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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 “scholarship”

Art scholarship is cool

Art scholarship is cool. I had never really given it much thought, though I always enjoyed my trips to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The IMA is quite close to Butler’s campus, and I rode my bike there for the BSI event I attended last Thursday afternoon. Close proximity to a free art museum is one of the many perks of attending Butler University… (nudgenudge, I’m winking at you, prospective students whom I saw touring today in the Atherton basement. I was the one in the flowered dress smiling at you when the guide mentioned the ATM I was using.)

Anyway, for the IMA program a guide / art scholar gave a short talk; we then split into groups of threes and fours to make our way through a selection of six contemporary works of art. At each work, we wrote our initial impressions, research questions, technology connections, and queries for the artist. Afterward we regrouped, discussed, and were given ticket vouchers to attend some of the special exhibits.

Art scholarship can be cool. I never really felt engaged with artwork before, but the simple exercises we did have me raring to return and think more carefully about the work displayed. Thank you, BSI/IMA, for helping unravel the mystery of visual art.

When we reemerged after the program, the rain hurled itself to the earth not in drops but in bucket-sized sections. Biking home via the canal path? Even if my brakes worked while wet, the rain would reduce visibility too much. A fellow Butler student was kind enough to give me a ride home. We were soaked even from the short run from IMA lobby to door.

The rain abated, and the next day my roommate dropped me off at the IMA. (One can walk, though it takes a bit longer.) I biked back, though not before puzzling over the gift someone left for me.

(I just spent 45 minutes figuring out how to transfer this picture from my phone to my computer. Appreciate it.)

I found a fruit bar, apple, unopened, and squished from my bungee cord attached to the back of my bike. I poked it, and nothing exploded. Someone must have left it there overnight. But why?

This is a mystery I fear we shall never solve. The fruit bar is still on my desk, a week later. I somehow don’t want to eat it, but since it’s unopened I haven’t the heart to throw it out.

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

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.