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!
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
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.