Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Center Desk Secrets and Surprises

     As a college student, finding a package in your mailbox is something to look forward to. Getting mail—no matter whether it's from home or something you bought for yourself—always has the capacity to brighten my day! I recently picked up a package that had come for me while my RA was working at the center desk, and she told me about a lot of helpful center-desk services that go beyond the basic mail pick-up.

Step right up!
Little boxes upon boxes of possibility.
     Did you know that center desks often have helpful tools like bicycle pumps on hand in case you get a flat? Or that you can send and receive faxes through your center desk? The center desk also sells stamps for the few people who wander in every week with outbound mail. (You can't send packages through the center desk, but you can definitely send letters!) Who knew?

     In living-learning centers or res halls with special facilities—like Collins with its textiles studio, cinema, darkroom, and so on—students can also pick up the keys to such facilities at their center desk, as long as they've received approval to do so in advance!

Center desk workers are always friendly!
     Go forth and make the most of your center desk!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jordan Greenhouses

     Although I don't do this as often as I'd like, I make it a point to do some exploring on campus every semester. In the fall I fell in love with Lilly Library. I recently found a new favorite campus spot—the Jordan Greenhouses.

The view from Third Street.

The view from inside.
      This weekend my parents came to town. Every time they visit, we always do the quintessential catch-up lunch. This visit, however, we made a new tradition—a visit to one of the most lush and beautiful spots on campus, the greenhouses. This was something we had been talking about doing since freshman year, and I think we were all glad that we finally made time to do it!

Mom and Pops, pondering a plant.
     The greenhouses are such a beautiful place to visit on campus, whether it's just you or you're with parents or friends. They're open every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They feature a linked collection of rooms which house all different sorts of plants from desert plants to tropical varieties, ferns to flowers, cotton to carnivorous plants. (See more here: http://www.iub.edu/videos/Jordan-Greenhouse-Tour.shtml)

Aren't these little guys adorable?
IU colors.
The textures of the different
cacti were amazing.
    The entrance to the greenhouses is found through Jordan Hall. It can be a bit difficult to figure out how to get in! We found it simplest to come in through the Third Street entrance to Jordan Hall. From there, you just walk in the doors, turn right, and feast your eyes!

A little bit of botany humor for your trouble.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Keeping it Cozy

     A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about making it through the winter on campus. Well, this weekend, thanks to a good friend, I had the occasion to genuinely enjoy the winter weather, spending the weekend at my friend's family condo on nearby Lake Monroe.

Winter walk
Winter isn't all bad!
     Last Friday after everyone was done with class, I packed up my car with some friends from my res hall floor, and we headed out to the lake. We crammed my car full of blankets, pillows, board games, and the makings of a gourmet meal—courtesy of my friend and the gracious host of our weekend trip. Cozy-making supplies take up so much space!

Passing around our tasty, tasty dinner.
Pretty self-explanatory.
     Just 20-30 minutes away, Lake Monroe is a beautiful place in either winter or summer weather, and it served as a very cozy weekend retreat. We lounged in the cabin, playing games and eating tasty, tasty food, and in the morning, we took a short winter hike. It was certainly a beautiful and refreshing way to spend the weekend!

Good times!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beautiful Books

     Last week I wrote about how much reading I have to keep up with this semester. A friend of mine has another problem. Rather than trying to keep up with reading books this semester, she's been trying to keep up with making them. She's in an artist's book class here at Collins!

A little bookmaking world.
     An artist's book is exactly what it sounds like—a book that is a piece of art. She's already shown me some of the early stuff the class has completed, but recently she let me photograph her, as she worked on her first big project.

Looking focused.
     Her first book was the small green book pictured below. Constructed essentially of just one collapsable page, this book is in what is called an accordion format.

This is so adorable. It's about the size
of my palm, by the way.
     This new project is a full-sized accordion book. It's pages will feature cut out trees, and when closed, the layers of trees that the folded pages will create will resemble a forest. Although it is still a work in progress, I'll be posting a picture of the completed project when it is ready! I can't wait to see it!

So far, so good.