I apologize for what turned into a rather lengthy hiatus. Even though most dance classes have been cancelled this week due to student evaluations in the Department of Dance, I’ve been keeping busy.
What are evaluations? The long answer is here. The quick answer: a fifteen minute meeting between each individual dance major and all the department faculty during which they discuss your progress, any areas of concern, injury/audition updates, etc… The faculty looks at the work we have done in the past year as well as the self-assessment we turn it at our ballet final at the end of the fall semester.
Besides being assessed, here’s what I’ve been doing this week:
- Going to class — most dance academics and all academic-academics (my French and two English classes) still meet.
- Cleaning — having production week usually means I fall behide on both homework and household chores.
- Working on my senior English essay (i.e. BSI) — this includes meeting with my advisor a couple times, reading inflammatory speeches by old Welsh politicians, the usual…
- Celebrating Mardi Gras at the Blue House with a dinner, then celebrating Ash Wednesday with Mass, reconciliation, and adoration. The BCC is really good about providing lots of programming for students and community members.
- Preparing audition materials — see below.
From getting video from the Butler Ballet archives to burning DVDs to quadruple-checking my résumé to writing cover letters to scheduling plane flights… I feel like audition materials are coming out of my ears.
I had to wait until after Midwinter Dance Festival was over to send my video packages, since I wanted to include footage of last weekend’s performance of Por Vos Muero on my audition DVD. This morning I sent a bunch of email applications and snail-mailed materials to several other ballet companies. Next weekend, I am flying to audition for Kansas City Ballet, then I plan on visiting BalletMet, Tulsa Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet over spring break.
I’m wishing all my fellow seniors luck on their job searches… and remembering what the college search feels like for you high school seniors… Do you have any particularly grueling/triumphant job/college search stories? Please share!
Also, a quick and entertaining video explaining Ash Wednesday if you’re confused/interested. (Also, lots of /slashes/)
Though Butler’s fall semester started only three weeks ago on August 25, we have already received a lovely vacation. Thank you, Labor Day. I labored a bit, appropriately, reading a book for my Financial Fictions English class called The Incorporation of American — so learning about laborers. The homework load still is not too bad early in the year.
What was true in high school becomes even more so in college: There are periods of madness and stretches of relative calm. The beginning of year is especially strangely peaceful to the dance major, because rehearsals have not begun for The Nutcracker. The underclassmen had their auditions today, and the cast list should be up soon enough. Then rehearsals begin in earnest. Add the month-in English paper deadline, and soon I’ll be busy.
Another high school-translates-to-college fact: Procrastination. It gets worse, not better, so try to stay on track your senior year! Because I have some down time, I blog more infrequently. When I get a bit busier, the blog posts will pick up (unless it’s production week, when we push aside even productive procrastination in favor of pancaking shoes and spacing ballets).
Unlike high school, a college schedule affords you the time to complete schoolwork during the day. No longer do you work for six straight hours, break, then do homework. Instead, you might have an hour or two free in the morning (unless you are a freshman or sophomore dance major — then you are busybusy). The common tale? Go to the campus Starbucks to work on that paper… and talk the entire time with friends.
This freedom is both refreshing and challenging. As a new college student, find what works for you, of course. I would recommend, however, you luxuriate in the calm moments, avoid procrastinating in the truly hectic moments, and at least try to get some schoolwork done before 9 pm.
Participating in BSI, I am for the first time surrounded by a concentrated group of students on track to do graduate school. Lately the pet topic has been the GRE, or Graduate Record Exam, a test of which I was only vaguely aware a few weeks ago.
It’s odd, since I want to dance after I graduate from college. If I go back to graduate school — which I would love to do, to study English literature — it will be who know how many years in the future. Maybe dancing won’t work out. (It must, it must!) Maybe I won’t want to go back to the academic world after having left it for five years? ten? twenty? Maybe I will be too poor to afford the schooling, or I will have a family or otherwise not want to move. I just don’t know.
I thought moving to college as a first-year student was a big deal. Turns out, the real world outside the classroom is much more uncertain. I’m going to take the new GRE. I’ll try to muddle through the terrifying GRE English Subject test in April. I’ll audition my behind off and hope to get into a company. And I’ll just exhale and let life take me on a ride.
Did I mention, my family is at the beach right now? I'm wishing myself back to this pool, currently located in Florida. (Well, always located in Florida -- currently and in the past.) Summer....
In the end, that’s all one can do, really. I’ll try my best and see what happens. And perhaps review my early British authors, since I think that’s my weakest point. (Except for poetry.) After BSI, I’ve totally got postcolonial Anglo-Celtic authors covered. And American literature from 1850-1855 should be good as well. I never realized just how vast the “canon” (can we even use that term anymore without a skeptical smile?) of English literature is.
Anyone want to hire a shorter female ballerina?
[An aside: I had the hardest time entering the release date for this post, since I wrote it a bit ahead of when it was published. The system kept bouncing me around, doing really odd things. I finally realized that was because there is no February 29th.]
I think I like listing out my days. It makes me feel productive. The Midwinter schedule continues, with a bit into this Assessment Week.
My friend in last year's Midwinter program: Click for photo credit
- Don’t do nearly as much homework as I intended.
- Have lunch at Taste with my boyfriend.
- Get groceries.
- Get completely caught in the traffic from the end Butler’s last home game. (Which I missed. Sorry, guys. I heard you were spectacular.) Go to ResCo to hang out instead, since getting into the Apartment Village would be impossible due to traffic, pedestrians, and police officers forbidding any left turns.
- Finally make it back to the apartment. Pack my dinner. Pack my bag. Go to Clowes for warm up.
- Performance at 8 pm!! I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
- Strike. Take down the floor and drops and lights in Clowes until 11 pm.
- Celebrate with other dancers. (There might have been a milkshake involved.)
- Gather things for an audition.
- Have my roommate take a headshot, since apparently I do not have one. Thank you, roommate.
- Jam my printer. Go to audition without headshot.
- Take class.
- Return to campus and go straight to Lilly Hall. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.
- Make decorations for faculty appreciation week instead!
- Return to apartment. Have odd dinner of pasta with butternut squash.
- Go to church.
- Return to apartment. Finish ice cream with friend.
Assessment Week and Faculty Appreciation Week follow! I will try to keep you up to date–last week I got a little behind in the whole blogging process.