The Amherst track teams began their season in earnest in the last couple weeks, with meets at Tufts, Wesleyan, and Boston University. The women’s team’s stellar performance at the Terrier Invitational in Boston was particularly impressive, as three different athletes set school records.

The Jeffs had one meet before Winter Break at Smith College on December 7th. The majority of the team’s cross-country runners did not compete, according to Coach Erik Nedeau, who said that the meet was “primarily for our jumpers and sprinters.”

Over the month of December, the Amherst women’s basketball team posted five out-of-conference wins, each game by a margin of victory of at least 10 points. The Jeffs took on Eastern Connecticut State, Albertus Magnus, Bridgewater State, Vassar and Marywood. Megan Robertson ’15 continued to have stellar performances during each game, contributing heavily to points and rebounds for the Jeffs. Other notable performances over the course of December included Marley Giddins ’16, Cheyenne Pritchard ’16 and rookie twins, Meredith Doswell ’17 and Ali Doswell ’17.

The Amherst women’s hockey team has had a demanding and successful string of games over the past month, compiling an impressive record of 9-3-3 overall and 5-1-2 in the NESCAC.

Just before break, the No. 9 Jeffs took on No. 4 Norwich Univ. and lost a heartbreaker 4-3 after conceding a goal with just 1:47 left in regulation.

“It was our fourth game in nine days, all against top ten teams… I believe it could have gone either way, and despite the tough 4-3 loss, our squad will be better for it in the long run,” Coach Matthews noted.

The men’s ice hockey team kept themselves busy over break, taking down Middlebury on Dec. 6, before falling in a tough 1-0 loss to archrival Williams at home the following day.

Following the new year, the Jeffs returned to action at the Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament in Norwich, VT. They managed to split their two games, with a 4-3 win over Plymouth State, and a 5-1 loss to Norwich University.

Classes have begun. My back tingles in anticipation of hunching for hours during late night writing sessions while my brain savors a few fleeting moments of peace before entering the hum of heavy caffeine intake. For now, however, I am sitting at my computer, sipping red wine with more thought and concentration than ever before. I am indeed drinking on a Sunday evening when I have class in less than 24 hours.

Every college town needs its own trendy coffee shop where undergrads can hide out on Sundays equipped with lattes, muffins and Macbooks. Luckily, the Amherst area has a plethora of hot spots to choose from. Each coffee shop in the Pioneer Valley has its own set of quirks and secrets, and there is enough variety for every college student in the area to find one that they can call “their spot.” Here is a compilation and review of the Pioneer Valley’s most popular hangouts:

I remember for about 18 months while I was five and six, I made it a point to watch “The Lion King” at least once a week. When I realized just how excessive this pre-adolescent binge watching was, I felt sorry for all the people who had to watch with me to make sure the VHS worked. This person was usually my mom. Recently, my mom reminded me of these frequent screenings.