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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: July 2012

Butler Best Memories: Sophomore Year

Sophomore year was tough. Tuesdays and Thursdays were full dancing days and began with music theory at 8 am! However, I had some of most memorable experiences during sophomore year. The photo journey through four years as a dance/English major continues:

I lived down the hall from the girls who would become my apartment-mates for the following two years… and to start the year off with a bang, we walked to the French Festival near campus (after going in the wrong direction for several summer streets and having to call for directions).

Sophomore year also marked the beginning of my more dedicated involvement with the Butler Catholic Community, an organization still near and dear to my heart. The priest on campus, Fr. Jeff was an integral part of my time at Butler. This picture is from the Freshman Retreat, where I helped play with play-dough and do the dishes, among other things.

Who could forget Y, Ball, Eiffel Tower? The Laban Movement Choir, part of the University’s Mahler Project, was in the autumn of my sophomore year, and I was immensely proud of the fact that I attained my goal of convincing (forcing) at least ten people to participate in the mass movement performance with all the dance majors. Here are some very good friends indeed demonstrating some of the poses from the piece.

I became a Butler Blogger my sophomore year and was full of grand ideas to make a video about Butler’s squirrels. So apart from the relentless dance schedule and my obsessive photographing of Butler’s dorms, food, and events, I hunted squirrels. Sometimes I filmed them. Occasionally I interviewed my friends about them — no joke! I still have the footage. (I also still have footage of my explanations of good study places — next to the little waterfall and in the laundry room, and that was as far as I got). Sometimes I stopped my bike and pulled out my phone to take a picture of a squirrel. I was crazy. Also…

I was obsessed with my bike, which I received as a birthday present early in the school year. I rode it everywhere. It was great.

And I dressed up as a boy scout for Halloween to go raid the school function’s candy and walk through a fraternity’s very creepy haunted house. Note the penknife. Then at midnight… I started NaNoWriMo.

Blogger Cathryn and I both participated in NaNoWriMo this year, which was the last time I tried to write a novel in November. Maybe I’ll revive the tradition this year?

Nutcracker came, as it always does, and I had to spray-dye my hair black to dance the Chinese soloist. For some reason, I was convinced my hair would fall out or turn brittle and break and I’d have an unwanted page-boy after the performance. (My hair is very thin and fine and breaks easily.) So I remember standing in the tiny ResCo shower stall, conditioning my hair for the third time, leaving in a smattering of the formula for bedtime, despite the fact that it was not leave-in conditioner. Whether due to the non-hair-breaking nature of the spray dye or due to my tender ministrations, I emerged from the performances with a full head of hair.

In the spring, I made icosahedrons with the rest of my Laban Movement Analysis class and tried to learn to play the castanets for Spanish Character. Sophomore year was full of discovery, shall we say.

Come March, basketball fever swept the campus as Butler’s basketball team played its way to the championship games… which were actually held in Indianapolis that year! We even got the morning/early afternoon excused to go to a pep rally downtown (though it was back to barre immediately afterwards). This was the first time I really paid any attention to sports, and participating in all the merriment with the rest of my friends was exciting! However, I remain a fair-weather fan, mustering the energy to watch the games only when everyone else around me is doing the same. (SHAME)

I still count Swan Lake as one of the hardest things I’ve done. Rehearsing for Little Swans, I had a serious case of the nerves (see post). A fire alarm went off in my building the night before opening night — glory. Still, I had a blast. And my tendonitis went away as soon as the performances were over.

So that was sophomore year, the year of bunked beds and falling out onto the floor each morning, of the giant Sigma Rho Delta binder for my pledge trainer duties, of knitting and GHS classes, of castanets and improv, of working all the time and learning more than I actually realized I was learning at the time.

Butler Best Memories: Freshman Year

Commence my last few posts for this blog before I officially graduate in August… and commence trips down memory lane. Freshman year was an emotional roller coaster as I gradually adjusted to college life.

Move-in was stifling. Students from the Greek houses (I think) and orientation guides helped my parents and I shuttle boxes and boxes from the car. The best part about move-in? The sense of camaraderie. The worst? The heat and lack of AC in the freshman girls’ dorm.

I bonded first with the girls in my dorm unit, some of whom I saw periodically over the next three years, some of whom I didn’t. Regardless, we were all fabulous dancers, as you can see from our impromptu hallway dance party.

And I voted in my first election ever, having turned eighteen just in time. Don’t forget to fill out your absentee ballot request!!

Freshman year, there was basically a lot of merriment. For instance, we dressed up as spies for our unit picture.

We even got a snow day when Mother Nature decided to dump a good three feet of snow onto the campus. This snow day was much more pleasant than the snow days when I was a junior: I worked at least seven hours a day on my BSI application when I was a junior. Also, that was an ice storm, and people broke bones. The freshman snowfall was just snow — perfect for frolicking.

And finally, how could I forget my dance class? I don’t have any pictures of Nutcracker, Midwinter, or Cinderella to show (got to keep things profesh!), but we all went to the Flying Cupcake (these cupcakes are the Butler student gift of choice) after our spring ballet technique final. So much fun!

Freshman year, explore the city and the campus. Take full advantage of opportunities to do silly things (safely and legally, of course). Make friends in a variety of social circles. And don’t forget to study!

If only I’d known

This is one of those horribly sappy “letters to myself” posts. Please excuse me, but I really want to tell myself:

Freshman year

  • Yes, you can sleep through that noise in your room, in the adjacent room, in the hall.
  • No, you cannot be so uptight. Be kind and sincere and considerate.
  • Be a better roommate.
  • No, you don’t need to bring your entire tea set to college. Or so many shoes.
  • No, you don’t need to ask so many questions after every jazz class. You’re a dancer. Use your body to figure it out.
  • You shouldn’t try to jump a pas de bourrée. You’ll only end up breaking your toe.
  • Please, please don’t wear those shoes with that skirt. You look like a clown.

Sophomore year

  • Yes, you can sleep through that noise.
  • Yes, you will eventually figure out how to roll the castanets.
  • Yes, you really can do homework/talk/sleep/ponder theories of the world while every other sophomore dance major is also trying to roll the castanets.
  • No, your hair will not fall out when you have to spray it black for Nutcracker performances.
  • That’s not how you rond de jambe en l’air.
  • Yes, your bottom leg will still be functional after Swan Lake, Act II. Yes, that’s tendonitis.
  • Yes, you will finish a double major. Stop stressing.
  • However, you should check with the head of department about requirement confusion.
  • Yes, your stick figure cartoons are amusing in your Music Theory, Choreography, and Global and Historical Studies classes. Now pay attention!
  • Please, please use your knitting savvy and make a tutu base that actually fits your torso instead of bunching up all the fabric on a too-big pattern.
  • On that subject, don’t use pastel, variegated, mohair yarn for your very first lace project.

Junior year

  • No, you really can’t juggle.
  • No, you won’t die if the apartment is slightly messy.
  • No, you shouldn’t use fifteen people in your very first choreographed piece.
  • Yes, that girl really is going to ride on the wrong side of the road. Wait just one minute and the two of you won’t collide.
  • No, fifteen minutes is not three-quarters of an hour. Yes, that boy in your physics class really does like you.
  • Your Irish Lit paper is too convoluted.
  • Yes, you really will get through Choreography II. No, you shouldn’t try to make a piece that’s entirely petit allegro.
  • You don’t actually have to learn the proof of standard deviation.
  • Please, please don’t be so ambitious about your BSI project. You can’t prove that thesis, no matter how hard you try.

Senior year

  • Don’t fouetté like that! You are going to sprain your toe, then inflame your tendon, then miss your chance to dance the Sugarplum Fairy. Just back away slowly…
  • No, it’s not the end of the world when that does happen.
  • Yes, you should ask for help with the Por Vos Muero music before rehearsal starts in January.
  • Your French teacher speaks Welsh. Ask her about it before the final exam.
  • Talk to your family more often.
  • Everything will work itself out in the end.
  • That leotard is on inside out.

Turning points in my life always turn me sappily reflective. It happened with high school, too. What interesting things have you learned throughout the course of high school/college/your young adult years that you wish you’d known beforehand?

** Oh, and one more: Don’t put potato peels down the kitchen sink. It will clog. **