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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 “knitting”

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.

Why I’m not blogging much/a note on knitting

How, how, how am I already behind after having a full day to catch up? Next week I have all my normal homework due, plus I have to:

  • teach the center of a ballet class in my Teaching Analysis class (requires a lot of prep)
  • workshop the introduction to my BSI paper (which I am completely rewriting — sob! — which means this introduction is currently experiencing existence problems)
  • do a group project in French class (group projects take longer than solo projects, since you have to arrange meeting times, etc)
  • do a research project for my Theory and Philosophy of Dance class. The topic remains completely unspecified, which means this won’t be stressful, but I still have to do it.

Also, I’m going to Kansas City this Saturday to audition for Kansas City Ballet. (Just learned they’re doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream next season! Ah! I love.)

A side note:

I might just have finished this during the Super Bowl:

Better photo to come...

And perhaps will start this (I usually only knitting while traveling, since I can’t concentrate on most homework in airports):

Make Up Your Mind Racerback Tank from Julie Crawford

Internet Roundup

College students are incredibly in tune with Internet trends. I believe this stems from the natural and widespread desire to procrastinate — as I am demonstrating now by writing this blog post instead of reading literary criticism. As a result, Facebook and other sites tend to become repositories of the crazes of the hour.

Because I don’t want to be the only one procrastinating, I’m going to drag you down with me. Here is my highly curated list of fun things on the internet:

Amigurumi Dragon crochet pattern (via All About Ami)

Click through

Cute music video

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I just have to include a Butler link! The new Art + Design program will expand into the old JCAD building. (It’s still sad JCAD had to close, but the art program seems way cool.)

Brownie Batter Ice Cream that looks delicious… (via food blog Lauren’s Latest)

Click through

The perfect Valentine’s Day scarf (via TheHatandI)

My sincere hope is that you will become as distracted as I am, so I will feel better about myself. The perfect plan.

Summer at Butler: What I Learned

  • The “so hard to say goodbye” in “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 can use a I V IV V I chord progression.
  • Fish tacos in Chicago make an excellent snack.
  • Welsh eisteddfodau: Grown men dress in bardic robes for the ceremony which declares the winner of the traditional-form, Welsh-language poetry competition. There is a sword involved, and the whole crowd shouts “Peace!” in Welsh.
  • Pianos are expensive.
  • BSI projects can be wicked cool: YouTube Preview Image
  • Both Howards End and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog are more entertaining than A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
  • If you leave your bike overnight at the IMA, the snack fairy leaves you a fruit bar.
  • Don’t use the recipe on the side of the cornmeal container to make cornbread, because it doesn’t taste very good. On the other hand, add a bit of coco powder to pancake batter, then some bananas to make chocolate banana pancakes. Heavenly.
  • Guerilla knitting happens.

    I saw this tree when I visited Downer's Grove during my epic trip to Chicago.

  • English publications generally don’t like papers over twenty-five pages.
  • Some species of sour cherries are self-compatible.
  • The GRE is a) necessary for grad school; b) expensive; c) changing and half price if taken this August or September; or d) all of the above.
  • Biking up hills is much easier when one’s bike is not stuck on the lowest gear.
  • Jude the Obscure is the most depressing book in the English language, and, as Jasper Fforde recommends, one should read it backwards if there is to be any chance of a happy ending.
  • G-protein receptors. They exist. You have them almost everywhere in your body.
  • ISIS stands for “Image subtraction, image subtraction.”
  • Straws aren’t so bad after all.
  • Euchre isn’t so complicated after all.
  • Don’t put potato peels down the kitchen garbage disposal. You’ll only clog the sink and render the dishwasher unusable for almost a week.

UT: Pictorial tour II

To continue my graphic representation of Butler’s University Terrace housing option, I give you the bedroom:

This is the view as if you were standing in the bedroom doorway. There were no light fixtures in the room, and generally the housing includes an overhead light in each room. So that’s a bit weird. Also, the slat that holds the mattress onto the bed is the same height as the mattress. We frequently smacked our knees into the wood for the first week until we remembered automatically to lift our legs a bit higher when clambering onto the bed.

To the right of the doorway are the two closets. They are fairly large. And they’re closets. Not much to report. I did hang the jewelry holder I knit on the wall.

Quite proud of this one

To the left of the closets are our beds. I thought it might be odd to go back to sharing a room after living a year in AV (Apartment Village), where I had my own bedroom, but an apartment makes all the difference. In ResCo and Swchitzer, there was only the bedroom and the bathroom, and I’d go stir crazy. In an apartment, there is also a living room and a kitchen, so I am not sleeping and eating and doing schoolwork all in the same place. Much better.

Finally, turn left again and see my bed and the two dressers. The desks, dressers, beds, and desk chairs all come with the apartment. There are no trashcans, so you will want to bring your own. Also, there is no type of table. Check in next time to see what my roommate who likes cookies and I have devised!

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.

Prosiect is Welsh for “project”

There are many projects currently revolving around Olivia-world. Things I am doing:

  1. Student Choreography. Like mad.
  2. Dance history project. We are reconstructing and presenting a Renaissance dance from Thoinot Arbeau’s Orchesographie. Here’s the dance we are researching, though Irwin Library’s copy isn’t in French. It was all I could trouver.
  3. A circle and a sweater. I am slowly knitting these two objects. If I continue at my current rate of three rows a week on the sweater and half a round a week on the circle, I’ll be done by the time I graduate from Butler! Go me!

    Some of the lace in my lace circle

  4. Notice that learning Welsh is not included in the list. I admit that sometimes I listen to Learn Welsh podcasts while I work out, but even that has been recently replaced by my ceaseless work on Student Choreography. It’s Art Pepper for me all the way, man.
  5. Papers. I need to start writing my big research paper for my Irish Literature class. ASAP.
  6. Cooking. Yesterday I made Caribbean Black Beans from my Moosewood cookbook. Basically, you heat beans in a pan with some herbs, some onion, and a bit of orange juice. Pretty good.

For want of sheep

My bed is directly next to the window in my room, and this morning I woke up a popsicle. Not even October, and already I’ve turned on the heat in our apartment… just enough to get it back to seventy degrees.

The weather is warm enough in the afternoons, but the mornings are brutal, especially if you are like me and tend to mourning the passing of skirt and short season strenuously. I like autumn well enough, but I know fall will soon crystalize into winter, and winters here are cold. And windy. And I can’t ride my bike for fear of slipping on ice and of losing an ear in the artificially-enhanced windchill.

However, autumn is exciting for several reasons.

  • I can bust out my sweater collection again. I do love me my sweaters.
  • I crave lentil soup, vegetable soup, beef and barley soup… All sorts of soup.
  • I crave hot chocolate. Large, steaming, white mugs with double the amount of power one is supposed to add to a single serving, with a bit of chocolate crumbed on the top of the foam. Add milk to cool it to sipping temperature and grab a book. Or, in the case of my approaching physics midterm, a textbook.
  • I want to knit all the time. In the past, I admit I have knit through some of my lectures. That is just not going to fly this semester. I tend to take furious notes throughout all three academic classes I am taking. I would need to sprout a third arm, and that probably won’t happen in the next week or so.

Recap. Winter = misery. Autumn = comfort food and knitwear. I can deal with that.

    This summer, I did knit quite a bit. I made my sister an earring holder for her new, remodeled bedroom; I subsequently realized I like it so much, I needed one as well. This little project was quite easy. I used a lace pattern I found on Ravelry and stuck it in a frame. (Actually, I like the frame my sister has better, but I’m not overly picky.)

    If you remain confused by the title, I should point out that many yarns are made with wool. I’m working a nicely squishy orange aplaca-silk-wool blend (Cascade Yarns Dolce in pumpkin, if you’re curious.)