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!

A Dreary Day

17 Feb

Today is possibly one of the saddest days on campus only due to the weather. The sky is dark and depressing, the color of a full grown elephant. It weighs down on us Union students and the pressure causes our smiles to turn to frowns. No one likes rainy, grey weather (unless you are a vampire and live in Forks). Walking across campus is like walking through a foggy, dreary dreamscape in which you cannot wake from. It takes all the energy you have to muster up the strength to smile as you pass by others, to greet them with an air of happiness even when the weather cleary gives you no reason to be happy. It takes effort to merely pry yourself out of bed in the morning, throw a brush through your hair, and make it to class on time.

But today was a bit different for me, because today I had to work. I dressed in all black to match the darkening sky and trudged over to the Cafe. I was not in peppy waitress mode, but that was soon to change. The second I stepped in the door I heard the chef, and my boss, talking to Dave (the greatest dishwasher in the world!). It was like everything shifted and the sun came peeking out from behind the monstrous clouds. The chorus of angels came down and landed smack dab in the Cafe singing sweet songs into my eardrums. I’m serious, that is how drastic my mood changed. I don’t know what it is about the Cafe or the people I work with, but it (and they) make everything that much better. I could be having the worst day in the world and you bet your bottom dollar I’ll be cheered up at work. It is just that type of energy. There are days when others need cheering up there and I’ll be able to give them that positive energy that they need. We feed off of each other in a really great way and are able to brighten each other’s spirits just by goofing around and cracking jokes.

So basically the best remedy for a dreary day is to hang out with those that you have a great time with. Just because the weather stinks doesn’t mean you have to be a little snot all day long. Grab your friends and go see a movie or make dinner together (or better yet dessert). Do something fun and keep yourself motivated and you’ll get through the day unscathed.

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