14 December 2010

Winter Wonderland[scape] Formal

You know what's awesome about being in college?  You get to do whatever you want.  For example: a few months ago people in my studio were talking about how much fun it would be to have a formal for the landscape architecture department, so one of us went ahead and planned it.  Last weekend I went to a formal that a classmate completely organized and coordinated.

First off, HUGE props to her for all the work she put in.  We had music, food, and a venue (Muncie Cornerstone Center for the Arts).  I have no idea how she pulled this off, but we're all very grateful for her.  We had a TON of fun that evening, as the photographic evidence suggests:

My date and me before the dance.

A common theme from the dance: studio love.

More love.

Even more love.

Maybe too much love?

Probably my favorite photograph from the evening: do you see the stalker?


Fun fact: I live with five other people and at no point in history have all six of us been in the same room.  In an effort to remedy that, I offered to make my Muncie family a holiday meal Sunday evening.  The meal was great-- my roommates latched onto the idea and everyone pitched in to make a delicious meal.  All but one roommate.  *sigh*  We still haven't all been in the same room together!

Neither of these gentlemen is my roommate, but they were welcome nonetheless.

Setting the table.  We've never eaten at the table before.  Never.

We even busted out some napkins.  And a center piece.  That's how fancy this dinner was.

After dinner we pulled each other around the neighborhood on a lunch tray behind a truck. (Again: college = do whatever you want!)  Which was doubly awesome because you ended up looking like Frosty the Snowman by the end of it.  His pip was completely packed with snow.

They were really proud of themselves.

06 December 2010

Finals Week

It's finals week!  Well, at least it's finals week for people in the College of Architecture and Planning.  Because it takes professors a long time to grade all of our projects, they end up being due this week instead of actual finals week (which is next week).  It's a little tough to finish up projects, but it ends up being great because we tend to not have any finals during finals week.

I lucked out this year.  I have no final tests, just final papers.  It's a little unfortunate that I have to write so much, but I like the way my classes are challenging me to think critically about what we've been doing all semester.  Along that vein of thought, I had a presentation in my Research Methods class today, and I think it went well.  At least, a professor who tends to be hard to please said she likes my project, and the chair of my department has been supportive.  That's something I like about my college: all the professors are involved in your education the entire five years you're here.  I like that nearly all the professors in my department know me by name, and those that don't at least recognize me.  It's nice to have that kind of community.  Even though I'm excited about graduating, it'll be sad to leave the people who have been so supportive over the years.

02 December 2010

First They Came. . .

I've been thinking a lot recently, especially about why I want to do what I want to do, which is to work with refugee communities.  As I was pondering my motivations, I remembered this poem by Holocaust survivor Pastor Martin Niemöller:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

I started thinking about what Niemöller was communicating: we're all in this together, and we need to support and stick-up for each other, even when we otherwise might not be directly involved.  At the very least, we should do this because we will encounter times in our lives when we'll need someone to support us.  At the most we should do it because compassion is the one redeeming quality of humanity.

So maybe I'm interested in working with refugees because I hope that my actions will in some way help to offset the horrible things that sometimes happen in our world.  Maybe I'm doing it because I'm selfish, and I think my actions will somehow offer me security if I ever experience disaster.  Maybe I hope to join the group of voices speaking out against injustice.  Maybe it's all of the above.  Maybe it's none of the above.

Anyway, I've just been thinking a lot recently.