your backyard more pollinator-friendly. 

Making your backyard more pollinator helps insect populations like bees. You can simply do this by planting flowers native to your environment, diversifying your garden, and keep part of your garden a little messy. 

Do some yard work. 

Now is as good a time as any to get out and do some yard work. Whether this is going outside and pulling weeds or repotting plants, Earth Day is the perfect day for some yard work. 

Reading over streaming. 

On Earth Day, turning off your favorite Netflix show and dusting off your favorite book is the perfect way to lower your carbon emission. 

Last, but not least, you can go on a hike– which is what I did. Happy Earth Day!

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San Ysidro Trails https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/san-ysidro-trails/ https://thepack.unm.edu/anna-j/san-ysidro-trails/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2020 18:13:00 +0000 http://thepack.unm.edu/?p=17360 In the midst of quarantine, my roommates and I are desperate to get outside. After the first few hikes, we purchased a book titled 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Albuquerque by Stephen Ausherman and David Ryan. Once we knew we wanted to go north, the book led us to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) […]

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In the midst of quarantine, my roommates and I are desperate to get outside. After the first few hikes, we purchased a book titled 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Albuquerque by Stephen Ausherman and David Ryan. Once we knew we wanted to go north, the book led us to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) trail area in San Ysidro, NM.

Road Trip

It was a good drive from campus to the trailhead. It was a 50-minute drive on I-25 and Highway 550. The longer trip meant there was a higher probability for us to successfully social distance, but it isn’t one of the closer hikes I’ve done. The drive took us through Rio Rancho, Santa Ana Pueblo, and the Zia Pueblo. Once you get onto highway 550, you see amazing views of canyons and White Mesa.

San Ysidro Trail

The trail was a loop of about 5.8 miles and a 521 feet elevation gain. The hike would have been shorter if we grabbed the gate key from the BLM office, but we figured the extra mile or so wouldn’t hurt. The trail is often the place for dirt bike practice and competition. There are a number of smaller branches off the trail for dirt bikes to practice on in addition to the main hiking trail.

Tinajas in the Slot Canyon

The big draw to this spot is what the dirt bikers call their “Grand Canyon.” It is a small slot canyon that the hike takes you right through. During the monsoon season, the canyon fills up with water. It can sometimes boreholes into the canyon called Tinajas.

They are small ponds that draw migratory birds, game species, and microorganisms to the area. These are also the reasons that slot canyons can be so dangerous. There are strong eddy currents that occur during heavy rains which could drown you if you fall in. When we went, we made sure it wasn’t going to rain. We even had to turn back and scramble out of the canyon when the Tinajas were too large to cross over.

A Scramble

We stayed on the trail well for the first half. There were a few times where the dirt bike trails can be confused with the hiking trail. The short scrambles led us to really beautiful views though. The main scramble happened when we had to climb out of the canyon because of the ponds. (Some of them get really deep.)

We were able to follow the canyon from above and meet back up with the trail. After the canyon and once you pass the cinders, the trail was a lot harder to follow. You need to keep an eye out for cairns or small rock stacks that mark the trail.

Takeaways

It was a really beautiful day to hike this trail. I love loops because you always see something new. Climbing through the slot canyons and figuring out ways to get across some of the smaller Tinajas was the best part.

I would warn that the trail is not as well marked. Be sure to be aware of your surroundings and stay close to cairns. Always check the weather before and don’t hike this trail during the rainy season. Stay safe maneuvering through the canyon. I would also recommend bringing a few friends just in case!

Anna

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