Friday, February 27, 2015

Charter Day Ball

Last Saturday was Charter Day Ball, an event on Miami’s campus that only comes once every three years. Miami University was chartered in 1809, and Charter Day Ball celebrates the day the University was founded.

The ball was held at Millet Hall, which is where our basketball team plays. The committee for the ball decorated the arena in the theme of fire and ice. There were red carpets, white drapes hanging, chandeliers, and colorful lights shining on diamond-like crystals hanging from the ceiling.

Photo of my friends and I at Charter Day Ball.
Around the outside of the arena, there were tables of food and water, which were replaced later in the night by desserts and hot chocolate.

The basketball court was turned into a dance floor, and for the first few hours, there was live music, and a lot of the attendees were swing dancing, which was really fun.

After the live music finished, there was a DJ until 2AM.

Everyone who attended was dressed to the nines, girls in floor-length dresses, and guys in tuxes and suits.

I went with a group of friends, and it was a true ball. Having an excuse to dress up and kind of re-live prom was really fun, because in college, there aren’t very many excuses to put on a fancy dress.

I wore a dress that belonged to my mom while she was in college, and my sister actually wore the same dress while she was in college too, so for me, I think the coolest part was being able to join this sort of tradition.

I wish that I would have the opportunity to go to Charter Day Ball again while a student at Miami, but since it only comes around once every three years, this was my only chance, so I’m glad I had the chance to go.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

College Snow Days

Screenshot I took of the temperature yesterday morning.
Remember how excited you were when you were in grade school and you found out you had a snow day? Multiply that feeling by 10 to accurately depict a college student’s excitement.

As a result of the weather we’ve been experiencing, classes were canceled yesterday. With the wind chill yesterday morning, it was 22 below 0 outside, which would have made for a very uncomfortable and dangerous walk to class.

When I woke up yesterday morning and saw the text from Miami telling me that classes were canceled, I immediately changed my alarms to let myself sleep in a little more.

Having a surprise day off in college is one of the best feelings because it means that you have the opportunity to catch up on an array of activities, such as sleep, homework, cleaning, organizing, TV shows – which may or may not be how I spent my snow day yesterday.

An even better surprise was when I received an email from my professor last night canceling my class today, and since I don’t have classes on Monday, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I have an unexpected five day weekend, which is something that I intend to use to my advantage.

So while my excitement since I was in grade school has shifted from pure joy of being able to play in the snow on a snow day to now looking forward to catching up on everything that I’ve fallen behind on, I have to say that I am even more grateful for the time to catch up than I thought I would be, especially since the thought of going outside in this cold is rather unappealing…

Friday, February 13, 2015

Love is in the Air -- Miami Traditions

Photo I took of Upham Arch in the fall.
Here on campus, there are several different traditions that many students and alumni are familiar with. Since Valentine’s is just around the corner, I thought I’d dedicate today’s post to some of those traditions.

One of the more famous traditions on campus, is that if two people kiss under the lantern in the Upham Arch at midnight, they are, as the legend goes, destined to marry.

Upham Arch is one of the many iconic structures on Miami’s campus, in addition to MacCracken Hall.

Beyond this tradition at the Upham Arch, when two Miami students marry, they then become Miami mergers. Every year around Valentine’s Day, the Alumni Office will send out valentines to all of these couples.

On the less romantic end of Miami traditions, there’s also a standing tradition on campus about walking around trees with friends. When you’re walking on campus, if you and your friends walk on opposite sides of a tree, the tradition says that this friendship will fade.

However, if you and your friends walk on the same side of the tree, then the friendship will be fine.

On Miami’s campus, we have several other longstanding traditions, some of which I have written about previously. If you’re interested in reading about some other Miami traditions, here’s a link to a page on the alumni website

Friday, February 6, 2015

I’m an English Education Major, You say…

“Oh, I better watch my grammar.”

“Ugh, I hated English. Why would you do that to yourself?"

“So, like, do you just read books and analyze them? That’s so boring.”

These are just a few of the reactions I have noticed people give me when I tell them my major. But I’m here to dispel some of these stereotypes/reactions that my major always seems to receive.
Photo of my "I am silently correcting your
grammar." sign that I have on my desk.

So while I may have a sign on my desk that says “I am silently correcting your grammar,” that is not always necessarily the case (pictured on the right).

Through my English and linguistic classes, I have learned over and over that grammar, to a certain extent, is rather subjective. While there are certain situations that call for standard grammar, and the prescriptive rules of grammar (those that a grammarian would stick to, and those found in traditional grammar textbooks), there are also situations that call for descriptive grammar.

But what is descriptive grammar? It’s simply the rules people tend to follow when they talk. For example, a descriptive rule of grammar is that some people have a tendency of ending their sentences with prepositions – which, rest assured, is something that I am often guilty of. (See what I just did there?)

The opposite of this descriptive rule is the prescriptive rule, which states that one should never end a sentence with a preposition.

As for the second reaction I listed above, well, I am sorry to anyone who had poor experiences in their English classes. While to a certain extent, I can understand, as I went through a short lived phase in high school where I didn’t necessarily love English, I didn’t necessarily hate it either.

But after that phase, my love for English returned and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to study English and teach English for the rest of my life. So when people say “Why would you do that to yourself?” I don’t necessarily see that I’m doing anything to myself other than sticking to what I love.

As for the last reaction I listed, there’s a lot more to English than just reading books and analyzing them. While sure, in certain literature classes I have taken, that is what we do, I often leave my English classes with so much more than just the theme of a book.

That is what I love about English. It’s not just about books and literature; it’s about the human experience.