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Boiler Up!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Senior Year: Semester One in Review

Whew! My blogs have been few and far between so far this year. Why? Here are just a few reasons:
1. Classes: My senior year classes have been demanding but fantastic so far. Two of my favorite courses this year have been my university honors course and my senior organization and administration course. The first was called “A Social History of Dress” and taught by Professor Ebarb in the theatre department. We explored the social and anthropological meaning of both style and function. Purdue has great honors options, and I’ve been lucky to take part in them through courses like this one. There is the university-wide honors program (UHP) that you apply to as a freshmen, college honors programs (I am a part of the liberal arts honors program) which vary from college-to-college, departmental programs which also vary, and then most honors program also give you the option to complete what is called an “honors contract course.” With this option, you choose a course that is not offered as honors, and create a contract. You work with a professor to challenge yourself to delve deeper than the typical coursework. I chose this option with my senior organization and administration class for athletic training, where I created a policies and procedures manual for one of the internships that I completed this summer. I also completed a review and report of all the injuries that the medical staff saw in a season at this internship. I’m currently working with my professor to turn this into a manuscript to be submitted for publication, as well as a poster to be presented at the annual liberal arts honors colloquium – another perk of the honors options!
Here are some links to various honors programs, in case you’re curious:
The University Honors Program: www.purdue.edu/honors
Liberal Arts Honors Program: www.cla.purdue.edu/honors
Engineering Honors Program: https://engineering.purdue.edu/ENE/Academics/FirstYear/Honors
2. Grad School Applications and the GRE: I still have a few more applications to complete, but from Oregon, to Georgia, to Massachusetts, my program director and professors have been amazing, helping me decide the next step in furthering my education. The GRE wasn’t much fun, but I’m happy with my scores and I hope not to touch that beast again anytime soon!
3. Clinicals: Wow! Senior year in athletic training has been exhausting. but completely worth it! This year I am the senior athletic training student with the cheerleading and spirit squads at Purdue, while helping out with football and other sports as available. I had the opportunity to travel to Ohio State with the football team, and also covered all the home games at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Nothing beats a sideline ticket! I will also be traveling with the cheerleading team to Disney World at the beginning of second semester as they compete in UCA Collegiate Nationals! Now that I’m feeling comfortable and confident of my clinical skills, the next big task on my plate is my board of certification exam at the beginning of February! Wish me luck!
4. The Assistive Technology Center: I have worked many a part-time job while at Purdue, but my current is my favorite. The Assistive Technology Center provides students with disabilities access and solutions to all kinds of technology issues that they may encounter while at Purdue. I have been working as a lab assistant in the center since August and have learned so much. The job has challenged me to think creatively, to perform extensive research, and to explore options that haven’t been given thought before.
5. So many clubs and organizations!: You’ve probably already heard it at least once, but there are SO many options at Purdue! I am probably active in too many, but hey – there are worse things than being too involved. =) I’m excited that my second semester is slowing down a bit, so that I can get back into many of the dance clubs that I enjoy. I also hope to join a new wine club that is starting and to take a cycling class through the recreational sports center. I’m just disappointed I won’t get the chance to see the new (and highly improved) RSC before I leave. It’s certainly something to look forward to for those of you who are prospective students!
Happy holidays, and boiler up!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One Semester Down, One to Go

For the first three years of college, I exerted myself to be the best in every way; I maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA, involved myself in many extra curricular activities, spent my summers as an intern and what little time I had left, worked at Ross Ade Pavilion as a suite captain. After returning from my past internship in Boston and receiving a full time job offer, I decided that I should redirect my path my senior year. Not to say, ‘go crazy’, but definitely dabble in a couple of events that I feel I missed out on during my first three years of school.
For one, with my job as a suite captain, I had unfortunately missed every game as a student/fan. In addition, I had only tailgated a handful of times. With that said, this became one of my favorite things to do this year during the football season. My parents came up during Eastern Toledo, Wisconsin, and IU. For all three games they made a ton of food and invited all of my friends to come over and tailgate with us. During the IU game, we had four cars, three tents, and more food to know what to do with.

In addition to the actual football game is breakfast club. This is an event for twenty-one year olds and over. The bars open at 7 am in the morning on the day of home football games, everyone dresses up in catchy outfits, somewhat like Halloween. It is a great time to catch-up with friends and see whose outfit is the best!
Lastly, I think one of the most important things I did this past semester was live in the moment and do whatever I could to be with my friends and have fun. While schoolwork was still the most important and I always made sure it was finished, I also tried to make equal amounts of time for friends. For instance, two of my good friends and I would make a gourmet dinner on Sunday nights when all of us where free; each of us had such a great time, I will never forget it. Being that one of them graduated, we will not be able to do it again next semester.
As a result, I do not regret my first three years for what I missed out on due to my success. I had countless successful internships, exposed to many networking opportunities, and a job offer during my first semester senior year with my top company choice. But now, it is my time to relax and enjoy, spend time with friends, explore life and have fun because it only happens once!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Passionate performances

Name: Brittany Smith

Major: Health and kinesiology (movement and sport science) with a minor in danceYear: JuniorHometown: Elmhurst, Illinois
Childhood dreams: At age six, dancing came naturally to Brittany. Then she saw the Broadway production, Riverdance. “I was just in complete awe.” Her passion for Irish dance continued through high school, when she performed on television and competed worldwide, including in Canada, Ireland and Scotland. In 2007, Brittany was ranked 11th regionally, 14th nationally and 36th internationally.

An important audition: When it came time for college, Brittany thought that she wanted to major in dance. After auditioning all around the Midwest, she came to Purdue. “I fell in love with the campus, and committed to the University after finding out I had been selected for the Goldusters Dance Team.”
Pivotal moment: Brittany shattered her hip bone just before her freshman year of high school, was unable to dance, and was in rehab for a year. “Many people told me to retire and hang up my shoes. Those comments made me work really hard to achieve my goals. They made me stronger in the end.”
Personal connection: “A dancer’s body is very delicate. I wanted to learn about the body and staying healthy.” Brittany is taking science classes beyond what is required by her health and kinesiology major. “I want the option of attending a professional school, to possibly become a physician’s assistant. Medicine runs in my family.”
Lessons from dance: “Irish dance has shaped me as a person. In order to really excel at it, you have to be so disciplined and it really pushes your limits. You see what you can take and what you can’t take—how much it’s up to you.”
Choreography: Golduster routines are often collaborative. Brittany likes to incorporate sassy or eye-appealing moves. At the student dance organization, Higher Ground, she and a friend created a hip-hop piece and did a jazz/Irish “tap-off.”
Sharing her passion: Brittany enjoys teaching as much as performing. At Golden Steps Dance Studio in West Lafayette, she has the chance to introduce young students to both Irish dance steps and to some of the culture behind their rich traditions.
Graduation dreams: Brittany’s international ranking qualifies her to audition for Riverdance, but she’s unsure whether her future lies in further study or with a professional dance company.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Reposted from the Purdue University website article "5 Students Who are Culture Makers."

Name: Alysha Kupferer
Major: Apparel design and technology with a minor in art (textiles)
Year: Senior
Hometown: Columbus, Indiana
A learning community: Alysha decided Purdue was for her after shadowing a consumer sciences and retailing student during a campus visit. “Even though it’s a Big Ten school and you get all the Big Ten advantages, the apparel design program is tiny. Every single person knows each other; they are friends. It isn’t competitive. It is all about supporting and learning from each other.”
Everything can inspire: Natural, earthy or nerdy things all interest Alysha. She believes that fashion is not meant to be taken too seriously. “I know exactly who I want my customer to be. Walking around on campus, I can look at people and know that she is my customer. He is my customer. What are they thinking? What do they want? Where are they going? How can I make their lives better with my clothes?”
High-fashion study abroad: Her interest in hand-worked textiles and the Sydney fashion scene led Alysha to the Australian label, Romance Was Born. There she gained first-hand experience in how runway looks are translated into ready-to-wear garments. “As someone who is interested in starting my own small company, I wanted to find out how they did it. How did they get into fashion week at such a young age?”
Feedback loop: Base 14, formed in 2002 by Alysha and her brother, Tyler, is an experimental multimedia company that works in film, fashion, and design. “We always collaborate on projects. His creativity inspires mine and vice versa. Base 14 allows me to explore interests outside the classroom and continually renews my love for my work.”
Pulling everything together: When designing her senior collection, Alysha carefully chose the season, identified her customer, developed an overall mood, and picked a target retailer. Loosely inspired by the Boy Scouts, her garment detailing is pulled from researching maps and field guides. She emphasizes textile work—from topographic map prints to hand dyeing and embellishments. “My goal is a range of clothing that is both casual and wearable while still incorporating intimate, artistic details.”
Fashion lovers: As president of the Purdue Fashion Association, Alysha is happy that the club’s membership now includes people from all across campus. “It’s a place to be with others who love crazy cool, different kinds of fashion. You can learn a technique, like silk screening, or just have a random burst of creativity.”
Lessons learned: “Constantly ask questions. Fully tap out all of the people you are working with. Learn as much as you can. Make the contacts that will help you out later.”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My New York Adventure

Hello everyone! My name is Laurel Donaldson, and I’m a sophomore majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Apart from studying, I spend much of my time participating as a clarinet player in Purdue’s All-American Marching Band (AAMB). This year was especially significant for us because we were invited to be in the leading band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this Thanksgiving! The excitement hasn’t faded at all, even though it happened almost two weeks ago…
We began our journey by loading up the buses at Elliot Hall of Music on the Monday evening before Thanksgiving. In total, we numbered about 450 – made up of the 373 bandsmen and auxiliaries plus the staff, their families, and our “groupies” (family members of the band). We took up 9 full charter buses, plus a truck for the big equipment, which includes the Big Bass Drum. And off we went!
After driving through the night, (which was an adventure in itself – have YOU ever tried to sleep on a bus full of mischievous trombone players?) we arrived in New York on Tuesday morning. We went straight to see the Statue of Liberty, where we took up almost an entire ferry to get to the island! My favorite part of this excursion was that my band service fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, actually held a chapter meeting right next to Lady Liberty herself!
Our next stop was Chinatown and Little Italy for a meal, then check-in at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan. It was such a beautiful hotel – and it was completely decked out for Christmas! That night, my roommates and I went to Broadway to see the musical Billy Elliot, and we even got to meet the star of the show afterwards!
The next morning, we rehearsed in the hotel. Yes, IN the hotel. The ballrooms were big enough to house all 373 of us – we even practiced our marching drill routine! We might have given the other hotel residents a nice wake-up call… But who wouldn’t want to be woken up by “Hail Purdue” in the morning?

The rest of the day was set aside for sightseeing on our own. My group of friends and I decided to cover as much of the city as possible in the short amount of time we had. We took the subway to a macaroni and cheese restaurant, Central Park, a cheesecake bakery, Bryant Park, F.A.O. Schwartz Toy Store, Tiffany’s Jewelry Store, and the Rockefeller Center. Typical of any true AAMB member, we were sure to make a “Block P” wherever we went, like at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, on an Etch-A-Sketch in the Disney Store, and on the huge Jumbotron in Times Square. My friends and I even ate our New York cheesecake in the shape of a “Block P”!
As our day in New York turned into night, we all began thinking about what the parade was going to be like. At 1:00 AM on Thursday morning, our alarms went off to begin getting ready in uniform for our practice in front of Macy’s. We loaded up at 2:00 AM, and by 3:00 AM, the AAMB was marching in front of the Macy’s Department Store to practice. Apparently, 3:00 AM is the least busy time in New York, and therefore it’s easier to block streets, making it the ideal time to practice marching band. Who knew?
After a short power nap on the buses following the practice, we received a hot breakfast of courtesy of the nearest Applebee’s (just try to imagine 400 people invading Applebee’s at 5 in the morning…), and then it was off to the parade site!
As we stepped off, I can remember thinking to myself, “I want to remember EVERYTHING.” And the experience was spectacular! I’m from a very small town, and I had never seen so many people all in the same place in my entire life. Buildings were packed on every floor, everyone was taking pictures, and every time we did our famous AAMB dances in the parade marching, the crowd cheered like crazy! They especially liked our BBD (Big Bass Drum) – I think we made a pretty big impression on New York City! After 2.8 miles of marching through the streets of New York, we reached our destination at Macy’s. We had 75 seconds to perform on camera, and it flew by! We played Leonard Bernstein’s “New York, New York” then marched away to “Hail Purdue” of course! We didn’t even have time to be nervous –all of our intense rehearsing had paid off. The performance was the best we had ever done it! Success!
I went back later and watched the televised coverage of the parade, and I was blown away by how the TV coverage turned out. There’s something pretty cool about watching the AAMB perform on NBC on the Macy’s star then listening to the strains of “Hail Purdue” as the Grand Marshal of the parade came through with the police escort! It truly makes me proud to be a member of the Purdue All-American Marching band and a student of Purdue University.
I think the best part about being in the band wasn’t our trip to New York. Even being in the Macy’s parade itself hasn’t been the most rewarding experience. As amazing as this trip was, the best part is that I’m a part of a “band family.” Coming to Purdue, I didn’t know anyone. I thought I was going to be on my own. But as soon as I got to campus and started band camp, I had found my niche with the band. My band friends are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met, and they have proven themselves to be friends that are going to last a lifetime. I would encourage students to find their place at Purdue. My experience at college would be completely different if I hadn’t joined the band, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There are so many organizations at Purdue to join – find where your passion is and get involved! Take it from me; it’s the best way to do this college thing.
If you missed our performance at Macy’s, check it out on Youtube: