Spring Break, Dance Pro, and Comps, Oh My!
Blogger: Kristen Treat
After a relaxing yet work-filled Spring break, I am back at Oxy and ready to finish up my last semester here! (Cue tears). I spent half of my break hanging out in my hometown of Riverside, CA. where I got to spend time with family, grab frozen yogurt with some high school friends, and do some hefty work on my senior comps presentation that is coming up in April. Shout out Mom for the tasty home-cooked meals! After spending time at home I headed back to Oxy to spend some quality time with my roommates. The first night back we headed to Palos Verdes, a beach about 40 minutes from Oxy, to spend a few days at one of my roommates’ grandparents’ home. Again, shout out to Grandma and Grandpa Naito for the fantastic food! While we were there we visited the Aquarium of the Pacific and spent a day napping/ reading for comps on the beach. Beachside comps= my new favorite way to study.
The week after break has proven to be extremely busy, mostly because it’s Dance Pro Tech Week. Dance Production, a.k.a. Dance Pro, is one of Oxy’s largest clubs which places approximately 200 Oxy students into dances taught and choreographed by Oxy students as well. Each dance meets once a week for practice from October to the end of March when we put them all together for one big show, which happens to be this weekend! Dance Pro is a huge tradition here at Oxy and is currently in it’s 66th year. If you’re not in Dance Pro, you most likely know someone in the show and go support them. It’s only the third day of ticket sales, and all three shows are almost completely sold out! This year I am in two dances, Hula and Breaking Swing. One of my favorite parts about Dance Pro is that you don’t have to have any experience to participate and no one gets cut if they show up to practice and try. Trust me, I have two left feet and no prior dance experience and they still taught me. For hula, we are performing an ancient dance called "Ike i ke one kani a'o Nohili" where we use small, hand-held, water-worn pebbles that are clicked together called 'ili'ili to make all of the music for the dance. The dance honors the island of Kaua'i, and it has been so awesome not only to learn the dance, but to also help tell this ancient story and learn about the history of Kaua'i as we dance. Breaking swing is a hybrid between swing dancing and break dancing. Before this year if someone would have told me I was going to do a shoulder freeze on the stage in Thorne Hall, I probably would have laughed in their face but yet again Dance Pro has successfully taught the everyone, including the dance illiterate like me, some awesome new skills!
The end of the craziness of Dance Pro will initiate the 24/7 finish comps party until I present on April 7th! Comps, or Senior Comprehensives, are large projects and tests that seniors must complete in order to graduate. All majors have different comps requirements, but all are a way to display all of the amazing knowledge that you have gained during your time at Oxy! For Biology majors, we have to do a huge literature review on the topic of our choice, and then present a 40 minute talk for our professors and friends. For my comps talk I am discussing the shifting fire regimes in San Diego county, and how they are affecting native and invasive plant growth. More simply, I am looking at how more frequent fires allow invasive plants to replace native plants more easily. Other topics that will be covered by my classmates include the declining toothfish population in the Ross Sea, slash and burn agriculture in Brazil, the effects of grazing Reindeer on native plant population in Sweden, and declining bee populations among many more! Three of my housemates and I are all in the same comps class, which makes studying and practicing for them 10 times more fun. Nothing beats our comps study breaks, which mostly consist of dancing around the living room at 1 a.m.That’s all for now friends, wish all the seniors luck on finishing comps and completing our last semester here at Oxy!