Life Lessons and Fruit Punch

Some days are good days, and others are spill-your-fruit-punch-while-rushing-to-class days. When you wake up in the morning, there’s not really a way of telling which (if either) your day is going to be. But, just like in this unfortunate picture, there is always an upside.

I noticed the drink spill sometime this morning as I left my apartment for class. Immediately, I sympathized with whoever was unlucky enough to lose most of his or her fruit punch at once. What a shame, I thought. I bet they were looking forward to that. As I looked closer (of course because I gladly welcome any and all distractions from venturing out into the cold/another school day), I noticed a heart-shaped hole in the middle of the splatter.

Remember, Captains: life is a sticky, messy thing, and even the best plans can go awry. However, by stepping back and getting a fresh perspective on your situation, you may find it’s not as hopeless as it seemed at first.

And, sometimes, you just have to laugh.

An Unfortunate Bet

Watching the sunset is a weekly if not nightly ritual for my friends and me. However, as we pulled up to the little beach by the river on this particular night, I felt sorry for Litt. It was freezing out today and the breeze was most unwelcome to our shivering bodies. A few days earlier in the same spot, Litt and his brother had made a bet while throwing some rocks at a drainage pipe. They bet that if one of them threw a rock inside the pipe, the other would have to swim in the frigid river. At this point neither of them had come close to getting it so they both were feeling pretty safe as they selected a rock to begin the bet. Parker, Litt’s brother, threw the first one. We all watched as it flew through the air toward the pipe and were silent as it sailed straight inside. We were all stunned. Litt was just plain angry as he tried to process what had happened. He took this loss like a champ, though, and dove on in.

Snow Daze

Well, friends, the end of CNU’s Snowmaggedon is quickly approaching. I am so grateful for the past day and a half of relaxation, actual time to finish homework assignments, and all the movies I could dream of watching, but I am ready to get back in the classroom (and I don’t want to make up too many of these snow days when May rolls around). I’ve been enjoying the classes I’m in this semester, and I don’t mind waking up kind of early (9 a.m.’s are “early” for me) or staying out kind of late (6 p.m. classes feel so much later than they actually are) to learn.

Plus, I volunteer in the Newport News Public Schools; if our school is closed, there’s a good chance their schools are closed. That means I miss out on seeing my four-year-olds’ and third graders’ smiling faces for the week.

Don’t get me wrong – I did my happy dance just like all the other students when I got the text alert about classes being canceled. In fact, I danced all the way back to my apartment on East Campus. My room celebrated by making hot chocolate and settling in for the latest installment of “The Bachelor” – all good things! But, I’m ready to get back to my normal routine, see my class friends and learn a little bit! Happy last (most likely?) Snow Day, Captains!

New Semester, New Show

TheaterCNU has started the rehearsal process for our next production: “Tartuffe.” I happen to be in this show and all I can say is that it’s really exciting to have the chance to work on another show here at CNU. While I’m not allowed to share exactly what’s going on in rehearsals, I will say I feel this show has the potential to be really good. If you know anything about “Tartuffe,” then you might know it was written by Moliere. It’s a classic play that has been done a lot. However, this show is going to have a twist … But you’ll have to come see the show to find out what it is.

With a new show comes a new director. Our director for this production of Tartuffe happens to be Professor Jim Iorio. This is his first time directing a mainstage production here at CNU, and I’m excited to see what he is like a director since I’ve only had him as a professor so far. I can’t wait to get on my feet and start blocking everything out. It’s always thrilling to be working on a new show – there are so many possibilities.

Since transferring to CNU last spring all the shows I have been able to see and be a part of have been great. They’ve had outstanding cast, crews, costumes and sets. “Tartuffe” will be no exception; we had the chance to see the set design that Professor George Hillow created, and I can’t wait to actually be in the space and acting on the set.

The Unspoken Honor Code

So you’re in the library, studying. Or socializing.

You realize its almost 7 p.m., you haven’t eaten, so you start to make your way to the dining hall.

Will you take all of your stuff? Pack up from your cozy library cubby just to lug it all to the dining hall and then BACK to the library?

No, you go to CNU.

CNU has an unspoken honor code.

Well, of course we all sign the actual honor code, which this kind of works into.

But the unspoken CNU honor code is this: you can leave your stuff pretty much anywhere and pretty much rest peacefully knowing it will be there when you return.

I’ve had friends who have left wallets by accident, I’ve accidentally (and purposefully) left my phone or laptop on a table, and with no worries in the world. Or the infamous ID loss. Where you realize that if someone doesn’t turn it in, you’re going to have to pay for a new one. And then you can remind yourself you go to CNU where someone will turn it in.

Because CNU students have this sort of unspoken honor code, we don’t touch anything that isn’t ours. We look out for each other.

It’s a pretty routine habit for me now to not worry about leaving things, which kind of scares me when I think about entering the real world where everyone isn’t on this same honor code system.

But until then, about that dinner…

Going Into the Woods

As TheaterCNU gets ready to mount its production of “Into the Woods,” I am completely surprised by just how much work goes into opening a new show. This is my third semester here at CNU; I’m officially a senior and this is the last musical I’ll get to help with. Getting the chance to work in the costume shop has been a great experience – never before have I had the opportunity to make a pattern from scratch and work on two pieces by myself from start to finish. Even though I didn’t help make the set (that’s for the scene design and technology class), I still volunteered to help with load-in. Load-in is where all the set pieces get moved onto the stage, all the necessary lights get hung up, and anything that flies in during the show gets attached to the rigging system. For a show like “Into the Woods” where there is an intricate set and big set pieces, load-in can take all weekend. So, it’s great that we have such a supportive group of students who come to volunteer to help make the set come together.

I personally can’t wait to see the finished product of “Into the Woods.” It’s always difficult trying to imagine what the entire show will look like when you only get glimpses here and there, but I’m sure with such a talented cast and crew the show is going to be amazing. With the movie that just released, I’m sure there are going to be a lot of high expectations of this production, but I think the audience will be pleased.

It’s always fun getting to help make a production happen, because no matter what you contribute to the process you end up feeling a pride in what you do. Make sure you come and see it on February 20-21 and 25-27 at 8 p.m. or on the 22nd at 2 p.m.

Be Mine?

I can’t believe February has arrived and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you are like me and are solo this V-Day, you may feel like there isn’t much for you to do – but there is. Valentine’s Day can be fun even if you don’t have a significant other.

A perfect way to embrace your “single-ness” is to get together with a group of your single friends. Dress up and go out to a fancy restaurant or rent some of your favorite movies, order a large pizza and start scooping out the ice cream. You can watch overly dramatic rom-coms or even a scary thriller. The best part of not having a date on Valentine’s Day is that there are no expectations – do whatever YOU want to do.

Maybe you would prefer to not go out and experience the mushiness of people falling in love. (I would honestly choose this option because I have a serious relationship with my bed…) Another alternative is to spend the night in. Take a warm bubble bath, play your favorite music and celebrate your AWESOMENESS. My favorite thing to do is to get in some comfortable clothes, lay in bed and binge-watch Netflix … not much different from the night I had last night (oops!). Pull out your favorite tub of Ben and Jerry’s from the freezer, grab a giant spoon and let the night fade away as you are immersed in the world of your favorite TV characters.

Whatever you decide to do on Valentine’s Day, remember to just have fun! Being single is not a curse, it’s a blessing – no one is there to judge how much chocolate you eat!

The Exodus

I snapped awake and checked my watch, knowing I had to be late for something. My eyes widened as I read the numbers, 8:02. I leapt to my feet and threw on whatever clothing my hands landed on first. I ran down the hall cursing my alarm clock under my breath. Why had I signed up for classes at 8 a.m.? I walked into my class 10 minutes late to students with no teacher. Now the law commonly accepted among students is that if your professor does not show after 15 minutes you are free to go. So with five more minutes to wait the game was on. It seemed like time was mocking us as she slowed her seconds and minutes down maliciously. Finally, it was happening. The allotted time had come and gone for our professor to show up. While the others in my class were unsure of what to do, I for one intended to take advantage of this new nap time that had just presented itself. So fearlessly, I led the way to freedom. As a few of my classmates and I left, the familiar vehicle of our professor pulled up outside the window. Being already committed to this exodus, we quickened our pace down the hall to get out in time. I got as many out as I could, but all I could think about as I curled up back in my bed were the poor souls who were left behind.