Sunday, February 27, 2011

Time to get Naked!

Yes, I love Naked Juice, especially the Green Machine! One of the best changes Drake's dining service provider, Sodexo, has made over the past year is allowing students to convert unused meals to flex dollars. I choose to spend the majority of my flex dollars on Naked. As an athlete, I really like this because travel for cross country and track can result in up to six lost meals. Money down the drain, last year I think I had something like 30 unused meals at the end of the semester, so I really appreciate being able to take full advantage of my meal plan at Drake. Throughout the rest of the semester, there will be many more Green Machines consumed, no doubt about it (another good way to get Naked Juice at Drake is by playing Colin Coomer in one on one basketball)!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Indoors Is In the Books

My indoor track season officially ended this past Friday, and now I will be in a four week transition period until outdoor track begins. Reflecting on the past year of running, the first thing that comes to mind is how blessed I am. My Freshman year was frustrating, I had poor performances, and missed all of outdoor track with an injury, but looking back I can see how God has used all of this for my good.

When I originally came to Drake, all of my hope and satisfaction was invested in running, it was my idol. If I was running well, I was happy, if I wasn't it became a negative influence in other areas of my life. One of my Favorite Bible Verses is Romans 8:28:

And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Getting injured was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. When I missed the entire track season, I realized the vanity of running. I eventually accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and he has completely changed me! Running is still something I love to do, but I'm not doing it for my self and my own glory any more, I'm doing it for His.

Although I have not run times comparable to some of the top guys in the Missouri Valley Conference, I can't help but smile at the improvements in performance that have come over the past year. In the last 12 months, I've run 12 races and gotten 12 PB's (personal best)! Some have been small, and others have been large, but it is encouraging to see that things are headed in the right direction!

Race     Previous PB       New PB in past Year
1 Mi        4:35.61             4:32.31
3k           9:08.70              8:55.58
4k (xc)    13:25                 13:24
5k           16:25.82            15:50.87
6k (xc)    21:32.76            20:20.50
8k (xc)    27:37                 26:10

I'm really pumped up for outdoors, I know I am fit enough to chop off a lot more time!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Disgrace to my Home State

Yes, this is hard to admit, but Minnesota is probably very ashamed of me. Born and raised in the land of 10,000 lakes also known as "the state of hockey" all my life and I have never watched nor attended a a game in all my life... until yesterday.

The Drake Chemistry Club decided to have a social event at the Des Moines Buccaneers hockey game. Unfortunately, not many were able to make it, as only me and three others made it to the game together. When I arrived to the game, I was completely clueless about all of the rules, and had no idea of the madness that was about to go down.

The game was entertaining, the Bucs are made up of mostly 19-21 year old guys, most of whom are playing in hopes of earning a college scholarship (they actually have a kid who I grew up playing baseball with and lived in my neighborhood, small world!). It was cool to see how much of the local community supports the team. The arena was packed and the crowd really got into it during the game. Bucs fans certainly like their beer. My friend Dave and I were astonished as we looked around the rink, everyone seemed to have a beer in their hand but us. We saw one guy walk in, daughter in one arm, six pack in the other. Knowing this, it may not be surprising that as the game went on, the crowd got a little rowdier. By the third period, the Bucs were down and starting to get frustrated, and fights started breaking out. The crowd would roar louder when two players got in a fight rather than when a player scored a goal, they loved it!

The game was entertaining non the less, but I don't plan on watching another game anytime soon. March Madness is just around the corner, so hockey probably won't be on my mind anytime in the near future with the conference tournaments and big dance just weeks away!

Shout out to Dave and Mo, presidents of the Chem Club for setting up the event!

I'm sorry Minnesota, I love your lakes, trails, and beauty, but just not your favorite wintertime sport.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Hello, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michael Rodriguez, I am a Sophomore here at Drake University with a double major in Chemistry and Mathematics. I am excited to blog for Drake, and will try and give you the most accurate perception of my Drake experience.

I am in my fourth semester now, and my experience has been incredible so far. I chose to come to Drake because I could run on their cross country and track and field teams, and because Drake has a great undergraduate chemistry program, where I could get involved in research as early my Freshman year. Right now, I am conducting research in the realm of physical chemistry (Microemulsions) with Dr. Maria Bohorquez. So far, I have had a great time on the cross country and track teams, and I have enjoyed my classes. The best part about classes at Drake are the sizes - right now, my largest class is about 15 students, and my smallest class only has three other students! Professors are very accessible and willing to work with you. I have greatly appreciated this, because often I miss class on Fridays, due to travel for cross country and track meets.

Out of all the things I have gotten out of my Drake experience so far, coming to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior has been my greatest privileged. I was raised in a Christian home, and never took my faith seriously, until I started getting involved with Campus Fellowship, a Christian group here at Drake. He has radically changed me and given my life so much meaning!

As I blog here for the next few years, I'll try to give you an accurate view of all aspects of my Drake experience. I must thank Tim Schmitt, for the opportunity to blog for Drake! This summer, I will be studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. I am currently applying for a scholarship that requires me to promote international education, and plan to using this blog to do so.