Olivia ’12 RSS feed

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.

Check us out on Facebook Follow us on Twitter! Butler's YouTube Channel Chat with a Student

Posts Tagged “out of state”

Home Sweet Home

I’ve finally home! After Nutcracker, then dance finals, then academic finals (aka writing papers till I drop), then a lovely weekend at Butler, then taking dance resumé photos in Cleveland (story for later), then a flight through Atlanta to Richmond (as per usual), and I finally made it home to my sisters and parents and rabbits and so on. And my comfy bed. Cannot forget about that, no no no.

More and more I envy those students who can drive home. Airlines don’t offer direct flights from Indianapolis to Richmond, so I’m always connecting through Atlanta, Cleveland, Charlotte, Chicago. Next thing you know, I’ll be going through a really out-of-the-way city like Santa Fe.

This is the first time in over a year I haven’t been in school. I entered junior year, with the personal decision to prep for my TA position over winter break by reading the first half of The Sound and the Fury. I came out of the class loving the book, but that first attempt at understanding William Faulkner’s take on “a tale told by an idiot” stands in my memory as one of the more frustrating things I’ve done.

Then spring semester of junior year. Then the first few weeks of summer, where I tried desperately to catch up on the BSI reading I knew I had to finish before starting BSI. Then BSI. Then early work for an English independent study. Then this fall began.

Where did all that time go? Into writing papers, suggests the list above, but also into dancing and learning what constitutes stereochemistry and cutting out paper snowflakes with my roommates and baking banana bread…

Good memories, good memories (BCC at Block Party)

The last year and a half were exceedingly busy, but I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences. Well, maybe a foot injury here or there, yet events have an uncanny way of sorting themselves out in the end.

It’s so so good to be home. Also, to write in sentence fragments because this won’t be graded.

Family Shout-Out

I have to backtrack a little to The Nutcracker. I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about it… but I want to acknowledge all the family members who traveled (some so far!) to see and support me. I’m so grateful I was able to see you! Also, Grandma, those cake pops were delicious — especially the peppermint one. I cannot wait to see everyone next week during my winter break.

Cake pops!

A note about traveling: Looking at out-of-state schools? When I was in high school, making decisions about college, I knew I wanted to go to Butler. It has a serious, classical-ballet based dance program with a good English department in a liberal arts setting — and this is not a common combination. Just keep in mind, though, that travel will increase the cost of an out-of-state school, especially depending on how often you go home. Friends who live in California might spend a shorter break with family/friends closer to Indianapolis; I’ve traveled home to Virginia for Fall Break only once. Distance did not alter my admissions decision, but it is still an important factor to consider… especially since those acceptance letters should be arriving soon for Early Decision admissions!

Q&A: Dance Department

Last week I got a series of great questions from a high school senior looking into Butler’s dance major. I thought I would answer them here on the blog so other prospective students can see and comment!

Q: Is Butler’s dance program based in classical ballet? Most programs seem to be modern emphasis.

A: Yes, the dance department is grounded in classical ballet. I was struck by the scarcity of options for a serious classical ballet, liberal arts program when I was looking for schools four years ago. I take a ballet technique class five days a week, plus pointe, classical variations, and classical partnering.

Snow Corps, The Nutcracker, 2010, choreography by Cynthia Pratt

Q: What other techniques are you learning at Butler?

A: The semester counts here are out of seven, since I am taking my seventh of eight semesters. I have studied jazz (4 semesters), modern (7), contemporary partnering (1), Slavic character (1), Spanish character (1), and improvisation (1).

In less technical-movement-based classes, I’ve studied: Laban Movement Analysis, Teaching Analysis of Classical Ballet (of Jazz and of Modern are also offered), Body Placement (a sort of Pilates-nutrition-anatomy mishmash), and Choreography.

On the purely academic front, the Dance Department offers/requires: Masterworks of Dance, a history of music class, Music Theory for Dance, Design and Construction of Dance Costumes, Dance History, and Theory and Philosophy of Dance. Other related requirements include an acting class, piano, and voice.

Midwinter Dance Festival 2010, 1st of 3 in 17, choreography by Cynthia Pratt

Q: Anything you think would be helpful…

A: This senior mentioned double majoring, which I am doing with great difficulty. If you want to double major, my advice is to be realistic and to become intimate with the requirements of both departments and with the colleges of each department. The trouble I’ve run into personally is the language requirement demanded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (for my English Literature major) — though it’s not required by the Jordan College of Fine Arts (the college of my primary major in Dance Performance). Look carefully at all your requirements and do the credit-hour math beforehand. You might, as this senior wisely mentioned, have to stay an extra summer or semester to finish.

Q: I live in Georgia, so scheduling a visit is tough. Can you give me some pointers?

A: Here are some questions you might want to consider before flying/driving to Indianapolis if you are from out of state or looking at the dance major:

– Do you want a liberal arts environment (versus a conservatory)?
– Do you want a program based in classical ballet?
– Are you open to learning all sorts of other techniques?
– Does Butler offer the classes you want, both in and outside the dance major? (Which you can check here…)
– Could you live in Indianapolis? Could you fly/drive a substantial distance for the holidays?

As I told this senior, if you have any other questions you want answered about Butler University, don’t hesitate to ask! If I don’t know the answer, I can find someone who does and get that information to you as you begin your college decision process. You might also like to peruse the departmental requirements or the Jordan College of Fine Arts Facebook page.

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.

Tips for college living, #2

Ah, the out of state student. How envious are you of your friends who can drive home with a basket full of dirty laundry, a bin of papers and textbooks, and as many sweatshirts/sweaters as will fit in the trunk of a car!

I feel for you, out of state students who take to the airport–not to the road–when holiday time rolls around. I therefore offer forth this list of travel tips.

Tips for college living, #2: The airport edition

1. If you wear your college gear, expect strangers to strike up conversations with you concerning your school, your major, and your hometown. If you are in the talkative mood, go for it! If your flight is exceptionally early in the morning or late at night, perhaps skip the Butler sweatshirt.

2. If you sit in an exit row, expect the flight attendant to ask your age. One must be over fifteen to sit in an exit row; I still get inquiries. Go figure. Aaaand… this is not really a tip. Next!

3. Bring an empty water bottle through the security checkpoint. This avoids going over the 3 ounce limit on liquids and still saves you the cost of buying overpriced drinks once in the gate area. You can fill the bottle at a water fountain. As a typically-money-strapped college student, I approve of all budget-friendly tricks.

4. Backpacks make excellent carry-on items. As a college student, I have several backpacks from which to chose. Also, you can pack dirty clothes to take home and wash and wear… you should simply be a bit more selective than your “I’m driving home this weekend” friends.

5. Obtain a luggage scale. Most airlines place a 50 pound limit on checked baggage. If you are checking a bag, weigh it ahead of time so you won’t have to shuffle items between bag and carry-on. If you see you have room, try to think of items you no longer need at school. For instance, I had extra space (by “space,” I mean “weight”) in my bag this trip home, so I brought back some books I no longer need at Butler.

Now if only I could find a spot for them on my overstuffed bookcase…

Right, I suppose those tips were not overly helpful. Some were more comments than tips, and other don’t apply just to college students. By all standards of goodness and light, I should delete this entire post and spare you the pain of reading it. Then again, if you are still reading this far, it is of your own volition.

Tip 6. Choose a seat near the front of the plane. It’s much faster when deplaning! The further up, the better, I say. Randall Munroe, creator of webcomic  XKCD, agrees with me. So it must be true.

I broke Fall Break

When I was a freshman, I referred to Fall Break as “Reading Break.” That’s what it’s listed as in Butler’s academic calendar, after all. (Actually, it’s Fall Reading Break, but whatevs.) Naturally, I assumed students stayed on campus and used the Thursday and Friday without classes to catch up on their schoolwork.

Yeah, right.

I spent the long weekend in the extremely quiet girls’ dorm, Schwitzer, most of my classmates having driven–or even flown–home to see their families. My weekend was not completely unproductive, however. I reorganized my side of the dorm room. I painted my fingernails and started to read the Four Branches of the Mabinogi (part of a collection of Middle-Welsh myths… in translation, obviously.). When everyone returned to campus Sunday afternoon, I was one of the few who wasn’t scrabbling to finish homework.

Still, the dining service hours were greatly reduced, and I’d never lived away from home for so long before, and I was very glad my parents were coming to see me during Parents’ Weekend. Except Parents’ Weekend was filled with rehearsals for The Nutcracker. You can see that my freshman year breaks were not very well coordinated.

When I was a sophomore, I went home for Fall Break, and my parents gave Parents’ Weekend a pass. This was a much better arrangement for an out-of-state dance major.

This year presented a unique situation, however. I use “unique” as euphemistically as I can, by the way. Stay tuned for updates. Sneak peak:

Studying on a bench!