You see, these are the final preparations… because I’m a senior… preparing for finals… Oh dear.
I promise I’ll get to Coppélia – performing was such an amazing experience, I’m having the hardest time putting it into words. This week is still pretty busy, though. What happens the week after Coppélia?
- Field trip to Congregation Beth-El Zedeck for my Midrash English class.
- TURN IN my senior English essay. It’s not as good as I want it to be, but I’m done. Done. Done.
- Plan for our last senior ballet technique final. The seniors always include some sort of skit or prank or something for their last ballet final. Last year, the senior class did a basketball-themed entrance and even had some of the basketball team show up in tutus! The year before was Olympic-themed with students each on one of the professor’s teams (Team Cholewa = Poland, since Professor Cholewa is from Poland). This year… you’ll have to wait and see, since it’s top secret.
- Final projects, etc. I don’t like to think about those.
This week continues the whirlwind of my final month at Butler!
Yikes, this title is like the first second day post at the beginning of the semester.
It’s Monday, and I’m back at Butler after the busiest spring break I have known. I had a wonderful time, but I also didn’t sleep in past 8 o’clock at any point during my break.
- Sunday: Up early for church before the BalletMet audition
- Monday: Up waaaay early to catch a plane to Tulsa
- Tuesday: Up early to prepare for a company class with Tulsa Ballet
- Wednesday: Up waaaaaaaaaaay early to go to the airport. I was supposed to fly in to Richmond at midnight, but my flight was cancelled, so I had to stay overnight in a hotel near O’Hare. But I bought $10 worth of soft pretzels with the meal voucher the airline gave me… and got to visit my boyfriend for an hour or so, since he’s near Chicago.
- Thursday: Up early for a breakfast date.
- Friday: Up early for a coffee date.
- Saturday: Up early to get a plane back to Butler.
- Sunday: SLEEP IN TO 8:15!!! (before an audition in Cincinnati)
Now school has started, I can sleep in. Maybe…
So the last part of the last semester. Off with a boom and a bang, we are. Rehearsals, papers, HUGE papers, mini papers, ice cream dates, warm weather, picking up caps and gowns… Everything’s rushing in toward the close.
Also, I have a new phone and can do fancy things like send myself pictures of my sister's guinea pig.
That’s right, this Saturday marked the ever-popular Studio Dress rehearsal, wherein the entirety of Butler Ballet gathers to run the show in order, with costumes, in the largest dance studio in Lilly Hall.
Studio Dress generally lasts much longer for The Nutcracker than for Midwinter Dance Festival or the spring story ballet because usually only The Nutcracker is double cast, necessitating two full runs. This year, we split The Nutcracker studio dress rehearsal into two days, because President Danko’s inauguration cut into the rehearsal slot. An oddity, if you recall.
Studio Dress, step-by-step:
- Up at 8:30 to clean the kitchen and eat breakfast, in that order
- English homework until 10:30
- Prep for rehearsal (make lunch, do hair, get dressed, warm up) until 11:30
- Walk to dance studios
- Warm-up at 12:15
- Gather costume, do hair again after warmup, 1 pm ish
- Run the program!
- Film classwork for audition videos…
- Chinese food outing!
- Prep for audition tomorrow
- Sleep (forthcoming)
And that’s my rather uninteresting schedule of events. Notice I did not include laundry, which means I’ll be washing a few things in the sink before the week is out… I don’t need nice tights for the shows, though, since our beautiful costumes lack leg coverings.
Come see Midwinter!
This was the last first day of my undergraduate education. Except, as people have been quick to point out, there will be a last first day in January, a last first day in February, a last first Wednesday of the fourth month of study, etc.
Basically, I’m getting sentimental, but only a touch.
I had Teaching Analysis of the Classical Technique 2, ballet, rehearsal, and my senior essay class today. Besides catching up with friends after the winter break, the day was a whirlwind of learning choreography. Kevin Irving is currently at Butler University to set Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero for the Butler Ballet’s Midwinter Dance Festival, so the first day back in the dance department was full speed ahead as usual.
The Tulsa Ballet in Por Vos Muero
Then I had my Senior Essay class (soon to be renamed as “Advanced Academic Writing” which really sounds much more impressive) and dredged up the past with my BSI paper.
I should tell you more, but I’m ready to drop. Time to get ready for the last second day!
Of all my years, the sophomore dance schedule was the most challenging for me. Sophomore year is tough overall. I have the theory that it’s the weed-out year. If you are not happy taking so many dance classes, then a dancing career probably is not the right choice. I would want to learn that sort of thing about myself sooner rather than later.
When I was a sophomore I took:
- Ballet Technique (2 semesters)
- Modern Technique (2 semesters)
- Jazz Technique (2 semesters)
- Pointe (2 semesters)
- Improvisation (2 semesters)
- Spanish and Slavic Character (1 semester each)
- Music Theory for Dance (2 semesters)
- Choreography 1
- Laban Movement Analysis
- Voice class (2 semesters)
- Butler Ballet (2 semesters)
- Costuming class
- GHS — Global and Historical Studies (2 semesters)
- American Lit 1
- Intro to Acting
- Honors Class: A Brief History of Love and Friendship
- British Lit 2
Basically, sophomore year was crazy. If you meet a sophomore dance major today, give him or her a hug. I’m told the School of Music is the same way. Sophomore year in the JCFA must be the equivalent of COPHS clusters. Maybe?
Laban class, unite!
My parents always took the first-day-of-school picture. I did not like this very much; thus I’m pouting or forcing a smile in most of these photos. Now I’m at the end of the road — a senior in college. Graduate school, if it is indeed in my future, should not come for yeras. This is my last first day of school.
Looking at my schedule yesterday, I realized my last first day will actually be rather difficult for someone a bit out of shape. My classes:
- Strength and Conditioning (my last general requirement to be fulfilled — a gym class)
- Jazz class
- Shakespeare (the class with the largest textbook I’ve ever purchased for college — the complete annotated works)
- Ballet technique
- Modern class
- Pas de Deux (or partnering)
This last day seems like it will be too busy for much nostalgia. Good luck to all new students entering college, all high school seniors beginning their last year, and all college seniors faced with the prospect of Real Life. See you on the flip side!
2057 pages of Elizabethan goodness
The Butler campus is certainly busier during the Summer II session than during Summer I. I’m not sure why, but it looks like more happens. Summer I felt like life in a ghost town. The weather was nicer though, since it’s becoming hotter day by day — though still nothing like the humid Richmond weather!
The sky over the Butler Bowl during a beautiful summer day.
Summer I and Summer II are the names of Butler’s summer sessions. I’m here for part of Summer I and part of Summer II, since BSI runs on its own schedule. However, each summer session is six weeks long and offers different classes.
Fun fact: Classes during the summer don’t necessarily run for the full six weeks. I did not realize this at first. Classes that run only three of the six weeks might meet for several hours four or five days a week, while those that run the full summer session could meet only twice or three times a week. Does that sound like an easy schedule? Imagine doing a semester’s worth of reading and papers in four weeks. Yikes!
Summer classes are a great way to fulfill extra requirements if you have a busy schedule or are switching majors. Just look at the price tag first, because with housing and tuition, summer classes can add up!
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.
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.
Okay, I just don’t feel like detailing the pen-returning adventure. Suffice it to say that there might have been a car chase, a reunion, and the return of inadvertently pilfered property. And ninja moves.
This Sunday marks the end of the first week of BSI. Butler Summer Institute is a nine week program that allows students from all disciplines to conduct an independent study over the summer with a faculty mentor. Butler University provides housing and a stipend; there are also various lunches, informational sessions, and other get-togethers. I think we might get to do practice GREs. Next week is a research ethics module. Ugh. Much more fun will be the volunteering project in the works.
My first week looked a bit like this:
Monday–Move in. All day. BSI dinner in the evening.
Tuesday–Move in during the morning. Research in the afternoon. Discover UT kitchens doe not include microwaves.
Wednesday–Library in the morning. Lunch with the rest of the BSI participants. The library again. Give myself a ballet class. Research for the rest of the day.
Thursday–Research in the morning. Take a ballet class from a DVD with some other Butler dance majors who are on campus. Play the piano. Research for the rest of the day. Walk to a restaurant with my roommate and a friend for dinner. Research.
Friday–Research in the morning. Take a jazz class and give a ballet class with another Butler dance major. Play the piano. Research for the rest of the day.
Saturday–Visit the farmer’s market with my roommate. She has been spoiled by the farmer’s markets abroad but still managed to find some asperagus that wasn’t too expensive. Walk a bit in Broad Ripple. Do research and laundry. Bike to the nearby St. Thomas’ for Mass. Research.
Sunday–Breakfast in UT, then bike to Hubbard and Cravens’ coffee shop to research and finish annotating my last primary source! Write a blog post in stilted sentences.
Stilted, stilted. Time to delve into Anglo-Celtic literary tradition! Exclamation point not sarcastic. Quite sincere in my love of Dylan Thomas, even if James Joyce still requires many, many pretzels for moral support.