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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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Posts Tagged “Apt Village”

Back to Butler

With the new year opening before us like a delicate blossom etc etc, the time to return to Butler approaches! University classes begin Tuesday, Jan 17, though my sorely mistreated little sister has been slaving away at the books since Jan 2.

I’ll be back a few days early, mostly so I can get my audition tapes in order as I begin the arduous process of getting a job. But I’m sure I can find a few leisurely moments mixed into the stress-smoothie of prepping for audition season. What do Butler students do with their spare time?

Well, we don’t have a lot of spare time, for starters. Most of the students I know belong to at least one other student organization. For me, it’s the Butler Catholic Community and the dance service fraternity Sigma Rho Delta. Even besides these structured activities, there always waits homework, laundry, and cleaning. And cooking. And extinguishing cooking fires. (That only happened once, I promise.)

However, if I get really, extraordinarily lucky, I can play a game. This usually happens during Fall Break, towards Thanksgiving and winter, very occasionally during weekends. And then, oh boy. Does my competitive streak ever love games! Word games in particular…

Actually my sister's game of Bananagrams, but it fulfills the same illustrative purposes.

I own a deck of cards, of course, and the ever popular Bananagrams. My roommate has Apples to Apples, and one can check out games like Scattergories from the front desk in the Apartment Village’s Dawghouse, along with movies and the like. For the college student truly on a budget or too lazy to trek to the central building for the game, I have the ever-popular Drawing Pictionary and Salad Bowl, both of which my godfamily taught to my family — next time I’ll include instructions!

Play on!

College Cooking: Recipes for the New Chef

Let’s set the record straight. When I entered my first apartment in Butler’s Apartment Village last fall, I set the stove on fire. I’m not a horrible cook, but making meals when the fancy strikes remains a far different beast from the responsibility of feeding oneself every single meal. That said, I still did not want to take the commuter meal plan option, since my schedule didn’t allow for convenient meal times in Atherton Union. Also, this way ended up being cheaper.

So I learned a few quick and dirty recipes perfect for the college student chef. In the next few posts scattered randomly throughout the semester, look for recipes like:

  • Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
  • Fried Rice
  • Chocolate Banana Pancakes
  • Curried tofu, spinach, and chickpeas
  • Not Quite Ramen
  • Tomato basil salad
  • My friend’s Healthy S*** in a Pan

If you are an experienced cook, I guess some of these might seem obvious. For the new cook, half the trouble isn’t making the food — it’s trying to think of what to make. On that note, if anyone has some easy (quick, inexpensive, yummy) recipe suggestions, please chime in!

My sous chef stirs the chili (recipe courtesy of my Latvian Roommate).

I hate straws

WARNING: I am about to be completely and utterly irrational in my tirade against straws. If you or your straw feel offended, please read no further. This is meant to be mildly amusing.

I cannot stand straws. I refuse mine in restaurants; I’m not going to use it and it will just sit there to be thrown away. It drives me absolutely NUTS when students get water at the campus Starbucks and sit there sipping away. Why? why? Why waste the whole plastic container, and why a straw? You can never get all the liquid with a straw and invariable end sucking up air and making obnoxious sounds. Why is it cool to hold a clear piece of plastic with a green cylinder sticking up out of it?

Oh, there she/he goes with her/his straw again. Gaaaah.

I received a free tote bag when I moved into Butler’s Apartment Village. I also got a complimentary plastic cup with a straw. Like this:

I gave it to my family. Why, straws, why? It was bad enough when all the students got the flimsy plastic cups with straws from Starbucks and carried them around everywhere. Now companies are manufacturing the objects — and Butler puts its Apartment Village logo on it! I suppose the cups being reusable makes them slightly less detestable. But they still have straws — THICK plastic straws which are much harder to grind into the dirt under one’s heel.

Imagine my consternation when Butler gave me another plastic cup with a straw. I am very grateful Butler gives its employees end-of-the-semester gifts. Don’t get me wrong. But a plastic cup with a straw? Really?

This summer I am living in UT, and I did not bring over many cups. And I am ashamed to say I use my clear plastic cup with a straw every day. Here is how I justify this:

  • It’s a gift. I have to use it.
  • I have very few other water bottle type containers, so I have no choice.
  • This one has a Butler logo, not a Starbucks one.
  • It’s convenient and doesn’t spill.
  • ….
  • ….
  • ….
  • I kind of like it.

Thank you, Butler, for my cups-with-straws.

Fulfilling the promise

Fulfilling the promise I made in my last post

Moving adventures: So I haven’t checked out of my Apartment Village apartment yet. I have until May 31, and I’m taking my sweet time about cleaning everything up before check out. Meanwhile, I’ve finished moving in University Terrace, minus the cleaning things still in AV.

This means my Butler ID remains keyed for AV. This means I could not open the door to UT on Sunday afternoon when I checked in. This means when I tried to move in Monday morning with a carload full of bookshelves and clothes, the door still refused to open.

So my boyfriend and I (he was helping me move in since I don’t have a car) went to Jimmy John’s in Broad Ripple for lunch. We ended up getting a free soda, because whenever we go out to eat, people give us food. It’s our special talent.

When we returned from lunch, still with a car full of stuff and stuff and stuff, there was nary a soul in sight. Door locked. Despair. We walked a lap around the building. As we prepared to leave, I spied a maintenance worker–who let us into the building.

So I was able to read the number of the UT staff on duty posted inside the lobby. So I called for aid. Apparently my ID, keyed to open AV, won’t work in UT until I’m checked out. So I got a special little gray object to put on my key ring so I can open the UT door. So, after much tribulation, I moved in. (And I kept moving in with my roommate all Tuesday morning as well.)

BSI dinner: Monday evening marked the first official BSI meeting. All participants met for a dinner of Qdoba in the Holcomb Garden‘s Garden House. We did the name thing–over and over. To tell the truth, I’m glad we are spending so much energy learning each other’s names, since I have a very poor memory when it comes to matching names and faces.

Holcomb Gardens: Click for source

Running barefoot through a storm adventures: Halfway through the BSI dinner, the storm began. I had no idea Indiana was so stormy in the summer. Apparently it’s a Midwest thing. Silly Midwest.

Getting back to UT in the rain without getting wet? Impossible. Getting back to UT without completely wrecking my new shoes? Possible. We had to cut through Holcomb Gardens–no pathways. All grass. All rain. All mud.

I took my shoes off and leapt with a yodel over a bed of mulch. I squished my way through the Garden… and sunk in the mire of mud next to the road. Dark gunk spurted up between my toes. I wavered, then decided I might as well enjoy the freedom. “Mud!” I squished my way back home.

Taking my shoes off in the rain made me feel quite rebellious. I suppose that’s my cue to recognize the lack of daring in my life. Well, we arrive places piecemeal. Words of wisdom for the week.

Moving Day(s)

For the past two days, I have been moving. Moving clothes and school things. Moving books and pots and pans. Moving a heavy bookcase.

BSI has officially started! And yes, I’m still not completely finished moving. My Apartment Village lease is still good, so I’m just transporting things piecemeal into our University Terrace apartment that is the provided (aka, free!) housing for Butler Summer Institute participants.

University Terrace

Also, I relearned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

I am definitely looking forward to this summer–and yesterday it was wonderful to be reunited with my roommate who bakes cupcakes. You know, the troublesome one. She was in France last semester, and I get to room with her in UT and hear all about her international escapades.

I’ll post pictures and write more about the moving adventures, BSI dinner, running barefoot through a storm adventures, not driving in a car adventures, and pen-returning adventures later. I have some glass baking pans to move.

Valentine’s mail

The front desks of all the residence halls (be it Schwitzer, Ross, ResCo, University Terrace, or the Apartment Village) have rows of mailboxes. In Schwitzer, I memorized a combination and turned a little dial to open my mailbox, which I shared with another random person. In ResCo, I had a special mailbox key. This year in the Apartment Village, my door key serves as my mailbox key as well. Because every person in an apartment has a key that will open the front door (obviously) (though the bedroom doors are only opened with one’s own key), the mailboxes are shared among an apartment.

This is the reason my roommate knew to tell me I had a package slip waiting in our mailbox. “Thank you!” I told her and went to pick up my package.

It was a Valentine’s Day package from my family, filled with wondrous things inside. (I actually opened it straightaway, instead of waiting like I usually do for the actual day to arrive. What has gotten into me?) (Thank you so much; I love the cupcake mix idea!) I quickly finished addressing my pile of Valentines and mailed them.

Valentine’s mail. Gotta love it.

Determined to stay on topic

This post WILL be about my apartment’s living room and restroom areas. It will. I got rather off-topic last time talking about one of my favorite things–books. I should be fine this time as long as I don’t mention books, ballet, rabbits, knitting, or playing with Playdough. All favorites of mine. All highly distracting.

Here is the other side of my living room area in my residence place where I live on campus with three other junior girls in Butler’s Apartment Village. As I said last time, the living room area–unlike the bedrooms–comes completely unfurnished.  We had to provide all you see in the picture: sofa, coffee tables, decorative vase, decorative pillows, decorative roommate.

The living room area is carpeted, and one wall (the one you see the background of the above picture) is painted a dark sort of gray. It’s really pretty and would match pretty much anything. Nice touch, Butler. It’s nice not to be surrounded by white walls all the time. Very homey.

Also, the central window is HUGE. I managed to miss it in the above picture, but the photography documenting our Christmas decorations will do nicely.

My bedroom is just behind the grey wall, and one of my roommate’s is next to mine. Two other roommates are on the other side. For each set of bedrooms is one bathroom and one sink area. Thus we total five sinks (because there is one in the kitchen) in the apartment. That’s a 1:1.25 human to sink ratio! (Right? Oh dear. It will really embarrassing to have passed calculus-physics only to mess up that comparison.)

There are two sinks just outside each restroom, one for each resident. Will you believe it, this is first time I’ve ever had a sink to myself since I was three years old? The freedom to be as tidy or as messy as I want is intoxicating…

I stayed on topic! Hooray! Thus ends my protracted tour of my residence this year. If you’ve missed the beginning posts, I’ve listed them below. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to lurk on Skype.

Supposed to be about my living room

I realize my picture posts of Butler’s junior/senior housing (four-bedroom apartments in the Apartment Village) have been somewhat spread out over the year. I posted a kitchen tour in September and my bedroom tour in November. Now, I’ll tie up some loose ends with the living room tour!

The kitchen area and living room are not separated by walls, but the carpet in the living room section gives the spaces some sense of division. Unlike the bedrooms, where the bed and desk and so on come with the rental of the apartment, the living room is completely and utterly unfurnished. It’s a good thing I have roommates with impeccable taste.

This photo has been sitting in my computer, gathering pixel-dust for ages, since by the end of the semester, the bookcase was completely stuffed. We keep cookbooks and some games on it, and the rest–I am afraid to admit–is all mine: textbooks, Norton Anthologies (I’m collecting them, apparently), library books, and books I somehow acquire.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you will know I love books. My bookshelf at home is currently completely full, and I’ve had to resort to using a box on the floor in front of the shelf. I have a system, however! All the books on my shelf, I have read. All the books in the box, I have yet to read. Clever, huh? Sort of.

Here is an awkward Photobooth picture of my bookshelf. You cannot see, because there is a seating object in the way, but I have another shelf below the lowest one in the picture. Oh dear.

Plus there are books in a stack on the floor which I must donate. Plus there are library books on my childhood toy chest. Plus more books which I read at night on my bedside table. This break, I haven’t read as much as was wont in years past, which seems to be this semester’s theme. Let’s see. This break I’ve read, in order of completion:

  • James Joyce, by John Gross: a book of essays on James Joyce
  • A War of Gifts, by Orson Scott Card: a novella in the Ender’s Game world that I purchased from the Butler bookstore on my birthday ages and ages ago
  • Something Borrowed, by Elizabeth Giffin: a Christmas present from my roommate (aka, the requisite chick lit)
  • Einstein’s Dreams, by Alan Lightman: radiant
  • Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card again: a reread of an old book for a friend
  • three-eighths of The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
  • three-fourths of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce

And… I just now realized this post has deviated somewhat from its promised subject. Whoops! Look for more apartment pictures in the future, I suppose.

On the merits of dawdling

I kind of like hanging out at Butler for a few days after I’m finished with my last exams. I am always anxious to see my family, but I like staying afterwards for several reasons. Which I shall list:

1. I have time to clean my room, my kitchen, my restroom, my living room… Towards the end of the semester, items tend to pile up. I know myself. I know I won’t suddenly become organized in the last days of cramming for finals. I know I won’t do laundry when my monster physics test makes menacing sounds from its corner. I know I won’t be packed and ready to go right after my last final. I definitely won’t have cleaned my refrigerator of items like milk and spinach.

2. I like spending time with my Butler friends. The people I have met at Butler are among my closest confidants (as dramatic as that surely sounds), and I often feel like I don’t have a chance to enjoy their company during the academic year. For example, I watched my roommate watch her croutons brown in the oven on Thursday. How often does that happen during the semester?

3. I have unintentionally developed a ritual at the end of each semester. For the third semester running, I ended up in the basement of Irwin library, reading Shaun Tan‘s magnificent Tales From Outer Suburbia. Obviously I budget time for this.

4. Living in the Apartment Village this semester, I first experienced the challenge of eating all perishables before leaving the campus. I like to think my roommate and I did a rather good job. All I had to throw out was some homemade whipped cream, half a stick of butter, and some carrots. We managed to eat a bag and a half of spinach in two days. I made a spinach-egg frittata on Thursday night, and this morning? Well, this was the epic morning of crepes.

A friend and I have had a long-standing date to make banana pancakes. However, I decided to admit that pancakes are not exactly my strong suit, so we made crepes instead.

The last time I had a pancake-breakfast party with a friend, this is what happened:

Looks good, right?

False!

Very false!

Crepes, besides being in my grasp skill-wise, are excellent vehicles for using up ingredients like bananas and cheese and spinach. I would include “not all at once” in that statement, except my friend concocted–and ate–a banana, spinach, cheese, and Nutella crepe. I decided to give that one a pass.

All this said, I am excited to go home for the winter break! Richmond, here I come!

Concerning fire alarms

I returned to my apartment last night after finishing my self evaluation for my ballet final this afternoon. Each year, dance majors fill out a survey with their opinions concerning their own progress in areas like placement, musicality, flexibility, dynamics, and professionalism. (There are a lot more categories, but there’s a sampling for you.) We turn in this evaluation when we take our juried class that comprises our ballet technique final.

Finishing this evaluation was necessary, and I did it during the on-campus Starbucks‘ last Jazz Combos performance of the semester. I am sad to report I only got to see the last combo group and half of the last tune from the second set–since my class, which ends an hour after combos begin on Thursday nights, ran over by ten minutes–but what I saw I enjoyed. The last group did a mash-up of “A Child is Born” and “What Child is This?” that was really cool. As my jazz musician friends might both say (or not), they got chops.

Ahem, anyway. The class that ran over was Irish Lit, and I have more or less successfully presented my paper. Before I leave, I still have some citation issues. But dance finals are my first concern.

I was lying in bed, sleeping the peaceful sleep of one who has a ballet final the following afternoon when what do I hear? Sirens and a man’s voice telling me this is an emergency situation and I should exit the building. Panic! I flail around a bit until I find my glasses, phone, and room key. The next task is grabbing pajama pants and my jacket.

It was only when I was standing outside with the rest of the residents of my building that I realized wearing no socks made it like wearing no pants at all, since the arctic wind of Indianapolis goes right up one’s pajamas at the exposed ankle.

I froze my tooshie off, and when they finally let us back in thirty minutes later (past two in the morning), it took me another thirty minutes to thaw and fall back to sleep.

Point being? I’m writing this  at 8:40. My next class is at 9 am. I’m still wearing said PJs, so I should probably get moving, but I’m sooo tired. Darn fire alarms.

At we know we’ll be safe, right?

Speaking of safety, here's one of the emergency "help me" poles that dot the campus. You can call for police assistance from these.

[UPDATE: So due to computer issues and that fact that I did have class at nine, this post is actually going up at 10:40. But you should note that it was written the morning after a fire alarm, which makes any nonsense it might contain excusable. I think.]