Monday, March 29, 2010

Bring-On the Ne-On

Although I’m not exactly a connoisseur of techno music, I have harbored for quite a while a secret desire to attend a rave. Something about the idea of blaring music, glow sticks, and ridiculous clothing in various shades of neon has always appealed to me. Lo and behold, last weekend Boston College’s Nights on the Heights — one of the many programs that provide on-campus entertainment for students — made this secret dream of mine a reality.

Neon Newton, as it was called, was every bit as fun and ridiculous as I had hoped. It was held in the Quonset Hut on Newton Campus, the pint-sized gym located just a hop, skip, and a jump from my dorm room in Hardey Hall. The gym was packed with freshmen from Newton and Upper Campus alike—the event had drawn enough publicity to persuade even the Upper kids to make the journey. And the event was, for lack of a better word, absolutely bumpin’. By 10 o’clock, a line literally had formed at the door as students waited for others to leave so they could gain admittance. The dance lasted until midnight, at which point most of the crowd headed to the dining hall on Lower Campus for some Late Night munchies—pizza, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, and other delicious, fattening snacks that have become indisputable staples of BC culture.

Neon Newton was the first Nights on the Heights event that I’ve attended this year. However, after last weekend’s ridiculousness, I definitely will be headed to another one soon. Roller skating at O’Connell House, anyone?

Until next time,

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Wandering Leads to Great Discovery at the Boston MFA

Until this semester, my experience in the art world consisted pretty much entirely of finger paintings and macaroni necklaces. I had never taken a course in art history, and the last time I’d taken an art class was in the fifth grade. Needless to say, I was not exactly sure what to expect after making a last-minute decision this past January to enroll in Art: Renaissance to Modern. Although I had no idea whether or not I would find the course interesting, I felt that this semester would be a good time to go ahead and get my core requirement in the arts out of the way.

Midway through this semester, I’m happy to report that it has become one of my favorite classes. I have learned a great deal about the artwork of the Italian Renaissance and the Late Gothic period in Northern Europe, a subject that I never thought I’d find particularly interesting. I’ve even made several journeys to the Boston Museum of Fine Art this semester, as it’s a requirement to visit the MFA in order to view the work of art on which you write your papers. These trips have been surprisingly interesting. Not only does viewing these works in person provide you with a different perspective than viewing them online or in class, but also my random wanderings through the various exhibits have turned up some remarkable works of art.

My personal favorite is a piece of installation art by Candace Breitz entitled “Queen (A Portrait of Madonna),” which I discovered one day by following the sound of “Like a Virgin” into the Foster Gallery. I was shocked by what I found: a collection of televisions stacked on top of one another, each featuring a different individual singing one of Madonna’s greatest hits in imperfect harmony. I had no idea that art could be so weird. Or so very, very fascinating. Although I initially wasn’t sure whether or not I liked it, I found myself unable to turn away. Yet standing there staring amongst a group of equally spellbound spectators, I began to develop an appreciation for it. It’s not everyday that you stumble upon something that captures your attention so fully. And I have to say, I never expected to find it at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston.

Until next time,

Oh, and did I mention that admission is free with a BC student ID? Yeah. A good thing just got that much better.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finally, sun!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Here in Boston, this mid-March holiday is a really big deal, and lots of fun, as many celebrate their Irish (or not so Irish) heritage. This year, it is exciting that Saint Patrick’s Day is coinciding with what feels like the first real day of spring, it is beautiful, sunny, and around 63 degrees.

After a long winter, we are happy to come out of hibernation in New England, hang out outside, and celebrate the new season. In Boston, Saint Patrick’s Day is a multi-day event: it began this Sunday with the annual parade in South Boston, also known as “Southie”. I did not brave the rain to journey downtown, but my friends that went assure me that it was a lots of fun, regardless of weather. Also, BC has a proud Irish heritage, and the largest collection of Irish archives outside of Ireland.

Today on campus, lots of people are wearing festive Saint Patrick’s Day gear, everything from green hats and shirts to necklaces, shamrock headpieces and face paint. This afternoon, I could hear someone on campus playing bagpipes outside in the sunshine, and it smells like students are grilling burgers and hot dogs.

It’s hard to believe that soon it will be warm here all the time, and the year is almost over. Any questions, feel free to email me!

Rachel Craft

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Break Service - Appalachia 2010

This past week was Boston College’s spring break, a time for students of all ages to take a break from school and go on vacation.

This spring break I chose to go on Appalachia, a service trip sponsored by Boston College's Campus Ministry. Appalachia is one of Boston College’s largest service organizations, and with 35 sites all over the Appalachian region, the program sends over 600 undergraduates to areas in need.

Throughout the year I attended weekly meetings on Sunday nights where I learned about the types of problems that plague the Appalachian region, and I discussed the importance of working for others. There are two types of trips within the Appalachia program: Habitat for Humanity, and Community. With the Habitat for Humanity trips, BC students work with the Habitat for Humanity organization at their site to work on a house. Meanwhile, community trips involve more interaction with the people in the area, and projects could include anything from working with students in schools to painting fences.; basically you do whatever the community needs you to do.This year I went to Waverly, Virginia on a Community trip. Though our trip was technically a community trip, we spent most of the week working on houses doing everything from hammering insulation, to putting up siding, to replacing roofing shingles. I had a lot of fun and I met a lot of new people both from Waverly and from Boston College.

Boston College also has other service trips to other areas of the world, including Arrupe, a service trip over winter break, as well as trips to places like Jamaica, and trips over the summer. Boston College always has a way for you to get involved, and I would definitely recommend Appalachia to anyone who is looking to serve others and having fun doing it!

Ali McDonald