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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 “news”

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.

Up By the Chandelier

In an unprecedented move, the BBC World Service features an article with both Democrats and Republicans showing optimism over the debt deal.

Lately it’s been all doom and gloom. DOOM. As I heard Obama point out on the radio, it’s more our system of government which seems to lack a AAA rating.

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Obama said, “The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government” (NPR). So true. I remember filibusters were the most frustrating part of my high school government class’s mock Senate. The process was arduous, and surely the real thing is far more complicated than the scene we enacted around my high school’s conference table.

Though the new word most used in conjunction with recent developments has been “cautious,” a more positive outlook is most welcome. This counts double for students like us: students entering college, students with government loans for education, and students graduating soon — especially those seeking jobs in the arts, which exist in large part thanks to the support of groups like the National Endowment for the Arts.

The plan doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to pass quickly.

Farewell, Diana

Admist all the basketball excitement, I read that Diana Wynne Jones passed away yesterday after her prolonged battle with cancer. She has long been one of my favorite authors, with her wit, intelligence, faith in her younger readership, wry pragmatism, and brilliant writing.

I remember reading DWJ in school, on my back porch, on airplanes. I read to myself, laughed myself to tears; I read to my sisters, joked about butter pies and Fantasyland’s lack of socks. I struggled to make sense of Hexwood and Fire and Hemlock; I devoured Howl’s Moving Castle, Dark Lord of Derkholm, and all the Chrestomanci books. Who could forget the antics of Deep Secret or Year of the Griffin? Her situational humor, her sparkling adjectives, her inventive and deconstructive clichés…

Her accolades and awards include two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors, the Karl Edward Wagner Award for having a significant impact on the field of fantasy literature, and the World Fantasy Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

It is an odd thing to be moved to tears while the rest of the state explodes in basketball-related joy. Outside my window, horns and chants and laughter. Inside, only a desperate grief, a heavy emptiness for that great lady of literature.

The book/blog/writing world demonstrates an outpouring of grief and sympathy for DWJ’s family. What a testament to one of literature’s best and brightest. Shine on, Diana. You will be missed.

Something serious

Okay, I can’t keep blogging without putting this out there. It’s kind of hard to continue writing papers, talking to friends, going out to eat lunch when I know, a single ocean away, people are suffering in Japan, a nuclear reactor stands exposed, and the entire globe seethes with unrest. The UN Security Council just passed a resolution on Libya. The US House cut federal funding to NPR, and dance jobs will probably be next to go. It’s hard to justify my continued interest in the local weather, in Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare, in dressing in matching clothes.

But what can we do? We send aid and prayers to those in need and examine the dark spots within our own lives. We try to live as well as possible, as lightly as possible on this earth, with as much compassion for our fellows as possible, with as much joy and appreciation for our own experiences. Otherwise, what is the point of all this malarky?

This life is a balance between joy and despair. We must feel the pain of our fellows in places like Japan. It is right to participate in their despair over this horrible, horrible tragedy. It is right to be anxious about the impending danger at Fukushima Daiichi (though read both views). It is right to be anxious about civil wars and the economy. At the same time, we cannot abandon our own personal timelines, our personal and local concerns. This is what I have decided.

Tips for college living, #1

We call the campus and its immediate environs the Butler Bubble. (Not to be confused with the tennis facility of the same name.) Inside the Butler Bubble, life sometimes picks me up and carries me along into a whirlpool of academic and social events. When I leave the Butler Bubble after a long period of immersion, it’s like a splash of cold water in the face.

Do you like my aqua references?

Today’s tip for college living: Set your homepage to a news website. No, Access Hollywood doesn’t count. Neither does BUMail, the Butler email system, though I can tell you I check my email with embarrassing frequency.

I personally prefer the BBC front page because its scope tends to be more international, but CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post are also good choices. If you like podcasts and audio, NPR NPR NPR. But obviously, it’s up to you. It’s your homepage.

I think it’s important to remember that we–attending a liberal arts college–are preparing to add value to the world community. We cannot forget about life off the campus. It’s hard. There’s always, always something to do, and I often hear people wishing for a twenty-six hour day or an eight-day week so they have more time.

Setting your homepage to a news site is an easy way to keep somewhat abreast of the world beyond the quad and the dining hall, beyond the dorms and the classrooms. Even if you only have time to glance over the headlines, it’s a little reminder of the object of all your work… the real world.

(By the way. The BBC has a sense of humor, albeit a semi-creepy one.)

Notice the clown with death in his eyes? Notice the flames? Notice the TERROR?