Sunday, March 24, 2013

Project Week

      It's been a busy week getting back to routine, but I've finally found a moment to fill y'all in on what went down last week.
     Project Week is UWC's form of Spring Break, only instead of going home or on vacation, everyone goes on a trip focused on some sort of "project". This year there was a wilderness trip for wilderness- leaders- in- training, a group who spent the week volunteering at SXSW (a big music festival in Austin, TX), a group in California, one camping at Big Bend in TX, and another in CO at an HIV/AIDS conference. Originally, my trip was meant to travel to Alamos, Mexico for a film festival. We were going to stay with host families and get to practice our Spanish and it was going to be a ton of fun. Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to go. Within about 2 weeks we had to completely re-plan a trip that many others had been planning for months.
     As such, going into Project Week I didn't have too many expectations. I wasn't sure what exactly we were going to do and how organized the plans were. All I knew was we were driving 8 hours to Tucson. Luckily, it turned out to be a really fun week.
      Our group was pretty small, 9 students and 2 chaperones. We spent the week visiting museums, doing service projects, enjoying the warm weather (90*F... :)) by the pool and biking through the city, and getting to know the city. Tucson surprised me in that it's actually really beautiful. The city is surrounded by mountains and plenty of desert flora and fauna that was really interesting to see. Like the thousands of saguaro cacti all over the mountains. And the cute little prairie dogs scattered throughout the city.
     Project week was also a really great chance to get off campus with UWC people- I got to know my group so much better. In the evenings we spent time talking, cooking (such good food- authentic Italian, Mexican, Indian food, plus delicious sandwiches, eggs, and more) and playing games- mostly jungle speed (a card game involving pattern recognition and speed, which UWC students get really into. It's very, very competitive.)
     Over all it was a very enjoyable week. We got some sleep, got to know each other better, and got to experience a new city and culture. But it was also nice to get back to campus; everyone was happy to see each other and catch up on adventures. Each time we return to campus from a trip, I realize how much of a family we are here; it's always an incredible, happy observation, and makes both the trip and the "homecoming" that much better.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


     On a daily basis, our campus has very little segregation between first and second years. In fact, that was probably one of the most surprising things at the very beginning of the year. And its awesome- we get to know everyone really well. But we do have one specific tradition that completely separates the classes, and, in doing so, brings us even closer together: Expressions and Appreciations.
     Expressions and Appreciations are shows put on by the second and first years respectively to "highlight" certain characteristics of the opposite class. Basically, we make fun of each other.
     This past Saturday was Expressions- the show that the second years put on. We'd all heard about Expressions before, and taken all the threats about "regretting that fateful day in middle school when we joined facebook and started posting pictures that would later become fodder for the rest of the school's amusement", but I didn't realize just how fun the whole thing would be.
     The events started at dinner, when a number of the second years dressed up as some of the firsties with the most recognizable clothing and mannerisms. It. Was. Hilarious. And so, so accurate! I hadn't noticed before how people walked, or spoke, or where they sat all the time until the second years exaggerated it so much.
     After dinner we headed down to the auditorium to find a looping powerpoint showcasing all of those aforementioned embarrassing photos. And then the show started.
     The way the show works is that the second years compile a program of dorm videos and skits. Dorm videos are made by the second years in each dorm and are supposed to include everyone in the dorm so that everyone is in the show at least once. I think they were my favorite part of the show. I can't possibly explain all of the jokes because you really have to know the people to understand why the representations were so spot-on and so funny. I have to give the second years credit for doing an awesome job with these.
     The rest of the show is combination of individual skits. Each skit generally highlights a small group of people and makes fun of their mannerisms. There were mock job interviews, videos, dances, passdowns, and just a lot of jokes. And I ended up as the brunt of a lot of them- but it's ok, its all good fun.
     The second years wrapped up with a song and came out and gave us all notes they'd compiled. It was a really nice ending to the show and a great reminder of how close our classes generally are. I think a lot of us also realized just how much we're going to miss our second years. We're all very excited for our first years, but we've spent a year building connections with all of these amazing people, and, in all reality, we may never see some of them again. Crazy, I know.
     But, altogether, Expressions was a very fun night and a great tradition.
     And second years? Y'all just wait for Appreciations- we're coming for you ;)