Monday, March 29, 2004


It seemed unfair, I realized during dinner, to neglect to mention the fact that I got to see American Ballet Theater put on Swan Lake last night. It was, not surprisingly, gorgeous and made me remember how much I appreciate ballet and its under-valued difficulty. It made me wish I had rethought bringing up my ballet/tap shoes that morning. I had stared at them for about two minutes and decided the bags were getting too full to include them. Now I miss them.

It would also be unfair to neglect to mention the lovely El ride back to NU. Boldly defying my parents, I talked with a stranger on the El. He was full of all sorts of important information. He wore a blue and orange Chicago Bears sweatshirt, was slightly scruffy and unshaven, and was carrying a plastic grocery bag that seemed to be filled with classical CDs, or at the very least, their cases...

I now know interesting facts about The Passion that I did not notice before, which buildings survived the Chicago Fire (my mom would be so proud, our ancestors moved to Glen Ellyn/Naperville/Wheaton after the fire!).. How that really nice high school hasn't had a graduating class yet "but they will"... How the secretary of state is a "great" man who has "given lots of kids opportunities they never would have seen" and he runs a gymnastics team that has an academic requirement. The best restaurant in Chicago is at the Armitage stop... I also know that this guy's brother went to Northwestern and played in "The 1968 Bowl Game" when this gentleman was eight years old.. For your information, there is a French Club that meets in the city once a month and eats together while speaking in French; and while he is familiar with French, not really the language, his niece is fluent and received her degree in French at the Sorbonne. The nice gentleman also updated us if we didn't know, our school is staunchly conservative ("Maybe not the kids, but the school, oh, you can bet it is.") and told us the various combinations of El lines we could take back up to NU, in case we didn't know. He wished me luck figuring out my major. He may actually have helped more than he realizes.

I keep cutting at my hair with scissors in little bits. Is this strange?


Thursday, March 25, 2004

Pop VS. Soda

In the great "Pop" versus "Soda" debate, (which is likely to rage on until the Midwest either swells up and pushes the Coasts off the edge of the continent, or the Coasts join flanking forces and squeeze the Midwest out of existence) there is one reason I have chosen to side with the "Pop's" of this nation.

As far as I am concerned, soda is not what I drink out of a can or a 20 ounce bottle. I do not stumble down two flights of stairs in my dorm to the basement to retrieve a soda from the vending machine. Vending machines are not capable of producing soda; they spit out bottles or cans of pop.

I can't really tell you why this distinction is controversial as we collegiate types meld our colloquial tongues into one. It's only a beverage, really, but look at us. We could fight tooth and nail over the definition of a syrupy carbonated drink. I've even taken to referring to soda-pop in order to avoid dispute. This euphemism seems to add fire to the flame, rather than please both parties and ameliorate the situation, as I thought it would.

I digress. As I mentioned, there is one reason in particular I have chosen to refer to fizzy drinks contained in 20 ounces and aluminum cans as pop. These unrefined, arguably crude, drinking vessels could by no means, contain soda. Soda is not meant to be compressed with all of its lovely bubbles into metal or plastic. Soda should seemingly flow from some sort of marble fountain, brimming with fizz and tickling your nose when you get too close.

Sodas are meant to be ordered in environments that attempt to have this same euphoric aura as the above-mentioned fountain. These places are the facades and sets of the American dream--the soda shoppe in It's a Wonderful Life! or the ice cream parlor in The Music Man. The places that measure the attainment of a vision, the fall of a hero, and his struggle to succeed. There, spinning on a cushioned red stool, running my fingers on the freshly wiped-down marble counter, and hanging my feet just barely out of reach of the black-and-white tiled floor, I feel justified, asking the kid behind the counter wearing an apron and folded paper hat if I could please have one strawberry soda. A small universe of pink carbonation and hissing fizz. It will be served, too, in an unusual oblong pulled glass, one that you might get ice cream or a malt in. Its container is as real as the mirror behind the counter--I could finish its contents, throw it against the wall and it would shatter--unlike its aluminum or plastic counterparts that would flatly thunk against the red-papered walls and bump to the floor. There is something about a soda that reflects the volatility, beauty, and perserverence of the people who order them...something a pop could never reproduce.

It is thus, friends, that I have chosen to say pop. A refridgerator in a dorm, a vending machine in a basement, a beverage station in a cafeteria could only contain pop. I reserve the term "soda" for the carbonated beverages that create the illusion that I, too, could slip away into a black-and-white or technicolor utopia and sip while the backdrop of the set stands unchanging behind me.


Saturday, March 20, 2004


need to figure something out about school. I'm having a great time socially, but academically, I just feel like I'm lacking something and I don't know what it is.

I see some of my friends who are headed down this particular and awesome path and I'm off wandering in the WCAS "Undecided" bushes, picking in leaves and rubbing them on my face. (They're probably poisonous.)

I first looked at Northwestern for Medill. Why the hell didn't I just apply there? I was interested in Communications, then Medill again, then freaked out and just applied CAS. (heave, sigh.)

My dad doesn't understand and says a "good education" is all that it's about, but what career am I going to pursue once out of college? "Good career"? Heave. Sigh.

What were you interested in when you were little? What did you spend ALL of your time doing??

I feel like we should all major in whatever activity that was. For me, I would be majoring in squishing ants on playgrounds and minoring in catching fireflies.


Sunday, March 7, 2004

Still More DM

I just looked really hard at the Willard website for the first time since before I actually moved in. I've glanced at it once or twice to check up on things, but looking at it now, I'm somewhat overwhelmed.

I remember looking at all the photos of exec and central board people this summer when trying to decide where I was going to live. Specifically, I remember looking at the photos of Karl and Heather and appreciating Erin Fitzgerald's comment: "Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." (Props, Dr. Seuss, you literary genius.) The website really was what convinced me to try for Willard. Then at the Cincinnati NU get-together, meeting people who were living there (Julia, Zach, Zak, Grant, Rebecca) started to make it a reality.

I had no idea then, or even when moving in what a great experience this dorm would provide me. I've met so many amazing people here, so many brilliant, talented, and giving people. I feel like Dance Marathon was the culmination of all of the feeling that Willard exudes and more. I know that I have a home here and these people are my family, and simply put, my family rocks.

Matt sent an email to the listserv today about DM, commenting on the amazing 9th block (hours 24-27). Here's part of his email, since I cannot possibly describe this experience any better:

We had already been dancing for a day before we got to the block where we
wore our Willard shirts. And when we came out onto the dance floor for
that block (the one-hit wonders block... AMAZING!) there was this giant
mass of light blue, all dancing together. It was a fucking dancing sky.
It looked incredible and we intimidated. But that wasn't the best part.
While we were all dancing together, "Get What You Give" by the New
Radicals DEFINITELY came on, and it. was. amazing.
Everyone was jumping, aerial hand-clapping (props to Peter "the" Kahn),
and just dancing their minds out, flailing about. No one was spared. It
was the most positive seizure of all time

Dance Marathon was such a positive experience for me, I really cannot describe it. I, in all cheesy honesty, feel like I truly learned a lot about myself, other people, and the impact we all have on one another. You put five hundred college kids in a room and you tell them: Dance. For thirty hours... And they do it. And not only that, but they do it for an amazing cause. I was impacted emotionally in so many ways during DM and I'm completely happy I decided to participate.

Some of my favorite memories, aside from the moment described by Matt above...

1. "What's Goin On?" This song came on during the third block (Vogue) and I nearly lost it. I have so many fond memories of this song and there's nothing like screaming it with all your friends and going nuts.

2. Visitors, Sneak-ins, Gifts At my lowest point of physical and emotional energy, I saw John in the crowd, dancing. I can't describe how happy I was to see him. He lifted my spirits and my energy when I most needed it. Not to mention the fact that he and Brett came back later and snuck in bottled water (since DM had run out) and some Gatorade. :-)

Barrak was completely amazing and brought everyone popsicles. I had an orange one during "One Hit Wonders", the ninth block, and the block where everyone had their Willard shirts on. That orange popsicle did me soooo good. It was the most refreshing food I had the whole time I was there.

Sophie sent me some Gatorade that was a huge help once I ran out of water in the middle of the night! Bryan came twice to say hi to all of us... Heather made me a pin that says "'Rock DJ'" (Damn! Why didn't they play that f'n song, now that I think of it...) and she visited numerous times... even though I apparently fell asleep in the bathroom and missed her... Hm... We'll never know. God, I saw so many people, I can't even list them all. I just loved everyone for coming and saying hi, giving encouragement, and sneaking in to dance with us. You people rocked.

3. Breakfast Talks After eating, I joined Zeke over by the window where we propped our feet up in the air, ignored most of the performances, and just talked. We agreed that the night had not happened, since it was just a big sweaty dancing blur.

4. 80s Rock Out Jason and I completely expended all energy from about 5:15 until 6:45 am during the 80s block. I don't know where that energy came from, and I won't question it now, but all I know was, he and I rocked the dance floor... Specifically during "Walk Like an Egyptian". I mean, we even got compliments from the camera man who was following us.

5. 'N Sync with Josh Sharing a special duet to "I Want it That Way" with the amazing Josh.

6. Cool Battle Scars I broke through the skin on my left ring finger from snapping my fingers in the first two blocks. Is it possible? Apparently.

7. Sandwich Special: One slice of CC between John and Matt. Enough said.

8. Dancing with Harry Potter Oh, Harry and his sexy scarf... oh God.

9. Best compliment of all time You're neat.

10. Seeing What We Did Getting to see the children and their parents was unreal and truly an emotional experience. The father who pumped his arms into the air when his son finished reading; the boy who said that Willie the Wildcat was a beast, but a nice one; the girl who loved being able to be on the screen in front of everyone; the kids dancing in the back with their parents and other dancers; the founder and the other mothers who started the organization out of the top floor of an ice hockey arena. These people are inspiring.

11. More Willard Love And this moment is where it all truly came together for me. For the last song, instead of just grabbing a partner as the mediocre/lower than average male em-cee suggested, Willard just grabbed itself. We took up a huge amount of the dance floor, and just hugged each other, swaying back and forth. After dancing for thirty hours, raising over 28,000 dollars, seeing everything we were able to do for these children and their families, and spending an entire evening with my friends, nothing felt more right than to just be with them in that moment.

Thank you, Willard, for being such awesome people, exceeding my expectations from this summer, and making my experience at Northwestern all the more amazing because of it.


A Long Good Day

Hi. I just danced for thirty fucking hours. That's a day straight, plus another quarter of a day. From sunset, to sunrise, to sunset, and to night. Amazing. Or maybe I should just take credit. I am amazing cause I didn't sit except for during the ten minute breaks and meals. Every other person dancing there was amazing, along with the people who organized DM. And without any doubt in my mind, the children who we are helping are completely amazing. I didn't get to work at Have Dreams yet, but now I defintely want to. Those children are truly an inspiration.

Aside from the facts, some interesting things to know are...
1. I shared many awseome moments at DM that I will share if I remember them later.
2. Not dancing in life now seems unnatural.
3. I definitely shared an intimately embarassing delirious side of self to John, Karl, Matt, and various others as I rambled.
4. I started to dance while packing my suitcase, imagining a beat in my head, and twisting my hips while I sat on my ass and pumping my arms as I reached for clothing.
5. I am exhausted. Seriously. I am giong to bed now that it is 2:30. I have been awake for officially... uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... hold on give me a sec... i'm tired, gimme a break... uhh................. 41.5 hours.


Ps. the subject is what zeke and I decided as how to define DM.