I have a distinct memory of being five years old, sitting in the back of my mom’s car, and stubbornly looking out the window of the car, watching the raindrops form on the window and the cows sulk in the fields. My mom had just put Tom Petty’s album Wildflowers in our CD player for what I considered the umpteenth time and I desperately wanted to listen to the Steve Miller Band, because of their funky audio techniques and “made up words.” (To be fair, it took years for me to register that “The Joker” was the song I wanted to hear, or even that the Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits was the CD I was talking about…) But I was confident and stubborn and convinced Tom Petty was the worst artist of all time.
I retold this story a few weeks ago, sitting in the Cellar with a group of friends late on a Friday night. I was wearing an old Tom Petty shirt and it came to light that he was my favorite artist. I received a few smiles and nods and one, “I’m so proud of her, I can’t believe Tom Petty is her favorite artist.”
To which I followed up, “Yeah, and I had a Rod Stewart phase in sixth grade.” Which, to be fair, brought more confused looks than anything else.
But sometime in between kindergarten and my “Rod Steward phase” my opinion on Tom Petty shifted. Somehow I knew all of the words to every song and instead of being irked when my mom put in Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits album, I would loudly sing along and roll down the windows.
I burned CD’s of my favorite songs and convinced my mom to go his concert the summer before my freshman year here. Hunted down a watercolor painting on Etsy with the phrase, “You belong among the wildflowers” as a homework break during my freshman year, for a Christmas present for my mother.
And Wildflowers, that album five year old me was convinced I’d hate forever, is still the album I pull up on my phone, whenever I’m having a bad day. There’s something about Wildflowers and the sun peaking through a rainy day on Commencement Walk that can’t help but make me feel better. For that, I’m grateful.
Without a doubt, this has been my most stressful semester of college. Between midterms and just everything, finding a balance between work and relaxation has been a difficult challenge. Although there is a current lull in stress, post-Spring Break, we’re slowly nearing the end of the semester (!!!) and, as a result, I wanted to share a few of the ways I destress.
Craft.I’m a person who is constantly fidgeting with my hair or with jewelry or with anything, really. I re-took up knitting and I find the constant rhythm of moving the needles is an easy way to relax.
Watch a funny TV show. Throughout the course of the semester I’ve made it through a purposefully unmentioned number of episodes of The Office. It’s nice to mindless watch something and laugh at the antics of Dwight and Jim. As an added bonus, I can knit while watching the show.If you don’t have time to watch an entire episode of a television show, here’s a short clip from an interview with Nick Offerman. Between 6:58 and 7:00 you can see Nick Offerman realize that the interviewer didn’t catch the joke.
Exercise. Now that it’s slowly starting to get sunny again, taking a walk around Tacoma is a great way to reduce stress. Although Tacoma is beautiful in the fall, I happen to think that Tacoma in the spring and early summer is slightly better. I also recommend yoga. You can attend one of yoga clubs weekly meetings. If the times don’t fit into your schedule, here’s a youtube channel that you can watch and follow along to: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene.
Somehow I didn’t change the channel before the next show began to play. Somehow Emily didn’t either. My previous knowledge of The Bachelor extends only to the excerpts on the cover of the drama-centric magazines that are on display in the queue at the grocery store. But that night Emily and I got caught in the show, both of us amused by the antics of the participants. I sent her a text in all caps asking, “WHO EVEN IS CORINNE” and I laughed so hard my stomach hurt.
On the first day back of classes, we sat side by side in the back row of our Economics of Online Dating class. We were put in small groups and read articles about different forms of online dating — I read up on the Japanese speed dating trend of wearing surgical masks and Emily discussed match.com’s pop-up store. She turned to me near the end of class, “We need to watch the next episode of The Bachelor.”
The professor heard her and said, “Yes. We should talk about that in class on Thursday.”
Under the guise of watching it for class, we gathered with Nathan and Thomas to watch the episode. We refrained from having high expectations and were all impressed. Nathan fell off the couch from laughing and we were all jealous of the amount of time Corinne spent napping.
In class on Thursday I explained the premise of the show and used my knowledge of the show to create my own model of Nick’s choices.
I then computed the expected utility of each activity to determine who Nick should spend more time with. The math is as follows:
The expected utility of spending time with Corinne:
EU = (.01)(3000) + (.25)(-25) + (.74)[(.30)(60) + (.40)(40) + (.30)(30)] EU = 55.57
The expected utility of spending time alone: EU = -10
The expected utility of spending time with another girl in the house: EU = (.45)[(.13)(-150) + (.79)(70) + (.08)(3000)] + (.30)[(.95)(-10) + (.05)(-5)] + (.15)[(.55)(-30) + (.45)(20)] EU = 120.06
The model makes a specific set of assumptions, specifically that Nick’s personal motives within the show are to find a spouse and not someone who he will have a short romantic relationship with. Each possible outcome has been determined by previous occasions on the show (i.e., during one episode, Corinne presented Nick with a bouncy castle, so they could spend time in it together). Actions were given a positive utility if Nick appeared to enjoy them and a negative utility if Nick seemed uncomfortable in the situation. Corinne’s nature makes her a less probable future spouse; however, Nick will gain the same amount of utility from falling in love with her as he would from falling in love with anyone else in the house. To optimize his individual choice and increase his chance of falling in love, Nick should spend time with girls other than Corinne.
Given that the expected utility of spending time with Corinne is 55.57, the expected utility of spending time alone is -10, and the expected utility of spending time with another girl in the house is 120.06, Nick will gain the most utility from spending time with girls other than Corinne.
In my research for the show I found that the bachelor makes upward of $100,000 per season; however, none of the contestants are paid. In fact, some women spend upwards of $40,000 on their wardrobe for the show, which makes the entire ordeal that much more fascinating. Theoretically, for some women, spending thousands of dollars and finding a spouse within the span of a few months is a positive balance of cost and benefit.
Emily and I have managed to work in Bachelor references in every unit our Economics of Online Dating class has covered so far. In our last discussion, which was on cheap talk, Emily brought up the fact that contestants on the show have been telling Nick exactly what he wants to hear, for fear of being eliminated. The video below is reenactment of an example of a drunk contestant attempting to connect with Nick. Her attempts, as you will see, were rather peculiar (adding to the “,, ???” factor of the show) and immediately following this conversation she was sent home.
Although a good portion of The Bachelor is centered around cheap talk and putting your best self-forward, there are specific opportunity costs which validate some of the cheap talk.
From the perspective of the females on the show: almost every one of them has stated during the show, “Do you think I would go through this if I wasn’t here for the right reasons?” Combined with their lack of funding for participating in the show, contestants literally pause their life in an attempt to find “the one.”
From the perspective of the bachelor: approximately once an episode, the rose ceremony occurs. Every girl Nick hands a rose to stays on the show and the few he doesn’t hand a rose to are eliminated. There is an opportunity cost to giving a girl a rose and it reinforces the idea that she might be “the one.” At least she is more likely to be “the one” than the girl who was just sent home.
We’ve watched the show every week and have mostly dropped the pretense of watching it for class. There’s something therapeutic about watching a stupid television show with friends and getting caught up in the drama — you don’t need to think while watching the episode and everyone groans at the same moments and you’re all there watching it together.
August 2015 I sat upstairs in the sub while Chili took a panorama picture of our group and Maddy wrote a semi-joking review of Eventi in the app store that read: “It hasn’t finished downloading but it will be the best app I have ever downloaded. Now I don’t need to stop my trudge down the stairs to stare at tiny print on posters. Instead I can simply look on this app. Thank god, for the Chillster.”
Before this, I knew Eventi as “this thing” Chili was working on with “this guy” named Banji. Over the course of the semester, my knowledge of Eventi and its developers would dramatically increase. I spent hours next to Banji as he made mock posters and worked on android development and I watched as Eventi morphed from a rough idea to a concrete application Puget Sound desperately needed.
Posters are one of the first things visiting students notice about our campus. A girl in one of my classes last semester claimed they were part of the reason Puget Sound immediately felt like a home. Yet, posters come with side effects. After being surveyed, many liberal arts schools in the Pacific Northwest acknowledged they face extreme poster blindness when advertising events. Students don’t see individual events, instead they see a wall littered with posters.
For each event, it is recommended that 100 posters be printed. With dozens of advertised events occurring every week, poster printing quickly multiples. It’s estimated that over 14,500 posters are printed every semester. For a campus proudly claiming “Loggers Live Green,” it seems like we have developed a habit of unsustainable advertising.
Eventi offers a simple and manageable solution. Instead of wasting paper and club budget money via poster advertisements, clubs and departments are now able to upload their event poster and information to Eventi. Users are able to view posters by day or by category (i.e., Math & Computer Science Lectures or Athletics). Once an interesting event is found, a user can choose to favorite it and add a notification before the event occurs.
Figuring out what events to attend and how to find event information has been simplified and made functional by Eventi and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Early last Spring, I heard about the Summer Immersion Internship Program (SIIP). It was new program being offered by the Experiential Learning Program and I was bored one afternoon and I decided to look into it. There are perks to the program: you work 30 hours a week, for ten weeks, at a non-profit organization in the greater Tacoma area. There is a $3,000 stipend for the program and on-campus housing. As someone potentially interested in non-profits as a future career, I was intrigued. I scrolled through the different internships offered and a few stood out: Pierce County Chamber, the Museum of Glass, and the Tacoma Historical Society. I ended up attending the mandatory information session, applying, and receiving an internship at the Museum of Glass.
Each week, I worked Monday through Thursday, and then attended the SIIP meeting on Friday’s at 12PM. The Friday classes helped guide the internship process, each intern would talk about what happened during their week and then a guest speaker would come in and cover a workplace issue (i.e., office politics, diversity, etc.). Internships can be challenging experiences and having a network of people who are having a similar experience is incredibly valuable. Moreover, I took advantage of the on-campus housing and was able to develop friendships with my housemates.
Another program specific aspect was the mentorship portion. Each intern was given an alumni from UPS as a mentor and was encouraged to meet with them throughout the program. My mentor, Missy, graduated in the late-2000’s and currently works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for The Geneva Foundation. Missy was an amazing mentor and an amazing person and meeting her, finding out about different jobs in non-profits, was an incredibly valuable part of the internship program.
I will be the first to admit that my internship wasn’t perfect. This is not the fault of the Museum of Glass, nor is it my fault. Some things just are. But even when I was making mistakes and spending hours researching different things,* I enjoyed the internship because of the people I worked with. The first week of my internship, my boss was out of town visiting family, and I grew close to the grant writer, Becky Downey, who was incredibly sweet and made sure I always had something to do. Throughout the rest of my internship, we would talk about the British sitcom Doc Martin and where she and her husband went out to dinner the previous night. My first day there the Executive Director invited me into her office to ask me about my interests and to see if there was anything the Museum could do enhance my experience. Throughout my internship, my boss allowed me to shift my tasks to things that interested me more (i.e., no longer procuring items for Red Hot Auction & Gala and instead managing the online event program, creating invitations for smaller events, and working with the graphic designer to create the desired Red Hot invitation aesthetic).
My internship was generically focused on Special Events; however, the primary focus was Red Hot Auction and Gala, which takes place every September and is the Museum’s largest fundraiser. I mainly assisted in the procurement of items and other small tasks, which shifted as my internship continued.
This is a photo I took of Lino Tagliapietra working in the Hot Shop during the final week of my internship. One morning I took a break from the hectic events world and sat and admired Lino’s work.
Having an internship and the opportunity to stay in Tacoma over the summer was an amazing experience. I know interns are crowned as “that one person who makes the coffee run” but that was the antithesis of my experience, the antithesis of the experience of my peers. I didn’t always have a great time, but there was something incredibly reassuring about knowing I wasn’t alone.
Applications for the Summer Immersion Internship Program are coming up soon in 2017. Here are some important dates to know:
Mandatory Information Sessions:
Tuesday, January 31, 12PM
Wednesday, February 1, 4PM
Thursday, February 2, 4PM
Application Deadline: Monday, February 20, 8AM
More details can be found on the CES website, linked here. Details on specific internships offered can be found here.
If you have any questions about my experience with the application process or the program, feel free to email me at: email@example.com.
*I once spent multiple hours researching where the Museum could rent a floating champagne dress in the greater-Seattle area for the Red Hot Auction & Gala
This was the result of my search. The dress was a hit at the auction.
When I was a junior in high school I read “A Small, Good Thing” by Raymond Carver. I won’t spoil the ending, as it is a story that I definitely recommend you read; however, I will tell you this: no matter what the tragedy, there are always small, good things.
Here are some of my favorites —
Tossing stones into the Sound. During the first week of school I went on an impromptu Target run that turned into an impromptu stop at Black Bear and subsequent trip down to the water. It was the first time I’d been there since the fourth of July, when it was populated by half of Tacoma, dressed in red, white, and blue. It was calmer this time, more peaceful. My housemate and I sat on the rocks, pushed up by the water. He judged me for my pistachio frozen yogurt and we both threw rocks into the water and then sat and stared at the sky until the stars came out. I’ve been back to the water a few times since then: once, late at night, after I finished my homework, but still had residual stress; during the Chinese Moon Festival, where I sat by the water with my friend, Andy, and ate noodles; on my birthday, wherein I happened to run into my friend, Gabe, who had walked down to the water on his own accord; and this past week, when Andy and I ate chicken noodle soup and pointed out seals in the water. The beautiful thing about the water is that even though it’s always changing, it still stays the same.
Fresh flowers. Throughout my childhood, my mom would buy me flowers on my birthday. (She would occasionally admit that they were half for her, “I did do all of the work, you know.”) Since I’ve been in college, receiving flowers on my birthday has been limited to her buying herself flowers and telling me that I should also buy flowers. (Despite liking flowers, I’m awful at actually going about purchasing them.) This year, on the Friday before my birthday, I received a package notification. Assuming it was some scarves that I asked my mom to send me, I picked up the package right before a group project meeting with a professor. No, instead, the package was a bouquet of roses. They were beautiful and I was amusingly stuck carrying them around for the next five hours.
Cloudy days and sunshine. Autumn skies have a tendency to cast a gray glow on everything, which is beautiful in its own right, but can occasionally appear vaguely dreary. In the Pacific Northwest, where rainy days outnumber blue skies, getting a rare bit of sunshine within a cloudy day is comforting. It’s a small and necessary reminder that the sun is there, even when you can’t see it.
Warm chocolate chip cookies. I made Banji eat a warm cookie from one of the first chocolate chip cookie batches I made this semester. He ate it and sounded a bit in awe, “I don’t think I’ve ever had a homemade chocolate chip cookie before.” Each time the cookies are made, they’re gone within 24 hours. They disappear as a joint effort between my friends and housemates. There is a comfort in baking, it’s a way to be productive without thinking. Instead of worrying about something, I can focus on measuring and stirring and singing along to the music that is playing in the background. (My current favorite baking playlist is this one.)
Fuzzy socks. As someone who is almost constantly cold, I’m constantly wearing warm fuzzy socks. Each year, around Christmas, I buy a few pairs and wear them instead of slippers whenever I’m relaxing. I have a few variations from the Christmas themed socks, including a pair of giraffe toe socks. I’ve discovered that it’s hard to feel upset when you’re wearing fun socks.
Movies you watched on repeat when you were younger. When I was about five years old my grandma gave me a VHS tape of the movie Meet Me In St. Louis. I fell in love with 1940’s Judy Garland and watched the movie more times than I can count. I’d embarrassingly sing along to the title track and then listen in silence as Judy Garland’s character sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to six year old Tootie. Rewatching the movie brings me back to how I felt when I was seven years old and dancing around my living room and singing along. When I was fourteen and my friends and I watched it and laughed about how Warren Sheffield barged into the house, pointed at Rose, and said, “I love you.”
I connect with Tootie on so many levels.
Receiving a handwritten letter. I am notoriously terrible at replying to letters. But I love receiving them. My two best friends, Emily and Maddy, are both currently studying abroad, in Dublin and Edinburgh, respectively. I talk to them both on a regular basis, via snapchat, email, and text, but there’s something heart-warming about receiving a letter from them. They met up a few weeks ago and wrote a post-card together. I got it on my birthday and seeing their handwriting made it feel like they were here again. Made me miss them less.
Homemade dinner. Wednesday night, Andy decided to make spaghetti. Instead of going the typical route and making the dish with spaghetti noodles (which he had), he instead used elbow noodles, penne, and jumbo shell pasta. The dish was delicious and looked like a hilarious. After discovering macaroni noodles inside the jumbo shells, we both decided that next time, it’d be a good idea to just stick to one noodle type.
A steaming hot cup of tea. Every morning, without fail, I have a cup of English breakfast tea. It’s a routine I’ve fallen into, a routine I appreciate. The familiarity of it is calming, the taste refreshing. And I love it.
“Yes, yes, I know the phone thing, but washing machines.”
The main difference, we decided, was the method in which the devices were used. You lift a phone up to your face, but you don’t life a washing machine up to your face. Thomas smiled, “I bet the world’s strongest man could lift up a washing machine.”
I told him that the world’s second and third strongest men could lift up the washing machine. He said that was besides the point and I looped back to the fact that the 127th and 128th strongest men in the world could lift up a washing machine.
“In fact,” I said, “the world’s strongest man could probably lift up two washing machines.” We played off of each other until we came to a scenario that we most assuredly disagreed on. Imagine that the world’s strongest man was standing in between two washing machines. Each machine has wet clothes in it — the loads had been approximately 75% full, a mixture of random clothes, and had finished the cycle within the last five minutes. If the world’s strongest man were to stick each arm through the open door and curl his arms (and the washing machines) upward, so the loading area was facing directly downwards, would some of the clothes fall out?
In our opposite opinions, we both believed we were right. I argued that at least a sock would fall out and Thomas failed to convince me that the clothes would be stuck to the side. Nathan looked up once with a confused expression on his face, “What are you guys talking about?”
We continued to bicker until I left for work and Nathan left for lab. It probably would’ve ended there, had Nathan not gotten involved, but with a goodbye of, “Thomas, you’re an idiot,” he ensured that we would both attempt to find people to agree with us.
Most people came up with a split second answer. In fact, Chili was one of the only people who took the question seriously, saying: “Depends on whether or not the washers ran a spin cycle or not… A ‘full’ load of dry clothing is brought down to half of that after getting compressed in a spin cycle, so if the washers did have this cycle then there would be more than enough room for clothes to fall out though the center!”
The current statistics rest at this — Will fall: 8 Won’t fall: 2 There’s a 50/50 chance: 1 “You and Thomas are both ridiculous, this isn’t important at all.”: 2
Sitting on the stones outside the newly crowned Thomas Hall, Banji looked confused as I held up my phone, opened up the camera app, pressed record video, and began prattling off bits and pieces of the day. He glanced between me and the screen and added on details to my recollections. We informed the camera that Maya had wanted to buy four boxes of hot pockets (Banji took them out of her cart because, “She’ll die in a month of hot pocket consumption.”); about the death of Gabe’s phone and his Uber trip to Safeway for a last-minute temporary-replacement burner phone; and our failures in super gluing a car phone mount via a confusing messed up jar lid and Pringles can connection. Immediately after finishing the video, I sent it to Emily.
Long distance seems increasingly relevant in college. The beginning of each semester is met with hugs and how are you??? and I missed you and catching up on the peaks of the summer and the mundane everyday. The beginning of my sophomore year was met with friends moving into our Trimble suite all at once and immediate inside jokes and snapchats of hands up in the air captioned “REUNITED.” Junior year, in a way, has begun with a rockier start. Everyone is everywhere, busy around campus, and the best friends I’ve made at college are packing their suitcases to begin their respective semesters abroad.
There are gaps that need to be filled and the distance during those months can seem expansive. I’ve gotten in the habit of texting Emily every morning, sending her videos throughout the day, recapping everything that has happened, asking stupid questions, and letting the conversation ramble (a text a sent her last week: “tell me all of the hip 1996 baby names”).
While there’s still how are you and I miss you. It’s an I miss you and I wish you were here but it’s okay that you’re not and I want you to have a good time and tell me everything. It’s a tell me everything right as it’s happening and on a daily basis and then you not being here isn’t as sad. Conversations aren’t focused on I miss you but on stories of, “We’re in a restaurant right now and I see this guy I went to middle school with and I’m showing my mom photos of him on Instagram. She wanted to zoom in, so she double tapped it, and she just liked the photo.”
The videos fill the gaps of the mundane every day and insert the humor of bad sunburn lines and listening to the Shrek soundtrack; they are I miss you butit’s going to be okay.
When I was growing up, music came to me in two different forms: albums my mother bought and whatever was playing on the radio. Coming into college this presented a problem. I was no longer around the CD my mom was loving at the moment (i.e., no more listening to FUN.’s album for two months straight) and I didn’t have a car so no more radio. Now, music has come to me from a variety of sources: my friends, Spotify, Pandora, old music from my iTunes that resurfaces every once and awhile. It would be impossible for me to name every song I’ve listened to this past semester, but these are the ones that have stuck with me the most. I’ve written descriptions of why each song is listed and included a Spotify playlist with all of them on it at the end. Hope you enjoy!
Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel I cannot tell you how many snapchats I have sent or received that just have the phrase, “Hello, darkness my old friend.”
Let’s Get Drunk and Get it On by Old 97’s The main reason I love this song is for the line, “You’ve got a gorgeous face, thought it’s a little odd.” Which I find to be so endearing and I’m not quite sure why. I’ve known the song “Question” by this band for years, thanks to my cousin, Aron. Earlier this semester I decided to find more songs by the band and came across this beauty.
Ultralight Beam by Kanye West Basically all of TLOP. Probably my most productive day of spring break was the day that I individually downloaded every song off of the album and put them all on my phone. I found myself mainly listening to: Ultralight Beam; Father Stretch My Hands Pt.1; Pt.1; Famous; and I Love Kanye. Out of those, Ultralight Beam was played and sang the most. There was a solid few weeks wherein someone would ask what song to play and at least one person ask for Ultralight Beam.
Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots I am all of the stressed. All of the time.
Build Me Up Buttercup by the Foundations This is one of those songs I’ve always known, but found myself playing a lot this year. It’s made itself into my text messages and I have this distant memory of it coming up on shuffle as I was driving to the library over Christmas break. When I think of myself listening to this song, there is an image of driving over the Samoa bridge and seeing all of Eureka home and remembering listening to it back in Tacoma.
Copacabana by Barry Manilow This is the go-to song whenever we need a study break dance party. I cannot tell you how many times we listened to it. There was one specific time, when Maddy, Emily, and I were in Portland and all of the windows were rolled down and the wind was blowing my hair in my face and we were all singing along as loud as we possibly could.
This Is Gospel (Piano Version) by Panic! At the Disco I still think this song is sad, but it was stuck in my head for the majority of October. I’d recommend the piano version over the original, as the voice strikes harder without an abundance of background music. I played it for Maddy last week, as we were studying for finals, and she was over the moon, because she loves finals. The piano version can only be found on YouTube, with a link for it here.
Two of Us on the Run by Lucius
Winners by Trampled By Turtles
Don’t Ask Me Why by the Great Caesar All three of these songs showed up on my Spotify Discovery Weekly and they stuck with me. There’s something about the way the voices, I don’t know. I actually went out of my way to purchase them both on iTunes (a rare feat for me).
I Took a Pill in Ibiza by Mike Posner This song is me awkwardly dancing alone in my room. Also, I’m a huge fan of the line, “My name’s a reminder of a pop song people forgot,” because I haven’t listened to “Cooler Than Me” (or thought about it) in years.
You Got Lucky by Tom Petty All of freshman year, every time Claire heard me listen to music she asked me if it was Tom Petty. Most of the time it wasn’t. My point is: Tom Petty is one of those artist that I grew up listening to and still love. This song came up on shuffle quite a bit and one night Thomas sang it in this funny voice and it stuck with me.
Django by Luis Bacalov I can’t read the title without dramatically internally singing DJANGO. I also imagine Maddy throwing her head back and rocking back and forth as the song plays. Another song along the same line as this, which was played a fair amount is “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” by Gene Pitney
Taj Mahal by Jorge Ben Jor This is a bit of a throwback, I read Rod Stewart’s autobiography a few years ago and last year I was talking about it with Emily. There is this ridiculously arrogant song called, “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and all proceeds of the song are donated to the United Nation’s Children’s Fund after Jorge Ben Jor argued (very rightfully) that Stewart’s song was strikingly similar to his “Taj Mahal.”
A Long Time Ago by Jim Croce There was a specific night when I stayed up in the sub until 4AM and this song was stuck in my head and I couldn’t get it out. I think it had something to do with the lines, “We spend the whole night talking / you said you’d like to see the sun rise / but in the gold of morning / was nothing that I had not seen in your eyes.”
Mother We Share by CHVRCHES I listened to this song on repeat first semester. Thanks, Spotify.
The Weight by The Band I had this whole drawn out conversation with Nick one morning over breakfast, wherein I was trying to convince him that this entire song was about sex. We both knew it wasn’t, but I managed to thoroughly convince our mutual friend that it was.
Magnets by Disclosure feat. Lorde The last few times I’ve been with Emily late at night, as we’re driving around Tacoma, this song as played. It reminds me of that feeling of being both restless and content.
Rich Girl by Hall & Oates There’s a video of me and Maddy singing this song into candy canes as we walked over to GPhi one night right before Christmas Break. I just remember the way the streetlight shone as we spun through the parking lot.
Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears Claire: “Do you mind if I play a song?” 9/10 times it was this.
Hotline Bling by Drake As soon as it came out, Nick and I began singing it back and forth to each other. I know it was probably overplayed, but every time I hear it I think of him standing in the suite and reaching out to me while singing it. Most of the time I think of him doing it while wearing Emily’s red heels (that I never actually saw him in, but have seen the Polaroids of him in them on Casino Night).
Feels Like Home by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris During the second semester I fell back into love with the album Trio II. When I was younger, my mom would play it on the way to school and I never paid that much attention to it. I had the song “High Sierra” stuck in my head one day, though, and found myself only listening to this album. Particularly because I found it was good music to study to.
Playing With Fire by Redinho Sometime in mid-November Emily and I went to Seattle for the day. It was overcast and cold and we both needed a break from campus. We took a picture in front of the Ferris Wheel and ate cupcakes even though Emily likes neither cake nor frosting. This song played at least five times that day.
Jolene by Dolly Parton At the end of Freshman year, Maddy revealed her love of this song. Every time it plays she gets super excited, and it’s adorable.
Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley Rick Astley turned 50 this year!
Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
Birthday by Selena Gomez Both of these songs were played multiple times in the hours leading up to midnight on May 6th. We celebrated Maddy’s birthday in style, with her continuously repeating: “It’s my birthday.” Her main birthday wish? Become a dictator.
Go Back by Cookies This was another one that is courtesy of both Emily and Spotify. She played it a few times and it got stuck in all of our heads and then Claire started playing it all night.
Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye This song has its time and its place. One of those times being immediately after someone jokes about playing it really loudly.
Cool Cat by Queen Emily showed Nick this song and they fangirled over it.
Booty Bounce Pop by Mr. Collipart feat. Yin-Yang Twins The last night that Emily, Thomas, and I were all here, we went to Five Guys so Thomas could get dinner. Even though it was a little after 9PM, it was still in the mid-70’s and while cutting across the grass (which was dry for the first time in forever), Emily played this song very loudly while dancing along.
End of the Line by the Traveling Wilburys I first heard this song in 2007, when the complete collection of the Traveling Wilburys was released and my mom bought the album. It stayed in our CD player for months. It resurfaced Freshman year, with the Rock After the Beatles playlist for my SSI. Then it played during the last scene of Parks & Rec. I played the song with Emily and whenever I hear it I think of our friendship. (Unfortunately this song isn’t on Spotify, but the music video for it can be found here.)
I’ve kept journals on and off for most of my life, but somewhere around the beginning of college I wanted a way to physically save memories. Words were helpful in preserving the way I felt at a particular moment, but I wanted something palpable. In the pre-college flurry, in the middle of hunting for different organizational supplies (because this year was going to be different, everything would have a place at last), I developed an idea. I purchased a few small plastic boxes and labeled them with the year. Throughout the course of the year, I would fill a box with scraps of paper, pieces of memories.
It worked. Better than I thought it would, if we’re being completely honest. The box fromis tucked away at home, the 2015 box is a mess of memories, and the 2016 box from this semester is nearly overflowing. Here are some of the things inside:
PostSecret was founded by Frank Warren in 2005, wherein people mail their secrets to him anonymously via a homemade post card. I went to the show with two of my best friends and we all literally laughed and cried as actors read off some of the secrets and online community responses to the secrets. After intermission, the actors read off secrets written by audience members. My favorite was: “My husband and I had sex on my boss’s desk, while she was away on vacation. I just made eye contact with her in the audience.” All of the secrets can be found online at: http://postsecret.com/.
Every year around Valentine’s Day, flowers can be purchased in the sub as a fundraiser for one of the sororities. This year, Nathan sent me one. The card reads: “You’re a good friend… I guess…” TRUE FRIENDSHIP GOALS.
Every semester Ubiquitous They puts on a comedy show. I rushed from one event to the show this semester and wasn’t the least bit disappointed. There was one specific sketch that has stuck with me: A TV host announces to an excited girl that they’ve found her mother who has been lost at sea. She begins jumping up and down as a crew of people carry out her dead mother’s body. On my left, tears were leaking out of Thomas’s eyes as he laughed. On my right, Banji had one hand covering his mouth in a frozen state of shock.
Here is a list of everything else in the box:
My ticket and program from RENT, which was the student theater production this semester.
A sticker for Crosscurrents. It is watercolored blue and apparently Crosscurrents was founded in 1958?
A Valentine’s day card from my grandparents.
A list of “Things I Know” that was originally made as a reference point to spring off of for poetry. The list claims such things as: “the Ferris Wheel was designed for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair” and “my first word was ‘hi.’”
A tie-dye postcard advertising WORD STOCK 2016, which put on by the English department on the 25th of April.
Sketches from a workshop put on by Krista Franklin, a visual poet. She had everyone dig through magazines and lead us to create our own visual poetry. It was interesting and a lot of fun, particularly because I haven’t made a collage since I was in elementary school.
A piece from one of those magazines, that I thought was interesting. Underlined is a quote from one of the people being interviewed: “Gift. For not drowning.” Not sure why it sprung out at me, but it did.
My notes from the Jonestown Survivor speaker. It was an amazing presentation and I have so much sympathy for the amount of long-term trauma being in Jonestown caused.
A letter from Maddy, that claims: “You are a wonderful person, and I think everything becomes better when you are around. Even at 9:30 in the morning.” Apparently, Emily compared the letter I got from Maddy to the letter she got — which began: “Dear fartface.”
My wristband from the dance put on by Beta, with my name spelled Telena.
Bits of curly ribbon that were tied onto the fruit basket Emily got for her birthday. We sat out on Todd Field, soaking up the sun and eating strawberries.
Adam Lewis’s name tag from Career Fair. Not sure why I have it, tbh.
An exercise from the Suicide Prevention and Awareness workshop that was put on this semester. We were tasked with originally writing down twenty-four words that described our life. That was slowly broken down, so we were left with one word. Mine? Laughter.
The bag tag that I got over spring break, when I went down to Vancouver to visit Maddy and meet up with Emily.
My wristband from the first time I went to the Museum of Glass.
A poster advertising Crosscurrents.
Notes made by Banji, from back when we were coming up with theoretical short film plot lines.
My receipt from January, when I bought some of my textbooks at the bookstore. Grand total from this one trip? $469.97.
Notes someone from my poetry class took on one of my poems. A sestina, titled “Generalized,” that I wasn’t sure how I felt about, but everyone else seemed to love.
A card from the Office of Finance given to me for Student Appreciation Week.
A letter from my best friend that took me way to long to respond to.
The program from Underground Sound’s 2016 Spring Concert, which was amazing.