As we post the last News Minute for the semester and for the 2017-2018 academic year, James has much information to share for our last week, including Rites of Spring this weekend!
Archives for April 2018
As the end of our first years at Vanderbilt comes to an end, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can make the most of your summer.
We’re at that awesome time where we don’t have to stress about having an internship lined up and have some time to do some soul-searching before life and career and real adulting hits us. Here are some ways you can make the most of your summer!
Through volunteering, you can work towards something you really care about without fully committing yourself. It’s also an amazing opportunity to learn, gain perspective and meet new people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise!
4. Learn something new
If you’re like me and you’ve always wanted to learn guitar and constellations and French but never had the time, there’s no time like the present! You may feel more pressure to find a job or internship during later summers so now’s the perfect time to find a new hobby or interest and just have fun learning it!
3. Travel (from Paris to your local ice cream shop)
Discover new places whether it’s sightseeing in Paris or New York or just finding hidden gems in your neighborhood. Go for walks and make the most of your home away from Vandy. And if you are here on campus for the summer, it’s the perfect opportunity to find some hidden gems in Nashville and tell your friends all about them when we come back for sophomore year!
2. Embark on a new project
If you’re like me and can’t do nothing for my summer, embarking on a new project is a great way to hold yourself accountable. If there’s a blog, short story, music video or film that you’ve been always meaning to start and have never found the time, this summer would be perfect for that. Not only will it help you foster your sense of accountability and time management, but it might even make you learn more about yourself and do some self-reflecting about your major and career path.
1. Do absolutely nothing
Balance is everything! If all you want to do is go to the beach and binge-watch Netflix shows this summer after the stress-filled year we’ve all just had, do just that! Even as you are traveling and taking on projects, it’s also important to do nothing sometimes and just let your mind and body relax.
Sharonda Adams is a Law, History and Society & Human and Organizational Development double major from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Where do you find your happiness at Vanderbilt?
I love hanging out with my friends, going to concerts and attending campus events. There’s never a dull day on campus.
One of my favorite events this year was Commons Ball. It was amazing to see over 1000 people enjoying the Ball after all the hard work and planning that went into it.
I’d say that one of my biggest passions in life is music. I love all genres and can vibe to pretty much anything! My favorite concert of the year was a Delta Rae concert that I went to in September. It was special because it was the day between my birthday and my mom’s birthday. We were able to meet the band because my mom won a contest that Delta Rae has for teachers (see below).
What are you involved in on campus?
I’m involved in the Commons Leadership Council (CLC) as the Gillette House President.(See below for picture of Sharonda with VP Chip Dale) It has been a very fun and rewarding role. I’m also a producer for My Commons Life, the freshman blog that you’re reading. In addition to CLC and MLC, I am a big fan of the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) and Alternative Winter Break (AWB) programs. I’m excited to be on AWB board for the upcoming year because I love the service that alternative breaks do and how quickly you can bond with a small group of people in such a short amount of time. I’m also a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, so feel free to stop by and visit (we can talk about all of the bestsellers).
What do you love about yourself?
One thing that I love about myself is my ability to laugh at my own jokes. I’m pretty much a 40-year-old man stuck in a teenage girl’s body. I just love laughing and being able to find something to smile about.
What are your talents?
My only talent is appreciating other people’s talents. I hope that one day I’ll wake up and be a great singer or dancer but for now I’m just chilling. I like to live vicariously through the many talented people here on campus by attending showcases and performances.
What did you think of your freshman year?
I’m definitely sad that my freshman year is over and my favorite thing by far would be the new people that I met who come from so many different backgrounds.
What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?
One piece of advice that I’d give to freshmen who are coming to Vanderbilt is that the adjustment is hard, but make sure you don’t lose yourself when you’re trying to find your place on campus and make new friends. Stay genuine and eventually you’ll find where you’re supposed to be.
What are you looking forward to most for sophomore year?
I’m looking forward to living in McGill. I love their emphasis on acceptance and creativity and I’m excited about being able to meet new people on main campus.
Commons will not only welcome new students from the class of 2022 in the fall, but also three new faculty heads of house. Joining the Commons community will be nursing Professor Natasha McClure in North House, earth and environmental sciences Professor Daniel Morgan in Memorial House, as well as law and chemistry Professor Sean Seymore in East House.
Each brings a unique perspective to their new residential community. Professor McClure is a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner and studies how academic clinical partnerships can both help patients with chronic conditions and improve nursing education. Professor Morgan is an associate dean of the College of Arts and Science, oversees the College Scholars Honors and Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholars Programs, and focuses his research on glacial history and geology. Professor Seymore studies the intersection of science and law and the influence of scientific advances on patent law and public policy.
Professor Seymore shared some thoughts on his new role as a faculty head of house with MCL.
Q: What are you most looking forward to?
A: Serving as a faculty head of house will provide me with a unique opportunity to mentor, build a living-learning community, and make an enduring impact on the first-year experience.
Q: What impact do you hope to have?
A: I totally embrace the idea of a truly residential university experience. I look forward to building a community that values an integrated approach to intellectual and professional growth by building stronger connections between the classroom experience and everyday life.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I like engaging conversations, walking/jogging, and good coffee. I like the idea of making something out of nothing, which probably explains my interest in chemistry and in cooking. Perhaps my favorite activity is fellowship over a good meal.
As any Commons resident knows, faculty heads of house can make an immense impact on our community, bringing inspiration and spirit to first-year students as we embark on our college journey. A sincere thank you to Professors Gregory Melchor-Barz, Kevin Leander, and Daniel Gervais, who will be ending their time as faculty heads of house after this year, as well as a hearty welcome to the new professors lending their service to students and truly completing the Commons experience.
Let’s be honest, Vanderbilt’s Campus Dining weekend hours are ridiculous. This is my first year on Vanderbilt’s campus. I have spent many weekends complaining about dining hall hours with other students. There aren’t a lot of options when it comes to finding a good meal on weekends. Most dining options for students have unconventional hours or they don’t open at all. I have been let down many times due to these hours. Let me tell you, there is nothing more disappointing than walking to the Campus Store in Rand just to find out that it is closed! I strongly believe that the Vanderbilt’s Campus Dining hours fail to deliver to the needs of students during the weekends. It is time to extend the hours and satisfy the hunger of our student body.
First of all, a lot of students rely on their meal plans to get food. Freshman are fortunate to have twenty-one meals a week. However, these meals don’t matter when everything is closed. Students often miss their meal swipes because the meal periods and dining hours do not correspond. Say it’s Friday and I want to use my meal swipe on snacks at 4:00 PM in Rand. I can’t do that because the Campus Store closes at 3:00 PM. Then, all that I’m left with is Pi and Leaf. There are not enough places open for food.
In my experience, the markets are your best bet for meals on the weekend. But not just any market; just Common Grounds and Branscomb Market since they are the only markets open 24 hours. However, as a first-year student on the Commons, Branscomb Market is far away and not really an option for a sad, hungry freshman. I mean, who wants to trek a mile to get food? I just don’t have the energy.
I asked a few students from the class of 2021 what they thought about the weekend dining hours. A student named Seth voiced that “it’s so hard to find a good meal on the weekends, especially Sunday. If I want to eat breakfast I can’t get a hot meal before 10 A.M.” This is because the Commons dining hall does not open until 10 A.M. on Sundays. As someone who wakes up early, wanting to enjoy a beautiful morning with a full stomach, this is extremely inconvenient. If I want breakfast, I have to settle for a snack from Common Grounds because a hot breakfast is not even an option. The same student said, “A lot of upperclassmen may leave but most freshmen are stuck here. Where can freshman eat?” Since first-year students are not allowed to have cars on campus, we don’t have the luxury of driving to get food. We are stuck with quick fixes at the markets and trying to make it into the dining halls before they shut down.
Furthermore, Caroline, a first-year student at Vanderbilt, stated that a lot of students will wake up and use their lunch swipe “to get food at 11 AM.” But, “On Sunday, not everyone sleeps half the day away.” There are students who like to wake up early and can’t rely on the Commons for breakfast. If students don’t get a swipe at a market, they will most likely miss out on their breakfast swipe. So now I ask you, what’s the point in having twenty-one meal swipes if you can’t use them? If we are forced to use our swipes during designated times, then why can’t we have corresponding dining hall hours?
Don’t get me wrong, I realize that it may be difficult to keep dining halls open later. This will change the workday for campus dining employees. I know that no one wants to be away from their family until 1 in the morning and students can’t work those hours. However, we could change the closing time 6:00 PM instead of 2:00 PM. and 10:00 PM instead of 8:00 PM. And if changing the hours is too much to ask, let’s add more restaurants to the Taste of Nashville list. I’m tired of only being able to buy pizza during late nights. And there should be more options available for delivery. If not, we should add more options close to the Commons seeing that freshmen can’t drive. There are many restaurants located in Hillsboro, a quick walk from our dorms. Adding places like Urban Juicer or Taco Mamacita would give freshman more options for weekend dining. It is time to change our options and the hours of Campus Dining. Maybe one day I will be able to eat an early breakfast in the Commons on a Sunday.
A few weeks ago, I sat in amazement for 2 hours as I watched the magical film that is Black Panther. Yes, the $1 billion-grossing hit has been out for weeks, but, as a poor college freshman, I had to wait and finesse my upperclassmen friends for a free ride to the theater.
During the film I was floored by the beautiful costumes, breathtaking special effects, and exemplary acting. I’ve seen nearly every Marvel film ever released and they typically excel in production. Captain America, The Avengers and Wonder Woman all made millions of dollars in gross earnings. What makes Black Panther stand apart is the way that it addresses issues of representation, identity and the meaning of being black in a world that is seemingly anti-black. A country that has racism built into its very backing.
Growing up, the only fantasy film that I saw with positive black characters was The Wiz. Lena Horne as the Glinda the Good Witch was one of the select view . The only superheroes and princesses that I could aspire to be like were 10 shades lighter than my dark complexion. The lack of positive black representation in the media as well as in my own childhood led me to believe that the only people capable of being remarkable were white. In turn, my self esteem and self worth as a black child was very low and those sentiments lasted well into my middle school years.
Black Panther allows millions of young black children to see people who look like them being the heroes and having the power to save the fictional Wakanda. My social media news feeds have been full of pictures of black children dressed up as T’Challa or smiling brightly next to a cardboard cutout of the movie. More representation means that more black children will feel accepted and comfortable with who they are.
In addition to having positive portrayals of black heroes, Black Panther comments on identity and dichotomy between Africans and African American. From the beginning we see how plentiful and progressive Wakanda is and how that lifestyle is juxtaposed with the African Americans of Oakland and other areas that lack the resources of Wakanda. Many Wakandans saw the people who were taken from them as outsiders and left them to fend for themselves. This is reflective of the identity issues of various African Americans who feel disconnected from their African roots but yearn to be connected. In addition to issues of identity are the problems that Africans who were stolen from their home countries had to endure. The antagonist of the film, Erik Killmonger, repeatedly states how the people who are not in Wakanda have suffered and are oppressed. The reality of black people being oppressed throughout the world rings true.
Overall, Black Panther reached into my artistic soul and touched it. It rattled me to my core with its surplus of beautiful, resilient actors and actresses as well as its ability to celebrate African culture. Most importantly, it addresses problems such as racism and identity that no other superhero movie or Marvel movie has ever had. It’s important social commentary makes it one of the greatest black anthem movies of all time. Black Panther is real to me because it allows us to understand our world in a new way.
Hello you lovely people,
As many of you know, this semester has been a whirlwind in the best way possible. Contained in today’s feature are some restaurants I could not let you slip through this semester without trying, along with clothing and activities that make me understand why I love Nashville and Vanderbilt so much. I hope it helps you love this city, our school, and some of the people here just a little bit more.
Yours in Style,
The Best Sushi in Nashville, need I say more? This restaurant is notable for its fresh sushi and lively atmosphere. Go here to celebrate or before a night out in the city! I recommend going with friends and ordering many different rolls and apps to sample all the things on the menu, as each item is a standout on its own. The Brussels sprouts and Ahi sashimi are- dare I say it- life-changing.
Housed inside the Thompson Hotel in the Gulch, this is a total brunch destination. The beautiful Art Deco interior makes you either want to throw a 20s inspired party or attend one. This restaurant is notable for a few menu items including cinnamon buns, vegetable frittatas, and an extensive seafood bar. Grab your friends and head here quick!
Marché is an overlooked gem in the Nashville food scene, one of the city’s best kept secrets. Located in East Nashville, this quaint French inspired eatery is lively and passionate. The menu showcases classic breakfast staples along with restaurant show stoppers such as a strawberry tartine and sweet crepes. I cannot quite do this place justice by merely describing it. You must check it off your list asap!
I have always been addicted to clothing, but spring always makes this condition a little worse. Here are some of the things I have been buying and wearing this new happy season. The colors are full, vibrant, and illuminating. Seek out clothes this spring that make you feel alive!
Vendors, speakers, and veggies galore were present at this year’s VegFest celebrating all things vegan and animal friendly. If you love kombucha, vegan ice cream, and plant based food vendors, you should plan on attending this event next year. #coolnotcruel
Every first Saturday of the month, local artist and galleries partner up to bring art exhibitions to the Nashville community. Displaying all kinds of works in many unique and diverse spaces, Nashvillians are given the special opportunity to wander and appreciate to their heart’s content. I so enjoyed the art when I went from gallery to gallery, but more than that I loved the experience of blending with fellow art lovers of this quirky city. And for all the fashion lovers out there, the viewers’ outfits were almost as beautiful as the art itself. Check the calendar, and try not to let this year pass without making it to a First Saturday Art Crawl.
Grace has an eventful weekend ahead for us as Ole Miss takes on the Vandy baseball team, and many opportunities are coming to see Vanderbilt’s music scene as we continue to wind down the end of the school year!
Two theatre performances took the stage this weekend- one transporting audiences to England at the turn of the nineteenth century into the twentieth, another with a giant, human-eating plant. Vanderbilt University Theatre’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Vanderbilt Off-Broadway’s Little Shop of Horrors both debuted last week, featuring an array of first-year students heading up their casts and crews.
Mrs. Warren’s Profession
A mother and daughter come to terms with their divergent pasts in this 1893 drama by George Bernard Shaw. The play centers around Vivie Warren, an ambitious university graduate played by first-year student Mary Marguerite Hall, coming to terms with her mother’s promiscuous career. Fellow first-year Ian Guile played Frank Gardner, Vivie’s love interest, and first-year Barton Christmas played Reverend Gardner, Frank’s (and possibly Vivie’s) father. From the tangle of this complicated family dynamic emerges a social commentary on the role of women in society and their lack of meaningful employment opportunities in Victorian England.
“After intermission, the show really goes into some powerful statements about feminism and how women interact with men in a transactional sense,” Christmas said.
Walking into auditions on a wim, he wound up joining two other first-years in their VUT debuts, as well as three upperclassmen who lent their experience to the cast of the final show directed by longtime Vanderbilt Theatre professor Terryl Hallquist, who is retiring after this year.
“First semester I remember sitting, biting my nails and watching theatre happen on campus, thinking ‘I want to do it… it looks so cool!’” Christmas said.
Blending comedy, drama, and deep themes to ponder, the play began with a musical pre-show, where the performers sang a medley of songs while they donned their costumes. The sequence of the songs moved backward through different time periods, all pertaining to the ideas presented in the show.
“Hopefully audiences come away with the sense of having respect for yourself, as well as respect for the lives of other people,” Christmas said. “I hope people can laugh away the night, but also have that message stay with them.”
Little Shop of Horrors
Fame and success can have a deadly price, as the characters in Little Shop of Horrors learn. First-year David Ward played Seymour Krelborn, an awkward but innovative teen who comes up with the idea to display an exotic plant in his flower shop’s window to attract business. Seymour falls in love with fellow shop employee Audrey, played by first-year Adreanna Hernandez. At the beginning of the show, Audrey is dating Orin Scrivello, D.D.S., a crazed dentist with a passion for inflicting pain, played by first-year Foster Swartz. The run-down neighborhood of “Skid Row” is populated with residents like the one played by first-year Sabrina Kaplin, who also served as an understudy for the other female roles. Seymour’s business scheme works, but with a catch: his famous plant only eats human blood.
As the musical rockets through rock ‘n roll songs, heartwarming ballads, and sometimes gruesome plot twists, the audience is entertained by the absurdity of this attempt at success gone horribly wrong.
“It’s my favorite show, probably ever,” Swartz said. “It’s rock ‘n roll, but it’s also so poignant and so funny. Everything I would want in a musical, it provides.”
After coming back from spring break with lines and lyrics memorized, the cast, musical performers, and crew, which also included several first-years students lending their skills to the project, worked to create an environment where dark humor and young love combine to form an artistic and entertaining show.
“Through and through, theatre’s an escape,” Swartz said. “It’s a chance to go into this other side of the world that we all have inside of us, but is sometimes repressed… I hope the audience could escape from their daily lives for just a little bit, and enter into this world of rock ‘n roll and fun.”
This week on The Walking ‘Dore, Amira shares some highlights from the past few weeks on campus. Amira attended the March For Our Lives in Nashville, Cafe Con Leche, and the musical Little Shop of Horrors. Check it out!
Meet This Commodore
Major: Medicine, Health, and Society
Minors: Sociology and Spanish
Advice: Be open to attending all types of events on campus!