Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Worlds Greatest College Traditions!

This year's Little 500 race was incredible! There really is no other school in the country that has a weekend of such intense tradition.

The 8th running, no pun intended, of the Little 50 runners race was Thursday night at Bloomington High School North. 25 teams competed in each of a mens and womens race. Team Team Crimson won the womens race, and Los Corredores won the mens race.

The Womens Little 500 was Friday afternoon and we were so happy the clouds and rain held off for a gorgeous late afternoon race. Although much of the race was close among top contenders Teter, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Alpha Gamma Delta, Teter junior Caitlin Van Kooten pulled ahead and won the race with a more than a quarter of a lap lead.

The Mens Little 500 was the most exciting sporting event I went to all year. The close competition, close hand-offs, and seemingly constant changes in leaders held my attention for all 200 laps and made for a fantastic race. Yet the rain that poured for the final 120 laps is what will make the race so memorable for me. It was the first time in Little 500 history that a race had been postponed (and almost ended) after the critical half-way point where the race could officially be called due to rain.

ESPN was there. 9 IDS photographers were there. Radio Stations and news crews from all over campus, the city and state were there. Playing witness to Teter finally break their pole curse and win, the Cutters be the first team in Little 500 history to win the fourth year in a row, and have the Greatest Weekend in College almost meet its match: Mother Nature. It was something else, a new take on an old tradition, and I'm glad I was there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring on Canvas

We've had the most incredible weather at IUB these last few weeks. I've made my walks to class longer and more indirect, eat my lunch outside El Bistro in its seating area, and have taken some time to just wander around campus.

Last Wednesday, I decided that following my last class of the day, I would take my camera and explore my favorite part of campus: the Old Crescent. When I arrived near the Sample Gates, I discovered an artist working on a painting of the Sample Gates. The canvas was fairly large, and the artist, Lyle Denney, was gracious enough to let me take pictures.

He said he likes to paint campus, especially during the spring, and the iconic buildings of the Old Crescent like the Student Building and the Sample Gates make excellent subjects. Sketching the painting on a grid the day before, Denney had just started painting when I came across him hidden under a tree near the Gates and said it would take him several days to finish this particular piece.

The tulips are blooming next to the Sample Gates, so go to the Old Crescent and have someone take a cheesy tourist picture of you and our gorgeous campus while it lasts! And while you're there, be sure to stop and look at how Denney's painting is coming along.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Traditions. Spirit. Little 500.

I know I talk about IU tradition a lot, but I honestly think that the commitment to, the intensity of and the duration of IU traditions are what makes Indiana University different from other similar universities. Little 500 is one of those incredible traditions, and after having made friends with some of the riders this year, I realized that there is so much more to this event than a three hours of watching guys ride 200 laps around a track, and I think it's all super exciting!

Organized by the IU Student Foundation, riders from 32 teams will compete in the 60th running of the Men's Little 500 and 23rd running of the Women's Little 500 the weekend of April 23rd. For riders, training begins early in the fall with the Fall Cycling Series, a series of competitions that test speed and endurance. In the spring is when things kick up as "L5" nears closer. The Spring Cycling Series provides another opportunity to learn who are the leaders for Little 500, and for teams to become focused for the big race.

This weekend is the final event of the Spring Cycling Series before next weekend's Little 500. Team Pursuit starts at 3:30 pm in Armstrong Stadium, and teams will compete in heats to determine which team can collectively ride 15 laps the fastest. Be sure to check it out and get pumped for L5!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Looking to Fall 2010

With fall course registration just around the corner for returning students, it got me thinking about Fall 2010 in general. Earlier this semester, three of my best friends and I signed up for one of the four bedroom apartments in Wilkie Residence Center. So this past weekend, I met up with a friend from one of my classes who lives in one of the apartments, for a tour of her unit.

She showed me around her three bedroom apartment that included a kitchen, two bathrooms, a living room and washer and dryer. The kitchen included a stove, oven, microwave and refrigerator, and the apartment came fully furnished including couches and bedroom furniture.

The thing I was most amazed with was the amount of storage space provided for students. Not only did the kitchen have plenty of cabinets and drawers, there were also two closets, one of which they had converted to a pantry. There were five drawers and plenty of closet space in each room for all our clothes, as well as lots of desk space and drawers for books.

After visiting my friend, I'm now incredibly excited for all our extra space and storage next year and the opportunity to live in an on-campus residence hall that provides many of the comforts of "normal" life.