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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 “BCC”

Butler Best Memories: Senior Year

This brings us to senior year, and to the end of my time at Butler. Senior year wasn’t always easy, but I finally felt like I could put all the pieces together. I felt more aware of what I did not know and what I had learned; I started to look outwards, toward life outside of a structured school environment. Senior year was both incredibly busy and extremely reflective. In short, I became a sap. Good memories and great friends will do that to you.

Well, before senior year technically started, I stayed in Indy for nine weeks of Butler Summer Institute, researching Anglo-Celtic literature. This is probably the most ambitious/difficult thing I’ve attempted in academics — and while I didn’t wholly succeed, I learned so much from the process. I’m extremely grateful to my mentor, the English Department, and the BSI program for the opportunity. I reference my experience constantly in conversations. If you have the scholarly inspiration and the time, I would highly recommend applying to participate in BSI.

So began my last year at Butler with the first of many lasts — my final Block Party. I worked at the Butler Catholic Community table, greeting friends as they passed by, thinking about the year to come. (Also, whether it was going to rain or not. If I remember correctly, it did, and we had to seek shelter in the student union.)

Sigma Rho Delta (as well as many non-Sigma Rho dance majors) went to the Indianapolis Gala performance again in the fall. I had mixed opinions about the bill, and being able to discuss artistic choices (read: argue about them) with other dancers was lovely. It’s like the old stereotype of college you find in slightly dated books: people sitting in a tiny room, talking late into the night about philosophy and artistic ethics and what causes they plan to march for over the summer. Okay, it didn’t go quite like that, but when I’m seventy, I bet I’ll remember it through these sepia lens of nostalgia!

Then came the last Freshman Retreat with the BCC. Here the leadership team shows its true colors. I began to realize how important I found the BCC about halfway through my four years at Butler, and if the last three months are any indication, it will continue to grow in importance as I look back at my time in Indy. (Same with character classes, dance history, piano classes, and modern classes, actually — and I’m sure many others will appear as the years wear on).

Halloween came, and I finally got it together enough to make a real costume. So far, I’d considered my most successful costume to be the Boy Scout uniform borrowed from my dad my sophomore year. However, I didn’t actually make it, so it probably shouldn’t count as much as my bird costume this year. I think I had as much fun making it as I did wearing it. Ahoy, maties! (Also, I never would have finished it in time if my boyfriend had not helped — thank you!)

In the spring… the Super Bowl came to Indianapolis. It was madness, kind of like March madness, except colder.

And I continued the fine tradition of knitting during the Super Bowl and finally FINALLY finished my lace circle which is large and beautiful and the most finicky thing I’ve ever knit. Cue awkward picture — notice the eyes, blurred from weaving in the million ends of lace-weight wool.

All January to March, I flew and drove and scuttled every which way to auditions. It was exhausting, but having gone through it once makes it not nearly as intimidating. (Ish.) It was a beautiful spring day in Tulsa went I traveled to audition for Tulsa Ballet II, and the weather matched my mood and relief when I got a contract with their second company. Advice for auditioning: Be respectful but be confident. You are a human being and deserve to be treated with dignity. Treat your fellow dancers with the same respect and kindness you would like to receive.

Our last performance with Butler Ballet was bittersweet indeed — as particularly emotional friends were quick to make known. You can see the traces of tears in our smiles. My senior year of dancing was full of ups and downs: injuring my foot during Nutcracker rehearsals in October, rehearsing for Por Vos Muero which is much harder than it seems at first, learning Swanhilda in Coppélia... All these opportunities taught me more than I realized at the time. Even just in the first two weeks at Tulsa, I’ve thought about that last year of dancing at Butler and made little choices throughout my days based on what I learned. I’M SO SAPPY, I’m sorry. But it’s true.

Also, my experience with Coppélia was so much fun, I still find it a bit surreal. There were about four days of actual freaking out in the two months of rehearsals, but the rest… I was oddly calm. I think it’s because I was allowed to act outraged or mischievous or in love or uncertain. Also, I gained a heck of a lot more stamina.

Thus we skipped our way through the four years. I met beautiful people, danced in amazing pieces, learned the difference between major and minor scales. I realized I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was, which probably made me a bit wiser. I gained immeasurable confidence, and though I still lack some necessary restraint, I think I’ve learned the trick of being happy most situations. Like I said in the beginning of this sappy post, senior year was the year of putting together the pieces. Maybe that is the liberal arts are supposed to do.

I hope you gather from this that going to college as a dance major was absolutely worth it in my opinion. I think it was the right choice for me, and I’m so happy I ended up at Butler for the experience.

I’m so busy; this is why:

Things that happened:

Top 101 Students Banquet: We got a Butler Catholic Community picture with most of the BCC who were in attendance!

The Undergraduate Research Conference is coming! I have to prepare for two presentations, one on my BSI project, one on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Of course, all this happens on the opening night of Coppélia.

Sigma Rho Initiation… We welcomed many, many new members into the dance service fraternity. And there are only five of us seniors left — even fewer than at the beginning of the year!

Dramatic poses in front of the fountain we are restoring as our class gift.

Right now, production week is happening, and I’m most likely in the theater. (This is most definitely a scheduled post.) As always, I have the very strong opinion that you should see Coppélia!

Evaluation Week — the last one!

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/)

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Inauguration 2011

Last year when I learned past president Bobby Fong was leaving Butler, I was definitely sad. After all, how many university presidents will let themselves be hoisted onto the shoulders of their students to crowd surf during Final Four celebrations?

I must say, I have met new president Jim Danko a few times, along with his wife Bethany, mostly through activities with the Butler Catholic Community or with Butler Hillel. I don’t know much about President Danko’s administrative policies, but he is always friendly. And Bethany Danko — who is extremely sweet — bakes a mean cookie.

(She is known as The Cookie Lady or The Cookie Fairy among the BCC.)

This Saturday was President Danko’s inauguration, and while I couldn’t attend the actual installation ceremony (see Studio Dress, preparations for), I went to the student breakfast in the Johnson Room. Open to all Butler students, the event mixed breakfast (bacon and the infamous Atherton cheesy eggs, anyone?) with President Danko and First Lady Bethany Danko with other adminstrative people with Blue II. Guess who was the star of the event?

That’s right, Blue II even has a tux for the inaugural gala tonight…

Tech Fast… for real this time

Okay, after a false start (I thought this was last week originally) the Technology Fast is here! I am not in fact blogging — this post has been/was scheduled to publish. I am currently not on my computer, ipod, or cell phone. I’m also probably wandering around campus trying to meet people: My usual trick is to text him/her asking for an exact location rather than trust he/she will show up at the preordained spot.

Joking aside, the tech fast is a great event sponsored by the Butler Catholic Community. The goal is not to deny the utility and convenience of entertainment and communication technology — if you are reading this, then you want to know more about the life of a Butler college student (or about my life in particular, if you are my dad) and are using technology to do so. However, a short fast from technology introduces some perspective. Do I really need to text my boyfriend if he is three minutes late? No, of course not.

At the end of the fast, all participants are invited to attend a supper and discussion of the event at the Blue House. I did not go last year, though I participated in the fast, but the people who went were extremely enthusiastic. This year I’m planning to attend, so I report all awesomeness I encounter!

If you are reading this, you might consider a mini-fast of your own: Even just four hours makes you aware of how often you use technology… and perhaps how often technology is really necessary.

When not on a tech fast, you can find BCC updates through our Facebook community page.

The Butler Catholic Community: not always completely serious...

English majors, please excuse all the passive voice and second person I’ve used in this post.

Tech Fast Again

I have loads of exciting things to tell you about… but the BCC’s apparently annual technology fast starts this evening and runs through Friday evening. I will turn off my phone and my computer (homework is excepted) and see what happens without the texting and constant communication college students so love.

The fast includes communication and entertainment technology. “Technology” is a pretty broad word, but I’m counting electronic entertainment/communication devices. Books are fine; iPods not…

You can read about last year’s Tech Fast here and here.

You can buy tickets for the Luna Negra concert at Clowes Memorial Hall this Friday, Nov 4 at 8 pm here.

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Must dash!

EDIT: Haha, just kidding, Tech Fast is Nov 10-11… My bad, my bad.

Busy Person’s Retreat

Last week, I participated in the BCC’s second annual Busy Person’s Retreat. The BCC offers a variety of programs, including evening retreats, loads of different faith-sharing groups, and this Busy Person’s Retreat. (You can see some of the options here.) This retreat ran from Monday-Thursday last week, with a quick orientation and lunch on Sunday after our weekly Mass.

The Busy Person’s Retreat is particularly interesting because it was designed specifically for college students. Each student is paired with a spiritual director — this will be an adult to whom you can talk. I worked with a woman who is part of the archdiocese offices. Here’s what the retreat entailed:

  • Orientation and lunch on Sunday
  • Commit to praying for 30 min each day of the retreat on your own, using set readings and reflection questions as a guide
  • Meet with your spiritual director for 30 min each day after having completed the prayer
  • Attend optional prayer services at 5 pm Monday-Wednesday and Mass followed by supper at 5:30 pm Thursday.

The retreat is designed, obviously enough, for the busy person. This is why the time commitment is broken into small, half-hour chunks. I enjoyed both the prayer time and the conversations with the woman helping me during the retreat. The prayer showed me I had more time for reflection in the middle of the day than I thought I did; the conversation was wonderful because I usually don’t talk about my spirituality in a relaxed setting with only one other person.

I also really enjoyed the retreat because of Butler’s beautiful weather. I spent all but one of my reflection times outside on a bench or in the rock garden behind Butler’s carillon bell tower. Butler is absolutely beautiful in the fall. You don’t have to participate in a spiritual activity to gain a sense of calm — just sit outside to do your homework.


I’m sharing all this to demonstrate all the unique opportunities Butler students have. This retreat was open to all — and how often do you get to have casual dinners and lunches with the wife of the president of the university? You know Butler is a small school when you can talk about religion while sharing the president’s wife’s strawberry rhubarb cobbler. I have not talked much with either Mr. or Mrs. Danko, but they both seem extremely nice, and I really like Mrs. Danko.

I also want to point out that I had more time than I thought I would for college spirituality both when I entered as a freshman and now. If you are interested in exploring spirituality, the Blue House offers a wide variety of options.

Freshman Retreat 2011

Last Saturday evening, from 6 to midnight, the Butler Catholic Community held its annual freshmen retreat. I went to my freshmen retreat and loved it… and have attended every year since to help out! I want to say this was one of the best years yet.

First, we went to the Immaculate Heart of Mary near campus and made dinner together. We always split into groups and do salad, main dish (sloppy joes and macaroni are standard fare), and dessert. We pray, eat, introduce ourselves, talk about the transition to college, and play with playdough.

Halfway through the serving of dinner…

The fire alarm went off. Could it have been the slightly burnt mac and cheese?

So most students finished dinner outside, which was actually a nice change of pace since it was beautiful weather. Thank you, firemen of Marian County!

After dinner, we headed upstairs for conversation about the surprises and challenges of college. This year, I was not with a group of freshmen, but with the left-over leadership team members who didn’t have a freshmen group. I got to talk with the BCC’s new ECHO apprentice from Notre Dame, a graduate student working on her master’s in theology and working with the BCC for the next two years.

Bible charades followed. Here you see us feeding the fattened calf in the Prodigal Son. The best was probably the Feeding of the Multitude — two goldfish turned into a whole carton of goldfish! After the silliness of charades, we had a panel discussion with seniors about the faith journey through college. I got to participate this year, and I really enjoyed the experience.

After that, the ECHO apprentice Kaitlyn talked about “Why are you here?” and everyone wrote letters to God. Quiet prayer and meditation followed, then pizza and some final conversation before everyone headed back to campus. If they were like me, they were sleepy and peaceful. The fifteen or so minutes of silence at the end remains a popular part of the retreat, and it offers the perfect way to transition back into a more thoughtful college life.

All in all, I would say this freshmen retreat was a great success, and I hope entering freshmen who are part of the BCC would consider attending!

Welcome Week: Butler Catholic Community

I’ve written about the Butler Catholic Community before, so if you are new, you might want to peruse these links about the BCC.

The BCC participates in three big events during Welcome Week. Monday night, we were part of the ice cream social at the Blue House. Tuesday afternoon, we had a table at Block Party. And this past Sunday, we held our first Mass of the semester in the Reilly Room in Atherton Union.

Welcome Week Mass is one of the biggest of the year, since new students often come with their families. I would guess there were about three hundred people. This year I helped with the Mass, introducing myself with the leadership team, helping with ministries and set-up, and talking a bit about how I connected the first reading to the life of a college student. (When Solomon prays for wisdom, he asks for an understanding heart, not an understanding mind. I’ve found it’s much harder to have a wise heart, to know the right way to relate with other people.)

If you are interested in hearing more about the BCC or about other spirituality groups on campus, just send me a comment!

Links related to the BCC: BCC Facebook page, BCC website, and the Blue House.

——

There are cameras at some of these events. Fr. Jeff really like pictures… There are a few ways to cope with having your picture taken:

1. Be really awkward and look away while the picture is being taken.

(look away, look away!)

2. Strike a “natural” pose as if you were in the midst of stimulating conversation.

(oh, what a good point you just made!)

3. Realize your picture was taken only later. This requires not effort but supreme obliviousness.

(It is a sad fact that this picture was completely candid, and I do in fact look like that in real life.)

4. Throw yourself into the merriment enthusiastically and unreservedly.

(goooo BCC! and people who wear blue shirts!)

When Not Writing Papers

You might notice I have quite a few posts have the tag “papers” attached. I’m taking a break from the latest one to write this blog post. That’s called procrastination, and college teaches young adults to do this with gusto.

Anyway, I do more than just write papers (and dance). I’m typing this in part to convince myself. After BSI ended, I started an independent study with an English professor that will let me finish my second major without staying longer than eight semesters or going over credit hours (like last semester). But I don’t write papers all the time. I don’t. Instead I:

  • Play card games, mahjong games, and Bananagrams with my family. Sometimes at the pool.
  • Swim a bunch of laps after being lazy for a while. Usually at the pool.
  • Dance. Sometimes in the pool.
  • Get all worked up and sucked into media frenzies. (Like with the debt ceiling, which in retrospect looks more like drama and less like crisis.) (Still, I want a job.) (Seriously, is anyone hiring?)
  • Play the piano.
  • Read easy-to-understand magazines — NOT scholarly articles. (Though I did love Hildegard Tristram’s “Near-Sameness in Early Insular Metrics.” It contained Welsh mutations as a matter of obvious fact. I swooned in a completely geeked-out fashion.)
  • Restart my duties as president of the Butler Catholic Community. New students — look for us at Block Party, which is a huge conglomeration of tables where every club imaginable tries to trade your email address for free gear!

I’ve been working, in one way or another, all summer, so it’s hard to believe I’ll be back at Butler in three short weeks. Classes start Wednesday, August 24 — I’ll see you there! If you should happen to find me in the midst of festivities, please don’t hesitate to ask questions about any and everything Butler/college/ballet/English/knitting/Welsh/rabbits/cooking failures/etc!

I took this with my point-and-shoot. This should give some indication of the beauty of Butler's campus in the fall.

The above photo should also be rather large, if anyone has been looking for Butler-themed images to use as wallpaper for a computer screen. I can share. Just click on the picture for a larger size.