Sprinting Into the Homestretch!

Mimez!!!

Arguably the best thing that has ever happened to me happened about a month ago: I made it into the HYPE! Mime Troupe at Tufts! We’re the only collegiate troupe in the Boston area and overlap with the other comedy troupes here, such as Cheapsox (improv), Major: Undecided (sketch comedy), The Institute (filmed sketch), Traveling Treasure Trunk (children’s theatre).  Miming is totally new for me.  I had a little crash course in technique, thought up a skit and picked music (I was a cooking show host – think Rachel Ray – who had to save face despite some kitchen disasters), and auditioned.  No one in Hype! was a mime before joining although some background in theatre or athletics is helpful.  Basically our semester goes like this:

  • Auditions for new mimes in the first week or two
  • Rehearsals twice a week where we play some wild mime games (like Mime Telephone) to practice the technique
  • Start skit-jamming (someone brings in some raw idea –  music they’d like to hear in a skit, an image, a ridiculous character, a hilarious situation – and we play around with them)
  • Long day: 30 skit proposals, 8 hours, 4 pizzas, and 1 container of caramelized pear ice cream later, we vote on the line-up for our big show
  • Various smaller shows where we perform skits that we’ve done in the past (for example, last night we mimed out the Olympics and the Dawn of Mime at Cheapsox’s Laughs of Love comedy festival)
  • Lots and lots of rehearsal
  • Our big 1-hour, mind-blowing show!  This year, it’ll be April 26th at 8 PM.  I’ve already invited my sixty closest friends and family.

I never would have guessed that I’d become a mime in college.  But sometimes you get really, really lucky.  Hype! has rounded out my life at school really nicely; I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing a creative, performance outlet.  Not to mention that we are a mighty fun group, if I do say so myself.  Just ask anyone at last night’s intermission, when we started a pumpin’ dance partay.  If you can’t be a mime, you might as well dance with one.

Tuftonia’s Day

Planning has been going very smoothly for this night of nights.  This year’s event (marking the beginning of our fair University) will be bigger, better, and involve even MORE cupcakes!  We’re moving it to Fletcher Field and inviting local alum as well as booking the runner-up in Tufts’ Battle of the Bands to perform.  Mechanical bull, nuff said.  TUSC has broken up into a few committees to make this extravaganza happen.  Dining Committee is seeing to it that the dining hall serve Jumbo-sized hot dogs and Elephant Ears that day, and they are taking on the colossally important task of ordering all those free cupcakes.  Advertising Committee is handling fliers, t-shirts, and the cannon.  

Relay for Life

One of my best friends here has been very involved in the planning of this charity event, and I was glad to lend my support as a team member.  I’d never done a group fundraiser, and I can now personally attest to how motivational those “Only This Much Left Till We Achieve Our Goal!” temperate-gauge-things are.  Relay raises money for the American Cancer Society while putting together an enjoyable and moving night for the whole community.  The best part of the evening was the Luminaria ceremony.  It’s pretty powerful to hear one of our peers talking about his battle with cancer and to see the sheer number of people who relay for someone they know fighting the disease.  The gravity of the night – which had been more fun and games (yes, I brought Uno) before – became clear then.  Those moments when I could see the support – like two people walking arm-in-arm on the track in silence – made all the fundraising very worth it.  Relay at Tufts has already raised about $79,000, and donations keep coming in.  It was a great way to spend a Friday.  The Gantcher indoor track felt like a very comfortable retreat, complete with sleeping bag bonding and late night burritos, from 6 PM – 6 AM.

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And Then My Social Calendar Exploded

So the weather may be getting some of us down (that icefest? no thanks.), but at least the end of January always brings a ridiculous spike in things to do…making me a very happy camper.  So what have I been doing?  Well, funny you should ask – I write this little blog and… anyway …

TUFTS BEST DANCE CREW

= An epic 3-week event in which Tufts’ various dance groups (our Turbo breakdancers, Spirit of Color ladies, La Salsa hotties, and Sarabanders are the final 4) compete and are wittled down.  This Friday is the grand finale (is it kosher to endorse a crTURBOew on my blog?).  Being an AVID fan of ABDC, I’ve really enjoyed the Tufts version.  Competition is intense, and it’s good to see fans for each group come out and support.  Not to mention the fact that Tufts has such a diverse range of dancers – finally they’re showcased.  ANNNND it’s even for charity!  $3 encouraged at the door for charities that Pangea supports.

WINTERBASH

= Our Winter equivalent of FallBall.  Everyone looks all cute n’ stuff, and we get together to dance the cold away in Gantcher.  Great excuse to get more wear out of your New Year’s dress.  As a member of Programming Board, I had to work it (TCU Senate and PBoard split responsibilities for setting up and working the two dances).  And work it, I did.  Luckily my first shift was at the door, so I got to see a million people arrive and check out how fly my friends looked.  Around 10:30/11 that area goes crazy – this is an all-campus event we’re talking about.  The presence of a 21+ pub (exclusively WinterBash) brings in all the older students.  I was EXHAUSTED come 4:00 AM when I got back to my bed after breaking down the place.  But don’t worry bout lil’ ol’ me – they ordered us Pizza Days (Turkish Delight…YESSS) around 2 AM, so morale was high.

TONY BLAIR

= self-explanatory.  And GREAT.  That is one witty former prime minister!  Yesterday Gantcher (our biggest space at Tufts – fits somewhere around 3000 people?) filled to capacity with undergrads, grad students, teachers, alums, special guests, counsels general, secret servicey folk…quite a scene.  It was part of the Issam Fares Lecture Series (has brought speakers like Hilary Clinton and Margaret Thatcher in the past).  Miraculously Tufts managed to get tickets – free! – to us all.  They do a lottery system to give out the tickets, but I didn’t hear of anyone turned away.  The lecture was really good.  To me, the highlights were:

- his points on the Israeli-Palestinean conflict being central to finding a peace solution in the Middle East

- his insistence on global solutions and coordinating between nations…as a student of International Relations, I appreciated his honesty about using hard and soft power and his approach toward a two-state solution in Gaza

- his anecdotes from being a member of the Quartet

- his HILARIOUS stories: like the French mix-up at press conference (look this one up…TRUST ME)

Alright kiddies – I have my first test (Arabic) in a few hours, so it’s crunchtime.

- P

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…And We’re Back

T-minus 3 days till Spring semester starts.  Boy oh boy!  Tomorrow I’ll be heading back to school (Shout-out to my North Carolinean friend, Evie, who is road-trippin’ back to Tufts and will let me bum along for the last leg of the trip).  For the first time in winter break history, I am officially ready to return.  Finished my errands, set my new goals, etc etc.  I’ll share some of those goals:

- Find a job and continue the search for a summer internship in Boston (already decided I’ll be staying in the apartment we leased for Junior year over the summer months…and already started calling furniture for said apartment over this break)

- Expand my social circle (like finally calling all the people that I see periodically and say, “we should really hang out!!”)

- Go to the library more during the day

Etc etc.  I’ll keep y’all updated on my progress.

So my calendar has already started filling up (= I’ve already written a bunch of things in my new ’09 planner.  Which is olive green and ADORABLE in every way)!  IM Dodgeball starts up again on Wednesday.  Note to self – buy matching team headbands.  Our Spring Shorties for Rugby means a significantly smaller time commitment in that arena of my life, though we’ll still meet to work out and have a few games.  Winterbash (AWWW YEAHHH) is in 2 weeks, and as a PBoard member I’ll be working the event as well as shakin my thang.  And I’ve already bought tickets to a few upcoming concerts in Boston.

Sound reasonably wild n’ crazy?  Oh believe me, it will be.

 

HERE WE COME SPRINGGG TERM! (and here’s looking forward to bocce on the quad when the snow melts).

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The F Word

No, silly readers, I would never smear this sweet, sweet blog with foul language.  That’s why I’ll just spell it out for you:

F-I-N-A-L-S!  :-o! (haha…emoticonz…)

 

Actually, that’s an exaggeration.  Yours truly is a closet-lover of reading period and finals week.  I like having big chunks of time to devote to one or two things.  Streamlined, you know?  Tufts students have pretty busy schedules during the year, and I’m no exception.  So these couple weeks are pretty much the only time I know when all we’re focusing on is a few papers or finals (no homework, meetings, etc).  Call me crazy.  Or comforting.  Or Pam, you know, whatever.

That being said, the stress can get to you.  But, have no fear – there are a million and one study breaks / de-stressors out there just waiting to be used n’ abused.

So I Actually Didn’t Fall Asleep During Guided Meditation

Our last TU3 (Tufts University Unitarian Universalists = T U Cubed) meeting of the year was full of cookies, holiday tradition stories, and meditation.  Our weekly meetings are Tuesday nights and last about an hour.  I was that token freshman who signs up for every other club at the Club/Orgs Fair, but TU3 is one of the few meetings that I consistently attend.  It’s a good de-stressor every week (though especially the one before finals).  I was raised UU, so the spiritual parts bring me right back to Sundays at home.  Taking some time once a week to reflect and think about the bigger picture is a nice break.  And when you’re thinking about the world and your place in it, it’s really hard to get caught up in stupid stuff or way more invested than you need to be in that problem set.  You can getchur spiritual fix through a lot of avenues here.  The Chaplaincy provides a ton of resources, and the student groups cover all your bases to provide a community and space – ranging from Catholic Mass in Goddard Chapel to Sufi Dhikr in the Interfaith Center.  In my UU meeting this past week, we did a guided meditation to relax and spend ten minutes doing some focused breathing.  Refreshing, not to mention the comfort of cookies.

There are countless other de-stress options this time of year, too.

I’m currently molding play-doh that I got from the Campus Center Study Break cart.  Also included: jewelry kits, highlighters, post-it note pads, and keep-ya-goin’ candy.  And my joints are feeling particularly nice after going to the free massages (keyword being free) in Jackson Gym.  My friend Emily was one of those talented masseuses, offering her services as practice for a class on Massage Therapy.  Also of note was the Pancake Breakfast (starting at 9 PM…I know, that’s PM as in NIGHTTIME as in College = no parents = pancakes at night = IT’S CRAAAZYYY HEREEE!).  And what’s sweeter than maple syrup? Professors making the modes for maple syrup (i.e pancakes).  And, again – free!  I heard the Women’s Center study break – a different Disney movie and snacks every night! – is awesome, too.

This girl’s gotta write some papers, so I’m off.  I’ll tell ya how my finals go.

 

(And, for the record, despite freezing temperatures the quad reception was FANTASTIC)

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Well, hullo there!

Looking for a new source to tell you what’s happening on-campus, in easy-to-read bloggy form?  Consider it found. If you’ve looked at my cute, lil’ userprofile, then you’ve seen that I tout myself as The Ultimate Attendee – if it’s happening on campus, you can bet I’ll be there.  I’m Pam.

If I Was Featured on a Trading Card, It Would Say…

- Sophomore at Tufts

- Hails from West Hartford, CT

- Current game plan: major in International Relations, focusing on gender and religions (Women’s Studies minor?)

- Player and treasurer on the Tufts Women’s Rugby Team

- Gets spiritual fix at TU3 (Tufts University Unitarian Universalists) meetings every Tuesday night

- Co-chair of TUSC (Tufts University Spirit Coalition – group on Programming Board)

- Tour Guide

- Middle name = enthusiastic (just kidding, it’s actually Alice)  

 

After reading that exciting and in-depth bio, I’d say you know me almost well enough to be BFFrz.  Let the pamblings (pam+ramblings…ZING) begin!

 

Tufts Timmy Dodgeball Tournament

 

Flashback to the beginning of this week:  I’m hurtin’ pretty bad for a chance to break out my high socks and sweatband.  Lo and behold, opportunity presents itself in the form of the Tufts Timmy Dodgeball Tournament – a fundraiser for The Tufts Timmy Foundation.  The organization is about providing healthcare in the underdeveloped world, and the Tufts chapter held the tournament as a fundraiser for the foundation and their January service trip to Guatemala.  I formed a Dream Team of female ruggers.  I forgot to send a team name in, so they kept announcing us as Team Pam (to my delight).  What we may have lacked in skill we certainly made up for in enthusiasm – cheering like the beasts that we are.  I’d rather not discuss our actual scores (…or lack thereof).  The games took place bracket-style in the Gantcher indoor track, and the turn-out was pretty impressive.  Competitive attitude depended on the team, but I’d say most people were there to have some silly fun.  We had a ridiculous time and as a result are planning on participating in the Intramural Dodgeball League (keep your eyes peeled for pictures soon) that starts up next week.  I’ll be getting our t-shirt decals and matching sweatbands this weekend.

Food Fairs Galore

In other news, this was a well-fed week.  First, I conned my way into the Freshman Har-fest (Harvest Fest) to get pumpkin pie and plenty of cider.  Well…by “conned” I really mean walked in with the freshmen from my team after Dodgeball.  It helps to be a member of the group (Programming Board) that puts on these events, since it gets you access.  I award 1 Pammy to the pumpkin muffins — too good.

Then I stumbled twice, actually twice, into Food Fairs in the Campus Center.  Literally stumbled.  The first time, I was getting the Jumbo suit when I walked into a Pizza Days employee giving out free T-shirts and PIZZA at lunchtime.  Also present was Pranzi’s, Wings Over Somerville, and Papa John’s.  TCU Senate had put on a sampler fair for students to help decide who will be the next lucky restaurant on MOPs (Jumbocash).  My picks are Pranzi’s and Sugar & Spice (a Thai place in Porter Square).  The second time, I was on my way to the Arabic tutor when I tripped over a sushi station.  TASA had an Asian Food Fair with a smorgasboard that included make-your-own sushi and spring rolls and mooshoo (sp?) pork.  Fannntastic.

Long story short, I’m bruised from dodgeballs and walking into Food Fair tables, but morale is higher than ever.

 

Stay tuned for….

CH. 2: 2008’S MR. JUMBO IS CROWNED!

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