Taylor has the details on events happening around campus that you won’t want to miss, including a housing info session, the Chancellor’s lecture series, and the Vandy Off Broadway production of Pippin.
Archives for January 2019
A Q&A with Justine Kaemmerlen
MCL: Hi, Justine! Could you introduce yourself for us?
JK: Hi! My name is Justine Kaemmerlen, and I’m from Saint Louis, Missouri. I’m a senior with an HOD major and an art minor; currently, I’m the Editor-in-Chief of The Vanderbilt Review. In the past I’ve been an Art Editor for The Review, and I’ve been on staff for The Review since the first semester of my freshman year. It’s absolutely been my favorite club here at Vandy—I love being able to curate a publication of student work each year!
MCL: What is your primary medium of expression?
JK: I am a visual artist, and my favorite methods of expression are photography, painting, and drawing. I’m currently teaching myself printmaking at home, and I’m enrolled in a few art classes (painting and photography), which is a great way to add balance to my academic load. I’ve always found that my happiest semesters are those where I’m enrolled in an art class, so I made sure to feed my soul in my final semester here at Vanderbilt by enrolling in two. I highly encourage other students to find their passion and put themselves into at least one class per semester that makes them happy and fulfilled; it makes life at Vandy much more manageable and less overwhelming when you can focus some time on something you love to do.
MCL: You said you were Editor-in-Chief for the Vanderbilt Review. What is the Vanderbilt Review exactly, and how would interested freshman submit their own creative pieces for publication?
JK: The Vanderbilt Review is Vandy’s student-run undergraduate literary magazine, and we put out a publication each spring that contains student art, prose, and poetry. The submission process is super easy – just click this link ( https://bit.ly/2OyiC7L ) and fill out the form by uploading your pieces and answering a few questions. You can submit the form as many times as you’d like! After the submission deadline arrives (We just pushed it to January 21st at 11:59 pm, so there is still time to submit!!), our staff will sort through the submissions and decide which pieces will be accepted into this year’s publication. The physical publication will be printed and handed out on campus towards the end of the semester, and we will host a launch party once they arrive to commemorate the occasion. It is a great way to get some work published before leaving college and a fun way to advertise your own work!
MCL: As an avid art lover, where are the best places to go to seek out student made art on campus?
JK: There are often showcases on campus in the Studio Arts building that are a great way to see student art. I’d also recommend attending musicals put on by groups like Vanderbilt Off-Broadway and the Original Cast, spoken word shows put on by groups like Vanderbilt Spoken Word, and reaching out to the creative writing and art departments to see if there are going to be any student-led exhibitions happening soon. There are also a variety of dance performances put on throughout the year, such as the Diwali Showcase and Lunar New Year’s Festival, that are easily accessible to the entire Vanderbilt community.
MCL: Okay, so if Nashville is “Music City” and Belmont could be called Nashville’s “hippie wild child”. How would you describe the “character” of Vanderbilt’s art scene?
JK: I would characterize Vanderbilt as a hidden gem. Sadly, the arts culture on this campus, in my opinion, is much less visible and accessible on this campus compared to others around the country. I have a feeling it has to do with how rigorous the university is as a whole, and the pressure people put onto themselves to stick with more “secure” academic disciplines compared to at other schools. However, if you spend some time and effort searching, you will be able to find very strong creative individuals scattered throughout the campus and a variety of events and activities catered to the arts community. They may be much less visible here than places like Belmont, but they definitely still exist.
MCL: And finally, do you have any content recommendations for us before we leave?
JK: I draw inspiration from many different places, even those who are not necessarily “creatives” in the traditional sense. One of my biggest inspirations is actually my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami; his writing style really puts me in a great mindset to do good creative work and look at the world in a new way. I love looking at National Geographic’s photography for inspiration. I also follow tons of artists on Instagram, like The Jealous Curator, which curates a wide variety of art that is super cool. I’m also inspired by artists like Kehinde Wiley, Araki Koman, Cayce Zavaglia, Eric Landon (the ceramicist), and Lili Arnold. I’ve been following them on social media and at shows for a few years now, and I am inspired by the different mediums they work in as well as the different parts of the world they live in. Social media is a great way to see the work other contemporary artists are making these days.
***For all you funky, passionate, creative souls out there (I know you are listening; make yourself known!), make sure to submit any and all of your work—prose, poetry, painting, screenplay, etc.—to the Vanderbilt Review by Monday, Jan. 21st. The link can be found above.***
Let’s be honest: there’s nothing that can make your day like a nice, wholesome meme. You’ve probably heard of the Facebook group, “dank new rand memes,” and unfortunately, most of the posts are pretty relatable. However, some are downright depressing, and we believe that Vandy first-year students could use some pure, inspirational memes to start their second semester off on the right foot.
For more uplifting memes, see the bulletin board on the second floor of East House. Good luck with your second semester at Vandy, and as always, anchor down!!!
Since I recently turned 19 years old and it is 2019, I decided what to commemorate my first semester at Vandy with 19 things I have learned so far:
- Writing your notes is better than typing them. PERIOD. It will help you retain the information better and forces you to put the information you encounter in class in your own words.
- Chemistry office hours are GOLDEN! Professors are there to help you, so if you have questions and are confused ask them. In my opinion, chemistry is one of the hardest courses at Vandy for freshmen and getting help as soon as possible will help you in the long run.
- Doing ALEKS consistently ahead of schedule will save you. ALEKS is the current homework program used by the chemistry department as of the 2018-2019 school year. It is both a headache and blessing. It allows you to get ample practice however, will force you to practice more if you keep getting answers wrong. Take it from me, divide and conquer. If you have 12 topics due in 7 days, space them out. If you can work ahead and you see some topics you can do before lecture, DO THEM. You never know when your professor assigns 20 topics to be done in 4 days. It has happened.
- Eat. Before. A. Three. Hour. Lab. You will regret not doing this.
- If you don’t want to be placed in a triple, find a roommate before school starts! Triples can be great, however if you have a smaller triple, it can become a little claustrophobic (I still enjoy my roommates though. 🙂 )
- Central Library is much more quiet and cozy to study in than Stevenson, and that’s the tea on that. It has window seats and the lighting is not as harsh as in Stevenson. I am much more comfortable and encouraged to study in Central then Stevenson, in my opinion.
- The 2nd floor of Peabody Library is a great place to collaborate with peers (as most individuals seem to not know it exists). It has space for large groups to do work and study, as well as a computer lab and several EXPO boards. (P.S.: You can checkout expo markers and erasers at the library desk Stevenson and Peabody).
- Study the first week of school. Even if you have little to no homework, it helps to become grounded in the basics before the real rigor begins.
- Meeting new people is worth it. It may be easy to just shy away and not mingle but it may lead you to feel lonely. Go to Vandy events, ask to eat lunch/dinner with your hallmates or classmates. Just ask.
- Go to sleep early if you have an 8 AM. This seems self-explanatory but I did not heed this advice and was miserable for my 8 AM chemistry class. You brain really CAN NOT focus with 4 hours of sleep. It just can’t.
- Save the your all nighters for when you really need them. Again, pretty self-explanatory. All-nighters should only be used for projects that were forgotten or need finishing touches. If it’s just to get ahead, it is not worth. There is only so many all nighters you can accomplish before your body falls apart from exhaustion.
- The weekend can be the best and worst time to catch up in classes. It can be the best if you plan ahead of time and prioritize/schedule your assignments. It can be the worst if you do not have a game plan, procrastinate, or just hang out all day and night with your friends. If you know you won’t do work on the weekends, plan to do all you work during the school week.
- Use your Commodore Meal Money to eat off of campus. You paid almost $3,000 for a meal plan and get $200 of “free” money to eat off campus. Use it all.
- Plan everything. You do not need to plan hour by hour, minute by minute. In all honesty, it is nearly impossible as things can change pretty quickly at Vanderbilt. Make a plan of attack, ordering your tasks from most urgent to least important and divide long-term projects up into manageable chunks.
- Expect your plans to fail/be altered. As mentioned in #14, things change quickly at Vanderbilt and never know what to expect.
- Understand what you are about to get yourself into. It is going to be a challenge. It is going to boring at times. It is going to test you beyond your limits. But limits were made to be broken. Persevere.
- Don’t do anything you wouldn’t normally do for the sake of fitting in. I have heard stories of individuals doing things they wouldn’t normally and what they shouldn’t be doing just for the sake of fitting itn. It’s not cool to put yourself in harms way or trouble just be cool. This isn’t high school and your parents can not bail you out now. Be you.
- Soundproof earbuds/headphones may be necessary if you want to block out noise and get into a study bubble or exercise regularly. But the best music to listen to is one without lyrics or pop beats as they can distract you from the goal at hand.
- Enjoy the process. There is going to be a point where you will look back at your undergraduate years and wish you could experience some things again. Enjoy it now, while you still can.
Welcome to a new year and a new semester of the official podcast of The Commons at Vanderbilt. On this episode Dean Melchor-Barz welcomes everyone back with his Dean’s Minute, Zoe delivers your Wednesday to Wednesday Commons Calendar of event, and she also has a terrific interview with fellow first year Hannah Bruns, a VSG Senator representing East & Memorial Houses.