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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 “Intro to the Discipline”

Senior English Essay

Thinking about becoming an English major at Butler? You’ll need a senior essay to graduate, whether you are a English Literature, English Creative Writing, or even an English-concentration education major.

What is the senior essay? It’s a long paper on a topic of your choice. These are usually written in a 400-level seminar class and honed in the “Senior Essay” class, which will soon be known by the much cooler name of “Advanced Academic Writing.” I will take this course, along with a class taught by the head of the department and her colleague on Midrash. I am so excited for the Midrash class, and I’m sure I’ll plague you with details once that gets underway.

Back to the Senior Essay. Having taken quite a few upper-level English courses by this late stage in my college game, I had a variety of papers to chose to polish into senior essay readiness.

I went with BSI. Since I put so much effort into the project this summer, I’d like to finish it. Novel idea, huh? Wales and Ireland, I shall presently make my great return!

 

Researchical insights: Another quality post

Summer.

I cannot form nice sentences any longer. For at least another two weeks. It’s all lazy mornings with my pet bunnies and sunshine.

And I have exhausted my English-language skills. They will need these two weeks to recover, I fear. Yup. So.

I produced twenty-one new pages of writing in the last three days at Butler. Altogether, my three final papers clocked in at exactly thirty-three pages.

Eight pages of dance history. Nine for a paper on Nathaniel Hawthorne and his deviant characters and Hepzibah’s shop and the railroad á la Christopher Castiglia and Leo Marx. Sixteen on Emily Dickinson. I say she not only deserves the attention of the postmodern scholarship community, but she also possesses herself a postmodern understanding of language.

If you examine her ideas of death and Heaven and knowledge, you find that her binary oppositions are wonky. Death is connected to absolutes and divinity and comfort. Hmmm.

I wrote a paper over spring break on Emily Dickinson, after reading a hundred and fourteen of Emily Dickinson’s poems. For my final, I researched the current discourse surrounding Dickinson from a postmodernist viewpoint and revised my paper to place it into conversation with the scholarly community.

And that’s what a dance/English major writes at the end of junior semester.

Headline: Final papers crush college student

The usual crush of final papers is, well, crushing me. I am happy to report, however, the completion and subsequent printing of one of the three papers still between me and summer vacation. Take that, Nathaniel Hawthorne/Christopher Castiglia/Leo Marx! Yeah, you don’t scare me.

(Summer! Two weeks of freedom! Then nine weeks of research! Then three weeks of an independent study! Then… oh wait, then the fall semester starts.)

No cursing.

I still have to finish my dance history paper on contemporary choreographer Maguy Marin. I finally asked my follow dancers about viewing the works of Marin. The guy down the hall owns Cendrillon. Whomp.

And I have to revise my paper on Emily Dickinson I turned in for my EN 185 class over spring break. Instead of writing another paper, the department head is letting me go to secondary sources to position my argument on Dickinson’s postmodern understanding of language within current discourse. I found the perfect book: Jed Deppman’s Trying to Think with Emily Dickinson. Now I just have to do a semester’s worth of work to revise, since this revision is replacing my second paper.

Ho-hum. It’s back to work after a fried rice break.

Balanchine all week long

I do love me a Balanchine ballet. I performed in Serenade with the Richmond Ballet trainee program when I was a senior in high school. When I was a college freshman, the upperclassmen performed it at Butler. I was so jealous, since dancing in Serenade had been one of the defining moments of my performing life.

Now I am rehearsing Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, a slightly more obscure ballet requiring twenty-five dancers (twenty-four of them women). Last week was the first week of classes, and it was definitely a tornado-on-the-rampage sort of week. Learning choreography requires (for me) a particular sort of mental concentration and physical exertion different from rehearsal of previously learnt material.

I described my first day back for the spring semester in the last few posts. Wednesday was day number two, and it saw another few hours of rehearsal after classes. I have a night class which meets Wednesdays on the literature of the American Renaissance (EN 341). Reading, reading, reading. We’ll tackle Moby Dick in three class periods.

On Thursday, there was the Intro to the Discipline of English class again (I rotated groups in true TA-style) and Romanticism (I still have neutral feelings on the class). Then ballet, then pointe, then… no rehearsal. Ms. Wingert worked with some of the other groups. I did homework like a fiend.

Friday was much the same: Dance history, our first choreography II class, ballet, and rehearsal until five o’clock. We finished learning Walpurgisnacht. The final section Ms. Wingert called “Fire in the Beauty Parlor” since we run around with our hair down. It’s great fun. I really enjoy moving in that particularly expansive, Balanchine way.

Saturday was more rehearsal; Sunday was more rehearsal. We don’t normally rehearse on Sundays, but I understand that we had to make the best use of our time with Ms. Wingert before she flew back to New York. I loved working with her, and I appreciate the opportunity to perform Balanchine choreography, since companies must apply to the Trust to license each ballet. But boy, are my toes sore today!

I hope this also explains the rather pathetic lack of photos in my blog. I have not had time to take new ones, so I’ve been using old ones I saved for this sort of situation… except sometimes they don’t quite match. Like today’s:

This is the HRC, the Health and Recreation Complex. I used the hot tub and pool to great advantage this past week. However, the lawn is currently covered in snow, not sitting all nice and green like it was when I took this picture.

Welcome back, ballet feet

Yesterday was the first day of classes, and all was a bit of a whirlwind. I had five classes/rehearsals, and apart from getting out quite early from my first class of the day, I was touting a full schedule. Welcome back, ballet feet. Nice to see you again, ballet arms.

EN 185: This was my first class. I must say, 9:30 is the perfect time to start class. I have a 10 o’clock MWF and 9:30 TR–I have such late classes this semester!–and I am currently in pajamas, eating cereal, writing this blog.

EN 185 is the Intro to the Discipline of English class in which I am the teaching assistant. I’m supposed to have times I’m available for appointments for writing and revising help. Maybe the day before an essay is due, I’ll hang out in Starbucks when I have time in the morning. I feel incredibly official, albeit slightly nervous.

EN 366: My Romanticism class ran for its full time yesterday. We read–guess who?–William Wordsworth. What a surprise. (Not.) I liked the professor, though I do find it odd that we will have a final exam in the class. I’m accustomed to writing long papers for English class culminations. With my BSI proposal and my never-ending revision of the Irish Lit paper (still!), I suppose I should be grateful not to have another long paper on my plate. Or in my mug of tea. My cup runneth over.

Whoops, cereal is gone. I shall continue the meandering tale of my first day back at Butler later. Time to put on real clothes and join the rest of society.

Scheduling, part VI

I recently registered for my sixth semester of classes. That’s right. The sixth. I will be a senior before I know it, and that is terrifying.

Registration for spring classes... just when the leaves fall and it gets really cold.

Registration, when you are enrolled as student, goes by credit hour, so I got to enroll at 3:30 pm on the first day of registration. When I was a freshman, I had to register quite late, since enrollment periods open for about two weeks. I’m only a junior, but I had some credit from AP tests I took in high school, and since I’m in the Butler honors college, I get twenty extra “ghost” credit hours added to my registration queuing total as a sort of perk. Anyway. The point being that I am all set for spring semester… which will also be terrifying, since I’m taking three English classes.

I thought for a long time that finishing an English major (the literature track) would be impossible, but I have since met with the head of Butler’s English Department, and I have new hope. I am way behind, however, and this spring is going to be rough. I’m taking twenty-one credit hours (which means I’ll have to pay for the extra credit hour I’m taking, since the limit for students with primary majors in the JCFA is 20 credit hours a semester). Nine of those hours are English classes. One of those English classes will go on my transcript as an internship, since I’m acting as a sort of TA for the department head’s EN 185 class.

(EN 185 is Intro to the Discipline of English. It’s the first class you take towards an English major. I’ll be responsible for all the work the other students do, plus reading literary criticism on the works, offering help with essay writing and revision, writing longer/more in-depth papers, and presenting several research projects to the class.)

I am going to be so busy. Wish me luck!

The classes I’m taking in the spring:

  • Ballet technique
  • Modern technique
  • Pointe technique
  • Pas de deux
  • Variations
  • Butler Ballet (rehearsal period)
  • Dance history 2
  • Choreography 2
  • Literature of the American Renaissance
  • Romanticism
  • Intro to the Discipline of English

(gulp)