I'm Back!

Hello my dear readers,

After a couple of weeks of hiatus, I am back to the blogging world. As of now, if you wish to continue reading what I like to call my pieces of "insightful shenanigans", please check my other blog: figsandpistachios.blogspot.com.

Thank you and have a good night!

Luci Goosey

Graduation Allergies

It had to be this week. It had to be this week that I get a cold, when I've successfully avoided one all school year (even in harsh Canadian winter weather). And of course, this had to come right after I had proudly congratulated my immune system for this healthy achievement earlier this week. Sigh.

I'm also upset because this weekend will be my last Haverfest and May Day at Bryn Mawr. Who knows when I will be able to come back? I want to be at my best so that I may enjoy these festivities as much as possible (and before finals come to bite me in the butt). How could this happen, especially now?

It's the graduation woes. It finally hit me yesterday, after my last academic class, and after my last dance class. This really is happening. This life that I have, this home, will change, and there is nothing that I can do about it.

Right after ballet, the night was so serene and peaceful, instead of heading straight to my dorm room as usual, I took a detour to sit on one of the benches at the end of Senior Row and take up the campus all to myself. It was so quiet and majestic. I was saying goodbye to my home, and mixed feelings of excitement and nostalgia kept running into each other in my head as I contemplated this unique scenario. But having that personal two-on-two moment, just me and Bryn Mawr, was all I needed to take in these realizations.

Just as with my cold, graduation is something I can't control, as is time. It's happening, and all that I can do is live it while it happens to me, because it will never go back.

This is all, my dear friends. For the first time, I have been able to write something that is short (and hopefully a tad sweet for your taste buds). I guess I've just said everything that I've had to say, and now it's time to say goodbye.

Luci

A series of Fortunate events

Let me tell yah, it's been a busy couple of days. We all have our normal share of stressful busy-ness (also read as business), but let's not get into that. This busy was more of a joyful bee-zzzy (characteristic of bees and spring) than of a business busy (characteristic of rigid workmen and negativity). Also, have y'all noticed how many picturesque springtime moments Bryn Mawr has been gifting us with lately? If you haven't had a chance to catch a glimpse of them, don't worry, I've provided a few snapshots below.

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It all started last Friday, when we had the end of the year party for all of us in the Banter Blogger program. Like any good bmc celebration, we went to Peace-a-Pizza and Hope's Cookies (owned by a bmc alum) for some tasty delights (pictures are to follow, don't worry!) There was your good ol' cheese pizza, along with delicious tomato basil mozzarella and specialty pizzas, which included a Greek veggie that was more of a meal on a pizza than anything else (Muna was the lucky pick for this one). After, on to dessert. Some people got ice cream, other people got cookies. Muna and I looked at each other and thought..ehh, why not both? Hah! She was smart and got an ice cream sandwich (a wise one, folks) while I was just greedy and got some chocolate chip cookie dough (cookie-version ice cream!) and a chocolate chip cookie. Ok, enough of this cookie business, or else the cookie monster is gonna start walking in to collect all of these crumbs.

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We escaped the rain and got back to campus just in time for the "Play of Hours", the Mainstage theater production of the Book of Hours, which we had gotten tickets for. The thunderstorm and heavy rain showers were a magical addition to this site-specific play about hermits. It was more like a scavenger hunt than your traditional theater spectacle: the show consisted of us being chaperoned around to different areas of the Goodhart building and the surrounding areas outside by the ushers, to visit the habitat of these very peculiar creatures. The play was long (about 3 hrs), but the more you were in it, the more you loved it. It was an investigative and intriguing experience to say the least! Pictures to follow.

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After the show, it was time for some serious reflecting, which lead to some productive journal entry writing and blogging. Fast forward to 3am and puffy eyes, and success! It's time for bed.

Saturday was the big B-day (sorry, it was nobody's birthday. I'm using "B" for bee-zzy here). It was Luci hiatus on bmc campus day, for I spent the whole day in Philly. I grabbed some brunch with friends and was delighted to find some chocolate chip pancakes at Haffner, and an even bigger surprise when I encountered some ruby-red strawberries starring me from the fruit bar. I guess dreams really do come true. I paired the two together and--BAM! Flavor explosion for breakfast. My appetite was further pleased as I met up with a friend in Philly around noon for some FroYo (one of the best things about springtime). An interesting combination of tart, mango, and green tea (first taste for the latter!) brought me a good start to this Saturday escapade.

Byebye to friend 1, and on to friend 2! Haverford College offered some free tix for the Philadanco (The Philadelphia Dance Company http://www.philadanco.org/) at the Kimmel Center to hc and bmc students, so I quickly took on the opportunity and joined my dance friend Chris to see some vibrant, energetic, and overall beautiful dancing. After the show, we strolled around Rittenhouse Square and the other pleasant blocks that make up the lovely surroundings of South Broad Street, which were full of joyful people in that sunny day. Families, couples and friends played around with their dogs, carried their kids, and shared meals on a palate of emerald green and all the other colors of the rainbow spectrum that made up the nature backdrop.

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After a trip to the Rosin Box to buy me some ballet slippers (my old ones had holes and were basically destroyed from use. #dancerlife) and a visit to a local coffee shop, it was time to meet our other friends from dance for dinner at the funky Mexican restaurant, Tequilas (locust and 16th). Hmmmmhmmm!!! Let me just throw some things at you, so you can have the freedom to paint yourself the picture: crab + kiwi guacamole, fish and shrimp with lime and tomato, onion, and cilantro, chicken breast in a lava bowl with steamy spices of tomato, garlic, and chile, breaded fish with guacamole and squash puree, chicken with chocolate sauce, and tres leches cake for dessert. In addition, our waiter had a rather peculiar sense of humor and brought us our drinks on his head. Yes, on his head. I mean, I think I should just end my post here, don't you think? (Yes, pictures. Not to worry my darlings).

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With satisfied bellies and pleasing smiles, we rolled out of our seats and dashed on to the Wilma Theater to see the performance by Philadelphia's contemporary ballet company, BalletX (http://balletx.org/) which is always nothing short of breathtaking. Watching the show just got me especially excited because I will be doing their summer intensive training program this July with a good friend of mine. Yay! After an overload of dance and artistic/creative reflection, not to mention gastronomical happiness, it was time to head home and call it a night.

Speaking of dance and art, this upcoming weekend is the Spring Dance Concert at bmc! Please join us at Goodhart on April 26th and 27th at 7:30pm for an evening of varied dance styles by many amazing choreographers from bmc and Philly. There will be contemporary ballet, modern, hip hop, african, and jazz. But that's just the boring description. What you should really expect is some creepy scooting, tiny hands, interrupting commercials, identity songs, getting lost in time, rave madness, flickering dry rain, sharp retina moves, and basically a lot of energy from our dancers. So come enjoy it all this weekend!

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Okay, that was my advertisement blurb. But related to the concert were my Sunday activities, which consisted of 4 hours of tech rehearsal (!), which extended on to the week, for my other pieces in the show. Tonight is dress rehearsal, and the nervousness is slowly shedding away to reveal the excitement which comes with the art of performance. I hope to see some of you there, it will be a great show.

You'll be yearning for an encore, I know it!

It's show bis time!

Luci

It All Begins With the Letter L

Yesterday my grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary. 60 years! Can you believe that? It's amazing. Since my parents are currently in Canada and I am here in the US, we decided to do a three-way Skype call to my grandparent's house and virtually crash their marital celebration. Everyone in my family was there: my sister, my aunts and uncles, my cousins...the mood was festive and vibrant, and we could see the love showering all over the room. Celebrations in my family are always a reason to have a big feast with delicious food, so of course, this event wasn't going to be an exception. The computer circulated the room rapidly as people were eager to see us on the screen and say hello. But the main characters of this tale were the two love birds, obviously. After all the excitement and busy chatter, everyone calmed down to give room for my grandfather's speech. It was so beautiful so see them express their love, that we couldn't hold back the tears. All the sacrifice was worth it, they said. They were so thankful for the family that had been given to them and they were so happy to be sharing this joyful moment with them, with us. Relationships are hard and require work, and at many times it's a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, but according to my grandparents, it's important to keep going because the importance thing is, in the end, you finish high up.

I was so happy to be able to witness this moment from far away. But at the same time that it was a blessing it was a curse, because it just made me want to be physically present. I miss my family so much. This past Sunday was my sister's birthday, the day before it was my cousin's, and today my other cousin is also celebrating his birthday. I can't help but feel emotional and sensitized with these occasions. With graduation coming up and plans of staying in the US, who knows when I will be able to visit home again? Leaving and consequently entering the country reveals the sticky visa issues, which are always stressful. I have been able to come and go as I pleased for the past 4 years and it's crazy how easy it is to take it for granted, especially since I feel as though this has become my home. But it takes just one denial stamp from a government officer to remind you that it isn't so. It's crazy to me that I must need a permission to stay at a place that I've gotten so used to. Why can't we just love all around and welcome everyone?

I know why. Sometimes, people just don't have any love to give, so they think they can take it from others. The tragedy this week is an example of how much wrong there is with this world, unfortunately. How can someone explain something so dreadful? I can only think of all the families and friends of the people who suffered and who have been affected by this misfortune. It makes me think of the importance of family. Without our loved ones, who are we?

My grandparents got married when they were 18. My parents, when they were 23. Me? 22 and single. Yep. Dating is what creates families in the future. I can't help but express how sometimes this can be a difficult aspect of being straight and studying at an all-women's college. Even though Haverford and Swarthmore are close by and provide occasional opportunities, it just isn't the same. I know it sounds silly, but an affectionate life is just as important as any other part of our lives. Like I said, it's what someday will lead to marriage, and then to kids, and then to growing old with a partner, a companion, someone to share your life with (if you wish to have all of those things, of course). I'm not hurrying to get married, I just miss having someone to share a little bit of my life with. I have my family, my friends, my friendly neighbors, but no significant other, and this can be upsetting at times. I wouldn't take back Bryn Mawr for anything, I'm sure of it, but it sometimes makes me wonder whether this has to be a price to pay in order to get all of the wonderful things an institution such as bmc has to offer. Why can I only have this quality of education and learning experience at a same-sex institution? As women become more educated and more independent, a trend has been developing that says that we "don't need men". I don't know about you, but I do need men. It's not a matter of needing the opposite sex perse, but rather that this represents the need of another person to share things with, which is a different type of relationship than the one you have with your friends. So as  much as I will miss Bryn Mawr, I am also excited to meet new people and start a new phase in my life.

Everyone needs somebody to love. And everyone needs love. I'm not ashamed to say it, and neither should you. That's all what this world needs, just a little bit of love. If we can all manage to do that and be a little generous, I'm sure the world would be a better place. It's as simple as that.

So love to you, my friend. And thank you for taking the time to read my words.

Luci

Seasonal Time Machine

Let me tell you about my weekend. My friends from dance and I went to New York City to perform a piece choreographed by my fellow friend and dancer Joie Waxler at the NYC Dance Arts Dance Festival 2013. She submitted her choreography to this Festival and it got accepted, which was really exciting.

It was such a fun weekend! We didn't do any work and just enjoyed being in the city, relaxing at our friend's place by watching silly YouTube videos such as Marcel the Shell, History of Rap with Jimmy Kimmel and Justin Timberlake (love those two) and the adventures of Sophia Grace and Rosie. Internet time was interspersed with eating, of course. And lots of it! Let me tell yah--being a dancer didn't stop us in this household of traditional Italians. There was no way out. And thank goodness for that! The deliciousness that spiked our taste buds went from sausage patty burgers from the Italian market to pumpkin-filled ravioli with cinnamon and pad thai with savory dumplings and curry noodles with duck. Oh, and I can't forget about the chocolate croissants, blueberry muffins, apple strudel and other mouth-watering baked goods they brought us for breakfast on Sunday. Ahhh this is the life!

We were also able to catch up on our favorite show (New Girl!!!) and revisit the life of a Mexican-American star who died so tragically, Selena. So basically, I think we can all agree that it was a pretty productive weekend (nodding heads).

But we didn't just stay inside. On Saturday I scheduled to meet up with a friend of mine from when I studied abroad in Paris last year, who goes to Sarah Lawrence College. She was really sweet and took the train to meet me in the city for a day of french food and picnicking in Central Park. We went to our favorite Parisian bakery, which just opened in New York: Maison Kayser (http://www.maison-kayser-usa.com/). Ohhhh it was Paris all over again! What a delight. We each had a pesto chicken sandwich with parmesan cheese on tomato ciabatta bread. I mean, really, do I need to say more? Actually, I do....dessert. We both shared  a brownie, crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, topped with pecans as well as a Paris Brest. This last one looks a bit like this (although the picture doesn't do it justice, of course):
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And here is a picture of the bakery: 
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But I'm not here to talk about food (well, not anymore, at least) (I have to stop now or else I'll start attacking my fridge, which isn't such a good idea at midnight).
I've already shared about my wonderful culinary adventures and how much hysterical fun I had with my friends, but I haven't yet talked about what happened when we took a little stroll on Sunday to the near-by vintage store. (Of course, you know that I couldn't miss talking about a special/philosophical experience). We took many pleasant strolls in nyc, soaking up the sun above us and keenly observing the good people of new york around us. These trips had us visit the Farmer's Market or go shopping, but this one led us to this very particular store, which had more than just what they were selling being a recollection from another time. The minute you walked through the door, the minute you were taken back to the universe of yesterdays. Any past time was brought back to you, no matter who you were or what precious vintage object you were admiring. 
For me, I could not bear the overwhelming memory of my mom, pressing against my chest and making my eyes glisten with so much love. My mother is such an amazing woman. I wish I could express how wonderful she is! But words seem unfair to describe her, for they do not even come close to showing how special she is. I'm a bit biased, of course, but I know others feel the same way. I was looking at every little precious hand-painted pin and delicate bracelet and I remembered how much she is so careful with her things and is able to keep them for a lifetime. I was brought back to her bedroom in our house in Brazil, sitting on her bed, having her pull out her cute and tiny containers with a hundred other little bags inside (she's great at pulling off the Russian dolls thing) and unraveling one by one, she would reveal her affectionate treasures she has kept for a couple of decades. 
I also thought of my grandma's house, with the embroidered carpets and paintings covering the walls, along with the antique furniture and the flower patterns everywhere you look. I was in another universe, and there was nothing that could stop it. Feelings, strong feelings of nostalgia and love came out of god knows where and just filled my whole core, lifting me off the ground and having me float across the store, as if in a dreamy daze.
One of the most interesting things in this store was the corridor that led you from the street to the back of the store. I'm upset I didn't get a picture of it, but then again, it wouldn't have made it justice either. This corridor was earthy and rugged, and on the walls were a variety of unique mirrors--one different from the other. It was like a portal to the past, an Alice-in-Wonderland adventure, if you will. I can't explain the mesmerizing feeling of walking past these reflective doors, which opened up the gate to your fondest memories.
 Just as this corridor was filled with an unknown time machine magic, the recent summer weather has stepped in a bit in the same way. I am so happy that we had 80 degree temperatures this week. But in a way, it made me so joyful that it made me sad, because it reminded me of home SO much. You have no idea how simple things such as the feeling of sun rays on your skin or the chirp of a bird can ignite the most fiery memories of your childhood. Talk about a seasonal time machine. Rio is my home, it's where I grew up, it's where my family is and where everybody speaks my language. It's a whole other universe that many (most) people don't understand and don't acknowledge is such a crucial part of my identity. And I don't know how to explain it to people either, because it can't really be said in words. It's so special that it can't be rationalized, it has to be felt. I can try to explain to you all how it is to have this double identity, but I can only do so much. All I can say is that, even though I feel so at home in the USA, and I feel as though I belong, there is and will always be a layer between myself and this north american persona of mine. It's as though when I speak my native language, Portuguese, that layer is stripped away and I am left with my bare self. No matter how many years I've been here or how much I speak English, even if it is thin as the width of a piece of paper, I always feel like I am putting on a layer that separates me from the outside.
Our origins are so important, and we need to know them and acknowledge them so that we may never forget who we are. We are complex, multi-faceted and unique individuals, so we must embrace all of the different aspects that make us, well, us. Never forget that. And love it, it's what makes you, you! All I can say is that I am so grateful for everything that is related to where I came from, everything that is being given to me in the now, and everything that will be.
Thank you all, and good night! 
Luci

This Moment in Time

I hurt my coccyx on Monday. Yes, my coccyx. It's such a funny word, or rather, body part. It's also referred to as our "Tailbone", because it's the part that curls under, a bit like a tail, at the end of our spine. Weird. Peculiarities aside, you might be wondering how I hurt this little bone. Well, I was doing pirouettes (turns) on pointe (those shoes that allow you to be on your tippy toes) in ballet class and just when I thought I could get another turn in, I lost momentum and toppled over to the floor, landing butt first. Mamma mia! What pain. I was forced to stick an ice brick under my tushie and sit out for the rest of class, sigh. New week, new injury, yaaay.

I therefore had to miss dance class for the past couple of days. I can't tell you how much that affected me. You really don't know what you have until it's gone, don't yah? This coccyx injury (CI, for short) really put some things into perspective this week, things that had been starting to pile up in my head recently. It's so easy to go about your life wishing you had something more, or something else, anything but what you currently have. And then, when we get that something, we're still not fully satisfied, we look back and yearn for what he had in the past or wish for something better in the future. We humans, man...we're never satisfied. We can rarely live fully in the moment, cherishing everything we have and everything that is happening to us---good and bad.

We just began working on a new play in our acting class: "The Three Sisters", by Russian physician and dramatist Anton Chekhov. The story revolves around one idea, that these three sisters want to return to Moscow, their hometown, really badly. *Spoiler alert* They never do get to Moscow. But getting to Moscow isn't really the point--it's the dissatisfaction of their lives and the illusion of Moscow that creates this idea interesting. All of the characters in the play express their frustration for something they don't have, and instead of trying to search for what that is and giving action to their desires, they spend their time reminiscing about the more glorious past and dreaming about a more hopeful future. When they do succeed in going after what they want, it still doesn't satisfy them, and they are left wanting what they had before. In summary, they are all swimming in a pool of illusions, and they are drowning in it.

In Three Sister mode, I've been thinking a lot about the future (kind of inevitable, with graduation coming up and whatnot). I've been saying how ready I am to graduate, to start a new life, to live my dream, but I just realized this week that this future doesn't include Bryn Mawr in it. In other words, in order for this life to start, the one I have now must cease to exist, and that is really sad. I've been studying all my life, and this September will be the first time me and my fellow seniors will not be returning to school (ok, unless you're going to pursue your graduate studies. In that case none of this applies to you.) I've been taught all my life...now I will have to start applying everything to real life scenarios, and have responsibilities and ahh! Life used to be so simple (see, there it is, I'm acting like one of the Three Sisters, glorifying the past!)

Alright alright. In reality, I have already been applying things that I have learned and dealt with ongoing responsibilities, but this new cycle will be the next step beyond that, the turning point into adult life, and everything that this new beginning entails. I feel ready, I do, but I'm starting to miss this life that has been so important to everything that I have become in the past 4 years. The routine, the classes, the overall atmosphere and the people--I cannot even say how much I will miss so many of the wonderful people I have gotten the pleasure to know here. By having to sit out of my dance classes, I realized how much I cherish them and how I'm never going to have that again--not with the same people and not in the same place.  I went to my French class yesterday and the same phenomenon happened. When is the next time I will be in a classroom full of bright, eager students and an enlightening instructor talking about feminist woman writers from the middle ages?? I think we can say not very soon. Still, it's so easy to get sick of the things you love sometimes, especially when you get sucked into an ongoing routine. When you're able to stop and take a step back, however, you realize why you loved them in the first place. The reason they become overwhelming is because they are hard work, but you wouldn't be going through it if it wasn't worth it.

All of these feelings emerged when I watched the movie "Admission" last week, with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. It was a fun and entertaining movie, but the fact that it talked about the process of getting into college brought me back to a time before Bryn Mawr, when I was so clueless to where I was going to be in the next 4 years. I had no idea what was gonna hit me. I spent so much time preparing for those years, and now that they are over, I find myself at the next critical point in my life, at a crossroads. Will I be looking back to this moment 4 years from now? I will let you know....

Time is such a funny thing. Today we took our senior portraits and I couldn't help but travel back to the time when I was taking mine for high school. A photo is such a representational tool, not only literally, but figuratively, representing more than just a physical appearance. It's a way to capture and freeze that moment in time that is loaded with memories. I am sure you can recall looking at a picture and reliving that moment in the past. I'm so curious compare my senior portraits from high school and those from college side-by-side. I'm sure they would both speak so much, and I know for a fact that so much has changed. But in a way, those years and those memories have never left me. Probably for the same reasons I mentioned before, a lot of nostalgic memories of high school have been coming back to me over the past couple of days.The hilarious inside jokes, that one crazy trip to the countryside, that time when everybody would sing this one song or that one art class that was turned upside-down. And when the time came, I knew it was going to be over. I knew I was never going to have that again. But the end of those years meant that I would be able to create new memories, new friendships, just as I have here at Bryn Mawr, and just as will continue to happen when I leave my beloved school this May. In a way, missing home and missing these "simpler" times has also been my way to escape this fearful future full of novelty. It's easier to live in something you know than to plunge into the darkness with faith, even if this option will bring you more fulfillment than the first one.

In the end, we can reminisce, we can relive, we can recreate, but we can never go back, and we can never stop time. It's inevitable. It's like when I was falling out of my pirouette and headed to the ground: I felt it happening, I knew that there was a risk that I could get hurt, but there was nothing I could do about it. I just had to sit and let it happen. Even though I literally fell on my butt, without it I would have never gotten this eye-opening experience. Sometimes, we just have to get a view from down low in order to get the right perspective of things. And then, there is no where to go to but up.

Sincerely,

Luciana Fortes, aka soon-to-be Bryn Mawr graduate

Bryng Mawr Cherries, please

Today has been such a beautiful day. I woke up with the warmth of the sun bathing me in a shower of rays of sunlight that were seeping through the shutters of my window. I stretched and yawned deliciously as I got out of bed, ready to start a fresh new day. What a wonderful feeling. I love the warmer seasons (*aham aham* Brazilian!) so I can definitely say these higher temperatures have been bringing upon some positive moods. I feel it not only with me, but with everyone around me. Faces lights up, blinding smiles flash so brightly on the street and laughter can be heard even miles away. All of this becomes even more extraordinary when we consider that only this Monday we received a good deal of snow. Even snowmen were made. Say what? I know.

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I can't wait for the Cherry Blossoms to start, well, blossoming. It's one of the most beautiful times of the year. After they blossom, the beauty just keeps on coming when the flowers petals drop to the floor and carpets of pink lush overwhelm our sidewalks. Oh, it just takes my breath away! I wish we had such a thing as "Cherry Blossom BMC Week". It would make for such a great holiday. OH WE COULD MAKE IT A NEW TRADITION! By jove, that's it! We could have events all over campus with Cherry Blossoms as the theme, with games and races and trampolines (now who doesn't love a trampoline), encouraging people to get outside and play in our generous and welcoming mother nature. We would invite the community as well as students, faculty, staff and just everyone who has a role on this campus (ok maybe we can just leave out the geese--they get pretty territorial as it is) and everyone would get a chance to participate and get to know each other. Oh and hmm classes would be cancelled.....hehe :D (I mean, we get snow days, don't we? Why not get spring days too? Now that's just prejudice, people).

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I hope our prospective and admitted students get a chance to see campus during this time. Or in the summer. Or when it's covered in mystical snow (ok I know I love my school but really, it does look beautiful no matter the forecast). Well, if you haaad to pick a season I would say Cherry Blossoming is a really special time to attend.  I think that's really what BMC stands for: Blossoming Mawr Cherries, in that students (aka the "Cherries") are blossoming into who they want to become throughout their four years here with the help of the education we receive and just everything that this amazing institution has to offer. I was reading the other day how we just welcomed the Class of 2017. How crazy! I can't believe this is happening. I feel so old, which is ridiculous! I just can't believe I have only one month left of classes in my undergraduate career, and then two weeks later I'll be attending the ceremony that will be officially terminating my time here, and it all comes with  a piece of paper that has my name on it and a title that says : "DIPLOMA". Diploma. Diploma. Diploma diploma diploma. And there you have it, my Bryn Mawr experience goes finito.

I can't help but already have feelings of nostalgia. I am ready to start my new life as a graduate and start living and working in the real world, trying to apply everything I've been taught at the Mawr (but never ceasing to keep learning), and carve out the path that has been set by this place which has become home for the past 4 years and which will someday be an important reason why my dreams will come true. And the most amazing thing is, even in a time of doubt and  worry which is preparing for post-grad life, I am most certain that this institution will have taken me to where I want to be one day. It will have been the start of everything. It's almost as if I had a glimpse into the future and could trace everything back to here, where it all started.

I can at the least say that I am very blessed to have gone here. Now having to deal with visa and money issues, I can't help but realize how easy it is to take advantage of everything that has been offered to me over the past couple of years. Financial aid, permission to freely come in and out of the country with my student visa, a pick at any of the academic classes or dance classes I wanted to take, fun and enriching extra-curricular activities, opportunities to engage in and outside of campus, as well as the irreplaceable friendships that have grown and nurtured me in ways I can't even express.

So here is a word of advice for the Class of 2017: Come here. Cherish it. And never let go.  Welcome home, new Cherries.

Anassa kata!

Luci

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Battery Check

Now that Tabitha (aka Senior Dance Thesis, although I bet you have that memorized by now since I've only mentioned it say....about 672028403404 times) is over, not only have those rehearsal times vacated but my mind has more space and energy to dedicate to other things. With Tabitha I was 24/7 thinking about either the creative aspects of the show, such as choreography, music, costumes, etc., or the production and administrative part, such as budget, securing the performance space, photographers, handling marketing and all those fun bits. It was exhausting and consumed my life and my being, but I loved it. I loved how much I lived it. And now that it's over, I'm so sad that that part of my life is gone. The cycle has finished, and now it's time to move on.....sigh. But that's life, we just gotta keep going, dah?

So, the result of this (other than the emotional adaptation) is that now I have a bunch of energy left over, and I'm not really sure what to do with it. It doesn't really make me more productive or objective--on the contrary, it only makes me more unfocused because I have all this hyped-up energy that gets let out all at once in different directions and intensities. I just have to dance to be healthy and sane! My body and my mind are conditioned to move constantly, it's its natural state of being. Maybe that is why I am always juuuust on time--because if I am early that means I have to wait, and I just hate waiting. Waiting = not moving. To me it's such a big waste of time. So, if I could crunch something else in that moment and just get there in time for the scheduled activity, then to me that's winning big time! I know, I'm such a crazy face.

So on Wednesday I was feeling the effects of this excess energy. Rehearsal and ballet class helped tremendously (#endorphines) but I still wanted something more! Wed was the 20th of March, meaning I was exactly 2 months away from starting my life as a post-grad. Yikes. This really hit me and caused a chain reaction: the heavy steel ball that was hanging around in my throat hiccuped and dropped to my stomach to mess around with that area instead. Lots of fun. So I decided that now that my thesis is over, I really have to cherish these last 2 months of my undergraduate life! Who knows when I will be able to meet up with friends for an hr-long lunch? Who knows where we will be all moving to? Who knows when I'll be able to just meet up for a late-night chat with a friend while munching some delicious popcorn? These "maybes" were haunting me. That also made me realize how I had never gone out on a weekday! Tsc tsc tsc (isn't that what college is all about? #teacherslookaway)

So I decided that a spontaneous action was called for. I invited my friend from dance to come with me to a bar in Ardmore that has specials on Wednesdays. The request having been delivered, her enthusiasm quickly jumped in and BAM! Girls night out it was. I sprinted to my room after ballet at 8:40pm and was ready to follow her to HC on the 9:10pm bus. It ended up being such a great night. We talked, ate, drank a bit, and danced danced danced, of course. The dance floor was a bit stale before we got there, and by the time we left it was alive with shakin' bodies, so we like to think that we had something to do with it. It felt so good to let off some steam, and move away from the academic, post-grad stress life. My mother was a dancer, so even though I started traditional training at the age of 5, I like to think that I really began dancing in my mothers womb, probably following her rhythm when she took dance classes. She also performed pregnant with me, so I had stage experience before I set my eyes on this beautiful world (too bad I can't put that on my resume).

We were there from 10 to midnight (I wanted to catch the last blue bus to bmc), which was the perfect amount of time to get our groove on and it still got me to bed around the same time that I usually do! Voila. Isn't that just so satisfying? Everybody was happy. Now I can check off one more thing on my graduation bucket list. Now I just need to go bungee jumping from Taylor Bell, have a pet lizard, and speak in Latin or Greek. HAH! Jk. But then again, maybe it would be fun to have a pet lizard.....hmmmm.

Wednesday's shenanigans were a great addition to my week. It's an example of how one can take advantage of the present circumstances without letting things fall out of control. Who says we have to live in extremes? I suggest 50/50 is a good way to go (I know I know, but not the simplest, you say). But meditation can help us get there. As can music! Last night was a lovely night for me because I was able to just chill in my room and listen to music. It can be such an easing and blissful experience. A moment to get in touch with yourself.

Another way that I have found to re-focus my energy and make up for Tabitha-Withdrawal is by starting new choreographic work with the same friend who adventured with me Wednesday night. Why not? It's fulfilling hard work and it's also advantageous since right now we have access to studio space for free. That will rarely be the case come May. This time the suggestion came from my friend, so I am glad we can complement each other in this way.

So with music and rhymes, and a hell of good times, now it's time to go. And there you go.

Luci

 

Springtime Revival

We just need to take things slow. If I've learned anything, it's that. Nothing worthwhile is ever accomplished in a rush. It's easy to stumble, to get things mixed up--to forget what is what. Let's just take a breath and do this thing.

I'll be going off of what my friend Muna wrote in her last post: http://bantermalnemer.blogs.brynmawr.edu/2013/03/11/life-of-sinior/

A lot of what she is going through I am too, so it's no wonder we talk about similar things. We also both have a tendency to be rather philosophical, if you haven't noticed. But it's interesting how much we share in struggles at the moment, given that our areas are completely different. She is a bio major with a computer science minor, and I am a dance major with psych and french minors. Doesn't matter--when you're a senior looking for work after graduation, you're a senior looking for work after graduation  We're all in this same rocky boat.

After a great thesis performance last week, the excitement of the success and seeing my loved ones started wearing off as life went on and my energies shifted to my next project, this being figuring out my life after grad. Yikes. It's not the deciding that's difficult (although that is at many times the case with me...) because I already had a plan set out. I thought about this a lot over winter break and I came up with a scenario that seems desirable and doable, both important points. In the real world, it's always a matter of trying to marry wish with practicality. Sure we all want that Ferrari, but can we afford it, is the real question. So sometimes you gotta settle for a Prius which more in your budget and is still a great choice, not to mention environmentally-friendly. So there you go--in trying to find a midpoint, sometimes you get even more than what you expected. Hurray.

It's Spring Break this week, meaning that, if you are a senior, you really just work more, according to my acting professor. It's true. I'm glad I have time to dedicate myself to life-planning work. Researching jobs. Applying for jobs (in my case, this equals going to auditions). Networking. Apartment hunting. And all those other fun cookies. The fact that it has been weirdly warm has also not helped, since I began to feel disoriented thinking that it was summer. Nah-han, there's still a lot of school to go before that. Sigh.

This weekend I had two auditions. Don't get me wrong, they went not too badly actually, but because they were paired with apartment hunting and having the time to think about my future, those neurons responsible for worrying totally sparked up man, and I was like: not funny. Not funny! Now that my thesis is over, I am starting to face reality head-on and beginning to transition to post-college life, which isn't really all that easy. Before, I had my thesis to concentrate on, and my dreams seemed to work out great in my head, but now it's time to face the facts.

I began to feel very overwhelmed. Everything started to feel murky and I couldn't figure out what I wanted anymore. I was also really tired.

For some reason, I suddenly decided to take the flowers that have been in my room since my dance performance and change their water, cut the ends, and throw away the dried-up leaves to see if I could revive them a little bit. I was ready to throw them all away until I noticed that some of them were still very much alive. If I peeled off the outer petals of some of the roses, and I could see that the inner ones showed a lot of life. It was the motivation I needed. I quickly began to shave off the ends of all of them, shedding away the dead to make room for the living (man that sounds morbid, but you know what I mean). Wow, I can't tell you how happy I was to see the spark of green that flashed from inside the stem after cutting the ends. Snip snip and there you go: my bouquet had been rejuvenated.

Sometimes, that's just what you need. Taking it easy, taking it slow, having patience to understand that even though it's been a while and nothing is working, you just need to look closer and snip off that part that isn't working in order to find new hope inside. Just as with the flowers, I began to see that in my life. I just needed to breathe and take it one step at a time. And take a break (it's not standing there beside the "Spring" just for decoration, you know). It's about finding the balance. We gotta work, we gotta go after what we want, what makes us happy, what will bring us fulfillment. But we also gotta be nice to ourselves, not give us more than what we can handle, and be selective. Because what is the joy of living if every decision is a reason for stress? No, there must be another way! And there is. You just gotta look careful, peel off the unnecessary, and find that beautiful piece of green hope inside.

Good night,

Luci

This is it

This weekend is the performance of my Senior Dance Thesis. It is all coming to a close, and I can't believe it's happening. This project officially started in September of 2012, when I started meeting with my adviser, creating movement and getting together with my dancers to rehearse. But this project has been in my mind for longer than that, and reflects not only present work but all that I have been through ever since arriving at Bryn Mawr as a young, excited and naive freshmen in September of 2009. I have learned and grown so much since then. It's because of my experiences in the past three and a half years that I was able to take on this project, and it has meant so much to me because of that.

As this cycle comes to an end, I find myself with mixed feelings. I am so excited for the performance, which will be the epitome of all of our hard work over the past 6 months, and part of me is really relieved to get it all over with, but I also find myself with feelings of nostalgia. Being involved in a project of this capacity which involves artistic creation and well-developed organizational skills in order to put on a show is extremely difficult but also really rewarding, especially when you are working with great people. I cannot express how thankful I am to have been a part of this with the two other choreographers, Antonia Brown and Christopher Flores, who are my dear friends and companions in dance.  Even though collaborating can sometimes be tricky, our affection for each other and undeniable commitment to the project made it so that we stuck together throughout this whole process. We have had some amazing moments of laughter, discovery, and companionship. It's because of this spark, these spontaneous moments when an uplifting energy just takes over the room, that I looked forward to rehearsals. And making dance, making art, making something you have never made before itself is such a wonderful thing.

This project would not have been the same without the involvement of the people who were present in it. Our two mentors and advisers, Linda Caruso-Haviland and Mady Cantor, who are the greatest example of dedication and teamwork and who are always there with anything we might need, our dancers, who were critical to the development of this creation and without whom our artistic visions would have literally been impossible to perform, our tech crew, who were eager to do whatever they could with what they had in order to give as much of the design as we were asking for, Karl Allen and Angela Dowdy, who made it possible for us to use the Hepburn Teaching Theater, the first time this space has been used for this project (in the past it was the Pembroke Dance studio) therefore allowing for a show of a more professional caliber, and the support from SGA and the E. Clyde Lutton '66 Memorial Fund for the Performing Arts & The Hurford Center for Arts and Humanities at Haverford College. All of these people made this show possible, and we are so grateful for their support.

I also will never be able to forget the support I received from my friends and family throughout this endeavor. It was a difficult and often painful experience, as it can sometimes be when it comes to art, and they were there in my darkest moments to offer nothing but kind words and to pick me up from the floor. I struggled a lot with this project because it was particularly personal. I went through a series of ideas and changed and cut so much material in order to get to the final version. I had to shed the superficial layers and dig in order to find what was deep within, to find what I had been searching for. It took time, energy and patience (a lot, a lot of patience) but now at the close I am so glad I didn't give up. I am proud of myself for owning up to the commitment and I can definitely say it has been worth it. I had to learn to let go and really look at what was essential, and I feel as though I have grown so much because of it.

As the performance approaches and this process comes to an end, I am ready to show my piece, to give this baby that initially began with me but soon after grew on its own out into the world, out into existence. There is nothing as real and as present as what happens in performance, which is why it's such a wonderful experience. You have to take it in as it happens, because the beauty lies in the moment, which disappears as quickly as it comes to life. Watching the DVD recording doesn't even come close to what it's like. This is why I am exhilarated at the surprise I received this week: my sister, who is currently living in Brazil, suddenly let me know she was going to be present at my performance. My parents will also be there, which means the world to me. Nothing means more than the presence of my loved ones witnessing this moment in my life, a highlight in my journey to becoming artist.

Art is an interesting thing. So many people think of it differently--both artists and non-artists. What art is, what art/artists should or shouldn't do....the debate never ends. But in that way, art is also limitless in what it can do. I saw a dance performance this weekend by the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane dance company and before the show we had the privilege of being part of a Q&A with Bill T Jones himself. As cliche as this sounds, it was such an inspirational experience, to say the least. Bill T Jones spoke with so much assertion and meaning that I am surprised if anyone in the audience wasn't captivated. No matter if you agreed with his ideas or not, you knew that you were in the presence of a real thinker, observer, scientist of movement, of life, of art--a true artist. There is no greater feeling. At that moment, I was filled with the most wonderful feeling of fulfillment in that I knew that this is where I'm meant to be. This is what I'm meant to do.

Oh wait, it's curtain call--gotta go.

Luci