Thursday, February 24, 2011

An Evening at the Auditorium

One of my favorite places on campus is and always has been the IU Auditorium. Imposing both inside and out, you can't help but to feel like royalty when you step onto its marbled floors or rest into one of its red cushion chairs. Everything about the place seems to scream luxury and grandeur, and that's just the building.


Last night I went to see the hit Broadway musical, Spring Awakening. I had heard of it in passing and thought it might be decent, so I spent the $20 for a balcony seat. Yes, for IU students it is outrageously cheap to go and see shows at the auditorium! Over the years I've seen a number of musicals and performances including Avenue Q and Beauty and the Beast! This coming Friday, I even have a front row seat to Kodo, a performance of Japanese drums. I'm so excited!


In any case, the Auditorium was PACKED. People were everywhere purchasing merchandise, talking to friends, buying last minute tickets and getting excited for the show. A few people were even attending the show for free, courtesy of Residential Programs and Services. For nearly every show, the office holds a contest for residence hall residents where the winners receive free tickets.


Although it was strange to be seeing the musical by myself, I still felt right at home. The show was not quite what I expected, but it was riveting and the musical performances were spectacular! I highly recommend it for audiences 18 and older.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

IU By Nightfall

Because I recently realized that I've been stingy with photographs lately, this is a photo post! All of these photos were taken this past week after sunset on the Indiana Bloomington campus. I love campus at night, especially when the weather is cooperating!






Thursday, February 10, 2011

Top Five Reasons I'll Miss RPS

This past week I went on a college visit at Vanderbilt University in Nashville to attend a "visitation weekend" for graduate school. To be honest, I absolutely loved it. The campus was beautiful, I loved the city and all of the people I spoke to made me feel very excited about my Master's program. There is, however, one very tiny drawback that's making me nervous.

They do not offer housing for graduate students.

For many people, this would not even be seen as a drawback. A lot of students choose to move off campus after their freshman year, so this is no surprise. However, for me, this is nerve-wracking! Here are a couple of reasons why I will miss RPS (and why I've been lucky to live here).

1. Furniture
Move in day is hectic enough without worrying about moving in a bed, dresser, desk or bookshelf. For the past four years, RPS has provided me with all of the furniture I need for work and comfort (including couches and lamps in my new apartment). For a student like me who has plans to work overseas in the coming years, this has been a wonderful solution: I did not need to spend money on furniture then have to worry about selling or storing it when I was away. Unfortunately, Nashville does not seem to offer many "furnished" apartment opportunities. I'm going to miss my RPS couch, dining table and bed when I'm using a futon for all my furniture needs come next year.

2. Maintenance
There was this wonderful episode at the beginning of the semester when, while cleaning my fishbowl, I dropped six big marble glass beads into the garbage disposal. When Sarah asked me what had possessed me to take out the drainer, I could only reply that "I didn't want to get it dirty." Needless to say, our sink was out of commission, if only because we did not want to accidentally flip on the garbage disposal and witness the catastrophic event that would be sure to follow. I called down to the Center Desk and let them know, and the next morning my sink had been fixed by a maintenance worker while I slept in. No charge, no fee from a landlord, nothing. RPS provided the repair quickly and without hassle, and THAT is something I'm going to miss when dealing with a landlord in the future.

3. Payment
RPS takes all of the trauma out of paying for housing accommodations: they simply charge the cost to your Bursar bill in two installments (one for fall, one for spring). This system eliminates the need for students to pay rent on a monthly basis, and while that might not seem like it's a big plus, it is. I cannot count the number of times a classmate or friend has had to cut a group meeting short because they had to go back to their apartment and make sure that they turned in a check before the office closed at 5 p.m.

4. Convenience
I have grown accustomed to being able to walk to all of my classes and only take a bus when I'm feeling especially lazy. Unfortunately, any apartment within a mile of the Vanderbilt campus comes with the hefty price of over $1000 a month for a studio, and I would likely have to pay utilities on top of that. So, my options are to either go for broke and continue spoiling myself or live five miles away and learn to drive in city traffic. I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do yet, but I know that no matter where I live it won't be quite as close or convenient as my current apartment.

5. Fun
One of my favorite things about residence hall life is the social aspect. There are always free events and programs going on for residence hall, er, residents. At Union Street there was a Super Bowl Party this past Sunday, and the weekend before Spring Break there is going to be a video game war (which promises to be a day full of excitement and poor health choices). There are some apartment complexes off-campus that have social events, but for the most part people keep to themselves.

In summary, I know that I have to grow up at some point, but RPS has definitely been a helpful transition from living with my parents to living in the real world. Before moving off campus, think twice about all of the extra hassles that come along with it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bloomington Dining Guide

This week, Brian came back to Bloomington to visit me again. This time, we only had a few days and I wanted to show him the best that B-Town had to offer including food! I sat down a week beforehand to try and decide which restaurants were a good representation of the town as a whole, and in the end we wound up having a delicious few days! Here is a list of the restaurants we went to, what we had, and why we loved it!

Casa Brava
My favorite Mexican restaurant in Bloomington (or anywhere!), Casa Brava offers a large menu selection and a friendly and fun atmosphere. I've been going to this restaurant for years, and I have never had a dish I didn't like! The wait staff is very friendly, and often the food is out onto the table within 10 minutes! This visit, I had a beef quesadilla and Brian had a shrimp and rice dish, both of which were delicious! This restaurant is a MUST for people who want great food, fast.


Ami Japanese Restaurant
After Indiana was hit with a very ferocious ice storm, Brian and I decided to walk to Mother Bear's Pizza to get some dinner. Unfortunately, we walked a half hour on the ice to find that it was closed! On the bright side, Ami Japanese Restaurant was open, so we decided to try some Japanese cuisine. I have to confess, I have had a lot of Japanese food and Ami stands up to the challenge. Everything we had, from sushi to miso soup to udon to teriyaki was fantastic. I highly, highly recommend a stop to Ami next time you want something delicious!

Mother Bear's Pizza
This delicious pizza restaurant has always been a favorite of mine, and for a good reason. Voted "Best Pizza in Bloomington" since 2005, it is the best type of "pie" that I have ever had! My favorite order is sausage and mushroom pizza, but I've been told that their vegetarian pizza is delicious. Not only that, but the restaurant atmosphere is wonderful! It's warm, homey and very relaxed. I highly recommend it!


Home Sweet Home
It's great to go out to eat, but sometimes the best food is the kind you make at home with friends! Brian and I spent an hour at home making heart-shaped pancakes, and we had a fantastic time spending time together!