Thursday, September 23, 2004

Okay, so some people have been yelling at me because I haven't blogged in awhile. Sorry that I actually have a life. Really, there's not all that much to talk about though. All's going good here in the Wheaton bubble. The dance company people are cool... we go to dinner as a company every night after rehearsal. We're already done with two entire dance pieces, one of which is 7 whole minutes long. Our first performance is already coming up on October 23rd... mark those calanders!!! I had to get 2 new types of dance shoes and I ordered them through discountdance. Well, 6 days and $100 later they came in and neither of them were at all what I expected. So... I'm forcing Kim to bring me to a dance supplies store this weekend. She's coming up to visit... it's not like I'm making her drive me all the way from CT, that would be crazinity.

Speaking of crazinity, my life has been a little hectic up here and I don't even know why. I'm constantly on the go. That's such a weird expression. Anyways... between dance, work, classes and such I have very little "free time". It's strange too because my classes are so much easier and I have so much less work than last year. It creeps me out. Why is college easier than high school? I tend to think it's because 3/4 of my classes are basically repeats of what I've already taken in h.s. : calculus (by the way I love my new prof), writing about poetry (basically a review of freedman's mod. poetry), and french (which is approximately the level of my freshman year class in h.s). Maybe that's why I'm having an easy semester, I don't know... But this is like my typical Tuesday, which isn't so different from the rest of my other days really. I get up at 8:00, get ready and go get breakfast. I have work in the admissions office from 9-11 and then class from 11-12:30. Half hour break which I spend in my dorm, simply breathing. Class from 1-2. Lunch immediately after class and then back to the dorm to do a little bit of hw after obsessively checking my wheaton email to see if I have a package that day. Dance from 4-6ish and then dinner right afterwards with all of the dance girls. Shower. Run off to some meeting or group assignment thing or something. At this point, it's 9:30 and I'm exhausted and I do a little bit of work and then go hang out with the people down the hall for a bit. It's a little too crazy of a daily schedule for me.

In other, still Wheaton related, news... two of my roommates are already moving out this weekend. Caitrin and Lisa are heading to another dorm. It's only a matter of time before I get kicked out of the lounge. I wrote the most heartfelt email of my life to the student life lady, begging to be allowed to stay somewhere in Young. Oh man, oh man, I hope it works! This next thing is completely random but I have to share anyways. Wheaton is infested with animals. I have never seen more squirrels, rabbits, bats (yes, I said bats), cats or dogs anywhere before! You can't walk from lower campus to upper without running into, that's literally running into, like 30 squirrels and several rabbits. Wheaton college is being taken over by them, I swear. My own dorm room already has been invaded by a stray dog that decided to walk into our room and almost a skunk too... that's a funny story that I don't feel like sharing. Notice how I don't share the funny stuff?

Kimberly is getting two tickets to see Wicked for her birthday and I am her guest of honor. I am so beyond excited! I'm even going to get to see Idina Menzel in it, because they extended her contract an extra week, so now it includes the date we're going to see the show. For those of you non-wicked fanatics, Idina Menzel is the lead in the show and beyond amazing and if I didn't get to see her in it before she left, my life would not have been complete.

The only reason I had a chance to write this is because my classes and work was cancelled today, for inexplainable reasons that I don't really care about. But, I have to get ready for dance now, so I'll be back in like a month to write. If you're lucky!!! ;)

Friday, September 10, 2004

Nothing funny about this blog... just sharing a new story on my adventures at Wheaton. The theme of this lil blog is about my Wheaton Dance Company audition. First, I'll give you the pre-audition info... maybe you'll be as creeped out as I was. Well... creeped out isn't the right phrase, but I don't want to spend time actually figuring out what it is I'm trying to say, so for lack of better phrases that are currently circulating in my head... creeped out works just fine.

So... I went to talk to the director of the dance company a few days before the audition. A woman by the name of Cheryl Mrozowski. I walked into her office as she was cleaning it, but she gladly invited me in. She asked the usual questions... how long I've been dancing, what styles I do etc. I even prepared for the "what specific techniques have you learned?" question by going online (specifically google with 'dance techniques choreographer' typed into the search engine) and refreshing my memory just minutes before I left for her office. It's a good thing too because the question was asked and I could easily roll Cecchetti, Humphrey-Weidman, Horton etc. off my tongue as if I actually knew those were the techniques I've studied in the past. Anyways, then she told me that last year there were only like 6 girls in the company and she didn't take anyone new in last year because everyone who auditioned wasn't up to par with what level she wanted the company to be at. (hopefully not visible) Nervousness took over me. She made it sound as if I had no chance of getting in. Then she asked if I had sent in a dance video with my application. When I said no she told me "well, that's a good thing because the ones I received weren't very good at all" while smiling as if to say I still had a slight chance. Finally she asked the dreaded question.... Do I consider myself an advanced dancer? You see, there is really no way to correctly answer that question. You may be advanced where you come from, but then take a class at Broadway Dance Center and make a fool of yourself. There are always people better than you and people worse than you. And if you say yes then they'll think you're overly confident and cocky, but if you say no then they'll think you're awful. My response? "Well... I would say I'm a good dancer, yes". Was that a safe response? I still am not sure...

Basically, I walked out of her office feeling like this was going to be incredibly competitive and I'd be at this audition with those freakish people who can do 6 turns and switch leaps as easily as they can rattle off the alphabet. I thought I had no chance. Skipping ahead a few days, my nervousness all the while increasing, and the audition day arrives. The biggest thing on my mind at this point is whether or not I'll have to wear shoes at the audition. I know it sounds like a crazy thought, considering most people are nervous about other aspects... but I'm used to the barefoot ways of Lee Lund. I don't like dancing in shoes. Anyways, so I arrive in the dance studio and there are like 30 girls there or something like that. I pick out my number and sit down to stretch while doing my favorite thing at an audition, observing others. It was hard to tell at this point if the other girls would be good dancers or not. It's hard to tell just by appearance, although some looked more like dancers than others, and believe it or not, very few people were stretching, so I couldn't tell if they were overly flexible or anything. So, we start the warmup, barefoot might I add, and it was pretty straight forward. Then, after putting on shoes (grrrr) we do a really simple, basic across the floor thing consisting of kicks, pas de bourrees, and turns. I was relieved after this exercise. A lot of the people auditioning had no technique whatsoever. I felt like I actually had a chance. Next, we did a significantly more difficult, upbeat and stylistic across the floor thing and finally a lyrical type of jazz combination. The girls who were in the company last year were all really good dancers, very strong. But most of the people auditioning weren't up to their level. Three hours later, the audition was over and I felt really good. Not only did I feel like I actually had a shot at getting in, but I thoroughly enjoyed the audition. It felt more like a normal dance class to me than an audition and it felt soooo good to dance again. The postings would go up that night about the first cut.

Cutting to the chase here, I made it past the first cut. The next step in the audition process was a ballet class. The class was taught in a different style from what I'm used to and the petit allegro had steps in it that I've literally never seen before. Luckily, the director was talking to the dance captain while only occasionally glancing up when I had to do the petit allegro. It was scary because I wasn't used to the particular style of ballet and we had to do alot of the class only 2 people at a time, meaning that if the other person didn't know what was going on then you had no one to help you out. But in general, the class wasn't as intense as Debi's ballet. I missed that intensity. I was actually hoping for some plea releves, but I didn't even get so much as a "hold that arabesque for another 8". Disappointing. I was still sore the next day however. I couldn't tell after the ballet class if I was going to get in or not. There were only 12 people at the ballet class, including the girls who were in the company last year, and everyone seemed to be on a similar level. Cutting to the second chase, I got in. Woohoo! I was so excited. There are only 8 girls in the company, and I think I'm the only new person, and then there are four understudies. We have rehearsals 5 days a week for 2 hours each day. I can't wait until it all begins. I am soooooo happy about it! I was going to start this blog by saying "Nothing funny about this blog... just sharing my excitement" but then I realized that it would be a spoiler. So I changed it to create a sense of anticipation. I hope you appreciate my careful editing. I can't think of a clever way to end this, and again, I don't feel like racking my brain, so this is how it's ending.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Okay, so I've been up at school for a little over a week now... actually, it's closer to a little under a week and a half if you want to be accurate here... and I'm finally starting to adjust. You may laugh at that finally because I've only been here for 10 days and that's hardly an amount of time that would call for a "finally".... but believe me, it felt like a finally to me! Everyone actually is saying that it feels like we've been here for a month. But then it's like... it's only been 10 days!!!! It just doesn't seem possible. My sense of time is all distorted. I've been incredibly busy during the time I've been here, and almost never in my dorm... so now that I have a moment to actually breathe (even though it's past midnight and I have classes tomorrow) I finally have an opportunity to blog. I hope you're pleased.

The turning point for me was the day I broke down. You see, I was crying everyday since I got here because I wasn't happy. But I'd only cry at night, so it was well hidden from others. Well, one day I couldn't postpone it until the 10 p.m. or later hours and I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't want to be in my room with my three roommates. Not that I don't like them, but I don't particularly enjoy crying in front of people... especially because people means more than one person. So... I aimlessly went wandering down the hall, not knowing exactly where I was headed. I knew that I had to talk to someone, but I didn't really know or trust anyone yet. Well... this girl Stephanie was in her room by herself with her door wide open. At this point, she seemed nice from what I've seen of her.... so, cutting to the chase here.... I invited myself in. After like 2 seconds, well.... maybe 11, she realized something was wrong. I started crying again and I talked to her for a good amount of time, telling her what was on my mind and stuff I've gone through. She was really nice and helpful. I can't tell you how much better I felt afterwards. It comforted me just knowing that someone else on campus knew about my past and how I was feeling about adjusting to college. She started inviting me places, whenever she was going out... which I still feel kind of weird about... like it's just a sympathy thing or something. But, regardless of that... like I said, talking to her made me feel a whole lot better and more confident again. And now I have a good group of friends! Finally!!!!!

So... I have to tell you about my friends now. They're six of us that hang out together and we're all on the same floor of the same dorm, Young 1st. I'll start with Stephanie since I've already introduced you to her. Stephanie is from Wisconsin... very outgoing, funny, sassy, and down to earth. She is just a lot of fun to be around and has the funniest laugh (and pinkie fingers) ever. I'm very relaxed and happy when around Stephanie. Next there's Genevieve, or Genna. She's from D.C. and she has so much energy! She has a really cool, sophisticated, unique fashion sense that no one else can pull off. Genna is very much so into politics and she's very interesting to talk to. She's very fun and can always make you smile just because of her energy and personality. Hmm... this is starting to feel like I'm writing personal ads for them or something. Anyways... continuing.... Sarah is from Maine and she is very relaxed and down to earth. She's very real and I don't know why but to me she gives off a sort of earthy vibe. She's in my french class and is cool to hang out with. She's very nice, just like the rest of them! I'll go with Liz next... might as well stay in the same gender for now... it's funny because Liz is the one I knew the least three days ago, but now she's one of the one's I know the most. She is very fun, and I'd say probably the closest in personality to my "typical friends" from back home. We got a caricature done together today at the bbq outside my dorm. She's very friendly and genuine. Last, but certainly not least, is Reid. Reid is amazing. He is probably the single most genuinely friendly, sincere gentleman that exists in the world. We all sort of have an obsession with Reid. He just makes you smile. He is hilarious as well, without even trying. Everything he says cracks us up... even if it's not funny... just his facial expressions and tone are hilarious. Reid is just great. I'm very happy with the group of friend's I've made here so far.

Already, I've gone into both Providence and Boston, written my first paper, been called about three job offerings, been hit on by a drunk senior, spent an entire 10 hours straight in the library, and gone out every night only to get in well past 1:00... well, every night! I'm already feeling like a college student! Providence and Boston were sooooo much fun, although I must say that nothing compares to NYC. In Providence we went to dinner and a movie for an entire $5 total. A-mazing! We ate at Fire and Ice which is this really cool stirfry place. It's set up like a buffet with all sorts of vegetables, fruits, pastas, sauces and meats and you pick out what you want, bring it to this HUGE center of the room, circular grill thing and they cook it for you right there. It has an amazing atmosphere too. I loved it! Then, the six of us went to see Wicker Park which was really good. It was hysterical... the entire audience got soooo into this movie. We were majorly LLOLing, booing, clapping... the works. It was just so good. The filmography in and of itself was amazing, so it was one of those movies where even if you didn't like the story line, you could appreciate the artistic aspect of it. The chronology was really confusing, but we sorted it out in a chat after the movie. We walked to the Cheesecake Factory for dessert but there was like an hour wait. So instead we went into this classy, elegant, mucho expensive restaurant. It was closed. But, the guy let us in anyways. Oh, the perks of being a college female. The desserts were unbelievable! Here we were in our jeans and t-shirts, laughing obnoxiously loud, in this highclass "fine dining" type of restaurant where the desserts were $10 each for things so tiny that you could finish the entire thing in under 20 seconds, which Genna and Liz actually pulled off.... literally.... having a great time. We even got the waiter to take a picture of us, as if we weren't already annoying him enough. College students.... geez!

Today we went into Boston, even though we all have papers due tomorrow that are sitting in our rooms, quite unfinished. It was my first real trip into Boston. It is very clean and very visually pleasing. It actually felt more like a New Haven to me though than a New York, based on size and offerings and such. We walked up and down Newbury Street, going into the occasional store, but only actually buying anything at CVS. We needed to stock our rooms with food to escape the "food" of Chase dining hall which became boring all too quickly. We got dinner at this Vietnamese place. This was my first encounter with Vietnamese food. I now know that I love summer rolls. I don't even know what they are, but they were soooooo good. I didn't think I would like them because I hate eggrolls, but these were yummy. I got some chicken noodle soup thing which was also good, except it had onions in it and it was sometimes hard to decipher the noodles from the strands of onion. Luckily, I only gagged once and was mostly able to avoid the onion. I must say however, that the most enjoyable part of the trip... if you can say enjoyable... was driving up there and driving back. Boston is really only a 40 minute drive from campus. However, with Reid driving and Stephanie giving him directions while stroking his hair and teasing him, it took us roughly an hour and a half to get up there. We got a little lost. We kind of drove by our exit once. Oh well, no problem... there's an alternate route that would be shorter than turning around. The only problem is that we drove by that exit too. Reid had a little trouble concentrating on his driving. Needless to say, we got there eventually... and in one piece. There were a few times I didn't think we were going to make it. First of all, we drove the entire way up there with the gas on E, so we were certain that we would lose gas in the middle of the highway and get crushed from behind by some unassuming, speeding vehicle. Also, Reid's car doesn't have working signals. This doesn't make it easy when driving in a city, especially when that city is Boston. There were a few times though that we had to clutch the seats or the side door or whatever we could grab onto so that we didn't go flying all around the car. I swear to you, Reid made one U-Turn very, very quickly and the tires on one side of the car came off of the ground. I thought we were done for. To this moment, I am shocked that the car did not flip over. It's not that Reid's a reckless driver. He was more frightened than any of us were. It's just that his car is old, and stick shift, with uncertain acceleration and brakes... sometimes they hardly worked, and sometimes they worked way too well. It was an adventure, and we laughed in the face of death. I spent a good 110% of my time in that car either laughing or screaming, or both simultaneously. I like my Young 1sters!

P.S. Don't worry Kimberly, they're not as amusing as you and I'm not as weird with them.