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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 “faculty”

Final BSI Dinner

Wow. BSI is over. Students have been presenting Friday through Wednesday (today) for two or three hours each morning. We had our final BSI lunch Tuesday night, and I spent a lovely evening with four other students, a history professor, a creative writing professor, and two chemistry professors. Since the students consisted of two international studies majors, two creative writing majors, and me (Dance performance and English Lit), I was glad we didn’t talk about super artsy things the entire night. Got to let the science people have their say. : )

I learned that “aromatic” means something different in chemistry than in the rest of the world. This means, “So someone told me ethers were like aromatic rabbits” does not make for quite the conversation starter I thought it might. Turns out “aromatic” isn’t quite the word, and I would have done better quoting my friend’s actual “smelly bunnies.” Instead, I discovered “aromatic” refers to the configuration of bonds. (Is that it? Is that even close?)

It also turns out, with some quick internet searching, that I might have confused “ether” and “ester,” since esters are definitely smelly, but ethers look more like rabbits. Well, I found a snazzy dimethyl ether on wikipedia…

It also, also turns out that chemists are people too and thus perfectly well qualified to speak on matters other than chemistry. Still, I do love some chemistry talk. This summer has been wonderful, getting to hear about all the science projects. After listening to an explanation of the G-protein receptors project about four times, I think I might sort of get it!

Watching the chemistry presentations was definitely harder than the others, since so much of the basic language tends to baffle the average liberal arts major. (I still don’t know the difference between a substrate and a reagent. I vaguely understand the function of primers.) I finally, finally got a grasp on “stereochemistry,” and line structures aren’t quite so mystifying. I think the chemistry presentations did a good job of catering to a mixed, partially non-science audience.

But dinner! Dinner was at Shanghi Lil’s in Indianapolis with all the BSI students and the large percentage of mentors who could make it. Dinner was served family-style, as all Chinese meals should be served, and it was absolutely delicious. Pineapple shrimp. Pineapple. Shrimp. Pineapple shrimp. Genius.

(I also just typed “pinaepple” every single time I attempted to write “pineapple.”)

I will have to update you on the ant infestation in our apartment and on final presentations… but now I simply must go make some toast and Skype with a friend.

Assessment Week #3

Every year, dance department students complete a self evaluation in the fall semester. This provides us with a chance to reflect on our progress, to put into words what we are trying to do with our movement, to identify areas we would like to improve. It is more important, perhaps, in that we are supposed to write how we are trying to improve specific things.

Topics we are asked to write on (in a few sentences for each section) include: technique, musicality, strength, flexibility, professionalism, and long-/short-term goals. (There are more… it’s fairly comprehensive.) I would not say that anyone particularly enjoys writing her self-assessment, but as a tool to focus our training, it is superb. I like to write mine early in the year: That way it is more of a plan of attack than a reflection on what areas I have concentrated my efforts. We turn our self-assessments in during our ballet technique final exam in the fall.

The faculty members, bless their hearts, read every single self-assessment. I think there are over one hundred students in the dance department this year. That’s a heck of a lot of assessing. This week, every student gets a fifteen minute appointment to meet with all the faculty at once. Faculty members provide feedback on our self-assessments, our classwork, and our performances. Even though the experience is slightly terrifying — have you ever been the focus of an entire department’s faculty all at once? — it’s good to get feedback.

I thought this year’s meeting was the most helpful one I’ve received: They talked about my classwork, performance, and what I wrote on my assessment, but they also introduced  a topic in a way I had not thought of before.

The other plus side of assessment week? The first four days see almost all our dance classes canceled. (Since the faculty meets with students all day, every day. It’s a grueling schedule.) I have much more free time than usual this week.

Of course, I just came from production/performance week for Midwinter Dance Festival, which means I have not done any meaningful amount of homework or housework or general life-organizing in a while. This week is shaping up to be busier than I thought it would be. (Though I should have know better.)

On the plus side again, I’m almost done with Moby Dick!

The White Whale...

This is a montage

The last few weeks of my life at Butler University, in picture form:

Photo Booth proof of my first independently completed Rubik’s cube. Useless talent? I don’t know. It was pretty entertaining, and I think I’ve upped my nerd score a solid A2 points.*

Here we see the promising beginning of cinnamon-raisin bread.

Now you see what happened when I decided it would be a good idea to put raisins on the outside of the loaf as well. Alien bread. A quick swipe of the hand knocked the raisins off–thank goodness since they looked ridiculous and tasted disgusting. (They had burnt in the oven. Burned raisins are not good.)

The end result turned out okay, though.

To the left is a very sparkly piece of green tulle, pictured here in its natural habitat in the Butler Dance Department’s costume shop. Members of Sigma Rho Delta are required to volunteer in the costume shop, and I actually enjoy it. Once you get into the groove of sewing or ripping or ironing (or whatever), it’s sort of peaceful. I gathered a million billion yards of this green tulle, which left sparkles everywhere. Everywhere. I accidently scraped the fabric against the back of a cloth-backed chair and left a smear of sparkles: It looked like the scene of a crime. Sparkle-guts.

We also recently received the news that Butler University president Bobby Fong is leaving at the end of this year to take over the presidency of Ursinus College. We’ll be sad to see him go!

So there are a few random things I’ve done/seen/heard in the last week or two. There are more, I’m sure, but my mind has gone blank and it’s about time to take my laundry out of the washer.

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*Still confused about A2?