The national college decision day is May 1st, so all kids should know which school they will be attending by now. Some kids knew where they were going months ago, others knew only a few days ago.
I was one of the kids that within the past couple days decided where I would be attending college. I was stuck between two schools that seemed nearly identical in every aspect. When I was looking at schools, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t in a city-like environment and has a medium-size student enrollment. I wanted to be able to fish and spend time outdoors in my free time and I wanted a school that offered a lot of majors, especially criminal justice and photojournalism. Finding a school that offered both of my desired majors really limited my options. So, where will I be going to college?
The University of Montana
I was first introduced to the state of Montana two years ago when I had the opportunity to go on a service immersion trip with Calvert Hall to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation
in Browning, Montana. While on the trip, I fell in love with the country feel and beautiful scenery. The people of the state of Montana also made me feel extremely welcome and the state just felt comfortable.
Most of the people that know of my college selection ask “why Montana?” At first glance, the University of Montana seems like a remote college where I’ll spend four years of my life. Lots of people think there’s nothing to do there and nowhere to go. However, that’s the exact opposite of what the school is really like.
The University of Montana is in Missoula, Montana. Missoula is an extremely friendly city that doesn’t have a city feel. The city has no tall high-rises or dirty streets, and it isn’t very crowded. You may also know of my love for fishing, and Missoula has numerous world-class trout streams right off campus. Montana is also known for its mountains and snow; perfect conditions for skiing, another activity I really enjoy. And finally, the University of Montana has tons of options for majors and minors. Right now, I’m trying to figure out my career options. I love law enforcement and serving the people, but I also love photographing and sharing news and stories through images. I also love the outdoors and fishing. The university offers majors and minors that can tie all of my career interests into a pair of majors or major-minor combo perfectly. They also host programs that I don’t think many other schools have.
I feel that the University of Montana is a perfect match for me and through hard work and determination I hope to successfully graduate a Griz.
Photos by Evan Zimmer | Special to the Review
May 02, 2013 09:32
By Evan Zimmer
My grandmother took my family to the Dominican Republic the day after Christmas for a family vacation.
We stayed in Punta Cana in the La Altagracia Province of the Dominican Republic. La Altagracia Province is the eastern-most area of the Dominican Republic.
What struck me the most about the trip was the stark contrast between poverty and wealth in Punta Cana. There were numerous fancy, all-inclusive resorts but they were surrounded by dirt roads, dirty cars and motorcycles, and dilapidated houses. There were kids begging and doing anything they could for money for their families and schools. We had the chance to enjoy a short trip driving dune buggies on the beach and through a local town. Towards the end of the excursion we made a stop at a small cave filled with natural spring water for swimming. When we left the cave, a few small children began wiping dirt off the seats of our buggies. Immediately after they cleaned the seats, they asked for “a dollar for the school.” This stood out to me, that the children had resorted to wiping dirt off tourists’ seats just to earn a dollar for their school.
While we were at the cave, we noticed some kids walking around the area just outside the cave entrance. Some were conversing and others were helping clean the dune buggy seats. However, on the way to the cave, we saw school buses full of kids. Is there education for just some kids? Are there public schools or is there a fee to attend school?
Another time I saw the stark realities of poverty was with an incident that took place with my little cousin. My cousin, Mason, is allergic to pretty much everything. Finding him food he could eat was difficult, but manageable. One afternoon he had an allergic reaction to something he ate and was sent to a hospital via “ambulance.” I didn’t go with his family, but it was reported that the “ambulance” was just an emptied out van. There were no sirens or lights, rather the driver just honked the horn. When they arrived at the hospital, the doctors didn’t use gloves, even when administering/removing an IV and there were bugs on the floor.
Throughout the trip I kept reflecting on the differences between the people just outside the resort gates and myself. Here I was, sitting in an all-inclusive resort with unlimited food and beverages and some people a couple hundred yards away were struggling for their next meal. Some of us back at home get to drive our own cars to and from school, and attending school isn’t an issue. Some teens don’t have to have a job or go out and find money to support their families or schools. In Punta Cana, people would do anything they could to earn a dollar.
My trip to the Dominican Republic was planned as a nice family vacation in a beautiful country away from the rush of things back at home, but it ended up being something more. I left feeling more appreciative for a nice roof over my head, my own car, food and water, and the ability to easily attend school.
January 16, 2013 03:35
By Evan Zimmer
If you can remember my first blog post you’ll know that my grandfather passed away in the beginning of the year. He loved fishing and traveled all over the world to pursue his passion. One of his favorite places to go was the Gourmet Salmon Lodge in Gaspé, Quebec, Canada to catch salmon. He would reserve the lodge for a month over the summer for the past several summers. I was fortunate enough to go with him on one of his last expeditions with my uncle and cousin for a few days.
My grandmother wanted to visit the place my grandfather loved so much so we planned to go up for a few days. For Christmas my grandfather gifted my cousin and I the opportunity to go to Canada with him this summer. This short expedition would fulfill our opportunity. The last time I went we drove with my grandfather (about 21 hours) then flew back while he stayed a few more weeks.
This time, we would fly there and back. We only planned to take three flights there and land on the same day; that wouldn’t be the case. The first two flights to get us to Quebec City went flawless. No problems with security, customs, or flight delays. The adventure began when we boarded the flight from Quebec City to Gaspé. About 20 minutes away from landing we were told that there was heavy fog and we would circle around in hopes that the fog would disappear; it didn’t. The next stop for the plane was the Magdalen Islands (Îles de la Madeleine) so that’s where we headed. The pilot came on the speaker with the same fog message. Frustration began developing from most people on the flight. It was about 11p.m. at this point and we were running low on fuel. Our “alternate [airport]” was Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. About an hour later we landed there to be greeted with confusion. We thought we were staying there for the night and leaving in the morning but it turned out that they had to refuel and leave because the airport and surrounding areas were all closed. Next stop: Montreal, a two hour flight back, passing where we originally came from.
In the morning we boarded a flight from Montreal to the Madgalen Islands and minutes before landing I saw something that seemed to tie everything together. A lone, white cross stood atop a large, grassy hill. I wasn’t able to grab my camera to snap a picture but the sight brought comfort. It was like a sign that said “this was God’s plan.”
About an hour later we landed in Gaspé and spent most of the day driving around the town. The following day we fished in the morning, and though we didn’t catch any salmon, I did have a bite and my dad caught two trout. Nonetheless, we had a great time and much needed relaxation from day-to-day activities.
Many thanks to Norbert, Doug, Ivy, Lorn, and Al for providing us a great couple days and reminding us of the countless days you spent with my grandfather.
July 25, 2012 06:43
By Evan Zimmer