Well, the time has finally come. This is my last blog of the year. I’m not sure how many I wrote, but it’s definitely over 100 which is a number I am proud to have reached. So much has happened this year, looking through all of my past blogs is quite the trip down memory lane. In the beginning of the year, I had trouble committing to organizations. The Christopher Newport community is such a thriving, creative environment and I knew I wanted to more a part of it than I already was. I just didn’t know where to begin.
Though, after making some connections and extending my social circle I began feeling more comfortable becoming active on campus. I ended up joining CAB and the Theater Department, two organizations that I absolutely love being a part of. On top of all my other commitments, I have had a busy semester, but I wouldn’t ask for it any other way. I feel so involved on this campus. I know that Christopher Newport was the right choice for me. I wanted to become part of a college community, not just be a student. On top of that, I wanted to become a productive member who made every year count.
I’m halfway through my college career and I definitely believe I have made some real progress with my goals. The friends I have made, faculty and students alike, have given me some of the most hilarious and wonderful memories that I hope to never forget. I’m excited to have a nice, long break over summer, but I will definitely miss Christopher Newport. I’ll also miss writing blogs, but I’ll be back soon enough! See you next semester!
I am very proud and happy to be a brother of Psi Upsilon, Phi Nu chapter at Christopher Newport. The organization has given me so many of my greatest friends and memories that will last a lifetime. We had our final chapter meeting of the year. If you’re unfamiliar, chapter is what Greek organizations call their weekly meetings wherein they discuss social, philanthropy, fundraising and other function plans as well as any other kind of update or opportunity that is coming in the near future.
Though, it’s also a time to bond and all be together in the same place for one time a week without fail. This week, we also had committee elections and so we elected new leaders for all of our positions. The new public relations chair, which was my position this semester, was given to one of our newly initiated brothers and I was really excited to see him take on a leadership role. In fact, for the first time ever, the majority of our committee head positions were given to newly initiated members. It’s awesome to see the new guys getting after it and already making a huge impact on our fraternity.
Though, my favorite part of chapter when we do “proud to be a brother.” This is at the end of chapter when every brother tells a story, funny or serious, and ends it with “proud to be a brother.” It’s great to have an open forum to share your thoughts and feelings every week to your closest friends. I’ll miss going to chapter every week, as I’m sure all the brothers and sisters of Greek organizations will, but I know all of my brothers will be waiting for me next semester as soon as we get back!
The blog next year is going through some changes, which we’re all very excited about! One of the smaller changes that I can let you in on a little early is that the staff will all have pictures of us on our blogger profiles. (Maybe if you come to Christopher Newport, you’ll recognize us on campus one day!) We all received an email asking to schedule a photoshoot with one of Christopher Newport’s professional photographers. I was definitely looking forward to my shoot, and it ended up being a lot more fun than I expected.
I was expecting to take a quick photo and head our separate ways, but we actually ended up taking upwards of 40 or so! The gentleman I had the pleasure of working with was a Christopher Newport alum himself, so he knew all the great places and angles to check out around my chosen location (Christopher Newport Hall). He informed me that there was no rush and we could take as much time as I wanted because, essentially, it was a “free photoshoot!” We were able to have a good, friendly conversation about our shared experience at Christopher Newport in the time we were taking photos as well. All in all, I had a great time working with him.
There’s always a bunch of unexpected benefits for being a student at Christopher Newport. There are plenty of job opportunities, before and after graduation. And we all have so much fun along the way. I love working for the blog and it’s definitely something I’m going to miss over the summer. Though, I’m happy to say I’ll be back next year – I can’t wait!
My castmates and I just performed in the Christopher Newport’s annual Director’s Showcase for the Theater Department. The showcase was for the Fundamentals of Directing course, wherein every student is to direct an individual scene with 2-3 people cast in each scene. This time, I was an actor and I had an absolutely amazing time.
My director and scene partner were a joy to work with and our rehearsal time was always filled with opportunity for creativity and lots of laughter. We rehearsed two times a week for almost two months and we made so much progress in that time frame. When it came time for tech week, my scene partner and I were ready to give a great performance – we only had to make sure we bested our nerves. Even though it was only a scene, we’d always laugh that because the part is so small, that puts on all the more pressure to be perfect. In any case, thankfully, the performance went on without a hitch and not just for my scene partner and I. All of the other scenes went over wonderfully and received plenty of applause from a very happy audience.
Choosing to pursue theater in college was a difficult choice. It’s a very intimidating industry and I wasn’t sure how I’d fit in. Though, the Christopher Newport community is so welcoming and supportive that I quickly felt comfortable in this department. I have loved getting to know the other members of the department this semester and am looking forward to meeting many more in the coming years here!
This weekend, my brothers and I in Psi Upsilon headed down to North Carolina with our respective dates for our annual formal. This is the time of year when alumni and current brothers meet at a hotel on the beach and enjoy a night together, reminiscing on old memories and creating new ones as well.
If you’ve never heard of a fraternity formal before, they tend to go like this: arrive on the beach, check in to the hotel, dinner/dancing, some sort of awards and then you party the night away before driving back in the morning. It’s kind of like prom, except about a hundred times more fun. My date and I arrived on the beach around 1 p.m., and a lot of my brothers were already there so we quickly joined the crowd. One of my blogs from the other week was about how I designed an inside joke shirt for my fraternity, well we all wore them to formal which made for a great picture together.
From there, we had a great time relaxing on the beach and then headed to dinner where senior superlatives and other awards were presented with lots of laughter and bonding. We actually had to cut it a bit short because the restaurant owner said we were being too loud. Rowdiness aside, it was an absolutely amazing formal. Last year, I was a new member, as such I didn’t know many of the alumni. This time around, I knew everyone that came so it was a very special experience to see all of the brothers together again. Formal is something I look forward to every year and I don’t think that’ll ever change!
I finally got to take the stage at Christopher Newport! After mulling over whether or not to pursue theater for three semesters, I finally took the jump this semester and decided to go for it. I was cast in my first show here, “L’Impromptu de Versailles” and we had our performance last week!
We had our shares of struggles as we labored over mastering French lines, cast schedules and plenty more, but we were able to pull together and put on a wonderful show. After months of rehearsal, as a cast, we all grew quite close and it’s odd not seeing everyone three times a week anymore. Though, thankfully we have a close community at Christopher Newport so I see everyone around fairly often on the lawn or in the dining halls. On the other side of that coin, it does free up my schedule quite a bit! I’ve had a lot more time (six hours to be exact) during each week to catch up on sleep or work on homework during the day.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this production. I had only spent my senior year of high school truly investing time into theater, but I knew it was something I always wanted to do. Even though Christopher Newport is a small school, it’s budding with theatrical opportunity. I never find myself without an audition, rehearsal, or performance. There’s always something posted on the Theater Department’s bulletin board every week. “L’Impromptu de Versailles” has drawn to a close, but I know there are plenty of performances left (including my director’s showcase show which will be in two weeks). I can hardly wait!
One of the early requirements for the communication major is the widely-feared Introduction to Rhetoric course. Even though it’s only a 200-level class, it’s often met with a lot of kicking and screaming from students before they take it. I just finished my last class of it on Thursday and I can say that it’s definitely nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. The classroom was always full of thought-provoking discussion and the readings were very manageable.
On the last day, we all sat outside on a hot, spring day to enjoy the weather and discuss our final thoughts on the course content and how the class was structured in general. It was a very open, informal experience wherein we could speak freely with our professor. The class was pretty lecture-heavy, so it was nice to finally try a new format and relax a bit. Going in, I was definitely worried about the class. Though, it ended up being one of my most engaging courses, even though every day I sat behind a desk. It’s a perfect example of a class that pushes you mentally and proves you don’t need to always be doing group activities or puzzles to have intellectual engagement.
I’ll definitely miss going to that class every Tuesday and Thursday. My professor was insanely passionate and loved teaching the course. Everyday he’d bounce around the classroom, sharing creative examples and always ready to answer any questions someone might have. I learned so much about rhetoric, life, and education in such a short time. I can’t wait to take another rhetoric class and further my knowledge on the subject!
The Campus Activities Board, also known as CAB, holds an annual festival wherein the Christopher Newport community can gather and have a great time together with free gifts, food and activities. There’s one for every season we’re in school: fall, winter and spring. Spring Fest was today and I had a great time with all of my friends. This event was held by a different committee than the one I’m a part of, so I didn’t have a hand in planning in it. Instead, I could just walk around and enjoy all the sights.
My friends and I immediately got in line for a free shirt within two minutes of walking in. From there, we grabbed a “bingo” card which you could use to win a to-go cup if all of the spaces were filled with a stamp you could receive from the different stations at the event. We went around playing with moon boots, obstacle courses and trivia, earning different stamps along the way. Though, we definitely had the most fun when we got on the various inflatable carnival games. After a lot of exercise, we canceled it all out with some free fries and popcorn.
It was the perfect way to start off the weekend and coast into exam week. After a long semester, it felt great to unwind and spend some quality time with my friends. CAB’s festival events are by far one of my favorite part of being a Captain and they just keep getting better and better!
The other day, I was scrolling through Instagram, wasting time as usual, when something interesting caught my eye. On someone’s story, I saw an application for WCNU Radio’s executive board. The student radio station is a relatively new organization to our campus that was defunct for several years. Thankfully, a handful of proactive students resurrected it this semester to some great results. The organization has done a great job of re-establishing itself and becoming a vibrant part of our community, so I knew I wanted to apply.
I sent in my application and also began doing some research on the organization. A couple of things that really excited me was the weekly program that they do with Currents, Christopher Newport’s literary arts magazine. They also put on a “masquerave” which really intrigued me. Since the organization is newly reborn, there is plenty of opportunity for ingenuity and creativity. I just finished my interview for a position on e-board and loved speaking to the current and former president about our goals and vision for the organization; there was a great flow of ideas.
I’m hopeful I’ll get a position on the team, but, if not, I’m definitely going to have a great time checking out the programs and events during next year. They are very open to new shows and so it’s easy to submit an application to be featured in their weekly programming. Definitely excited to see this organization grow on our campus and I hope to be a part of it!
With the semester drawing to a close, one by one, my schedule clears up a little bit more. Today, I finished the last day of classes and I was able to breathe a big sigh of relief. (Only one more week of exams and then I’m a junior!) I also finished my last public performance for the semester with the Director’s Showcase. In addition, I attended my last CAB meeting and Psi Upsilon chapter for the semester. (I haven’t written my last blog yet, but that’s coming up quickly on the horizon!) It’s a tiny bit melancholy as the year wraps up, but it’s also good to get things off my plate.
Finishing the Director’s Showcase was a big one, I had spent so much time rehearsing this week with rehearsals scheduled from 6-10 p.m. on top of all my classes and other commitments. Though, finally I can be left to just focus on studying for my five finals. Yes, finals can definitely be stressful, but I actually like how they come and go very quickly. There’s no time to procrastinate. You take an exam about each day for five days, but then, it’s all over and you can relax as much as you like.
Pretty soon it’ll be summer and I cannot express how excited I am to just sit around my house watching “Game of Thrones” all day (there’s a lot I have to catch up on). Tonight, my friends and I are all gathered around the TV, watching the Tom Hanks classic: “Cast Away.” I’ll definitely miss moments like these over summer, but we’ll all be back soon enough. For now, there’s still a couple of things left to check off the list, so I better get to it!