Thursday, November 18, 2010

Travel Tales

With Thanksgiving Break on the horizon, many IU students are packing up and getting ready to travel home for a long-awaited break. My house is only a few hours from campus, so getting home will be no more hassle than jumping into my car and taking the highway north. However, for the thousands of IU students who live out of state, traveling will not be that simple. For prospective students, the thought of how to travel to and from campus can be a daunting one. But never fear! This Q&A, based upon my recent flight to Atlanta, will tell you everything you need to know about travel to and from IU via the Indianapolis Airport.

I don't have a car. How do I get to campus from the airport and vice versa?
Great question! Never fear, the Bloomington Shuttle is the answer to all of your problems. Well, this one anyway. For $15 one way, you can take the shuttle from the airport to campus and back. To be honest, I use the service even though I DO have a car. It's cheaper than paying to park at the airport ($12 a DAY), and I can relax during the bus ride. Tickets can be purchased at the Indiana Memorial Union or online. You can find out more info about the Bloomington Shuttle here.


What is the Indianapolis Airport like? Is it confusing?
Indianapolis built a new airport a few years ago, and it is one of the easiest and most relaxing airports I have ever had the pleasure to fly from. The openness of the structure keeps that nervous, panicky "something's going to go wrong" feeling at bay while you look out at the planes landing or see the sun shining through the frosted glass roof.


If you're hungry, there are a number of restaurants to choose from before and after security that range in price from $5 per person to $25. My favorite stop is the South Bend Chocolate Company in Terminal A, but I'm sure you'll find your own travel tradition.


Once you enter the airport, you only choose between two terminals (A or B) and it's a straight shot to your gate from there. Getting your luggage on the way to campus is no problem: pick up your bags on the bottom level, cross a pick-up lane, and hop onto the Bloomington shuttle.


Once you've gotten through security, the only thing left to do is relax and get comfortable! I highly suggest a favorite book. Personally, cold weather is always "Harry Potter season" for me. This past weekend, when flying to Atlanta, I read a few pages of "The Princess Bride." After your flight, be sure to enjoy your destination! Here's a photo of my favorite tourist spot in Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium:


When traveling, just remember to take a deep breath and relax. Remember that even if something does go wrong, it's not the end of the world. Most travel issues have a solution! Best of luck, and happy travels this holiday season!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Foods I Would Never Eat

This week, I decided to do something different and take a look around the Union Street Center for something to feature in my weekly blog post. During my journey I finally wandered in the USC Convenience Store for the first time, despite the fact that I walk past it on a daily basis.


The C-Store opened at the beginning of October and is chock full of goodies... most of them things that I would never consider eating. Don't get me wrong! This C-Store is a great addition to RPS because it is so unique and pushes the boundaries of what is considered normal college student fare. Still, it's not quite to my taste.


I love the fact that they sell fresh fruit, salads and soups late into the evening so that I could grab dinner or a snack during a late night study session. However, if I'm in the mood for something fast, microwaveable and filled with pizza sauce, this isn't the place to look.


Most of the food I found was healthy and organic. Even the candy bars being sold were the fancy kind with pictures of tigers and gorillas on them. The store also sells such staples as soy milk and ingredients for cooking including condiments and organic pasta (which I'm certain will come in handy in the future).


Despite the fact that I'd much rather toss something in the microwave and press the Start button, I'm glad to know that the Union Street Center C-Store is only a moment away. You know, in case I ever decide to eat healthy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quarry Diving Adventures

Last Friday, a group of adventurous IU students gathered at a quarry in Mitchell, IN to do something I found incredibly brave: go scuba diving in 40 degree temperatures. I, unfortunately, was not courageous enough to do such a thing. I did, however, rise from my nice warm comfortable bed at six in the morning to join them on their adventure and photograph the event.


The students were there to do what are referred to as "check out dives." The divers have been taking scuba diving courses through the university, and the trip to the quarry was their opportunity to earn their scuba certification. Most of the students were working to earn their "Open Water" certification, which is the basic PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) scuba certification.


Other students were diving to receive their Adventure Diver and Rescue Diver certifications. The Rescue Diver check out dives were especially interesting to watch. Students had to recover an "unresponsive diver" (a dummy) from the quarry and perform rescue procedures.


Although it was a little bit cold during the dives, the quarry trip was a great experience for the students. Through their coursework at IU, they were able to earn certifications that would have been very expensive to get outside of the university. Students certified through IU also have the opportunity to travel with professor Charles Beeker to dive sites, including the 1699 Cara Merchant (Captain Kidd's last ship) that IU Underwater Science discovered in the Dominican Republic.


As a student in the Advanced Scuba course, I highly recommend that any student interested in scuba diving take E270 and E370 during their time at IU! It's been a great experience for me, and for other students as well!