It’s Finals Week

Last night my good friends and I had Chinese and Korean BBQ with the grill with a lot of good and fresh homemade food in front of us. We have decided to get together more often during finals week before all of us leave on our one-month vacation break.

Anyways I am done with my laboratory application final today. The lab experiment was a bit easier than I thought. Now that I have two finals left tomorrow and I will conquer them. Good luck on your finals and have a wonderful winter break!


Before I get into a discussion about finals, I want to discuss about my break and how it went. I went home for Thanksgiving, and it was a break that I definitely needed. Even though I’ve been at school for about three years now, I still love to come home to my family, dogs, and of course my mom’s cooking. While we had a few days off from classes, I still was working at a local electronics store in my hometown. Those days included Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the following Saturday. While those days are the most hectic of the entire year, they may also be the most fun. It was great coming back to see a lot of my old coworkers and even meet some of the new management. But with work, my break felt short and before I knew it, I was back in Rochester. But I hope that the short break will give me enough rest and fuel to finish this last few weeks. Which brings me into what I want to discuss next…finals.

Finals offer two very distinct emotions, relief and nervousness. While the build up to finals is often nerve-racking and tiring, the relief and sense of freedom you feel after you’re done is like no other. Luckily for me, finals actually isn’t too too crazy, however, the week before is. Meaning this upcoming week. I have projects, papers, and final exams to take. But again, as I mentioned before, the relief of finishing everything will be well worth it.

As an RA, I will have to stay and close the dorms on the day after finals. While some may see this as a drag, I love it. The few days between finishing all classes, finals, tests, papers, and anything else and having to the close the dorms are my favorite. I have very little obligation, meaning, I get to play video games, sleep, and relax before I have to go home.

Until then, I’ll be working, studying, or in class. In the end, it’ll all be worth it.


Thanksgiving Dinner and Surprises!

I went home for Thanksgiving. It was awesome to see my whole family again! It was filled with a bunch of surprises because my cousin brought two dogs and they were so cute! one of them was a Bischon Frise and a beagle mix with Jack Russell. They were so small and they scurried around my house while my little cousins were chasing after them. The dinner was fantastic and we all had our fill. My grandma usually would shout to all of us “Pie time” right after we just finished eating and all of us would groan in pain after eating so much food. Then she would start looking around for the pies, but luckily my mom was smart enough to hide the pies so we wouldn’t be forced to eat it for her sake, haha. The other surprise was my sister bought a brand new SUV. It’s a 2014 Subaru Forester and she loves it! She worked hard enough to pay for that and I’m so proud of her! Its all white and its fully loaded with all of the bells and whistles. She keeps saying there are so many buttons to push in this SUV. My parents also finished the new addition of the house. It is a new family room and oh my god, it is gorgeous and it has heated floors. I don’t think I’m able to get off this floor because it is so warm! It also helps to warm up the room because we got hit by those bad winter storms in the northern Pennsylvania region. I enjoyed watching the white out weather and winter is absolutely beautiful weather, but it is not my favorite time of the year because of the cold. I am not a big fan of Cold!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!



Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving and and Happy 21st Birthday to me! Am I really getting this old? Wow!

Anyways, this week is short, because there was only scheduled classes on Monday and Tuesday then I was off to drive seven hours to home in Maryland for the Thanksgiving break! I heard from some of my friends that they were leaving on Saturday to go home for a whole week because their classes were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday! Lucky them. Now let me tell you, Thanksgiving time means spending time with your family and of course, sleep in your bed that you missed the most! It’s also time to catch up and get started on final projects, papers and studying for any last exams before the final exams! This week is our chance to relax, rewind, yet get ahead before anything else piles up as we return to school!

I’m so excited the semester is almost over, but I know I will miss one of my favorite classes I’ve ever taken at RIT, and that is Kinesiology. I made a presentation for my Kinesiology class, analyzing the critical components of a forward one and one-half somersault with a full twist dive. I hope my professor will like it when my partners and I present it to the class sometime next week!

Black Friday

Hey all again!

Week 13 is done, and Thanksgiving is around the corner. Luckily for me, I will be going home to Maryland for the break. I’m looking forward to going home, so that I can just relax, see my family as well as work on Black Friday. Black Friday is something else. It is absolute chaos. If you haven’t worked, or shopped on Black Friday, it’s definitely an experience to have. While I’m looking forward to seeing my old co-workers, I am even more excited to see my family. It has been a while since I’ve seen my whole family together as well as my dogs. That is one thing I miss on campus, my dogs. However, the wellness center on campus hosts an event called “Bow Wow Wellness.” The center brings in a dozen dogs for students to come and pet and just play with dogs. These events are some of the most popular on campus! But there is nothing like seeing your own dogs, so that will be great.

The last few weeks have been great here at RIT. I was able to catch up, and even get ahead in some of my classes. One responsibility I have for my major, American Sign Language–English Interpretation (ASLIE), is to observe professional interpreters working. Over this last year, I have been to dozens of observations and seen very talented interpreters in a variety of disciplines. One type of interpreting has really caught my eye, high visibility. I may have mentioned this in previous blog posts, but I am always learning more and more from each observation. I was able to recently observe an interpreter for a specific presentation held on campus in Panara Theatre. The speaker was Andrew Solomon and was entertaining as well as beneficial for me as the interpreters did a great job.

Looking back, the last year in the ASLIE program has been busy and challenging. With that being said, I have learned a lot about myself as an interpreter, as well as what I want to be as an interpreter, skill wise. Despite being in the last year of the ASLIE program, I will be here next year as well. So next year, I will be taking some general electives, courses for my minor (Deaf Cultural Studies), and a few free electives. So for general electives, I am looking to take some math and history classes, but my free electives are the truly fun ones. I may end up taking some of the ASLIE professional electives (such as Educational Interpreting, Community Interpreting and Medical Interpreting), but there is one class in particular that I definitely will take, Furniture Design! Other than that, the year should be easier than this year, but it won’t be a cake walk.


Michael Conrad

Diving, Diving, Diving…and Homework

Hi everybody! I had another away meet today at Le Moyne College, near Syracuse, N.Y. The pool was, I’m telling you, small! Only one pool with six lanes that shares with only one 1-meter diving board! The meet was set up, interestingly, where the swimmers swam a few events, then the meet was paused for the divers to compete in five dives, then the swimmers swam again, then the meet was paused again for the divers to compete in six more dives, and finally the swimmers swam the last few events. During the “pauses” at the meet, the swimmers sat on the bleachers and watched the divers. So, I stood there on the board, with everybody staring at me! I haven’t had that feeling in two years! What a weird feeling. However, I did very well and scored a nationals qualifying score! I’m truly looking forward to this January. Even though I will be home for only 10 days after finals, I’m leaving for the Florida training trip with the team on Dec 27 through January 4 (yep, we’re taking the bus) and that will be fun! Maybe I will return to Rochester with tan lines!

The end of the semester is near, and all we can do is just keep swimming (“Finding Nemo”) and there will be success in the end. :)

If you’re curious about my diving records and how short I am, you can see me at this website:

Fall, Open House and More

Hello all,

Since the last time I talked to you a lot has changed here at RIT. It has started getting colder and we’ve even had our first “snowfall.” While it was simply just slushy rain, it is an indication of what is to come. Myself personally, I’ve been focused on observations as part of my class work. I’ve been able to go in different classrooms to watch skilled interpreters do what they know best, and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been exposed to different content areas such as, computer science, engineering and fine arts. Not only do I get exposed to new content, I also learn about that interpreter’s style. Observations are very important for students in the interpreting field to get their foot in the door. While you’re not standing or sitting and interpreting, you’re still attentive. I’m thinking, “How would I sign that?” or “What would I do in that scenario?” While I’ve picked up some new signs and knowledge about different majors here at RIT, I’ve also learned more about interpreting other than new signs. What I’ve learned is eye contact, where I should stand in a classroom, as well as how to represent interpreters as professionals. These topics are just as important in your language skills as an interpreter, but can be easily learned from observations. Another perk to the observations is I am able to network. That way if I come across a scenario I don’t know how to handle, then I have resources to help find a solution.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to attend what is called the ASL lecture series, hosted at RIT, where I have watched Jordaan Braam, a deaf animator from South Africa, who has won international awards for his work. If you have any inclination to learn about animation, go ahead and just google “Jordaan Braam” and explore. The ASL lecture series is also planning to host a few events that are very interesting. Two speakers of those include Patti Ladd and Andrew Solomon. So, I’ll most likely talk about those in my next posting.

Now, onto Open House. This last Saturday we hosted a huge Open House with dozens of potential students visiting RIT/NTID. Some of those students who came to the Open House were interested in the interpreting major. It was a long day for the ambassadors, as we were busy giving tours, attending student panels, and registering prospective students. While long, the day is worth it. To see prospective students’ initial reaction to college is fun and to be their guide through the process of selecting and going into college is worthwhile.

Until next time,

Michael Conrad


Food Coma

October flew by so quick. I am looking forward to the upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving! Remember, it is on the 27th of November. My step-sister makes a killer stuffing. It is made from scratch with some stuff she puts in it, haha. My mom also makes an awesome turkey. She puts pineapple on it and it tastes so good. Usually we have our table full with foods and by the end of the dinner, it is usually empty. I tend to go for the stuffing, turkey, sweet potatoes and the coleslaw. Mouthwatering foods! I absolutely can not wait to eat that food! At the end of dinner all of us are in a food coma. It sure takes us a while to get up and start moving after we have finished our feast. Can’t wait for this year!

Good-bye October…Hello Movember!

Hello everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! I sure did enjoy mine! I got together with a bunch of friends, got all dressed up and grabbed a Chipotle! They were doing $3 burritos if we showed up in our costumes. I borrowed a baseball teammate’s costume and went in there. I got some weird looks, and was laughed at many times as I waited in line in my beautiful maid costume.

Today was a great day. I helped out with my coach’s baseball camp that he runs in the off-season. I helped flip the balls to the hitters, taught some footwork drills, and how to field ground balls properly. I really enjoyed working with the kids today. I got the chance to take some swings in the batting cages with a teammate at the end. Anything that involves hitting baseballs is always a ton of fun!

But that’s not it! My old roommate from last year, Payton, turned 22 today! I rounded the pals up and took them to Red Robin’s for a burger and a milkshake. It was a terrific time, and his current roommate made him a surprise birthday cake, which made it 30482x more fun.

I also just signed up for Movember, which is a national event for the month of November. All the men are trying to grow out a mustache in order to raise money for prostate cancer. I’m working on mine, but I can barely see anything on my face. Looking forward to the day when I can sneeze and a full grown mustache pops out.

I had a great weekend, but I’m ready to take on a new week full of errands, assignments, tests, meetings, tours, workouts and good times! Until then, have a wonderful one!


Happy November!

Hello everyone!!

Time to break out the fuzzy socks, as “sweater weather” has returned!!

This is personally my favorite time of the year, with the fallen, crunchy leaves blanketing the campus in their BEAUTIFUL colors; the energy of the campus on the crisp, fall mornings (perfect weather for morning runs!; and the mulled apple ciders and pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks! Not to mention all the carved pumpkins sitting proudly on the lawns of neighbors. :)

Speaking of pumpkin-creations, here’s the “spooky” pumpkin I carved with some friends, inspired by the devious “Chucky” doll from the movie. While taking turns carving, there was also an impressive game of Twister taking place, during which I unsuccessfully became a pretzel.   chucky

This weekend, however, has especially been full of activity! Halloween this year was certainly more wet, but that didn’t discourage the Tigers’ Halloween spirit. From a “walking” shark to an entire trio of superheros from “The Avengers,” costumed creations entertained everywhere!

Later that night, I went through a nearby Haunted House and it wasn’t until then that costumed people really made me jump- it was so much fun but with all the psychedelic lights and “distorting” routes with creepy masked characters slowly following behind, I actually had to remind myself a couple of times that they were just actors!

 And now as I write, the warm smells of dinner are calling me…now a  tradition, my friends and I have been making a “seasonal” Halloween dinner, complete with a homemade feast of corned beef, mashed potatoes, carrots and corn, and an apple pie!         

Let the season of cozy kitchens begin. :)