Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Let's Talk Theater for Social Action

Hello everyone!
My goodness things have been hectic! The most important thing that's happened recently is that yesterday Theater for Social Action had our performance of the semester. It was called "Let's Talk About Sex(ism), Baby!" and looked at sexist and gender issues that are rarely talked about. Every scene was taken from the lives of TSA members directly, or people they know. One skit focused on male eating disorders/body image and sports, another on the stigma attached with getting tested for STDs, and another on the fine line between chivalry and sexism. There was discussion for about an hour and a half, and I know I've continued to talk about it outside of the performance setting.

I love Theater for Social Action because it's such a great way to be proactive and bring up topics that fly under the radar that need to be discussed. Most often these things aren't addressed because of the tension involved in talking about such topics, like racism, sexism, and sexuality discrimination (sexualitism?). That's one of TSA's goal, to make it safe to discuss things, as well as make people feel like they have the skills and knowledge to address these issues out on the campus and in the real world. Starting that dialog between people is very important, no matter what stance they may have, and often most of the battle is getting up the courage to speak out and express one's opinion when oppression is present in a situation. In our society,the fear of being labeled or thought of as argumentative, as well as the avoidance of what is viewed as conflict, all play a big roll in the side-stepping of productive discussion.

What are we afraid of? Is a few moments of uncomfortable conflict a reason to avoid these important topics and facts of life? How will one know how one feels or know enough to make that decision without talking about it and gathering knowledge? Can't these discussions come from a place of inquiring, non-oppressive, love?

I believe they can and they must.

In short, I'm proud of what TSA has done, but there's still much more to be done. Come fast, next semester!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Night and Day (originally from 4/7)

This weekend was quite exciting! On Friday night Kappa Delta had our annual Mr. Beloit pageant. Talents of the gentlemen included playing guitar, a detailed guide to hugging others on campus, the ability to focus through anything (aka juggling whilst having his legs waxed), dancing with a little sister, and reading a children's book. It was adorable and silly and I'm really happy that it went so well.
Also this weekend my good friend from home, Laura, visited. It was her first time to campus, and it was a really wonderful visit. Yay, friends!

From Friday to Saturday, Voodoo Barbie had our annual 24 hour improv. This is where we do one show at 11 on Friday night, then stay awake and together for the next 24 hours, and then do another show at 10 on Satruday night. Here we are before it all.

And here we are after 2 shows, 24 hours, 1 bad sunburn, 2 play rehearsals, 1 lecture, 1 extremely painful game of apples to apples, many varying forms of British accents, 3 distinct and obscene sharpie tattoos, 2 frisbee games, 6 hours in commons, 2 new nicknames, and countless emotional wounds later.

I would like to say it was nothing but fun, but for us it was only mostly fun... the audience enjoyed it, so I guess that's all we can ask: that our short tempers and incoherent plot lines were comical instead of trying.

You're welcome :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Upsilon!

This week will be the official move into Spring, I can feel it. I mean, it's April now, so the universe doesn't really have a choice... knock on wood. This morning there were minuscule flurries, but then the sun came out this afternoon, so that was encouraging. Even if it snows tonight (again, knock on wood), the next few days I've heard are supposed to be pretty nice and what they're supposed to be this time of year.

Enough weather! This past week Kappa Delta has had two national officers on campus, one for our Official Visit and the other to help us with all the reports that were due today. Since our chapter has only been national a year (to this day! Happy Birthday, Upsilon!!!!!!!!), we have more officer visits so we have enough support while figuring this all out. It's been a chaotic and amazing year, and I can't wait for the years to come!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ebb and flow

Boy, this has been a semester of learning my limits as far as involvement goes. From here on out my weeks are packed/empty until the end of the year. Appreciating free time when it comes has never been more important, and I'm definitely getting better at recognizing and capitalizing during those moments. All that aside, this past weekend was quite a bit of fun. I relaxed all Saturday, going to see the Muppet Movie in the evening with Emma Ramsbottom '10.
(Here's Kermit the Frog and Fozzy Bear in the front seat with Emma and my favorite Muppet couple, Gonzo and Camilla the Chicken, in the back)

That night I went out to the C-haus to dance with a couple friends to an awesome visiting DJ that comes to campus every now and then. On Sunday I celebrated Easter a few ways, most of them involving food in some context. I started by going to church and then having an Easter egg hunt for Theater for Social Action (thanks, Brandon, for helping me hide them... there are probably still a couple there). I also had an egg hunt for my friend (who is, for all intensive purposes, my grandson), Steve... he happens to be Jewish, but a healthy respect and fondness for each other means that we've been able to learn and experience each other's religions a little. Then Angie came to visit me and watch last week's America's Best Dance Crew, and upon arrival we discovered that my parents had had an Easter basket delivered to me. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
(This is reminiscent of the baskets my brother and I used to have when we were kids- I loved picking jelly beans out of the green plastic easter grass stuffed inside the Bunny's belly :) )

That night I had a junk food binge party to celebrate the end of lent, for the duration of which I had given up junk food and pizza. There was an intimidating spread of delicious things available, including (but not limited to) 5 pizzas (with 4 on call), sesame chicken, sweet and sour chicken, vegetable lo mein, fried rice, brownies, cake, ice cream, garlic and parmasean fries, mini corn dogs, chips, cheetos, girl scout cookies, cinnamon rolls, donuts, candy, and peeps. I almost wish I were joking. It was a fantastical meal, filled with every good thing one could think of. Except pie. But then, that just would have been over the top. ;) Thanks, friends, for helping me eat it all! The evening ended with a great group of people chatting and watching Hair, which happens to be my mom's favorite movie.

I hope everyone's weekends were happy and the coming week won't be too crazy! Have fun!

Monday, March 17, 2008

I stand on the precipice

This weekend was very healing and beautiful! I finally feel like I can breath a bit, which is exciting! Don't get me wrong, I'm still pretty busy, but there's a little less pressure. This weekend was full of Kappa Delta things: traditions night, initiation, elections, and mucho bonding time. Love you, ladies! Also, there was a Voodoo Barbie performance that was extremely high energy and overall went well. Here's the gang with a cookie cake that Liz's mom brought for us, with the words "Voodoo Barbie is sick" frosted onto it. Thanks, mama Ziner!

Then on Sunday a Theater for Social Action meeting that proved to me just how little time there is before our performance- eesh! The rest of the year's going to be an exciting adventure, and I'm excited for all that's to come. Woohoo!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Busiest I've ever been.

I'm the busiest I've ever been. Just thought I'd note it so I can look back later on and decide if that's a true statement or not. Here's something that I wish actually existed to help me get through this weekend:

I guess I'll just have to stick with a good ol' cup of joe.


Monday, March 10, 2008

You know Spring Break's over when...

You all know how I feel about lists, and yet I always feel the need to let you know when one's coming. This post will be a return to said form, a favorite with which to follow breaks. Here you have it:
You Know Spring Break's Over When:
1- Not only are you no longer in sunny California, but you returned to below freezing windchills and snow
2- You can't sit on your bum all day with your improv troupe, watching America's Best Dance Crew and eating hummus
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3- The thought of maybe going to sit by the pool and nap for an hour is only a thought and not an actual physical possibility
4- Your roomate tells you to clean your half of the room... again. And it's only the first day back.
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5- You realize you didn't actually do any of the work you had intended, meaning you're probably on the right track for sleep deprivation... you know, that slightly groggy feeling that went away when you were sleeping 10-12 hours a day and you didn't even need the snooze button
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6- Your first professor of the day is red as a tomato from climbing a volcano in Ecuador
7- Games in varying forms (board games, card games, etc.) seem a figment of the intelligent and lucky imagination
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8- All of your clean clothes are in your hamper because you're too lazy to hang them up, but none of them are dirty right now, so who cares anyway?
9- Your first after break deadline used to be weeks away and is now suddenly, shockingly, tomorrow afternoon
and 10- After 19 years of life, you've discovered Law and Order marathons on TV, but no matter how sexy you may think Elliot is, you just don't have time anymore to marinate and properly enjoy the juicy arranged marriage, murder, and custody battle soaked drama (warning: plot points vary every hour, on the hour)
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If your Spring Break is yet to come, I hope it's as relaxing as mine was and that is will be a little less jarring upon your return to active responsibility.

(Here's another picture option from google for a "messy room" picture that I found amusing:
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The sweater! The hair! The bandaids! The lack of actual mess! And is that a UNICORN in that painting? The title of this is "Teenage girl standing in messy room". I'll let you decide whether or not that's a fitting title for this work of art.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spring, I can taste it!

I saw my first flock of geese today! It was an exciting moment, and it made me think of a poem I'm fond of:
Something Told the Wild Geese

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered - "Snow."
Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned - "Frost."
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly -
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.

Rachel Field

Well, it doesn't quite apply here. I could try to write one about spring. Let's see...

Something told the wild geese
It was time to come
Though gray sky hovered
Something began to hum
Snow was ripe for sledding,
Ice a mirror made
But despite this wonder
Something at them bade

The next great poet can finish that sometime in the future.

This week is midterms, which means Spring Break is too close for comfort. Meaning, I know I won't actually be able to relax until Friday comes. When it does, however, I will be in shock. What will I do for 9 days? Probably write a couple papers and finish my study abroad application. After that, however, it will be bliss! Just think, I can actually sit around and do nothing for a bit. Granted, it won't be completely mind-numbing. This coming weekend Voodoo Barbie is performing at the Self Employment in the Arts Conference in Naperville, Illinois. It's a little nerve wracking to branch off campus, but thrilling at the same time. After that I head home for 2 days, then I'm flying to California with a couple friends. A few days there, then back home for a day and finally to Beloit. Can't wait! I have instructions from my Dad to go to this beef jerky place in Cali and bring him home a bit of teriyaki lime flavored jerky. Will do! Currently, this is my only plan for my time spent on the coast. Man, I can practically feel the vitamin D my skin so desperately craves.

Speaking of parents, mine visited me this weekend and saw me perform in the Vagina Monologues. We had a nice time, and there's nothing like talking about sex and violence and women's empowerment in front of those that raised you! It was a beautiful production, and I was happy that they could be here for it. Here's a picture my dad took of the cast bow:

Yay ending violence against women!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Barack the vote!

Yesterday was an extremely politically charged day here at Beloit. Two major political figures were on campus: Chelsea Clinton and Barack Obama.

Chelsea spoke in the early afternoon, answering several questions about her mother's policies. One student asked if she was planning to run for President in 8 years, but she said her political aspirations only went so far as to actively campaign for her mother in this election. Liz Ziner, '10, got to meet her afterwards with a small group of students and ask some more questions one on one. What cool opportunity! One of the most interesting pieces of Chelsea's talk was hearing her say that she had waited for quite some time before deciding to support her mother as a candidate. She wanted to make sure that she believed in what she was endorsing. It was neat to hear that she's just as careful about her politics as the rest of us; that her family ties didn't automatically make the decision for her. Here's a picture of a group of Kappa Deltas and Miss Clinton. This was on the front page of the Beloit Daily News this morning:

Then, as soon as Chelsea finished, a large group of my friends ran to the sports center where Obama was set to speak in 6 hours. We passed the time (the first hour of which was outside in the freeeezing cold) by playing a card game that Angie Bonilla, '10, had brought along, singing various tunes (the louder the better!), and snuggling as best we could under blankets. Obama spoke for 45 minutes, and if you needed proof that he was at Beloit, here's a picture of him in our gym (Go Bucs!):

THAT IS CRAZY!!! We were so close to him! I can't even begin to explain what an experience it was. The flood arena was packed past capacity, the energy was so positive and lively it made everyone really emotional and hyped up. I love his ease with speaking, the way he worked the entire crowd- young and old, student and working citizen. He certainly knows how to give a speech! The words thrilling, inspirational, historical, and motivational come to mind. After Obama was done speaking, he came down and shook hands with people in the crowd (including mine, yipee!). Angie was very excited and moved and had been crying most of his speech. Here he is meeting her afterwards:

He called her sweetheart :)

Favorite quote from his speech:
"Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom."

Yesterday was a momentous adventure, blessing, and crazy opportunity. I am so thankful and lucky to have this experience and to have shared it with my school and with my wonderful friends.

Also, I voted today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

League Of Pissed-off Voters

The primary election for Wisconsin will be taking place next tuesday. There's a group on campus, the League of Pissed Off Voters, that's been working their tail off to raise awareness of the date, register people on campus to vote, and provide shuttles to the polls on voting day. I feel the need to take a moment and recognize their hard work- I tip my hat to you, LOPV.

I know I'll be on one of those shuttles come tuesday. The democratic process is thrilling, isn't it? If your state (or country) has an election coming up, I urge you to get involved. It's an exciting time for the world, and if one has the opportunity to speak up then what is there to stop them?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Look before you Leap!

You know what makes me happy? Leap years. You forget about them every other year, but once every four years there's a whole nother 24 hours to play with. I think february 29th should be a national holiday that people aren't allowed to work on. It's a free day! All the other years when you're thinking, "Man, I just wish there was more time in the year." Well, this year- there is! What isn't exciting about that?
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Also, I love when people are born on February 29th. One of the things I remember about elemnetary school is that Mrs. Healy's dad AND son were born on february 29th. Isn't that crazy? Another thing I remember is that the Healy clan was extremely tall... and not by little kid standards, either. Sure I'm short, but when everyone in a family is over 6 feet tall- whew! It hurts my neck just thinking about it. She was a great teacher, though. To be honest, I don't remember exactly everything I learned from her, but I do love school and I think it comes from being excited to go when I was little. Thanks, Mrs. Healy! Also, my dear friend Angie Bonilla ('10) is a leap year baby. I can't wait to celebrate with her this year!

Monday, February 4, 2008

My First Trip to a Conference

This weekend I flew down to Olive Branch, Mississippi with Liz Ziner ('10).

We were attending the annual Presidents and Emerging Leaders Conference that Kappa Delta holds. It was a great learning opportunity and a lot of fun to see so many Kappa Deltas from across the country. Boy, is Greek Life different around the country! The basics are the same, but some of the things I heard about were so elaborate. Understandable, when there are chapters out there with over 100 people in them. That's incomprehensible to me! Anyway, other than learning about being a better leader, we did a couple really neat things. First, we got to visit Kappa Delta Headquarters, which is located in Memphis, Tennessee. I love me my history, and this was right up my alley:

One of Kappa Delta's national philanthropies is the Girl Scouts of America. Together they formulated a program called Uniquely Me! that focuses on empowering girls to gain self-esteem. The spokesperson for this program is SuChin Pak (yes, the MTV personality), and she came to talk to us about this program and encourage us all to get our chapters involved with the girl scouts by holding Uniquely Me! events.

The last neat thing I'll talk about was seeing Bonnie Purvis Warren, Kappa Delta's National President, in her element. She really is a great woman and perfectly suited for her role. She said that somebody in an airport once asked her what she did. She responded, "I'm the head of a non-profit women's group of over 200,000 women that has given over 8 million dollars to Prevent Child Abuse America, is partners with the Girl Scouts of America, and focuses on empowering young women to be their best." He said, "My God, what do you do?!" And she replied, "I'm the National President of Kappa Delta Sorority." :)

(I have a bichon frise, too!)

After that exciting, whirlwind of a weekend, I'm happy to be back. Beloit is great to come home to and I couldn't be happier to settle back into the routine. And, I'll admit, ready for next weekend already!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two part blog!

Part 1-
I have a split shift in Admissions tonight. From 7-9 I'll be attending a guest lecturer on campus. He's one of the foremost scholars on the end of the African slave trade, and I was told by my adviser that it's going to be really great. African diaspora? History nerds? Prestigious scholar? Count me in! I have to admit, this will be my first encounter with a history scholar outside of the Beloit faculty. Will I be interested in what he's saying? What if I have a stupid question (none of that "there aren't stupid questions, only stupid answers" stuff) because I'm only beginning to delve into the field and don't know how ignorant it sounded- like a question that you know the answer to once it's halfway out of your mouth? I suppose that's how people learn. This is a silly thought process... I'm really not worried- really excited, though! I was just typing my thoughts. Which is, I suppose, the point of this blog. Or any blog, for that matter. Speaking of, the second part of this blog will be when I return to admissions and let you know how it went. I'll also tell tales of giving bids for Kappa Delta today- it's a crazy, busy time of year (as evidenced by the insane 50 degree weather change today), but it's also some of the best times. I'll report back soon!

Part deux-
Okay, as nerdy as my excitement about the speaker was, so shall this part about the lecture be. Did you know that South Carolina pushed for a clause at the constitutional convention to keep the slave trade legal until 1808? Then, once they got it, they didn't open the trade until 1803, 15 years after they put so much effort into it? Interesting, right? And that Ben Franklin's last letter to the public was mocking the slave trade and slavery? What an interesting lecture. It's amazing what human beings will do to each other for money, what justifications about the oppression and torture of men, women, and children are made in order to glean a profit. Sigh.

This is the lecturer, Paul Finkelman. He opened the evening with a joke about President Bush. Teehee.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it...

and I feel fine!

Songs that have been stuck in my head recently:
-Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes
-There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly (like the children's song/poem that starts: There was an old woman that swallowed a fly, I don't know why she swallowed a fly. Perhaps she'll die. If you want to see the whole thing you can go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_Was_an_Old_Lady_Who_Swallowed_a_Fly )

That was one of my favorite songs as a kid. Two of my favorite books back then were Go, Dog. Go!

and Hooper Humperdink? Not him!

(which was written by Dr. Seuss under a different pen name- since his real name is Theodore Geisel, the different name is a variation on that: Theo LeSieg... neat, huh?). Go, Dog. Go! was a random montage of anthropomorphic dog scenes, culminating in a huge dog party on the top of a blue tree. The common thread running through the book is two dogs that keep running into each other and having the exchange:

"Do you like my hat?"
"I do not."
Until the end when, at the party, he does like her hat, and they get in a car and drive away into the sunset together. Which is actually a little odd, now that I think about that as an adult... Oh, well!

Hooper Humperdink was about a kid that didn't get invited to the biggest party of the year, but then in the end he does. Simple, I know. But it turns into this elaborate exploration of the birthday kid's exotic range of friends from A-Z. My favorite line (that I will never forget) is:

"No one wants to play with Hooper, Humperdink's a party pooper!"

I think I liked it because it introduced the concept of a "party pooper" into my life and vernacular.

Anywho, now I'm in college and reading a book of ancient erotic poetry for a comparative literature class. To pull a line from the title song in the musical "Anything Goes":
"Times have changed!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good-bye, Heath!

Ok, I admit this entry may seem a bit silly, but I wanted to acknowledge something big that hit the media today. Heath Ledger died, and it's crazy how quickly news spreads in this day and age. A wonderfully talented person that did some really great work in his time, my prayers are with his family and friends. That being said, someone pointed out to me that 27 American soldiers and 349 Iraqi citizens have died in 2008 alone. It's a little extraneous to shower quite so much attention on something that we will know nothing new about for the next 48 hours, but I think it's an interesting study of American culture. True, he lived a highly visible life, but our society's obsession with celebrity deaths and culture is disturbing at times. Anywho, I was just thinking about it and feel like it's something of which to be aware.

I hope everyone sleeps well and has a pleasant week. Good bye!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ye Olde Spring Semester

Indeed, it's that time of year again. In with the old, out with the new... wait, scratch that, reverse it (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, anyone?). Break resulted in a few things for me (you all know how I love lists!):
1- Unparalleled (at least in my immediate family) skill at Pin Ball

2- Many trips to the movie theater (Charlie Wilson's War, Juno, Atonement, etc.)
3- Quality and bountiful family time (Hey everyone!)
4- My first Christmas in a new home, an experience at times both odd and wonderful, but overall interesting and fun
5- Happy times with friends back home (board games galore!)
6- A visit to Chicago to see a few friends (including a good friend who's abroad all year... hey, Agnotti!)

7- A week of nothing after New Year's... I was more than ready to come back!

After that week I traveled with a group of more than 20 other Beloit students to the American College Theater Festival that was held in Milwaukee this year. A crazy 5 days full of plays (I saw 7) and workshops and competitions. My friend Daisy and I were in charge of getting the hotel and all that jazz, and I'm happy to say that everything went well. It was a blast and I really loved spending some quality time with a gaggle of insane, fun-loving, theatre people. Next year it's being held in Saginaw, Michigan. Who's excited?!

Now we're into the second week of the spring semester. Cray-cray, as my friend Emma would say (a slightly mutated form of the word crazy). I am pumped for this semester, though. I'm taking Human Biology, International Politics, Burning Sapphos and Laughing Medusa (a class about poetry and sexuality), and creating a special project with my friend Angie focused on the theory side of Theater of the Oppressed. Meanwhile, Kappa Delta is half way through our recruitment process, Voodoo Barbie's first show is a two weeks from Friday, and I'm already late in turning in my tour availability slip for Gold Key. Oh, and I'm taking voice lessons now. Crazy, cray-cray, insane, maniacal, sleep deprivation, friendless... these words come to mind when thinking about my schedule. Which isn't actually all that bad... just constant.

I can already fast forward (in the movie that is my life) to my last blog of this semester:
"I was right, folks. It was hectic, and I barely survived. But it was worth it. Have a good summer and hopefully I will meet some of you in the fall!"

But there's still quite a bit to do before then.
Here it goes!