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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 “fun”

Games: Salad Bowl

Once again, biggest thanks to my godfamily for teaching my family this awesome party game! I wanted to post this on my blog because it’s perfect for a college student since all you need is some paper, writing utensils, and a bowl/other container.

How to Play Salad Bowl

Arrange yourselves in a circle. Every person has three small slips of paper. Pick a letter of the alphabet. Each person write a word, phrase, or short sentence on the piece of paper that begins with that letter. For example, when I played the letter was B and some selections were “Blarney stone,” “Blackbird sing in the dead of night,” and “Blimps blow up.” Place all pieces of paper in the bowl.

The person across the circle will be your partner. This game works best with an even number of people, but in event of an odd number, someone can double up and have two partners.

There are three rounds in this game.

Round 1. This is sort of like the game Taboo. You have one minute to get your partner to say exactly what is on the card you draw from the bowl. You may not use any of the words actually on the paper (articles like “the” are excluded from this rule). If I were trying to describe “Blarney stone,” I might say, “It’s a rock in Ireland which people kiss for luck and the gift of eloquence.” Once your partner has guessed correctly, keep the slip of paper and draw another. Continue until your time runs out.

Continue passing the bowl around the circle in one minute increments until there are no more pieces of paper left. Total how many slips each partnership has. Replace all pieces of paper into the salad bowl.

Round 2. You have one minute to act out the slips of paper you draw. Whereas last round you used only words, now you must use only actions like charades. The more abstract phrases will be harder to work out this round, but all players should begin to remember the phrases from playing the last round. Begin the salad bowl from where it last ended in Round 1. Continue in 1 minute increments until all pieces are drawn. Total up partners’ slips. Replace papers.

Round 3. You have just 30 seconds to guess with each partner. Instead of describing in words (Round 1) or charades (Round 2), you may speak only one word. For “Blarney stone,” one might say “kiss” or “rock.” Once chosen, the word may not be rescinded. Continue around the circle until all papers are drawn. Total up papers earned.

Whichever team has the highest number of cumulative points wins the game!

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Games: Drawing Pictionary

I love games, and I love my godparents and godsiblings for teaching me/introducing me to the cream of the group-game crop. The best things about Drawing Pictionary and Salad Bowl?

  • You don’t have to buy it — free! Perfect for a college budget!
  • You need only pens, scrap paper, and friends. (A bowl is useful for Salad Bowl, too, but really any container/bag/purse would do.)
  • Both reward creative thinking.

How to play Drawing Pictionary:

Everyone needs: a writing utensil and as many small pieces of paper per person as participants. (So if six people are playing, every person begins with one pencil/pen and six small pieces of paper.)

To begin: Sit in a circle. Write a sentence on the top sheet of your personal stack of papers. It can be about anything. Examples: Hamsters enjoy Irish dancing in Times Square. Rabbits do not like pumpkins. The thunderstorm scares the elf.

Then: Everyone pass his or her entire stack of papers to the next person in the circle. Read the sentence the previous person wrote. Illustrate that sentence on the piece of paper between the top one. (So the sentence was written on page one of the stack of papers. The drawing will be on page two.) Slide page one to the bottom of the stack so only your drawing shows. If you are finished, feel free to put pressure on the remaining players to hurry up.

Then: Pass the entire stack to the next person. The stack you get should have the previous person’s drawing of the previous-previous person’s sentence (which you are not allowed to view). Write a sentence describing the picture you see. Put the previous person’s work on the bottom of the stack so only yours shows.

Continue as before, alternating drawing with sentences, until the stacks of paper return to their originators. Take turns reading original sentences and showing the progression of drawings and descriptions. Rabbits not liking pumpkins might have turned into elk eating balloons — it depends on the drawing and interpretive skills!

I’m not sure how clear these instructions were, so please ask questions in the comments below. Have fun!

Blue likes to play games too -- especially basketball!

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!

Homecoming 2011: Independents and Greeks

Today is the Homecoming game! Everyone on campus seems to be bustling around, and I see a bunch of alumni walking dogs around the bell tower pond. The schedule today is packed — mostly with tailgating. I saw people with grills aflame when I walked to rehearsal at 8:15 this morning.

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I will admit to the truth: I’m struck with Homecoming apathy. The long conversation about independents (those who don’t live in Greek houses) participating in Homecoming festivities has some weight, and this opinion piece in the Butler Collegian, especially the controversial editorial cartoon, ruffled a lot of feathers. While I don’t think independents are necessarily excluded from Homecoming, I know the participation level is much lower on that front. Some thoughts on this:

  • Activities like Lawn Decs (decorating the lawns of Greek Houses) are of course centered on the opposite side of campus as independent upperclassmen who live in AV, UT, or in off-campus housing.
  • Generally, Greek houses mandate participation in certain events. This depends on each individual organization, but it yields a much higher percentage of people participating– which makes it more fun for those involved.
  • Each Greek team (a fraternity and sorority) is paired with a non-Greek Housing unit, which does allow for non-Greek participation to be integrated with the general Greek enthusiasm for events like Homecoming. This is obviously a generalization, but I think there’s still some truth in it.
  • If you live in Greek Housing, those who participate in Homecoming activities live down the hall. If you live in independent housing, because there is such a low percentage of participation from these residence units, it’s more likely participants will be scattered throughout the dorm/apartments. It’s easier to muster enthusiasm when your next-door neighbors have the same spirit.

Overall, Homecoming excitement is concentrated in Greek housing, diluted in independent housing. I think this is the main reason people say independents are excluded from Homecoming. However, as an independent living in AV, I am right next to the Butler Bowl and all the Saturday activities. I had ample opportunity to participate in different activities; all the communication was very clear. What was missing?

Aside from a truly, spectualarly busy/miserable week (wonder why you didn’t hear too much from me?), no one close to me ever mentioned Homecoming or — that I know — considered participating. It’s an interesting dynamic. The best I can say is that, as an independent myself, I did not participate because I didn’t particularly feel compelled to do so.

But since my ballet rehearsals are done for the day, I think I can catch the game and maybe some of the parade!

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.

BSI Wrap-Up

After BSI ended, my roommate and I moved out in the insufferable heat. Because we are living in the same apartment as last year, we paid a fee to store our belongings in the apartment during the summer; thus the journey from UT to AV was not that far. The heat stretched the distances, though, and I ended up leaving Butler an hour later than planned.

Also, I have now lived in every non-Greek Butler residence hall except for Ross.

After leaving Butler, I visited my boyfriend and his family in Chicago, and it was epic as usual: spending time with wonderful people, eating wonderful food, playing wonderful games of badminton, and learning the wonderfully addictive game of mahjong. I need to get a set so I can learn to tell the contents of a tile simply by feeling it with my fingers. I’ve seen it in action, and it is incredibly intimidating. We stayed up well past midnight and shouted Chinese and Spanish words and generally had a grand time.

Now I am home playing with my sisters and my parents and my rabbit, as well as studying for the GRE (taking it soon in August) and working on an independent study (for a Butler English class to attain my second major). It’s been busy, but it is wonderful to be home!

The bunnies say “hi.”

Power + Outage = Chicago

A scheduled power outage for maintenance this weekend on Butler campus meant stuff stopped happening from Friday to Monday. This meant I could jet off to Chicago to spend a few days with my boyfriend and his family.

(“Jet off” is another term for “take the Megabus, which will come an hour late and have you praying several times during the highway portion of the trip.”)

It was wonderful. There was the hospitality of my boyfriend’s family (could not say enough). There was Chicago (Taste, Millennium Park, Chinatown, Navy Pier). There was piano playing, my first dim sum experience, a movie, a train, a far too sugary cinnamon sugar pretzel, siopao, surprisingly delicious pancit canton, fruit salad with condensed milk and coconut, this somehow turned into a list of the food I ate while I was there….

If I had to spend July 4th away from my home in Richmond, I think got the best possible of scenarios.

Taste of Chicago

My first dim sum experience: delicious and entertaining

The OTHER side of Navy Pier

Lunch with wonderful people

NOTE: power + outage = chicago

a = 1, g = 2, p = 3, r = 4, t = 5, u = 6, w = 7, c = 8, h = 9, i = 10, e = 20


char letter[] = {‘a’, ‘g’, ‘p’, ‘r’, ‘t’, ‘u’, ‘w’, ‘c’, ‘h’, ‘i’, ‘e’};

for(int x = 0; x < 10; x++){

cout << letter[x] << ” = ” << x + 1;

cout << “, “;

if(x = 9) cout << letter[10] << ” = 20″;




The best of the Internet

High school seniors, I know you are still very busy. My own sister will graduate from high school this year, and she’s running all over the place. Last night, we went to her International Thespian Society program! So proud of my little sister.

So yes, you high schoolers are still in the thick of things.

Buuuut, for those of us in college who have been on summer break for a while, here’s my recommended collection of links for your spare-time, lazy-summer, viewing pleasure.

1. Yarn art. Juliana Santacruz Herrera fills Parisian potholes with yarn.

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/39380641@N03/

2. The periodic table of storytelling. Science, English, this has it all! Mary Sues? Check. Lovable Rogues? Check. Chekhov’s gun, Retconning, Fridge Logic, and Technobabble? Cheeeeck and check.

3. More yarn art, this time guerilla-style! “Yarn bombing” is a phrase used to describe guerilla knitting, the placement of knitted or crocheted pieces in a public place.

From http://yarnbombing.com/global-yarn-bombing-round-up

4. The ever-popular wooden cell phone commercial. It’s so oddly mesmerizing…

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5. Gender-neutral book titles. One of the Dalloways.

6. A blog with participative poems, doodle-y programs, games, applications… I can’t really explain it. You’ll just have to go there. I’ll leave you with this one since, if you are like me, you’ll be there for a while.

I fail to climb the tree

Butler’s two libraries–Irwin and the Science Library–kind of pale in comparison to the Central Library in Indianapolis I detailed in my last post. (Though if all my archives weren’t frustratingly lost, I could direct you to the posts I wrote last year about why the science library rocks.)

However, Butler does have an awesome interlibrary loan system. Theoretically, I could get a book from Australia. I haven’t done that, but I’ve received my fair share of books from IU’s library.

Exploring the jungle.

Still, I’ll always have a soft spot for the library near my house–so near that I can walk to it. I have to go through the open spot in the fenced off dead-end of the street, traverse a bamboo forest, hop a drainage ditch, climb a hill of mulch, battle the far-reaching branches from the huge bushes, and dodge, Frogger-style, all the minivans in the parking lot. But I can walk there.

I found a tree!

Sometimes I walk there with friends. Sometimes, that’s how I know summer has really started.

Sometimes, I fail to climb the tree.

Snapshot: Architecture

Here’s a snapshot from this past year that I never got around to posting. Snapshot: Architecture, I choose you!

This is from a dancer gathering I attended. Not being much for large crowds, I decided to head to where the real party was cooking… the game of Jenga. Excuse me, “Jumbling Towers,” as the box says.

After the tall tower was well and truly jumbled (by my overly ambitious move), the architectural phase of the evening began. Here is the finished product.

Marvelous, no? As much as I complain about the seemingly endless streams of papers, I do get to have some building-block-related fun at Butler.

Okay, it’s back to my summer fun book for some intense relaxation. I’m finally reading the most recent Thursday Next book by Jasper Fforde, One of Our Thursdays is Missing. So good!

Riddle: How does November relate to this in-book map of Fiction Island? Take a gander to find out!