Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Wonderland

As Max mentioned last week, IU is transforming into a winter wonderland.

Last week, students all over campus set up Christmas tree's and decorated their rooms to bring a piece of family holiday traditions back to campus to make those last few weeks before the holidays seem a little more familiar. I brought a Christmas tree back and decorated it with IU ornaments, and red and white tinsel and lights my mom had picked out for me. The result: a magical IU Christmas tree.

The holiday spirit continued into this past weekend, the Indiana University Ballet and Theater program hosted their annual performance of The Nutcracker at the Musical Arts Center, otherwise known as the MAC. As Audrey mentioned in a blog about a month ago, the MAC is a really interesting venue to see a show with its funky sculpture in front to its circular lobby and bright interior. Donning gorgeous costumes and performing in fantastic sets, this production of The Nutcracker is one of my favorites. I highly suggest it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Much Needed Break

Right before we went our separate ways for Thanksgiving break, a group of my friends and I gathered for a group night of fun. We started our evening with a group dinner at Wright Food Court, where we learned that the Mexican Connection restaurant now serves delicious quesadillas! I suggest the chicken and cheese option.

We went back to our rooms, created an NCAA-esque bracket, and our Mario Kart Wii tournament began! Over three rounds of competition, the bragging rights came down to a single race between my friend Alison and I competing on arguably the toughest track: Rainbow Road. After weeks of stressful preparation of tests, papers and projects, it was a great way to start a much needed break.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Students Address Climate Change

Dean Auer gives a lecture to students about the Copenhagen climate talk
during a dinner discussion hosted by the SFPI.

Last Friday, the Student Foreign Policy Initiative hosted a dinner discussion with Hutton Honors College Dean Matthew Auer about this week's climate talks in Copenhagen. Dean Auer, who has worked as a negotiator on behalf of the United States at the United Nations, spoke about what issues he believes will be at the core of this week's discussion, as well as tactics he learned were key to successful negotiation from his own experiences.

Student Foreign Policy Initiative Chairman, Christian Hines, speaks
to students as he concludes the event.

Following Dean Auer's presentation, students were given the opportunity to ask questions, and many stayed to talk about the issues surrounding Copenhagen 2009. As a member of the Foreign Policy Initiative, it was great to see such a great turn out, but it was even more encouraging just to be a part of such a fantastic event that focused on a really interesting and important topic. Plus, the pizza and breadsticks we had for dinner was delicious.

Dean Auer answers a student's question during the Q&A session following the event.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crean and Crimson!

It's basketball season! Finally! IU has now finished their pre-season games of the year, first battling off against Grace College, and then last night against St. Joesph's College. In both games, a new and renovated IU basketball team completely dominated their opponent.
Now that they are one year older, and having season tickets, I'm excited to see how this team is able to compete when the regular season starts on Friday.

Assembly Hall has a fantastic atmosphere and IU basketball games have a great sense of tradition. This tradition engulfs you from the time you walk in the doors at the south entrance and see the Athletics Hall of Face, to when you walk up the ramps to the student section seating and see large pictures of historic IU basketball moments on the wall, to when you finally get to your seats and see a wall of banners with Big 10, Final Four and NCAA tournament appearances and victories. Get up to Assembly Hall and get your tickets to cheer on the Hoosiers and be a part of this IU tradition!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nashville, Indiana?

So I know that I've spent quite a bit of time these last few weeks talking about all the stuff going around IUB, most exclusively the weather and season. Growing up in Phoenix where people don't know what fall look like, and having never experienced fall myself before coming to IU last year, this season is a truly unique part of my college experience that I enjoy sharing with others. While the weather is still fluctuating, it is now starting to show a bit of a downward trend, so I fear this is my last post I can tie to this season before it is too cold to enjoy the end of fall that technically remains.

I know I mentioned last week about taking a drive to Brown County. If you're an IUB student or Southern Indiana resident and you have not been to Brown County then you need to clear your Saturday for this weekend. My boyfriend just took me on a fun day trip to Nashville, Indiana, and I can't recommend it enough! Although I highly suggest Brown County State Park, Yellowwood State Forest is a great alternative, which was where we went. You get almost the same outdoors experience and hiking as Brown County, without having to pay the park admission fee and dealing with the tourists.

You don't have to be much of a hiker to take to the trails and enjoy the gorgeous rolling hills and beautiful colors. We walked around and enjoyed the nice weather and beautiful fall colors. But, if you're keen on the sporty outdoors experience, I suggest stopping in downtown Nashville. We spent our afternoon browsing around in all the eclectic downtown shops and found a cute hole-in-the-wall restaurant that was decorated as a shrine to former IU basketball coach Bob Knight.

After a week of stressful tests and projects, visiting Brown County, hiking and perusing in the shops made for a nice end to the week. If you haven't made the trip one county over, you're missing out!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Get Outside While the Weather Lasts!

Two weeks ago, I wondered if Bloomington went straight from summer to winter. However, I believe these last ten days have provided the most gorgeous weather Bloomington has seen all year.

Yellow trees light the path along an IUB side walk.

I understand that many of us are confined to our desks or the library to study, write papers and finish projects as mid-term season is finally starting to wrap up, but treat yourself to a half hour study break one day this week and walk around. For that half hour walk around campus, I suggest you resort back to a state similar to that of a high school student touring IU; I think you'll appreciate it more.

A colorful Kirkwood Ave. off of campus.

My journalism professor always talks about "seeing" instead of "looking" and "listening" instead of "hearing", and when I walked around campus this weekend taking pictures of the season that has consumed IUB, I think I finally understood what he meant. If you do the same, imagining that you're walking through IU for the first time and you honestly see everything that is around you, I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.

The courthouse in downtown Bloomington is framed nicely by its surrounding fall leaves.

Lay under one of the trees where you can see through the brightly lit yellow leaves. Walk down Kirkwood Ave., around the courthouse and downtown shops. Take a drive down Third Street and Indiana Blvd. where almost every "warm" color is represented in foliage or 30 minutes East on S.R. 45 to Brown County State Park.

The sample gates are a picturesque photo opportunity this time of year.

Treat yourself this week and enjoy the season that makes IUB one of the prettiest campuses in the country. Enjoy the last of fall before we're all bundled up!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Wild and Wacky Weekend

In high school, Homecoming was always one of my favorite weeks. I appreciated all the tradition and school spirit that filled campus, and it always made for a nice fun week in the midst of an otherwise stressful time of the school year. So this fall, homecoming was one of the IU events I was looking forward to the most. With all the rain we've had in Bloomington these last few weeks and a rainy forecast, we were worried that many festivities would be canceled or too wet to enjoy, but lucky for us, planned festivities went on as planned.

The Parade

Very few high schools in Phoenix get to close off the street that runs adjacent to campus and have a homecoming parade. Fortunately, my high school was one of those few, and the homecoming parade became one of my favorite traditions. IU carries on a similar tradition where campus and community organizations create floats and get people to walk in the parade. Its a great way to see some of the organizations that are in the area and on campus-and the free candy groups hand out is always great too!

Hoosier Hysteria

An awesome tradition surrounding the kick-off of the basketball season! The last two years, the first official day the men's and women's basketball teams can practice has hit during homecoming weekend, and so Hoosier Hysteria is a part of the homecoming festivities. The men's and women's basketball teams practice for a crowd that fills Assembly Hall, and this year Men's Basketball Coach Tom Crean added some fun twists including a three-point shootout and slam dunk contest.

The Game!

Of course no homecoming is complete without the traditional game. This year IU played Illinois in an exciting game that we won! With layers and layers of sweatshirts and coats, we all froze, but it was great to see the Hoosiers play in such stellar fashion against another Big 10 school!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dorm Lunchtime Hot Spot Gets a Facelift!

As a returning resident to Read Hall, there were many things I anxiously looked forward to when I returned this fall: walking through the basement and hearing students practice in the music rooms, the close walk to everything on campus, and having three dining facilities in my building that I can walk downstairs to and never have to get out of my pajamas.

El Bistro is our basement dining facility that allows me to build-my-own sandwich, burritos or nachos, and eat waffles with ice cream at any time of the day. One thing I have become incredibly excited about since my return is the re-decorating and designing of El Bistro.

New logos adorned El Bistro at the beginning of the school year, and now are accompanied by several new pieces of wall art that truly make "The Bistro" feel a little more like a bistro and less like a mall food court. If you haven't checked out El Bistro's new look, stop by and see for yourself!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Has Arrived!

Someone picks up a bite of apple at the Bloomington Farmer's Market Apple Tasting.
Over fifteen delicious varieties of apples were cut-up and out for market-goers to try.

One of the best things about attending Indiana University Bloomington, is the town of Bloomington that comes with the IUB experience. Bloomington is a culturally thriving town, with tons of fantastic restaurants, music events, and other assorted interesting events.

Volunteers cut up pieces of apples for people to taste-test
at the Bloomington Farmer's Market.

This past weekend, I went to check out the Bloomington Farmer's Market. Every weekend, from April to November, local farmers gather their best produce, jams and other assorted products, and fill Showers Common, a courtyard near the Bloomington City Hall.

Local musicians perform at the Bloomington Farmer's Market.

This week's farmers market featured an apple tasting to bring in the fall season. As an avid apple eater, I was thrilled to read about this event in the student newspaper, the Indiana Daily Student. Local music and performers added to the fantastic atmosphere and of course I had to purchase one of the new flavors of apples I had tried in the Apple Tasting from a local market! When you come to IUB, be sure to attend Bloomington events, as well as all the IU events!

The Bloomington Farmer's Market.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dean Goodman in Bathing Suit?

Last Friday was the annual Cardboard Boat Regatta sponsored by The Council for Advancing Student Leadership. Organizations, living communities, and community organizations built boats made of cardboard and duck tape to race. Themed boats, realistic-looking boats, and box-shaped boats all showed up to race the length of the Indiana University Outdoor Pool on the North end of campus.

So Friday I made the trek to the Outdoor Pool with my friend Alison who the Historian for the Residence Hall Association, another group that had a team participating in the event. As a member of the Indiana Memorial Union (the student union building)'s student Union Board, I went to cheer on members of Union Board.

The Indiana Memorial Union Union Board cardboard boat
tips over in the Cardboard Boat Regatta.

I wish Union Board had experienced the same success the Residence Halls Association had. The Union Board was one of the few organizations, along with Collins Living Learning Center (LLC), who had a boat to not make it a quarter of the way down the pool.

Collins Living Learning Center students climb into their cardboard boat, ready to compete.

The race of the Dean's, where three deans from various IU schools race against one another in boats prepared for by students, made for a nice start to the festivities. Only one of the three was able to make it to the finish, and Dean Robert Goodman of HPER made it to the end of the pool without getting a drop of water on him!

The Dean's of various IU schools strike a pose before the start of their race.

All and all, the Indiana University Outdoor Adventures Club (IUOA) had a sweeping victory. Their incredibly realistic cardboard kayak went the length of the pool in just over twenty seconds, leaving everyone else in the dust. The competition was incredibly close and the Residence Hall Association's brightly ducktaped box boat managed to win second place. It was a great way to start the weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hoosier Nation Brings Celebrities to Campus

When I first toured IU, I was incredibly impressed with the outstanding academics, but nervous about the size of the university. Setting aside the fact that I never feel like I attend a public university with an undergraduate enrollment of over 20,000 students, there are some benefits to attending a large public university.

A school that has an enrollment of over 20,000 students means they have an enormous alumni network, and the Hoosier Nation is not only large, but very giving. Both the Kelley School of Business and School of Journalism have fantastic alumni networks that donate annually to the school, helping to fund many extra-curricular programs and other events. Oftentimes, events include bringing in celebrity or expert speakers to talk about current issues.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending two such events. The Journalism Speaker Series kicked off last week with a lecture by Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow, who also co-wrote "The Last Lecture" with former Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch. Zaslow gave a very inspiring lecture on how journalism students can find and follow good stories, and spoke at most length about his work on "The Last Lecture". I ended my week by attending a Kelley School of Business lecture by Oil Tycoon and Billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Pickens discussed his rise to success as he developed two billion dollar companies, and his recent business venture in alternative energy sources.

If it were not for the donations of the very large, and incredibly giving Kelley School of Business and School of Journalism alumni network, I never would have gotten to experience the in-person and personal stories of these two successful men. Going to these interesting lectures is just one of the different types of events that students can attend at IU for FREE!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get Busy, Get Involved!

Students walk around and enjoy the Student Involvement Fair.

Last Wednesday was the annual Student Involvement Fair. Hosted every year in the parking lot of the hotel at the Indiana Memorial Union, many of the over 650 student organizations set up tables with information about club missions, meeting times and opportunities.

Tables for student organizations.

For new students, and returning students who are looking for something new to do in the spare time, this event is always a great way for students to find out what is available to them. Clubs representing every school with clubs ranging from the Kelley School of Business Community Leadership Development Club, to the College of Arts and Sciences Pre-Med Student Association and Sustainability at IU.

A student gets information about the IU Outdoor Adventures organization.

With over 600 clubs on campus, there really is something for everyone. Many of the individual schools host club events like the campus Student Involvement Fair, but all are great ways to find out how to get involved!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When the Fun Starts!

When classes start at IU Bloomington, campus is buzzing all day. The days go by in such rapid succession that sometimes you feel like you don't know how to keep up with it all. So when the weekend rolls around, its such a great time for students to catch up on what they are behind on, get ahead for the next week, and just relax. One of my favorite things to do to unwind is attend sporting events. Most of the 24 varsity sports played at IU can be seen for free with your student I.D.; the exception being popular sports like men's basketball or football.

Led by the cheerleading squad with flags, the IU football team runs onto
the field for the first football game of the season. The marching band formed
an "I" for the team to run through and onto the field.

I am a football season ticket holder, and have high hopes for this year's team; there's a lot of talent. So Thursday night, I marched up to Memorial Stadium decked out in my cream and crimson, ready for the game after a long first week of classes. Sitting in the student section, as Max explained last week, is a blast. Your best friends surround you, people are cheering, and you're in the middle of one of those college experiences you always saw on T.V. Needless to say, we were all very excited the Hoosiers were able to pull off a very close 19-13 win over Eastern Kentucky University.

A student watches the introductions of the IU mens soccer team.
The Hoosiers tied with St. John's University last Friday.

With the weekend off to a great start, my friends and I continued the sports theme to our first weekend by going to the first men's soccer game. I never went to an IU soccer game last year, and didn't really know too much about soccer in general. The crazy hits of the ball off of players heads, and very quick foot moves made the game incredibly interesting. Best of all, the first 300 students who filled the lower level student section even got a free "white out" IU soccer t-shirt!

My best girl friends and I at the first home football game of
the year. We all live together in the same dorm and do lots together.

It was a fantastic weekend attending fun IU athletic events with some of my best friends that made all the back-to-school homework a little bit more manageable.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Greatest Week in College

Some people say Little 500 is IU’s greatest week. For those of you who do not know what Little 500 is, the most basic definition I can give is a week of athletic, residential and just generally fun events, surrounding the Indiana University version of the famous Indianapolis 500 car race. I, on the other hand, believe that Welcome Week far surpasses the fun of Little 5. Welcome Week provides cram-packed days of RPS, Residence Hall Association, Union Board, and other campus club, planned events. And best of all, most of these events are free and include free food. Now, if you’re not in college yet, you will learn once you get here that the word “free”, when it truly means free, is one of the greatest words ever invented.

I think last year I was too overwhelmed and excited about finally being a college student that I didn’t realize the sweet set-up that is Welcome Week. While many other university students at schools across the country move-in just a few days before classes start, here at IU, freshmen Move-In Day is almost a full week before the beginning of the semester. Only in the sheer splendor that is Welcome Week do all the students of a university get to be together and on campus for five days with no classes but just fun events to attend.

Wednesday is a great day to get unpacked, walk around campus, meet the people on your floor and say goodbye to your parents. Thursday is filled with informative meetings and orientations, residence hall events, and a student favorite, CultureFest, where all the culturally-affiliated clubs fill 7th Street near the Showalter Fountain and IU Auditorium and students get to sample fantastic free food. Friday includes lots of open houses at different IU department buildings for students to get acquainted with the resources available to them, RecFest at the HPER Recreational Sports Center has more free food and fun games, Taste of the Union allows students to try free samples from the restaurants in the Indiana Memorial Union, and Midnight Madness gives students a chance to get all the things they realized they left at home at Walmart and win free prizes. Are you catching onto the importance and emphasis of “free”? Like I said, you’ll understand what I mean when you’re a broke college student.

The events go on and on the rest of the weekend, but this year I got the chance to experience a Welcome Week tradition that I skipped out on last year. I guess it was the rush of getting situated in my dorm and meeting new people that I missed the description for “Traditions and Spirit of IU”. This year as an RPS photographer and blogger, I was asked to cover the event by taking pictures. When given the assignment, I thought, “Sure, this could be fun, right?” Let’s just say that when I finished my walk up to Assembly Hall, I was greeted by one of the liveliest and most enthusiastic crowds I’ve seen in my life. Now, if you know anything about IU, you’re probably aware that sports hold a strong place in the tradition and spirit of Indiana University. “Traditions and Spirit” gives students the chance to hear directly from the head coaches of some of IU’s most prominent and successful sports programs about the upcoming seasons. The introductions of the teams is followed by a performance by the always stellar Marching Hundred, whose drum line put on quite a show during Friday’s event. Miss Indiana University teaches the fight song, and the cheer squad teaches some of the popular game cheers. As someone coming from out-of-state, nothing would have given me a better introduction to the heart of Cream and Crimson like “Traditions and Spirit”.

Future freshmen, please learn from my mistake. When it comes time for you to start at IU, go to everything and don’t miss out on the true IU traditions that start with Welcome Week.

Welcome to IU, Class of 2013! Hope you have a great start to your college career!