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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 “UT”

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.

I hate straws

WARNING: I am about to be completely and utterly irrational in my tirade against straws. If you or your straw feel offended, please read no further. This is meant to be mildly amusing.

I cannot stand straws. I refuse mine in restaurants; I’m not going to use it and it will just sit there to be thrown away. It drives me absolutely NUTS when students get water at the campus Starbucks and sit there sipping away. Why? why? Why waste the whole plastic container, and why a straw? You can never get all the liquid with a straw and invariable end sucking up air and making obnoxious sounds. Why is it cool to hold a clear piece of plastic with a green cylinder sticking up out of it?

Oh, there she/he goes with her/his straw again. Gaaaah.

I received a free tote bag when I moved into Butler’s Apartment Village. I also got a complimentary plastic cup with a straw. Like this:

I gave it to my family. Why, straws, why? It was bad enough when all the students got the flimsy plastic cups with straws from Starbucks and carried them around everywhere. Now companies are manufacturing the objects — and Butler puts its Apartment Village logo on it! I suppose the cups being reusable makes them slightly less detestable. But they still have straws — THICK plastic straws which are much harder to grind into the dirt under one’s heel.

Imagine my consternation when Butler gave me another plastic cup with a straw. I am very grateful Butler gives its employees end-of-the-semester gifts. Don’t get me wrong. But a plastic cup with a straw? Really?

This summer I am living in UT, and I did not bring over many cups. And I am ashamed to say I use my clear plastic cup with a straw every day. Here is how I justify this:

  • It’s a gift. I have to use it.
  • I have very few other water bottle type containers, so I have no choice.
  • This one has a Butler logo, not a Starbucks one.
  • It’s convenient and doesn’t spill.
  • ….
  • ….
  • ….
  • I kind of like it.

Thank you, Butler, for my cups-with-straws.

Summer at Butler: The Food

University Terrace, where I am staying this summer for Butler Summer Institute, has no microwave. This has not been too much of an issue. I did go upstairs to use a neighbor’s when I had a microwave Palak Paneer for dinner. (Is it still a “neighbor” if I live on a different floor, on the opposite side of the building?)

However, I am currently writing a blog post while my butter slowly comes to room temperature for the banana bread. Today I baked a cake for a potluck, roasted potatos/carrots/onion, and am about to finish banana bread. Since operations have stalled, I shall instead post pictures of food. Because I really, truly love food.

Pancakes– regular, chocolate chip, strawberry, and chocolate batter with banana

Quiche. A magical quiche my best friend made for me. It was quite a successful meal we had. Breakfast for dinner never fails.

The aforementioned quiche

Then I made a cake with my roommate.

We did a double-decker type model with my roommate’s homemade icing between the layers. I put blueberries on top. Then we put a glaze over the powdered sugar–and then it looked like a giant doughnut:

A huge doughnut

It was just a mix, but it certainly tastes good enough!

And then, I ate curry for lunch and dinner and lunch again. I left out the potatoes and chickpeas and added extra carrots, so it’s a lovely orange color.

So many good meals. I wonder if the banana bread’s butter has reached room temperature yet?

UT: Pictorial Tour IV

The final portion of my apartment in University Terrace is the heart of the home: the kitchen!

The kitchen, though quite small, is well stocked with oven, dishwasher, divided sink, and refrigerator. No microwave, so be ready to bring your own or heat up everything on the stovetop and forgo the microwave popcorn.

Bringing a wire rack like the one you see in the above picture? A very good idea. If you had four people in this apartment, I think the kitchen would be over-crowded, and a rack like this outside the kitchen would probably have to hold some pantry items.

Roommate who bakes delicious cake items not included.

Neither is the 6 Minute Moosewood cake with said roommate’s strawberry purée swirled on top into the shape of a heart. You can tell I made this instead of tasty-baking roommate because the batter is dripped all over the side of the pan and the glaze is haphazardly and unevening dumped on top.

The pictorial tour is now at an end. I hope you chose to fly with us again. If you want to review or catch up, here are the links to the rest of this tour through an apartment in University Terrace:

Living room and living room

Restroom

Bedroom

UT: Pictorial Tour III

Having shown you part of the living room, the restroom, and the bedroom, I continue my picture safari to show you the rest of the large living room. Hold on to your hats!

In one corner, you see our desks, which we painstakingly dragged out of the bedroom. I spend the majority of my waking hours in the apartment seated at my desk. Facing the windows, I have quite good light until the sun starts to set and I have to slant the blinds upward to retain my vision. Because we have a basement apartment, our windows give us a smashing view of the bumpers of the cars in the parking lot.

A veeery large window. You can see our coffee-table turned dining-table, complete with floor pillows on which to sit. And a random wire rack, which holds pillows and occasionally cakes. And my rack of pointe shoes. Moving on.

Facing the big window is our bookshelf, the largest furniture item to come into the apartment and, after the desks, the most-used. As you can see, the two of us have nearly filled two of the three shelves with books for BSI. Proud. Bookish. Happy to have a bookshelf.

We just need some bamboo shots and maybe one of those portable rock gardens. It is both dinner table and Zen corner, and you can see my copy of John Ackerman‘s study on Dylan Thomas next to a deflated chess board.

UT: Pictorial tour II

To continue my graphic representation of Butler’s University Terrace housing option, I give you the bedroom:

This is the view as if you were standing in the bedroom doorway. There were no light fixtures in the room, and generally the housing includes an overhead light in each room. So that’s a bit weird. Also, the slat that holds the mattress onto the bed is the same height as the mattress. We frequently smacked our knees into the wood for the first week until we remembered automatically to lift our legs a bit higher when clambering onto the bed.

To the right of the doorway are the two closets. They are fairly large. And they’re closets. Not much to report. I did hang the jewelry holder I knit on the wall.

Quite proud of this one

To the left of the closets are our beds. I thought it might be odd to go back to sharing a room after living a year in AV (Apartment Village), where I had my own bedroom, but an apartment makes all the difference. In ResCo and Swchitzer, there was only the bedroom and the bathroom, and I’d go stir crazy. In an apartment, there is also a living room and a kitchen, so I am not sleeping and eating and doing schoolwork all in the same place. Much better.

Finally, turn left again and see my bed and the two dressers. The desks, dressers, beds, and desk chairs all come with the apartment. There are no trashcans, so you will want to bring your own. Also, there is no type of table. Check in next time to see what my roommate who likes cookies and I have devised!

Life in UT

Butler Summer Institute participants receive free (!!!) housing in University Terrance during the nine-week research session. Here is a belated, pictorial tour of my apartment in UT.

This is the dramatic entrance to our apartment, as if you were standing in the doorway. I am living with my roommate during the year, the one who likes cookies, so there are only two of us. As you can see, we moved our desks into the living room area. This is only logical since, as intrepid BSI scholars, we spend hours each day at the desks and the living room’s light is far superior to that of the bedroom. Turn to your right, and…

You see the doorway to the restroom and to our bedroom. And my full length mirror, trying to fill up the large blank spot on our wall. We think this is a four-person apartment, but we are not certain. There are two mysterious locked doors, one of which the maintenance worker opened when he came to fix our hall light. I, however, had been working on my BSI paper, and I thought it might be creepy to get up and peer in there after him. Therefore the mystery lives on. Continuing to your right and advancing king’s pawn to e4…

This is the restroom. There’s not too much to say, except this is a lot of counter space for two people, but perhaps not over much for four. If you turn to your left…

You stand in the doorway of our bedroom.

And I leave you on a cliffhanger, mostly because it’s time to go to a cookout, and I’m pretty hungry. Until next time!

Still being fulfilled–tornadoes

The promises, I mean. Those pesky promises. The problem with assuring blog readers of future explanation comes with the actually-having-to-write-those-explanations bit. But we forge ahead:

Not driving in a car adventures: Indiana is stormy in the summer. Apparently.

Driving to a ballet rehearsal in Carmel, we were forced to seek shelter as a sudden storm blew in–one moment, the rain; the next, the upended rain barrel of God. Gravity twisted in more than three directions. Visibility was so bad it was hard to discern whether that gap in road was actually a side street into which we could turn.

We took shelter outside a synagogue. The windshield fogged up, and I had to call my dad to look up the number of the ballet studio so I could warn them of my probable tardiness.

So the rain passed and the windshield finally unfogged and after the ballet rehearsal, we tracked down a Japanese restaurant called Sakura which had been recommended to me by the Italian lady on my plane ride a few days previous. Spider rolls = good. Eating a bunch of wasabi plain = tears.

The courtyard at UT

This weather thing that I’ve discovered is normal for a Midwest summer. Yes? I’m not liking it so much. Now, wearing clothes and not absolutely melting in the outside air is lovely, especially after two decades of humid, oppressive Richmond summers. The brisk air as I eat my morning toast in the University Terrace courtyard? Divine.

The tornado sirens and the lightening and the calls warning us to seek shelter late in the night? Not so much a fan.

We are fortunate enough to be living in a basement apartment, so we did not have to go anywhere to seek shelter, except perhaps away from the larger windows in the living room. Nevertheless, I still harbored images of the car directly outside the window by my bed being slammed into the building and crushing me into something out of Flatland.

Despite the reassurances of my Midwestern roommate–who has actually survived a tornado–I might have hidden in an alcove in the living room until the lightning slowed.

Fulfilling the promise

Fulfilling the promise I made in my last post

Moving adventures: So I haven’t checked out of my Apartment Village apartment yet. I have until May 31, and I’m taking my sweet time about cleaning everything up before check out. Meanwhile, I’ve finished moving in University Terrace, minus the cleaning things still in AV.

This means my Butler ID remains keyed for AV. This means I could not open the door to UT on Sunday afternoon when I checked in. This means when I tried to move in Monday morning with a carload full of bookshelves and clothes, the door still refused to open.

So my boyfriend and I (he was helping me move in since I don’t have a car) went to Jimmy John’s in Broad Ripple for lunch. We ended up getting a free soda, because whenever we go out to eat, people give us food. It’s our special talent.

When we returned from lunch, still with a car full of stuff and stuff and stuff, there was nary a soul in sight. Door locked. Despair. We walked a lap around the building. As we prepared to leave, I spied a maintenance worker–who let us into the building.

So I was able to read the number of the UT staff on duty posted inside the lobby. So I called for aid. Apparently my ID, keyed to open AV, won’t work in UT until I’m checked out. So I got a special little gray object to put on my key ring so I can open the UT door. So, after much tribulation, I moved in. (And I kept moving in with my roommate all Tuesday morning as well.)

BSI dinner: Monday evening marked the first official BSI meeting. All participants met for a dinner of Qdoba in the Holcomb Garden‘s Garden House. We did the name thing–over and over. To tell the truth, I’m glad we are spending so much energy learning each other’s names, since I have a very poor memory when it comes to matching names and faces.

Holcomb Gardens: Click for source

Running barefoot through a storm adventures: Halfway through the BSI dinner, the storm began. I had no idea Indiana was so stormy in the summer. Apparently it’s a Midwest thing. Silly Midwest.

Getting back to UT in the rain without getting wet? Impossible. Getting back to UT without completely wrecking my new shoes? Possible. We had to cut through Holcomb Gardens–no pathways. All grass. All rain. All mud.

I took my shoes off and leapt with a yodel over a bed of mulch. I squished my way through the Garden… and sunk in the mire of mud next to the road. Dark gunk spurted up between my toes. I wavered, then decided I might as well enjoy the freedom. “Mud!” I squished my way back home.

Taking my shoes off in the rain made me feel quite rebellious. I suppose that’s my cue to recognize the lack of daring in my life. Well, we arrive places piecemeal. Words of wisdom for the week.

Moving Day(s)

For the past two days, I have been moving. Moving clothes and school things. Moving books and pots and pans. Moving a heavy bookcase.

BSI has officially started! And yes, I’m still not completely finished moving. My Apartment Village lease is still good, so I’m just transporting things piecemeal into our University Terrace apartment that is the provided (aka, free!) housing for Butler Summer Institute participants.

University Terrace

Also, I relearned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

I am definitely looking forward to this summer–and yesterday it was wonderful to be reunited with my roommate who bakes cupcakes. You know, the troublesome one. She was in France last semester, and I get to room with her in UT and hear all about her international escapades.

I’ll post pictures and write more about the moving adventures, BSI dinner, running barefoot through a storm adventures, not driving in a car adventures, and pen-returning adventures later. I have some glass baking pans to move.