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 “silliness”

Une erreur

I need six hours of intermediate-advanced French so I can get my second major in English Literature, and I finished off the first three hours this past Wednesday when I completed our final exam. I am currently doing an independent study with another Butler French professor, and with that done I will graduate for real in August… which means I still get to walk in May Commencement. Oh, scheduling

Though my written final was on Wednesday, I took the oral portion on Monday with a partner. It’s not that bad. My French is very spotty, because I studied it for five years in middle/high school. That’s a pretty long time, but then I went another five years without speaking it. Again, that’s a pretty long time.

The point is, I remember a lot, and most of the grammar points that we covered, I had learned in the distant past. However, since it was a matter of recall… and I am no languages genius… I still struggled with certain things. Such as the phrase “free time.”

As I was playacting a skit with my partner, something typical about interviewing the other person for an apartment, I tried to ask what my partner did in his spare time. “Qu’est-ce que vous aimez faire dans votre amser sbâr?”

A beat. A pause. A quizzical look. Why was what I’d said wrong? It was, somehow, I knew. My teacher prompted, “votre temps libres?”

Yes, that was the French phrase for “free time,” one I hadn’t used that often.

Oh. It dawned on me. Welsh. “Amser sbâr” was Welsh for “free time.” I was speaking the wrong language! I hadn’t studied Welsh for two years, hadn’t thought about it really for months. Yet that phrase “amser sbâr” had been used often in the beginning of the Welsh course I followed, so it was apparently the “free time” that popped into my head first.

And then things got even more surreal when my French teacher said to me, in French, “That’s Welsh, isn’t it?” And then she said, “Beth dych chi’n hoffi wneud yn eich amser sbar?”

That’s perfect Welsh for, “What do you like to do in your spare time?” which I what I’d been trying to ask in French.

Mind. Blown.

France and Wales playing rugby. Also, a great metaphor for my addled brain.

Of Geese and Men

There is so much I still want to tell you: about my French exam, about my last ballet final at Butler, about the departmental comprehensive test, about the last Flip the Script, even about basic things like Butler Ballet and a freshman dancer’s schedule and mahjong nights and how to make your own gelato.

Instead, I’m going to talk about geese.

I saw a goose by the pond as I trekked to my 8 am French final this morning. Not unusual. There’s often a duck or goose or two hanging out in front of the carillon bell tower. However, I happened to take a closer look and was rewarded with the sight of two small, surprisingly yellow chicks waddling around in the grass! I turned around and pointed them out to the girl who was walking behind me (whom I did not know but who, I am certain, appreciated the sight).

Right, okay, baby geese in the grass, cute but not quite enough for a story. Then. I was headed back to my apartment after the final when I saw the same adult goose by the pond. This time, however, he was right up on the edge of the sidewalk, and he’d brought his wife to sit in the grass directly against the concrete, and the two babies were nestled against her. Once again, adorable.

Except they might have chosen a less-frequented path for their powwow, since the male goose spent the whole time guarding his family, snapping and hissing at passers-by, many of who decided to cross the street entirely. The brave ones still stepped off the sidewalk. This goose meant business.

I tried to get a picture but I was too far away perhaps.

Once I saw a goose perched on top of ResCo. You don’t often see geese perching. They’re rather too heavy to sit in a tree, so I only ever see them in flight or on the ground/in the water. This one was lording over the quad like a great feathered gargoyle. Anyway. Enough about geese.

Tasty Things I’ve Eaten

Coppélia is coming, Coppélia is coming! I’m so excited. I’m also fairly busy — and I cannot think of anything to write in a blog post that wouldn’t take longer than the time I have allotted. Therefore I shall share instead the pictures I have readily on hand, thanks to my snazzy new phone.

Tasty things I have eaten (today):

This is Easter bread my boyfriend made. It was very intense (lots of kneading and yeast-blossoming and so on) and very tasty. Easter was a wonderful day, by the way! I went to the Butler Catholic Community Mass on campus, which was followed by a brunch/lunch. The asparagus was so good! After that, it was back to the apartment for a quick nap before I headed out to go with my boyfriend to the dinner his jazz studies professor was hosting. It was day filled with socializing over good food, though I still have to say I missed being at my grandparents’ house with the rest of my family!

Homemade tortilla pizza. ‘Nuff said.

A girl gave me a voucher for a free tall drink at the campus Starbucks… so I enjoyed a mocha before my pas class!

I ate other, healthier things as well, promise! They just weren’t as tasty.

And thus ends this rather uninformative blog post. My apologies.

The Hunger Games, Butler Style

College kids have the most fun. Last night I know people went to see the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games. Loads of dance majors were reading the book before spring break, and I saw several older men on airplanes with a copy as well. I read them myself in about four days, from the hours leading up to midnight on New Year’s Eve to Jan 4. I didn’t get much sleep, since I couldn’t put them down.

Anyway, I have to share the best tribute to the premiere of The Hunger Games movie (if you’ll excuse the pun):


Living in a sorority didn’t seem like the thing for me (see my social apathy), but at times like these, when Delta Gamma hosts its own in-house Hunger Games, I can see the appeal.

The calm before the soup battle

On the second to last day before the last semester of my undergraduate career… I made bread. Lots of bread. Seven loaves of bread.

Soda bread

Okay, okay. One of the loaves was from the day before, when my boyfriend and I decided to make Irish Soda Bread. Then we discovered Irish soda bread uses baking soda, not yeast — hence the name. What to do with the yeast we carefully procured from our local Kroger?

The answer to that question is obviously “ciabatta bread.” We made a sourdough starter, biga, and let it rise for twelve hours overnight. Then we mixed in more flour, let it rise some more (I did laundry in the interval), formed numerous small loaves (two with cheese inside), let it rise yet longer, and baked them.

Good crust, check. Fully baked, checked. Reasonably uniform for a free-form loaf, check. Fluffy inside, check.

Fluffy inside!! On the rare occasions I make bread (see past blog posts), it’s usually rather dense. The soda bread would be exhibit A. Despite tasting like a buttermilk biscuit (since the only liquid came from buttermilk), it had the same super dense texture I’ve come to expect.

Exhibit B would be the German beer bread with caraway seeds I made over winter break. Dense. Also, I had to hold this huge meat thermometer to check the yeast’s water temperature. It was too hot so I placed it on the windowsill so the winter wind could do its work. This process looked ridiculous.

I am so cool.

End flashback. This ciabatta bread — the one with the starter — is actually somewhat light and fluffy compared to the usual homemade bread texture. Success!

Biga starter

Also, I had a Soup Battle with my boyfriend today, wherein we both made soups from celery, onion, and carrots. The kitchen was a bit crowded, but both soups — which turned out surprisingly different — was delicious… especially with the bread we pulled straight from the oven.

A successful conclusion to the Grand Soup Battle

Basketball Watching Champs

It was the first really cold night of the year on Butler’s campus, and I wished I had another scarf. The snow was pretty though, falling in great soft and silent clumps. I had time to admire their patterns against the night while I waited to get into Hinkle Fieldhouse for the men’s basketball game against Cleveland State.

My friend and I are basketball watching champs.

We got popcorn and a soft pretzel, then found a spot in the nosebleeds to watch the Bulldogs in Hinkle Fieldhouse. We watched the little kids do those super random games during time-outs. We watched the cheerleaders flip their hair around. We listened to the band, which was, I must say, quite swingin’. We cheered and kept track of how many shots Butler made.

For some reason, we thought we were leaving at half time, since neither of us had gotten dinner. There were an awful lot of people streaming down the ramps for halftime, and there were bunches in the parking lot.

“Look,” I said, nudging my companion in the ribs. “All the families with kids are going home early too.”

Back in the Apartment Village, with dinner on the stove, I tried to find the game on TV. I so rarely watch TV, I had to look up the channel online after failing to see it when flipping through. Turns out it’s on channel 13. Turns out the TV I was using did not have channel 13.

On the ESPN webpage, I found a play by play account of the game. Hmm, if I can’t find the game on TV, I can follow it online to see how it ends…

It was only after I looked at the words a few times that the full meaning sunk in. “2nd Half Play By Play.” Second half. As in, there are only two halves in a game. As in, these weren’t quarters of 20 minutes. As in, I didn’t leave at halftime. I saw the whole game. That was the whole game.

Boy, I felt like an idiot. Also, that means we lost. Although the last 30 seconds or so saw three 3-pointers from Butler, which was terribly exciting. As my friend says, “Butler is a drama queen.”

Click through for source

(Also, I keep typing “basketballet” because I’m used to writing “ballet.” Faaail.)

Cream is a deadly weapon

I know TSA makes the country safe, etc. I’ve never been unduly inconvenienced by new luggage restrictions or the screening process — until security stopped me as I tried to fly back to Butler.

After rummaging around in my carryon luggage, the TSA employee took out nail polish (didn’t realize that should have been a liquid), a bag of Christmas candy, a bunch of CD cases, and a grapefruit for re-screening. After all, we wouldn’t want anyone to suffer grapefruit juice burns, now, would we?

Joking aside, I’m glad the TSA takes its job seriously enough to re-screen items like to this to ensure they aren’t weapons. That’s fine. What I do take offense with is citing my jar of Nutella as a forbidden item. Well, my off-brand Nutella.

Does it look more dangerous because it's in a foreign language?

“It’s a cream,” the employee explained to me. Not the cream, NOT THE CREAM!

Back I trekked to my dad waiting outside security, unwilling to waste a jar of perfectly good hazelnut spread. I gave him the jar, said good-bye for a second time, and went through security. Again.

Of course, the line had doubled by the time I went through the screening process a second time. I must admit, I was hardly the most cheerful traveler when I arrived at my gate, ten minutes before the boarding time.

However, however! The nice Delta flight attendant asked me covertly if I wanted something else to eat with my sandwich during the drink service. So I had, in addition to my cranberry-apple juice and lightly salted peanuts, some pretzels and goldfish. She liked something salty with her sandwiches, she explained.

Actually, both flight attendants complimented my sandwich. Maybe they were hungry? Perhaps my dad makes the most awesome sandwiches in the world? Both are plausible explanations. Regardless. They restored my faith in air travel and helped fill the sorrowful abyss in my heart, rent asunder by the forceful separation from my apparently deadly Alpella Krem.

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!

This is a super dramatic metaphor about marathons

The three weeks after Thanksgiving break seem like a marathon. Here is how this comparison would go: The first third, we’re feeling good, getting water at the water stops, waving at the people lining the street holding hand-made glitter signs and ringing obnoxious cowbells. This is The Nutcracker.

The second week has those blisters those start to burn, long stretches without any cheering fans, the cramp in my left calf, the knowledge that even though it hurts now, there are still 10.2 miles to go. This is the week of dance finals, memorizing classes and finishing self-assessment papers; this is the week before academic finals, when my life is in a disorganized pile after The Nutcracker but I still have a ton of papers to write.

I’m on mile 24 now. I pushed through the cramps and blisters and opened a few more. I drank my Gu (this is real, I promise). There are people lining the street, holding small children who have insisted on displaying those enthusiastic signs, though they have them crooked so the message becomes obscured. (It doesn’t matter, we know they contain words of encouragement and love.) That cramp is killing me, and I know there are still 2.2 miles left. But I’m so close, and all my friends are running beside me.

Some of us will cross the finish line sooner, some later. Some of us have huge hampers of laundry to wash when we’ve finished the run. (Me.) Some of us have been done for a few days and have come back to stand on the sidelines to cheer the runners onto the finish line.

This is super dramatic.

On Monday, I finished a thirteen-page research paper for my Financial Fictions class in effectively three/four days. (Sorry, Dr. Swenson.) After I turned it in at 6 pm on Monday, I finished my Teaching Analysis of Classical Ballet project. Then I studied for an hour, went to bed, studied for another hour in the morning, then took the final. (Sorry, Professor Bryam.) Then I started to write my Theory and Philosophy paper, which I turned in eight minutes before it was due at 5 pm. (Sorry, Professor Laurent.)

Now I’m writing my short Shakespeare paper and studying/preparing for that final on Thursday. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit how close to the wire I came with some of those assignments… But I’m ready to finish off my last fall semester of college!

Good luck to everyone studying for final exams and writing final papers, to everyone preparing applications to grad school, to all you high school seniors finalizing/prepping college applications! We are almost there!

I’ve never run a marathon, by the way. I’m sure it shows.

Yes, we participated in the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot volunteering crew this year as per family tradition!