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.

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Posts Tagged “research”

What to do during your summer

Whether you are a high school junior/senior thinking about college, a college student in-between semesters, or someone just out of school, summer offers precious time to study and to play. The Butler Admissions guest blog wrote about some great suggestions for spending your summer, and of course I have to add my two cents! ;)

I’ve done things a bit differently every summer since I graduated from high school. Let’s recap, shall we?

  • Summer after I graduated from high school: I was lucky enough to travel the world with both my grandparents and my nuclear family, then to dance for a good chunk of the rest of the summer at home.
  • After freshman year: I was a nanny three-four days a week and danced on my off days.
  • After sophomore: I attended a summer dance intensive.
  • After junior year: I participated in Butler Summer Institute doing English research… and danced.
  • After senior year: So far I’ve finished that last French class required to graduate, danced in the Southern Illinois Music Festival, and am currently teaching movement classes to children. Soon I will move to Tulsa, OK!

In the process of doing each of these different activities I’ve come to appreciate the importance of two things: work and play.

Those two about cover the gamut of options, n’est-ce pas? But really, working, whether it be as a nanny, researcher, dancer, or teacher truly drove home the lessons I learned in class. Even if I didn’t quite understand everything said in my Teaching Analysis of Classical Dance class last semester, I am now remembering little details, seeing them played out in front of me. Even if I didn’t always realize the lessons in professionalism and technique my dance classes at Butler imparted, I found myself drawing on them for reference while dancing in southern Illinois.

However, as a type-A all the way, I was surprised to realize the equal importance of playing. After my summer of BSI and English classes and the stress of trying to keep in ballet-shape while conducting a huge research project, I entered senior year a bit tired. No worries, right? However, by the second semester, I think I had burned out a little with my English studies. Dancing, no problem. (Which is good news, since that’s what I’ll be doing full time next year!) Writing another English paper? The thought kind of made me gag. Already with a few weeks break, I’m back on my reading diet of Dylan Thomas… but I want to hold off on that paper for a few more months at least.

So take a risk this summer, be it structured (a job, a class, an internship, a research project, a volunteer position) or not. But don’t forget to veg a bit! Butler (or any other institution, I imagine), will have you hopping for the full academic year, and it really is vital to take those lazy days to rest and read and bake cookies in your pajamas. Personally, I like cleaning my room with a book on tape. Whatever floats your boat.

Playing in the park!

I’m so busy; this is why:

Things that happened:

Top 101 Students Banquet: We got a Butler Catholic Community picture with most of the BCC who were in attendance!

The Undergraduate Research Conference is coming! I have to prepare for two presentations, one on my BSI project, one on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Of course, all this happens on the opening night of Coppélia.

Sigma Rho Initiation… We welcomed many, many new members into the dance service fraternity. And there are only five of us seniors left — even fewer than at the beginning of the year!

Dramatic poses in front of the fountain we are restoring as our class gift.

Right now, production week is happening, and I’m most likely in the theater. (This is most definitely a scheduled post.) As always, I have the very strong opinion that you should see Coppélia!

Words so many words aaah

After pasting the text of my BSI paper into the handy app at Wordle, I got a picture featuring a word cloud of the most-used words in my paper. It looks a little something like this:

While writing this, I kept entertaining the thought that I was actually composing two separate papers. I have one section about Thomas and Joyce’s reaction to religious and pagan models of the bard, and I have another about their interactions with the Welsh and Irish languages in their stories. When I received the comments on my first full draft from my advisor, she also noticed the break.

It is too late to split the papers in two now, since I’m giving a presentation for the BSI students, mentors, and some other people on Monday. This will be a more informal presentation in that I am not reading my paper/papers, so whether or not I have one or two papers doesn’t matter so much.

Still, it’s funny the way things work out. I’ve written loads of 5-12 page papers, but only a few longer ones, and there is definitely a learning curve. Organization becomes my main battle once the paper passes about sixteen pages, and the one I have for BSI currently clocks in at twenty-seven. (Which means the last few pages are an organizational nightmare.)

Ah well, one can’t expect to grasp every skill at first (or even fourth) try.

If only…

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BSI Roundup

This summer, I read and I wrote, then I read a bit more, got distracted, regathered my focus, and wrote again. Let’s compare the stats, shall we?

As of  the morning of July 14, 2011,

Number of Word documents associated with BSI project: was 43, now 85

Number of paper drafts: was 2, now 17

Words written in current paper draft: was 3907, now 7488

Number of sources read in whole or in part: was 11, now 22

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Anglo-Celtic”: was 4, now 10

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Welsh”: was 35, now 116

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Irish”: was 46, now 70

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Wales”: was 23, now 43

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Ireland”: was 21, now 49

Times the current paper draft uses the word “tradition” or “traditional”: no previous statistic, now 104

Times the current paper draft uses the word “bard”: no previous statistic, now 146

Times the current paper draft uses the word “bardic”: no previous statistic, now 49

Cups of tea consumed: was ??, now ????

Websites most visited: was Butler email, BBC News, RSS reader, Facebook, and Pandora, now Butler email, BBC News, Youtube, this blog page, and the Welsh National Eisteddfod page

Outside of BSI research, I did all this stuff:

BSI Events: First FridaysKeep Indianapolis Beautiful, many lunches with mentors, GRE explaining, IMA exploring, Indians baseball game (Whoops, I didn’t post pictures for that one. Mostly because it was the longest game ever and we spent most of the time bandying about science jokes: see below), discussions about ethics, discussions about presentations…

Other activities: raspberry sale at the grocery store, piano lessons with my friend, breakfast in Broad Ripple, breakfast downtown, ballet classes, Chicago trip, Bananagrams, biking to church, biking to the coffee shop, CD making, picture drawing, GRE practice test taking, knitting, Wii night, bingo night, trip to Richmond to see my sister graduate…

A lot has happened this summer!

Does anyone else have fun statistics from their summer break to share? Visits to the pool, popsicles consumed, ballet classes attended, books read?

BSI: The Summary

So what do I do all day during BSI?

There’s always, always breakfast with a mug of tea, followed by work on BSI. Ballet happens at some point, and cooking adventures occur in the evenings. I attend BSI lunches every Wednesday and other BSI programming every Tuesday, plus other BSI events.

BSI events I’ve attended:

Other things I’ve done:

  • Take a practice GRE
  • Study for the GRE. Relearn special triangles.
  • Skype with my mentor, who is traveling in Australia
  • Discover there is a GRE English Subject Test. Freak out.
  • Make extensive use of Butler’s Interlibrary Loan system.
  • Play card games and Apples to Apples
  • Dinner with friends
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Wii night at the Apartment Village’s Dawghouse
  • Bingo night at the Dawghouse
  • Ballet, ballet
  • Explore Broad Ripple and taste truly excellent avocado eggs

But more than anything, I write, I read, I write some more. I discover that I shouldn’t really be longer than 25 pages and groan, because I’m set to pass that sooner or later. So I sit down and trim the excess wordiness, verbosity, prolixity, pleonasm, and garrulity. Research is what BSI is all about, and if you are good at self-motivation, this is definitely the program for you.

The fun statistics

At this sort-of-one-third-of-the-way-through-point half-way point (yikes!) in Butler Summer Institute, I thought I should share a few fun facts with you:

As of June 14, 2011,

Number of Word documents associated with BSI project: 43

Number of paper drafts: 2

Words written in current paper draft: 3907

Number of sources read in whole or in part: 11

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Anglo-Celtic”: 4

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Welsh”: 35

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Irish”: 46

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Wales”: 23

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Ireland”: 21

Cups of tea consumed: ??

Websites most visited: Butler email, BBC News, RSS reader, Facebook, and Pandora

Life with BSI

To continue my stilted outline of my summer schedule as a Butler Summer Institute scholar, I shall pick up where I left off on Sunday, pondering the goodness of mochas.

Sunday: Research. Try to get into Lilly Hall to use the practice rooms, but the building was locked.

Monday: Memorial Day! Research. Bike along the Canal Path (so flat! such an easy ride!) to The Flying Cupcake to buy treats. Give treats to the girl taking my headshots. Take headshots. Check out of the Apartment Village.

Discover Lilly Hall is still locked. Discover there is no piano in the Reilly Room. Discover the room with the piano in it on the third floor of Atherton was locked. Sweet talk my way into the piano room at ResCo. (“Sweet talk” = ask if I can use it). Plink around–I can’t play the piano, though I often get irresistible urges to plonk happily for two hour stretches. Talk to a friend. Relax with my roommate.

Tuesday: Research a lot to make up for Monday’s frivolity. Take a ballet class with some other Butler dance majors. Attend a research ethics module for BSI. Research.

Wednesday: Research in the morning. Have (I admit it) another mocha. Decide Hubbard and Cravens is far superior to Starbucks–and cheaper. Attend a BSI lunch and hear about other students’ projects, a faculty mentor’s career history, and a very funny comparison of the Midwest to Florida. Research.

It’s the life, I tell ya. I decided about three hours ago I need to begin broad and go narrow, rather than the other way around. I have since produced much more writing then I did all this morning. Hooray for helpful insights!

Taste test: “As ongoing unrest throughout the world indicates, location alone cannot determine national identity: Living within a country’s borders does not guarantee loyalty to that country’s sense of self. We cannot dismiss location as a quality of nation entirely, but often location engenders cultural similarities which serve as much stronger factors in shaping a national identity.”

A bit salty? I thought so too.

Also, Pandora just played Dvorak’s 9th symphony and is currently on Arvo Pärt, so I am a very happy camper.

YouTube Preview Image

URC

Last year, this was opening night of Swan Lake. We had a fire alarm the previous night at 3 o’clock in the morning, so we were all happy morning classes were canceled. I sat outside and blogged and watched hordes of well-dressed people walk by with box lunches.

This year, Sleeping Beauty is in two weeks, classes weren’t canceled, there were no fire alarms last night, and I just returned from grocery shopping instead of dancing Four Swans. Also, I was one of those eating from a boxed lunch.

Today was the Undergraduate Research Conference, a forum for undergraduates (just over half from Butler) to present their research. I presented my long Irish lit paper from last semester. (Remember that?) I spent all last night practicing saying phrases like “nonhierarchal hybridity,” “absolute, oppositional,” and “quasi-national.”

My paper was twenty-four pages long. I shaved it down to six.

I was a bit nervous going into the presentation, though some of it had to do with the fact that I’d just come from Choreography II class (often stressful for me) and that the Sleeping Beauty rehearsal/understudy schedule is shifting since our lovely, lovely Aurora has a stress fracture and can’t perform. (So sad!) So going into my talk, I felt sort of scattered.

However, the whole thing wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. If you have a chance to present at a conference like this, I highly recommend it. So many of my peers were presenting! I wish I’d been able to see more than just my panel and one other presentation I managed to catch in the morning. (After I ate my free yogurt cup. Yay free food!)

There’s the other bonus to being a Butler student: Fees for the conference are waived, unless you want to shell out $10 for the t-shirt. I’ll be presenting again next spring after I finish my BSI project this summer!

Ah, research projects. You can see the abstracts from this year’s URC gathering here.