Performances, Outings and Butter

Greetings internet world! As you are slowly learning, I am pretty terrible about updating my blog. So I have baked you metaphorical cookies to make up for it. Please accept them as a peace offering.

Digital Cameras don't quite capture everything....Before I fill you in on my life, I just want to take a second to just say how truly gorgeous it is here. One of my favorite things is coming out of the library at some ungodly hour and being hit by the crisp air and the smell of pine. I can look towards the music building and see the moon radiating light over the grass and the tress in the distance. And as I walk back to my dorm I can see the ivy changing colors, illuminated by the street lights and the Sound down the road. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every day I’m hit by how beautiful it is here.

I digress…

So. I should probably start off with some of the changes that have come in the last few weeks. When I last wrote to you, I had accidentally rushed for Greek Life and was in the middle of making a decision about joining the Greek community. Well, I made the decision to join the fraternity called Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Since I joined a lot has happened with it, but the bottom line is that I think I made the right decision. They’re awesome guys and every time I meet another I just think to myself, “Self, I want to get to know this guy.” And because we’re all in the group I now have the opportunity to. Another great thing is that this specific fraternity is rarely the center of anyone’s life. Everyone is required to be in at least one other club and most people are as busy as I am. The fraternity is more of a gathering place and an excuse to hang out and have designated study hall hours. Overall, great choice so far.

Yes, my roommate and I joined together. Because we're cool like that.

Long story short, myself and my five other Pledge brothers have finished our classes and we, along with the entire SAE colony here, are getting chartered by the national fraternity this weekend, as we’re so new we aren’t a full colony. Much activity to come on that front.

Also since I wrote last: mid-terms. They were awful. Really long and fairly stressful, but they’re over. The week after mid-terms we have Fall Break, which my roommate and I spent at Disneyland. It was a great way to spend fall-break, but since it isn’t quite relevant to my life on campus I won’t delve into that.

My jazz combo had our semesterly concert in the rotunda, which went well. There were three combos playing and anyone was welcome to walk in. The last time that I played drums in a performance was my senior year in high school (a memorable performance, too, as it was my birthday and I had strep throat, an ear infection, a sinus infection and a fever of 100 degrees), so it was a bit nerve racking playing again, but it went well. We performed four songs; Blue Bossa, Blue In Green, Nostalgia in Times Square and Autumn Leaves, all great tunes (extra bonus, I got to play the beautiful performance drum set that I’ve heard used at so many concerts).

Since I’m talking about music, I’ll mention all the concerts I’ve been to. There are concerts every couple weeks here, usually free if not heavily subsidized by Associated Students of UPS (ASUPS), which is always an awesome excuse to have a break from studying. I went to the Wind Ensemble’s performance called ObscuroLux, where they worked with a light technician to make the performance much grander in scale. Here’s the performance of Niagara Falls. Another concert I went to? The A Capella Extravaganza, which had all three a cappella groups perform (a men’s, women’s and mixed), which was wonderful. For the sake of your eye strain, I’ll stop with that.

I also went to the Jazz Ensemble concert last week, featuring the Grammy-nominated saxophonist Donny McCaslin. It was an incredible concert, as always, from our trusty Jazz Ensemble. They’re all terrific musicians and were really well practiced. I always forget how much I love jazz until I go to one of their concerts… Fun fact, in high school my Jazz Band went to a clinic in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin and Donny McCaslin was the clinician. We reminisced after the concert, as fully as two people who spend an hour together three years ago can, and I was reminded of what I sweet man he is.

I also went to the school’s production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, which was set in the sixties (which, trust me on this, worked really well). The acting was mostly terrific and it was very well done. I had not seen or read this play before, so it was a very pleasant surprise at how good it was. Growing up in Minneapolis I’m used to having the Guthrie Theater close by, so I’ve always been kind of spoiled with good shows. But I was pleasantly surprised by our theater department. The theater and the sets themselves were phenomenal and the production value was worth the price of admission in itself.

A few weeks ago a few people from Interfaith Council got together and trekked up to Seattle to attend Compline, some sort of Gregorian chanting. It was an awesome service, and a very laid back one. Many people brought a blanket and laid down on the floor, some people sat in the pews, some just read books; the only thing that was asked is that people stand during a certain prayer. It was really relaxing and very cool.

It's very reminiscent of Renaissance era churches, but made of small pieces of locally made glass.

Keeping with the throwing-things-at-you format of these posts, a few weeks ago the Minnesota Club went apple-cider pressing! We worked with Puget Sound Outdoors to organize a trip to Terry’s Berry’s about ten minutes from campus, where there is a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, general farm, etc. We pressed just over three gallons of apple cider by hand and reminisced about how we missed Minnesota in the fall. Since then we also had butter carving. Yes, butter carving. For background, every year at the Minnesota State Fair there are thirteen finalists for Princess Kay of the Milky Way, all of whom get their heads carved out of butter. No one actually carves butter in Minnesota, but it sounded like fun. I carved the Cherry on the Spoon.

So, my friends, due to my lack of communication I have decided to try something. I am going to document everything that I do for about 24 hours one day this week and put it up on the website. Give you a literal “day-in-the-life.” Other than that, I’ll just keep on documenting my life, but if you want me to elaborate on something, feel free to contact me.

Happy last full week of school! Woah it’s coming to a close fast…


About ifox

English major (with a sub-focus in Writing, Rhetoric, and Culture) and Politics & Government and Religion minors. I'm President of Safe Men, co-President of Hillel, and an Interfaith Coordinator. I'm a fan of books and the Batman, and I enjoy long walks on the beach, satin sheets, and Belgian chocolates.
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