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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 “campus”

Butler Best Memories: Junior Year

Sorry for the hiatus — just finished my first week in Tulsa Ballet’s second company! (And I’m already grateful for the broad training I received both in Richmond and at Butler. All those character classes and modern classes make the challenges I’m meeting here fun rather than overwhelming.)

But junior year awaits:

I loved living in the Apartment Village. As much as I learned living with roommates for my first two years at Butler, having my own bedroom in AV instantly made me much happier. To have a private place to de-stress and soak up the quiet was a marvel. Also — the kitchen. Getting off the meal plan and making my own odd food creations was great. I highly recommend soup. It’s really hard to mess up soup.

The same cannot be said of risotto. This risotto I made with my friend over Fall Break was crunchy. This is because you cannot use brown rice instead of arborio. Also over Fall Break, I stayed and worked on my long paper for my Contemporary Irish Literature class, which I thought at the time would be my senior English essay. Thus began that long saga. : )

To further define junior year, I could not omit physics class. When I wasn’t writing my Irish Lit paper or working on choreography or dancing, I was doing physics homework. This is noteworthy not only because just yesterday I used my understanding of angular momentum (no joke — it helped my assemblé en tournant in the Raymonda variation I’m learning), but also because I fell in l.o.v.e. with my homework buddy who even now patiently explains science to me.

And then it was winter and my roommates decorated the apartment and we all generally reveled in the having of a living room again after two years in the dorms.

In the beginning of the new year, it was freezing. My homework buddy/now boyfriend and I bundled up to brave the Icepocalypse. And I wrote my proposal for Butler Summer Institute for hours when I got home after rehearsal for Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht each night. I remember these few months were busy and full of blessings — and bitterly cold.

Spring finally showed up shivering on the doorstep, and it brought another round of March Madness. Again, Butler’s basketball team made it to the championship game. Again, the campus went wild with spirit events and communal viewings.

In the end, I presented my first paper at Butler’s Undergraduate Research Conference, performed my first solo as Fairy Miettes-Qui-Tombant in The Sleeping Beauty, prepared for a summer of research with BSI, made it through my first ever teaching-assistantship, and even found time to make a couple loaves of bread.

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.

Of Geese and Men

There is so much I still want to tell you: about my French exam, about my last ballet final at Butler, about the departmental comprehensive test, about the last Flip the Script, even about basic things like Butler Ballet and a freshman dancer’s schedule and mahjong nights and how to make your own gelato.

Instead, I’m going to talk about geese.

I saw a goose by the pond as I trekked to my 8 am French final this morning. Not unusual. There’s often a duck or goose or two hanging out in front of the carillon bell tower. However, I happened to take a closer look and was rewarded with the sight of two small, surprisingly yellow chicks waddling around in the grass! I turned around and pointed them out to the girl who was walking behind me (whom I did not know but who, I am certain, appreciated the sight).

Right, okay, baby geese in the grass, cute but not quite enough for a story. Then. I was headed back to my apartment after the final when I saw the same adult goose by the pond. This time, however, he was right up on the edge of the sidewalk, and he’d brought his wife to sit in the grass directly against the concrete, and the two babies were nestled against her. Once again, adorable.

Except they might have chosen a less-frequented path for their powwow, since the male goose spent the whole time guarding his family, snapping and hissing at passers-by, many of who decided to cross the street entirely. The brave ones still stepped off the sidewalk. This goose meant business.

I tried to get a picture but I was too far away perhaps.

Once I saw a goose perched on top of ResCo. You don’t often see geese perching. They’re rather too heavy to sit in a tree, so I only ever see them in flight or on the ground/in the water. This one was lording over the quad like a great feathered gargoyle. Anyway. Enough about geese.

Butler is Breaking

Why is Butler University kind of like the Wicked Witch of the West? Well, it completely fell apart when rained last Saturday. There was a pretty big lightning storm Saturday morning/afternoon, so they tell me.

I only knew it was storming vaguely, since we were in the midst of Studio Dress for Coppélia. There is a part toward the end of Act I when Dr. Coppélius chases the drunk village boys around with his cane. Just as he swung at the first lout came a flash of lightning — CRACK! Perfect timing. I heard the rain before we started Act II as well, but I was rather tunnel-visioned for the entire ballet, so I didn’t realize what a storm we were having.

Then my partner and I stayed afterwards to work out some costuming/wedding pas kinks while the building slowly emptied. When I finally took all my costumes back down to the basement, I was surprised to find the hallways dark (basement = no windows), the third of the lights that were on flickering menacingly. Someone was playing the piano in one of the dance studios, an odd waltz, so the atmosphere was particularly eerie. I felt like I was in Phantom of the Opera or something. Needless to say, I was also very glad when the student who plays Franz came down the stairs a few seconds later. Company is always good when you’re walking into what could very easily be an episode of Doctor Who.

You don't want to run into these in a half-lit basement...

Outside was drizzly, but bright. My cell phone finally picked up enough of a signal to dump on me about three BU alerts about the storm. Jordan Hall was on fire, apparently, due to a lightning strike? My boyfriend later told me he and his labmates didn’t realize the fire alarms were going off for a while. Much of campus lost power, the cable was out for a while in AV and the internet even longer. The phones went out, and we got another alert telling us BU police officers were stationed at the front desks of the residence halls if they should be needed.

My goodness. Butler doesn’t fare too well in the stormy weather. It’s meeelting…

Week in Photos

I got a fancy new phone over break and have been having a blast with the camera and filters included in the camera app. Thus I give you my first week after spring break in photos:

First, the food. These were Chinese buns my boyfriend shared with me. They would have been perfect… except they had cilantro, which I don’t really like.

Speaking of the food, here is a rather blurry shot of the new cafeteria set up. Over winter break, Butler began and completed renovations to the Marketplace @ Atherton, which is the cafeteria open for most meals.

To change the subject completely, I give you a photo of the tiny house that’s been parked beside Norris Plaza. Jay Shafer came to Butler recently to speak. Very cool! I would have gone if I didn’t have rehearsal; I love environmental movements.

And the final picture I took Friday morning during the rainstorm that made my hair frizz completely and utterly beyond redemption. I am rather proud of this photo. Triple brownie points if you can guess from where I took it. Leave me a comment if you think you know where this is on campus!

Back to School: Another post about the weather

Winter break is winding down, and I’m back to Butler, set to get myself organized for the audition season. Today I locked myself out of my apartment, fell off my bike, and tried to buy my textbooks only to realize I had no money with me… all before noon.

On the bright side, the sun shone strong today (haha, get it?) and I could play a quick game of badminton/toss with Boyfriend on the football field. Once we warmed up, we shed jackets and played in sweatshirts and short sleeves. It’s hard to believe it’s January.

In Richmond, my family still has holiday decorations, including this lovely wreath of my mother’s. There’s always a local race to see who can collect the fallen osage oranges before they are gone; you may see the fruits of my mother’s labors wired onto this wreath.

It’s weird for the weather to be so warm while I see holiday decorations like my mom’s wreath. I’m so happy I could play badminton outside before the freezing Indiana winter descends in full force, though I always worry a bit about climate change.

Still, Butler’s campus is so beautiful, it begs for warm weather; better temperatures bring students out onto the mall (the quad) in droves.

 

Rainy Days, Wet Bikes

My parents gave me a bike for my birthday when I was a sophomore, and I love it! Living in the Apartment Village (and University Terrace this summer) meant a slightly longer walk, so a bike helps me get to class on time in the mornings. (Note that Butler’s campus is pretty small, so my “longer walk” suffers in comparison to, say, my cousin’s 20 min commute at a different school.)

Last night I had a leadership team meeting for the Butler Catholic Community, then a call-out meeting for Bulldogs Against Breast Cancer. It has been drizzling all afternoon, and the skies started up again once I unlocked my bike. Riding back in the rain is not the most pleasant experience. I have to squint like mad to keep the water out of my eyes. Also, I whacked my head on the underside of a bed frame on Monday — trying to get something from under there — and I have a nice bruise that makes squinting uncomfortable.

Battle wound. I'm slowly getting a lovely black eye.

Anyway, all this rain/bike reminiscing reminded me of the video I made when I was a sophomore. I posted this on my old blog, but since that’s now tragically lost I suppose I can show you again. I watched it again and winced from the goofiness of it. Oh well. Enjoy! Or not, I guess that’s your call.

YouTube Preview Image

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.

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.

Butler’s Wildlife

There is an drainage pond on Butler’s campus, by the tennis bubble. I discovered it only this summer, since I never went to that end of Butler’s property until I lived at University Terrace. It’s made to collect rainwater so the drainage systems aren’t overwhelmed, and it provides a habitat for some local flora and fauna.

All this I learned from reading the rather handy sign. I must brag a little, however, and say I noticed the drainage area when I saw the incredible diversity of species clustered together. In my first honors class (the good one, not the horrible one), we talked about biodiversity in plant species when we read Biomimicry. Ever since, I’ve been especially attuned to places where the natural variation of plant and animal life is allowed to flourish.

Some classes are awesome like that.

I’ve been indulging my ecological side in following Butler’s own Center for Urban Ecology blog. Check it out!