ΦΣΠ and Other ESU Happenings

I was inducted into ESU’s chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity last Monday. I can finally say I am officially a brother!

Some members of my initiate class: (left to right) Saige, Rachel, Jenna, me, Morgan and Justin

I say “finally” because I could not go to the original induction with my initiate class since I was working on a show that night. Because of this, my make-up induction ceremony was quite small. But I am grateful for all the brothers that could show up to make my night memorable.

The show that I was working on during that original induction was ESU’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” I was a run crew member and my main job was to man the stage right curtain during scene shifts.

“Little Shop of Horrors” set
Although I was backstage for a lot of the show, from the scenes that I heard and the ones that I had breaks to watch, this musical is my favorite that ESU has done. And the cast and crew were my favorite to work with so far, out of the three shows I have worked on here.

My Phi Sigma Pi induction was the night after the musical’s closing and the fraternity’s formal was this past Friday. 

The brothers of ΦΣΠ at formal
ΦΣΠ Formal was way more fun than any other formal I have attended. I brought my friend Tyrell, and I think I speak for both of us when I say we made some fun memories.

Tyrell and me at formal
Me, Kate and Gabby at formal: former ESU contemporary dancers and current ΦΣΠ brothers

This week is final exam week. I have one actual exam, three performances and one portfolio due by the end of the week. Then, I leave university for the summer and plan to work as much as I can to make enough money to buy a car. Which I have my driver’s test mid-July, right before I leave for a 15 day course in Sweden. This summer will be stressful, but I hope it pays off in the end.
Anyone have fun plans for the summer?

ESU Global Week 2017

ESU surpassed my expectations for this year’s Global Week celebration by bringing in baby goats and other exotic animals and hosting informative and entertaining events last week.

The baby goats were the first highlight, as part of the World Fair. We knew a camel and yak would be on campus from the flyers, but those baby goats were an adorable surprise for many. The brown one was especially hyper and seemed to love interacting with people, running towards human hands and jumping around to catch our attention.

Stickerbush II the porcupine and Houston the armadillo were nice surprises, too, because I had never seen either animal before besides in pictures.

Also at the World Fair, I tried snacks from around the world, learned about Native American culture through a tee-pee display of everyday objects and had my name drawn in Chinese characters.

I attended a Peace Corps volunteer panel the next day, where returned volunteers shared stories about their experiences with the Peace Corps. This panel gave me another opportunity to seriously consider for my future because it combines two activities I love: travel and service. And with the Peace Corps, like study abroad, you experience the culture by living somewhere for an extended time period, in this case two years.

Speaking of study abroad, ESU published an article about my study abroad experience on their homepage! Check it out!

The next major event during Global Week this year was Relay for Life. During Relay, campus clubs and organizations raise money for cancer research and stay up for 12 hours walking around the track. There are games and activities throughout the night to keep energy up, but I could not make it all the way from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. But I stayed until 4 a.m., which is longer than I stayed last year!

I participated in Relay with Phi Sigma Pi, the Honors Fraternity that I will be an official brother of this Friday. I am excited to join this family and I am proud that after three years at ESU, I finally found the group of people that I click with.

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Me and my fellow Phi Sigma Pi initiates

Global Week ended with an international festival, which featured performances from ESU’s Step Team, arts and crafts, a fashion show and dinner from around the world.

This week is not only Easter weekend, but also tech for “Little Shop of Horrors,” which opens this Wednesday. I am on run crew for the show and I am ecstatic to be working on a show again since I last worked on “Midsummer Night’s Dream” freshman year.

Spring Break and Camping

Over spring break last month, I volunteered at Bear Creek Lake State Park in Va. I worked with other ESU students to rake leaves and clean up campsites. We learned more about environmental conservation and formed new friendships with each other.

On the final day at the park, we split off into groups. Group one built picnic tables for the campsites and group two did trail maintenance. I was part of group two.

Doing trail maintenance was surprisingly the most fun I had at the park. We rerouted a trail so water would not erode the  walking path. To reroute, we had to clear a new path. We worked together to cut down and unroot trees that would be in hikers’ ways. It felt nice to do something I have never done before.

Me holding the tree stump I uprooted
The next day, we were supposed to go to Washington D.C., but drove thorough the city and stayed at a hotel in Md. instead because of the impending snow storm. What a tease.

I was looking forward to D.C. because I have been to so many other nations’ capitals, but not my own. Nevertheless, the state park volunteer work made this spring break fun, even though I spent the majority of the rest of break shovelling snow.

The trail maintenance was something new I did over break, but the weekend after I tried another new activity: rock climbing.

I spent my first weekend after break camping at Stony Acre’s with Rotaract club. We spent that Saturday transporting tree limbs for firewood and raking leaves at the campground. Then we did team building exercises and rock climbing. 

Most of us had never rock climbed before. Two girls made it to the top of the wall and I made it about halfway up. My hands slipped quite easily on the small rocks on the wall, which made climbing it difficult for me. But I am proud of myself for trying something new. I may not be good at it, but now I can say I rock climbed!

Any activities that make you proud you tried? Or anything you wish you would have tried when given the chance?

“Something Rotten”

I saw “Something Rotten” on Broadway yesterday and it is comedic genius! I laughed until I cried and Shakespeare (or at least the actor playing him) complimented my dress after the show.

On Sunday, I found out I won the lottery to see “Something Rotten.” I snatched up the chance and took the trip to New York City with two friends from my university.

But, before we headed to the city, I spent the day at ESU catching up with all my friends before I leave to study abroad in England. I chatted with my one friend who just came back from studying in Scotland, and grabbed lunch with the rest of my friends.

I enjoyed being away from my house for a day with friends, since my summer has mostly included only family and work. And my summer is extra long because I do not leave for study abroad for about two more weeks. But I would have started classes yesterday if I was at ESU this semester.

Anyway, when we arrived at the St. James Theatre for the show, I was expecting to watch a funny comedy. Instead, I watched a hilarious musical.

Watching the opening and closing numbers was like joining a huge party. The energy on stage reached all the way to my seat, and I could feel it throughout the entire theater.

My favorite musical numbers from the show are “A Musical,” “Something Rotten” and “Make an Omelette.”

I honestly was not expecting “Make an Omelette” to be so elaborate. The song is a musical on its own about omelettes. The amount of egg references it made and the spectacle it created had me almost falling out of my seat with laughter.

After the show, my friends and I got pictures with some of the cast and they signed our playbills at the Stage Door. The actors were all so kind, and my pride of the evening was when Shakespeare said he liked my dress.

“Something Rotten” definitely exceeded all my expectations about Broadway shows and comedies in general. It is a must see for any comedy, musical, or theater lovers.

If you have a favorite play or musical, I would love to hear about it! I can add any suggestions to my theatre bucket list.

Cabaret night and “Avenue Q”

This past weekend, I enjoyed performing in a cabaret at East Stroudsburg University and seeing “Avenue Q” on Off-Broadway.

Friday night, I performed in a cabaret hosted by my university’s Musical Theatre Organization (MTO). It was titled “New York, New York,” and every song was either about New York or mentioned it. We had about 150 people in the audience. The turn out was more than we expected, so we ran out of programs. We also raised about $150 for Broadway Cares.

I am proud of the show we put on. I was not expecting the performance to run as smooth as it did based on our rehearsals, but we pulled it together in the end. A few of the numbers even left tears in my eyes.

I am especially proud of the number I choreographed to “NYC” from “Annie.” My fellow dancers worked hard at rehearsals, and our performance felt strong. I received nothing but positive feedback about “NYC” and the cabaret in general.

Yesterday, I took a bus trip to New York City with fellow MTO members and saw “Avenue Q” at New World Stages on Off-Broadway. It was hilarious, as expected. Grace Choi, who played Christmas Eve, was my favorite performer in the musical. She has a strong voice and is really animated in the show.

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After the show, my fellow ESU students and I stayed for an informative talk back with the majority of the “Avenue Q” cast. This talk back was arranged by Sam Rudy, the press agent for “Avenue Q” and “Hamilton,” after he visited ESU for a Q&A a few weeks ago.

Although I had an eventful weekend, today marks the beginning of finals week. I had my last day of classes today, and my first final is tomorrow. I will be busy studying, testing and packing for the rest of the week, and then I leave for home on Friday.

I am still unsure if I should be sad or excited about going home. On the one hand, my classes are mostly over, so I will have less stress. On the other hand, I have become closer with my friends this semester, so it might be harder for me to say good-bye, especially since I will be studying abroad next semester.

 

 

ESU Global Week 2016

This week was ESU’s Global Week celebration. It started on Saturday with the International Spring Festival and continued throughout the week with a language scavenger hunt, where I won first place; the World Fair, where I rode a camel; and performances representing different ethnic groups, religions and backgrounds. Here are some pictures from the events:

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Riding Herman the camel at the World Fair (I’m on the right)
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Field of Flags in memorial to Holocaust victims
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Step Team members performing at the World Fair