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 “BSI”

Words so many words aaah

After pasting the text of my BSI paper into the handy app at Wordle, I got a picture featuring a word cloud of the most-used words in my paper. It looks a little something like this:

While writing this, I kept entertaining the thought that I was actually composing two separate papers. I have one section about Thomas and Joyce’s reaction to religious and pagan models of the bard, and I have another about their interactions with the Welsh and Irish languages in their stories. When I received the comments on my first full draft from my advisor, she also noticed the break.

It is too late to split the papers in two now, since I’m giving a presentation for the BSI students, mentors, and some other people on Monday. This will be a more informal presentation in that I am not reading my paper/papers, so whether or not I have one or two papers doesn’t matter so much.

Still, it’s funny the way things work out. I’ve written loads of 5-12 page papers, but only a few longer ones, and there is definitely a learning curve. Organization becomes my main battle once the paper passes about sixteen pages, and the one I have for BSI currently clocks in at twenty-seven. (Which means the last few pages are an organizational nightmare.)

Ah well, one can’t expect to grasp every skill at first (or even fourth) try.

If only…

magicmagic();

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.

BSI Roundup

This summer, I read and I wrote, then I read a bit more, got distracted, regathered my focus, and wrote again. Let’s compare the stats, shall we?

As of  the morning of July 14, 2011,

Number of Word documents associated with BSI project: was 43, now 85

Number of paper drafts: was 2, now 17

Words written in current paper draft: was 3907, now 7488

Number of sources read in whole or in part: was 11, now 22

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Anglo-Celtic”: was 4, now 10

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Welsh”: was 35, now 116

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Irish”: was 46, now 70

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Wales”: was 23, now 43

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Ireland”: was 21, now 49

Times the current paper draft uses the word “tradition” or “traditional”: no previous statistic, now 104

Times the current paper draft uses the word “bard”: no previous statistic, now 146

Times the current paper draft uses the word “bardic”: no previous statistic, now 49

Cups of tea consumed: was ??, now ????

Websites most visited: was Butler email, BBC News, RSS reader, Facebook, and Pandora, now Butler email, BBC News, Youtube, this blog page, and the Welsh National Eisteddfod page

Outside of BSI research, I did all this stuff:

BSI Events: First FridaysKeep Indianapolis Beautiful, many lunches with mentors, GRE explaining, IMA exploring, Indians baseball game (Whoops, I didn’t post pictures for that one. Mostly because it was the longest game ever and we spent most of the time bandying about science jokes: see below), discussions about ethics, discussions about presentations…

Other activities: raspberry sale at the grocery store, piano lessons with my friend, breakfast in Broad Ripple, breakfast downtown, ballet classes, Chicago trip, Bananagrams, biking to church, biking to the coffee shop, CD making, picture drawing, GRE practice test taking, knitting, Wii night, bingo night, trip to Richmond to see my sister graduate…

A lot has happened this summer!

Does anyone else have fun statistics from their summer break to share? Visits to the pool, popsicles consumed, ballet classes attended, books read?

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?

BSI: The Summary

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.

The future looms

Participating in BSI, I am for the first time surrounded by a concentrated group of students on track to do graduate school. Lately the pet topic has been the GRE, or Graduate Record Exam, a test of which I was only vaguely aware a few weeks ago.

It’s odd, since I want to dance after I graduate from college. If I go back to graduate school — which I would love to do, to study English literature — it will be who know how many years in the future. Maybe dancing won’t work out. (It must, it must!) Maybe I won’t want to go back to the academic world after having left it for five years? ten? twenty? Maybe I will be too poor to afford the schooling, or I will have a family or otherwise not want to move. I just don’t know.

YIKES.

I thought moving to college as a first-year student was a big deal. Turns out, the real world outside the classroom is much more uncertain. I’m going to take the new GRE. I’ll try to muddle through the terrifying GRE English Subject test in April. I’ll audition my behind off and hope to get into a company. And I’ll just exhale and let life take me on a ride.

Did I mention, my family is at the beach right now? I'm wishing myself back to this pool, currently located in Florida. (Well, always located in Florida -- currently and in the past.) Summer....

In the end, that’s all one can do, really. I’ll try my best and see what happens. And perhaps review my early British authors, since I think that’s my weakest point. (Except for poetry.) After BSI, I’ve totally got postcolonial Anglo-Celtic authors covered. And American literature from 1850-1855 should be good as well. I never realized just how vast the “canon” (can we even use that term anymore without a skeptical smile?) of English literature is.

Anyone want to hire a shorter female ballerina?

The fun statistics

At this sort-of-one-third-of-the-way-through-point half-way point (yikes!) in Butler Summer Institute, I thought I should share a few fun facts with you:

As of June 14, 2011,

Number of Word documents associated with BSI project: 43

Number of paper drafts: 2

Words written in current paper draft: 3907

Number of sources read in whole or in part: 11

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Anglo-Celtic”: 4

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Welsh”: 35

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Irish”: 46

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Wales”: 23

Times the current paper draft uses the word “Ireland”: 21

Cups of tea consumed: ??

Websites most visited: Butler email, BBC News, RSS reader, Facebook, and Pandora

BSI, Weekend 2

The second weekend of BSI passed me by rather quickly. After my surprisingly negative reaction to the First Friday trip, the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful project was wonderful. A group of the BSI students along with the woman who is in charge of the program, plus another professor, worked with KIB on a community garden south of Indianapolis.

The KIB logo--click through for website

One group went to build a shade shelter. I’m still not entirely clear as to what that is, but I know it involved plywood and concrete, which is fairly intense. I stayed at the first site, with the vegetable garden. We weeded, cut and transported sod (and got very dirty in the process), and built a path (with step-stones and mulch) from a flowers/sitting-bench spot to the vegetable garden.

By the end, we were so grimy from the dirt blowing off the sod we ran into the sprinkler to clean off. Then we ate at a Jewish deli. Then it was home for a shower. I call that morning a success.

Later that night I had a potluck dinner with my roommate and another good friend, and we watched Sex and the City. I had never seen it before. It’s silly, but oh the clothes theclothestheclothes! Dinner was delicious–my friend found the best rosemary crackers. With soy cheese? I ate so many.

Green...

Sunday, I biked to church, saw my boyfriend who just arrived for summer classes, went to a ballet rehearsal, and had some truly excellent pizza. Monday it was back to BSI, and I finished skimming/reading Declan Kiberd’s Irish Classics. This is a massive book. I celebrated (preemptively) with ice cream, which was obtained by biking to the Safeway via the canal path.

I have decided I like Butler in the summer.

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!

Life with BSI

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.

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