“Raptness and Reticence: The Circumstances that Created these Beautiful Faces”
Tomorrow, Thursday May 23, my beautiful sister, friend and 2013 Minerva Fellow Jacqui Smith will be hosting an artist’s reception for her senior art show! Obviously, I am biased, but Jacqui is honestly one of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. From 5 to 7 p.m. in the Arts Atrium (first floor in the Visual Arts building), Jacqui will be serving food and drink while showcasing her incredible work. Her work will be displayed until May 28, and I encourage anyone who cannot make the reception tomorrow to pop in at any time to just take a look! Here is the official description of her work:
“Union College presents the art exhibition Raptness and Reticence by college senior, Jacqui Smith. This show consists of 25 watercolor portraits of children born out of extenuating circumstances. These are children who are sex slaves, child laborers, child soldiers, children with downs syndrome or autism, hungry children, children of extreme poverty. The paintings are comprised of the faces of these children in order to expose our common ground. These are kids throughout the world who have never deserved the lives they were given. Exposing them and getting their faces out there for as many people to see will encourage more people to offer their support.
Jacqui Smith is a graduating senior of Union College, originally from Poughkeepsie, NY. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She has illustrated the children’s book “The Rainbow Jars”, written by James Lincoln. After graduation, Jacqui will be moving to Ecuador for nine months as a Minerva Fellow to work with the impoverished community of Estero del Platano. She hopes to continue championing the causes of children globally, especially through art and illustration.”
I hope everyone is recovering nicely from this past Springfest Weekend! As it was my second Springfest, I had lots to compare it to this year, and I must say that it surpassed my first year experience with the event. Although I barely paid attention to the concert and never made it inside the roped off venue, choosing instead to wander with my friends, I loved listening to Chiddy Bang and the band that followed them, the Dirty Heads. All in all, it was such a wonderful weekend spent with wonderful people, and I can’t wait for next year! Or…better yet, Alumni Weekend in just a few short weeks!
Join the sisters of Delta Delta Delta and brothers of Sigma Chi tonight for WINGFEST! All proceeds go toward St. Jude Children Research Hospital and the Wounded Warrior Project, and tickets are $7 both in Reamer and at the door. What could be better than fun people, delicious all you can eat wings from Union Inn and raising money and awareness for two fantastic causes?! Not much.
On Thursday night, a couple of friends and I attended the winter dance concert at Yulman Theater, Circling Beginnings: Dancing the Seasons, and I am so thrilled we did! Each part of the show was a different season, with both student and staff choreographed numbers that were truly beautiful. In addition, director Miryam Moutillet incorporated two members of the Eliphalets acapella group, Connor Barrett ’14 and Meagan Melley ’16, to sing in between the performances, which was a nice way of breaking up the program – live music is always a treat! With each performance that was a student project, you could really see the individuality and creativity coming through with the choreography, and it was really awesome to see that we have such talented students here at Union in all sorts of mediums.
Although I loved the whole show, there were a few performances that really stood out to me as my favorites. Jenna Langhans ’13 and a dance instructor did a piece set to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”, which happens to be an absolutely gorgeous song, and the dancing to go along with it did not disappoint. I never wanted it to end. I also loved the ensemble piece set to “Jai Ho” during the summer season of the show – it was so fun and lively, the colors were mesmerizing! Another piece that stood out to me was one that involved tap dancing, as well as a bit of hip hop, which was beyond cool. Tap dancing was the last type of dance I was expecting, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a handful of girls in perfect tapping sync.
For my first Union College dance concert, I have to say I picked a pretty good one to check out!
If you missed out on this year’s Thruway Competition at Proctor’s Theater last Friday, I feel really, really bad for you. Not only was it a wonderful night of music and fun, but all the proceeds from the event benefited the Schenectady Land Trust. Joining our own Dutch Pipers, Eliphalets and Garnet Minstrelles, Boston University’s Aural Fixation, Connecticut College’s Co Co Beaux and Bates College’s Crosstones made the journey to Schenectady to compete. As an avid acapella fan, I was beyond excited for the concert, particularly because I have friends in all three Union groups, as well as in Connecticut College’s and Boston University’s.
In the end, Union’s co-ed group, the Eliphalets, received a well-deserved win, with a Mistrelle singer receiving an honor for best solo performance. Some of my favorite songs performed included ”Perfect” by the Eliphalets, with a solo by the incomparable Mollie Orr ’15…it’s always one of my favorites that the group does and I was so excited to hear them compete with it! ”Feel Again” by the Garnet Minstrelles, with solos by Morgan Muggia ’15 and Anna Gagnon ’14 was also fantastic. I found myself never wanting it to be over. And finally, ”Daughters” performed by Co Co Beaux of Conn College, with a solo by Alex Marz ’13, was outstanding. He sounds exactly like John Mayer, and you could tell every girl in the audience was falling in love as he sang.
Enjoy Mollie Orr’s spectacular solo performance that won the competition for the Eliphalets above!
Last night, my friends and I made the hike all the way down to College Park Hall to watch the annual catwalk for a cause – this year benefiting the For the Love of Sophie Foundation. I can tell you right now without hesitation that I can’t remember when I laughed as hard as I did during the fashion show. Comprised of guys and gals of Union from each grade strutting their stuff on the catwalk, as well as hilarious dances (and a very impressive one performed by the Union Dance Team), Catwalk was a thoroughly entertaining event. The theme this year was Time Machine, and the two emcees led the audience through various different decades as the participants engaged in various themed shenanigans on stage – my favorite being the all-male dance to “Dirrty” by Christina Aguilera during the 90s decade portion of the show.
Although the event itself was very silly, the reason for it taking place is not. For the Love of Sophie is a foundation created by the family of a little girl who died at six years old of ALL. The mission of this foundation is dedicated to promoting better quality end of life care for childhood cancer patients and their families in the community through further aiding in the funding of pediatric specific cancer research, made possible through St. Baldrick’s, while also lending support to families during the difficult days of treatment at Albany Medical Center.
Special shout out to my fellow first-years and friends Nellie, Darcy, Teddy, Steve and Dylan who all absolutely killed it. Can’t wait for next year’s show!
Wow, I am super behind on these posts…you have my most sincere apologies, readers! Two weekends ago was the famous, and so well worth the wait, Springfest! I honestly can’t even describe how much fun it was. Easily the best weekend I’ve ever had at Union, and potentially ever, period. My only regret was perhaps that I didn’t pay enough attention to the concerts themselves. Instead, my friends and I ran all over the place socializing and having so much fun! However, from what I did watch – or rather, listened to – the artists that the Springfest Committee arranged to perform were well worth it. Gym Class Heroes, in particular, really got the crowd going. It was even more fun because after, or before, their respective sets, the artists would mingle in the crowd, so plenty of students got the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet members of Gym Class Heroes, State Radio (including the lead singer, Chad Urmston, who also happens to be a founding member of Dispatch!!!) and Wynter Gordon herself. Throughout the concerts, West Dining was stationed outside serving all the food you’d want to see at a cook out – and it was delicious! Thanks to the beautiful weather, people and music, Springfest was undoubtedly a huge success, and I couldn’t have asked for a greater first experience with this wonderful event.
See what I did there? Instead of Maura meeting Union, it was Bob Woodward…hilarious, I know. Last night, the very famous journalist Bob Woodward came to speak at Union!
As soon as I had seen the flyers around campus that he would be coming to speak, I was immediately excited. Yes, I realize that I am a total journalism nerd (shout out to the Journo Inferno if any of you are reading this), but how could I not get excited? For those of you who aren’t quite as well versed in political scandals or the journalistic world, Bob Woodward is one half of the famed duo, Woodward and Bernstein. During the Nixon presidency, they were the pair that uncovered the infamous Watergate scandal. If you’re still not following, the critically acclaimed film “All the President’s Men” was also based on his and Bernstein’s investigative work. He has also written numerous books.
Although some of his political jokes went over my head, I can say for certain that I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Mr. Woodward speak. He was engaging, funny and clearly very comfortable speaking to a large group, which certainly contributed to how entertaining he was. Plus, it was pretty awesome to hear him tell anecdotes about some of politics’ heavy hitters so casually – particularly Al Gore…let’s just say they’re definitely not going to be besties anytime soon.
Although I’m almost positive everyone else on campus would agree with me when I say that this past weekend was one of my favorites to ever be spent at Union thus far, I just figured I’d reiterate it. On Friday a group of my friends and I took a road trip to another friend’s house who lives about an hour and a half away. Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, we got the grill going and the boys served up plenty of burgers and dogs for everyone. We spent the rest of the evening laughing, playing outside and listening to country music – all of which helped me to get a taste of summertime (which I am too excited for!).
After a super fun Saturday also spent entirely outside enjoying the weather, my weekend really peaked on Sunday. The weather was beautiful once again, and for once, my friends and I actually got an early start on the day instead of being slugs all day in bed. After an early brunch, we set up camp on the Davidson quad. Some of the boys had brought kan jam to school, and if you don’t know that game, you haven’t lived because it is so addicting. Eventually, after hours of tossing the frisbee around, we moved on to catchphrase. I’m pretty sure you could have heard us screaming from all the way across campus…a group of girls really get competitive when it comes to catchphrase. My team also won every tournament, might I add!
To end the weekend, we had the brilliant idea of ordering enough chinese food to feed a small country, and we proceeded to stuff all of our faces until we sat motionless in a delightful food coma. Needless to say, I’m a pretty big fan of spring term at Union College.
So, for my graduation last year, my wonderful aunt and uncle got me literally the best present for a college kid ever: a subscription to Netflix. I had it in high school, but I shared the queue with my family (until I changed the account password so that I had total control, that is) and we only had subscribed to receiving movies through the mail. Then, when Netflix switched everything around and started to only offer the instant and mail-order programs separately, we canceled our subscription. Sure, I was heartbroken being as much of a movie buff as I am, but I got over it. Slowly and painfully. But then my world was righted once again when I received the instant subscription.
When you’re bored in college and left alone in your room for more than 15 minutes, Netflix instant streaming is easily the best way to spend your time. Plus, now that they’ve separated the mail and streaming programs, Netflix has practically added a million more shows and movies. The ones included in my little collage above are some of my most recently viewed. I plowed through the entire series of Grey’s Anatomy (I’m a machine.), and am currently on season three of Friday Night Lights (literally the best show around), and I like to throw on Say Yes to the Dress when I’m not focused enough to pay attention to an actual plot. No Strings Attached just happens to be an awesome movie that I’ve watched a couple of times, and Cadet Kelly? Well, that’s a classic. I unfortunately discovered during finals week that Netflix had unleashed many throwback movies and shows, including old Disney movies and Nickelodeon cartoons. Jackpot. Plus, they even update shows that are still on the air with new episodes from the current season, like The Office. Not to mention the fact that it has the entire series of Law and Order: SVU. Boo ya.
Clearly, I have a severe addiction to Netflix Instant. Just ask my roommate. It’s practically all I do.