“Toi Toi Toi”

 

Photo from www.indianapublicmedia.org

Photo from www.indianapublicmedia.org

 

 

 

I know lawyers and doctors (MD and PhDs) and public officials all from my time here at IU, but none are possibly as interesting as the vocalists I have met that are pursuing advanced degrees. Not only do you have the chance to attend Jacobs School of Music operas at The Musical Arts Center for discounted student pricing, but you get to see fellow graduate students showcase their hard work and talent on stage (as well as the musicians in the orchestra pit).

Operas are dynamic, fun, and exciting. It’s also a far more complex world than I originally thought. Imagine singing for 3+ hours! Imagine learning songs in French, German, or Italian! There are altos, tenors, baritones, counter tenors, sopranos and mezzo sopranos, contraltos, and bass baritones to name a few! I am no opera aficionado, but I absolutely love them and take advantage of every opportunity to attend a performance and learn more.

Just like attending your first IU basketball game, going to the Lil 500 race, playing cornhole (I never heard of this in Los Angeles), and experiencing the Taste of Bloomington– I think attending an opera (at least once) should be on everyone’s list. Who knows, you just might become a season ticket holder! After all, Jacobs School of Music is one of the most renowned in the nation.

 

Peer Pressure (the good kind)!

Photo from etsy.com

Challenge yourself to try something new. The pressures of graduate school and perhaps living in a new area will force you to try new activities, utilize different study techniques, and step outside your comfort zone. I picked the IU Mini, a half marathon, to challenge myself during the first year of my doctoral program.

I am thankful for graduate student groups like the Black Graduate Student Association, because that is exactly the medium I used to peer pressure contact and interest fellow graduate students to train and run the race with me. My listserv message was met with lots of interest from ladies in different programs and schools that were ready to tackle this challenge.

Some of these ladies are currently writing dissertations, while the others have graduated and moved away from Bloomington, but training through a snowy and icy winter for a spring half marathon has bonded us forever. Nothing like wearing ear warmers, running gloves, 2 pairs of warm tights, base layer shirts, fleece jacket, and warm socks to brave the 25°-30° weather for weekly long runs.

Here I am almost 3 years later and deep in the world of powerlifting and weighlifting, but something is telling me to try it again, perhaps train harder this time and improve my time. Truthfully speaking, I just want to run it so I can have a cuter better picture at the finish line, because I actually hate dislike running (still waiting for that “runner’s high”), but I love working out with friends. Obviously I have time to decide, but it’s always in the back of my mind. The race is right here in town with plenty of undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, and community members running right next to you. Perhaps it’s time for another listserv message??

Photo from hoosierhalf.com

Bowling!

There are many things that I miss from home.  I know that one thing that I always had fun doing which relieved my many stresses from my undergraduate life was bowling – at least once a month.  I learned of bowling from my father because he was in a league that bowled once a week, and I took it up too.  I bowled so much that I got my own bowling ball and bowling shoes (and I’d suggest getting bowling shoes no matter how much you bowl because you’ll probably bowl enough in a year to equal the rental for the shoes).

In Bloomington, Continue reading

Find Yourself by Finding Others

Photo from Walmart.com. Altered by Tiphani D

Photo from Walmart.com. Altered by Tiphani D

I am a firm believer that sweatpants, a T-shirt and an assortment of sugary snacks can be a human’s best friends, but sometimes these need to be abandoned in favor of finding your social and professional niche within the IU community. While it sounds daunting, and not at all as easy as blasting through a marathon of Law and Order: SVU, it is an extremely important skill. I will, in full disclosure admit to not mastering this yet, but it is important to make connections for professional development, and for you own mental health; grad school is hard, and having a circle of people you can talk to can make the process easier. Continue reading

Take a break for sports: Learning about IU bball

The 2012-2013 IU men’s basketball team huddle before a game. Yes, they are wearing striped pants. And yes, they are the coolest pants in college bball. It’s a tradition. Photo courtesy of Mike Dickbend.

I can’t believe that I am 10 weeks into the semester already!  Time flies by very quickly when I am jumping from one place to another at IU: work, class, homework and social activities.  As a third-semester grad student, I am always surprised by how I am still struggling with my work-life balance.  I can be a machine and keep working for hours.  Yet, sometimes, I need to learn when to take a break.  Fortunately, fall is a great time for breaks (and distractions).  Fall is a time for Continue reading

Bloomington in the autumn

The autumn is probably one of the best seasons to spend in Bloomington.  With the crisp air, falling colored leaves, and smells of barbeque and tailgates, it brings to you the true college town atmosphere.  Not only is Bloomington ranked as one of the best college towns in the U.S., but it should also be considered to be one of the best destinations for visitors and tourists.

With nearby Brown County, stroll the streets of Nashville, IN, shopping for antiques, boutiques, and goodies.  Stop by The Big Woods Pizza and Brewing Co. for a local brew and pizza.  This weekend, we had the Breakfast Pizza … biscuits and gravy with an omelet all in one! Mmmm …

Don’t forget the infamous Oliver Winery.  An Indiana favorite has jazz festivals, outdoor seating, and fun activities for the whole family.  They also have an outlet on the Square in downtown Bloomington.

Lastly, the city of Bloomington has cool boutiques and local restaurants to match your flare.  Chose from “farm-to-table,” ethnic, and good “down home” Indiana and American fare!

Book your trip to visit IU today!

Fall in Bloomington

Fall is finally here in Bloomington!  So far the season has brought the usual cooler temperatures, changing leaves, mid-term exams, and darker beers.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m enjoying every bit of it.  Fall is definitely my favorite season.  I always found it paradoxical that as the leaves on the trees fall and much of the plant life fades, the students at Indiana University are just getting their feet under them, settling in, and discovering all the new wonders of Bloomington.  It’s a strange juxtaposition how student life blossoms as much of the natural world fades and slows to prepare for winter.

Brown County Hike 10202013

Hiking in Brown County. Photo courtesy of Amy D.

It is an appropriate contrast however, given the wealth of opportunities that each new academic year brings.  This is truly an exciting time of year when the outdoors is beckoning for us to enjoy it and new avenues of involvement, study, and leadership open up as we roll into a new school year.  I was fortunate this past week to have to chance to meet several promising prospective students at the Getting You Into IU event hosted by the University Graduate School.  Over the course of dinner at Uptown Cafe, I heard many inspiring stories from students across the country that truly touched me and for that I am grateful.

GU2IU 2013 BW

Dinner at Getting You Into IU 2013. Photo Courtesy of Aminta M.

The tales that some students shared truly humanized some of the challenges that are faced by first-generation college students and highlighted the hard work that students across the country are putting in to set themselves up for success after their undergraduate studies.  While they were thanking me for showing them around, I was bursting with thanks to each of them for inspiring me and renewing my enthusiasm for graduate school, helping others, and sharing stories and experiences with others.  I am excited at the prospect of having some of these students join our ranks here as graduate students and wish all of them the best as they continue to consider their options for graduate school.

FIRST DOWN HOOOOOOSIERS!

 

Bowling Green Falcons vs. Indiana Hoosiers                    10  -  42 Photo by L. Gregory Campbell

Bowling Green Falcons vs. Indiana Hoosiers
10 – 42
Photo by L. Gregory Campbell

You’ve read a million chapters, completed assignments, and conquered your email inbox. What’s next?

College football Saturday is here. Put on your cream and crimson and grab your student ID (I’m assuming you already purchased your student season tickets). Walking to the stadium be sure to stop by tailgates hosted by departments, graduate student groups, and fellow classmates. Play a round or two of cornhole and begin your walk into the stadium.

Often graduate students become isolated in their research and work, it’s nice to take a Saturday and enjoy some football. I realize that football may not be everyone’s cup of tea…so college basketball is just around the corner.

Take all of this with a grain of salt as these are the confessions of a PAC 12/ Trojan alumna.