Friday, April 29, 2011

Pangy Day!

With Stodd, a good friend and chair of Project: Theatre.

The cutest little hula-hooper ever.

Jojo and Libby.

Today was Pangy Day and it was the most fun I have had since I came to school in September. Everyone dressed in shorts and skirts and pretty frocks. Everyone glowed. Everyone spent the afternoon smiling and laughing and blowing bubbles and telling stories and hula-hooping and making ribbon wreaths and running around a gigantic maypole and loving each other. (To see more pictures that I took this afternoon, click here.)

Today I fell in love with my school for all of the beauty within it, for the amazing women who surround each other with love and joy and support. I am so very, very tired, and unfortunately rather sunburned on my shoulders, but I am, more than anything else, so content with who I am and where I am at this moment in time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Aujourd'hui, c'est magnifique.

Today it is absolutely gorgeous out! Both yesterday and today started out rather dreary-- slightly muggy, but cold and damp more than anything else. The sun has fought through, though, and the weather is purely glorious. Walking across campus numerous times in one day has become a treat and not a begrudging reality. The air smells wonderful, the birds are singing in full force, the trees' branches finally have sprouted green buds, flowers are bursting, clouds are moving against a pristine blue backdrop, and my mood is fantastically elevated.

My personal life, as of late, has been relatively tough, but tremendous things have been happening here at school.

01. Olivia and I were able to get a double in one of our Top 5 dorms, Abbey Hall, which was built in 1937 and is so so beautiful!
It's hard to see in this picture, but it's quite pretty and the common spaces are beautiful, far cries from the dorm I live in now. Abbey is close to the theatre as well as the music building, making it convenient for both of us! It is also much closer to the center of campus and the main greens, which I am so happy about! Having lived relatively "off" campus this year, I am ready for the change.

02. I got the job I applied for! Starting next fall, I will be working as a Peer Mentor for the Speaking, Arguing, and Writing (SAW) Program here at Mount Holyoke College. As mentors, we work with fellow MHC students to help them develop their writing and speaking, regardless of where they might be in the creation process. As someone looking to possibly make a career in the publishing industry, this is the perfect job for me! Not to mention two other great things about it: a) I get to work with all different sorts of people, all of the time and b) my friend Lizzie is also going to be a SAW mentor with me!

03. I have been voted Secretary of Project: Theatre for the upcoming 2011-2012 academic year! P:T is the student theatre organization here on campus, and of the four shows I performed in this year, three of them were run through P:T. I can honestly say that I found my family in this organization-- the girls who devote their time to this group are absolutely amazing individuals, ones who I adore and trust and love deeply. I cannot wait to start giving back not only to Project: Theatre but also to the larger Mount Holyoke community as well!

04. I have been selected to be an Orientation Leader this coming fall! I am so excited!! Move-in day for me will now be Wednesday, August 24, some time in the late afternoon. Orientation training lasts for about ten days and then the real fun begins when all of the newly-admitted international students arrive (and when the rest of the Class of 2015 joins them a few days later). I did not have a particularly great experience in my own orientation group this year, and one of my largest goals is to help my own group of students have a warm, happy, positive first experience here on campus-- the one I never really had. It has taken me six months to realize how much there is to love about this school, and if I can, I want to show these girls how wonderful their four years here can be-- right off the bat.
05. I have been selected to receive some sort of French award at the French Department's end-of-year ceremony this coming Tuesday. I was really surprised when I received the invitation in my mailbox, but I will say that it is nice to know that all of my hard butt-busting work this year has apparently paid off.

06. I finished my last day of lighting prep crew this afternoon, which means I have officially completed the second of seven non-course requirements needed for my theatre major. It is a little victory, but one that makes me happy regardless.

07. Tomorrow night I am going to Smith to see Janelle Monáe perform live! Olivia, Noreen, and my friend Catia (who was the dinosaur in The Skin of Our Teeth, see second and third photos) are all coming, too. Janelle is an amazing performer and I am ecstatic to be able to say that she will be my third concert ever. I will try to take some pictures if I can.

08. This really cool annual event known as Pangy Day is this Friday afternoon! It is described as a combination of an end-of-year celebration mixed with a glorification of Earth Day. There is a campus-wide picnic on the green with entertainment in our amphitheater and then an entire afternoon of earth-friendly fun, including a maypole! I cannot wait! Hopefully I will take lots of pictures. For more information about Pangy Day, how it came to be, and pictures from last year's event, click here.

09. This weekend is going to be full of busy-ness but also a lot of happiness. On Friday I am going to see two different theatre performances, one from Project: Theatre called "Searching for Candi," and a student-written-and-produced piece called "Lost Time, Found Space" performed in collaboration with the Theatre department. Yum yum yum arts. On Saturday I have two meetings: my first ever Project: Theatre board meeting (!) and the Verbosity Literary Magazine release party. I also think I am going to try to go to Amherst Library for a few hours to see if I can't get a head start on my impending essay of doom (also known as "yet another examination of Louis XIV's power-hungry craze"). Saturday night I am going to UMass to see Leanne and also Jessie and Curtis, Hoang, Sasha, and others. I have not really seen anyone there in a long time, so I am looking forward to having one last "hurrah" before finals roll around and everyone becomes crazycrazycrazy. Then on Sunday, Mount Holyoke is hosting this really cool event called "Holi," which I think is sort of like intense, all-out body painting. I finish my weekend with my very first orientation leader meeting, as well as an evening curled up with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which, as a treat, we are discussing during our final Scottish Lit class on Monday. Delish as a fish.

10. Only four more days of classes, and only eleven more days until I can say I have finished my freshman year of college and I can come home!!! I am seriously so ancy. I love my friends here, of course, but I am really looking forward to spending three solid months at home, with my family and my high school friends. All that stands in my way, besides four days of classes, are three final exams and one six-page essay (and the Theatre department's end-of-year picnic, though I'm not complaining about yummy food and good company!).

Earlier this afternoon, Noreen and I came out of French class, spent a good ten minutes picking dandelions, and then had lunch together, during which time I built myself a dandelion crown. We exalted in the sun's beautiful rays, and though these pictures from my camera aren't great quality, I think the joy in the air is still visible.

It is still so lovely and sunny out! I think I will change into shorts, pull on my sneakers and go for a quiet walk around the lake. Maybe I will bring my camera.

The song of the day, half in honor of tomorrow night's concert and half because I love it and cannot get it out of my head, is "Oh, Maker" by Janelle Monáe.

Oh, Maker, tell me did you know
this love would burn so yellow,
becoming orange and in its time,
explode from grey to black to bloody wine?

Oh, Maker, have you ever loved,
or known just what it was?
I can't imagine the bitter end
of all the beauty that we're living in.

Have a glorious Wednesday afternoon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

s(He) killed it with kisses, and from it s(He) fled.

In Florence's version, the female is so strong.
Why, then, in this reality, am I the one who ends up so weak?

Leave all your love and your loving behind--
you can't carry it with you if you want to survive.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm going home tonight!

Thank goodness, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Shout-out to my roommate Briana:

Thank you for what you said to me last night.
You made me feel so much better.
I needed that.

Three Weeks

Is everyone afraid of time and space these days?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Tell me this banality staring me in the face
is not your way
of letting me know
you no longer feel.
Five words --
-- grotesquely overused in
and shamelessly mocked
by maturity's
cynical, biting malignity.
With twenty-six letters
from which to tear the arteries
straight from my heart
you choose merely nine.
Am I not worth more than that?
Are the remaining seventeen
too difficult to manipulate
or have you tired of

I cannot say what exists between us
nor am I certain
that what bound us before
was ever a form of existence.

2:37 PM -- 4.19.2011


How am I supposed to know what to say to you if you will not even tell me where we stand?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Skin of Our Teeth

Today was the final performance of The Skin of Our Teeth. Despite the show being a matinee, our audience was by far the best one of the week, and they seemed to absolutely love what we gave them. We have been working on this show for over two months now, and I have devoted a lot of my time and energy toward the hours and hours and hours of rehearsals we have had. The shows came off beautifully and this past week especially, I began to bond with the cast, strengthening my ties with the fellow ensemble members and developing new ones with the upperclassmen principles. I look forward to working with many of them next year!

Just in case you're interested in a visual of all of this schtuff I'm saying, here are some shots from the show.

Jane Bradley as Sabina the maid.

 The telegraph boy (Taylor Rankins) with the dinosaur (Catia Cunha) and wooly mammoth (Claudia Kim).

Mrs. Antrobus (Clara Kann) with her children Henry (Nicole Guild) and Gladys (Tess Guilfoile) and the pets.

 The final moments of Act I: the Antrobus household filled with prehistoric mammals and a rag-tag bunch of refugees all huddled around a fire. An iceberg looms outside and Sabina cries for the audience's help to "save the human race!" (I'm second from the right in the front row.)

 Atlantic City, NJ -- as imagined in cardboard. Opening montage complete with conventioneers and Esmerelda, the gypsy (played by the hilarious Lesley Brown).  I'm the goon in the wheelchair.

 Conventioneers taunting Mr. Antrobus (seated, Bryna Turner) for bringing "the whole family along." Do you see me in the Turkish Bath?

 The final moment of the act, as the world-ending deluge fast approaches. 

 Roger Babb, our director, decided to use puppets for the final act. The results were amazing.

The entire cast and crew posing with the Antrobus household (also made entirely out of cardboard). I'm in my costume as Mr. Fitzpatrick, the stage manager. Roger Babb is the the very back, center.

Normally a small part of me is bittersweet when a show comes to a close, but I am nothing but ecstatic now that Skin of Our Teeth is finally over. I think I am just really ready to have free time again. I have not had my weeknights free since I was cast in my first show at Mount Holyoke in mid-September, and I am truly excited to rediscover what it is like to have hours to spare. My experience with Roger and the cast and amazing crew members was absolutely fantastic, and I am so grateful to have been able to perform in my first department production before the end of my freshman year here. But I am leaving this show behind with peaceful contentment and an eager eye toward the weeks to come and the summer that is less than twenty days away!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Hickie

I mouth
sorry in the mirror when I see
the mark I have made just now
loving you.
Easy to say it's alright
like blasphemy is for believers but
even in our
situation simple etiquette says
love should leave us both unmarked.
You are on loan to me like a library book
and we both know it.
Fine if you love both of us
but neither of us must too much show it.

In my misted mirror
you trace two toothprints
on the skin of your shoulder and sure
you're almost quick enough
to smile out bright and clear for me
as if it was okay.

Friends again, together in this bathroom
we finish washing love away.

-Liz Lochhead


At ten fifty-seven yesterday morning, as I approached the building where I have my French class every day, I caught sight of a robin in the middle of his morning scavenge. He was beautiful, large and round with wonderfully red-orange plumage on his robust stomach. He hopped lightly around an area of mossy ground surrounding a tree with low-hanging branches. As I grew nearer, I watched him plunge his beak into the cushy green and pluck from the earth a thin, grey worm, its translucence shimmering in the growing daylight. I stayed on the pavement as I passed by, careful so as not to disturb him with any seemingly-treacherous movements. Even still, he sensed my presence and dropped this treasure discreetly, retreating quickly away as if in fear that I might discover his breakfast and steal it for my own. I continued walking and a few paces later turned around.

He had returned to the spot where his repast lay untouched. He dipped his head down, clicked his beak, and scurried away with the worm securely in his bill.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


There is always a reason with you. There is always a reason why this, whatever "this" is between us, cannot happen, a reason why it should not exist.

Perhaps each commencement between us begins with a predetermined end. 

Time stopped rooting for us almost at the start, and you, quick to grab hold of some reason, any reason, accepted its obstruction as inevitable. Did you welcome it with relief? Your eyes always focused on me, always bore deep within my own self, piercing my naive frame. Were they merely searching for a means of escape? When the first chilled wind blew through the greened leaves outside of your second story window, rocking their fragile stalks and forcing their gentle arms up toward a blue heaven, a foreshadowed fiery sacrifice of weeks to come, you ripped away your own stem, drew yourself as far from our shared roots as you could possibly get.

The chilled winds come every year. But the greened leaves trembled and you, forgetting how they quiver each year, ripped yourself away from these roots.

You reasoned with me, pronouncing continuity as hopeless. Time, you said, was not on our side. Secretly you listed space as another enemy. You never told me, but I knew.

Time is inescapable and evades control. I stood watching as you walked away, left me behind and found, upon your arrival Elsewhere, a third reason.

The Reason was beautiful and incomparable in every way. It was close and warm and sweet and possessed an intensity both in composition and character with which I could not compete. And I, believing always that passion, instinct, the blood pulse beating within me was stronger than logic, accepted this Reason with an unwavering faith in divinity. The Reason was there and exactly what you wanted. The Reason was exactly what you needed to run away from me.

Days and months have piled together, collecting dust. A second year of reasoned distance draws closer every day and still you fling excuses upon me as if rationalization is all we need to fix these mutilated roots. Still you blame time for the distance that you view as unavoidable.

Every reason you could possibly supply you have carelessly thrown at me. Still clinging onto this small, devout belief in the worth of these emotions circulating through my veins and pouring out of me, I have accepted every reason without any outward protest.

Last night every fiber of my being ached to scream at you, to scold you for two years of excuses and two years of avoiding explanation and potentiality. 

You have never even tried to challenge time, and I am stuck in the perpetual static of impossibility.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


A still from Act I of The Skin of Our Teeth.

The invited dress rehearsal for The Skin of Our Teeth is tonight! I am finally starting to feel excited about the show. I spent almost fifty hours in rehearsals over the last seven days, so to see everything come together and to have an audience to experience that cohesion is going to be wonderful! Leanne, Rachael, and Caitlin are all coming tonight, and I know that I am extremely lucky to have such supportive friends.

Monday, April 11, 2011


"Picasso once remarked, 'I do not care who it is that has or does influence me as long as it is not myself.'"
-Gertrude Stein

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

la petite academie et moi

At the end of my interview today, my professor/Colbert "offered me a job" to work as one of his advisors on la petite academie among the ranks of Jean Chapelain and others!!

An imaginary job has never meant more to me.

P.S. One quick thing I remember from my midterm interview. Professor "Colbert" McGinness brought up an image of Rigaud's famous portrait of Louis XIV to, as he so put it, "set the tone" for our meeting. I laughed and politely pointed out to Colbert what a beautiful portrait it was, but how curious for it to appear given that Rigaud finished it in 1701 and our interview was taking place in 1675. For a moment he looked a little surprised. I doubt he was expecting me to know that, much less call him out on the anachronism. I quickly added, "I hear Rigaud is currently training with Lebrun. He seems to have talent. We should definitely recruit him to paint this in a a decade or two." A few seconds of silence. Then Colbert smiled at me and quipped, "Yes...he is probably still crawling these days, isn't he?"

Ludovico Magno

It is 12:11 AM and I am comfortably sunken into an extremely cushy chair in the library. The air is so warm here and it makes me sleepy, I think, but I love the quiet atmosphere. The only sounds that arise are ones I find oddly calming: the light clatter of keyboards, the humming of the wooden ceiling fans and the occasional murmur of the printer. The girl in the chair directly across from me has fallen asleep, her body bent at the waist and her feet splayed on the ottoman we currently share; she breathes so lightly and I wish I could achieve that same level of tranquility. Instead, I frantically read book upon book about propaganda during the reign of Louis XIV, scrambling notes onto more leafs of notebook paper than any one person should have to use and subsequently attempting to tackle the daunting task of condensing days' worths of notes onto a few minuscule index cards.

My midterm "job interview" with my history professor (read: "Jean-Baptiste Colbert, royal advisor to Louis") is tomorrow at noon and I am terrified and no matter how many more hours I devote to studying, I already know I will still wake up tomorrow morning thinking that even breaking out in hives would be better than showing up at his office.

I am tired and I want to go to sleep.