Scribble #23: Little Earthquakes

“These little earthquakes,”

I’m out of isolation and yesterday marked the official end of classes for the Spring 2022 semester. I am fortunate that I am almost done with my finals, too, and I feel as if a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. With my COVID isolation came time for me to find joy in the quiet and to fall in love with some of the simple things in my life again – playing guitar, going on walks with no particular destination in mind, and finding peace in being alone.

“Here we go again…”

It also made me realize that the reality of moving home for the summer is coming up faster than I thought. Soon, my quiet, hobby-filled life will entirely take the place of my social one at college, and I don’t know what I’ll do for four months without my friends. Surely there will be video calls and brief visits, but it isn’t the same as being right down the hall from each other like we are in Ann Arbor. Coming back in the fall will be fun, but I know, as usual, it will take some getting used to. I just need to remember that I do get used to it – I love this city, and, more importantly, the people in it.

“Doesn’t take much to rip us into pieces…”

Things will change, and I will adapt, and things will change again, and I will adapt again. Leaving Ann Arbor is going to be hard. Thinking about leaving is hard enough. But for now, out of isolation, I am more than ready to make the most of the time I have left of the semester. 

“Give me life, give me pain, give me myself again.”

Listen to Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos here:

The Rise of the Band Geeks, Episode 23: Drum Cheers

Continuing my series on fun game tunes, today’s post focuses specifically on–wait for it–drum cheers, aka the cool stuff the drumline plays in the stands.


Cheer 1.  What makes Cheer 1 so great is its versatility:  it’s an offensive cheer, a defensive cheer, and, in hockey games, what the drumline plays when fans shout “Drop the Puck!” at the refs.  All three variations (that I know of) consist of distinctive yet simple arm motions.  Cheer 1 is very short and relatively simple, but it gets the job done in terms of hype.


Cheer 4/Raise the Roof.  What happened to Cheers 2-3?  Well, they are not Cheer 4, that’s what.  Cheer 4 is also known as Raise the Roof, and it is played after major plays (I think; don’t quote me on this) in games.  Cheer 4 is the one where people go “Oooooooh” and pump up their hands (as though they’re raising a roof) to a rhythm from the drumline cadence.  It is often combined with something called C1, which starts with the winds and segues into Cheer 4.


Cheer 6.  Cheer 6 is essentially the rhythm of “Let’s Go Blue” in 7/8, which evidently gives it a “disco” feel; indeed, the band shouts the name of whoever is on the ladder (or the name of another staff member) with the moniker “Disco” during the rests of the cheer.  (For instance, when the Fearless Leader is on the ladder, we yell, “DISCO FEARLESS LEADER!”)


Cheer 8.  I mentioned this in my recap of The Game the Saturday after we beat OSU as a cheer that is played when victory is in our sights.  The dance includes the whip, the nae-nae, and doing the thing where you walk backward and forward while rotating your arms in front of you before turning around with a “Yeeeeeee-haw.”  This is always a great cheer to play, and nothing beat hearing Cheer 8 called on November 27th–except, of course, the moment we won.


Cheer 10.  The rhythm of Cheer 10 resembles a familiar tune whose title is alluded to in the accompanying dance, which mimics taking a shot in basketball.  It’s got a lively rhythm and is, in my opinion, not played frequently enough.


Beyoncé.  The rhythm of this is inspired by/is a Beyoncé song, reminiscent of a Beyoncé-affiliated show that happened before my tenure.  It is in the opening line of the drumline cadence and involves a dance routine that I assume is also inspired by Beyoncé.


Sailor.  Yes, this is the name of a piece in the cadence–the ending tag, to be specific.  Sailor gets its distinction by having a cymbal crash on the “e”  of three every odd measure.  It sounds like duh-duh-restDAH, duh-duh, DAH, with the final note being a simple quarter note.


Eights.  What drumline cheer repertoire would be complete without the most basic drumline warmup known to mankind?  The Michigan Drumline’s repertoire, of course.  They do not need to play Eights in the stands because they have all the epic cheers listed above.


If you or a loved one has played Eights as a drum cheer, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Scribble #21: Everlong

“I know you’ve always been out of your head,”

All of a sudden, I only have a few short weeks until I return home for the summer. At the beginning of the school year, I viewed summer break as something to look forward to – a return to my own room, my home, my family, and some stability. With each passing day, however, I become more and more sad to know that, soon, I’ll have to say a temporary goodbye to Ann Arbor and all of my friends here.

“Out of my head, I sang,”

I don’t sit around dwelling on the fact that soon I’ll move out of the place I’ve spent the majority of the past 8 months and be hours away from my best friends, and this allows me to make the most of the time I do have left. I am only halfway done with my time pursuing my undergraduate degree, and there is plenty to look forward to over the course of the next two years. However, the end of this academic semester comes with sadness – many of my friends are graduating soon – but I am happy excited for them and excited to see all of the amazing things they go on to do after graduation.

“And I wonder, when I sing along with you,”

Here’s to having a good rest of the semester, to focusing on savoring every moment I have left here, to studying hard for my exams, to not procrastinating my final papers, to spending as much time as possible with my friends, and to knowing that I have plenty to come back to when I return to Ann Arbor in August.

“If everything could ever feel this real forever?”

Ann Arbor – my second home – and my friends – my second family – I will see you again before I know it, and I look forward to all of our future adventures!

“If anything could ever be this good again?”

Listen to Everlong by Foo Fighters here:

Art Biz with Liz – Singing One Last Time

Hello, readers! I want to start by apologizing for my brief hiatus from arts, ink. due to some personal issues. I am back and active for my last month at Michigan. Speaking of it being my final month, there are going to be a lot of “lasts” coming up, including my last UM Women’s Glee Club (WGC) concert. This blog post includes the typical advertisement that I normally provide for the upcoming concert, but I am more so going to focus on how the club, traditional UM songs, and music overall have had a positive impact on my time at the university.

May be an image of text that says 'The University of Michigan Women's Glee Club Presents The Sound of All of us Echoes from the past, Voices for the future Conducted by Dr. Julie Skadsem Spring Concert April 2, 2022 Hill Auditorium'

I don’t think it will hit me until after the concert that this will be the last time I get to sing “The University” or “Varsity/Victors” on stage. I used to joke that you weren’t a real Michigan fan if all you knew was part of “The Victors,” which is just a snippet of the extensive library of traditional UM songs. Although nearly everyone on campus is familiar with the main chorus of “The Victors,” I’d argue that many people do not know the words to the beginning of the song (everything before “Hail! to the victors valiant”), which I have held close to my heart since learning them through the UM Women’s Glee Club. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you know these songs or not, but they have helped generate a sense of camaraderie and school spirit I might not have had otherwise.

I credit music and the UM Women’s Glee Club for making me feel more connected to the university. Not only was I able to find another community and make new friends, but I could continue to engage with the arts even if they weren’t my main academic focus. Learning “Blues” pieces, as mentioned in previous posts, also helped me feel connected to school spirit in a unique way. At sports games, I always felt immense school spirit during chants and songs. Singing songs such as “Go Blue” sung in SSAA by Phillip A. Duey (not to be confused with the short “Let’s Go Blue” commonly played at sports games) and “I Want to Go Back to Michigan” elicits even stronger feelings of loyalty and enthusiasm for my school and the memories I’ve made here.

There is always the beautiful and traditional “Yellow and Blue,” but I can already tell that the UM WGC’s arrangement of “College Days” by Donald A. Kahn and Earl V. Moore will be the song that makes me teary-eyed on stage. If you haven’t heard it before, check out the first few lyrics:

I’ll ne’re forget my college days

Those dear, sincere old college days

I’ll ne’re forget my Michigan

‘Twas there long friendships first began

I’m not going to pretend to be the biggest Michigan fan. I don’t know the names of athletes, I can’t promise I’ll be back for future football games (as much as I loved them as a student), and I owe too much in student loans to be comfortable with paying a fortune on more UM gear at the MDen. But the UM songs I’ve learned as a WGC member spur fond, nostalgic feelings, and I haven’t even graduated yet. I’m not surprised that music has that effect.

Our senior song this year, “In My Life” by The Beatles, also provokes strong feelings. To me, the song is about both the past and the present. I mean, take a look at these lyrics:

Though I know I’ll never lose affection

For people and things that went before

I know I’ll often stop and think about them

In my life, I love you more

There are certainly feelings of nostalgia and appreciation for the past, which is bittersweet as the seniors move on from college. But there is also great hope for the present and the future in the way the lyrics compare a current love to the things the singer cared about deeply before. In applying the message to our own lives, there is immense admiration for the past (i.e., college), but there are even greater things to come (i.e., our futures). I like how this theme also relates to the overall subject of the concert, which is “Echoes from the past, Voices for the future.”

UM WGC is one thing I will be sad to say goodbye to, but I am thankful for all the memories and music. I am looking forward to this Saturday and singing in Hill Auditorium one last time. :’)

If you’re interested in attending the concert, click here!

The Rise of the Band Geeks, Episode 22: Uprising?

Deviating from last week’s exploration of Michigan Traditionals, today’s post focuses more on songs made popular in more recent years.  A rock song played over the stadium loudspeakers or a pop song heralded by the band can carry just as much emotional weight while being relatable to the students, who would much rather listen to Seven Nation Army than Varsity.


Seven Nation Army.  This adrenaline-inducing 21st century anthem emerged in 2003, making it about as old as the younger end of this year’s freshman class.  Its solid angst-ridden lyrics are largely ignored in favor of “Oooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooooooh-ooooooooh,” which, to be fair, is the tune that makes the song so popular–but you’ll never hear them at a sports game because of the aforementioned “Oh”-ing.  This song was played after we beat TTDS at The Game while the field was being stormed, so it is also a victory anthem.


Pump it Up.  This song by Endor has very, very straightforward lyrics:  “You got to pump it up / Don’t you know? Pump it up,” but its significance at Michigan home games cannot be understated.  After The Trio, the stadium (whether it be Yost or The Big House) blasts this song, and everyone repeats the mantra while high-fiving each other and basking in the glory of our team having scored a point.  Unsurprisingly, it was played multiple times on November 27th.


Uprising.  The question mark in the title is on purpose.  After this song was played during the third halftime show of the season, the Fearless Leader started asking the band if they were ready to play Uprising in the stands with a simple question:  “Uprising?”  It became a running joke for the remainder of regular season (I can’t testify to anything after November 27th).  It’s enough of a power anthem that it warrants a spot as a stand tune next year in my 100% unbiased opinion.


Blues Brothers.  Ah, yes, the Blues Brothers theme!  With an amazing, peppy melody and a fun dance, you can’t go wrong (unless you get the moves to the dance wrong).  It’s quite a shame that this happens during commercial breaks, because this is about the only time I am doing something that passes as dancing.  (The Cha-Cha Slide does not count because it isn’t really played in the stadium.)  Also, the final bit where we cheer and shout, “I QUIT!” is an incredible way to unleash pent-up tension.


Mr. Brightside.  From the moment you read the first sentence, you knew this was coming.  It had to.  No list about modern band/sports game anthems would be complete without the punk rock gem by The Killers released in September 2003.  After all, nothing quite makes your day like a stadium of 100,000 people belting out the verse, bridge, and chorus to a song that, for its upbeat tempo and catchy melody, is really depressing when you read the lyrics.  But there’s something magical about shouting the (hopefully correct) words and feeling your voice getting swept away by the sheer number of people who are screaming around you.  The anticipation builds as you reach the line, “But it’s just the price I pay,” where the audio cuts out and everybody finishes the chorus in a thunderous mass of shout-singing.  Even when it was 30 degrees and snowing, the rendition of Mr. Brightside on November 27th was impeccable–especially since, once the field was stormed, the DJ played Mr. Brightside and solidified it as a modern Michigan victory jam.

Scribble #20: Champagne Supernova

“Someday you will find me caught beneath the landslide,”

This past weekend was made complete by a visit from my best friend: my mom. It was great to see her and be able to catch up – these past few weeks have been very busy and I haven’t been able to speak much with her. It’s always weird when a family member leaves after visiting me at college, but every time it gets easier and easier to get right back into college life. That doesn’t mean saying goodbye isn’t hard, though.

“In a champagne supernova,”

Singing along to the entire seven minutes and twenty seven seconds of Champagne Supernova by Oasis with my mom while we were driving in the car was a highlight of my weekend. I’m glad we are able to bond over our shared love of similar music. Tonight, I had another singalong with some of my closest friends. I can’t help but remember how all throughout middle and high school I wouldn’t sing in front of anyone. It makes me happy to realize that now (while I am still very aware that I am no professional singer) I am secure enough to sing in front of my friends and family.

“’Cause people believe that they’re gonna get away for the summer.”

It was great to be able to spend quality time with my mom, and a nice way to make my way into finals season. It’s hard to believe that I have less than a month left of my second year of college, but I’m proud of my personal growth and how far I’ve come since late August 2021. It’s going to be an academically exhausting few weeks, but I look forward to the satisfaction that will come with it – and the de-stress singalongs that will happen along the way and into the summer.

“But you and I, we live and die; the world’s still spinnin’ ’round, we don’t know why.”

Listen to Champagne Supernova by Oasis here: