Sure, chocolates and roses are nice, and a romantic date-night on the town may be the standard, but Champlain College students have some pretty unique ways of spending their Valentine's Day. Whether you're in a relationship or going stag, here's some 'out of the chocolate box' ideas for how you can make this Thursday a bit more special:
- Homemade Tasty Treats Resident Assistant David Borocz-Johnson, a senior social work major, is treating his residents at Spinner Place to a Valentine's Day Cookie Decorating program. He encourages participants to decorate a cookie for a significant other (or yourself)! Spinner Place resident? Join him at 9 p.m. in the sixth floor lounge.
- Free Movie Night You may be thinking, didn't we have free movie night just last week? Student Activities Planners figured another movie night could be more romantic than bowling, so "Let Champlain Be Your Date." If you agree, hope to see you at Palace 9 for a free movie of your choice. Sign up at the HUB for a spot; space is limited.
- Stay In Save some dough and stay in with your significant other. "Every year we order a ton of Chinese and watch movies," said Courtney Weitz '14 of her and her boyfriend Jared Donahue '14. "We like that more than going out because it's more personal, plus we don't have to deal with the overcrowded restaurants."
- Love the Environment Buy fresh organic blooms and fair-trade chocolate from the Center for Service & Civic Engagement. All profits will go towards the spring break Service in Action Trip to Hope CommUnity Center in Florida this March.
- Make the Most of Long Distances "Distance means so little when someone means so much" is senior elementary education major Mary Anderson's motto. She's having a long distance Valentine's Day with her boo, Champlain alum Adam Kayhoe '12.
- Will You Be My...Volunteer? There are many organizations in the area that could use an extra set of hands. Before your romantic dinner, bring your valentine to do an act of service. Check out the Center for Service & Civic Engagement's online calendar for opportunities and sign ups.
- Random Acts of Kindness Spread the love. Valentine's Day isn't the only holiday the week of the 14th! Feb. 12-18 is the 13th annual Random Acts of Kindness Week. Celebrate the week by taping exact change to the Keurig cup dispenser at the Library for the next person who comes along to get a coffee, for example. Visit actsofkindness.org for hundreds of other ideas.
- Celebrate a Good Cause First-year Taylor VanDyke is attending a "One Billion Rising" event on Church Street on Valentine's Day, "I'm going because it's important to raise awareness about sexual violence against women - especially on a holiday that revolves around love and sex." Sponsored by Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), FED UP, and local organizers, the march and dancing through downtown Burlington will begin at 4 p.m. at the top of Church Street. There will be hot cider, skits, songs and dances in celebration of women's human rights. Visit the event's webpage at http://www.onebillionrising.org/
- Be Active "We're celebrating early by going skiing this weekend," said senior graphic design student Jolee Main. After winter storm Nemo last week, there's plenty of snow to go around. There are lots of other active ways you can spend Valentine's Day, too. Go for a run down at the waterfront on the Burlington Bike Path, take a hike, or go ice-skating at one of the local rinks.
- See a Play Champlain Theatre presents "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" starting Feb. 13. Performances run February 13-16 and 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Auditorium at Champlain College. "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" is the contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, whom has returned home from graduate school for his father's funeral to discover his mother already remarried to his uncle who has usurped the throne. Suspecting treachery, Hamlet sets on a journey of revenge. Directed by Joanne Farrell, the tragic play promises to be fast-paced, fresh and engaging. Tickets are available at the door.
Feb. 13-15 at the FlynnSpace, Vermont Stage Company and Director Gregory Ramos present "Time Stands Still," a play about a photojournalist who captures images of the Iraqi war and returns home injured from her most recent foray into the fray. As she and her reporter partner try to put their lives back together, they are confronted with the decision to return to the battlefield or to settle down, leaving behind the dangerous and chaotic life they have always loved. From Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies, Time Stands Still is a witty drama that discusses the sacrifices people are willing to make for their passions, their country, and their own well-being. For tickets, visit the Flynn box office or http://www.flynntix.org/Productions/Details.aspx?perfNo=8542&perfCodePrefix=VSD13T
- Be Entrepreneurial Champlain's friends at the Burlington Community & Economic Development Office (CEDO), the VT Small Business Development Centers, UVM and CCV have extended a warm invitation to Champlain students to attend this love fest for entrepreneurship on Valentine's Day. From 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the Grand Maple Ballroom at the UVM Davis Center, students can mingle with successful entrepreneurs from Cabot Cheese, City Market, August First, Healthy Living, Big Heavy World, and more. Admission is free. For more information, contact Prof. Charlie Nagelschmidt at Nagelschmidt@champlain.edu
- Get Engaged...in dialogue This Thursday and Friday, there are two exciting opportunities for the Champlain community to get engaged in anti-war/feminist dialogue with a renowned author, Kathleen Barry. She will be in Burlington from 2/13-2/16 and be giving several talks and workshops throughout the city. She will also be at the One Billion Rising event on Church Street (refer to number 9).
Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. she will be on campus in the Morgan Room presenting "Awaken our Consciousness to the Inhumanity of War: From Empathy to Action." In this workshop participants will uncover the untapped potential of empathy in making change. Through various exercises and consciousness raising discussions, women and men will identify how to stand against and transform masculine violence in everyday life and in political protest.
Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at Contois Auditorium, City Hall, she will be giving a talk entitled "Overcoming Masculine Violence In War and at Home: A Call to Action." Refreshments will be served.
For more information visit http://teachableevents.wordpress.com/feb-15-talk-feminist-author-kathleen-barry/ or contact Valerie Esposito.
- Psychic Valentine's You can't get more unique than this. Visit October Tea Room, above the Daily Planet on Center Street in downtown Burlington, for Tarot Card Readings, Massage, and psychic body readings. Specials combining Tarot Readings and Massage for couples and singles range from $30-$100. Call (802) 651-1054 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments or more information.
- Gifts on a Budget Make a mix CD of songs that are special to the two of you. Create a photo album or scrapbook using your favorite photos together. If you're too busy to go out on the 14th, give your significant other an IOU coupon for a romantic night out. Or, just spend quality time together while doing homework and split free chocolates from Victoria's Secret together, like junior couple Miranda Salisbury (Social Work) and Patrick Burke (DFM) will be.
And finally, a bonus, Mike Kelly from the Core is hosting his annual "Rhetoric of St. Valentine's Day" program in Hauke Conference room at 3 p.m. on Thursday. You can get the lowdown on why all this is happening.