A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

A Week in the Life of a Patriot

By Mason Spirit contributor on May 10, 2011

Subdued, Mason is not. It’s an immensely busy place, constantly awash in the chatter of thousands of students rushing to class, piling into the Johnson Center, or scattering to residence halls to crack open a book, reconnect with friends, or ready themselves for whatever the rest of the day has to offer. And while this symphony of activity is easily witnessed on campus, it’s also alive and well online. Here, six undergrads tweet their way through a typical week at Mason.

Meet the Tweeters

Kelly Criscuolo-DeButts: The artist among our tweeters, this senior from Spotsylvania County, Virginia, can often be found on Twitter commenting on her latest sculpture, cooking creation, or her beloved feline, Casey. For her, Twitter is where she stays connected. “I talk with various people, and they talk to me. It’s an Internet community.”

Jamie Le: When not tweeting on her Blackberry, this fashionista from Fairfax, Virginia, also maintains a blog, where she posts photos of some of her favorite fashion finds. A senior studying sociology, Le’s been on Twitter since her freshman year. “I found out about Michael Jackson’s death on Twitter; same with the [earthquake] in Haiti.”

Kevin Loker: This busy-beyond-belief junior runs Mason’s online student news site, Connect2Mason, interns at the Washington Post, and is involved in Mason’s Catholic Campus Ministry. An anthropology student from South Dakota, Loker says he’s on Twitter to keep informed. “I tweet a lot to catch up on the news.”

Brooke Nunley: Where does she find the time? A junior tourism and events management major, this Roanoke, Virginia, native also works in admissions at the Volgenau School of Engineering, interns at Autism Speaks in Washington, D.C., and is a member of Alpha Xi Delta. As a freshman, she saw her friends on Twitter, so she followed suit. “It was new and I wanted to try it!”

Hayley Roder: A small-town Ohio girl, this junior fills her days with rehearsals with the Green Machine, showing prospective students the campus as a Mason Ambassador, and studying communication and American history. An on-campus resident, Roder says she uses Twitter to “keep in touch with friends back home.”

Alex Romano: A native of Long Island who manages WGMU Radio, Romano encourages his DJs to tweet while on the air. Regarding his own Twitter use, this junior communication major says he mostly turns to Twitter to follow well-known journalists to learn their tricks of the trade. “It can really engage you with what’s happening out there.”

Monday, November 8

brooketastic Fun & successful day at the National Walk Now for Autism Speaks 🙂

Brooke Nunley, a junior majoring in tourism and events management, manages to work an internship at Autism Speaks in Washington, D.C., while taking classes. She is talking about a walk she took part in the day before.

alexromano thinks he has his schedule all planned out. Time to register tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Patriotweb bandwith will be strained out I’m sure. #GMU

All Mason students register online using PatriotWeb, a website that tracks much of the information they use daily.

#GMU is a hashtag used by many at Mason. By searching for this tag on Twitter, you can find a wealth of information about Mason happening at that moment—everything from basketball scores to laments about traffic.

KellyCDB We had a nice late night cookout outside sculpture at #GMU 2 – 4:30 a.m….chilly! Perfect for grilled lamb, mashed potatoes & broccoli.

Not sure where Mason student artist Kelly Criscuolo-DeButts is grilling, but as you can see there’s always something going on campus, even barbeques.

KellyCDB: So I might get 2 hours of sleep… need to wake up early so I can get photos printed at SoA Print before class, & CAN’T miss class today!! Please let 11 alarms be enough.

SoA is the School of Art, formerly the Division of Art and Visual Technology. The school is still part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

dcmetrogirl: Chilly but beautiful outside this morning–it’s a great day to give a tour! 🙂 9:50 a.m.

dcmetrogirl is communication major Hayley Roder. She is a Mason Ambassador, part of a group of students who provide campus tours twice a day and help out at Admissions events. It is a special job.

brooketastic: stat class then work till 5–it DEFINITELY feels like monday :/ 10 a.m.

KellyCDB: Sound art class hurts my ears. 11:50 a.m.

Kelly is talking about her AVT 496 Sound Art class, which we suspect could be really annoying after a late night of grilling.

alexromano: On my way to the JC to check up on the studios on some technical issues we’ve been having, grabbing lunch then registering for classes! 12:15 p.m.

The JC is of course short for the Johnson Center. Prolific tweeter and communication major Alex Romano runs the campus radio station WGMU.

dcmetrogirl: Just stopped by a fundraiser for Kappa Alpha Psi! Grilled smoked sausage, a tortilla, and toppings for just $1. Brilliant. 1 p.m.

Kappa Alpha Psi is one of Mason’s 28 fraternities and sororities.

KevinLoker: The area around McPherson Square has so many lunch options. What’s the best? 1:23 p.m.

We aren’t sure how junior Kevin Loker does it, but he attributes his high level of productivity to caffeine. This semester, Kevin was interning downtown at the Washington Post, in addition to running Connect2Mason, a student media news site that produces original content and works with groups like the Broadside student newspaper and WGMU. Oh, and he also takes classes. Busy guy.

KellyCDB: Bought a Love Haiti GMU t-shirt to support their cause. They’re selling them in the JC. Go get one. Good cause.

Love Haiti, a Campus Crusade for Christ service project, collected $10,000 during the fall semester and sent 100,000 meals to the earthquake-ravaged country.

dcmetrogirl: Spending some time in the Civil War with Professor Hicks until 4:15, then going back to Revolutionary Virginia with Dr. McCord at 4:30.

Hayley is minoring in history. Professor Daniel Hicks teaches HIST 370 War and American Society. Professor Ted McCord teaches HIST 121 Formation of the American Republic.

alexromano: About to take a test in GOVT 464…no dice with convincing this prof. to force add me to this class next semester. On the wait list…

GOVT 464 is Issues in Public Policy and Administration.

brooketastic: Headed to the JC to use the computer lab…it is such a far walk from Potomac!

The computer labs at the Johnson Center are a hub of activity. The building also has wireless Internet so it isn’t unusual to see students and faculty working on laptops throughout the building.

alexromano: Okay, dinner at Southside then dealing w. some station stuff. Scheduling my meetings for the rest of the week.

Southside, one of Mason’s newest dining revues, boasts seven different food stations catering to all appetites in an all-you-care-to-eat format.

dcmetrogirl: Just got out of class. Heading to the women’s exhibition [basketball] game against Davis and Elkins to play with the Green Machine. GO MASON!

The Green Machine is Mason’s popular pep band led by music professor Michael “Doc Nix” Nickens. They never miss a basketball game.

Tuesday, November 9

KellyCDB: Alas. My desk chair broke. A wheel came off. Kitteh likes the wheel though, he’s been chasing it all over the place. When can I sleep?

Kelly's cat, Casey.

Kelly lives off campus so she is able to keep a pet cat. In the dorms, you can only have fish in a container of less than five gallons.

brooketastic: AVT advising meeting then work!

AVT: Art and Visual Technology, formerly the name of the School of Art, continues to be the name of the art degree program.

Pressthechic: Watching a movie about Mormons.

Senior Jamie Le was taking RELI 101 The Religious Experience, an elective for her sociology major.

Jamie's (aka Pressthechic) laptop.

Pressthechic: Miss Vickie’s potato chips, coffee, and starting on my research paper.

This lecture hall is in Enterprise Hall.

alexromano: Time for math class. 300-person lecture hall. Yayy!

dcmetrogirl: Just got out of my favorite class, Interpersonal Comm w/ Prof. Nicotera. One more class before lunch!

Anne Nicotera, associate professor of communication, is a nationally recognized scholar of organizational and interpersonal communication.

dcmetrogirl: Had a nice lunch break. 🙂 Heading to PR with Prof. Walsch shortly.

Dan Walsch is an adjunct professor in the Communication Department in addition to serving as the university’s press secretary. You may have seen him on television, commenting on behalf of the university when it is in the news.

dcmetrogirl: Gotta start looking into internships for next summer. Hoping to find one in San Diego!

Internships are invaluable to students hoping to crack the job market after graduation. Mason’s University Career Services Office works with students to place them in positions that match their career goals.

brooketastic: I’ve officially spent an hour walking around campus looking for an open computer in one of the labs! 🙁

alexromano: Yes! Just saw a mistake on the exam! No one else noticed. 🙂

KellyCDB: Half an hour late to class ’cause of traffic! Bah. It’s okay though, first time I’ve been late to this one, and the teacher likes me.

KellyCDB: If I fall to my death off this ladder, or I’m crushed by a tipping sculpture… I can’t think what, just hope I don’t!

Kelly makes some large sculptures. The one pictured is untitled.

brooketastic: spent 3 hours on stat homework & i’m about ready to crash!

Wednesday, November 10

KellyCDB: Heading to school after coffeeeeeee at Starbucks http://gowal.la/c/2S3PK

Mason has a very popular, 24-hour Starbucks on campus, conveniently located near the residence halls.

brooketastic: got all the classes I wanted for next semester! 🙂

Brooke successfully registered online for spring semester. Upperclassmen have scheduled times to register based on the number of credits they have earned.

KevinLoker: Got my plane tickets home for the holidays!

alexromano: Being a manager of your own peers that you go to school with really sucks at times. Glad to wake up to some great emails….not.

KellyCDB: The giant ridiculous sculpture made it outside!! It’s like a miracle!!

Kelly has success placing her sculpture Untitled.

KellyCDB: Someone has drawn a section of intestine on this bathroom wall. Gotta love the art building!

alexromano: Just getting back into the dorm after a great mtg w fellow student media leaders & the student media director. Now it’s time to work!

brooketastic: excited for AxiD volleyball tonight! 🙂

Brooke is active in the sorority Alpha Xi Delta. Many student organizations compete in intramural sports such as volleyball and basketball.

alexromano: In that class I had this project due for. Glad this is off my shoulders now. Many meetings tomorrow, classes, and then big day Friday.

KevinLoker: Wednesdays are so hectic. Anyone else feel that way?

alexromano: In the @WGMU office now & heading over to my colleagues @ the Mason Cable Network 4 their After Launch Party on the bottom floor of David King!

The Mason Cable Network is a television outlet run by students, for students. It can be seen in the residence halls.

KellyCDB: Okay. I think I have my next gigantic sculpture idea if the school will let me build it in a tree. Who do I need to ask about that?

Pressthechic: It’s that time of the semester, you know, when all of the papers are due and finals are coming up. yeahhhh, life just gets better n better

Thursday, November 11

dcmetrogirl: Traveled to Nashville today for a whirlwind three-day trip that my sister won! Went to the CMA’s tonight and started to enjoy country music.

As part of winning a contest, Hayley’s sister received tickets to the Country Music Association Awards last fall.

KevinLoker: Working on a presentation about Twitter, possibly writing a blog post after. #partylikeajournalist

KellyCDB: Bloody hell. I’ll have to buy more modeling clay; it is steadfastly refusing to be located. Blast. :[ Also, LIFE!!!! >:[

Pressthechic: My professor brought in Mormons today.

Obviously, RELI 101 is a Tuesday/Thursday class.

Pressthechic: 7 hrs left until i have to turn in my DRAFT research paper. I’ve only done 1/3 of it.

brooketastic: stat tutoring to review for the test tomorrow then tourism class…boring day up until my little’s birthday dinner! 🙂

Although the university has done away with the word “rush,” the groups do take on new members in the fall. “My little” refers to Brooke’s little sister in Alpha Xi Delta.

alexromano: Taking this quiz in math, then getting lunch, meetings from 2-5pm. Ugh.

alexromano: TA teaching class today. Huge lecture class. No one can hear him. Started 10 mins late & everyone just wants 2 take the quiz. I yelled “QUIZ”

KellyCDB: Thus begins the search for answers. Starting with the head of sculpture and working up from there.

brooketastic: Guest speakers in classes always make them go by faster 🙂

alexromano: You can’t get around anywhere here at #gmu because of the construction!!!!!!! About to miss my bus

Talk about a building boom. Mason has added more than 40 buildings since President Alan Merten took office in 1996.

Friday, November 12

alexromano: Earliest I’ve been up in a long time for something related to school…

alexromano: Just had a very informative & insightful mtg in the Office of Student Involvement. Feeling good about all this

The Office of Student Involvement used to be called Student Activities.

brooketastic: big stat test today then work till 5…then WEEKEND!


Pressthechic: Morning glory. Just had an amazing breakfast. I also got my jeffrey campbells

Jamie's new shoes!

A regular blogger about fashion, Jamie hopes to work in the industry in the future.

alexromano: Very excited that my mom is here for the weekend. She’s arriving today and we have a busy weekend planned!

brooketastic: Peet’s coffee is definitely the best on campus, mmm.

It’s sold in the Johnson Center next to the Express Convenience Store.

Pressthchic: I hate going to the DMV

DMV is Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Many of us share Jamie’s displeasure in traveling there.

alexromano: Lunch w. RK & company then back to meetings… @ Southside

KevinLoker: Cool photo contest at @connect2mason. Brainstormed the idea from the “Don’t Call It UGC” panel at #ona10.

Kelly's sunset photo.

KellyCDB: Photo: I am well aware that this is a technically poor image, but I like it anyway.

KellyCDB: Crap! The day just flies by… starting NOW, I am writing installation art proposal, doing sketches, & assembling a draft of an animation!

No one said the life of a student was easy.

alexromano: Okay…getting out of the WGMU office now. Long day for me, but glad things are falling in their places with the station!

KevinLoker: Again, I encourage you all to adopt a word. Don’t be a foppotee. http://savethewords.org/

Spoken like the true editor he is.

KellyCDB: At the State Theatre. What a strange venue. There are no good seats in the whole place. Dance floor though.

The State Theatre, in Falls Church, Va., is just one of the many off-campus entertainment venues students take advantage of.

alexromano: Happy my Mom came down with her friend. I get to drive this for the weekend!

Alex's ride!

KellyCDB: Home from the show, making a curry.

Kelly's bowl of curry. Can we say, "yum!"

Saturday, November 13

dcmetrogirl: Up and at ’em early this morning for fall open house. Performing with the Green Machine, then chatting with prospective families all day!

The Green Machine band and Mason Ambassadors, two groups Hayley belongs to, are a big part of admission events like the Fall Open House and the Spring Preview.

brooketastic: Home opener basketball game this afternoon!!!

The men’s team, which made it to the NCAA Tournament, took on Harvard that day.

A sign at a Mason admissions event.

KevinLoker: Connect2Mason is at the #gmu admissions event! Keeping tabs on where everyone is from. We have an iPad too.

alexromano: Been here a bunch of times but it doesn’t get old! (@ Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History w/ 6 others)

Alex is enjoying the sites in Washington, D.C.

Pressthchic: Not another night of clubbing. Can’t you just let me take the night off?

Depending on where those clubs are, Jamie may also be enjoying the sites in our nation’s capital.

dcmetrogirl: Just got back from the game! Mason beat Harvard 66-53. Not a bad home opener!

brooketastic: Pre-i ceremony was amaXIng, as always<3 initiation early in the morning! congratulations baby xi’s!!!

KevinLoker: Long day and in this business we call it a wrap. On to tomorrow…

Sunday, November 14

alexromano: Going to pick mom up and her friend from the hotel back to campus

Alex going to pick up mom.

dcmetrogirl: Relaxing for a bit, then getting started on a paper.

Ah, Sundays.

dcmetrogirl: Just made fruit salad for a potluck. Doing some reading in preparation for paper writing later.

alexromano: Great turn out today for the DJ meeting! Thanks to all those who came out!!

dcmetrogirl: Just got back from the KKPsi meetings. Now on to dinner and reading!

KKPsi stands for Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity. Hayle is the vice president-elect for next year.

dcmetrogirl: Planning out the week. Two papers due, a book to read, and other textbook readings to keep me busy!

Pressthechic: I have a geography test tomorrow and i don’t feel like studying for it.

brooketastic: Alpha xi delta initiation today was so amaXIng! so was michelle’s senior recital and family dinner. overall a phenomenal day 🙂 <3

<3 is how you make a heart in emoticons.

dcmetrogirl: Off to bed early to prepare for a busy week ahead. Boyfriend flies in on Saturday…just five days and 18 hours away!


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