Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

Opens tonight! My independent study with the theater department this semester has been a giant time commitment but always a lot of fun. I’ve worked with talented, dynamic and incredible actors, directors and stage managers — we’ve all come together for what is sure to be an amazing show!!

Here is a video that Bates put together from one of our tech rehearsals– no pictures of the dresses yet– that’s a big secret!

“Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” from Bates College on Vimeo.

…but, here I am with Marketa showing off our “pin cushion” hair pieces!

Independent Study Fun

My independent study in theater this semester is putting on a show with 5 talented women and one very lucky man. Here are a few photos from our rehearsal process… t minus two weeks until showtime!








Crazy Crunch

Senior winter semester. NOTHING about this is easy… Not to say it isn’t fulfilling. I am learning a lot and having a blast, but busy doesn’t even begin to COVER my scheduling. I am booked tight day after day– this week is vacation so things are a little less hectic. I am, however, still working on my thesis, reading and writing for my Roman Empire course, memorizing lines for my independent study that goes up in March, and applying for JOBS! Whew, that doesn’t sound too relaxing, then, does it?

I am really loving writing my one semester thesis though. I’ve been given free reign to research whatever I wanted– and in this project I’ve synthesized my favorite time periods of American literature (late 19th century and today) and my interest in reproductive rights and contraception through the lens of cultural studies. Though it’s a lot of work– and I’m learning more every day– it’s been so rewarding so far. I’m really loving all the research I’m doing, but the writing is a little bit difficult.

Stay tuned for more updates on my progressing project, and whether I can triumph over the business of the semester!

The New President-Elect

Big news at Bates College! Our new President-Elect was announced yesterday: Clayton Spencer.

For information about her background and enormous accomplishments, as well as video and other content, look to the website, here. Bates did an incredible job coordinating the unveiling of our newest leader, including providing a feed of the event online, as well as live-tweeting from the long dormant @batescollege twitter account.

Here’s my big shocker, though. I know Clayton Spencer. I have known her since I was six or seven years old. And I was just as surprised as everyone else when this was announced! Both of our families live in Winchester, Massachusetts and in elementary school, her son was very close with my older brother. Our parents got along well, and we even visited them at their vacation home in Maine once. I was on the field hockey and track teams with her daughter in high school. I always thought of her as extremely intelligent, but she was in some ways, just another mom in parental sphere of my younger life.


Clayton with her kids, Will and Ava.

I was watching the live feed from my room on Sunday afternoon, doing some homework as the speeches were given in the background. I was very interested, especially as all of the impressive qualifications were detailed. “Wow,” I thought. “We really got a good president for ourselves.” And then when she walked out on stage and her name was announced, it immediately clicked. I called my mom and yelled into the phone “CLAYTON IS THE NEW PRESIDENT OF BATES!” and she said that I had to immediately go find her, and congratulate her. She also laughed because she had run into her at Starbucks recently, and Clayton had asked her “Nora goes to Bates, right?” and my mom dismissed her unexplained question because they were both talking about what their kids were doing, but in retrospect, the secret upcoming announcement was the real motivation. Cool!

I really encourage you all to read up on President-elect Spencer, and prepare for great new things to come to Bates College.

Watch videos here

The very exciting webcast here

And maybe the most important/cool: Keep an eye on the trending topic “#batesprez” on twitter for the social media response.

*Photos from Bates.edu

How to Write an Incredibly Important 25 Page Term Paper

About Criminality and Sexuality in Charles Dickens’ Works:

Image

(It looks like this. Check back after Friday at 4pm when this is due for more tales of how I learned to live in the library and had to carry around two bags because I had so many books.)

Part II:

It was hard. It was so so so hard. I’ve never written anything that length before, so I guess it was a good exercise considering I’ll be writing thesis next semester. Though we wrote and passed in ten pages of the paper in October, I had to scrap all of them because my argument and ideas changed. I’m glad, though…I am happier to have been stressed writing a paper that I feel really good, confident about versus one that was thrown together and easy. I spent nearly all my time in the library over the past week– even came back early from Thanksgiving break to work on it. But I feel incredibly accomplished, and a lot less stressed out. This coming week is the LAST WEEK OF CLASSES of the fall semester! I still have two final papers and a final exam, but I feel like the happiness finishing my term paper is going to propel me straight towards the end. And now I’m an expert on sexuality and criminality in Victorian England, and Dickens’ fond feelings for reforming prostitutes!

Unplugging for a Social Media Addict

Yesterday I unplugged. From facebook, my iPhone, my personal email… basically all of the things that I check multiple times a day, every day. I did it along with many members of the Bates community as part of the “Present Tense” experiment. Put on by the Multifaith Chaplaincy and many other organizations on campus, its events included the annual Andrews lecture. A list of events for the week can be found here.

Tuesday afternoon my yoga class was cancelled– my teacher did it to encourage all of the students to attend the Andrews lecture, where Scott Belsky would be speaking. Scott is a really, really cool guy. He is articulate and intelligent and creative. Give his website a look to get a better idea of him here – lucky that the first thing you see on that page is a giant photo… I totally had a crush on him. He’s so smart! And so cute! Anyway… he gave a talk about “present tense” — how we’re all so plugged in to the  constantly updating feed of information that our lives have become entirely reactionary. Coming from the business world, he didn’t propose anything outrageous or impossible– he acknowledged that connection is neccessary and that communication is integral to effective business. He simply suggested being mindful, maybe by creating boundaries to keep yourself unplugged for at least a little bit each day. He was a great speaker, and fielded questions afterwards.

The next day, I was really amped up to unplug. Using my clock radio to wake up was a little silly at the beginning of the day, but I felt really free. I kept my phone on, but it was in my backpack the entire day. I told most people that I would be unplugged, so it didn’t create too many issues. I really enjoyed it. But it DID make it hard for my work (on twitter and facebook for the theater department). I’ve always been very interested in technology, social media, the internet, online communications etc in more than just a “i like to use facebook to stalk people” way. The possibilities for connections and keeping up correspondence despite being worlds away are incredible. I wrote my college essay about the internet and using it to connect with people; now, as I zero in on careers, social media has become one of my most utilized and demanded skills. There it is: self-proclaimed social media addict. And I unplugged. And you can too!

You don’t have to do it for a week, you don’t have to unplug across all platforms. You could try merely not checking your facebook for one day and it would still be effective. It will bring you away from being reactionary, and your creativity and free mind can help you be a little bit more proactive about your life.

I understand this may sound a little wonky, but I found a lot of value in the experience, and I’m so glad that Bates (from all different angles, departments, and organizations) was supportive of the experiment.

Bates Links to Check Out

Whew! Senior year: you are SO hard. I’ve been running a marathon of schoolwork for the past, what, month? Each assignment I turn in is quickly replaced with another, more time-consuming project. Add those long term assignments to my daily homeworks, my extra curricular schedule, and my sanity, and not much time remains. So I’ve been busy. Still am, actually. But I wanted to take this time to point out a few things worth checking out about Bates via the internet right now.

The first is “Inside Out Bates” – a student run site dedicated to gathering all campus event listings to one page. This is a noble endeavor and not an easy one, to be sure! Bates constantly has different opportunities for students and faculty: events, concerts, lectures, workshops, meetings, performances, the list goes on… The idea behind Inside Out is to engage with student leaders to help bring their events to the student body in a streamlined, managable, and accesible manner. Way to go guys!

The second is the new and improved social media presence of the Bates Theater, Dance and Rhetoric department. This happens to be my doing– I developed and implemented the strategy recently. It’s still all pretty new, but “like” us on facebook to hear about what’s going on in the department, here. We are also on Twitter, @BatesTheater. Its a fun daily task to get a sense of what’s going on around the department and share that with current students, alumni, and hopefully prospective students (that’s you!)!

There are some links. Happy November!

One Acts!

This weekend the Robinson Players presented our annual Fall One Act festival! Check out the poster oneactsfinal!

I was acting in “The Pond,” a new original piece written by Bates grad Sam Leichter ’08. Cool huh!? The first three shows were short and silly, and then our show was longer and much more serious. The 25 minute piece was a fun thing to jump into this fall, though less of a time consumer than a full length show!

Though the one acts are over, “The Pond” will be performing again the weekend of November  5th for the Robinson Players 90th anniversary celebration. The playwright will be coming up, along with other old rob players, to celebrate and see some theater. Kind of nerve-wracking, but hopefully wonderful! Can’t wait.

(In the play, I was 8 months pregnant. Here is an early shot from rehearsal, the first time I tried on my fat suit belly!)

A Deliciously Relaxing Weekend…

This weekend, after battling papers and books and other mountains of stressful homework all week, I headed off for 24 hours at the coast for a Yoga retreat!

While I was abroad last spring, the Bates Yoga Kula came into existence– some really enthusiastic (and inspiring!) students who love yoga decided that there needed to be more on campus! This year, there are FREE classes 5 days a week offered by different instructors in different styles of yoga to the entire Bates community. Talk about amazing.

I’d never done yoga before, but had to complete a final PE credit for graduation. I signed up, assuming I’d just go two days a week, as is required. I totally fell in love. This semester is a crazy busy one for me, with FOUR classes in the English department keeping me utterly occupied– always reading and writing! Going to yoga every afternoon at 4:30 is my daily break from my super stressed world. The classes here are really well attended– the radiant vinyasa classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays usually brings out around 90 students and staff! Thats a LOT of sweaty people manipulating their bodies and breath in one room. Very cool and very uniting. The classes are held in Old Commons, where Batesies used to dine before the new facility was built.

Anyways, the kula (or community) organizes more than just classes each day. There are workshops and field trips– one such being the retreat! We headed out to Bates’ property near Popham beach, Shortridge, on Friday afternoon. We had 5 cars full of happy yogis ready for some relaxation, meditation and serious yoga. A diverse group of students, of all class years, genders, and friend groups, we all came together and had an amazing weekend. Filled with classes, meditating, games, conversation, silence, eating, beautiful weather, and an unforgettable 7:30 AM beach trip, I am so happy with my decision to go. I felt empowered– both physically, due to my mastery of some of the more strength-intensive poses that I’d yet been able to do, and mentally, after maintaining silence for an extensive period of time and conquering barriers in my mind as well.

Such a great trip– but now i have a LOT of reading to do, and my body is aching from all the yoga I’ve done in the past few days!

Common Ground Fair

Last weekend I decided to forgo my giant pile of work for a much needed Sunday escape to the country! Hannah and I roused ourselves early Sunday morning and drove way up north for the Common Ground Fair ! Though every year I’ve known about it, this was the first time I’ve been able to go. I’m SO glad I made it up there before I graduated. It was full of incredible things– crafts, animals, food, agriculture, environmentally conscious people, social justice organizations, the largest gourds (and other veggies) you’ve ever seen, stone masons, and much much more.

Here are some photos, all taken by Hannah Zweifler.

Pretty lovely right?? Ah, the joys of a beautiful day in Maine…

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