Goodbye, 2010

What a year. Already over. I’ve decided to look back on 2010 and note some of my favorite memories. We’ll see how this goes.

-Started off 2010 in San Diego with my family. It was… colder than expected
-Once back at Bates, kicked off Winter Carnival by jumping in the Puddle.
-Held an open house for ART COMMONS (with the help of Matt and Charlotte, of course) where students came to paint on the walls and discuss student art at Bates.
-Took an English class with Eden Osucha that led to an engagement with literature, a declaration, and several opportunities to see fiction and poetry readings.
-Began looking at the stars for my Lunar and Planetary science class, and actually understanding it.
-Was elected as the publicity director of WRBC and helped to put on awesome concerts including Hey Mama, Toro Y Moi & Washed Out & Small Black, Seabear (photos!) and Phantogram by the end of sophomore year.
-Helped out with WRBC’s trivia night 2010— and stayed up all night
-Produced One Acts for the Robinson Players
-Got dressy and dazzled at the All College Gala
-Finished the semester like a pro and headed down to Puerto Rico
-Rocked out at spring concerts including Passion Pit at Bowdoin, Sleigh Bells & Rusko & Major Lazer in Cambridge, Sleigh Bells & Yeasayer in Boston, and  Ronjstock back at Bates.
-Took a class about the politics of theater– still don’t really get Brecht though, don’t hold it against me.
-Brought 900 local school children together to see free theater put on my the Robinson Players
-Watched my older brother graduate from college, freak outs about the future and growing up ensued
-Packed up and came home, finished sophomore year successfully. Realized I was one half done with college. Freak outs ensued.
-Ran off on a romantic trip to Montreal with my best friend where we ate gelato (among other things)
-Worked at summer camp and dressed up like a superhero
-Went down South to visit Schuyler in New Orleans
-Started Junior year! Took three English classes and a science class which was a pretty tough course load.
-Kicked off this year’s WRBC concerts with Dr Dog and later closed out the semester with The Hood Internet & The Knocks.
-Performed in Fuddy Meers by David Lindsay-Abaire as Claire. Was the star. Got to be a diva for a hot second. And loved it.
-Took a weekly trip to fine dining establishments in the area for the Friday Lunch series
-Helped out with WRBC’s Trivia Night 2010.5– and didn’t stay up all night
-Kicked my finals’ butts and packed up my life while my head reeled about not coming back for so long.

There ya have it. A year in (condensed) review. With hyperlinks. Happy almost 2011!

The Inquisition

This might come off as kind of complain-y, but it is just another post in the direction of growing up and getting closer to the real world. What I’m talking about, today, is something all young adults are most likely used to: the inquisition.

This inquisition starts in high school. The phenomena where relatives, family friends, and anyone who you don’t see all that often sees you, and their first question is something you definitely don’t know how to answer. Sound familiar?

In high school, it begins with “So where are you going to college?” and the best part is that this question is asked as early as Freshman year. So of course no one knows where they’re going to college then! But, in keeping with the rules of small talk and the tradition of the inquisition, no holiday or family party is complete without asking. And just when you find an answer to that question, for me December of my senior year, the next step is immediately thrown into the conversation. “I’m going to Bates” “So what’s your major?” they ask, innocently, but to the person under interrogation it’s another pressing question just when you thought you could celebrate the answering of the “big one.” What I’ve come to learn is that there is no “big one.” As you answer each, the next question is not only just as big, but matters more. Intertwined with “growing up,” each successive question raises the stakes.

So while I understand that some people applied to school knowing exactly what to study, choosing a liberal arts college like Bates should have given me at least a little leeway to explore my interests. So how could I answer what my major was as I graduated from high school? Even going up to the deadline to declare, in February of sophomore year? But such are the rules of the family, friends and acquaintances’ inquisition.

But now I’m on to a different stage: with my next semester in Paris, it means that any and all holiday conversations have revolved around FRANCE. Which is lovely, you know, that people are so interested in my opportunities and adventures. But as previously mentioned, I’m terrified, so talking through terror with a big holiday smile on my face is difficult. And nerve wracking! They ask where will I live, where will I study, where will I travel, who will I see… and sure, I know a few things. I know I’ll be studying at the Sorbonne, I know a street address where I’ll be living… But right now, I’m trying to organize my life in preparation for this giant leap in independence. And it can’t just be me here who thinks it’s hard when everyone seems to be asking the questions that I’m nervous to answer for myself?

Of course I should be glad that everyone has focused in so much on France; because after France is: “Do you have a job for the summer?” (which of course is a work in progress) and then the even scarier “What will you be writing your senior thesis on?” (exponentially scarier… are you sensing a pattern) which inevitably leads up the the penultimate “what are your plans after graduation?”

I know, of course, that the only way to grow up and for life to keep moving is to keep answering these questions as they arise. I know this. And I know that when people inquire as to my life and adventures that I should appreciate their interest and count myself lucky to have people that care about me. But still, after having survived one hell of an inquisition since I got home last Friday, watching Dexter in my bed as a snowstorm rages for the next couple of days seems like a pretty attractive option. In the meantime? I’m happy to trace the questions I’ve answered so far. I go to Bates, I’m an English major, I’m spending this semester in France, I’m living with a host family and studying at the Sorbonne, and the rest of it… I don’t know. Yet.

See you in 9 months, Bates

Home again, home again. Except this time there’s a permanence; heading back to school isn’t just around the bend. Instead the next great adventure is Paris, France for Winter semester. I leave January 14th and won’t be back until the very end of May. Okay, true confessions? I’m terrified. I spent much of this semester very ready, very excited to go abroad and experience something new and different. And then as finals week began to wind down, I was struck by the seriousness of the situation. I finished my last Shakespeare paper and realized that I had to pack, and that I was done, and that I would be leaving for a very long time. After France, is a grown up internship for the summer, then senior year, then the real world. If these past 5 semesters have passed by so quickly, I started to think I’d blink and poof! Be in the real world.

Packing up my room was quite the bummer. I’d turned my little single into my inner sanctum, covered in posters from every theater, music and art event of the last three years. It was so sad to take everything down. I’d been super busy with finals all week and then had to buckle down and pack it all up Friday morning before I drove home that afternoon. Near the end of the process, it was a sad sight:

And now I’m home. Don’t get me wrong, I ‘m so glad to be here and spend time with my family and friends, but I’m already missing Bates way more than expected. I guess I’ll just have to get ready to embrace abroad. Paris countdown: 25 days!

The Hood Internet/the Knocks Concert

Last night, despite finals week LOOMING ahead of the Bates community, WRBC threw a sick concert– the last one of the semester. We brought the KNOCKS and the Hood Internet to ensure that dancing would be the main event of the evening– and oh boy it was.

We were all a little antsy, because all the performers were late arrivals, but in the end, there was time enough for everything. There was a limited capacity for the show, in the Benjamin Mays Center, and we could only sell 300 tickets. They only cost a buck, so ticket COST wasn’t a deterrent for people to come. However, about 10 minutes before doors opened at 9:30, there was a gigantic line snaking all down the paths outside, everyone trying to get their hands on a coveted wristband. I was not one of the board members designated to take money or apply wristbands, but I could easily observe how quickly the show sold out. You know what happened next? Kids went crazy trying to get into this show. They were sneaking in the windows in the bathroom, the loading door, all sorts of places… only once they got in and didn’t have a wristband they were immediately escorted out by our burly security guards. It made the show that much more special– everyone who was there REALLY wanted to be there.

I was SO EXCITED to dance, to let loose after a crazy semester full of work and as my last opportunity to get sweaty on the dance floor at Bates until next September.

As always, hanging out with the performers is a wonderful perk of putting on shows. The Knocks were super friendly and they really liked my hat, which was a freebie that my mom found in the depths of her office– an original “acme crimenet” baseball cap a la Where in the World is Carmen San Diego.

After the Hood Internet ended their amazing, long set, no one wanted to stop dancing. All that I’d promised in the numerous announce emails and facebook events — “a big, sweaty dance party”– had been accomplished. And that’s a great note to end on for WRBC this semester. We started off strong with Dr Dog, printed and sold awesome tees and tanks, rocked out on Trivia Night, and ended with this blow out of a show. Though I’m sad that this board will never be together again, with the juniors going abroad and then seniors graduating in the spring, I still love WRBC so so much and cannot wait for the wonderful things we will do next year.

TRIVIA NIGHT 2010.5

WRBC, the student radio station, puts on many events throughout the course of the year. Our most popular are often concerts, bringing smaller, unknown acts to Bates to rock out. We do, however, (and I say we because as the Publicity Director and a DJ for 5 consecutive semesters, I feel connected and responsible for the things WRBC does) have one annual event that doesn’t involve live music but is still one of the best nights at Bates– TRIVIA NIGHT.

These are the rules to trivia night, (I wrote these last year as one of my first tasks as a new board member) and last night when we were reading them on the air I had no problem taking credit for how clever and great they are, and I attributed this to the fact that I am an English major. Go english majors! We can write things!!

To participate in Trivia Night, you need a team. Said team can have as many people you want, but there are no limits. Tea…ms greater than seven are recommended. Also necessary: a knack for figuring out the obscure songs and trivia questions that WRBC throws at you. Each team is evaluated according to how many points they win. There are three ways to receive points:

1) Trivia: While tuning in to 91.5 FM all night, you will hear all sorts of songs, from pop hits to obscure chinese folk ballads, and each song has a corresponding trivia question. Using the special trivia night telephone number, call in (before the song ends!) and tell us the title of the song, the artist who is performing it, and the answer to the trivia question. Each of those answers are worth 1 point, so every song is an opportunity to get 3 points.

2) The real excitement begins with Physical Challenges. So maybe you didn’t know in which state it was illegal for mourners at a wake to eat more than three sandwiches? Well, luckily, you can earn more points through a random assortment of the physical challenge, which are announced on the hour, and then performed on the half hour at the WRBC studio. Winners of Physical Challenges are given 15 points, 2nd Place 10 points, and 3rd Place 5 points. These challenges are judged by a group of trivia night staff.

3) Make sure you’re paying attention, you don’t want to miss: Random points events. Because we’re nice people, sometimes points will be offered for certain requirements to be filled. These could really help you out, especially if you’re creative and listening carefully. So be on the look out!

At the end of all the many hours of radio, trivia, and challenges, each team must perform a skit assigned during the last hour of the broadcast. This final challenge holds a very high point value, so if you want to win, make sure you make it entertaining and ingenious.

Once all that’s happened, a winner is declared, prizes are awarded and it’s really early in the morning. WRBC officially recommends sleeping.

DOESN’T THAT SOUND LIKE FUN?? Well it is. However, when I woke up this past Tuesday with a terrible, debilitating cold, I was scared. I barely did anything except go to class Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; I stayed in bed and drank fluids and quietly focused on getting better. I had a ton of fun putting together my hour of music and trivia with my friend Katy; in our humble opinions, our hour, from 12-1 AM, was the best. Still, after all my best efforts of staying up all night, around 3:30 I was fading,  fast, and our general manager (aka head honcho) insisted it was a-okay that I bail. Our concert director walked me home in the eerie early morning snow, and while I felt terrible for not making it through the night, I knew that I needed to SLEEP if I am going to make it through until the end of the semester alive.

I did the whole night last year, so I know what I missed but I also definitely stand by my decision to choose sleep over three more hours of red bull and trivia. So I couldn’t stay up all night, but in general I try to avoid all-nighters, so it’s not the end of the world.

Hey Last Week of Classes? Bring it on. I’ve already taken a big bite out of the 44 pages of writing I have due by Friday. And after Friday? Exams Exams Exams. THEN WINTER BREAK!