January 02, 2006

Silly Putty at Case

A study of the thermal transitions of polymers done at Case proves that rapid deforiming can cause a different result than slow changes. A demonstration was done by dropping a 50 pound ball of silly putty off of a parking garage. The results are smashing!

December 18, 2005

Finally Home

Well, this semester is finally over and I'm home for a month.

It's amazing the freedom I feel. No more work, no more papers, no more exams, no more anything. It will be great to be able to drive and go wherever I want. House to myself, I'll be able to sing at the top of my lungs to my sappy music and no one will be the wiser.

I've been back in the state for 72 hours and I've already seen my God family, my quartet and their families, a few other SRHS people, and Kat, my dresser friend from RLT. Also, I worked Cinderella yesterday. Although most of the cast was different, it was nice to see the few returning members and I made friends with some of the next generation of Cinderellaers...ists...people who do Cinderella.

At the same time, I'm sure I'll be ready to go back to Case when the time comes. While I don't want to get back to the grindstone, I miss my friends. I miss being able to walk out of my room and seeing something crazy happening. While going to Leutner was not always the most delicious experience, going there with friends proved to be entertaining to say the least. And of course, I'm looking forward to some of my new classes next semester, especially my SAGES seminar on Opera as Culture. It's going to be amazing!

So, for now, I'm going to treasure the comfort of being back in North Carolina. There are so many things to do and so many people to see before I go back that I don't think I will be too bored during this month off. Rest assured, though, when the time comes to return to that illustrious learning institution, I'll be ready. Until next time, thanks for reading.

November 16, 2005

IT SNOWED!!!!

Okay, well it was kind of a wimpy snow. Like, it was very variable and the flakes were extremely small. But still, it did snow. And snow is in the forcast all the way till tomorrow night so who knows what is to come.

Cleveland weather is certainly interesting. It was farirly warm until the month of October when it dropped down like 20 degrees to average in the 50s. Then, out of the blue, last week it was amazing fall weather. The skies were clear, the temperature was moderate, everything was nice....for about 2 days. And now, the average is around 45. It is supposed to snow today and tomorrow and then again next Wednesday. It will be quite a shock to get on a plane in 30 degree weather with snow and get off two hours later to a nice mild 60.

Well, this was short but I had to brag about my tiny bit of snow. Maybe I'll have more to report later on (and possibly pictures!!!). Until next time, thanks for reading.

November 11, 2005

Good Opera vs.......

I have recently come to the realization that I have been extremely spoiled. Let me explain.

When I auditioned for the Opera Company of North Carolina my junior year, I wasn't even expecting to get in. Not only was I cast in the chorus of their show, but I was cast in the chorus of one of the greatest Opera's of all time: Giacomo Puccini's Turandot. The last of Puccini's operas, which he actually died before finishing, not only is the music beautiful and memorable, but the story is exciting. Who doesn't love a tale of executions and unrequited love?

As a chorus member in an opera, I could have easily been in the opening, the finale, and maybe make a short guest appearance somewhere hidden in the middle of the second act. Not the case with Turandot. We were on stage for nearly 2/3 of the opera. Now, this stage time meant a large amount of music to learn, but I enjoyed ever minute of it (and sadly, I still remember it all). The entire opera was amazing and the finale even brought tears to my eyes at each performance. I thought all operas would be this amazing. However, recently, I have discovered this is not the case.

Over the last month I have seen and heard music from several different operas. These have been in different languages, from different time periods, and by different composers. I recently saw Eugene Onegin by the Cleveland Opera Company. It was performed beautifully and the staging was very impressive with full out ballroom dancing in some scenes. The story was a moving tale of unrequited love. However, it didn't have the same effect on me that Turandot did. Maybe because it was in Russian so I relied heavily on the translation above the proscenium or because there was no striking musical theme throughout, I don't know. But it wasn't the same.

I've listened to many recordings since them and realized that I just favor certain composers. Anything by Mozart, Puccini, even Verdi or Strauss I can't get enough of. But once you move into the more obscure operas, that magical effect diminishes. Sure, I appriciate the masterpieces that they are, but they don't send chills down my spine.

But who knows, maybe with time and more exposure, the less traditional operas will have the same effect on me. Until then, I will stick to the greats. Turandot is being performed in early April here in Cleveland and I will be there, wrapped in every word. And you can be sure, when Calaf comes down from that high B in "Nessun Dorma", tears will be rolling down my face. What can I say. I'm a sucker for great music. Until next time, thanks for reading.

October 26, 2005

Why a Wednesday?!?

Well, it's back to the grindstone today. Fall break is over, which I have mixed feelings about. I am happy that people are back on campus and that there is now food readily available whenever I want it (Leutner closed for fall break so meals were a difficulty. I lived off black bean soup and greens for four days). But at the same time, I don't want to be going back to classes. Moreover, my first day back is, yep, a Wednesday with a Lab. So I'm going from sleeping in till 2 and doing fun relaxing stuff like crocheting and eating sushi to having class from 10:30 to 9:30. It is very dissapointing.

What makes it all worth it? I GOT A HAIRCUT!!! Finally, I have a cute hairstyle to show off. And the cosmotologist decided she wanted to flat iron my hair. It is definetly a different look. I took a picture and let Sam fool around with it (she is the art major afterall) and it is now my facebook picture. But, for those of you who don't have facebook accounts, I'll post it here so you can see it.

BlueStraightHair.JPG

Until next time, thanks for reading.

October 23, 2005

$$$$$$$$

I got paid! More on that later. Sorry it's been so long since I've written. Last week was midterm week so I was up late writing papers and studying for tests. But now that's over. It's Fall Break!!!!!

I never thought the campus could get this empty this fast. Friday night there were only 6 people left on the hall and Sam left Saturday night. It is almost like going back to freshman orientation except emptier. I'm still having fun though. Mark and Zhen are still here and I hung out with Alex and his sister last night so there are a few people still around to do stuff with.

Today was really interesting though. On thursday at CCC a guy came up to me and asked me if I would be interested in filling in to sing at his church that sunday evening. I said I would be in town and would love to fill in. Later that night he brought the music by and told me the details of the gig. He also told me that I was getting paid for my trouble. I thought I was doing this out of the goodness of my heart and it turned out I was going to make some money too.

It was a very old Anglican Catholic church whose building has been around for more than 100 years. The "choir" I was singing in was really an octet with a bass missing so my role was much larget than I expected. I was filling in at a 4:00 Sunday service so it was smaller than the traditional Sunday morning worship service. The boy who asked me, Graham, was the organist/choir director. I arrived and the smell of incense and oils. The inside was very ornate with many Cricifixes and paintings of Mary. We rehearsed at 3:00 and took a small break before the service. Out of the hour long service, I would probably say I sang for 45 minutes of it, mostly call and response between the minister and the choir. The worship service was very ritualistic but the small but friendly congregation made me feel somewhat at ease. Afterword, Graham drove me back to my dorm and asked me if I would be willing to fill in again. I said I'd love to.

So, while this weekend has been kind of slow at times, today was very productive. With the time I spent learning the music, riding too and from there, and the service itself, I was paid about $13/hour. I can hardly complain about that. So until next time, thanks for reading.

October 02, 2005

Craziness!!!

Wow!! What a night!!

Yesterday started out kind of blah but then became completely random and exciting. I'll get to that but first I must catch you up on this past week.

This week has been a pretty good one. I had my first Calc test on monday which I ACED!!! That's right: 100%! I was so happy I could have screamed. Then week started to go downhill from there. That's when I contracted the "5:30 Virus", a virus where, no matter what I'm doing, at 5:30 everyday I get a fever and start to feel really crappy. I had felt kind of tired Wed. morning so I got a coffee and then, at 5:30, I just got even worse. I had a lab that night so I went and got another coffee. By then I was wired. Molly, the other Physics/Voice double major and my lab partner, and I were wired during the lab. Even after 3 hours of work, we were so hyped. The two of us and Alex, another guy from our physics class, went to quiznos to get some dinner since none of us had eaten yet. Then we went back to their building, Tyler, to hang out in the lobby. At around 10:30 Sam called asking if I wanted to go to Arabica. The two of us, plus Jordan, went over there and what did I do? Got another coffee, a white mocha to be exact. Stupid Stuipd girl. Both Sam and I were sitting at our computers around 3 that morning saying "Are you tired?" "No." "Do you think we should try and go to sleep?" "It is 3 in the morning." The next morning was a hard morning to get myself out of bed. I actually slept a little late but was able to get to SAGES by 8:30.

Thursday night was another night of studying. I had a physics test on friday so I was studying all evening. I couldn't go to Archery because I had a review section for the test during it so Jordan stopped by to tell me what I missed. I went over to the study room in Wade to study around 1:00 so that I wouldn't disturb Sam while studying. I finished the practice problems and made my review sheet and hit the sac around 3 again that night.

That test went pretty well and, after the usual friday quiz in Calc, the week was done! Jordan came over to watch Smallvill since the two of us missed thursday night (Thank God for Tivo). We got to snack on the food from my wonderful parent's care package. I got a ton of food, B&N Gift cards, and a beautiful necklace :-) There was an Archery fun shoot that night and I brought Sam along with me to have her try shooting. She isn't as interested as Jordan and I but she has her fencing so she's fine. The fun shoot was nice. We played a game. We split into 3 teams and each team had a castle. Other teams would shoot at it to wound it and different parts of the castle were worth different points. There were also 2 health targets and wild card targets. Each team started with 80 points and the last team with points wins. Our team didn't win but it was still alot of fun. It was my only time shooting but my aim is getting much better. I could hit a health target that was a 8 inches on a side at about 16 meters about 2/3s of the time. I'm getting there and it is so much fun! After the shoot Jordan and Zhen came by and we all grabbed some dinner before heading back to our room and playing some Hand and Foot and watching Anastasia.

That brings us back to yesterday. It really did start out kind of sucky. I slept till 12, went to lunch with Sam at 1, and the day was so nice I went for a walk around campus. By 3 o'clock, however, I was back asleep in Sam's amazing chair. I slept until 6 when I had to go work on a group physics assignment. I went to dinner with Mark, Zhen, and Sam and then we went over to catch the end of the Football game because there was going to be a fireworks show going on right after. I actually got into the game. We were down by 7 to 14 going into the 4th quarter and we actually scored a touchdown but the kicker blew the extra point so we lost by 1. The fireworks were nice and then the craziness began.

We were invited to go clubbing by some girls on the hall but, after checking out the place they wanted to go, we changed our minds. We spend the next half an hour acting nuts in the hall. Some people were passing Sheeba around and then they stole her shoes and threw them over the ledge of our balcony onto the 2nd floor one. She went out to get them with Sam and Matt and some people put the couch infront of the door so they couldn't get back in. So, Sheeba decided to climb over the edge down onto the 2nd floor balcony outside to get her shoes!

Sam and I figured out how to make our computers look like strobe lights by making a powerpoint presentation of white and black screens and looping them with an automatic transition time of 00:00 seconds. From outside, our room looked like a party was going on inside. One of these weekends we are going to turn our room into a club.

Jordan got back from a concert and told us all about it. Sam and Zhen went down to the lobby to play pool and Jordan broke out his new ping pong stuff for us to play. A little later Matt brought out is volleyball and the five of us played sand volleyball at midnight. To cap up the evening the five of us, plus Jocelyn, all played a game of Pit before turning in. Towards the end of the game, Matt started falling asleep in between rounds so we just let him crash on our floor/chair since he was too tired to walk upstairs to his room.

All I can say is I LOVE COLLEGE!!!! Until next time, thanks for reading.