DONE! With four years and 181 credits behind me, I can finally say that I have graduated from the University of Washington. Last Monday, I marched up the stairs of the Communications Building to turn in my last exam, closing one of the biggest chapters in my life. Walking back to my car, I found myself smiling.
I always knew that I was going to college, it was just a matter of where. I was lucky enough to move to a city with one of the best universities in the country and the world. The UW was the only university I applied to and I was very happy and relieved to know that I had been accepted four years ago. But getting into the UW turned out to be the easy part compared to choosing a major.
I always wanted to study film production and was disappointed to find out that UW didn’t offer such a program. So, I decided to try cinema studies to still be connected with the world of cinema. My first course was about the director David Cronenberg. I was fascinated by the insights, themes, and revelations one can find in a single scene, but at the same appalled by some of the films that were shown. If you’ve heard of the films “They Came from Within” and “Rabid,” you know what I mean. While I continued to take cinema courses out of interest, I started to think about what I would do with a cinema studies degree. I decided to pursue something morepractical and got started on DXARTS prerequisites. After a painful quarter of physics and computer programming (which I turns I’m not that good at), it turned out DXARTS wasn’t accepting new students into its program that year. I wasn’t happy.
There I was, closing in on the end of my sophomore year with no declared major. I always loved the idea of journalism but with English as my second language, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to excel in the field or even be accepted into the program. I decided that no harm could come from turning in my application and giving it a shot, and was pleasantly surprised to get the news of my acceptance with a scholarship attached. I embarked on a journey that would end with me publishing my stories at the Seattle Globalist, Seattle Times, Queen Anne & Magnolia News, and other publications. I’ve covered everything from the local Russian community to the Seattle salsa scene to the Seattle International Film Festival. It’s been exciting to learn the art of storytelling, network at various department events, and work on a research project that was then recognized by the Communications Department at the Excellence Awards. Most importantly, journalism helped me to get out of my comfort zone and realize that if you are really determined it is quite possible to reach for ambitious goals. It was hard at first but most definitely worth it.
I’m a perfectionist when it comes to grades (with a really bad case of procrastination), so I was one of those students who would bury herself in homework. I wasn’t very involved inschool life until this last year, where I started to attend drama productions, educational forums, galleries, and school-wide events such as Philanthropy Day. I also attended a UW hockey game, and would have gone to more games had I known about the Husky team earlier. One of my suggestions to current and future students is to be more active in school life and get yourself out there. You might be surprised by some of the incredible things you can find on campus.
Besides academic work, I was able to get a glimpse of how the UW operates by working first at UW Advancement and then at the College of Arts & Sciences Marketing and Communications. I got to work with some of the nicest people and co-workers I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. I learned about the important work that these people do with alumni and donors, and how this work helps students and the University prosper. The staff have always supported and encouraged me, and I deeply appreciate all of their insights.Listening to four different commencement speeches last week, some inspiring, some less so, I was glad to hear one of the student speakers vocalize what I’m feeling right now after graduating. It’s scary. True, you’ve got no essays to write and mathematical problems to solve, but now you have to make real and not hypothetical decisions, solve everyday problems, and pick up a pen and write your own story. Like I said, it’s scary, but absolutely exciting as well.
I congratulate the class of 2014 and wish the best of luck to the upcoming seniors. And while you guys are exploring the dozens of opportunities at the UW, I will be out there following Steve Ballmer’s advice given at the commencement. I’ll make mistakes, grab opportunity after opportunity until I find the right one, and stay hardcore!
On May 12, I was one of seven students who toured Q13 FOX News studio in Seattle. We were greeted by UW COM alumna Kaci Aitchison, former anchor and current features reporter on Q13 FOX. Aitchison started out at 106.1 KISS FM and moved to the TV realm in August 2009 when she joined the Q13 FOX News team. Since then, she’s served as the backstage host for The International, an annual Dota 2 championship (a multiplayer online battle arena hosted in Seattle), and was voted 2013 Best Local TV Personality in Western Washington in a KING 5 contest. It’s safe to say that for soon-to-be-graduates, Aitchison was a very exciting person to meet.
Spring has officially sprung in Seattle! For times of relaxation and lounging, what are your favorite spots around campus? The Quad is a favorite for those who like to lie under the trees, play frisbee, have a picnic, or enjoy a book. But there’s plenty more beauty that the UW campus has to offer. Here are just a few lesser known spots around campus:
- Portage Bay Vista
Located between Hitchcock Hall and William H. Foege Hall, Portage Bay Vista is an effervescent location that looks directly at Lake Washington. Surrounded by UW buildings, the vista is abundant with nature, sprawling a long grass field with a large synthetic tree trunk. Enjoy a gorgeous view with company or while having a solo snack. Pretend to be Rose and Jack with your significant other as you stand inside the bench of the tree trunk and feel like you’re on top of the world!
- Sakuma Point
Located near the Agua Verde restaurant on Boat Avenue (which has some darn good tacos), and looking over Lake Washington, Sakuma Point is a spectacular place to enjoy some food with great company. Picnic tables and benches are in no shortage in this area as you’ll be able to sit and enjoy the sparkling water. From time to time, you will see kayakers and boarders taking advantage of the lake. As an avid people watcher, this is one of my favorite spots. The area doesn’t have a shortage of ducks hanging around either!
- Beach by San Juan Road
Didn’t think there was a mini beach on campus, did you? By San Juan Road, there is an adorable beach where you can relax under the shade provided by the grand trees surrounding the area or under the sun. Skip rocks on the water, duck watch, and listen to the sounds of the waves.
- Oceanography Dock
The oceanography dock is an ideal place for a picnic! Sit down, lounge, and pretend you’re Skipper from Gilligan’s Island! Feel like a supermodel when you’re on the oceanography dock by strutting your stuff down the long walkway.
- Salmon Homing Pond area
This alluring area is right by the Salmon Homing Pond. Enjoy this gorgeous mini park by the water while smelling the beautiful lavender bushes.
- Connibear Shellhouse area
Enjoy the beautiful skies and glistening water as you sit on the three docks located by the IMA fields. This is a great place to relax and devour that post-workout protein shake after an intense workout at the gym.
- Molecular Engineering and Sciences Building and Johnson Building Plaza
Green shrubs everywhere. Juxtaposed against modern architecture, you appreciate the nature far more.
- Sylvan Grove Theater
I was first introduced to this area during my freshmen orientation, but didn’t frequent it much throughout the school year. Going back, I was mesmerized by the beautiful green landscapes and small hills. A truly great place for a picnic, chat with friends, lounge, homework session or quick nap! The beautiful pillars add a nice sense of history to the area.
- Medicinal Herb Garden
I had never been to the medicinal herb garden prior to discovering new places around campus. Located right across from the University’s Greenhouse, the herb garden is a small, intimate, and aromatic area to meditate. A calming area, this can be an ideal spot for reading or philosophizing the world’s most complicated concepts.
- Mark McDermott Plaza
Between the Physics Astronomy buildings, this plaza has an elevated look of Lake Washington. With the planetarium and pendulum within walking distance of the plaza, this place is an ideal spot for meeting friends or taking visitors.
Did your favorite hot spot make it on the list? If not, tell us about yours!
The Billy-Club Puppets (Los titeres de Cachiporra) was originally written for puppet theater. The story follows a young girl, Rosita, who is in love with charismatic but poor Cocoliche. Rosita’s father tells her to get married to help with the family’s finances. However, to Rosita’s horror, it wasn’t Cocoliche she was expected to marry but the ugly, fat, billy-club wielding Don Cristobita. To make poor Rosita’s life even more complicated, an old love, Currito, turns up in town to take her back. Among all the commotion with Rosita’s juggling her three admirers, drunken bar fights, and random poems and dancing, the barber giving Don Cristobita a haircut reveals that Cristobita is simply a puppet! Though it was already too late because Rosita had already married him while – wait for it – Cocoliche and Currito were hiding in her bedroom’s closets. When Cristobita blows up out of rage after finding out about the two lovers, Rosita and Cocoliche happily get back together.
While the festive mood is still occupying the campus and we are waiting for the nature to fully embrace the spring and color the streets, let’s take a look at some fun facts about the gorgeous cherry trees.
The Arabian Nights, adapted by Mary Zimmerman from the classic The Book of One Thousand and One Nights and directed by Professional Director Training Program student Leah Adcock-Starr, is a story of Scheherazade, who is trying to stay alive by telling stories. Every morning, the king, whose heart is darkened by the betrayal of his first wife, is determined to kill Scheherazade, but she figures out a plan to save herself and her sister. Each of the stories she tells is aimed to penetrate different parts of the king’s heart and by ending each story at a cliffhanger, she is able to live another night. And each tale is aimed at immersing the audience into the different aspects of the Middle-Eastern culture that is often overshadowed by politics and mainstream news.
“Scheherazade is a smart woman,” said Brianne Hill, who plays Scheherazade in the UW production. “She is a woman who so strongly believes in the power of storytelling that she thinks it will change a man’s heart and save her own life and the life of other women. She is an inspiration.”Read more…