Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cats and Babies and Terrible Movies (And lots and lots of finals)

Hellooooooo Vanderbilt! This is Rachael, with my last blog post of the year.

I had the most exciting weekend ever! Not really though. See, I had pneumonia in the two weeks leading up to finals. And then finals came, and I ended up having final papers in all five of my classes, as well as two in-class finals, and an exam and a take-home essay exam I missed while I was sick. So that was my week and my weekend. The most exciting thing that happened to me this weekend was accidentally sending some really weird emails to some of my professors as I was turning in assignments late, begging them for pity.

Oh wait, I did find this treasure. Cat in a shark costume chases a duck while riding a Roomba. I honestly think this might be the best thing that has ever happened to the internet.

Other than finding this video, I did take a study break on Saturday night to go to dinner and watch a movie. Dinner was wonderful, but the movie was pretty disappointing. I had heard of Mystery Science Theater 3000 before, and I had heard that it was kind of funny, but it was actually just really stupid. If you've never heard of this series before, it's about this guy who is forced to watch really bad movies, so he sits and makes fun of them with his robot friends. Like, that's the show. Most of the screen is taken up by an actual movie, but there are silhouettes of the guy and the robots sitting and watching the movie in the foreground, and their stupid commentary is playing over the sound of the movie. There are also random interludes where the guy interacts with his robot friends. These scenes are obviously meant to be funny, but they just aren't. I literally fell asleep while watching this movie. I would have been more entertained if I had been working on a final paper.

We watched "I Accuse my Parents." DO NOT RECOMMEND.

On a happier note, in addition to the shark/cat/Roomba/duckling video, I also rediscovered this. Try and watch it without smiling, I dare you.

Other than being really stressed out about finals, I'm getting really excited for the summer! I am leaving for Greece in six days for a Maymester about Greek religion which is going to be OFF THE CHAIN AWESOME. After that, who knows? I haven't finalized any internship plans yet, unfortunately. Maybe I'll go home and see my cat!

I miss her so much!!

Anyways, good luck on finals, if you aren’t finished yet, and have a great summer! Good luck in life to all the seniors who are graduating! XOXO

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Finals Are Coming!

This is actually gonna be my last blogpost here!
This is Linda by the way.

Also, we had our last Mayfield event of the year--Mayfield 2 study break!

We handed out info pamphlets about the PCC (Psychological Counseling Center) and free stuff. We think that it is very important for us to take care of ourselves and each other, and not be afraid to seek help.

We also served pizza and drinks. But they were gone in 12 minutes, so we didn't have enough for everyone.

It later became a juggling-study party...because those two things go great together when you're with the lovely Mayfield 2 people!

It's been a great year really. I couldn't think of a better event to end the year with.
And thank you for following our blog!
May the road ahead be lit with dreams and tomorrows... which are lit with dreams, also.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Captain's Log: 4/21/2013

Well, everyone, this is it. My final blogpost for the project. You'll no longer be hearing from Jacob under the banner of Defying Gravity, but the show will go on! Though the project's coming to a close, we here at Defying Gravity are far from done making waves here at Vandy.

Enough of that sentimentality, though, you're here to hear about the weekend.  Now, mine is not nearly as exciting as most people's this particular weekend, as I did not attend the Rites of Spring, but I have heard good things about several of the performances through the grapevine.  Instead, I spent the weekend recouping a bit in preparation for the final stretch.  My finals take the form of papers moreso than exams, so I've got an easier load than many, but I'm still going to be spending almost all of my next three days writing stuff. 

Before I log out for the last time, I just want to say, it's been a fun ride, and I hope you all got something out of this, because I know we did.

Have a good summer, and all that business.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Luke's last post

Hi! Luke here with his final blog post of the academic year. If you're not attending Rites of Spring this weekend ('cuz you're cool like me), here are some alternative events that you may consider:

Friday, April 19th

School of Engineering Design Day
3-5pm @ Adams Atrium (Featheringill Hall)

-- There will be 60+ projects by senior engineering students on display. If you attend this event, you can brag to your friends that you're smarter than them.

"Going Global: Ensuring Operational Excellence in the Americas"
6-7pm @ Loews Vanderbilt Hotel Nashville

-- Panelists include Sergio Corbo and Mario Ramos. Cost is free, but be sure to register here.

Blair Big Band: "Swing into Spring"
8-9:30pm @ Ingram Hall (Blair School of Music)

Saturday, April 20th

Huebl Studio Recital
7:30-9:30pm @ Turner Recital Hall (Blair School of Music)

-- Featuring violin students of Professor Carolyn Huebl.

Signature Series: The Annual Appalachian Celebration
8-9:30pm @ Ingram Hall (Blair School of Music)

-- Headlined by Elizabeth Cook.

Sunday, April 21st

Victory's Spring Concert!
2:30-3:30pm @ Sarratt Cinema

-- I'll let this event's official description speak for itself: "We'll be singing anything and everything, from a classic hymn set to Final Fantasy, to Linkin Park, to even Veggie Tales."

Vanderbilt Steel Drum Bands
7-8:30pm @ Ingram Hall (Blair School of Music)

-- No explanation needed.

The Melodores Present: Meloroo 2013
8-10pm @ Sarratt Cinema

-- In case you've been living under a rock for the past few semesters:

To all readers of this blog: it's been an honor for me to contribute to this blog's content, and I offer my sincerest thanks for reading. Good luck on finals and stay classy!

Like my good pal Vince Vaughn.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Two C's: Chili's & Chocolate!

Hey, Hey Vanderbilt community! Lindsey Franklyn here.

I had a particularly wonderful (and exciting) weekend with my Mayfield members last Friday and Saturday night.

First, the magnificent hunt for food! Bit of a bummer, this one. Some of my best friends (Sam, Linda, and Nell) planned to go to Satay, but there was a bit of a card malfunction that kept us from tasting some delicious Thai food. (Really, though, Satay is amazing, and I recommend it to everyone during finals).

After spending several minutes skillfully arguing and making a series of strategic calls to nearby restaurants (courtesy of call star, Sam Cubbage), we finally decided on every Vandy student's favorite (or most convenient) restaurant...Chili's!

Where there was no shortage of other Vanderbilt students.

Second, chocolate scrabble!

I'm not a fan of Scrabble. Most of my roommates are not either; however, everyone is a fan of anything so long as it involved chocolate.

Even if it involves spelling...

And I did pretty darn well. My personal highlight was spelling czar, getting a triplet letter score on the letter "Z", and then getting some other points for adding a c onto a different letter. It almost catapulted me into first place.

Catapulted me into second place! At the end, we all shared the winner's chocolate, which is the "number 1" chocolate in the picture above. Good times were had.

Lastlymore chocolate! As if there's ever enough chocolate with only a final week of classes yet.

Once again, I had a wonderful time with some of my Mayfield members. On Saturday night, we melted chocolate using a makeshift double boiler (something I've never successively used), and then we dipped bananas, cookie dough, frozen bananas, and pineapples into the melted chocolate.

Word to the wise. Pineapples and chocolate (although delicious) don't mix quite as well as one would hope. But hot chocolate and melted chocolate definitely does!

Unfortunately, this will be my last post on our Defying Gravity page. Thanks for sticking with me, and I wish you a lot of luck on your finals!

Get in, we're going to wreck finals now. 

And keep reading for the other blog posts, of course. We've got some great people in our Mayfield ready to share their finals experience with y'all :)

A more realistic representation of me during finals.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Chocolate Scrabble, W;t and Puppies - I'm never gonna catch my breath!

Greetings, Vandyland!

This is Samantha, with my last blogpost for the year. I know, I know, about four weeks from now you're going to start feeling a little lost and as if something is missing without a blogpost from me. It's okay! I recommend turning to the vlogbrothers youtube channel for a blogging experience way cooler and funnier than mine, if you don't already. 

For my final post, I'm going to give you a list of three stereotype defying things I genuinely think will make your weekend great.

1: Come hang out with us, Defying Gravity! We're leaving from Highland at 5:30 on Friday to grab some Satay. After that, it's chocolate Scrabble time. Yes, my dears, competition, lexical adventure, and chocolate all in one. For those of you who haven't got a clue, some how I'll make a word master out of you! :)

2: Grab a few friends and see W;t  It's a touching play about a professor who receives a cancer diagnosis and has to say goodbye to those who knew her. It won a Pulitzer in '99 and one of her peers literally shaved her head for her role. You can see this masterpiece at Neely Auditorium on Friday and Saturday night at 8pm!

3: Play with a puppy. You deserve it, okay? School is demanding. A demanding life is stressful. And stress is dissolved by puppies. This is just science, y'all. Masala-SACE and Vandy PAWS are hosting a puppy play day on Saturday. If you're doing anything else from 3-6 - pack up, you're through. Central Library lawn is the place to be!

Regardless of what you do this weekend, I hope that you have a renewing 48 hours. As finals approach, I hope you find a way to be tranquil as a forest, but on fire within. Once you find your center, you are sure to win. As we face demanding times, we must be swift as a coursing river, with all the strength of a great typhoon. And if you do that, you will have saved us all...I mean, you'll have overcome a fierce obstacle. :D

And isn't that what Defying Gravity is all about?

Love and farewell,

PS: Mulan makes the best inspirational study music. :D

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jugglers, Dinosaurs, and the Shiny Maracas

Hey everybody.  John here with another weekend report.  This week was pretty unusual, because my band didn't have any shows to play.  We haven't had a week off since February, so I have to admit that it was nice to just hang out and do normal college kid stuff.  That said though, I'm starting to miss doing things like this every weekend:

Fortunately, we start playing again on the 20th, and we'll have a minimum of three shows before school lets out.

Instead of playing songs about eating people, as I'm accustomed to doing most Friday nights, I attended Juggleville 008: Gravity Protocol, which featured Mayfield 2's own Jacob Lamberth.  It was the first time I've ever attended Juggleville, and I have to admit it was pretty entertaining.  The show featured 007 and his trusty sidekick, whose name I have completely forgotten, as they attempt to stop a madman from doing something nefarious involving gravity.  There's no dialogue, so I can't be very specific about the details.  The combination of juggling and a doomsday device reminded me of a great Far Side cartoon where an audience member heckles a juggler for using nuclear warheads that have clearly been defused.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find this cartoon on the internet, so here's Calvin and Hobbes instead.

Later that night, I decided to return to Bioshock, a game I had started about a month ago but had stopped playing due to large amounts of schoolwork.  Hardcore gamers will probably find me pathetically behind the times, given that the third installment of this series just came out a few days ago, but I tend to only play games once they've been out long enough to be considered nostalgic and, more importantly, dirt cheap.  For those that haven't played it, Bioshock really is one of the best games ever made, and I highly recommend it as long as you can stomach some of the more gruesome elements of the game.  The visuals are amazing, the story is well-developed, and the enemies of the game are incredible.  The game really manages to affect the player on a psychological level, making for an unsettling but very compelling playing experience.  If you're interested, here's a clip that really demonstrates how well-designed the enemies are.  Not only can they be difficult to kill, but they're specifically designed to play off the paranoia of the player, making them some of the best enemies I've ever encountered in a game.

This weekend I ended up watching quite a few movies, beginning on Saturday with Jurassic Park.  For those of you who weren't aware, there has been a recent trend where older films are reformatted for 3D, seemingly in an attempt to make more money without making more movies.  In the case of Jurassic Park, however, I feel that it was actually worthwhile to see the 3D version, even if it meant paying good money to see a film I already own.  Jurassic Park was already a very visually appealing movie, and it looked even better in 3D on an IMAX screen.  I mean, who doesn't want to see this in 3D?

The second film I watched was The Room, a movie I've seen about four times now.  It is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made, but it fails so completely at everything it attempts that the result is much funnier than the majority of today's comedies.  The music is bad, the stock footage is placed at strange moments, there's an overabundance of spoons for some reason, characters were played by more than one actor, and protagonist/director/producer/writer Tommy Wiseau is the single strangest person to ever be captured on film.  Here's a scene where our hero Johnny goes to buy some flowers, resulting in some of the most awkwardly paced dialogue I've ever heard.

The third movie I saw this weekend was Memento, a film directed by Christopher Nolan.  I won't say much about this movie other than that it's very good and worth your time if you have two hours to kill.

Finally, on Sunday night I ended up going to Kay Bob's, a restaurant on 21st avenue a couple of blocks away from the Commons.  There I met with a few friends to have dinner and participate in the restaurant's weekly Trivia Night.  This was our first time attempting to compete in a trivia night, as an employee creepily pointed out when they promised to take our trivia virginity.  Our team name was the Shiny Maracas, and we actually did pretty well for our first time.  We didn't place, but all of the teams' scores were fairly close, so I feel fairly confident that if we took another stab at it we'd eventually win something.

Anyway, that about covers my weekend.  Here's an amazing video for a song called "Eat Randy."