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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 “college life”

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.

The Horsey Set

My little sister got first place at her horse show this weekend! Very proud of her.

She goes to Dickinson, which, I must say, is waaaaaaay cooler in the environment/sustainable/vegetarian-friendly mode than Butler is. They even have a tab called “Sustainability” under their “About Us” heading. Sorry, Butler, you just don’t do that great a job of recycling, etc. You are trying, though, and I feel like it will get better and more and more environmentally-conscious students step forward.

Anyway, my sister is on Dickinson’s equestrian team. She told me to write a blog post about Butler’s team.

“I don’t think Butler has a team,” I told her. “At least, I’ve never heard of it.”

“Give me your computer,” she said. I gave. A few minutes later, she titled the screen so I could see Butler University Equestrian Team, which apparently is a club sport at Butler.

There really is something for everyone.

Ruminations on Being a Senior

The last second day! Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the count-downs. I wasn’t this nostalgic in high school as a senior. I think I feel closer to some of my friends here in college because I actually live with them, whereas high school’s senior year had me living with my family, attending half-days at my high school with my school friends, and dancing the rest of the day downtown with the Richmond Ballet. Not that I love my high-school-era friends any less. The schedule just didn’t exactly facilitate a lot of hanging out.

I’m busy at college, but I can work in my socializing with things like making dinner, cleaning, doing laundry — because I live with all my friends, who of course perform the same chores in the same space. I have a feeling this might be the biggest adjustment I’ll face when I leave school. Plus a more rigorous schedule. Plus, you know, the job thing.

However, what I might miss, high school seniors can surely anticipate. College is fun. As my Grandpa says, it’s the best time of your life, and everything goes downhill afterwards. Now I hope that isn’t quite true, but college has been very good to me. Commencement is in May. Yikes. We’ll both count down to ends of our senior years — and let’s hope we can find some excitement in what comes next!

Requisite graduation photo

Tips for College Living, #3

It has rained pretty much every day this April. Okay, maybe not every day. But if you look at the month calendar, you might notice that the longest stretch without any measure of precipitation is three days. That’s pretty rainy.

Steph wrote a great post last week about the six necessities of a college student. I would like to add one more item to the list. When it rains, I like to wear my rain jacket because I don’t have to juggle an umbrella. (And we all know how good my juggling skills are.) But umbrella, rain jacket… all good items, all items you know you’ll need.

This is common-sense stuff. What you, prospective student, might not know is that Butler’s sidewalks frequently morph into small creeks when it rains. You also might underestimate the increase in walking from place to place outside each day. Even in tennis shoes, my feet tend to get wet. Call this another episode of Tips for College Living: Own rain boots.

Sometimes it pours while I move all my stuff from my freshman dorm room to the ResCo basement, where I stored some items over the summer break. Then it clears up for the long drive home. Sometimes the weather is nice and holds off while I pack up everything to leave. Then, as we drive back to Virginia, enter the deluge.

Which situation is better? And should I really try to ride my bike in the rain if my brakes get slippery when wet? Will you remember to bring rain boots to college? Most importantly, should I take up juggling practice again?

College vs. High School: Spring Break Edition

Welcome to College versus High School: The Spring Break Edition! Today we shall examine the differences between spring break pre-college and spring break during college.

High School: All your friends from school have the same week off for spring break. Spring trip? Hanging out? Typical mayhem? Yes, yes, and yes. Then again, is it a break if you do the same things you normally do all week?

College: Your friends from home may or may not have the same spring break as you do. Lunches and reunions take a bit more planning but are ultimately more satisfying. If your family has moved since high school days? Nobody’s around.

High School: Visiting friends or going on trips without family? Possible, but your parents probably want you to stick close to home.

College: Your parents miss you, but as a slightly more responsible college student, there are more opportunities for service trips, staying with friends, and alternative break activities. Butler University has a Alternative Spring Break program, as do many other universities.

2006Group 2009Trail

High School: Unless you are traveling with family or friends, expect the same weather as always.

College: Attending an out-of-state university means you’ll be going somewhere else. In my case, I go to humid Richmond, Virginia, where my grandmother was working in her garden the day it was negative eight and I don’t have to wear multiple pairs of pants.

High School: Siblings, provided you have them, also have vacation. This may result in arguments over car use, sibling bonding time, or even a family trip.

College: Your siblings may or may not have the spring break you do, with a higher probability of the “may not” result. This means you have mornings free to catch up on homework, but it also partially negates the whole “getting to see my family again” aspect of break. Try not to distract them too much while they are doing their homework.

High School: You may or may not have homework assigned over break, but most teachers are pretty good about giving you some freedom from academic responsibilities.

College: This post is an excuse not to finish my two-page paper, my ten-page paper, my three-page paper, my choreography solo, my choreography duet, my class schedule for next semester, various essays for the Butler Catholic Community, and a play. I did finish half of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner during my plane rides yesterday and my breakfast this morning.

Halloween, sort of: alternatives to drinking

Demetri Martin has a thing about adding “sort of” after certain phrases. The case of “Halloween” does not actually fit in with the joke, but we did have Halloween sort of, so I thought… Actually, never mind.

Halloween was this past Sunday, as I’m sure you know, but everyone seemed to celebrate on Saturday–except Butler University. Last year on Halloween, I went to Lambda Chi Alpha‘s fairly terrifying haunted house. Afterwards, my this-year-roommate and I went to Atherton Union to watch the scary movies and eat the free candy. Well, we mostly just pretended to watch the movie for a bit and smuggled Reese’s Pieces out in her babushka costume head scarf.

This year? Nada. Sure, there are parties, but I don’t drink, and as nice as it is to see everyone and admire all the creative costumes, I’m not going to hang around once people start up with all that. So we minced off to Atherton, hoping to fulfill our “we have to do something–it’s Halloween!” expectations. And there was nothing.

I’m not sure whether turnout last year was poor, or if all University-sponsored programs were earlier in the day (but it was before midnight), or if there were no programs because it was not actually Halloween on Saturday, but I was disappointed there were no late-night, non-alcoholic programs. Maybe I just missed it?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel pressured to drink. There are plenty–plenty–of things to do that don’t involve alcohol. Butler generally does a good job of programming these sorts of events: In fact, some think we are over-programmed. But still. It was Halloween sort of.

However, we still had cute costumes:

I went as Y Ball Eiffel Tower, of Laban Movement Choir fame. Very low key. Mildly witty, if you are in on the joke (as all dance majors are). Perfect.

Nancy Drew and the Case of the Missing Emeralds by Star Fountain.

Afterwards, I hung out with a friend. There might have been apple cider involved.

Assimilation

The freshman class this year is enormous. Huge–958, in fact. This also extends to the incoming dance majors–there are approximately one gazillion of them this year, and I am having a devil of a time trying to keep all the names and faces straight.

This is why Sigma Rho Delta’s Freshman Progressive Dinner was so helpful. Three of the apartment blocks in the Apartment Village house Sigma Rho officers, so they hosted the dinner. One apartment had appetizers, one had pizza, and my apartment had dessert.

The head chef. She makes a mean pot of vegetarian chili

My roommate (who is president of Sigma Rho*) baked for about twelve hours straight. I’m only slightly joking. She was baking when I went to sleep on Friday night, and she was in front of the stove again when I returned from snow rehearsal the next morning. The spread was impressive:

Adjusting to a new school can be difficult at times. Being in so many of the same classes day after day means the dancers generally band together pretty quickly, but it can still be awkward. I know I didn’t really get to know many of the dance majors in my own class until second semester of my freshman year. But I made other friends, and we’re all one big, happy family, etcetera and so on.

Still, this gave the freshman an opportunity to get to together in a non-dance setting and to meet some more of the upperclassmen. I say the evening was a grand success. Look at those smiling faces.

*Sigma Rho Delta is the dance service fraternity. We provide service to the department (help in the costume shop, publicity, newsletters, working the boutique during shows…) and go see performances and things like that together. Last year, I was the pledge trainer.