I’ll just send in an application…

I know I’m not the only University of Michigan student stressing out about their summer plans right now.

The summer is an important time for a musician because it provides free hours in the day for one thing: PRACTICING– well, for some people. I do my best to try to avoid practicing for long periods of time. That’s a story for another day. I’m looking at a few different options for my summer but I keep going back and forth on one idea, so I thought I would write about it this week.

I have never been a camp counselor. I understand it’s like some sort of rite-of-passage thing for college students but I feel late to the game. I’m going to be starting my senior year in the fall. I feel like by now, being a camp counselor should be a “been there, done that” situation for me. The truth is that college has actually gone by very quickly and I didn’t fully realize how much I was supposed to accomplish by now… again, a story for another day.

When I was in high school, I went to lots of different string camps and orchestra festivals during the summer. All of these summer camps had such rigorous schedules of rehearsals and supervised practice time that progress was inevitable, and succeeding with my instrument provided more motivation for me to work harder. In true summer camp form, there were also cabins, counselors, and camp traditions. I wore a uniform of navy pants and a light blue polos when I went to Interlochen for two years. On Sundays I had to wear white polos or a counselor would send me back to my cabin to change. We all had a love/hate relationship with the counselors. Most of them were college girls and their personalities ranged from cool to power hungry. I felt like too many took pride over being able to control us, but I had one or two that were kind of like second mothers to me and my cabin mates during our six week stay away from home.

Maybe I would be a good counselor. I feel like I do well with high schoolers and kids. Since I went to the camp myself, I would be able to help them enjoy camp in all the ways that I did, as well as encourage them to take advantage of the opportunities I didn’t pay attention to. I would be able to revisit a place that changed my life: where I discovered that I loved music and wanted to pursue it for a career.

But maybe going back to Interlochen to be a counselor would ruin the magic for me. The nostalgia might be too painful being in a place I loved without my friends. Maybe I would be jealous watching the campers go to orchestra rehearsal. It could replace my old memories of a place where I thought I was the best version of myself. But also, I need money, and it wouldn’t hurt to have the experience. I’ll send in an application and think about the hard stuff later.

Winter Olympics 2018: Curling, Speed Skating

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea starts this Thursday.  The Winter Olympics has less sports than the Summer Olympics and with it a smaller audience.  The names of the sports of curling and speed skating are well known, yet their rules are not.

Curling is a team sport that is played on a sheet of ice.  Most people compare curling to shuffle board, only on the ice and with a team.  The teams of four players push a 40 pound granite rock down the ice and try to get it as close to a target as possible.  Two teams compete against each other, and the team who gets closest to the target wins.  One player throws the rock and the others sweep in front of it to try and help the rock keep straight and hit the target.  If no one swept in front of the rock then the rock would curl, or veer left and right.  The sweeping keeps the rock straight.  Each team throws sixteen rocks, with each player throwing twice.  Scoring the game is the team who has more rocks closer to the center than the other team.

When people hear the sport of speed skating  they think that it is pretty self explanatory.  Speed skating is essentially track on ice with players skating around the ice arena at different distances.  The races are separated between men and women with 7 different events, 5 individual, 1 team pursuit and 1 mass start.  The team pursuit is when three athletes start on opposite sides of the oval and skate six or eight laps.  The winning team is the team who has all three athletes cross first.  The winning team moves on to the next round and the losing team is eliminated.  The mass start event is a sixteen lap race where all 24 athletes race at once instead of only having two athletes racing in elimination style.  Mass starts also have sprint points which athletes can gain during laps four, eight, twelve, and sixteen.  In each of these laps the top three finishers get extra points.  These points are added to the points that the first, second, and third place athlete get.

The Winter 2018 Olympics are starting in less than a week and there are many sports to watch that are not always in the spotlight.  Curling and speed skating are two of them that will be in the spotlight over the next two weeks.

Thanksgiving Poem

Every year on Thanksgiving, my great aunt would read a poem her father read to her called The Turkey Gobbler. In honor of that tradition, here is a poem of all of the things I am grateful for (and you should be grateful for!) at The University of Michigan.

Thanksgiving day comes but once a year
And always it is filled with cheer
Unless of course we do forget
To say our thanks to the people we’ve met
So tell your family and tell your friends
How happy you are that your love never ends
Then look to the west and HAIL the Big House
Pizza House feta bread could please a Michigan mouse
Say thanks to the profs and all the GSIs
Shake your advisor’s hand as you say your goodbyes
Make sure your colors always bleed maize and blue
And take a big sip of some Ann Arbor brew
Then head to the Diag and skip over the M
Say thanks to the squirrels as they scurry to the Den
Take a walk by the Huron
Meet your friends in the Ugli
Sneak some food out the dining halls
Quote JFK smugly
The law quad is perfect for some quality pictures
At Charley’s you’ll surely find some top notch mixtures
So gather your blue books and your number 2 pencils
The Union’s got you covered for fun UMix late night specials
Check the tea out at Wisdom
And down at Tea Haus
Try the coffee at Amer’s
And Espresso Royale
Be jolly at Pumpkin
For a nice stout or pale ale
Run around the Arb
And pet the dogs at finals
Paint the rock at night
Play your hipster rock vinyls
Do trivia at Brown Jug
Or maybe someplace else
Find some chalk at Mash
Hunt fairy doors
Look for elves
Work hard all day
Then play hard at night
Dance ’til the morning
Skeeps, Rick’s, and Necto dim the light
Have an egg on your Frita
Walk barefoot in the fountain
Find your painting at UMMA
Trek off to North like it’s a mountain
Grab a book at the Dude, or maybe at Dawn Treader
Literati has coffee
And typewriters with letters
Act chic in the Ross garden still sunny in winter
Toast mason jars at Dom’s when the sun is a squinter
Spend a dollar on Ground Cover and help someone out
But check out The Daily for news without doubt
Remember orientation as you don your cap and gown
Think of it gratefully and don’t you dare frown
Theres another thing you really must do
And if you don’t, this day you’ll rue
Take hold of your tassle and move it side to side
While you’re at it tell Schlissel he’s a really great guy
The last thing to do is maybe most important
Remember the block ][v][
And say hello victors
Do the right thing
Shout Harbaugh’s name
As we all come together to cheer for this thing we call
the game, the game, the game
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Beat OSU!