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!

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80s Dance

One of the most anticipated events of the fall at Bates is the 80s dance– an excuse for students to dress in their best throw back outrageous attire and generally get really silly on the dance floor. I am a huge fan of 80s cover bands, and believe that I went out with a bang with my last 80s dance: I stayed singing and dancing in the front row until the very end of their set, and was such a devoted fan that the band felt obligated to give me a set list afterwards. Ace!

Here is a photo of me taken by dean Keith Tannenbaum while I sing my heart out. It’s a great moment! (i’m in the bottom right with the colorful squares on my shirt). Rock on.

Clambake!

Last weekend was my final fall Clambake with the Bates Outing Club! This event is tried and true– every September, the BOC gets lobsters, clams, burgers and other barbeque fare all set up on Popham beach for Bates students to come and spend a beautiful Saturday beachside with their friends.

Because of my involvement with the BOC, the past three years I have been on set-up crew: I volunteer to get up at the crack of dawn and load up the trucks with food, drive out to the site and generally prep things. This involves a lot of heavy lifting (…of ketchup bottles and cookies) but it is always a lot of fun to bond with the BOCers. We had amazing weather this year, which is lucky because last year’s clambake was a cold and drizzly event.

Here is a few of the set up crew as we prepare to dig pits in the sand to cook the lobsters!

While contemplating how to cut up watermelon for two hundred people with, unfortunately, nothing but a swiss army knife, our brainstorming took us in a rather artistic direction and thus, mr Potatomelonhead was born.

Clambake is a great tradition that brings Bates kids off campus to get one last beach day in before the wonders of fall unfold. I’ll certainly miss this next year!! Lucky for me, the BOC holds two clambakes a year– there’s another one in short term!

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.