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: http://www.ritathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=10514&path=wswim.

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. :)

And October’s Already Over!

Wow, it’s ridiculous how quick time flies when you’re busy with those projects slowly stacking up. A lot happened in the last few days, such as the NTID Job Fair which went very well. I met with several companies, gave out copies of my resume, had a few interviews and got great feedback. It was a good experience.

I’m slowly getting overwhelmed by projects right now. I’m working on a product that I’m going to try to submit to an international design competition. It should be a great experience too. RIT allows the opportunity for things like that to happen, great connections, great reputation with the Industrial Design community. I’m happy with the program here.

Yesterday was Halloween. There were tons of great events through the week on campus such as smashing pumpkins, Halloween Student Life Team celebrations, and more. I saw many great and creative costumes on campus such as the group of Power Rangers running around and karate chopping and scissor kicking the air. They totally won Halloween.

Pretty soon it will be Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to that…seeing family, relaxing at home, the awesome food, but I have to work a lot on projects before I can do any relaxing, so I’d better get to work!

Good night everyone.



Happy Halloween!

Is it really the end of Week 10 already?! It feels like Week 1 was just last week! Boy, I’m telling you the course load, diving, and catching up on my sleep is making the time fly by my eyes!

I had a home meet last Saturday and my dad was able to come up to visit me, my new apartment, and watch my dive meet for the first time since August 2012! It was a great weekend to see him and catch up with everything at home. I surprised myself with my performance at the dive meet since I haven’t trained from August 2012 through September 2014! I am having a good feeling something amazing will come out of this some day! :)

The course load is beginning to pile up with upcoming exams every week, projects due, and we’ll be studying for finals before we know it! Oh, the shopping cart is opening this coming Monday to start considering which classes to register for the spring semester of 2015! I’m excited to register and take all the cool classes!

Happy Halloween, everybody. Hope you have a cool costume or plans for the spooky night! I think I will be a minion from Despicable Me!

The Pace Has Picked Up!

Hi everybody!

I can hardly believe that the midterms have passed, and I can tell you that it has been one heck of a week! While I was juggling studying for four exams, attending dive practices, tutoring students, giving tours, and attending to a wedding in Chicago, the week has gone by with flying colors.

This semester has been far my favorite semester so far with all of the things I am involved with and the classes I am truly enjoying. Last Saturday was my first swim and dive meet of the season in Albany, N.Y. (what a long 4 hour-drive each way). It also was my first meet I have competed since the USA Diving Nationals Championship in North Carolina during the summer of 2012 where I tore my shoulder. After intensive physical therapy and recovering of my shoulder, I can say that I am back! I have never missed diving this much in my life, and it is a great feeling.

For my first few experiences of giving tours to prospective students and parents, I am enjoying sharing all the awesome facts about RIT and what it has to offer. I am learning new things about the campus everyday, and I’m excited to share them with you!

Battling the Sleepies

Is it really week 10 already?

It turns out our parents were right, to enjoy and make the most of our college experience as it may “whiz by, before you can even blink!” These past few weeks, however, the days have really flown by for me personally because of the amount of WORK I’ve been juggling- absolutely exhausting!

But as I’m sure many of you can relate, the feeling of relief and accomplishment that comes with handing in completed work makes it completely worth it. For those of us who are art majors, this is especially true when it means another addition to our art portfolios. As a medical illustrator specifically, after the amount of studying and work and DETAILS that go into our anatomical drawings and projects, the relief in finishing can be overwhelming! With every major and field of study, there’s always going to be challenges, as well as achievements, produced as a result of taking on those challenges and pushing yourselves beyond your limits.

This mentality does of course, often come with lots of caffeine and the (hopefully) occasional all-nighter. Yes, the all-nighter is a rite of passage for many college students, yet they’re absolutely dreadful on your body..and mind and spirit and everything in between! From experience, staying up 48 hours straight is not the way to get things done.The “homes” set up in the library during finals week is of course the exception, but staying up all hours of the night to finish work isn’t worth it! Nor does consuming 4-6 cups of coffee a day to stay awake entirely work- their effectivity is so tempting, but can leave you feeling only more jittery and stressed!

As a longtime coffee-lover myself, I’ve been trying to become a tea person instead. Java’s coffee in the Wallace Library, however, has made this transition much easier, with all their delicious flavors of teas; each with just enough caffeine to kick-start your cozy Monday mornings. :) Hope everyone’s starting to bundle up, and looking forward to the Halloween festivities especially! Keep your eyes out for updates on those such as the “Creepy CarnEvil”, taking place in the SAU lobby on Friday the 31st from 8-10pm- there’ll be pumpkin painting, psychics, & cider doughnuts!

A Long Weekend!

I had a stressful and long week due to a few exams, and they were really brain racking exams. I hope I did well on them. I’m not really good with math at all, but I continue to try my best. I also had a long weekend because of RIT’s homecoming! I had my family come in town and stay at my house on Friday. My mom brought my two crazy black labs as well. They were so hyper to see me because it has been a while since I saw them. They literally ran all over the house and played with my roommate’s dog, Penny. After the craziness settled down we watched a movie called “Captain America: The White Soldier” and it was an awesome movie to watch! Lots of action going on! The following morning  we went to the hockey game and it was so much fun catching up with all of my friends who came in town to watch the game. I was a little disappointed that RIT lost (score was 5-1). I think they will do better the next game! After the game we went to Dinosaur BB-Q in downtown Rochester. We reserved tables at Dino BB-Q and the reservation table was set for 15, but some how we got two extra people to join in for dinner. We had to tightly cram ourselves on a table that fits for 14. In the end we enjoyed our delicious dinner. After the dinner we went straight home because everyone was in food coma because of the big dinner we had!