Campus Concert and Registration

The Glee Club Campus Concert was Sunday, and I deem it a success.  Salter Hall was almost a full-house, and the audience was fantastic.  We sang a full concert, so it was around an hour and a half.  The full Glee Club performed, along with some smaller ensembles from the Glee Club.  We also got to watch the premiere of Dr. John Zimmerman’s Spring 2014 Tour Highlights.  The concert ended in a way that I always hope it does: someone in the audience yelling for an encore.  Below is a picture of the Glee Club.

Photo credit goes to Sherry Ross.

I finally got to experience what it was like registering without standing in a line for hours on end.  Rising seniors are given the oppurtunity to “preregister” on the Thursday and Friday before the normal registration period.  This ensures that the seniors get priority in picking classes that they may have to take in order to graduate.  After much deliberation, I have gone through my penultimate registration process.  Here is my class list for first semester senior year:

  • Islam and Religions of India
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Research in Social Psychology
  • Psychology Senior Project
  • History 101

You may be wondering why History 101 is stuffed awkwardly in that list.  I assure you it has nothing to do with distribution.  It does, however, have everything to do with having the required 34 credits to graduate.  I wanted a class that sounded fun, and that would let me be finished with classes before noon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  History 101 filled both of those requirements.  It looks to be a fun schedule, and I am very excited.

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Glee Club Campus Concert

In what is clearly the better of the two concerts taking place on campus this weekend, the Wabash College Glee Club will be performing in their campus concert on Sunday, March 30th at 4:00PM in Salter Hall.  Along with the full Glee Club, the 2014 Spring Tour Group, T-Tones, an eight-hand piano ensemble, and a soloist will be performing.  The performances will last around an hour and a half, with snakes afterwards.  Come out! Tickets are free, and I promise you wont be disappointing.

My friend, and fellow Glee Club member, Patrick Stroud ’14 made a Facebook event (if you’re into that kind of thing).  You can find that here: https://www.facebook.com/events/227500554107138/.  I hope to see you there!

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Honor Scholarship Weekend Activities Fair

Yesterday, I was up a little earlier than usual.  This is Honor Scholarship Weekend, in which students come to campus to compete for millions in scholarship.  Every Honor Scholar Friday, there is an activity fair in Knowling Fieldhouse.

From left to right: Me, Joe Mount ’15, and Michael Smith ’15.

This activity fair consists of every participating organization on campus, including fraternities.  Each body gets a table and a placard, and we get to give our spiels to all of the uninterested prospectives.  This year, I manned the ‘shOUT booth for the entirety of the fair, from 9am-11am.  Our president and treasurer, Joe Mount ’15 and Michael Smith ’15, were also present.  One of the interesting things about the ‘shOUT booth this year was that we were giving away condoms.  ’shOUT is in the midst of a safer-sex campaign, so we found it apt.  Some of the prospective students were hilarious to talk to.  I introduced myself to one, and only got “this is Wabash’s gay-straight alliance” out of my mouth before he cut me off with “I’m not gay”.  Cool, guy.  I’m not gay either.  That’s why it’s a gay-straight alliance.

Everyone speak of how amazing Honor Scholar Weekend is in forming their decision to come here.  Here are my most salient memories from my Honor Scholarship weekend:

Friday:

After the activities fair and testing, I remember guys talking in Ball Theater lobby about their AP Test and SAT Scores.  I thought it was vapid then and, looking back, I find it more hilarious.

This was the night of the Phi Delt bouts.  They were cool, I guess.  Even cooler were the Red Bull girls who were there giving out free Red Bull.  I left those early for something much cooler: Glee Club concert.  Glee Club put on an Honor Scholarship Weekend concert it was directly responsible for getting me to join.  Who knows if I would be a third year Glee Club member without that wonderful concert.

I think this was the night that I went around to fraternities.  I wound up at TKE, and I had a nice conversation with Liam Smith ’13 and Andrew Kunze ’12.  They were great guys, and I would get to know them each a little better as time wore on.

I was staying at a fraternity that will be unnamed.  I was much more quiet then, I hadn’t really broken out of my shell.  I wound up in a room full of people, guys and girls, and I was immediately offered a beer from the mini-fridge to the left of the doorway: a Natty Light.  I politely declined, I didn’t drink then (also, there were some important tests to take in the morning).  I spent that night sleeping on the floor of the cold dorm, using my jacket as a pillow.

Saturday:

More tests, and going home.  Much less eventful than the night before.

Most people don’t share the parts of their Wabash experiences that weren’t wonderful, so I gave you mine.  If something seems to good to be true, it probably is.  It’s okay to be skeptical.  My first impressions of Wabash were mixed, but the bad things did not dissuade me from coming here, as we can see from this blog that I’m currently writing.

 

 

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Wabash Happenings

Have you ever wondered if Superman catching a freefalling damsel in distress would crush her body from the impact of Superman’s rippling arms?  Or, have you ever thought about the Flash’s uniform catching on fire due to the friction of his supersonic speed?  While these questions might not be exactly what are being answered, the Society for Physics Students is putting on an event entitled “The Physics of Superheroes”.  They will tackle the plausibility behind some superhuman abilities that have been portrayed in comic books and movies.  This is taking place tonight at 7:00PM in Ball Theater!  Here’s a link for more information: http://wabash.edu/news/displaystory.cfm?news_ID=10220

The 121st Honor Scholarship Weekend is happening this Friday and Saturday.  High school students are coming to take exams in English/History or one of six foreign languages, and mathematics and biology, chemistry, or physics.  These students are competed for $3.5 million in scholarships.  I partook in Honor Scholarship Weekend when I was a senior in high school and it was a great experience.  While I won’t be taking any of these exams, thank God, I will be involved in some way.  Each Honor Scholarship Weekend, Knowling Fieldhouse is transformed into a campus club symposium.  Every participating club gets a table, and they get to decorate it accordingly.  I will be manning the ‘shOUT booth for the entirety of the event and will, hopefully, convince some incoming freshman to join the cause.

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Slaughterhouse Five

My experience with Vonnegut is limited.  Specifically, I have two experiences with his works.  I own, and have read a bit of, Breakfast of Champions.  What I have read of that book, I have really enjoyed.

My second experience was in high school.  Freshman or Sophomore year we had to read Slaughterhouse for Academic Team (Academic Decathlon? I don’t know what these things are called anymore).  I remember disliking the book.  As a matter of fact, I remember really disliking the book.  I can’t remember why I had such a negative opinion regarding it, however.  I have just chocked it up to angsty, “I don’t like this because I have to read it” teenage stuff.  Now that I’m older, more refined, and not quite as ignorant (just a tad less ignorant), I have decided to give it another shot.

My personal copy of Slaughterhouse that I have had since high school.

The Wabash Society for the Furthering of the Liberal Arts (whew, that made my fingers have to stop and take a breath) is the organization, on campus, that is reading this book right now.  WSFLA is an organization that is dedicated to extracurricular, peer learning.  We teach each other things that are not readily available as classes at Wabash.  Earlier this semester, we ordered a few copies of the mass-market paperback edition of Slaughterhouse. Patrick Stroud ’14 decided to head the project as it is one of his favorite books, and because he has put a lot of time into reading, rereading, and thinking critically about it.

Today was our first “meeting” regarding the book, and the thoughts that other guys had concerning just the first chapter were very interesting.  This is one of the benefits, in my opinion, of reading and discussing a book as a group.  There are such wide discrepancies in interpretations that it is almost like freshly rereading passages over and over again.  It’s practically magic.

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Glee Club Tour Ends

Glee Club Spring Tour 2014 has officially ended.  We arrived back to Wabash campus at around 4:30PM on Saturday.  The trip was fun, if tiring at times.  The sense of friendship amongst those men that attend tour is made apparent upon returning to our normal schedules.  We also become more familiar with the various pieces, so we tend to carry the full Glee Club until they can catch up.  Below, I am going to include some select pictures from tour with captions expounding upon them.

We travelled to the St. Louis Arch, so I took the obligatory Arch photo.

The St. Louis Zoo was one of the best zoos I had ever visited. The best part? It is free to the public! Here’s a very cute Red Panda headed to a sunnier area of his small habitat.

Obligatory Botanical Garden photograph. It really was beautiful.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. A Cathedral is a church out of which a Bishop operates. A Basilica is a title bestowed to a church by the Pope, himself. This Cathedral Basilica was covered with beautiful mosaics.

I hope you enjoyed the photos! Don’t forget that clicking on them will open the full-sized photo in a new window.

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Spring Tour Day 1

Glee Club Spring Tour is always an interesting experience.  Put a bunch of Wabash guys on a bus for hours, especially guys that love to sing, and you have quite the musical journey.  Our musical journey began at around 11:30am this morning.

I arrived at Ball Theater Lobby of the Fine Arts Center at 10:00am (I like to be early, what can I say).  After getting final musical preparations out of the way, things like final music pieces, we disembarked at around 11:30.  We got to Rensselaer, Indiana, about an hour and a half (by bus) from Crawfordsville, and had to turn back.  Someone on our voyage forgot their luggage back on campus.  Because of this, after we ate lunch, we had to head back south and add ~2 hours onto our total trip time.

I guess I can say that this was an interesting beginning to the Spring 2014 Tour.  Tomorrow, we have our call at 7:00am and our first official concert of the tour will be held during a Catholic mass at St. James’ Parish in Highland, Indiana.  It will be fun.

Stay tuned for more blogs concerning the tour!

 

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Ash Wednesday

I remember being in the 4th grade and experiencing my first Ash Wednesday.  I had gone to public school before then, but I started Catholic school my 4th grade year.  I had no idea what was going on with all of the people with dirt on their foreheads.  Never in my approximate ten years of life had I seen that.  I would get awfully familiar with it over the next few years, though.

I went to mass that day with my class and, like any other person attempting to assimilate into the practices of an unfamiliar group, followed everyone in line to receive my ashes and blessing from the priest.  I would later learn about the Ninevites, and how, in penance, they donned sacks and prayed in the dirt (dust, ashes).  This is why some Christians get ashes placed upon their foreheads, to symbolize humility.

These ashes are made from the burnt palms from the last year’s Palm Sunday.  Palm Sunday takes place the week before Easter and represents Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. During Christ’s arrival, the people threw their cloaks and palm fronds in front of him.

Retrieved from: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-exec/

I usually wouldn’t write about something so specific but, because the event is so ubiquitous, I felt it justifiable.  I was not aware of the statistical breakdown of religions in the world until very recently, after beginning to look into it.  Christians comprise 2.2 billion (32%) of the world’s population, 1.2 billion of those Christians being Catholic (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-21443313).  While it is not only Catholics that celebrate Ash Wednesday, and the Lenten season, the overwhelming majority are Catholic, thus my generalization.

I hope that everyone had a good Wednesday, whether or not you were celebrating Ash Wednesday!

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Macbeth

I would not say that I am the biggest Shakespeare fan.  I find his work hard to read, from a linguistic standpoint, but I understand and appreciate the importance of the work.  I have seen three Shakespeare performances: Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, and, now, Macbeth: two tragedies and a comedy.  Seems like I need to get a historical performance under my belt.

The amazing set of Macbeth.

Two of the performances that I have seen were “professional?” performances.  I do not say this to undermine the work of the Wabash College Theater Department, I only mean that the performances that I have seen were produced by large theater companies.  As a matter of fact, I believe that Macbeth was just as exciting as the “larger” productions that I have attended.  There are, of course, some limitations to a smaller production, but these are completely nullified by the fabulous work that is made of the set and, of course, the actors.  All of this for the fabulous price of $0.00.

If you have never been to a Wabash Theater performance, I urge you to attend.  They are free to the public, and are fantastic.  There is one left for this season!

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“No Title, Just Wisdom”

Yesterday, Chapel Talk was given by Jean Williams, Honorary Class of 1953.  Her talk was entitled “No Title, Just Wisdom”, and full of wisdom it was.  Mrs. Williams is 95 years old, and is the oldest honorary alumna of Wabash College.  She loves to travel, and has been to 115 countries (that’s a big chunk of ‘em).

Mrs. Williams began her talk by making the chapel roar with laughter.  She said “What can a 95 year old woman say to a group of men in their late teens and early twenties whos current interests include sex, food, passing midterms, sex, where to go on Spring Break, getting a job…and sex”.

Jean Williams came to Wabash in the 1940s with her husband, a visiting zoology professor. She claims that, while her professors didn’t remember her when she went back to her alma mater, when we come back to Wabash, she bets we’ll be remembered by our professors.

She told stories about how Wabash was a bit different back then. It was smaller (smaller!?).  About 500-600 students attended Wabash then, and many were WWII vets. Many of these students were married and lived in Quonset huts on Mud Hollow with their spouses.  Back then, there were no big dormitories, so most independents, and some fraternity brothers, live in private, off-campus housing.

She told us how the buildings have changed in the 50 years that she has been around campus.  Hays Hall didn’t exist in the same fashion and, instead of bein a biology and chemistry building, it was biology and zoology. Detchon Hall was called Yandes, and was the school library.  Hovey Cottage and Forest was not where it is now, but were by the athletic building.  I think that this campus history is fascinating; it shows that this campus is still alive and evolving.

Back then, much socializing was done by fraternity dances.  ”The young, presumably, innocent females were to be chaperoned around the young, presumably, predatory males by the older, presumably, wiser faculty.”  Can you imagine chaperoned, college parties? That would be a gas.  Mrs. Williams told us about how the students taught her new dances called the mashed potato, the Indian, and the fish.  She even demonstrated some of the dance moves for us, you can see the full talk here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv6SWF_mwKM

Mrs. Williams continued by giving us six of her “pearls of wisdom”:

Pearl 1: When, if, you get married, marry someone smart. Smart and plain is better than dumb and pretty. You’ll be much more likely to have smart children, and smart children will bring you much pride…and also scholarships.

Pearl 2: When, if, you have children, give them love and hugs, but don’t give them everything they want. Instill a work ethic in them.

Pearl 3: Provide for your old age. Put money in an IRA.  It may not seem very important now, but it will be as you get older.

Pearl 4: Participate in your community.

Pearl 5: Don’t compare yourself and your life to someone else.  Appreciate what you have, and don’t take it for granted.

Pearl 6: While you’re here [at Wabash], learn everything you can whether it is relevant to your future career or not.  You never know when this seemingly random material will pay off later in life.

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