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 “physics”

New Year, New School

Happy New Year’s Eve! For high school seniors, this is especially poignant, since the year will mark your graduation and subsequent first months in college.

I ran into a high school senior at the Jewish Community Center yesterday, where we were both taking a ballet class. She asked me about Butler, and we spent the better part of an hour talking about colleges. As a college senior, I was surprised by how I could look back over four years and see the large sweep of events — how this aspect of the liberal arts was wonderful (physics class), how this part was really obnoxious (mixed-up degree plans). Thinking about colleges inspired me to create this list.

List of 6 Qualities You Should Consider When Deciding Where to Go For College and How Butler Relates to the Aforementioned Attributes:

1. Degree Plan

We attend college in the hopes of learning more about our areas of interest in the hopes of getting a job in the hopes of attaining some personal goal, whether it be personal fulfillment or world-changing innovation. So make sure the college you pick will let you take the classes you want.

Also, make sure the college is up to your caliber. You want to major in pharmacy or dance? Butler provides a challenging environment for both areas of study. I considered attending another college when I was a senior, but the brochure for their English Department contained typos and I was not overly impressed by the professionalism or talent of the dance department. Butler was different — it offered a solid English program in a liberal arts setting where I could concentrate on a high level of classical ballet.

2. The Food

Do you have dietary restrictions? Are you vegetarian? The first two years of study at Butler mandate your participation in a meal plan, and Butler isn’t the easiest place to be vegetarian. There are always options — but having visited my sister’s college, I must say that Butler really could not be considered a leader in environmental issues. This means vegetarians at Butler will be able to find something to eat, but they’ll have to work a lot harder than if they went to a place like Dickinson.

However, Butler is revamping its main dining hall in Atherton Union over this winter break. I also haven’t been on a meal plan for two years, so things might have changed. I know several people who are vegetarian, and they did just fine. Now, if you are vegan… not sure. I know the university has concentrated on this aspect of campus life, and they are trying to improve. Talk to the dining services if you have concerns.

3. Cost

These aren’t always the most fun aspects of a college to consider. Who wants to calculate how far into debt one will have slipped by the end of four-ish years? Cost should not be prohibitive, especially in terms of applying for college. After that acceptance letter, you can always discuss financial options with the Office of Admission and Financial Aid. Money sometimes equates reality, however, and a college decision might come down to cost. Sad but true.

4. Location

Always dreamed of living in the Midwest, where the corn fields stretch across a very flat plain and one may spot windmills? (Windmills! I say. We don’t have those on the East Coast!) College offers the chance to see a new place, to live with snow or alligators or windmills. (Note: I’m exaggerating here. I don’t know of any windmills directly in the Indianapolis area, but the drive to Chicago has certainly/clearly left a great impression on me.)

A word on location: You should factor the cost of travel when looking at quality number three…

5. Teaching Style

This becomes extremely important for a dance major, though I’m not sure how much it applies to other disciplines. I’m sure there are connections, but I’m too lazy at the moment to seek them out.

Do you want to focus on classical ballet? Balanchine? Modern? A balance of the above? Butler’s first focus rests squarely on classical ballet, but the curriculum is wide enough with jazz, contemporary pas, theater dance, modern (no straight style, but taught by a former member of both Paul Taylor and Martha Graham’s company) (this professor is truly one of the gems of the dance department, corny as that may sound), and so on to create a versatile dancer.

6. Breadth of Study

Perhaps this is just my liberal arts background talking, but I think one of the pillars of higher learning is breadth of study. Concentration on a major all but guarantees depth, but the liberal arts mindset — a real liberal arts which both requires and inspires students to do more than brush past outside fields of study — provides context for the primary interest.

For example. The liberal arts requirements mandated I take a science course. A trick of the university scheduling offered PH 201 as a course which would fulfill that requirement. The opportunity to take a higher level science course and the requirement that I take at least five hours of science let me explore something completely different. If the class had not been mandated, I would never have taken it. If the classes that fulfilled the science requirement were not rigorous, I would never have gotten so much value out of those five credit hours. I acquired a deeper appreciation for the elegance and complexity of the world and rekindled my high school love of math as well as my long-time love of science.

Taking classes in physics might not be appealing if your only interest seems to be ballet. You might want only to dance, not to sit in a classroom memorizing names from dance history or singing solfege in a piano studio. The same applies to other areas of study at Butler. But Butler’s great strength does lie, I believe, in the liberal arts, and in the range of study it affords its students. Go for the liberal arts institutions. You’ll come out of four years knowing things you never expected to learn.

Who wants to receive exactly what one bargained for?

This is a quality post

My friend is lurking over my shoulder, discussing the difference in the coefficients of friction in the front and back seats of Rebecca Black‘s friend’s car as she goes to school on Friday. Or something like that. Mu equals twenty-one point eight in the front and ten in the back, but she has to carry the books in the front. A hot air balloon passing by overhead creates a wind with force equal to 15 N, heading due south. What is the relative speed of the cereal bowl in Rebecca’s lap?

This is odd because

1. I am now on my two week summer vacation and shouldn’t be thinking about physics.

2. There was no hot air balloon in the song, or the actual online problem I’m mocking.

from http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/rebecca-black-physics

Well, aren’t we good college students? Excuse my nonsense–I guess I’m in summer mode after all.

Determined to stay on topic

This post WILL be about my apartment’s living room and restroom areas. It will. I got rather off-topic last time talking about one of my favorite things–books. I should be fine this time as long as I don’t mention books, ballet, rabbits, knitting, or playing with Playdough. All favorites of mine. All highly distracting.

Here is the other side of my living room area in my residence place where I live on campus with three other junior girls in Butler’s Apartment Village. As I said last time, the living room area–unlike the bedrooms–comes completely unfurnished.  We had to provide all you see in the picture: sofa, coffee tables, decorative vase, decorative pillows, decorative roommate.

The living room area is carpeted, and one wall (the one you see the background of the above picture) is painted a dark sort of gray. It’s really pretty and would match pretty much anything. Nice touch, Butler. It’s nice not to be surrounded by white walls all the time. Very homey.

Also, the central window is HUGE. I managed to miss it in the above picture, but the photography documenting our Christmas decorations will do nicely.

My bedroom is just behind the grey wall, and one of my roommate’s is next to mine. Two other roommates are on the other side. For each set of bedrooms is one bathroom and one sink area. Thus we total five sinks (because there is one in the kitchen) in the apartment. That’s a 1:1.25 human to sink ratio! (Right? Oh dear. It will really embarrassing to have passed calculus-physics only to mess up that comparison.)

There are two sinks just outside each restroom, one for each resident. Will you believe it, this is first time I’ve ever had a sink to myself since I was three years old? The freedom to be as tidy or as messy as I want is intoxicating…

I stayed on topic! Hooray! Thus ends my protracted tour of my residence this year. If you’ve missed the beginning posts, I’ve listed them below. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to lurk on Skype.

Success is sweet like a cupcake

Physics, physics, physics. The class I took for my general science requirement was a bit unusual: I chose to take PH 201, which is Intro to Analytical Physics. Due to massive scheduling difficulties, I did not take the 100-level physics class. As it turns out, with PH 201 I was a bit out of my element next to all the chemistry and engineering majors who have to take PH 201 as part of their foundational math and science courses.

Thus I worked all semester. I went to the lecture four mornings a week. I went to the two hour lab each Tuesday evening. I went to the hour and a half study tables session each Wednesday evening. I turned in my lab report and problem set each Friday afternoon. And gradually, I stopped dreading the professor’s high velocity explanations of the proofs of various laws and principles. I drove all my friends crazy with my constant stream of science references. Someone told me a good joke about a spherical chicken. Anyone, anyone?

So I came to enjoy my smackdown with physics, though the work became steadily more difficult and detailed. (Gyroscopic motion, anyone, anyone?)

Working during Nutcracker, Act II. Thanks for the picture, Becca.

The tests were brutal. Let’s not mince words here. After the final, I must admit I was rather disappointed in myself. It was not the ideal way to go out after a semester of hard work. So I resigned myself to a celebratory pat on the back after passing.

Grades come out fairly quickly after finals week ends, however, and… I did better than I had hoped for in my most optimistic scenario! I’m not actually sure how that happened, unless the test was curved rather severely in my favor. But hip hip hooray!

The point of the this post? Put in hard work and a liberal sprinkling of muddled applications of torque and an obnoxious scattering of XKCD references and you get the following:

  • an increased appreciation of just how complicated science truly is
  • an increased repertoire of nerdy things to say
  • an increased love of XKCD (can you tell this was a big part of physics class for my study buddy and me?)
  • a good grade in Intro to Analytical Physics
  • new friends
  • new confidence in my own ability to scrape through daunting senarios

I’ll need all of the above as we start the new year and the new semester with my three English classes, the first three to entertain myself when I need a break from all the liberal arts, the fourth when I think about scheduling classes for my senior year (since I will have fulfilled my Division 4 credit), the fifth for all the reasons one needs people like those I’ve met at Butler, and the sixth for general, sappy, feel-good moral-boosting when I’m still revising my Irish Lit paper in a month.

The final score? Physics 374, Olivia 381.

It’s been fun, folks.

Finally

“Final”-ly? Get it? Get it?

I’m done with finals!

After I finished dance finals on Friday, I went straight into academic final week, which is when most of the rest of campus freaks out.

The finals week schedule of a dance/English major

Saturday: I attended the Butler School of Music’s Rejoice! holiday concert with a friend and saw Blue II ride across the stage during a rendition of Blue Christmas. I had never been to Rejoice! before, and this was the 25th anniversary of the show, which is offered every year, free to the Indianapolis community. Students from the University’s various faculty- and student-led choral groups performed with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and two students from Butler’s Dance Department.

At the end of the show, there was a live auction for a special conductor’s baton and the chance to led the choir in the Hallelujah Chorus. The show was terribly exciting, and it should probably merit its own post, but I’m feeling lazy.

Sunday: I failed to get groceries due to the snow.

Monday: I sat my dance history final and wrote about Imperial Russian ballet and Romanticism until my fingers went numb.

Tuesday: I submitted my final copy (final for the class at least… I’m about to revise part of it yet again as soon as I finish this blog post) of my Irish literature paper. The final title? An Argument for Cosmopolitanism: Creating National Identity in Brian Friel’s Translations.

Also, I completed the science lab I had missed due to a Nutcracker dress rehearsal. And studied like mad for physics.

Wednesday: In the morning, we presented our dance for the Choreography I final. In the afternoon, I sat the physics exam. I don’t really want to talk about it. In the end physics might have come out on top in this semester-long smackdown. I was not doing too badly, but then I rather abruptly ran out of time. I thought the professor told us we had four hours, and I was doing a solid 25 problems an hour, just barely. Twenty-five times four is one hundred. Perfect.

However, at 3 hours, 15 minutes, he announced, “Fifteen minutes left.” Panic! Let’s just say physics won this round, hands-down. It was not the best way to go out after a semester of hard work, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. Oh well.

After I frolicked with a friend through the halls of Lilly (which means we played with the piano in one of the practice rooms and I showed off my awesome C minor scale, of which I quite proud), I checked more books out of the library to read for my proposal for a summer project through the Butler Summer Institute. If anything progresses past this planning stage, I shall inform you.

Thursday: I woke up with the realization that I was done, done, done with this fall semester of my junior year! I had a lunch date with the on-campus Catholic priest, Fr. Jeff. I’m going to be president of the Butler Catholic Community next semester… wish me luck! Our last president was extremely organized, so I have large shoes to fill.

Now I’m just finishing up little things before I fly home. For example:

1. Scrubbing the kitchen floor to rid it of the salt that gets tracked in from the snowy, slushy, disgusting sidewalks.

2. Organizing the massive heaps of school papers that congregated on my desk during the last third of the semester.

3. Pestering my one remaining roommate, who–I must add–is exceedingly tolerant. When she is not being troublesome.

4. Drinking massive amounts of tea. Necessary.

5. Finishing one book (remember McCall Smith?) and starting another (which I got way back in September for my birthday and which turned out to be the second of a trilogy… I have a winter project!).

6. Organizing and consigning to the “deshank later” pile about ten pairs of pointe shoes. Okay, perhaps there were only eight pairs. I despise going through pointe shoes. I never want to admit they are dead, because that means sewing more. However, when one cannot stand en pointe without the box collapsing forward, it is time to bid the offending shoe adieu.

7. Taking a Playdough break with a friend. I found Playdough while organizing a hideously untidy drawer and promptly decided to distract my friend, who probably really needed to finish the due-the-next-day computer science project. Hanging out with friends who still have finals when one is finished for the semester? Probably not the best idea. However, I created a Playdough rabbit in anticipation of seeing our two baby rabbits when I go home for break in a few days. Admire.

My friend made a person. Sadly, the arm did not want to stay. I managed to capture the Playdough limb mid-fall in one photo, a fact about which I am extremely proud.

Catching up sans mustard

I am done! It is officially Thanksgiving Break, and I survived last week.

Monday: Irish Lit paper due. Dance history abstract due. Full run-through of The Nutcracker. Butler Catholic Community meeting. Done, done, done, and done. Physics.

Clowes Hall

Tuesday: The Nutcracker run-through. Science lab. Attending a concert at Clowes to see my two jazz-musician friends play = awesome. Sigma Rho Delta meeting (albeit briefly, as the concert ended after the start of Sigma Rho). Physics.

Wednesday: The Nutcracker. (Do you notice a theme here?) Frantic studying for the massive physics test. And–oh yeah– more physics.

Thursday: Physics test. Doomdoomdoom. And The Nutcracker. Frantic reading for my Irish Lit class. Speaking of Irish Lit, I got my paper back and extremely surprised to find that some of the things I thought were awful could, with some refinement, actually fit into my convoluted thesis. Much excitement ensued.

Around 11:15 pm, I enjoyed watched all the students stream off campus to see the Harry Potter movie, though I regretfully remained in order to sleep in order to dance safely the next day. However, I saw fellow-blogger Justin looking quite spiffy in his purple Dumbledore robes and cotton-ball beard.

Physics produced a mixed reaction. I felt like I hit most of the key concepts in the two problems–for any interested: the law of conservation of momentum, the law of conservation of energy, the work-energy theorem, projectile motion, force diagrams, forces like tension and friction, uniform circular motion, and collisions–but I didn’t actually get a concrete answer for the last part of the last problem.

More infuriating than a simply inability to finish was that fact that, by the end of ballet class, the idea that was previously slow to come to me had made its way into my brain: the equation for time down. Duuuuh. Also, I realized that the distance one would travel around the rim of half a circle is in fact pi*r, not 2*pi*r.

Friday: FRIDAY! I had nothing due. The most pressing duty on my list was laundry. I spent my breaks yesterday compiling a Thanksgiving Break playlist for a CD. I ate a pumpkin muffin. I watched my physics professor demonstrate gyroscopic motion by standing on a stool and letting the torques (or something…) from the gyroscope make him rotate around. Best physics class ever. I really wanted to try the gyroscope out on my own. Maybe next time.

This break is off to a fabulous beginning, and I’ll looking forward to the rest of the week! I do have a bunch of homework to do, but, you know, sleeping will occur.

Off to get some more tea…

Another post about breakfast

I have not blogged so much about breakfast this year. Last year, I feel like “breakfast” might actually have shown up on my tag cloud for a little while. I think I have more of a life now and have more to talk about. That’s just a theory, mind you.

However, this post relates both to life and to breakfast! (As if breakfast weren’t life. I love breakfast.) My dancer roommate turned twenty-one this past Sunday, and we celebrated by having brunch at Zest! (I’m not actually excited enough to use two exclamation points in one paragraph–the restaurant is called “Zest!”)

Indianapolis has loads of awesome breakfast places. My current favorite is the Three Sisters’ Cafe, but I also enjoy Taste, Zest!, and Le Peep. I have also heard wonderful reviews of Good Morning Mama’s.

Breakfast was good, but even better were the crayons on the table. We all drew lovely pictures on the tablecloth. Here’s mine:

I’m not sure what this collection of images reveals about me, but I shall explain them in case you cannot figure out what my scribbles are supposed to be.

Tour of the tablecloth:

Starting in the upper left, you see some text that belonged to a rendering of my roommate. Traveling clockwise, the next drawing we encounter is a stick figure typing an Irish Literature paper and being distracted. Then come the fireworks with a few physics equations to go with it–the kinetic energy of a rotating body and the kinematic equation for the velocity of the center of mass. (I hope. I have a physics test coming up.)

Math aside, we have a blue figure that was originally a person but had, for reasons of good taste, to be scribbled out. She/he/it is is holding a bass. Then we see some colorful blocks of squares. Off in the corner is a chef holding a spoon: NOT an ice cream cone, thank you very much. I’m not a great artist, but I’m not that bad. Mostly.

In the middle is a green woman with a curly perm. To the bottom is a tipsy, blonde woman in a huge bustle skirt. The last math-type object is a horrible, horrible recollection of a LaPlace Transform. DO NOT believe anything I ever say about math. L{cosh(theta)} does not equal what I said it does.

L {cosh(alpha*t)} = s / [(s^2) - (alpha^2)]

What does that mean? Apart from the fact that a hyperbolic cosine is oscillating (and doesn’t it normally do that anyway?), I have no idea. I just think it looks neat.

Since I been gone

Looking at my post list, I see it’s been five days since I’ve released a new blog! Sorry about that. This past week has been super busy. Here are some of my excuses:

I saw the Paul Taylor Dance Company quite some time ago, so perhaps it does not quite count as an excuse. I harbored mixed feelings about the program, but I adored “Esplanade,” one of great masterworks of the twentieth century. The video below is from the beginning of the last, crazy section. I also enjoyed seeing the solo the Butler dance department’s modern teacher Susan McGuire originated in “Dust.”
YouTube Preview Image

Dancer Thanksgiving potluck. My roommate and I brought apple-cranberry bread. And when I say “my roommate and I,” I mean I provided some of the ingredients and got out the bread pan. Then I watched my dancer roommate and my troublesome roommate make it together. Moral support, ya know?

Trader Joe's apple bread mix with added, homemade, cranberry sauce

Nutcracker Studio Dress rehearsal on Saturday! Studio Dress is when the department first runs the entire production in order, in costume, in the largest studio. After Studio Dress comes a week of production run-throughs in that same studio (Studio 310). Then comes Thanksgiving Break. Then comes production week in the theater. The performances are fast approaching.

Attending the Jazz Combos performance in the campus Starbucks to see my two jazz-musician friends. One plays the French horn; the other, the bass. Coolness. Would anyone like a post on French horn majors or jazz minors?

Writing the introduction and outline to my dance history paper on Irish dancing
Writing and writing and writing my Irish Lit paper. I finally finished the rough draft last night–before 11 pm! My friend gave me a CD and said I couldn’t listen to it until I was finished with the paper. How’s that for motivation? To be completely honest, I am rather disappointed with the result, since my thesis is pretty convoluted and not incredibly dependent on my readings of Translations. Oh well. It’s done for now, and I can fix it over Thanksgiving Break. I turned the paper in earlier today–all 21.5 pages!

Writing my Irish Lit paper--do you like my stack of sources?

Mastering the art of the Rubik’s cube. I will defeat you! (And I have, just not without the aid of a cheat sheet once I get to the final layer. I confuse the algorithms for reorienting the corners with those for reorienting the sides: R2 B2, R F R’, B2 R F’ R is for corners and R2 U’, F B’, R2, B F’, U’ R2 is for the sides. Maybe if I type it enough times I’ll remember this. This is clearly the top priority right now.)

I have a massive physics test on Thursday. Like, with enough surface area such that one can’t ignore air resistance massive. Everyone studying for the past week massive. A friend’s friend telling me this test made her abandon her dream of becoming an engineer massive. (Said friend is now a sixth grade math teacher.) Now my Irish Lit paper is done for the next few days, I can turn all my attention to studying for this test.

Oh yeah. I have a bunch of reading for Irish Lit, too. Whoops.

In which the smackdown disintegrates

What’s the score between Olivia and physics? It’s hard to say, since the smackdown has disintegrated into madness.

Pro-Olivia: The professor posted a list of early term grades via student ID number, and he placed them in descending order. Guess who was at the top of the class? That’s right–the Dance BFA/English lit major!

Pro-physics: The midterm. Two questions. Three sections each. Ninety minutes. (Or seventy-five, in my case, since I had a ballet class that began at 12:20.) All was well and good until the last section of the last problem. I think I finally ended up with a system of six equations with six different variables. I wrote, “Solve the system found at the bottom of the extra work page. Did not have time to execute.” Darn vectors pointing every which way!

Yeah. Definitely not at the top of the class anymore.

Kitchen tour, part II, and some physics

The kitchen tour continues! I am sorry my last post was so short, but I had to run to a physics study party. Guess what? I HELPED SOMEONE! I, the dance BFA, English lit major, helped someone. Thrilling.

On to the kitchen… Here you can see the counter with four swivel stools. This way, students do not need to buy a kitchen table or anything. This is a very good thing, since storage is a pain, and tables that won’t collapse and look decent are expensive.

In this picture, you can also see the toaster and coffeepot, which do not come with the apartment. When you get to be a junior, you will have to buy these yourself. The homework on the counter with the apple and the cell phone is mine and was terribly unfinished when I took the picture.

Over Labor Day weekend, I had some free time. It was crazy. I decided to seize the opportunity and make cinnamon-sugar bread and cheese bread. I’d folded herbs, cinnamon, and chocolate into bread before, but never cheese. The result? Beautiful.

That was gone very quickly, let me tell you.