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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 “residence life”

Back to School: Another post about the weather

Winter break is winding down, and I’m back to Butler, set to get myself organized for the audition season. Today I locked myself out of my apartment, fell off my bike, and tried to buy my textbooks only to realize I had no money with me… all before noon.

On the bright side, the sun shone strong today (haha, get it?) and I could play a quick game of badminton/toss with Boyfriend on the football field. Once we warmed up, we shed jackets and played in sweatshirts and short sleeves. It’s hard to believe it’s January.

In Richmond, my family still has holiday decorations, including this lovely wreath of my mother’s. There’s always a local race to see who can collect the fallen osage oranges before they are gone; you may see the fruits of my mother’s labors wired onto this wreath.

It’s weird for the weather to be so warm while I see holiday decorations like my mom’s wreath. I’m so happy I could play badminton outside before the freezing Indiana winter descends in full force, though I always worry a bit about climate change.

Still, Butler’s campus is so beautiful, it begs for warm weather; better temperatures bring students out onto the mall (the quad) in droves.

 

Games: Salad Bowl

Once again, biggest thanks to my godfamily for teaching my family this awesome party game! I wanted to post this on my blog because it’s perfect for a college student since all you need is some paper, writing utensils, and a bowl/other container.

How to Play Salad Bowl

Arrange yourselves in a circle. Every person has three small slips of paper. Pick a letter of the alphabet. Each person write a word, phrase, or short sentence on the piece of paper that begins with that letter. For example, when I played the letter was B and some selections were “Blarney stone,” “Blackbird sing in the dead of night,” and “Blimps blow up.” Place all pieces of paper in the bowl.

The person across the circle will be your partner. This game works best with an even number of people, but in event of an odd number, someone can double up and have two partners.

There are three rounds in this game.

Round 1. This is sort of like the game Taboo. You have one minute to get your partner to say exactly what is on the card you draw from the bowl. You may not use any of the words actually on the paper (articles like “the” are excluded from this rule). If I were trying to describe “Blarney stone,” I might say, “It’s a rock in Ireland which people kiss for luck and the gift of eloquence.” Once your partner has guessed correctly, keep the slip of paper and draw another. Continue until your time runs out.

Continue passing the bowl around the circle in one minute increments until there are no more pieces of paper left. Total how many slips each partnership has. Replace all pieces of paper into the salad bowl.

Round 2. You have one minute to act out the slips of paper you draw. Whereas last round you used only words, now you must use only actions like charades. The more abstract phrases will be harder to work out this round, but all players should begin to remember the phrases from playing the last round. Begin the salad bowl from where it last ended in Round 1. Continue in 1 minute increments until all pieces are drawn. Total up partners’ slips. Replace papers.

Round 3. You have just 30 seconds to guess with each partner. Instead of describing in words (Round 1) or charades (Round 2), you may speak only one word. For “Blarney stone,” one might say “kiss” or “rock.” Once chosen, the word may not be rescinded. Continue around the circle until all papers are drawn. Total up papers earned.

Whichever team has the highest number of cumulative points wins the game!

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Games: Drawing Pictionary

I love games, and I love my godparents and godsiblings for teaching me/introducing me to the cream of the group-game crop. The best things about Drawing Pictionary and Salad Bowl?

  • You don’t have to buy it — free! Perfect for a college budget!
  • You need only pens, scrap paper, and friends. (A bowl is useful for Salad Bowl, too, but really any container/bag/purse would do.)
  • Both reward creative thinking.

How to play Drawing Pictionary:

Everyone needs: a writing utensil and as many small pieces of paper per person as participants. (So if six people are playing, every person begins with one pencil/pen and six small pieces of paper.)

To begin: Sit in a circle. Write a sentence on the top sheet of your personal stack of papers. It can be about anything. Examples: Hamsters enjoy Irish dancing in Times Square. Rabbits do not like pumpkins. The thunderstorm scares the elf.

Then: Everyone pass his or her entire stack of papers to the next person in the circle. Read the sentence the previous person wrote. Illustrate that sentence on the piece of paper between the top one. (So the sentence was written on page one of the stack of papers. The drawing will be on page two.) Slide page one to the bottom of the stack so only your drawing shows. If you are finished, feel free to put pressure on the remaining players to hurry up.

Then: Pass the entire stack to the next person. The stack you get should have the previous person’s drawing of the previous-previous person’s sentence (which you are not allowed to view). Write a sentence describing the picture you see. Put the previous person’s work on the bottom of the stack so only yours shows.

Continue as before, alternating drawing with sentences, until the stacks of paper return to their originators. Take turns reading original sentences and showing the progression of drawings and descriptions. Rabbits not liking pumpkins might have turned into elk eating balloons — it depends on the drawing and interpretive skills!

I’m not sure how clear these instructions were, so please ask questions in the comments below. Have fun!

Blue likes to play games too -- especially basketball!

Back to Butler

With the new year opening before us like a delicate blossom etc etc, the time to return to Butler approaches! University classes begin Tuesday, Jan 17, though my sorely mistreated little sister has been slaving away at the books since Jan 2.

I’ll be back a few days early, mostly so I can get my audition tapes in order as I begin the arduous process of getting a job. But I’m sure I can find a few leisurely moments mixed into the stress-smoothie of prepping for audition season. What do Butler students do with their spare time?

Well, we don’t have a lot of spare time, for starters. Most of the students I know belong to at least one other student organization. For me, it’s the Butler Catholic Community and the dance service fraternity Sigma Rho Delta. Even besides these structured activities, there always waits homework, laundry, and cleaning. And cooking. And extinguishing cooking fires. (That only happened once, I promise.)

However, if I get really, extraordinarily lucky, I can play a game. This usually happens during Fall Break, towards Thanksgiving and winter, very occasionally during weekends. And then, oh boy. Does my competitive streak ever love games! Word games in particular…

Actually my sister's game of Bananagrams, but it fulfills the same illustrative purposes.

I own a deck of cards, of course, and the ever popular Bananagrams. My roommate has Apples to Apples, and one can check out games like Scattergories from the front desk in the Apartment Village’s Dawghouse, along with movies and the like. For the college student truly on a budget or too lazy to trek to the central building for the game, I have the ever-popular Drawing Pictionary and Salad Bowl, both of which my godfamily taught to my family — next time I’ll include instructions!

Play on!

Rainy Days, Wet Bikes

My parents gave me a bike for my birthday when I was a sophomore, and I love it! Living in the Apartment Village (and University Terrace this summer) meant a slightly longer walk, so a bike helps me get to class on time in the mornings. (Note that Butler’s campus is pretty small, so my “longer walk” suffers in comparison to, say, my cousin’s 20 min commute at a different school.)

Last night I had a leadership team meeting for the Butler Catholic Community, then a call-out meeting for Bulldogs Against Breast Cancer. It has been drizzling all afternoon, and the skies started up again once I unlocked my bike. Riding back in the rain is not the most pleasant experience. I have to squint like mad to keep the water out of my eyes. Also, I whacked my head on the underside of a bed frame on Monday — trying to get something from under there — and I have a nice bruise that makes squinting uncomfortable.

Battle wound. I'm slowly getting a lovely black eye.

Anyway, all this rain/bike reminiscing reminded me of the video I made when I was a sophomore. I posted this on my old blog, but since that’s now tragically lost I suppose I can show you again. I watched it again and winced from the goofiness of it. Oh well. Enjoy! Or not, I guess that’s your call.

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College Cooking: Recipes for the New Chef

Let’s set the record straight. When I entered my first apartment in Butler’s Apartment Village last fall, I set the stove on fire. I’m not a horrible cook, but making meals when the fancy strikes remains a far different beast from the responsibility of feeding oneself every single meal. That said, I still did not want to take the commuter meal plan option, since my schedule didn’t allow for convenient meal times in Atherton Union. Also, this way ended up being cheaper.

So I learned a few quick and dirty recipes perfect for the college student chef. In the next few posts scattered randomly throughout the semester, look for recipes like:

  • Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
  • Fried Rice
  • Chocolate Banana Pancakes
  • Curried tofu, spinach, and chickpeas
  • Not Quite Ramen
  • Tomato basil salad
  • My friend’s Healthy S*** in a Pan

If you are an experienced cook, I guess some of these might seem obvious. For the new cook, half the trouble isn’t making the food — it’s trying to think of what to make. On that note, if anyone has some easy (quick, inexpensive, yummy) recipe suggestions, please chime in!

My sous chef stirs the chili (recipe courtesy of my Latvian Roommate).

Focus on Schwitzer

Schwitzer Hall is the all-female, freshmen residence hall on Butler’s campus. I lived there with a roommate my first year at Butler. Last post, I compared Schwitzer to ResCo (where I lived as a sophomore). A bit more about Schwitzer:

  • Three floors (plus a basement), four units on each floor. The first floor, for example, was 1 West, 1 North West, 1 East, and 1 North East.
  • Laundry room in the basement.
  • Only a service elevator.
  • Communal bathrooms, one for each unit.
  • Mostly doubles, but singles and triples are available.
  • Mostly new students, but I remember a unit of sophomores in the basement.
  • Main lobby with mailboxes, front desk, piano, chairs, and restrooms.
  • Extremely sociable… at least my unit was!

Here are some of the activities I remember from my freshmen days with my Schwitzer unit, 1W (or “one dubb,” as we liked to say).

A canal-side show.

Attending a Hispanic festival with my RA.

Riding the fairground rides that were randomly set up on Butler's campus (I forget why).

Movie night in my freshman dorm room.

Decorating for Halloween. Faculty members bring their kids through the residence halls for trick-or-treating!

Voting for the first time in the presidential election with my RA as a witness.

If you are about to move in to Schwitzer, you are indeed set to have a fun first semester.

Dorm Rooms: Schwitzer vs. ResCo

This coming semester marks the beginning of my senior year, and my third year of blogging for Butler! In the past, I’ve given tours of my dorm rooms. However, we switched to a new server last year, and all my archived posts were lost. Since they now indeed seem to be Lost Forever, I’m going to rehash some old dorm rooms in hope of helping new students getting ready to go to college. Excuse me, old-time readers, if I repeat myself!

Most freshmen live in Schwitzer (all girls) or Ross (two floors of boys, one floor of girls). I lived in a double room on the first floor of Schwitzer. Schwitzer, while perhaps not as lively as Ross, has certainly been the loudest place I’ve lived. It comes from a bunch of new, excited girls living in one unit, sharing one bathroom, tromping down the hall with doors partially open in invitation.

The corner of my unit's hallway in Schwitzer. As you can see, there were frequent meetings.

The red dolly came from the front desk. Students at all residence halls can check out tons of things at the front desks: dollies for moving heavy objects (yes… that’s what we were doing in the hallway… uh-huh…), movies, games, and cleaning supplies like vacuums. At ResCo, you can check out a key for the piano in the basement; in Schwitzer, the piano sits in the main lobby.

A few freshmen live in ResCo, but it is mostly sophomores. ResCo is much, much quieter than Schwitzer, which is nice for studying but perhaps not so nice for meeting a lot of new friends. I credit the quietness of ResCo to the following items:

  • Sophomores generally have a group of friends already. They are not unwilling to meet new people — far from it! — but they are not knocking on doors introducing themselves like in Schwitzer.
  • ResCo rooms are suite-style. Two double rooms share a bathroom, so you brush your teeth with three other people rather than twenty.
  • ResCo doors are heavy, and they close automatically. When they close, they lock automatically. In my Schwitzer unit, girls left their doors half-way open, and if a door were closed, one only had to knock and hear the “come in!” to visit.
  • RAs (resident assistants) in Schwitzer are more hands-on. Units are smaller and focus on group activities. ResCo RAs, while they have programming and are always available, aren’t as large a part of residence life.
  • Schwitzer has no AC. ResCo does. Misery loves company.

Since I have not lived in Ross, I can’t tell you how that compares. Wherever you end up, however, you will find Bulldogs ready to make your transition to college an exciting one!

BSI Winds Down

A few highlights from the end of BSI:

I went to my first midnight premier of the Harry Potter movie with a group of students through the Butler summer residence halls. Here a BSI student wins my personal award for best costume of the night as a CleanSweep7 broomstick. I myself dressed in a red tank top and red skirt, tied a red scarf around my waist, and attached my red ballet skirt to my wrists and back — I was Fawkes, and I did not have feathers, and the costume was rather a flop. I enjoyed the movie, but the previews were too scary for me!!

Here we are at the BSI final dinner. I’m in the corner with other students and mentors, trying not to laugh out loud.

However, our basement apartment in UT (which was really much dirtier than I originally thought), soon suffered from an invasion of ants. I woke up in the morning with one crawling on my stomach. Though I emailed maintenance and they responded, they must have decided to wait until we moved out to deal with them, which was a bit icky. I know it’s summer and ants aren’t that threatening and pest control makes a room unlivable for a while… but come on, Butler. At least tell us you were going to wait until after the session. Mental preparation and all.

Funnily enough, most of the other students whose presentation photos were taken from this angle had more than just a head showing — I’m rather short. We finally presented the fruits of our BSI labors to all the BSI participants and whichever other students/faculty/mentors/staff/etc wanted to come.

I was nervous about my presentation at first; while I practiced I kept stumbling over my words so I finally had to type out a truncated script. Then I worried I would read from a piece of paper rather than make eye contact and all that. But something magical happened on Monday morning when I stood up in front of that room. Some combination of nerves and enthusiasm made all the words come out in the right order, in a short-enough timeframe, in an apparently coherent-enough way to merit detailed questions and positive responses. Hooray!

Congratulations to all BSI participants! You can view titles of projects and pictures from the program here. You can see the slideshow I made to accompany my presentation here.