Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Morning at the Market

Checking out a table that featured
honey and beeswax candles.
     The source of many a vase of flowers, loaf of fresh bread, and plastic bear-shaped bottle of honey in students' rooms, the Farmers' Market is held in front of City Hall every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Tuesday evening from 4 − 7 p.m.  (Are you wondering where the heck City Hall is? Here's the Google map: http://tiny.cc/0lw7y And, while I'm at it, here's an informational link about the Farmers' Market: http://tiny.cc/247ez5uple )
     A recent trip to the Farmers' Market reminded me of just how great it is. Visiting it makes me excited about living a clean and healthy, crunchy-granola-sort of lifestyle. And, a trip to the Farmers' Market is
Perusing a stand with
cozy knitted goods.
not just a grocery expedition, it's a fun social experience. The Farmers' Market is a great place to take friends or even family if they are visiting. Surrounded by the vibrant flowers, produce, and people, you can meander around, chatting, tasting samples, and often checking out local artisans' work. With the appearance of this beautiful fall weather, a trip to the Farmers' Market would make for a lovely Saturday morning. But, if you're interested in going, make sure to go soon! Tonight is the last Tuesday evening market, and the Saturday market only runs through October.

Some beautiful Helenium for sale.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lotus World Music Festival

An artist paints and displays his work for sale.
North Star members do their thing.

     Every year, the Lotus Festival comes to town. And, Bloomington with its thriving downtown, full of street art and small shops and restaurants, serves as the perfect background for this world music festival. As the sun went down on the first day of the festival, Bloomington artists and vendors took to the streets. North Star Capoeira Angola performed a great free show in front of the Sample Gates. (In capoeira artist perform a combination of dance and martial arts to music.)
     As darkness fully set, the frenetic energy that is characteristic of Lotus took over downtown. Belly-dancers and fire-dancers drew crowds. Some restaurants and shops stayed open late, and people buzzed around, strolling, eating, seeing the sights, and having a good time.
North Star mestre (master)
Iuri Santos greets the crowd.
     Tents were set up; churches and the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre opened their doors to performers. Of all the paid performers that played in these venues, my favorites were CimarrĂ³n, a Colombian group, and Emeline Michel, a Haitian singer. For more info on the festival and a full list of Lotus acts—who played music traditional to contemporary, Armenian to Ugandan, and everything that is inventive and collaborative between these genres—visit http://lotusfest.org/.

Belly-dancers swirl.

The Lotus logo is projected
on a downtown building.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Making a Hall a Home

Sampling the fruit of Abby's labor.

     As a college student, homemade food is usually a luxury reserved for when you're, well, home from school. But, more and more, inventive students are discovering ways to find and prepare tasty food for themselves in their rooms. A friend of mine, Abby, who is actually in a class about edible plants, recently experimented with something she'd heard about in class. She collected some acorns from around campus, brought them home, shelled them, boiled them and ate them! (Apparently they are toxic when raw. Who knew?) So, while I can't really say that I recommend the recipe, boiling acorns makes for some fun times.
Making a tasty treat!
     Going with something a bit more traditional, smoothies are a fun option for a homemade snack. All you need is a blending device and a quick trip to the Hoosier Cafe and Store (also known as the c-store) for some yogurt and bananas to get started making them in your room! You can either try freezing the yogurt, the bananas, or both, or there should be an ice machine in your building somewhere for adding the frozen component to your smoothies. If you're really dying for a smoothie, make friends with your janitor (Which, I must interject, you really should have done by now anyway. It's common courtesy!) and ask him or her where your ice machine is located. Making a meal in your room is not only a snack, it's an adventure!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Movers and Shakers

The Collins veranda gets a face-lift.
Like so many places on campus, Collins is experiencing some growing pains. Students will be waking up to the alarm clock of a stone grinder or a cement truck every day at 8 a.m. until construction on our courtyard is complete. Luckily, though, students managed to work around the construction with relative ease, as Welcome Week activities commenced.

The city of Bloomington turns the blocks of Woodlawn Avenue and Park Avenue that border
the Collins main quad into one-way streets for the duration of move-in day to help with the flow of traffic.
All told, move-in day went as scheduled! With some blood, sweat, and tears (on the sides of both parents and children), students moved into their homes for the year. Welcome Week assistants floated around the courtyard all day, providing students help with trucking their belongings up Collins' many, many stairs.

Welcome Week assistants lend students help with moving.

A father hefts a trunk down Woodlawn Avenue.

Students continued to use the courtyard for events throughout Welcome Week. The morning after move-in day, students from Collins' many student government councils set up an Activities Fair at which they made themselves available to describe opportunities for involvement within these groups. Among other events that took place in the courtyard this week were also the traditional Saturday afternoon "recess time" during which students enjoyed chalking, Hillbilly Golf, croquet, and frisbee. Several RAs also decided to hold their beginning-of-the-year floor meetings in the courtyard, giving students some basic guidelines of res hall life for this year. 

Students leaders give other residents info about
getting involved in student government.
A student gets artsy with chalk during "recess."

Students gather for an outdoor floor meeting.