Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seasonal Fun!

     Did you know that people in England sometimes make Jack-o'-lanterns out of things other than pumpkins? Well, it's true! I'm no pumpkin carving expert, but I recently carved my first Jack-o'-lantern, just in time for Halloween!

Scooping out pumpkin guts.
     My friend who hosted this carving fun time laid down some plastic bags on her floor before we got started. (These should be available on your floor. Look in the trash room!) Carving Jack-o'-lanterns is a messy process!

I love this stuff.
     After we scooped out all the pumpkins guts, we freehanded some faces directly onto our pumpkins. Then the real fun began: Carving!

Goofy expression.
Carving pumpkins takes a lot of focus.
     To finish all we had to do was wipe off our pumpkins and throw away the trash bags, now covered in orange goop.

Finished! Mine's the one in the middle.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An Apple a Day

     When you live in a res hall, surrounded by dozens of other people, it often takes more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away. As some of you may have experienced intimately, cold and flu season is here. And, as they coincide with mid-terms, now is one of the worst times to get sick. Last week I wrote about having the mid-semester blues. Well, this week, those blues got to me. I've been sick for a few days.
Getting-better supplies.
     Walk-in visits to the health center are only $20, but there is little that a doctor can do about a virus, even if its symptoms are severe. So, I've been cozying up with some old movies, texting my Mom, eating junk food—soft junk food—and drinking lots of tea over the past few days. I also went to Target and bought a humidifier because the dry fall air has been exacerbating my sore throat terribly while I try to sleep. (They sell humidifiers ranging from about $20-$100.) These are not revolutionary cures, but they do make you feel somewhat better.
New humidifier. So cool.
     So, if you get sick or already are sick this season, try to take comfort in what you can. Remember that the same people on your floor who may have spread what you have to you are also there to make tea for you. Those of you who were so great to me this week, you know who you are. I appreciate all you guys so much! Trite though it sounds, remember the importance of getting well. It's not worth it to stay up and watch that last episode of Dexter!
I'll be honest. I really appreciated the company of my
stuffed koala, Albert, while sick.
     Good luck to everyone on beating the cold and flu season this year!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fighting Mid-Semester Blues

Working in the dye.
     It's that time of year. Unfortunately, I don't mean Thanksgiving or Christmas; it's the middle of the semester. While gearing up for mid-terms, many students have developed an unfortunate case of the mid-semester blues. I know I have them. 
     So, what do students do to combat scholarly slumps? Students are staying in more to study. But, staying in doesn't mean you have to study all weekend. I recently dyed my hair with streaks blue along with a few friends over a weekend!
The results of our labors. Look closely
and you can see our streaks!
     Soon what began as a simple dye job became a blue-themed girls night in. Nails were painted blue. We were joined by a blue Beta fish named Archie. Moral of the story? Instigate study break parties. Body modification such as hair dyeing is not necessary but dancing may be. Set aside games that only take a few minutes to play. Break out coloring books. Creativity is a great way to fight the blues.
     Pay people visits! Floor friends are often in need of a study break as badly as you are. And, if you're going to be taking such a break anyway, it will be far more enjoyable with a friend. Test stress can bring people together!

Drying nails painted blue with
light blue polka dots.

Archie was excited to be our mascot
for the evening.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Climbing Wall Debuts at Eigenmann Hall

Looking for a new hold.
     In a typical residence hall you'll find a dining hall, a library, and student lounges. Well, Eigenmann has just begun offering a bit more. This res hall, which houses IU Outdoor Adventures (IUOA), recently opened its own climbing wall! 
     IUOA is a program on campus that supports outdoor recreation by providing students access to HPER-credited skills courses, nature trips, and equipment to rent or buy. The program is currently offering day trips to a "local crag," weekend trips to Kentucky's Red River Gorge, or a two-hour, Thursday evening Introduction to Outdoor Photography. (Check here for general info on IUOA or info on these trips: www.imu.indiana.edu/iuoa/)
     IUOA's new bouldering wall in Eigenmann has been open to the public since September 20, but its grand opening was just last Wednesday. Bouldering is a dramatic form of climbing in which participants engage in difficult, dynamic moves for short periods of time, supporting themselves with no  rope or belaying clips. In other words, the climber moves from hold to hold—small holds are "chips" and large holds are "jugs," yes, really—supported by only his or her own bare hands!
Watching the winner in the men's
advanced category of the
dyno competition scale the wall.
     During the grand opening, IUOA held a dyno competition between the climbers who attended the event. (A dyno is a big movement from a climber, leaping and grabbing a high-placed jug from the ground, for example.) First- and second-place winners in the mens' and womens' amateur and advanced categories got their choice of tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks from IUOA's store for prizes. The grand opening also featured free food and activities and demonstrations such as "How to Pack a Sea Kayak." If attendants visited three of the six stations that were set up, they received either a free pack of socks or hat. Exciting stuff!
     I came away from this event looking forward to coming back to visit the bouldering wall for myself. Not to mention a brand-new vocabulary of climbing terms! The only problem: I think I may be allergic to climbing chalk!

Learning to pack a sea kayak.
Picking a free pair of socks.
Watching the dyno competition.