Against all odds (and by “against all odds” I mean “exactly as you expected, probably”), after playing a serious game of catch-up with my blog, I am once again two weeks behind in sharing with you all of my life secrets as a student at WashU.
Like Alice, like Joseph K., like Zelda in the water temple…I find myself back in the same place where I began. I am unable to escape the monotony of my writer’s block, the drudgery of my artistic shortcomings, and the inescapable allure of Youtube…
Yet I press on. Because blogging is how I earn my living. Because this my duty as a writer to you, the people. Because I beat that game of Zelda once, and I didn’t even use an online walkthrough (though my brother may have helped me with half of it)….
Thus I present you with an account of my Last Week/end: The Sequel starting with…
Which isn’t quite the weekend, but it’s close enough.
Wednesday was one of the best days that I’ve had on campus so far Post-Bike-Death (a moment/rip in the space-time continuum which has forever separated my life into Before Bike (B.B.) and After Bike (A.B.)), namely because my perpetually broken bike got permanently fixed at the DUC (hooray!)–and again, for free–as the best events on campus always are.
Now, if you know me at all, you will know that my bike, the love of my life, has been a mess for at least a semester. It couldn’t brake, it couldn’t shift gears, it couldn’t turn…it couldn’t even stay standing on its own
(and technically still can’t but we’ll ignore that for now). Ever since that one apocalyptic night at the Pageant, where the bike wheezed its last breath before everything fell apart, I’ve been living a life of discontentment/riding the Circ (which really isn’t that bad at all–in fact, it’s quite wonderful, and I don’t know that 63% of the campus would ever make it to class without it).
It’s better to have biked and lost than to never have biked at all. That’s what I told myself for five months, and what I’d keep telling myself and anyone else in my position, except…
…my bike got fixed! So I no longer have to tell myself things like that. That’s 1 point for Anastasia, 0 for clichéd advice/dead bicycles.
Big Shark Bike Co. (located on the Loop just behind campus) hosted a Bike Tune-up session at no cost to students for an entire afternoon to promote car-free month on campus. They’ve been hosting a variety of activities here recently, like bike races and a smoothie-making-powered-by-you-and-your-bicycle event that were both a lot of fun. This tune-up session was what us students really needed though, and the demand for it became abundantly clear when the guys from Big Shark had to prolong the session by an extra hour and a half to accommodate a never-ending line of students that stretched from the DUC all the way to Graham Chapel.
I was one of those unfortunate souls who stood in line for two hours, only to almost be turned away at the last second. Did I have lab in five minutes? Did I care? Did I get my bike fixed? The answers to these questions are yes, yes, and yes. I did have lab in five minutes, I did care about making it on time, I did make it on time, and I did get my bike fixed, in case you were wondering. Shazam.
Day: My English professor single-handedly helped me figure out what I’m doing with my life (Comp Lit, here I come). No big deal, right.
Actually, it was a huge deal.
As The Most Indecisive Woman in the World and someone who’s struggling to decide on a major, career, life path, etc. when there is somuchoutthereintheworldandsomanyclassesIwanttotakeandIwanttodoeverythingandthere’sbarelyenoughtime!!!!!, it was incredibly refreshing to have someone older and wiser tell me that 1) everything will be OK and 2) there is much more to life than a major/career/”path”.
Basically, she told me exactly what I needed to hear to move forward with my future in the humanities (because, as you may or may not have guessed already, I am transferring–and it is quite easy to transfer, by the way, in case you ever find yourself wanting to do the same–into ArtSci from the Sam Fox and Engineering Schools, where I will hopefully stay and go no further in my westward expansion over the campus of Washington University in St. Louis…).
This is what office hours are really for, my friends: bonding with your teachers and getting life advice. Our professors are the best. They’re brilliant, incredibly approachable, and just want to help you succeed (but only if you take advantage of the help they offer!). Plus they have the best books stacked in their waiting rooms…
Night: The Naked & Famous came to WashU.
So I went to another **free** concert.
Before you roll your eyes and refuse to keep reading, spare me this one comment–if you’re looking to see great live music, go no further than St. Louis. Seeing a total of seven shows in seven days speaks for itself. (And since having written this article I’ve also been fortunate enough to see the Mountain Goats, Black Keys, and Arctic Monkeys). The music never stops on this side of Mississppi…
…and especially at WashU, where about once a month or so, a student-run concert venue at WashU called The Gargoyle puts on awesome shows that are open to the public and free for students. Past performers have included Tokyo Police Club, Girls, Teenage Fantasies, and Kids These Days. The show I watched on Thursday featured The Naked & Famous (a post-punk revival band from New Zealand), Vacationer (Vampire Weekend-esque), and Now, Now (indie rock from Minneapolis). Vacationer was probably my favorite of the three acts…while I expected The Naked and Famous to be good (their light show did not disappoint), Vacationer surprised me with a chill sound that was exactly what I needed before the end of the semester rolled in. Their set was so good I’ve been listening to it all weekend long, and I suggest you check out their songs, too (I personally recommend “Trip” and “Good as New”).
Friday I went to IBBY’S! Every day I have been going to IBBY’S! Lunch buffet at IBBY’S! Fancy dinner at IBBY’S! Extra meal points + pre-finals jitters + easy way to make friends/make your friends love you = dates at IBBY’S!
(Ibby’s is our on-campus Michelin star (or the college equivalent) fine dining establishment. It is absurdly good. Lunch buffet from Tues-Fri from 11-2; Dinner Tues-Sat from 5-10. Takes meal points. Could you possibly want/imagine anything more from your college dining services?)
(In other news, have you heard? WashU got voted the Nation’s top university for food lovers! As in we have the best food ever! If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. If you don’t believe in the glory of WUSTL dining, you’re just missing out).
And now, I will finally write about my Night at the (Kemper Art) Museum for Georgie, to whom I have been promising this post for weeks.
Later that night I did something rather out of the ordinary for dinner (as in, I didn’t go to Ibby’s…). Instead, I went to a gallery opening (with free refreshments, hence the dinner) put on by a friend in the Kemper for her art history assignment, of all things. How cool is that?
(It is this cool:)
Students and visitors gathered for the Vault Party, a special installation of rarely-displayed works (see below) from the Kemper Vault.
The collection was inspired by artist John Stezaker, whose works also on display in a temporary exhibition at the Kemper.
There was collage-making (à la Stezaker),
a band (WashU’s very own Kid Scientist!),
and gallery-viewing/collaging/band-listening with the man of the hour, Georgie!
After he finished his beautiful homage to Carly Rae Jepsen,
we took a tour around the Museum,
a tour that I would call: Georgie Meets the Kemper.
We interacted with the art, study it, re-create it, speak to it
but eventually we gave up and the tour just devolved into us taking photos of ourselves.
And so the night continued, with good art, good tunes, good friends, and sparkling pink lemonade(!),
(Yay! Look! Friends!)
followed by (an actual) dinner with my friend Danielle in Central West End.
Danielle ponders her surroundings,
we dine in the cool night,
…under warm light…….(? attempt at poetry?)
and finish our day with some sweets from The Cup, St. Louis’ first cupcake bakery (or so it claims to be).
Then came Saturday. The majority of my day was occupied by WashU’s Relay for Life, which I’m proud to say is ranked first in the High Plains Division (Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Hawaii) and is one of the 10 highest-grossing relays in the entire nation, which is extremely expressive for a school of only about 7,000 students!
Here are some shots from the opening ceremony:
Look! More friends!
The survivor lap.
Students line up to greet the survivors.
It was a great experience overall. I got to meet and hear the stories of some wonderful and incredibly strong people from both the WashU and greater St. Louis community. It was great to come together as a university and take time to celebrate the simple joy of living. Spending an entire night with my friends wasn’t bad, either. Neither was the now-infamous Silent Rave, a new activity that the Steering Committee put on for the students this year to have some fun and keep warm in the night. This event was mostly beyond explanation. I don’t know that I’m capable of describing the fun I had in its entirety, but I will just leave you with this: imagine walking past a crowd of people wearing some funny-looking headbands dancing like crazy and screaming at the top of their lungs to two different songs played simultaneously by competing DJs (you could switch back and forth between the two channels) with no. music. in the background.
It was awesome, to say the least. I can’t even imagine how frightening I must have looked to everyone who walked past me that night. (sorry everyone!!!!!/ not sorry at all……….).
Phew. That took a lot of energy to finish.
Let that be a lesson to you about procrastination, kids! There’s just so much going on at school right now that it’s even hard for me to keep up with–and this is my own life that I’m writing about!
As my main man Ferris once said: Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
So here I am, trying not to miss it.
I went to the Cheesecake factory at the St. Louis Galleria for lunch and did some homework.
Yup. I think that was it.
…and now, as Jeremy Clarkson of the BBC’s Top Gear might say: on this (rather abrupt) bombshell, goodbye.
(I’ll be back and blogging soon, I promise.)