The Rite of Spring Semester
Blogger: Jeremy Childs
Is it just me, or does spring semester always seem to go by faster than fall semester? I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising: spring semester has a lot going on. In addition to a full course load, students often have to spend their spring semester planning out the rest of the year. Applications for internships, study abroad, summer research, and financial aid take up a significant amount of time, especially when compounded with the search for new living accommodations. It’s a very stressful time because plans are up in the air for most of the semester, and by the time dust finally settles, it’s too late to apply for anything else. Every opportunity feels like it’s make-or-break, and even though experience has taught me that things tend to work out eventually, the process does not become any less difficult.
Luckily, spring semester consists of more than just internship applications and house hunting. It’s also when some of the best events happen on campus. This past Friday, for instance, Oxy’s Black Student Alliance hosted Apollo Night, a talent show named in honor of the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. Many of the coolest performers at Oxy participated in the event, including my friends Jim and Rachel, whose awesome cover of the song “Gone” by Lianne La Havas earned them third place in the competition! (Photo courtesy of La Encina)
Another highlight occurred the previous week, when The Vagina Monologues took to the stage in Thorne Hall. Although Occidental College has put on a performance of Eve Ensler’s classic play every year for over a decade, the cast of this year’s show mixed things up by replacing several of the old monologues with new material. They even incorporated some monologues written by the cast members themselves! If you’re interested in hearing more about this year’s show, The Occidental Weekly published a fantastic article on it which you can read here.
The next big event on the Occidental calendar is the most widely attended show on campus, taking place the week after Spring Break: Dance Production. With hundreds of students performing in a multitude of dance styles, it is truly one of the most culturally-engaging events Oxy has to offer. For this year’s production, I am in three performances, including the first K-pop dance in Dance Production history. I’m also in a Bollywood piece for the second year in the row. You can watch a video of me rocking the stage in last year’s Bollywood performance here. And yes, I still have the oversized white sequin blazer from the show hanging in my closet.
One of the things I like most about events like Apollo Night and Dance Production is that they help relieve the stress of application season. They bring fun and joy to an otherwise busy semester, providing a useful diversion when work becomes too demanding. Though some people might say my time would be better spent filling out one more job application or one more research proposal, I’m content with knowing that the events of spring semester have given me some of the best memories of my entire college career.