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

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Posts Tagged “experience”

A Consumer Wonderland

After a while I got into a routine of shopping with my buddy. First we’d go to Aldi, a place that strives for cheapness at the expense of music in the aisles, bags at checkout, and motivated personnel. Then we’d head to Trader Joe’s for some great but pricey food.

We found ourselves at a crossroad when a mutual friend was accepted into the Super Special Sam’s Club (I’m not clear at the ceremony that took place, but I imagine an animal sacrifice and robes). In the interest of cashing in on these deals we went with him this morning for a chance to experience a hallmark of American society. What we found was beyond our wildest imagination.

Rows of flat screen TV’s sat side-by-side with huge tubs of ground coffee, one of the purest expressions of unconditional friendship I have ever witnessed. I could have bought spices by the five gallon bucket, enough frozen fish to populate the Pacific, and…and…Well, at about that point we realized we needed to get out of there while we still had money. So we called it quits (except wait, oh I do in fact need 14 pens) and headed out. Oh the joys of being a college student and bargain hunting!

This video represents another way that American consumer is aptly expressed: YouTube Preview Image

We Remember

I’ll be honest: on September 11th, 2001 I really had no idea what was going on. I’ve talked to people my age who lived in the New York City area. The event for them was as real as it could get. They knew family members, friends, and relatives who may have been in the buildings or the surrounding area.

For a ten year old in Indiana, all I had were the news reports and the gasps of my parents and teachers to try and grapple with an event that was far outside of my scope of knowledge. I was more used to reading about such events in fiction books than hearing about them in real life.

What can be certain now is that the event is so understood by me now that I hardly notice it. This 11th anniversary of the day marks the first year in which I have lived more of my life after than before. It has shaped the last decade, and will continue to be an influence far into the future. All we can do is keep it from effecting us negatively and keep the victims and those hurt by the attack in our thoughts and prayers.

Here are some commercials that have memorialized 9/11. The second one sticks out vividly in my memory. YouTube Preview Image

It’s A Journal, not a Diary…

Advice for all people planning on studying abroad: take a journal! The reasons are innumerable. You are going to want to remember everything that happens during the incredible months you have abroad. Also, you’ll improve your language proficiency in leaps and bounds.

So maybe not innumerable, just the two actually.

My biggest problem at this moment is time management. THERE’S TOO MUCH I WANT TO DO! (Admittedly a good problem). I want to read Harry Potter in Italian, watch movies in Italian, journal, spend time with friends, hit the town, travel…Man I love this place.

It's Journaling Time! (Sometimes I think I just shouldn't write anything in the caption...)

Homeless for a Night

So maybe we could have planned better. At this point, pointing fingers won’t help anyone. And at the very least, it was a good life lesson. But needless to say, the concrete floor of Florence’s streets aren’t ideal for sleeping. I believed I mentioned it in an earlier post, my friend and I went to Florence to play Ultimate Frisbee.

“Why?” You might ask.

I can hardly restrain my excitement

“Why not?” I would incredulously respond. So what if it was a Tuesday, and I had class the next day at 9. It was time to seize life by the throat.

Well, come 1 PM that night, we came to the decision that a hostel for 20 euro wasn’t worth the four hours we would be sleeping before our 5:50 AM train that morning. At this time we also learned that the train station was not familiar with the phrase “24/7.” Yet none of this matters a lick, because the minute we reached that train after 4 or so hours of restless sleep, our lights were out, big smiles plastered on our faces.

It’s also important to mention that for a Midwesterner like me, who is quite unfamiliar with trains always performs the same routine upon arrival at a train station. First, I search for Platform 9 3/4. Then, I quietly become giddy as I sit into my sit, realizing that I’m playing out the story of Harry Potter.

We were all a bit too excited for the train

Laban (Definition Please?)

For the first time in my life I entered Butler’s dance studio and took part in Laban, a modern dance movement created by Rudolf Laban in the 20th century. It’s goal is to create a community of movement, something radically missing from our society, he claims.

Once the class got past the giggles of feeling ridiculous, we experienced something extraordinary: a cohesive system of movements that brought us together. It wasn’t anything like dancing at a party. It was…more. I was thrilled to see this side of the dance department that I had before been isolated from.

Lauren: so cold but so talented!

Here’s what Lauren, a Dance major, has to say about Butler’s dance department: “It is so diverse in what they are teaching us. We are doing everything including classical ballet, modern, jazz, different types of character; slavic and spanish, and we also learn how to write music for dance and how to denote different types of movement and analyze it.”