This big white ‘M’ is on Mount Sentinel behind the university and is one of Missoula’s major landmarks. It’s in honor of the Uni, and has a ¾ mile trail up the mountain-side which is far more strenuous than I originally anticipated! I chained my awesome “new” bike (black beauty) to the bottom of the mountain and began the climb with a fun new group of friends.
People lugged up beers, guitars and camera gear and we sat and watched the sun go down over the city. I snapped these stellar sparkling shots of the evening. Song’s were sung, and we even saw shooting stars! It made me reflect on this place and just how lucky I am to be able to experience this different community.
During the weekend was the River Roots festival, which is a celebration of this little river community (so patriotic). All the towns weird and wonderful people gathered in town for dancing in the parks, finger painting by the river, markets, fantastic food and fun! The city hummed!!!! I could resist but purchase a few nic-nac’s including some pendants from this cool stall.
Afterwards a group of us went ‘swimming’ in the river to cool off from the still scorching 30+ temperatures. However the river is FREEZING and such a shocking contrast to the hot days. It’s the type of cold that steals our breath away.
The following weekend was the first football game of the season. Being a student here means I get free season tickets to the games provided I get in early. Wow. Football culture is JUST like it’s portrayed in the movies. Ultimate American patriotism and comradery. There’s a tradition here called ‘tailgating’ which is somewhat of a social event around the tailgate of large American vehicles. Everyone at the stadium before the game parks their vehicles in big groups and then set up BBQ’s and Grills out the back of their vehicles and consume large amounts of alcohol. Its such a popular activity they even have live tailgate shows broadcasting on national television before the game kicks off. The pre-game festivities inside the stadium involved the cheerleading chicas and the marching band. I also witnessed my first national anthem performance which was an eye opener. I got grilled for not taking off my hat. Hadn’t noticed that everyone else around me had, and had their hands on their hearts. Again – just like a movie. The football itself was pretty good to watch but SUCH a weird game. It’s very start-stop and took four hours in total. Not sure if I consider it a sport after that haha. It involves a lot of cheering and excitement for such a small portion of actual activity….
In between all this fun has been school. Which isn’t too bad either. The work-load is far easier than at home. In one class 50% of my grade is ‘participation and attendance’. It’s a joke! While I’m loving that I don’t have to work hard, I’m not feeling very challenged. Hopefully that changes.
Some of you at home may be interested in reading this below. This university has proven to be a very good choice!!! For everybody else who’s not interested, adios until next time. XX
UM MAKES PRINCETON REVIEW’S LIST OF BEST COLLEGES:
The University of Montana once again was named one the top four-year colleges and universities in North America by the Princeton Review. The 2013 edition, “The Best 377 Colleges,” was released Aug. 20. The rankings are based on surveys of more than 122,000 undergraduate students. The 80-question survey asked students about their school’s academics, administration, campus life and student body. Only about 15 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges made the list. “While the university maintains a fantastic liberal arts program, students especially laud the wildlife biology, forestry, physical therapy and forensic anthropology departments,” Princeton Review said of UM. “Moreover, undergrads at Montana are highly complementary of their teachers who are generally ‘helpful, engaging and accessible.’” Students surveyed for this 2013 report noted the UM’s focus on “environmental sustainability and social justice,” along with the fact that the University strives to develop “creative thinkers and engaged citizens.”