Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weekend Report: Spring Break Edition

Hey everybody.  It's John.  While a lot of you will probably be leaving campus for spring break this weekend, here are some things you can do if you decide to stick around.

There are a couple of interesting films being shown at the Belcourt this Friday.  At 7:30, there will be a screening of the documentary A Place at the Table, which addresses the issue of poverty and hunger in the United States.  After the movie there will be a discussion featuring representatives from Nashville Grown and Community Food Advocates.

On a lighter note, later at night there will be a midnight screening of the movie The Big Lebowski.  If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth checking out.  The film features a fairly strange, offbeat style of comedy, but it can be pretty entertaining at times, and Jeff Bridges does a great job playing "the Dude," the film's main protagonist.

This is a pretty low-key weekend for music, but there are still plenty of options if you're looking for something to do.  Venues like Exit/In and Mercy Lounge have bands play almost every night, and admission is usually very reasonable.  On Saturday, the End has a $5 show featuring Kill City, a pretty solid punk/rock band from the area.  Also, if you're a fan of country music, the Grand Ole Opry will have a decent show that night with Blake Shelton as the headliner.

In my opinion, probably the most exciting show happening this weekend will be Buddy Guy this Friday at the War Memorial Auditorium.  For those of you who aren't familiar with him, Buddy Guy was one of the pioneers of the Chicago blues and an early recording artist for Chess Records, which also recorded famous blues artists like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker.  In case you haven't heard his music before, here's one of my favorite songs of his.

While not a weekend event, anybody staying on campus the entire week might be interested in seeing the musical American Idiot , which will be playing at the Andrew Jackson Hall.  It features an interesting take on a number of Green Day songs, not only from American Idiot, but also the albums Nimrod and 21st Century Breakdown.  It also has a few original songs written by the band specifically for this production.

Hopefully this post will provide a few options for anyone staying on campus this weekend.  Hope everyone has a great spring break.  Try not to get eaten by piranhas or sand sharks.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Free Food! (I had some)

Hello, my name is Rachael, and I love free food.

Most of the Mayfield went to John’s Resistance House Band concert on Friday. I hear it was pretty awesome, but unfortunately, I didn’t get to go. However, the reason I didn’t get to go is because I was doing something just as awesome: hosting a high-schooler!! I am a recipient of the Carell Family Scholarship, a scholarship for students who had a part-time job during high school, and each February they invite six or so finalists to Vanderbilt for interviews. It’s always fun to catch up with the other current Carell scholars, and to get to know the finalists for the upcoming freshman class. The only downside is that I always come out of the weekend wishing that all of them could end up winning the scholarship, but only two will be chosen. All of the finalists this year were really wonderful young men and women and I hope that they make it far in life.

The Carell family is a truly remarkable family: Enough money to pay Vanderbilt tuition for at least ten students, generous enough to actually do that as well as countless other charitable acts (like our Children's Hospital!), and yet they are all very down-to-earth and wonderful to go to dinner with.

Anyways, I went to a lot of activities relating to that this weekend, including a big group dinner at J. Alexander’s, froyo at Sweet CeCe’s, Anchorman in a seminar room in Hank, walking around campus, and of course a delicious catered lunch before the interviews started on Saturday. So much free food. So good.


Another thing that happened this weekend was Sam’s lifemap! Spoiler alert: she’s awesome.

Almost as awesome as my cat. Some would even say she is more awesome than my cat.

Then, of course, I went to church on Sunday morning, had Rand brunch with a few friends, delivered some chicken noodle soup, and then spent a very large amount of time behind the counter at Pie and Leaf. I would like to take a moment to ask all of you: Why does everyone and their grandmother go to Leaf on Sunday nights? I don’t understand. Although we were really, really busy, something happened that brightened my entire day. There was a girl coming through the salad line with a huge box of GiGi’s cupcakes. I asked her out of curiosity how many cupcakes fit in this rather large box, and she ended up offering me one! Thank you so much, random stranger! Your cupcake was delicious! I hope you had a wonderful birthday! :)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hey hey hey!
This is Linda!
I am so excited because this Friday we are going to John's concert!

If you do not own a car or can't get off-campus, then here are some of the cool things you can do.
First and the best--
The Good Person of Setzuan
Friday - February 22

8:00 pm
Neely Auditorium
Hosted by: Vanderbilt University Theatre
Shen Te, a poor woman, is known throughout Setzuan for her extravagant generosity, while her rich cousin, Shui Ta, is regarded as a heartless businessman. Which of the two is the better person? Bertolt Brecht's timely play wittily interrogates notions of morality in a world in which success is measured by material wealth.

Feb 21, 22 @ 8pm
FREE for undergrads
$10 general admission

Second and also the best--
Saturday - February 23

2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Neely Auditorium
Hosted by: Vanderbilt University Theatre

Once again, Vanderbilt Theatre is privileged to host Actors from the London Stage, the company that performed the delightful Twelfth Night in our previous season. Enjoy the artistry of this five-person troupe as they negotiate Prince Hamlet of Denmark's slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in this classic tragedy.

Also, there's
Vandy Spoken Word Presents: "VSW Unchained"
Friday - February 22

7:00 pm - 9:00 am
Sarratt Cinema
Hosted by: Vanderbilt Spoken Word

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day Weekend!

Hey everyone!

Jacob here! As you're very likely aware, we just wrapped up Valentine's Day weekend.  As such, I don't have many exciting tales to tell you of my adventures on campus, as I spent most of it with my loved one. 
However, that doesn't mean that I don't have a story to tell!
The occasion called for a cake, and being cullinarily-challenged, I had to enlist the help of the lovely Samantha (whose blog posts you should go scour for fun times!).  After a couple hours labor and the Mayfield smelling overwhelmingly of strawberries, we finished the cake just in time for me to abscond for the weekend with our beautifully-crafted confection!
I suppose the moral of the story is that baking a cake is never NOT a good idea.  Anyway, see you guys next time!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stuff to do at Vandy from Feb. 15-17

Hi! Luke here. Are you excited for Valentine's Day weekend?

"Where have I been all your life?!"
OK, maybe you're not that excited. But there's plenty of cool stuff you can do this weekend within walking distance.

Friday, February 15th

Vanderbilt Baseball vs. Long Beach State
4-6pm @ Hawkins Field

-- Also on Saturday from 2-4pm and on Sunday from 1-3pm.

The Second City Improv Troupe
7pm and 10pm @ Student Life Center

-- Vandy students can purchase tickets at the Sarratt Box Office for $10 each. Many of the past half-century's most famous comedians worked with the Second City in their early careers (check out a list of notable alumni here). Among them was the late John Candy, AKA The Funniest Man Who Ever Lived:

The Good Person of Setzuan by Bertolt Brecht
8-11pm @ Neely Auditorium 106

-- Also on Saturday from 8-11pm and on Sunday from 2-5pm. Vandy undergraduate students are admitted free of charge but must call 322-2404 for reservations.

Signature Series: Blakemore Trio
8-9:30pm @ Blair School of Music - Ingram Hall

-- Featuring music by Mendelssohn and contemporary composers Bright Sheng and Judith Weir. Yours truly will be attending this concert.

Saturday, February 16th

Asian American Student Association's Asian New Year Festival
Dinner: 5:30pm @ SLC Ballroom - Show: 7pm @ Langford Auditorium

-- Dinner tickets ($15 each) and show tickets ($10 each) are available on the Wall, at the Box Office, and at the door.

ALIAS Chamber Ensemble
8-9pm @ Blair School of Music - Turner Recital Hall

-- Featuring music by Brahms, John Marvin, Henry Cowell, and John Zorn. Yours truly will be attending this concert.

Sunday, February 17th

Vanderbilt Community Chorus
2-3:30pm @ Blair School of Music - Ingram Hall

-- A program of early twentieth century standards, directed by David Binns Williams.

Is Peace Possible? A Dialogue between David Makovsky and Ghaith al-Omari
3pm @ Wilson Hall 103

-- Free tickets are available at the Sarratt Box Office.

Go Figure Presents: Whitney Thompson
7-9pm @ Rand Hall - Rand Lounge

-- Learn more about this event here.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend Report

Good evening, dear readers!

I, Samantha, had a pretty low key weekend. No wild adventures this time around.On Friday night, a friend and I treated some off campus church friends to a meal at the Pub, which they greatly enjoyed! It was fun to see our campus dining to get so much appreciation from people who hadn’t had it before.


I happily spent the next morning at the Vanderbilt Call Center in the Baker building! 

What was I doing there? Well, some coworkers and I called a bunch of really nice Vanderbilt alumni and encouraged them to give back to the university and support current students. We also looked at several entertaining internet memes about Snowstorm Nemo.


And since then, I’ve just been hitting the books (and articles, and notes).

But on the upside, only a few more weeks until Spring Break, hurrah! I hope you have a very nice week!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ready for a weekend break?

Hello Vandy land!

This is Lindsey Franklyn speaking, and wow, I don't know if it's just me and some of my dear friends, but I've been having a heck of a busy week this Februrary! And again, I don't know if it's just me, but I'm definitely looking forward to some of the events on campus this weekend to de-stress myself.

From "All Quiet on the Western Front"
First up, we have...

FLICX: All Quiet on the Western Front! Now, I'm not really much of a WWI fan (I'm much more of a WWII fan if we're getting into these details), but here's a chance for all you history-lovers to go see a quick, free film this weekend!

It starts this Saturday, February 9th, 12:00 p.m., and it's located at the Belcourt Avenue.

One of our 'Dores snagging a two-pointer.
No big deal or anything. 

Equally exciting...

A Men's Basketball game! 

Let's be honest, who doesn't love basketball, who doesn't love our team (and cheering them on), and who doesn't love watching us wreck some of the other SEC schools?

If you've said yes to any of those questions, you'll be excited to know that this Saturday, February 9th, there's a basketball game against Arkansas. Game starts at 12:30 p.m.!

As always, undergrads are free to get in!

Frustrated you can't justify that five-pounder Sweet CeCe's anymore with a fundraiser?

Look no further! Our Global Health Team at Vanderbilt University is having a Sweet Cece's fundraiser this Sunday, February 10, from 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Get that five pounds of froyo in style now, and know that you're supporting the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health Team!

Once again, McGill is doing a cool
program. No surprise there.

Tuesday, February 12, 6:00-7:00 p.m. Come on out to McGill for a McGill Hour: The Bible and Sexuality: "Thou Shalt and Thou Shalt Not and Thou Might Want to" with Dr. Amy-Jill Levine. If the name alone doesn't get you interested, then I don't know what will! Perhaps knows that there's free snacks, and McGill houses some of the most wonderful people on campus?

Last but not least, our Mayfield is also having its traditional Friday night festivities! Everyone is welcome to come join us. This week, I believe we'll be watching a movie chosen by one of our Mayfield members. If our events thus far are any indication, it's likely to happen anytime from 7 to 8 p.m.

Feel free to join us; we'd love to have you!

Good-bye, VandyLand. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spiderman, Santa, and Sound City

Hey everybody.  John here.  Looks like it's once again my turn to write about the events of this past weekend.

My weekend really started on a high note because I went to the Belcourt Theater to see Sound City.  For those of you who haven't heard of it, this is a documentary directed by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.  It tells of a legendary analog studio called Sound City, where many of the greatest albums in music history were recorded.  Here's a trailer to give you a sense of what it's like:

Being a musician, I naturally thought this was one of the coolest documentaries ever made.  That said, however, I imagine that even non-musicians and people who are unfamiliar with rock history would still enjoy it.  The stories that are told in this film are pretty incredible, and it raises some interesting points about the pros and cons of an increasingly digital recording industry.

Later that day our Mayfield gathered for something called "life maps."  Apparently this is a pretty common ice breaker for those who have participated in Alternative Spring Break, but for those who are unfamiliar with the concept, essentially this is a chance for you to share your life story with people and offer a chance for everyone to get to know you better.  The last time we did this, Nell gave her story, and this time it was my turn.  It was an interesting experience, and I'm looking forward to learning the deepest, darkest secrets of the rest of the Mayfield.  Also, if you're at all curious to learn more about me, yesterday I put up my "...and I'm a Vandy Student" video:

That night I stayed up till about 3 a.m. playing Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions.  So far, I'm still a bit conflicted about the game.  I think I've been spoiled by Spiderman 2, because now I'm disappointed anytime I play a Spiderman game that isn't free-roaming.  I mean, if they could just make this game without Tobey McGuire's voice, it would be the perfect Spiderman game.

That said, one really cool thing about Shattered Dimensions is the inclusion of Spiderman Noir, an alternate version of Spiderman set in the 1930s which focuses much more on stealth and detective work.  There's something immensely satisfying about crawling around in the shadows and slowly picking off everyone in the room.

Although yesterday was primarily devoted to making my "Vandy Student" video, I did get a chance to watch a movie called "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians."  This title might sound familiar to you; it's considered to be one of the classic "so bad it's good" films.  Although I enjoyed it, it certainly did not hold up to some of the other terrible movies I've seen, particularly "The Room," which is one of my favorite movies simply because it's so impressively horrible.

That said, the film still had its moments.  Probably the greatest scene is when Santa first meets the Martian children, which begins around 55:15.  There is no dialogue, just one of the longest, most uncomfortable and uncalled for laughs I have ever heard.  Enjoy.