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

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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…).

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! While that isn’t an Irish accent so much as a Lucky Charm’s accent, I still think that it’s necessary to bring it up on St. Patty’s day, that day that has become so far removed from the original feast day of St. Patrick that few people still consider that connection as relevant.

What do little dancing leprechan's have to do with St. Patrick? No idea.

I didn’t do a lot to celebrate. I didn’t even wear green. But what I made sure to do was eat a potato. I baked some potatoes and at them while watching Selection Sunday. I didn’t go to any parties (it’s a Sunday for goodness sake!) and I didn’t watch my favorite Irish themed movie, Boondock Saints.

All I did for my St. Patrick’s day was to prepare for the coming week. It’s going to be a busy one, so I didn’t have time for superfluous celebrations. Plus, how can I top my St. Patrick’s celebration from two years ago, when I saw Flogging Molly in concert. That’s the best way to celebrate Irish-American culture.

Bravest Warriors

From the creators of Adventure Time comes Bravest Warriors. The complete series of this shoe can be found on Youtube, and as I know that many students are looking for a way to blow a few hours online, here’s a perfect outlet.

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Here’s one way to explain it: it starts out weird, and then gets weirder.

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All of the episodes are about five and a half minutes. The plots are simple, kooky, and you’d have a tough time predicting what would happen next.

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Hopefully these episodes provided a good study break, or just enhanced the break you were already enjoying!

Spring Break Packing List

Shortly I will be departing Indiana for sunnier territory. Here are a few pointers on how to pack in order to have that trip you’ve always wanted.

1) GPS: If you’re driving like I will be, bring that beloved device that will rarely turn you wrong, and knows the politest way to say, “You’re going the wrong way, stupid.”

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2) Map: Because I don’t want a robot apocalypse any more than the next guy. When they turn, I want to still be self-sufficient.

3) Snacks: Teddy Grahams. Fruit By The Foot. Dunkeroos. They got us through the 90s, they’ll get us through a 12 hour car ride.

4) Playlists: No one enjoys riding through mountains, trying to find the stations that all seem to have disappeared, while simultaneously avoiding careening off the road. Plug in that playlist. Enjoy.

5) Fedora: It’s time to hit the town in style. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. (And remember, these people will never see you again.)

6) Flip-flops: it’s time to let those feet breathe!

7) Camera: Always make sure you’re prepared for a The Hangover situation. You won’t want to get through the stolen babies and tigers without some way of memorializing the experience.

8) Sunscreen: Derp.

9) Aloe Vera: Cause let’s get real, who remembers to reapply sunscreen every two hours? Aspiring dermatologists, maybe. For the others, this is sure to mollify the pain.

 

Downton Abbey

I’ll preface by saying that I went in skeptical. I was prepared to stop watching the very instant I became bored. I was just watching one episode, just to see what all of the hullabaloo was about.

Six episodes later, I realize that I’m rather fond of Downton Abbey. I do say, it is even changing how I speak! This fantastic TV series follows an aristocratic family in Britain in the early 20th century. It follows two sides of this aristocratic family, the upstairs, the family, and the downstairs, the wait staff. It’s a generally a quiet show, with the tension coming from the characters, a family that is struggling to navigate struggles among the family, between the family and the staff, among the staff, and between everyone on the estate and the outside world.

All of this occurs as the world is shifting into a new phase, where socialist and feminist rallies are becoming more common. The show does an incredible job of making me love and hate the same people. The daughters, for instance, are all as bratty as they come, but every once in a while they’ll shine with a bit of realness that helps break them out of the childish mold.YouTube Preview Image

I’m not saying that this show is a must watch, but it is gripping, portrays vivid characters, and is all set in an interesting historic time (the first episode opens on the sinking of the Titanic).