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Freezing Eyelashes and Fur Coats - MSCS Student visits Siberia

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Rebecca Moore

Freezing Eyelashes and Fur Coats

Distance learning student Rebecca Moore visits the coldest city and coldest village on Earth

See a Facebook photo album with more of Rebecca's photos!

There are colder places on the planet, but you won't find a colder city than Yakutsk or village than Oymyakon, where the record low is a bone chilling -96F. Makes a cold winter day in Minnesota seem like a summer afternoon!

Rebecca Moore is a distance learning student studying Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafting Technologies at MSC Southeast. She lives in Moscow, but in February she took a trip to Siberia to experience the polar opposite of a tropical vacation. We caught up for an email interview with her in March.

Frozen Room - RussiaWhy are you living in Russia, and how did you happen to pick the coldest city in the world to visit?

I work for a Department of State contractor at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. In January, it dropped to -20F in Moscow and everyone freaked out! After a few days of this, I read an article about how this other place in Russia was laughing at the Moscovites because it was -46F there. I guess I like a challenge, or I'm just an "Anti-Tourist"; I said, "That's the place for me!" And I immediately started looking into how to visit the coldest inhabited place on earth.

Tell us about your trip to Yakutsk and Oymyakon.

When I flew from Moscow and landed in Yakutsk, it was -38F. When I left Oymyakon, it was -48F. In Yakutsk, you can see places where steam has just built up. It looks like snow, but it's actually steam, car exhaust, or even people's breath that has frozen to something and looks like snow. Obviously, ice sculptures can survive outside all winter. There are indoor grocery stores, but fresh markets outside; frozen fish and meat are displayed openly in wooden boxes. No freezer needed! 

fur-coatsMost people try to avoid wearing eyeglasses -- the metal will freeze to your face. I wore plastic frames and was fine, but mostly wore contacts. The people there wear a lot of fur. Even in Yakutsk, which is a large city and the capital of the Sakha Republic, most people wear reindeer skin boots. There isn't a lot of wind, which helps immensely, but still, my face, fingers and toes were always cold. 

The trip from Yakutsk to Oymyakon takes 20-24 hours. When you stop for a break, you have to leave the car running. At night, we put the car in a heated garage. Truck drivers just leave their trucks running 24/7 for weeks at a time. 

A lot of the driving was over or even down rivers, using them like a road. Some places we visited, you can't even get to them in the summer. There are no bridges, so you can only get there when the rivers freeze over. In November, the local government goes out to the major river near Yakutsk, clears a road, and puts out road signs. On the river!

How did you find out about MSC Southeast and why did you choose our CAD drafting program?

I have an undergraduate degree in International Business and a graduate certificate in Project Management. Mostly I work with tradespeople, and I wanted to have more skills to become qualified for contract jobs around the world. It's important to me that the school has a brick and mortar location. I was familiar with AutoCad from high school, so I cast about the internet looking for AutoCad degrees online, and that's how I found MSC Southeast. I wasn't looking for SolidWorks classes (truth be told, I didn't even know what it was), but now that I'm studying that as well, I love it!

Russian signHow does being a full-time online student work for you?

I work about 50 hours a week, so having a calendar is key! When I get the schedule of due dates for the classes, I lay them all out on the calendar, along with my work schedule, holidays, etc. On weekends, I'll often spend 8 hours straight on homework, but mostly, that's because I really like what I'm studying! I still have time for a social life, but maybe not as much as when I'm not in school. You just have to always be looking ahead and portioning out your time.

Where are you from in the States?

I'm from North Carolina. It's funny, I live in Moscow and I study through a Minnesota school, but there is another student in one of my online classes, not just from Western North Carolina, but from my actual home town!

What's it like living in Moscow?

Several of us from the Department of State contract live in the same neighborhood outside the center of the city.  In the summer, we cook out nearly every weekend. My contribution is often boiled peanuts. It's a snack from the South that I love, and one that many people have never heard of, so that's what I like to bring.  

Moscow itself has everything you would need and more, plus a fantastic metro system that makes it easy to get around...if you can read a bit of Russian!  If you plan to visit Moscow, do yourself a favor and learn the alphabet, it helps a lot!

Strings, Winds and Brass - variety showcase at The Sheldon in Red Wing on April 8

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Strings, Winds & Brass at Red Wing's Sheldon Theatre on April 8

MSC Southeast students, staff and friends share their incredible talents at The Sheldon Theatre for "Strings, Winds & Brass" variety showcase

2017 Strings, Winds & Brass

Photo: Blue Wing, Batman-ManBaT, The Kelsey & Cora Duet 
See our Facebook photo album of all of our bands!

From Classical, Cajun, and Celtic to Bluegrass, Big Band and Broadway, Strings, Winds & Brass is an opportunity for the students, staff and friends of Minnesota State College Southeast to share their musical artistry at the annual variety showcase. 

The college's signature band instrument repair, violin repair, and guitar repair & building programs draw students from across the United States and around the world, many with advanced education and performance degrees. This year, Strings, Winds & Brass will feature the talents of almost 50 performers from 19 states and Japan, Australia, China, and Canada!

Strings, Winds & Brass takes place on Saturday, April 8 (7:30 pm) at The Sheldon Theatre,  443 West 3rd Street, Red Wing, MN. Tickets are available at www.sheldontheatre.org, by phone at 800-899-5759, and in the MSC Southeast college bookstores. All tickets are general admission and student tickets are only $5!

As the audiences enters the lobby of the Sheldon, they will be treated to music by the Kelsey and Cora Duet (clarinet & English horn). 

  • The concert begins at 7:30 with a spirited Celtic "session" and moves on to folk, classical, bluegrass, and jazz. 
  • Backed by piano, a duo calling itself Batman-ManBaT is planning to sing a duet from the Broadway show Wicked. 
  • Poet Carrie Allen will share her wry point of view in spoken word. 
  • It all wraps up with a dynamic big band set by Simple Bricks.
  •  In all, 14 acts will perform on stage; expect a fast paced and exciting show!

Highlight performance: Blue Wing 

Keiko & Jenna

 A ninth grader from Red Wing High School, 14-year-old Jenna Jablonski will be the youngest performer in Strings, Winds & Brass. Keiko Tsuda, who comes to the college from Japan by way of Australia, found housing with Jenna's family for the school year. Jenna and Keiko quickly became friends and share an interest in music. When Keiko heard Jenna sing she realized her amazing talent. Keiko formed a contemporary jazz-rock band with some of her very talented friends from the band instrument repair program, in order to perform in the event and showcase Jenna's singing ability. "Blue Wing" includes Keiko Tsuda, saxophone; Mark McGlinch, bass; Jake Smith, guitar; Jeff Dorman, drums; and Kyle Martin, piano. The band will perform songs made popular by Alicia Keys and Maroon 5 with Jenna on vocals.

This year's concert performers are:

  • Celtic Wednesdays -- fiddles, mandolins, guitar, bodhrán
  • Dawn Parker -- guitar and voice
  • Dah! Quintet -- woodwinds
  • Joseph Rach -- solo piano
  • Batman-ManBaT -- vocal duo with piano
  • Carrie Allen -- poet
  • BIR (Band Instrument Repair) Saxophone Quartet
  • Flatt & Square -- bluegrass/Cajun stringband
  • 13 Below -- brass/woodwind ensemble
  • Steven Charles -- guitar and voice
  • Blue Wing -- contemporary jazz-rock
  • Omobono and the Wedge Hollowers -- violin and cello
  • Thomas Stark -- solo bassoon
  • Simple Bricks -- big band jazz


Transportation Career Night on March 30 at MSC Southeast, Winona

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Transportation Career Night set for March 30 at MSC Southeast Winona Campus

Thursday, March 30, 2017 from 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Norris P. Abts Transportation Center
Minnesota State College Southeast, Winona campus
1250 Homer Road, Winona, MN

Register early for a chance to win a Snap-on Cordless Impact Kit, valued at $750! You must attend the event to be eligible to win. Registration is at www.southeastmn.edu/event


Register in advance!


Transportation Career Night is coming up on Thursday, March 30 from 6 to 7:30 pm at Minnesota State College Southeast’s Winona campus, 1250 Homer Road, Winona, MN. Four college programs will be represented at the event: Auto Body Collision Technology, Automotive Technology, Diesel Maintenance Technician, and Truck Driving. These programs offer certificates, diplomas, and degrees that can lead directly to high-paying, high growth occupations.

"At Transportation Career Night, we will give tours of our state-of-the-art facilities and have some hands-on activities," says Auto Body Collision Technology instructor Tom Brandt. "Plus, we’ll have industry representatives from all the transportation programs available to discuss opportunities in these high-demand job markets. We want to give current and future students a realistic idea of what transportation careers can offer."

What to expect at Transportation Career Night:

  • Meet industry representatives and talk to truck driving company recruiters
  • Tour our state-of-the-art facilities
  • Try hands-on activities like using shop equipment and spray booth painting
  • See a variety of automotive vehicles and technologies on display
  •  Save $20 – no fee if you apply for admission at Career Night!
  • College student services and financial aid information available

 Register early for a chance to win a Snap-on Cordless Impact Kit, valued at $750! You must attend the event to be eligible to win. Registration is at www.southeastmn.edu/event

© 2018 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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