summer starts?

Short term is over… I am home… this is REALLY STRANGE. I don’t know what even to say at the close of my freshman year. It was an amazing experience. I can’t believe its actually even over.

The end of short term was just like the rest of short term… completely filled to the brim with places to be people to see and things to do. Senior week was full of hilarious and great traditions and tearful goodbyes. I’m going to really miss the senior class– i can’t imagine a Bates without  them.

I’m glad to be home in a way, because it was time to take a break from the nonstop that shortterm had become. I needed space from my friends, and it’s good to be back with the people I went to high school, now.

I have finished my first year of college. I only have  three left, and the first went by so quickly. Wild stuff.

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Coming to a Close

As short term has totally sped by, I still find myself gasping for a free moment. I’m literally a million places at once. And, these last weeks are completely full of really fun planned events. There’s always something to do, its just a question of getting there to see or do it!

Yesterday, while I missed a band’s final performance on TOP of Mount David because of a group project meeting, I managed to make it over to the puddle to see an a cappella concert. I really love a cappella and one of my good friends is in the Manic Optimists, one of the two all male groups at Bates.

For his short term, my friend had been arranging some new songs for the ManOps to perform, and this was that performance. It was also the final time that the departing seniors would be participating, so it was a big show in some ways. The amphitheater filled up at 5h15, and the singing began. I was so excited because two songs that I really like, Knife by Grizzly Bear and Nantes by Beirut, songs that one wouldn’t really expect to be done a cappella, had been arranged. They were both so good! I was so glad to be able to hear the ManOps one more time.

Okay… now back to the piles of clothes that need to be packed…

the Best kind of Block Party

This weekend Bates combined, for the first time ever, two annual short term events, Drop Everything and Play (DEAP) and Ronjstock, to create an overwhelmingly music and fun filled weekend: the Block Party.

Originally put on separately by the Chase Hall Committee and the ronj, a few students worked very hard to unite the two and pump up the event so that it not only featured student bands but also performers from around the country. Sponsored by “just about every organization on campus”, it brought together tons of students on the Library Arcade from 4-10 on Friday and at the Ronj from 12-4 on Saturday.

I had such an overall great weekend. That rarely happens that I end the weekend just brimming with joy- no complaints, feeling completely satisfied by the things I did. It was a nonstop weekend of fun and activities; I literally only had time to take a shower after getting back from Animal Collective before running to the Library quad to see the first act Shara aka one of my friends, Ryan. From there I was out and about until the wee hours of the morning, running around with all my friends. It didn’t end there, though, because somehow all my  friends roused themselves at 10h30 to go to Nezinscot farms for a delicious breakfast as a bit pricier (but totally worth it!) alternative to Commons on a Saturday. When we got back, it was already time to go to the Ronj, where we brought our blanket and dutifully lounged and ate and listened and in my case got a sunburn. My favorite act at ronjstock was definitely Computer at Sea — a kind of indie looking blond guy with a sick set up of all sorts of electronic looking things plugged into other things that looked equally electronic. When he was being introduced, his set up was described including “books with buttons” which, like everyone else, I laughed about… until I got up to dance and get a closer look to see that YES, in fact, his table did feature two antique looking books with buttons on them, that, when pressed, added sounds to the music being made. Completely wild. I was planning on leaving right before they went on but one of my friends insisted that i stayed, just for one song at least. I’m so glad I did (i ended up staying for three, not one, for the record).

What a great weekend. Now comes getting used to the incredible fact that this coming weekend is my last at Bates as a first year. I can’t believe it. I want to make it count.

Absolutely Animal Collective

This past Thursday, for the second consecutive Thursday, my friends and I took a very loooong drive down 95 and headed to Massachusetts for the night, to see one of our favorite bands, Animal Collective. The show started at 8 and the second my friend Mere got out of class at 4, we jumped in her CR-V and left school, a car full of girls VERY stoked for the show. The drive down was, like last weekend, not ideal- the weather was awful- however, we kept ourselves amused by listening to our favorite songs (throw backs, especially!), putting on ridiculous sparkly temporary tattoos, and doing crazy makeup. We finally got to the venue, House of Blues, at around 8:20, because we’d gotten a little lost on our way in, but it ended up working out great– we walked in and, after finding some of our friends from Bates in the crowd, we only waited about ten minutes for Animal Collective to take the stage.

The show itself was fantastic – read the Globe’s review . Afterwards, as the club emptied out onto Landsdowne street, more and more faces in the crowd revealed themselves to be Batesies. All of the sudden, here we were, maybe ten or more people standing in the rain in the middle of Boston at midnight on a Thursday screaming “NO PARENTS! NO PARENTS” (a familiar slogan often exclaimed by students) and attracting more and more people by each yell.

After the concert, we headed in a familiar direction: my house. We piled into the car, tired and totally dead and drove to Winchester, about 7 miles outside of Boston. Once we got there, it was about two in the morning (we’d hung around with some other Batesies after the show) and we were all STARVING because we hadn’t had a chance to eat dinner. We starting devouring the food my Mom had left out for us and for some reason I thought that the only thing to do was to embark on a hilarious mission of making elaborate egg sandwiches for everyone. After we all ate, we, satisfied from the food from the concert from everything really, passed out.

I woke up the next morning and got to see my dog and spend a leisurely morning eating bagels around my house with my friends. I was really happy to have them there- it’s like uniting two parts of me, the part at school and the part of where I’m from. I was so excited to show them my dog and my house and my town. We left around noon, back to school again. Got here around 3h30, barely enough time to take a shower before heading to the library quad for the Block Party…

Addition of Art Commons

It worked! Remember the big showing of student art, the “art-in” ? Well, after so much support and the hard work of Grif, Jake, and Charlotte Brill, we DID actually get space in Chase Hall for student art. The space, Rowe room, is a long, wide room next to the Bates Musicians Union practice room. Over the past week Charlotte and I have spent hours moving furniture, buying paint, cleaning (well maybe not a lot of cleaning) and just general preperation for the opening of the space to the public.

I was nervous. Aside from a giant blank zebra outline, painted by my friend Kit, and huge bubble letters saying “ART COMMONS” (my eternal mark on the space?), what would there be for the people to do? I was also concerned that no one would show up… 8 pm on a Monday in short term? I wasn’t making any bets. But somehow, people just showed up in huge groups, and everyone seemed to just automatically grab a paintbrush and start making their mark on the space. Each wall, not even just the walls we planned on (and layed drop cloth under), is now covered in student art. Ranging from intricate designs to handprint collages to an ocean scene to the very conceptual and abstract, anyone had a chance to put their art on the walls. It’s what we want for the space- even those who aren’t studio art majors etc and therefore don’t get studio space… we have space for them. Art Commons is a space for everyone and anyone willing to respect the space.

I only hope that over the course of the rest of short term, Art Commons can begin to mean as much to others in the Bates Community as it does to me.

Driving Down

At somewhere near 3h45 on Thursday afternoon, I sent my friend Meredith a text message that read: “Twenty minutes.We’re going to Cape Cod.” Mere, who was in class until 4, was surprisingly very much interested in making a spur of the moment 500 mile round trip journey to one of our friend’s cape houses in Truro. He was having a bunch of people over for the weekend but because some of us had class on Friday, it wouldn’t really work for us to be there this weekend. We though, hey, it’s an adventure right ?

We ended up getting off of campus around 5, and from there we just drove the 4 and a half hours, down 95 to Boston and then over to basically the end of Cape Cod. The drive itself was so much fun, me and three of my best friends listening to our favorite songs and talking about why we like short term so much.

When we finally got to his house a little before ten we were so excited to see our friends who had been there since Wednesday– incuding one who hasn’t been on campus for short term (we missed him terribly). It was a lot of fun just hanging out, three minutes from the beach in a beautiful house.

Now though, I’m back on campus, ready for another adventure. The drive back was so beautiful, the weather was perfect and clear and it’s beginning to seem, to me at least, that short term is about just… going. Picking up, taking advantage of the free time, and getting out there. Now that Mere has her car here, that’s what I’ve been doing everyday. Just getting in the car, seeing where it takes us.

I wonder what today will hold…?

thoughts at thorncrag

Very close to campus, maybe an eight or nine minute drive away, we are lucky enough to have Thorncrag bird sanctuary. Thorncrag is a 357 acre wildlife preserve, with tons of trails welcoming to walking, running, picnicing and all sorts of other lovely things.

As my class doesn’t meet on Fridays, looking for something to do, three of my friends and I drove over and walked some trails. You feel like you’re miles away from Lewiston and any urban-like center. I felt like I was back home, walking through the town forest on a warm (but blustery!) afternoon. We didn’t stick around for long (BUGS. BUGS. BUGS.) but it was such a nice, albiet short escape from campuscampuscampus.

I’m still so perplexed by how short term, with all this free time, is leaving me feeling like I’m going a million miles a minute. Regardless, I’m loving each of those fast paced minutes, and savoring them as much as I can. Bring on short term: week 2!