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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Archive: October 2010

Anatomy of a Friday

When I was applying schools, what I really wanted to know was what I’d be doing day in and day out. Thus we have… Anatomy of a Friday. Today’s schedule:

  • 8:10 am I woke up late and scrabbled a bit to have breakfast and get to class…
  • 9 am Dance history. We all presented our projects. Most groups got really into it and dressed up. Two girls even drew mustaches on to dance the man’s role! One group presented the pyrrhic Buffen’s Dance: There were aluminum foil swords and shields. Oh yes.

    (photo from Dances of the Late Renaissance website--click picture to follow link)

  • 10 am Work out a bit in the body conditioning room in the basement of Lilly Hall. Go to the library and check out some books for my Irish Literature class. Buy a wrap from C-Club with my Dawg Bucks and have half of it for the first half of my lunch.
  • 11 am Physics class. I survived my first test! Now we are just starting a unit on special dynamics. We had what I call a “history moment,” in which the professor introduces each new unit with a bit of history. He asked us who the three greatest scientists were. Can you guess?
  • noon Finish lunch. Get ready for ballet class.
  • 12:20 pm Ballet technique class.
  • 2 pm Modern class.
  • 3:30 pm Work in the costume shop.
  • 4 pm Read on a bench outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. Go back to the library to return one book and check out three more.

    Some of the many benches on Butler's campus

  • 5 pm Back into Lilly Hall to run my Student Choreography rehearsal. We finished the dance!! Yaaaaay! This is extremely exciting. Sunday, we will perform it in costume to get the lighting design set. Look for updates on that process in a bit.
  • 7 pm Return to apartment. Make a frittata. Eat frittata. Read a bit of Dune–I know, I know. Reading for pleasure. In college. Scandalous.
  • 9 pm Grocery trip with a friend across the hall. :) Have deep and meaningful conversation.
  • 10 pm Unpack groceries. Succumb to jaunty yellow bag of peanut M&Ms.
  • 10:45 pm Write blog post. Think longingly of sleep.

Good night!

The Flu: Just say “No.”

There are perks to being a student at Butler University. I just got my flu shot in the basement of the new pharmacy building. The process was very efficient, and ya can’t beat free flu shots. My one complaint? It was mighty toasty down there. It may be fall, but it’s not that cold out.

Climate control aside, the process was quite simple. Just walk in, fill out a form, get the flu shot, wait for fifteen minutes, and walk out a free (and flu-free) woman. I know there’s some controversy surrounding the use of immunizations–isn’t there always some controversy?–but I feel like I should get a flu shot as a college student. We all live in close proximity to one another, especially those student in residence halls. We are not known to be the cleanest bunch. And the dance majors roll around on the floor and come in close bodily contact.

So I got  flu shot. For free. In about thirty minutes. In a building right across from my first class.

Like I said, perks.

Prosiect is Welsh for “project”

There are many projects currently revolving around Olivia-world. Things I am doing:

  1. Student Choreography. Like mad.
  2. Dance history project. We are reconstructing and presenting a Renaissance dance from Thoinot Arbeau’s Orchesographie. Here’s the dance we are researching, though Irwin Library’s copy isn’t in French. It was all I could trouver.
  3. A circle and a sweater. I am slowly knitting these two objects. If I continue at my current rate of three rows a week on the sweater and half a round a week on the circle, I’ll be done by the time I graduate from Butler! Go me!

    Some of the lace in my lace circle

  4. Notice that learning Welsh is not included in the list. I admit that sometimes I listen to Learn Welsh podcasts while I work out, but even that has been recently replaced by my ceaseless work on Student Choreography. It’s Art Pepper for me all the way, man.
  5. Papers. I need to start writing my big research paper for my Irish Literature class. ASAP.
  6. Cooking. Yesterday I made Caribbean Black Beans from my Moosewood cookbook. Basically, you heat beans in a pan with some herbs, some onion, and a bit of orange juice. Pretty good.

Halfway to Tipperary

For the context of the title of this post, pretend Tipperary means “finishing my Student Choreography Showcase piece” instead of “an town in Ireland’s Muster province.”

When I was a freshman, I ran the lighting board during the shows. When I was a sophomore, I performed in one of my classmates’ pieces. This year, I’m in two pieces and choreographing my own. The tech rehearsal is in a week. I am only halfway finished.

Student Choreography is a student-run, student-choreographed, and student-danced performance in October. All dance major can choreograph and/or dance in the show. A few stipulations:

  • Students may dance in no more than three pieces.
  • Works must remain under five minutes.
  • Choreographers cannot dance in their own pieces.

Apart from that, we are pretty much given free rein. I have not successfully choreographed a dance before, and it’s terrifying. The choreographers all met on Thursday to discuss dates and times… And I am far behind.

To be fair, I have an ambitious project: over four minutes with fifteen dancers. Fifteen! That’s a lot.

And… I should get back to working on choreography. The music I’m using:


Annnnd it’s not working. You can go here if the video is a sad red square for you, too. It’s Art Pepper‘s You Go to My Head.


In which the smackdown disintegrates

What’s the score between Olivia and physics? It’s hard to say, since the smackdown has disintegrated into madness.

Pro-Olivia: The professor posted a list of early term grades via student ID number, and he placed them in descending order. Guess who was at the top of the class? That’s right–the Dance BFA/English lit major!

Pro-physics: The midterm. Two questions. Three sections each. Ninety minutes. (Or seventy-five, in my case, since I had a ballet class that began at 12:20.) All was well and good until the last section of the last problem. I think I finally ended up with a system of six equations with six different variables. I wrote, “Solve the system found at the bottom of the extra work page. Did not have time to execute.” Darn vectors pointing every which way!

Yeah. Definitely not at the top of the class anymore.

To Nano or not to Nano?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know I participate in something called NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month. I first started attempting Nano in 2005, when I was a sophomore in high school. I finally “won” in 2007, November of my senior year, and I’ve finished every year since.

A bit of background: Nanowrimo happens in the month of November (aka, the worst month ever for a ballet dancer, due to a little thing we call The Nutcracker). During these thirty days, people all across the globe attempt to write a 50,000-word piece of fiction. We write novels. And we do it in a month.

Of course, these are not polished novels. We often use extensive quotations. We rarely employ niceties like sustained narrative and all that. And we always type out numbers like twenty-seven, a hundred and fifty-two, and three thousand five hundred twenty-five and thirteen twenty-sevenths. (That last sentence totaled twenty-one words, which is zero point zero one percent of a day’s work, one thousand six hundred and sixty-seven words.) It adds up.

The wittily-constructed Nano website claims 50,000 words is about 175 pages, for those who are interested. I myself wrote about 52,000 words in 98 pages. Go figure. (Double vs single spacing, perhaps?) One is proclaimed a winner after reaching 50,000 words of fiction.

The point? We write for the sheer joy of it. We write because giving ourselves permission to aim for quantity over quality often produces work that otherwise would not exist. We write because we can, dudes.

End of background.

In the old days, the logo recalled a marathoner.

Anyway, I am trying to decide if I will attempt Nanowrimo this year. The main reason I am hesitant? I am opting to write the twenty-page research paper for my Irish Literature class, and I am currently on a “let’s read about literary theory!” kick. An independent study may or may not be in the works. It’s so early that I almost don’t want to blog about it, since it seems likely to fall through or suffer some other dire fate.

We shall see.

Now it's all Vikings and coffee.

Funny lines from past Nano novels:

Example 1, from the 2007 novel (my first-ever completed) called Welsh Lessons, page sixty-nine: “If we leave the pipe in the lederhosen, the Pied Piper will be defeated.”