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!

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!)

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…

Fading into Deep Summer

July. 90 degrees. Undeniably summertime. And, accordingly, my life has slowly acclimated itself to a slow-paced but jam-packed lifestyle that keeps me awake just long enough to toss and turn a little in the hot Boston nights. Did that make sense? It might not have. But here’s the basics: I’m pretty much in a routine, but repeating things each day doesn’t necessarily make it easier to find more energy and go forth and adventure more. Sounds boring right? It is– but I’m pretty okay with it.

My internship has continued at a steady pace. As predicted, the more I learn, the more comfortable I am and the more enjoyable the experience can be. But there’s still something incredibly exhausting about leaving my house at 7:30 AM to catch a train to get into Boston, and then walking for 25 minutes to my office where I will sit for 8 and a half hours before heading back to the train station and, eventually home. I arrive on my doorstep around 6:30, 11 hours after I left. Some nights, if I’m feeling particularly courageous, I will head to the gym and then by the time I get home again, it’s 8 pm, and I eat some dinner before passing out. Writing that makes my life sound a lot more monotonous and depressing than it actually is; this summer is a lesson in growing up. And it’s a lesson that I picked out for myself. Each morning, when I join the mass of people exiting the trains at North Station, I feel anonymous though strangely part of a very large whole– I’m a commuter— going to work in the city— aside tall women with umbrellas, short men with lunch bags, young people, old people, people I know, strangers… The small satisfaction that comes from recognizing strangers who share mysame routine is perhaps odd– but never fails to merit a smile. In this case, each day is so much the same: it starts the same, it ends the same, I sit in the same chair all day typing on the same keyboard looking periodically out the same window. So it is in the tiny variations from routine that I perk up and out of my summer haze. Some days one of my best friends catches the same train as me going home– we always try to find seats next to each other and joke about how boring we are and corporate lunches and recount stories from high school that at that junction seem so far away we cant help but laugh and shiver a little at the thought of senior year approaching.

For honesty’s sake: this post was inspired by a creeping feeling of sadness after my beloved and now departed camp job started yesterday– without me. I knew it would happen, but it’s been harder for me to move on than I anticipated and yesterday I had so many moments where, while typing away at my desk or making phone calls, I would think to myself “I wonder how camp is going?” But, as I’ve said a million times before and will continue to echo until it actually sinks in: I have to grow up, no matter how scary and unpleasant it is.