Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quality, not Quantity

In high school, I was an avid ballet dancer. My evenings consisted of dance classes from 4:00-10:00 and weekends were filled with rehearsals. I didn't have much of a social life, but I absolutely loved every moment. I learned a lot about myself, my art and life in general through all of my dance training. I certainly would not be who I am today without it.

One of the things I remember most vividly is my Russian ballet and pointe teacher Rosanna Ruffo. She taught upper-level ballet on Mondays and Wednesdays. One of the things Ms. Ruffo reiterated throughout my training was, "quaaality over quaaant-ti-ty, girls." She said it just like that. Perhaps she was trying to emphasize her point and perhaps English simply was not her mother tongue. Either way, I always remember her words.

Ms. Ruffo's advice extends beyond just the dance studio. It's a lesson on life. It isn't the quantity, but the quality, that is so profound. Quality relationships. Quality work. Quality advice. These are among the many things that we sometimes over-do in an effort to make a difference, make ourselves known or infuse meaning.

As I graduate in just a week, I hope I can carry this lesson with me. It is among the most important lessons I have ever and will ever learn.

Oh-so cute!

You're gonna love this, ya big softie!

Wasn't that adorable!?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Creeptastic Mexican Song

From the Babel Soundtrack, download the link:

Crazy Mexican Song

Mexican Metal? Creeptastic.

Butler's Top Ten

I'll be graduating from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana in just a few short weeks (May 9), and as my tenure as a Butler undergraduate student comes to an end, I'd like to leave a few suggestion for posterity. If you plan on coming to Butler this fall or just haven't quite figured the ropes yet, you might find this helpful. In no particular order:

1) At Butler, you're going to need some excellent all-weather footwear. When it rains, campus is like a giant bird feeder. That is to say that there's a three-inch pool of water that will get in your way anywhere you try to walk. You're better off having a pair of rainboots (girls) or some water-repellent shoes (guys). Also, be prepared for winter weather! It normally snows in January 'round these parts and cold feet are no fun. You may think they look dorky, but I swear you'll thank me later.

2) Most will do this anyway, but make sure you're bringing a laptop to school with you. We've got a completely wireless campus and the printers are wireless too. You'll definitely want something easy and portable for group meetings and study sessions.

3) If your degree plan is in Media Arts, Recording Industry Studies or another tech-heavy major, you might want a desk top for ease of use. If this is the case, make sure you purchase a flash drive and external hard drive for portability. (Heck, you'll need those things anyway, no matter what your degree!)

4) Buy a Butler Gavel! The Gavel is the day-planner published by the school's Mortar Board Society. I suggest the Gavel over another day-planner because it has event information published on the dates they are happening throughout the school year.

5) Don't forget your sense of humor. Butler is what it is: an over-priced liberal arts college. You will see hilarious things like every girl on campus wearing Ugg Boots and North Face jackets. You will experience the phenomenon of everyone having a car on campus. This is what you're getting yourself into. I find these Butler nuances hilarious in a lot of ways, but I know some people who let it irritate them. Don't come here expecting diversity on the economic scale. Laugh it off.

6) Also, don't expect diversity of races. Butler lied to you when they told you they were focused on diversity. We are whities here-- don't let anyone tell you differently. Students joke that the Diversity Center is a terrarium for minority students at Butler. It's sad, but true. That's not to say we aren't accepting, because we are. We're just white people.

7) Buy your books online. And, no, I don't mean at the Butler bookstore's website (although there is a cool pre-order feature that allows the staff time to put all your books together for pick up at a later date). Unless you need the CD that comes with the book or something, you'll find it far more cost-effective to buy your textbooks from or another service like it.

8) Take a JCFA class or two. Everyone is required to take at least one fine arts course to satisfy the Core Curriculum. However, I suggest taking one or two more than that. Butler has one of the best performing arts schools in the Midwest, so take advantage of it while you can! There are non-major music, dance and theatre courses at every level if you're interested.

9) Study abroad. This is the one piece of advice I am giving that I haven't experienced myself. My situation in school has been interesting, but I never had time to study abroad between transferring schools AND changing majors. However, I hear it is the experience of a lifetime. To me, it seems like one of the best things you can do for your education.

10) Go Greek. The Greek community at Butler is not your typical television drama stereotype. Butler Greeks do great things for their campus and community on a regular basis. Furthermore, your membership in a fraternity or sorority will give you a lot of access to campus organizations, activities and happenings. This campus has a great, strong Greek tradition that anyone would be proud to be a part of.

The overarching piece of advice I have is to HAVE FUN! College has been the best four years of my life thus far. I have made my best friends and experienced so many great things. I am a different person than when I started school and I am better for it. That said, congratulations, good luck and happy trails. You're about to embark on a whirlwind journey you won't soon forget. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hooray! A Website For Me!

Check THIS out!

Okay, so, it could be better, but it's officially my first self-made website! Tell me what you think! Welcome world!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Crossroads 2007

As I was driving in home from Easter at my grandmother's house yesterday, my iPod spit out something I haven't heard in awhile: I Don't Need No Doctor (live cover by John Mayer, Crossroads 2007). It was such a beautiful day and the atmosphere was perfect for the feeling I get from live recorded music. There is something truly special about hearing the recorded version of music you had the opportunity to see live. I was at Crossroads in 2007 and hearing this track brought the memories of the day back for me. Never have I been so sunburned or so elated over music. It was great to hear, for sure. The song reminded me I really should share it with others. Upon returning home, I promptly uploaded the track to DivShare and Twittered the link to my various followers. I thought I might share it here as well. Here it is (courtesy of Debbie Ocoboc of LA).

Also, I was reminded of the post I made at My Stupid Mouth (a John Mayer fanboard). I practically wrote a novel about the event. At first, I was going to post the entire thing, but I decided to spare you. Instead, I'll just share the portion about John Mayer's performance:

"He opened with WOTWTC, which was less than eventful. It was funny, though. The audience was very attentive, but there was hardly anyone singing along or jamming. It was almost like "Yea, I like him, but I don't wanna let anyone else know it!" was the pervading logic of the moment. He played a fabulous "Belief" followed by a "Vultures" with a new intro. During V, some a-hole in the pit yelled, "Play the Blues, John!". "I heard someone tell me to play the blues," came the response. "In my mind, I kinda thought I was, but I think I know what you mean. This next one's a Ray Charles' song I did on a John Scofield album. It's called 'I Don't Need No Doctor'". Proceeds to kick major butt. The boy let it rip. The whole stadium couldn't help but stand and applaud, hoot n' holler for his fantastic solo! That, ladies and gentlemen, is the best I have ever seen John Mayer play live. EVER! It was a great moment to be a John Mayer fan. Hope that stupid D-Bag got the "Screw you, very much!" loud and clear! As if it couldn't get any better, JM finished his set with a stellar "Gravity" that got him almost the same reaction that Derek Trucks had received earlier in the day. Many a Mayer fan left that stadium Saturday evening than had initially entered, I can tell you that much."

Man, what a great day that was for me! I hope by downloading and listening to the track I'm sharing in this post, you can feel a little bit of the excitement I felt yesterday afternoon driving along in the car. Also, I'd highly encourage you to scour the internet for the taped concerts you've been to in the past. There is truly nothing like it! A few months ago, I heard a track from a Wilco concert I went to last summer. It was the same feeling--just really fun to hear it again and re-live the experience. You don't knwo the feeling until you try it. I promise you'll find what you're looking for if you just put some elbow grease into it!

Thank God for concerts, tapers and the internet!