Dress Rehearsal

For the past two months or so, my Acting I class has been working diligently on scenes from the David Auburn play, “Proof.” This play is a staple of the Theater Department and you can expect to find this work in almost any entry-level, performance-based theater class here. My scene partners and I were fortunate enough to be given the act one finale scene and it’s definitely a scene with a lot going on. There’s humor, romantic tension, suspense, shock, intrigue and, of course, plenty of emotions.

The process started with our scene assignments and a quick rehearsal out of class. Afterwards, we had a scene run in class on-book (which means we had the script in front of us). After everyone finished their on-book runs, which took about two weeks, we began getting off-book. We went through another two weeks of off-book performances wherein there was no blocking, just dialogue and then moved on to off-book and blocked performance. We received some notes and continued rehearsing outside of class before today when we finally had the chance to give a fine-tuned performance that was off-book, blocked and with full costume.

We definitely have been working slowly, which is actually extremely beneficial when attempting to master the basics of the acting craft. We have received so many notes in the past few months that when we finally had our dress rehearsal, there weren’t too many our professor had for us. It’s also extremely entertaining to watch the rest of the class slowly improve and perform. Theater is such an engaging subject and I am so glad we have the opportunity to be hands-on. We have a few more things we can work on before our final scene presentation, but I am excited for how the final product will turn out!

I Designed a Shirt!

Everyone loves the comfort colors shirts that Christopher Newport Greek life knows all too well. We have them made for rush week/bid day, mixers, date functions, formal/semi-formal, retreat, philanthropy events and pretty much anything else you could think of. I have a collection of about 18 and that is more than enough … except it isn’t. I love repping Psi Upsilon throughout my day, but I never have had the chance to make a shirt on my own for my fraternity. Well, I finally got the chance a few weeks ago.

I messaged a website that works with organizations to design shirts and gave them some ideas I had. I was pretty specific, but they still exceeded my expectations. My idea was a “proud to be a brother shirt.” On the front, it has our Greek letters with “PTBAB” underneath and on the other side it has an inside joke from our fraternity on top of a graphic with  “Proud to Be a Brother.” I needed 24 brothers to buy a shirt to reach the minimum purchase amount for the order to go through and after a week or so of pitching the idea, I succeeded!

The shirt comes in this Friday and I am so excited for everyone to start wearing them around campus. In Greek life, we pass down shirts and they live on for a long time within our fraternity (for example, I have a Psi U shirt from 2014). I am happy to have contributed to our history in a tangible way that will be passed down from generation to generation for years to come.

Writing About …Weezer

We all have a unique love for something that we just can’t seem to get enough of. For some, it might be hockey, others the news, but, for me, it’s the California rock band Weezer. I’ll be the first to admit they have a spotty discography, but, frankly, that’s never stopped me from loving the band for what they are. They were the soundtrack to my four years of high school and this definitely continued into college when I listen to, at the very least, one Weezer song a day. While normally this is a leisurely activity, this week, it turned academic.

In my Media Audiences course, a communication elective, we were assigned an essay prompt. Despite being a communication major, I actually detest long-form writing. I procrastinate too much and distract myself which makes what should be a two-day paper into a two-week paper. The prompt was on understanding fandoms as subcultures that express themselves in a unique and private way to one another that is totally separate from the mainstream. Immediately, this piqued my interest because I thought of Weezer and the odd way Weezer fans communicate with one another (for an example, just check out “Saturday Night Live’s” recent Weezer sketch).

I spent the whole week researching fandoms, but also scanning through Weezer interviews, articles and histories in order to paint a full, clear picture of my thesis with accurate examples and argument. It was honestly the most fun I have ever had writing an essay. Not to mention it was fairly easy given all the knowledge I already had regarding the band. Weezer is never something I would have imagined having the opportunity to write about, and I am so excited that the opportunity finally presented itself. Christopher Newport gives me the chance to truly be an individual and mold my academics toward my own interests which allows me to get excited and truly engage with the material.

March Madness

I am definitely not a big basketball guy, but I think that changed this month for March Madness. My friends are all gigantic fans of basketball and they spent the whole month in my living room watching games on and off. I caught quite a few of the games with them and I was never once disappointed.

As I said, I have never watched too much basketball before, but it is a fairly easy game to pick up. It’s also extremely fast paced so it always keeps your attention. (I had no idea how common buzzer beaters were.) I mostly rooted for the Virginia schools when possible, but when they weren’t an option I’d just side with one of my friends and pick whichever team I felt like would do better. I think my favorite moment was during the Lipscomb/NC State game, two schools nobody was a fan of, but my friends and I decided to join the Lipscomb hype train anyway. We watched them score a two-pointer with 1.7 seconds left and we absolutely lost our minds, cheering and shouting even though we had no idea who Lipscomb was.

Moments like those are my favorite and that game will definitely be something I’ll always remember from my college days. It has been a difficult month as we ramp up toward finals at Christopher Newport, but watching basketball these past few weeks has kept all of our spirits up. No matter what was going on, we always found time to sit around the TV together and watch whatever game(s) were scheduled for the day. Maybe next year I’ll make a bracket!

Spring Has Sprung!

The first day of spring happened and I am happy to report that I spent the day outside … well, mostly. It was actually a very busy day for me, filled with homework, rehearsals and classes.

I started out the day in my Acting I class and watched my classmates present a couple of scenes they had been working on. Being that theater is one of my passions in life, I always enjoy starting off my Mondays and Wednesdays with this class. No matter what we do, I just appreciate working toward my major every day. Soon thereafter, I had rehearsal for my director’s showcase as well as for “L’Impromptu de Versailles” which went very well. As much fun as it is to be in theater class, having the opportunity to actually be a part of productions is all the more satisfying. After my last rehearsal of the day, I got a call from one of my friends and this is when the first day of spring really began to become a great day.

He told me that Rita’s, an Italian ice stand, was serving free ice for the first day of spring. I had never been to Rita’s before, but was excited to tag along, and so I did. I settled upon the birthday cake flavor and it was quite possibly the best decision I’ve made in a long time. It was absolutely delicious and I can most assuredly say, with 100 percent confidence, I will be returning to Rita’s very soon. We ate our Rita’s outside on the Great Lawn and enjoyed the nice day. It eventually became a little rainy, so we had to head in where we played video games for the remainder of the evening.

Living at Christopher Newport in Newport News, you get a very accurate portrayal of all four seasons. Now that spring has started, the rain and warm weather are beginning to push through and the frigid temperatures of winter are almost completely behind us. It’s so nice to be able to enjoy the Great Lawn again and I am very much looking forward to the rest of the days in spring!

First CAB Meeting

I feel like I write about CAB (Campus Activities Board) more than anything else, but that’s because I’m just so excited about being a part of it. The other day, I met with the other members of the leisure committee for our first official meeting and it went over very well! This organization is so dynamic and engaging; seeing the gears turn from the inside was incredibly fascinating.

We began by introducing ourselves and playing an ice breaker, but quickly thereafter we got down to business. Our committee head gave us the rundown on the typical goings-on of the leisure committee, what our responsibilities are and how we’ll function moving forward. After all the introductory things were through, we started brainstorming ideas. Being that it was the first meeting, everyone was teeming with creativity and ideas for the coming year. We definitely want to bring back bingo and build-a-bear (two of my favorites), but there was also a lot of talk of new events. These included flower pot painting, petting zoos and off campus events. A larger objective we had was to ensure that each event truly is an event as opposed to a thing people just stop by at for 30 minutes. We think we can accomplish that goal through adding more decoration, music and better our engagement with those who attend.

I’m so excited to be a part of this organization. So much effort and thought goes into each CAB function and, now that I’m on the inside, I can finally understand exactly how hard everyone works. Every club, group and organization at Christopher Newport cares so much about the student body and the more I get involved, the more I discover the passion my fellow Captains and I share.

How’s Housing?

Freshman housing is a rite of passage. Being doubled with a roommate and having suitemates is something almost every Christopher Newport student has done. Some rooms, such as in Potomac River North, have a large common room to connect the suites while others are more traditional and are just connected by a bathroom. Your housing is what makes Christopher Newport your new home. It can take some time to adjust, but the memories you’ll create during your first year with your roommates are priceless and will be a highlight of your college career. Our freshmen dorms alone are ranked as some of the best in Virginia and the nation, but if you’d rather live in a single – don’t fret.

Upperclassmen housing at Christopher Newport is absolutely phenomenal. Typically, only seniors live off campus and, even then, many elect to stay on campus anyway because of how comfortable and spacious the apartments are. On East Campus, each apartment-style dorm has either two, three, or four single bedrooms connected by a common room and kitchen, as well as a personal bathroom in each bedroom. (Some even have walk-in closets!) The housing lottery was today and my friends and I all received apartments on East which we are extremely excited about. Personally, I’ll be living with one of my close friends in a two-person suite in Jefferson. I mean, what more could you ask for in a place?

There’s always something new to look forward to with each year at Christopher Newport. I’ve loved every single one of my housing situations thus far – from Potomac River North, to the Greek house and now East Campus, it’s so easy to be able to call this campus my home. Of course, we’re all here to learn and that comes first, but having a home to come back to at night as opposed to just a room makes it so much easier to enjoy our time at Christopher Newport.

A Couch is a Home

The couch my roommates and I share holds a lot of memories that are near and dear to us. It was purchased earlier in the semester off craigslist. And yes, that might not sound like the most reputable site to buy a couch from, but, as broke college students, we simply had no choice. Nonetheless, we picked it up without a hitch. Truth be told, the thing was a beaut. It was a huge couch, separated into two parts, forming an ‘L’ shape. We lugged, pushed and pulled it into our room and when it was all said and done – we sat.

In fact, we sat quite a bit. We laid down, slept, stood, stomped jumped and did an infinite amount of other things on that couch. It wasn’t just us either. At this point, I’m sure over 100 people have plopped down to take a seat on that couch. Friends, family, project partners, acquaintances, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends RAs and everyone in between has spent some time on that couch at one point or another. Of course, we haven’t kept it  in mint condition. With so many people coming and going, we’ve spilled food and drinks plenty of times. Though, it’s not just stains that have been added to the couch. Throw blankets and pillows have been gifted to us and now they call the couch their home, accenting the furniture piece with an eclectic flare. It’s an amalgamation of everyone who has ever sat on it and the culmination of all of our relationships at Christopher Newport. In fact, frankly, it’s no longer our couch. It’s everyone’s couch because without everyone, the couch would have never realized its full potential – a beacon of social interaction.

I would go over all the memories we’ve had on the couch, but I’m sure that’d take me, well, about a year, which is the amount of time we’ve had the couch. I’d ask that you take some time to think about your couch at home and all the memories it holds. Not only for you, but for everyone who has ever spent time on it. It’s really quite amazing. We’re having some friends over tonight and you can bet we’ll pile onto the couch, overflowing onto the armrests because no matter how big your couch is, it’s never big enough. If you come to Christopher Newport, you’ll have a couch too. You’ll also have a lot of other couches, because each of your friends will have their own couch as well. Christopher Newport is a place to connect with people and create lasting bonds and memories that will endure for a lifetime. This is a place you can call home.

Do Tour Guides Tell the Truth?

When you visit our campus, the tour guides (officially called student ambassadors) say a lot of great stuff, as does every tour guide for every college around the world. With so many colleges to choose from, when I was a prospective student, I wondered who was telling the truth. Which university truly had the best community and resources? Where would I fit in the best?

What drew me to Christopher Newport was the promise of a close, friendly student body and faculty that would hold me accountable and lead me to success. I didn’t want to be lost in a crowd. I wanted to truly immerse myself in the college experience through meaningful relationships and experiences. During my tour, that was promised to me by my student ambassadors and they did not lead me astray. Even the minute details mentioned in passing, such as the door holding, avoiding the “unlucky” spot outside of Santoro Hall, and much more are all very real traditions that we cherish everyday (even if the unlucky spot is a bit silly).

One major point that my student ambassadors made to me was that, due to small classes sizes and caring professors, your professor will notice if you’re not in class. I am happy to report that this is 100 percent accurate and my economics professor is a perfect example. If I ever miss class and don’t have to time to send an email, I can rest assured that during our next meeting he’ll ask me if everything is OK. He’s extremely conversational and charismatic so we always have a laugh about whatever had come up that led me to miss class. He isn’t overbearing at all; he simply cares about his students.

Everything my student ambassadors told me on my tour was completely true, and I’m so glad it was. Those students are chosen to represent our school because of their passion and love for it. After almost two years, I can definitely feel the same passion and love for Christopher Newport.

St. Patrick’s Day at CNU

Our school colors might be blue and white, but they definitely weren’t over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was repping green. Even the food was green for the theme meal in the dining halls! Honestly, I’ve never done anything special in the past to celebrate the holiday, but this year my friends were especially excited about it so I knew we’d be coming up with something to do.

My weekend started out with one of my friends bringing a dozen donuts to my apartment, all of which were dyed green. As quickly as they appeared, they were eaten up. Even though the theme meal was on Friday, people were dressed in green all weekend. Everytime I made a trip to the dining hall, it may as well have been the theme meal again because it was a sea of green (myself included). The rest of my Saturday was spent with friends. We played video games, experimented with some Irish music, and laughed a whole lot.

There’s never any shortage of spirit on Christopher Newport’s campus. Our community is always so eager to join the new craze and share in a collective movement of some kind. St. Patrick’s Day might be a bit of a trivial example of that, but I think it perfectly encapsulates how enthusiastic we can get. We do pride ourselves on our academic excellence as Captains, but we also love to have fun.