Andrew ’13 RSS feed

About Me:

One year more. It's going fast. Am I taking advantage of every opportunity? You betcha.

Check us out on Facebook Follow us on Twitter! Butler's YouTube Channel Chat with a Student

Andrew

The Injury: Part 2

Spring Sports Spectacular, held every spring, raises money for the Special Olympics and allows for campus-wide competition in an array of sports. I didn’t care about the basketball or Oreo stacking. Ultimate Frisbee was all I concerned myself with. I had won my freshman and sophomore years, but Phi Delta Theta’s team had foundered last year while I was abroad.

We were back for revenge.

The event started at 1 AM. I thought it might be cause for concern, but as soon as I was on the field my blood was pumping and all I wanted to do was chase that disc (the jury is still out on whether I’m descended from our canine companions). Under the fluorescent lights we won a hard fought game against Phi Kappa Psi, wining in overtime. Delta Tau Delta was our next competition.

Mid-Game, it happened. Pop. I had been on defense when I stumbled and the offender came down on my leg. Pop. I knew immediately that I was done, and that I would be on the sidelines for the remainder of the game.

As I rode off to the ER in my friend’s car at three in the morning, trying to stabilize the bone that seemed to move anytime we hit a bump, I didn’t even consider how different the end of my year would be.

The Injury: Part 1

“Break a leg!” my friend’s mom told me as I shuffled the multi-colored index cards in my hands, trying to bring the edges completely even. I didn’t pay much attention to the innocuous comment. I paid little attention to anything other than this presentation, since it was one of the final goals of my year.

The Undergraduate Research Conference is held once a year at Butler University, and features the scholarly work of students from several other universities. At my own panel, I would be presenting with three other students from different universities who had also completed works of creative writing.

That Morning

I was presenting my honors thesis, a project in two parts. First, there was the piece of science fiction called Kala, focused on a girl who has been torn from her home by a group of terrorists and turned into a cyborg, all to battle the an oppressive government. The second part featured a research paper that synthesized cyborg theory with thought of Romantic writers in the 18th century and examined how these forces were at play in my fiction.

The presentation went off without a hitch, and I didn’t have anything else to worry about for that weekend. In fact, I only some ultimate Frisbee to look forward to that night…

TO BE CONTINUED.

Absence

Dear Readers,

If you exist, then you’ll know that I haven’t posted on my blog in quite some time. You may be distraught. If we follow this little fantasy of mine, maybe you’re demanding a refund, and then feeling bad at the realization that you’ve enjoyed all of my writing at no charge. So you’re considering throwing a little extra money my way.

If only.

The truth is I was swept away by an injury to my leg, after which I was busy finishing the work of my senior year. To be honest, I’ll use the leg injury as the crutch of my excuse (Buh-dum. Oh and expect many more of these jokes to come).

So, over the next few blog posts I’ll cover the last two weeks of school, the joys I have to look forward to this summer, and my preparations for my coming year in Japan.

Also, thank you for existing,

Andrew

Of Libraries and Wondefulness

It’s my dream to live near to a giant library. I would visit every week and find new books, movies, and music to enjoy and expand my mind. When I’m studying at Irwin, sometimes I’ll just walk along the bookshelves and realize how little I know. It’s also a joy to find those books they look like they belong on the set of a movie about the middle ages.

While Butler University has two fantastic libraries (the general Irwin library and then the Science Library in Holcomb Building), the Indianapolis area is home to a number of fantastic libraries, some that are very close, and to which you can order any book in the system. I went to the downtown branch, one of the most beautiful libraries that I have ever seen. The old and new mediums of literature is symbolized in a stunning mixture of architectures; a new flowing glass section directly next to a square, stone building that was the original library. It was a pleasure just walking through the shelves and finding something new to learn.

Top 100 Butler Students

Last Friday, Butler University honored some of its most outstanding students at a dinner ceremony. I know this because I was one of those students being awarded. Awesome right? Now I don’t want this to be a bragging post, because who can stand that? Also, I wasn’t even in the top 100 students. I was in the top 102, the result of a tie in the judging. So it’s no big deal.

What was a big deal was seeing all of my peers, some who I remember meeting on my first day at campus at the Honors Program orientation, when most of us were glad that we were meeting people who were similar to ourselves. Some of my best friends were in attendance, and my parents–who had been able to come down for the event–were only slightly peeved when I was away from the table talking to these friends.

In one moment the dinner was an ego boost, but more than that it was a humbling experience. Not only was it a good reminder that there were a hundred and one other students equally or more motivated than I am to achieve success, but also that it was this group of individuals that really represents Butler at its best, a group of students who are as active in sports, leadership roles, and service as they are in their academics.

Core Classes

A key component to the liberal arts education that Butler University offers is the core curriculum. These classes cover a broad range of topics from the creative arts to the hard sciences, and a lot in between.

At the start of this semester, I was kicking myself for putting off my Natural World core class till the very last semester. Genetics and Evolution. However, it’s actually been a fantastic experience, much better than I had expected. I wasn’t hesitant because I thought the class would be bad, but I was worried about the longevity of my motivation in the final months before graduation.

We began with genetics, working to understand the mechanisms that drive our genes on a molecular genetics. Now we are zooming out to see how that works on a global scale, delving into the work of Darwin and his theory of evolution. Yet this class never focuses too narrowly on the specifics of how these all work. Rather, we goo deep enough to understand the concepts, and then broaden our scope to see how this impacts our understanding of cloning, genetic recombination and modification, and how insurance companies are trying to steal our DNA (not really, but watch out…).

Continuous Kindness

In a previous article I mentioned that at our Easter lunch we went around the table and talked about acts of kindness that inspire us. For me, that comes from Susan Sutherlin.

A professor at Butler, she organizes a group of MFA and undergraduate student volunteers to visit a local high school and teach poetry and fiction writing. Susan works with such vigor every single day that the program has grown rapidly in its two short years of existence, oftentimes acting more than a simple after-school program. Through various grants food is provided for the kids (an essential, since I remember being a teenager and the constant hunger that dogged me).

More importantly, the program is more than improving reading or writing skills. It’s about the growth of the students, in their ability to express themselves and their confidence. Just see for yourself: YouTube Preview Image

And it’s not a one way street. I’m astounded every time I volunteer by the passion these kids exhibit that I feel compelled to bring myself up to their level. It’s been one of my most rewarding experiences of my time at Butler. But really, just check these poets out! YouTube Preview Image

Ode to Corduroys

Imagine my incredible joy at happening upon a pair of corduroys that were delightfully colored and my size. Now imagine that ecstatic joy when compounded by the fact that the corduroys were on the clearance rack at a whopping 90% off!

My second pair is this, but a forest green.

Naturally I got two pairs. Understand that I wasn’t at a Goodwill or Salvation Army. I was shopping at Kohls. That’s right. This is like a whole step up. Now granted, I’m not an American Eagle or Express, but I don’t think that I’d want to be at those places in any case.

Let’s also keep in mind that I had a 20% off coupon, meaning that the jeans that were reduced from $44.00 to $4.40 were suddenly about $3.52. And you all know how much I love deals. And although I’m happy with my red and green pairs, I’m still a little disappointed in myself for not purchasing the blue variety.

Moments of Kindness

While sitting around the table with my family and our close friends, my mom popped a question to the whole table: “What is an act of kindness you have seen recently?” It’s her typical move, asking the family to reflect on their experiences. My sisters then made their typical eye rolls and sighs, while I teased them, as I typically do. For this post, I thought I would share some of the examples of kindness, and hope that you reflect on the kindnesses around you.

  • My dad remembered a moment when he was looking for a cab, and was waiting with another person. The cab arrived, and they entered first. But, after asking where my Dad was going, said that they could ride together.
  • While shoveling the driveway and sidewalks, a neighbor shoveled a good portion of my friend’s sidewalks, a gift they also offer to their other elderly neighbors.
  • My sister has a friend who is very caring for a mutual friend with a difficult home life. She offers advice and worries about her frequently, getting advice from others to help the beleaguered person.

Hopefully these have brightened your day! And take a moment to notice the kindness around you. If it’s hard to spot, make some of your own.

Possibly the most cheerful of candies. Give one to a friend!

Happy Easter!

One this Easter Day, Pope Francis called for world peace, focusing his attention on the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East. Today I had more than my share of peace, spending the day with family, hunting for plastic eggs (more for my parents’ sake, since all the kids have outgrown this tradition), and eating delicious food.

Searching for those darn eggs

After scarfing down some delicious breakfast and then some candy, we went to our friends’ house for lunch. There we scarfed down a bit more food and before we knew it we could barely walk. So, we decided to go on a walk! The weather was fantastic, good for some disc throwing (always looking for ways to make room for some more food).

All in all it was a fantastically relaxing day. I even got some work done! But I must share with you a new secret. Taking what is called the “Miracle Berry Pill” from our friends, we were instructed to take a big bit out of a piece of lemon and grapefruit. What we tasted was wonderful! The lemon tasted sweet, and the grapefruit had lost all of its sourness. This pill contains a molecule that blocks all of the bitter taste receptors on your tongue. If you’re looking for a fun party activity, this is one to try!