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

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Archive: October 2011

Being Super Interesting: The BSI Program

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had participated in the Butler Summer Institute, a chance for those particularly academic minded students to work closely with a professor on research for 9 weeks in the summer.

The program is fantastic because it is open not only to scientific research (about 20 students are involved in the sciences) but also to the humanities (10 spots total). This keeps the options nearly limitless–projects range from psychology to comparative literature analysis to the study of C. elegans (a worm, I think).

Some BSI students at the IMA! (too many acronyms...)

My project was peculiar: being a Creative Writing Major, I engaged in a creative project. For nine weeks I developed and wrote a science fiction novel. This may seem like a frivolous use of the program, but I was engaging in the literary discussion that exists through several works of science fiction, including the work of Mary Shelly, Phillip K. Dick, and H.G. Wells. I ended up with an 80 page draft of the first half of the novel. What this should tell you is that the program gives all sorts of students with ambitious ideas an avenue to pursue them.

 

You Be(a)st Get to that Beautiful Show

Clowes Hall is the pride of Butler, a fantastic performance hall that brings in amazing performances from around the world. This week it was a Broadway performance of “Beauty and the Beast.” Being unable to go myself, I decided to interview someone who did. Stephanny Tauber is a senior Arts Administration Major who has quite the passion for performance.

Hey! Those people sure the fun hotspots around town

“Beauty and the Beast being at Clowes was so great not only because of the mug scene, or the fact that I want to be Belle, or even that it’s right here on campus, but because I was able to take my residents” (she’s also a resident assistant at the girl’s dorm) “without having to drive them.”

“Having an auditorium like that so close gets students excited about performing arts, which is good for a girl graduating with an arts administration degree.” So there you have it. Straight from the source of all things theater. This should also enforce the idea that being in the “Butler Bubble” does not mean you are cut off from the outside world. It just means that the outside world wants to come to us.

Coming Full Circle

Butler borrows the best of both worlds. When I was looking at various universities my senior year of high school, I was intrigued by Butler’s innate ability to exist within a large city (only 15 minutes from Indianapolis’ downtown) yet remain its own entity. The campus does not exist on city street corners.

Try and tell me that's a city campus. Honest, try me

Simultaneously remote and integrated. Last Saturday my friends took advantage of this and visited the Circle Centre Mall, stepping out of the “Butler Bubble,” as it is termed in the area, and entering into the world of fashionable, dimly lit, cologne suffused, and techno pumping stores.

The night ended as a rousing time, full of jokes and memories (ie why did we even walk into that store? I couldn’t breathe). But it won’t end there. Being in Indy opens us to countless options, quite importantly the Lucas Oil Stadium. Super Bowl here we come!

The Midterms are Coming, the Midterms are Coming!

Study time! I just imagine Paul Revere riding through town with this shocking news. In the rush to get the prime study tables on campus, some people might stop and ponder why it’s so surprising to have tests at college (what’s up with that?) But most don’t stop to questions, since such distractions can result in getting to the library late and being stuck with the tables by the bathroom.

Ah, Irwin LIbrary. How you consume my days.

Midterms here at Butler are scattered around Fall Break, some before and some after. As an English major, my midterm tests are very limited. I only had one leading up to this fall break. My midterm papers are much more prolific. Three total, due after break.

That’s one way I know Butler is doing its job. Throughout the entire semester, you work hard. It’s almost non-stop, slowly building first to midterms, and then a bigger push to finals. When winter break and summer hit, I always am left with nothing to do. I’m so busy at Butler I don’t even realize how much growth and education is going on!

Service: For Real Yo

I’ve been open to the idea of Community Service for a long time, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve looked at it seriously. Part of this is a result of my Liberal Arts education, growing in my understanding of what it means to be human within a community (wait a a minute. Community…community service, I see what’s going on here!).

Ways I’ve gotten involved:

Student Organizations: a friend of mine helped coordinate “Bulldogs as Bigs,” a weekly event in which six Bulter students (myself included) visit the Indiana School for the Blind and interact with a student.

Fraternities: As a member of Phi Delta Theta, I have been involved with the ALS foundation here in Indianapolis. Just a few weeks ago, me and several of my brothers volunteered at the walk here in Indianapolis.

Possibilities are endless!!! The Volunteer Center is another loaded place to find out how to help the local community, as well as programming put on by the Blue House.

Through service, you can be a star! (Just like our fountain)

Warm Weather, Where Art Thou?

If you don’t believe what weather.com will tell you, just step outside your door for two seconds, and you’ll experience the fantastically beautiful weather that is very un-October (which is fine by me, since I still want summer). If you’re on Butler’s campus, there are many options for people looking to relish these final days of warmth.

Benches: where work comes to be distracted.

  • Go on a run! (You’re great HRC, but sometimes outside is just nicer)
  • Throw a disc
  • Do homework outside on a bench
  • Lay outside, work optional
  • Visit Holcomb Gardens (The painful reminders that it’s autumn are there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful)
  • Keep your window open
  • Wear shorts
  • Wear t-shirts (Both advisable anyways)
  • Sit in class hoping against hope that your teacher will take you outside (which sometimes WILL happen. Thanks Dr. Spyra!)

 

Sailing the Seven Seas…Or Just the One

It’s not every day that you get to take a simple, classic board game like Battleship and blow it up to life-size proportions. For those land-lubbers who doubt that this can be done, please review the short video below to banish the questions and instill an understanding that this is real life.

Standing on the edge of the pool, watching the crowds of excited students cheering on their friends as they attempted to sink each others canoes thrilled me. The energy was so positive, the game was so ridiculous, and the chance to jump in myself was taken swiftly.

This is what the university does every weekend. Events are put on for students who either lack the creativity to think of something to do on a Saturday night (which is ridiculous, since there’s so much to do around Butler) or for those who think floundering in a canoe in need of bailing out is a fun way to spend a weekend.

 

Life: Subject to Change

When I was a sophomore in high school, I came with my brother when he visited Butler. At the time, I knew what I wanted to do with my life: become a concert flautist. Now, this might strike an odd picture for me, a gangly 6’1″ male, but it was what my heart was set on at the time. Butler’s music program looked incredible.

CELL-O! Didn't you know Butler rocks?

Years later, as a Writing Major at that same university, I find myself reminiscing about the music I used to play. I’ll set my Pandora to a Classical Music Station, and it will draw me back to the years of largo movements, treble clefts, and crescendos. I consider picking it back up, practicing on campus.

We all know life changes. Butler is prepared for the most wicked curve balls that we can throw at it. Those of us who haven’t made up our minds about what we want to spend our lives doing (which I think is a wildly unrealistic expectation to hold for incoming freshmen), there’s always the Exploratory Studies. For those of us who change our minds, the options are nearly limitless on where to go next!

Coasters, Please. Use the Coasters

When you first enter into a room of any college student, you’ll see that very rarely is there variation between the normal items: beds, desks, dressers, futon, TV (if the roommates are lucky), etc.

As classy as it is useful.

My pride and joy of this semester has been my coffee table. I got it this summer for free (an instant winner in my book) but in poor condition. So I fixed it up. I learned how to strip the finish, then I sanded it down and re-stained it. I really learned how to Do It Best.
Now it sits in my room, a monument to my hard work and a great place to sit around while recounting the day with my friends or roommate. This is what any college student will experience: the need to differentiate. As a (semi) independent individual, the desire to separate oneself from the pack is strong. Competitions have even taken place on campus. Check it out.