Sewing the Stress Away

As a theater minor, I was required to take either scene design or costume design. Both classes are beneficial and highly enjoyable, but I chose to take costuming because it seemed more interesting to me. We’re nearing the end of the semester, and I thought it would be fun to reflect on my experience in this incredibly rewarding class.

Professor Kathy Jaremski is a wonderfully talented, caring, hardworking individual who really cares about her students and their success. She taught us that no matter what position you hold in the theatrical world (actor, director, scene designer, etc.) it is important to have at least a general understanding of all the other cogs in the machine. This allows for a broader understanding of theater as a whole, and makes the whole production process run a lot smoother.

Not only has this class helped me to understand the work that goes into costuming a production, but it has helped me gain life skills such as sewing on buttons and zippers, ironing/pressing garments, and making a garment based on a commercial pattern. Because of this, this class is beneficial to all students, not just those interested in pursuing a career in theater.

As part of this class, students are required to participate in about three lab hours per week. During these hours, we come into the costume shop and work on projects. This allows us to learn in a hands-on way with more one-on-one time with the professor than we would otherwise receive. This time is highly beneficial and is a fun, relaxing way to take your mind off the stress of other courses.

I would recommend this class to anyone looking to gain real-life skills and have fun doing it!

Galloping Into Success

Christopher Newport University has a wide array of fantastic clubs, service organizations and teams that students can be a part of. I am currently a member of the equestrian team. This team is a dedicated group of students who are passionate about horses. There is a place on this team for everyone, from those who have been riding for 16 years, to those who have been riding for 16 weeks. I have experienced this phenomenal inclusiveness first-hand.

When I joined the team this year I had only been riding for about nine weeks. I knew that I wanted to be a member of the team, but I wasn’t sure if I would be welcome at my skill level, so I went to the club fair to learn more. The girls there were all wonderfully supportive, and they encouraged me to try out even if I wasn’t sure I was good enough. They informed me that even if I didn’t want to compete the team has recreational members that simply take lessons and enjoy the ride in a low pressure environment. Their friendliness gave me the courage I needed, and I decided to try out for the competitive team. I am so glad that I did!

This team has taught me not only how to be a better rider but how to be a better human being. Riding a horse teaches you how to work as part of a team in a unique and valuable way. This is because our team is notĀ justĀ a team of people. We get to work with some of the most intelligent, gentle and majestic animals on the planet on a weekly basis. The feeling of bonding with your horse and growing together is the most magical feeling in the world. Not to mention, it helps me to unwind at the end of a long, hard week at school!

This team is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, and it was all made possible by Christopher Newport University. The best part is, this is only one of many wonderful clubs present on our campus. I can’t wait to explore the other options and get to know our campus’ rich and vibrant community even better in the years to come. Go Captains!

My Oh My, Alpha Psi

There I was, standing with a look of trepidation, palms sweaty, heart aflutter. I had no faith at all that I would be welcomed into Alpha Psi Omega (APO), the national theater honor society. I’m not a theater major. I felt I had no place in the department other than being casual acquaintances with a few classmates I had encountered while pursuing my minor. What business did I have joining an organization for a department that I had such a small place in?

Although I feared the worst, I loved theater and I wanted nothing more than to join like-minded students who could eventually become some of my closest friends. So despite my doubt, I decided to go for it. I have never been more pleased with a decision in my life!

Everyone is encouraged to join even if they aren’t sure they have enough points, which are earned through participation in Theater Department activities. APO loves new members and gives them tons of opportunities to earn points throughout the year, such as volunteering in the theater library at the Ferguson Center, working backstage on productions or tabling for APO events.

Joining Alpha Psi Omega was one of the best decisions I have made in my collegiate career! I have made a bunch of new friends, and I feel much more at home in the department as a result of simply getting to know my classmates. I had a blast during my initiation into the organization, and our members are sure to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible during the process.