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New Trimester, New Courses

4 Apr

So here we all are again, back at the U. Spring break is officially over and while some of us are wishing it never ended so many others are rejoicing to be back again. It seems to me that Spring break went by incredibly sloooowwwwlllyyyy. Granted I technically had two weeks off instead of one due to the fact that I didn’t have any final exams. Regardless, two weeks was definitely enough. I spent my break being a teacher’s assistant in France (Paris and Vannes to be exact) and while it was an incredible experience it was also very exhausting. Needless to say I am quite happy to be back in the United States or more specifically back at Union. It seems very funny to me how many of my friends almost couldn’t wait to get back here. Going on facebook I was accosted with status’ about missing the U or wishing break was over already so they could come back. Either their breaks were absolutely awful or they just love Union that much. I’ll go with the second option.

The most exciting thing about being back on campus was the very first day of each of my classes. I had two classes on Monday and then my third class on Tuesday. On Monday I had my Women Writers course which I immediately grew to love. My teacher is strict without being mean or rude about it and she’s pretty funny. Ever since taking a WGS course I wanted to take another, but didn’t know how it would work in with my schedule as I’m a double major in French and English. This course actually encompasses both English and WGS! I get to read all of the wonderful assigned reading and on top of it I get to discuss the rights of women and how they were viewed in specific time periods. My second course is Modern Poetry. I loved Into to Poetry last trimester so this seemed the obvious next choice for me. So far the course has proven to be a little on the long side being an hour and forty minutes two days a week. I would actually have the class be only an hour and make up the extra time on Fridays. Poetry is so important and I think that taking that extra time outside of class to digest it is key. I find that class can get a little tiresome by the end, even though we are afforded a brief five minute break. My third and final class is my SRS or Sophomore Research Seminar. I am taking Scottish Witchcraft Trials and so far am absolutely loving it. My teacher is hilarious and so energetic that it immediately wakes me up and refreshes me in the morning. On top of that the information is incredibly interesting (what with discussions on torture, beggar women as witches, and the female to male witch ratio). So far these courses boast a lot of reading and writing, two things that I love to do very much. I can’t say I dislike any of my courses and I am very happy with my choices thus far.

Spring up, Spring out

9 Mar

Spring is in the air!

So this appears to be it, the final blog post I will make before the Winter trimester is complete. It is a little heartbreaking to have to say goodbye for the next two or so weeks, but this trimester has been full of so much good I can’t wait to see what the Spring trimester has in store for me. I’ve had a lot of fun these past few winter weeks in my cave of hibernation, but it is time to wake up, rub the sleep from my eyes, and get outside. Gone are the piles of snow that have encroached the campus. The heavy woolen coats and giant eskimo parkas have almost completely gone extinct for another year. The hats and scarves are being replaced in student’s dorm rooms with bathing suits, tanning lotion, and light weight beach cover-ups. Winter has finally come to an end and I am not the least bit sorry to see it depart. Good riddance to the frosty chill in the air that seems to plant itself in everyone’s bones and upset their happy moods. I’ve always seen the cold as some sort of virus that spreads from one to the other bringing a dose of sickness and unhappiness in the dead of winter. As the earth begins to thaw so do the moods of every college student as smiles spread like wild fire and coats are thrown into the backs of closets in earnest haste. The coming of spring, even if just a hint at first, melts the human spirit and brings everyone back to life.

My first priority this coming Spring tri is to finally hike around the Plotter Kill preserve in my scuffed hiking boots and with a bag of trail mix in tow. I’ve been discussing this hike for approximately a year and a half, but have never had the means of transport or the time to get outside and do it! My second priority this coming trimester is to begin serious preparations for my eventual flight from campus to Rennes in the fall. This means working my bum off to secure the GPA I desire, working hard at my two jobs in order to maintain a steady cash flow that will allow me to have some travel money, and to begin making a list of all the essentials for such a long trip. My third plan for the Spring is to open up to the campus more. I feel that for the past few winter months I have been hidden away in my room, barely sticking my head out to say boo to those that pass by on my floor. It is time to leave the room for reasons other then work and the occasional bathroom break. I need to get out there and experience all that is going on around me on this campus. Spring is the perfect weather to do this in and boasts so many wonderful concerts, shows, and talks. My fourth goal is to get ready for the summer weather by eating really well and working out most days. I make this a goal every trimester and so far I have really been trying to stick to it. Spring tri is do or die. The thought of these goals makes my head spin in excitement and I can’t wait until it warms up even more so that I can lay outside on a blanket in the bright sunshine.

 

Just a Few Things…

9 Mar

So I’ve been hardcore stalking Pinterest and I’ve come up with a few goodies I just had to share. Hope you all enjoy them!

Berry Smoothies. No need to say more.

This TERRIFIC magnetic make-up board!

Veggie Crepes. These seriously make my mouth water.

White nails? Yes.

Seriously Stunning.

Messy Pony. I only wish my hair was longer.

Daffodils. My ultimate spring flower.

Take me there now.

 

Turquoise Paradise

 

And last but not least…..

 

Perfection.

 

 

 

 

For the Love of Snooki

8 Mar

Snooks is Preg

A recent revelation has caused me to actually become shocked. I’m not the type that is shocked by behavior or events very easily, but this was bigger then big. I couldn’t help but think for days on end that it was all a sick lie, that it couldn’t possibly be true. But I was proven wrong by the source itself. My fears have come to life. What is this tantalizing revelation you ask? It is the sad fact that Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is in fact 3 months pregnant and engaged to dear sweet Jionni. WHAT?!?! I literally was shocked when seeing the cover of US Weekly and realizing this piece of information wasn’t false. My friends had been telling me for days that it wasn’t a lie, but I refused to believe them. Until that dreadful cover story.

I can’t even believe it sitting here today typing this post. I wish it wasn’t true, but you can’t help these things I guess. I asked myself today, “Adah, why are you so upset by this?” and the answer is quite simple. Nicole is only 24 years old, she is a wild party girl on every episode of Jersey Shore, and I don’t think she has reached her potential yet. She is a crazy fool and that’s why America loves her, but as her pregnancy moves along she will no longer be able to appear on Jersey Shore. Her star status comes solely from this reality tv show and without the show I am afraid she will simply fade into the background. Maybe people are happy about this, but I for one am not. I am fascinated by how she has taken Hollywood by storm. She has created this entire name and wealth for herself. She may come across as being dumb or a crazy party animal only content when guzzling alcohol or smushing, but she has to have some brains in her head to be able to create such an empire for herself. Think about how many people tune into Jersey Shore mainly to see what Nicole is up to. She is that entertaining with her booty popping and fights with Jionni.

Although one might argue that this little guidette or guido baby may in fact create an even bigger name for Snooki I think that it will ultimately destroy this newfound career. She may be able to get a reality tv show out of the deal, but how long will that last? Married life with children isn’t as entertaining as the single life hanging on the shore and dancing up a storm at Karma. I’m going to miss that little meatball terribly if she leaves (which is inevitable) and only wish that this little bundle of happiness would show up in two or three years.

Yeah, I’ve got baggage too.

6 Mar

So here it is Tuesday already and I have wonderful news to share! My brand-new luggage that I ordered three days ago has arrived in the mail. Now this isn’t just ordinary luggage, this is my very own 4 piece set of luggage for my own personal use. For the past 20 years I have been using my parents suitcases to travel and now I finally have my own. It is a wonderful feeling, especially due to the fact that I love to travel so much. It was about time I bought my own lovely set of luggage customized to my liking.

Instead of going for the ordinary, run of the mill set of luggage that so many people have I decided to go out on a limb. No black or grey luggage sets with hideous zippers and even uglier insides. No, no, no. I chose a different route for my very first set. I purchased a gorgeous giraffe print set of luggage complete with pink piping around the seams and zippers. The second I laid eyes on this set in the flesh I literally went bananas. I pried it from my fathers hands and was so overcome with joy I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. I was obsessed instantaneously. Mine, mine, mine, all mine. This great buy was quite the success. I hurried them up to my room and began packing the biggest case with all of the Paris and Vannes essentials. I can’t wait to wheel these babies around the airport like a G. I seriously feel like a different woman with them which sounds absolutely ridiculous, but hey, you can’t stop love.

Papers, Papers, Papers

1 Mar

Because I am heading off to ze great France in a matter of days I have the great task of completeing not one, not two, but THREE final papers all before I leave early Sunday morning. One is for my British Fiction course, the second is for my intro to Poetry course, and the third and final paper is for my French literature course. To be honest I am not so worried about the first two, but the final French paper has to be around 5 pages long and that is a lot to write about in French! The thought of getting these papers done is almost too good to be true. I just want to be finished in order to get away and go on my spring break vacation. My stress level is currently around a 7 as these papers loom over my head and I still have yet to begin to pack. Hopefully the next few days will find my mental health stable!

The 12 Days of Anticipation

28 Feb

Bonjour Vannes!

I currently have exactly 12 days before I depart this country to head overseas. My excitement level is currently at a 6 on a 10 point scale, soon to change to about a 20 as the days wind down. In 12 days I will be sitting on a plane heading over to the great country of France and in 13 days I will actually be in the great country of France. My tongue is already begging me to speak French and my fingers are itching to start packing my non-existent suitcase. Tomorrow my father will bring over my suitcase so that I can commence filling it with my most prized belongings and all of the clothing I’m going to force myself not to wear for the next week and a half. My current task is to wash all of the clothing that has piled up in my laundry basket for the past two weeks and to make sure that I complete a personalized check list of all of the items I need to bring with me. I am the very epitome of a dis-organized, cluttered mess. My roommates always joke about how I’ll be featured on Hoarders years from now which I actually believe will happen. Therefore it is necessary to prepare in-depth lists of the various things I will need to function abroad.

At this moment in time I am taking inventory of what students from my high school will actually be partaking in this home-stay excursion in Vannes and I am preparing myself for the inevitable stress that comes along with being a chaperon to more than two youngins. My mother will be there to guide me through the experience, but I am an adult now and therefore need to take on the responsibilities of one. My goal is to take initiative and to keep all the students in check meaning not losing one of them in France, making sure they aren’t drinking, making sure they follow curfew, and checking to make sure they have all of the necessary documentation at all times (i.e. their PASSPORTS). I am excited to show my mother that I am a responsible adult who can lead students and set a good example for them. I’m also excited because I know some of the students going on the trip and many of them are sweet kids who I’m sure are thrilled to be partaking in this adventure.

Perhaps the best part of the trip is the time we will spend in Vannes when the students go off to their respective home-stay families. My mother and I will be staying with our own family and therefore will have a mini-vacation without the students for a week or so. This will give us time to bond and rediscover each other as college and work has made it difficult for the two of us to always connect. This way we will get a chance to hang out together whilst also discovering the many aspects of the town of Vannes. I can’t stop thinking about shopping in the markets for trinkets for my friends and family and about being able to finally use my French language skills in a place where it will be fully appreciated.

On a side note, these prospects have actually just boosted my excitement level to a 7.5…and it’s still rising.  Until my feet touch French soil again I vow to never stop daydreaming about all the possibilities.

Union Presents: Waiting for Lefty

24 Feb

On Thursday evening I had the privilege of seeing Waiting for Lefty, a production put on by Union’s Theater department and directed by David Girard. Going into the play I didn’t really know what to expect. I had an inkling about the plot line, but I wasn’t fully prepared for what I got. Upon sitting down I was confused as to why the cast was sitting on the stage when the play had yet to commence. Multiple actors were playing guitars while the rest of the crew carried on singing and playing cards at a table. My confusion quickly wore off as I realized that this play was more interactive then I had expected.

Waiting for Lefty

Waiting for Lefty is a play by Clifford Odets which is based on a labor strike by New York City cabbies in 1934. I knew that the play was about taxi drivers going on strike, but I had no clue what time period it was set in or how deep seeded the historical context was. As the play began it was incredible to see how wonderfully the costumes mirrored the actual clothing of that time, even down to the buttons on the jackets. I felt like I was truly in the 1930’s as the actors took their seats in the crowd. The play began in what appeared to be an after hours bar room in which Union members were gathering in order to discuss starting a strike. A few members of the cast were incredibly against the idea of starting a strike while the majority of the cast was for the inevitable strike. What I liked so much about the play was that it wasn’t contained solely in this bar room, instead it switched to a struggling couples home, the office of a corrupt businessman, the office of a famous actress/producer, and a young lovers kitchen. It showed the lives of real people and how much they suffered due to the poor wages they received in their work force. It then brought all of these people back together at the Union meeting where they discussed the pros and cons of starting a strike to receive the wages they believed were fair.

While all of this was going on the actors continued to wait for an elusive Lefty to arrive at the Union meeting, but at the very end found out that he had been found dead. This caused an uproar and the decision to put together a strike for better wages. All in all the play was great. At times it was a little slow moving, but the individual performances were impeccable and more than made up for this. I feel it is my right to single out one actress in general who did an incredible job. This actress is Robyn Belt who was exceptional whilst playing the wife of Joe, a down and out taxi driver who has two children and a wife to support. Watching her performance I actually got chills (which almost never happens) and I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, that is a truly talented woman”. The cast did an amazing job with the script and effectively brought the audience into the play. All of these wonderful actors should be especially proud of themselves.

Mission Accomplished

23 Feb

The Agents: Mike Norris (Top Left), Pat Kiely (Center), Adam Higgins (Top Center), and David Sill (Lower Right).

Last night I was fortunate enough to be able to take in one of Union’s comedy shows. This weeks comedy show was entitled Mission Improvable and included four guys dressed in semi-formal shirts and ties. Mission Improvable is a group that travels around the United States bringing comedy to college campuses through the art of improv. At first I was a little skeptical about these dudes in ties. I couldn’t imagine how they could be that funny even if they were wearing sunglasses. But, like usual, I was wrong. They were absolutely hysterical and had me laughing from start to finish.

They began their act by introducing themselves as David Sill, Mike Norris, Adam Higgins, and Pat Kiely and then jumped right into the fun asking us to raise our hands and count down from five. This was something that I really liked about this group. They made sure to include the audience in every improv sketch they performed. The first sketch they started with even involved two audience members climbing on stage to perform with the cast. This first sketch was absolutely hilarious as Union students tried to keep up with the actors and their ridiculous scenarios. One student actually had to pretend he was lusting after one of the actors which caused a hysterical uproar in Old Chapel. My very favorite sketch was the last one when the actors had to use gibberish to try to make another actor understand what they were “talking” about. The actor then had to try to guess what exactly the other actor was gibbering about. All of the actors in this improv show were over the top funny, but one really stuck out for me. Mike Norris had me almost wetting my pants he was so funny. He had these comments that essentially came out of thin air and were so humorous the whole audience was laughing uncontrollably. At one point a smart aleck student tried to throw the crew for a loop by using a super long and overly complicated word (I’m still not sure what exactly the word is…) and Norris simply responded with a much deserved “Shut Up!”

Overall the show was great and I can’t wait for it to come back to campus. I’m crossing my fingers that Union brings this group back next year so even more people can enjoy the humor. I enjoyed myself immensely and was really happy that my friend dragged me out of my bed, forced me to put pants on, and marched me over to Old Chapel. It was worth every second of that excruciating work.

Check the group out here: http://www.missionimprovable.com/

An Enormously Fat Tuesday

21 Feb

Happy Mardi Gras from all of us at Cafe NOLA!!

I don’t think many people have realized that today is in fact Mardi Gras. I saw a few token hints of the holiday around Rathskeller and a whole lot of decorations at Reamer, but when I wished my friends a Happy Mardi Gras not one of them knew that today is indeed Fat Tuesday. In fact when they realized what day it was none of them screamed with excitement or tried to rip the beads off my neck. They shrugged and went back to whatever they were doing…I really think that as this trimester slowly approaches its end everyone has become more stressed and less aware of what is going on around them. A sad fact, but not the point of this post.

So today is Fat Tuesday, a day to celebrate, pig out, and hang out with your friends. Tomorrow is the start of lent which therefore means this is the last day to really live it up if you celebrate the approaching 40 days of abstinence. Might as well go out with a bang, right? My Mardi Gras has thus far been very interesting. I went to class early this morning and then headed over to Cafe NOLA to begin the Mardi Gras festivities. As most of you readers know I work as a waitress at the New Orleans inspired Cafe and this is by far their busiest day of the year. The Cafe is decked out in Mardi Gras streamers, ribbons, masks, and signs, but it is especially bedecked today. I was given beads to wear and couldn’t help smiling at my fellow staff. This is the Cafe in its prime and I am so excited to be part of it all. After the last lunch customers left, the wait staff and kitchen crew gathered together and picked masks off the walls to wear. We then took a group photo outside which was absolutely hysterical.

I still have to go back tonight to work the evening shift, which should be out of control fun, and I can’t help but be a little excited. The band Big Creek is performing traditional jazz songs all night and it should be a packed house. Everyone gets to take home beads and join in the Mardi Gras madness as beads are thrown from upstairs and little prizes are given out. This will probably be the most authentic Fat Tuesday I’ve ever celebrated (unless I visit New Orleans) even though I’ll be working the entire night. The atmosphere is going to be warm and inviting with a hint of cajun flare and people from all different walks of life will fill the tables to celebrate. I really encourage people to get off campus and go do something for Mardi Gras. You don’t have to stop by the Cafe, but at least get out there and go get your beads!

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