Wednesday, 6 January 2016
The View from my dorm last year

I’m always saying time flies by, that the years are so short, and how in the world have my children grown so much! My baby is three and a half for crying out loud! Well, I’ll say it again: time does fly. It’s almost time for my VCFA residency number three, which kicks off critical thesis semester, and I’m so grateful I took the plunge to send in my application and embark on his wonderful program!

As I’m procrastinating on gift wrapping for Three Kings, here’s my packing list of MUST-HAVES in a Vermont winter residency. Besides normal scarves, gloves, pens, notebooks, I’m adding stuff that makes the 10 days in the Vermont cold more bearable.

  • An electric blanket. Seriously. Last year the heater went out in our dorms, and the only way I survived was with the help of my blanket.
  • A bathrobe. We get towels in the dorms, but they’re small. If you don’t want to risk getting your clothes wet, bring a robe so you don’t freeze on the long walk from the shower to your room.
  • A hot water bottle. I’m a wimp. I know. I thought that after 19 dry Utah winters and 19 Argentine wet winters, I’d be used to the cold, but no. I hate it. 
  • A pair of comfy shoes so you don’t have to wear your boots everywhere.
  • Quarters for laundry. There are washers and dryers that are coin operated. I brought detergent last year, but no coins. I’ll be prepared this time.
  • A cup/bottle for hot chocolate/tea. In fact, instead of sipping water, I sipped unsweetened herbal teas to keep warm throughout the day. 
  • Flip flops for the showers. Dorm showers. Enough said.
  • Keurig cups for coffee drinkers, or the hot chocolate/tea kind. There are Keurigs all over campus. If you care about the environment though, regular tea bags will do 🙂
  • Hot pockets to put inside your gloves. (Do you see a theme? I’m only concerned with being warm)
  • Hair dryer. 
  • Lots of hand sanitizer/wipes. Let’s keep the germs at bay. Also, Emergen-C or Airborne tablets (or OnGuard oil).
I can’t think of anything else that I couldn’t leave without. If you have anything to add in the comments, I’ll thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

Filed: Packing, VCFA, Winter

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Yamile Saied Mendez

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American, Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult author.

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