Closing a Show

As TheaterCNU’s production of “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” comes to a close all I can think of is how lucky I am to have been a part of it. I honestly could not have asked for a better show with which to start my theater career here at CNU. It has been a remarkable journey, and it will be really hard to let go. But, I know this incredible story will remain with me for a long time to come.

Seeing this show come to an end is a little easier because I know the work we have done has been unique to us. I am absolutely sure no one has done a production of “Pericles” the way we have done it, and I’m sure no one will ever be able to replicate it either. We truly created a work of art combining the joys of acting, dancing and music.

We have worked on “Pericles” all semester, and I would not have changed a single second of it. We came together to put on a great production, and the outcome far exceeded our expectations. I am so happy to say that I was a part of this show, because we put everything we had into making it come to life.

I know when this production closes it will stay with us. When you work on a show like this and dedicate so much of yourself to it, it never really leaves you. The cast I had the privilege of working with has been so amazing. Witnessing the way everyone worked made me want to excel and push myself to do the best I could.

I am very aware that I will never be in a show quite like this again and that is what makes it so special. I can’t even begin to describe the ways I am thankful to have been a part of this production. I know that TheaterCNU’s production of “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” has been a once in a lifetime experience.


Am I a Scholar?

I don’t see myself as a “scholar.”

Even though I’ve been in school as long as I can remember, with just a few summer and Christmas breaks thrown in, I still see the title of scholar as reserved for someone in the Middle Ages, holed up in a castle with lots of scrolls and ink and dust.

I think it’s time I reeducate myself on this subject.

Merriam-Webster defines a scholar as someone who “has studied a subject for a long time and knows a lot about it.” Well, that’s pretty simple. According to that definition, scholarship comes down to a desire to learn; I’d say that most of the students I’ve met at CNU thus far fall under that category.

As we approach finals, it’s easy to lose confidence in your academic skills. I constantly find myself thinking, “I should have studied one more hour for that test” or “Did I write enough for that essay?” But, the good news is: scholarship isn’t something that’s achieved overnight. It’s a process; thankfully, one bad test won’t ruin the whole thing. Becoming super knowledgeable in a certain area of study takes several years, many classes and lots of reflection.

So, with the end of our fall semester nearing, remember these wise words from A. A. Milne (the creator of Winnie the Pooh and other nostalgia):

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Thanksgiving break is almost here! Let’s finish strong, Captains!

Greek Life is Service

Greek life can often get a bad reputation. Whether it be what you see in the media, someone who had a bad experience or your parents disapproving, it’s often hard to look past the bad rep that Greek life has.

While I will save all of the details on Greek life for future blog posts, I wanted to share a little about service.

When you sign up for Greek life, you sign up for service.

You take on the challenge of supporting your philanthropy; that can mean swinging in heat while giving out lemonade and popsicles for donations, living in cardboard boxes for a night to raise awareness about homelessness, or being in “jail” until you raise enough money to bail yourself out and raise funds for your cause.

All of these events above may sound strange to you, but they are ways different Greek organizations on our campus support their philanthropy, their community and their members.

I am extremely thankful for the opportunities for service I have been given through Greek life. They’re opportunities I may not have otherwise had, and opportunities that give me something to be passionate about during my time here.

Brotherhood or sisterhood means supporting your philanthropy, putting on events and sharing it with campus.

The coolest thing to me about all these service opportunities through Greek life is that it doesn’t just stop with your organization.

We as a Greek community have the ability and opportunity to serve others through our attendance, donations and support of other organization’s events.

Things like: buying a ticket to watch students perform stand-up comedy, lip sync to Miley Cyrus or get pied in the face support that service ideal.

Even indirectly, it all matters.

Hang In There

The end of the semester is nearing and I, for one, can’t wait! I feel like this semester has flown by, but at the same time each day is longer than the one preceding it. Even though we are almost done, there is still so much more to do in preparation of finals. Finals … I can’t even imagine taking them right now, especially with Thanksgiving break right around the corner.

I know it is hard to muster up the strength to last until then, but I have faith that we all can do it!! Plus, Thanksgiving break will be so much more rewarding if you can push through this week of classes.

I have made a list of all my last big tests, projects and assignments to help me stay focused on what I need to get done. Something helpful to do is to write this all out on a sticky note, take a picture of it and set it as your phone background. We all check our cell phones a million times a day, so each time you check it, you will be reminded to stay on track.

Even though we are going to have to buckle down, don’t forget to take a break! Netflix is always waiting for me after a long day or when I get stressed out. So guys, it isn’t too long until break, so wrap up those assignments and enjoy your turkey day!

Opening a Show

This truly has been one of the most exhausting and fulfilling weeks of this semester for me. TheaterCNU opened the production of “Pericles, Prince of Tyre,” which I am in. We have been working on this show for months now and we couldn’t have been more excited to bring it to an audience. The process of creating a show is one that takes a while, but is extremely worth it.

Now, this play by William Shakespeare already comes with certain challenges when it comes to the language. Then, when you add Afro-Caribbean dance and music to it, it becomes a party. I don’t think anyone in the cast was prepared for what this show actually would entail, but I know we are all extremely proud and happy with the result.

This show is being done in the round, which means that the actors are in the center while the audience is all around us. Being in the studio theatre, it is a very intimate show. The audience is right there beside the actors and can really feel like they are a part of the show. The audience can even choose to sit on a cushion and be up close and personal to the actors.

This production is a very actor-driven show, so all we have is a wedge that gets used differently in each scene. Since this is a big ensemble production where we all play several characters, we get amazing costume pieces that help suggest when we become someone else. Also, all the sound effects made in the show are done by the actors.

Working on this show has been so incredible. This has been my first production here at CNU, and I could not have asked for a better show on which to work. It’s been a labor of love, patience and more love, and we had an amazing director, Professor Denise Gillman, leading the entire thing. Without her, none of this would be what it is.

If you are saying to yourself, “I missed the opening weekend!” don’t worry! We have another weekend of performances: November 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. and the 23 at 2 p.m. We can’t wait for you to see it!

We’ve Got History

Let me tell you about the biggest surprise of my semester.

Well, it’s not the biggest … but it was pretty surprising.

Also, let me preface this story with some personal background: History is one of those subjects I can take or leave. It’s never been my favorite thing to study, but it’s also never been something I run screaming from when class registration rolls around. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the colonial things to do around Williamsburg, but “exciting” historical events don’t always make an exciting transfer into the classroom. To prove that point, I had to take an ancient history course last semester … let’s just say I mastered the art of falling asleep sitting up (oops).

So, the surprise. This semester, I had to take an American history course to count toward the Master of Arts in Teaching Program. I was expecting another sleeper; I mean, come on, EVERYONE knows all there is to know about American history, right?


My professor has been phenomenal about making stories from the early era of our nation come alive. She teaches lessons like she knows all the historical figures personally, like she just had coffee with Andrew Jackson yesterday. Plus, there are so many details I missed about America’s history in my previous classes; sure, we’ve all learned about the Louisiana Purchase, but did you know that France sold that land to America even though we had just refused to help out with their revolution? My professor does a fantastic job keeping our class involved with each lecture; she’s constantly asking us for our input and getting us to think about the bigger pictures these historical events helped create.

History may not be your thing. But, a great professor can change your perspective on an area of study. Take it from me, a reformed history buff – the right professor can make all the difference.


As the cold penetrated my jacket, a shiver went down my spine. I glanced around the dimly lit shelter crowded with people shuffling into a line. The line inched toward a table where a few of my friends were handing out food. I stood back a ways collecting their trash in a large black bag. Every so often, someone would come up and ask the same question. Their tired eyes would look into mine and ask somewhat frantically, “When will the sleeping bags be handed out?” I would tell them soon, even though I had no idea and they would nod and walk off. Finally, the much-anticipated bags were handed out. The line again formed as the 70 or so sleeping bags were distributed one at a time. It was hard to wrap my brain around the fact that many of these people had nowhere to go after we finished. My seemingly small campus housing now seemed like a palace compared to the place they called home. After we had concluded, one man remained behind. He came up to our table and thanked us sincerely for our help.

Service to our community and our campus is a huge part of what CNU is about. Opportunities to serve are as easy to find as columns around here. Every organization I have been a part of, whether a sports team or a club, has conducted service projects outside of campus. Serving the city’s homeless, volunteering at some of the local elementary schools and donating to canned food drives are a couple of the projects students can regularly be a part of. Although service hours are often required for certain scholarships and programs, the thanks of a person you have truly helped is always enough reward.

Caffeine: The College Student’s Fuel

Ah, coffee.

If you asked me in elementary, middle or high school if I would ever be drinking coffee and actually enjoying it, I would have laughed. Coffee is such an adult drink, right?

Well, technically I am an adult now. As of three years ago. But, I can still pretend to not be.

Anyways, caffeine has become almost a necessity in the majority of college students’ diets and daily routines.

The white cup from Einstein’s has become an accessory, and I’ll admit I’ve jumped on the bandwagon.

When I was touring CNU, I thought it was so cool that they had their own coffee shop in the Trible Library.

I still think it’s cool.

Einstein’s is a place for friends, for meetings and for enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. It’s also for 1 a.m. when you’re finishing (or starting) a paper.

Look around campus and you’ll see the long-sleeved blue shirts and KNOW – hey, they’re a coffee hero.

Whether Diet Coke, other sodas, coffee or tea is your cup of joe, you can find it at Einstein’s and in the hands of the majority of students …

Over my two-and-a-half years here, I’ve discovered some ways to get the most out of my coffee.

Like: bringing your own re-usable mug or cup and getting some cents off (yes, it’s a real thing, and yes, it adds up).

Also, almost all of Einstein’s employees are students – which I think is pretty cool, and I salute them for their long hours and many lattes (especially during the fall with pumpkin spice lattes – which I’ve still never had *gasp*).

So, if you’re a college student at CNU, choose your fuel.

If sleep is it, I envy you.

If coffee is it, I’m in this fight to stay awake with you.

See you at Einstein’s!