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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 “papers”

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.

End of the semester

Quick update on last week, with another, better post maybe to follow: Last week was production week. We had to help load in at the theater, then ran the ballet on Monday. I dropped the paper on which I was writing notes for a dance professor under the bleachers and had to finangle my way under them to retrieve the sheet. Embarrassing.

We ran the ballet on Tuesday in the studio, then went to the theater for spacing. Wednesday was a tech run on stage, dinner, then another full run onstage with the orchestra. Thursday was full dress rehearsal. Friday, we had classes off (except choreography and academics)… and opening night!

Aurora's tutu, photo by the extremely talented Anna. Visit her photography site at http://annadarla.blogspot.com. Or else.

My dress rehearsal went really well, and the shows felt good too. I mean, there were the wobbles. There are always little things to be improved. I decided with a good friend that if we were ever perfect, there would be no reason to try again; without something to strive for, there would only be a disappointing fall in quality. Human imperfection makes the act of art-making meaningful.

And in the last show, the four of us fairies in the Prologue finally all turned at the same time. Better late than never? My family came to town as well, and there were lots of introductions all around. I can’t wait to go home in less than a week! Just three more papers… which I will now continue writing.

This is supposed to be an artsily-cropped picture of meeting friends and family after the show.

To be continued/supplemented? We’ll see. Good luck to all working on finals, and good luck to all graduating seniors, in high school or in college. Next year that will be me.

Yikes.

This is possibly wisdom

Things I have learned:

There is an inversely proportional relationship between closeness to production week/the end of the semester and my attention span.

There is a proportional relationship between Facebook use and attempts at writing papers.

There is a exponential relationship between production week and the average amount of Febreze used.

Cookie dough cupcakes from The Flying Cupcake are very good.

Maguy Marin‘s choreography is extremely difficult to find online or in a library close to Butler’s campus if you are looking for a complete, uncut piece.

Bites of cupcake times three equal failed attempts at finding extant and unabridged choreographic works by Marin.

My dance history paper is not going so well at the moment.

Cinderella, with doll heads

Does anyone know where I can view complete works of Marin? I would love to watch Cendrillon, but at this point, I am not picky.

Madness

“Madness. Sheer and utter madness,” she wrote. This week we have our dance finals, and next week is production week for The Sleeping Beauty. (Which you must attend.)

I had a pointe final yesterday, and a modern final and a pas final the day before that, and another pointe final the day before that and a pas final the day before that (we’re on Monday by now). Today is ballet technique and variations, then Saturday is Studio Dress rehearsal.

Add a bunch of papers into the mix, and my brain is addled. Add the fact that I’m now understudying my friend who is performing Aurora and tried to learn the whole ballet in the space of about three days, and my brain has well neigh given up the ghost. This post is less informative in the expository sense and more information in the representative sense as I exhibit the symptoms of the madness that seizes dance majors–especially dance majors who are also double majors–before a performance.

Butler Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty

Madness.

URC continued

Things I liked about the Undergraduate Research Conference this year:

– I got yogurt and hot chocolate in the morning while listening to the Provost welcome everyone.

– As much of a pain as it was to shorten my twenty-four page paper to six pages/twelve minutes, I tightened my argument. When I revise the long version to turn in as my senior English essay for my secondary English major, I’ll keep some of the changes I made. The new key point? Martha C. Nussbaum’s version of Stoic cosmopolitanism uses hierarchy in include, not to exclude. Earlier, I implied all hierarchy produced negative results. Wrong!

– I got to hear an English major’s presentation on the gods of Paradise Lost and the Aeneid. When I wrote my BSI proposal, I worked heavily from the example on the website–which was the genesis of this very project. I was interested to see what a BSI project’s URC presentation looked like and what the student actually concluded after conducting his research. It was neat to see the very first and very last steps of a research project.

Hey there, Aeneas.

– I got a free boxed lunch. It was a Friday in Lent, so I opted for a grilled veggie sandwich… which was rather odd. The veggies, a very thin layer of lettuce and what might have been squash, were oddly saturated with oil from the bread or something else very strange that I cannot put into words. The orzo was pretty good though, as was the super-tart green apple.

– Whenever someone on our panel took a sip of water, we all smiled at each other. Our faculty sponsor had given us “water training” during our mock-conference at the end of the class. After we make important points or finish a particularly weighty paragraph, we are supposed to take a sip of water to allow the audience to process the information. Good advice, but I still felt a bit silly sipping my water when I wasn’t even thirsty.

– I got to hear the other panelists’ perspectives on Irish national identity, obviously. Our discussion at the end as a group, as we answered questions and referred to each other’s papers and texts for verification, was really neat. I felt like I was part of a scholarly community.

I normally associate scholarship with writing–natural enough, for one who likes literary research and analysis. Participating in an oral forum with an audience watching as we bounced ideas off one another was new and exciting. That’s what URC is all about, right?

My primary text

Readings

Do you ever get stuck in a scholarly rut? Perhaps “rut” is not the best word. Maybe “track” or “idea” is better. Ever since I finished my long paper on national identity in Brian Friel’s play Translations, I have viewed all my classroom texts through a quasi-deconstructionist lens.

As far as producing interesting readings goes, this has proven quite fruitful. I’ve taken Wordsworth to task for finding authenticity in common language, seen Meville’s ocean as a space of textual ambiguity, and found Emily Dickinson to exhibit postmodern tendencies. Can you tell I’ve just come from a meeting with a professor about a paper?

Intense gaze. You know this guy's serious.

I’m happy to splash around in the postmodern waters for a bit, but I don’t think I want to stay forever. Judging from past experiences, I know some other concept will catch my interest. It happened with mythology, pseudo-astrophysics, real physics physics, the Welsh language, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Rose Adagio, creative writing, knitting… All past obsessions of mine. All still hold a special place in my heart.

However, this whole text-is-dependent-on-the-reader and words-change-significance-with-every-meaning so-many-hyphens phase represents the first conceptual idea I apply to such a wide range of classes, be it an English class or a dance history class, choreography or technique.

Do you ever feel like you really take an intellectual idea to heart for an extended time? Do you ever feel like you might be growing steadily more obnoxious every day?

Also, has anyone read any criticisms that place Emily Dickinson as a postmodern poet?

Book bribery

Why, why, did I end up with so much homework during Spring Break? While I procrastinate, I will share a few tricks I have discovered to make homework seem, if not easier, than at least surmountable.

How to bribe oneself to do schoolwork during what is supposed to be an academic vacation:

1. Music. I have a classical music CD I love to listen to, since it reminds me of fun times and awesome people. I only listen to it while I’m writing papers. If I want to hear the pretty sounds, I have to craft the pretty words.

2. Food. If I cannot have lunch until I’ve finished a chapter of reader or a paragraph of writing, well… By now I hope you have ascertained the depth of my love for food.

3. Isolation. Who went to the library Monday of spring break? That’s right.

4. Company. If my sisters do their homework, I must do mine. I can’t do anything else for fear of distracting them. Also, there will then be witnesses to my procrastination. I even had a Skype-enabled homework party with a fellow Butler student today.

5. Books. I’m sure you have heard the sad news about Borders filing for bankruptcy. If not, do so now. There’s a whole host of problems facing the publishing industry, but that is probably fodder for another post, another day. My dad and I visited the Borders location nearby that was holding its closing sale. Those empty shelves… heartbreaking. However, I got some lovely new books I’ve wanted to read for long lengths of time: since the summer, since last November, and since two years ago.

I can’t read any of them until I finish my long paper. I guess I should return to the task. Happy spring break, everyone.

http://nnedi.com/about.html

Post-Apocalyptic Africa.

Pirate- zombie- steampunk-adventures during the American Civil War

(actually, not purchased from Borders) Meta-textual humor. Have been waiting for ages for its US publication.

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.

Pre-Spring Break

The week before spring break? Not so relaxing. I lucked out in that I don’t have any midterms due this week, like many other college students. I even discovered many of my projects will be due after spring break. While I want to get most of that done before break starts so I can enjoy being home with my family, it takes the pressure off this week.

What’s going on:

  • Sleeping Beauty rehearsals
  • Mardi Gras party at the Blue House with the Butler Catholic Community. There’s a great Cajun Creole restaurant nearby called YATS. I ate a lot of YATS last night. Then I did homework.
  • Paper on Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables due today (Wednesday). I’m still finishing the reading on Emerson.
  • The usual two-paper analysis for my Romanticism class tomorrow on William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” I got a bit worked up during the discussion on Tuesday, and I hope I’ll be more coherent tomorrow.
  • I’m working on a 10-page Emily Dickinson paper for the EN 185 class that’s due after/during break. (Don’t worry, would-be English majors! I’m the TA; You don’t need this paper for your normal Intro to the Discipline of English class. Everyone else will write a three page response to a poem.)
  • I have a choreography solo, a dance history paper, and a dance history midterm the week we return.

Even though I do not have too much due this week, I need to start my other projects so Spring Break will be somewhat relaxing. Does anyone else end up with homework-heavy vacations?

Being a real college student

How do these other majors do it? With assessment week, I’ve been catching up on all my homework. Typing and typing. Reading until my brains ooze out my ears. I guess I’m not used to this sort of mental concentration without the mitigating athleticism of several dance classes.

As it is, tea and chocolate are getting me through.

Tea and chocolate on my purple computer, on Moby Dick

I’ve written/am in the process of writing (mostly the later) dance history papers (2), English papers (2), short discussion questions (1), and various other pieces of text (2.5). I did not realize my InterLibrary Loan book was due on the last day of February. (Well, I didn’t realize that was the last day of February either.) I had to return that, too.

Returning books to the library a few weeks ago. In the freezing cold.

I even cooked fish with bok choy, vacuumed my room, cleaned my apartment (including wiping a mysterious black substance off all four of our burners), and did my laundry. Whew!