Monthly Archives: February 2012

CTM: 50 Kinds of Students Who Go to Skidmore

Here’s a list of 50 kinds of people you’ll find at Skidmore College:

  1. Soccer players
  2. Writers
  3. Dancers
  4. Biologists
  5. Computer nerds
  6. Crossword puzzle enthusiasts
  7. Readers
  8. Banjo players
  9. Arabic, Korean,and Hebrew speakers
  10. Jugglers
  11. Quidditch players
  12. Documentary filmmakers
  13. Dog lovers
  14. Tour guides
  15. Entrepreneurs
  16. Equestrians
  17. Actors
  18. Meme-makers
  19. Costume designers
  20. Liberty League championship game-winning basketball players (WOOO)
  21. Painters
  22. People who are really good at doing math
  23. Resident Assistants
  24. International students
  25. Those who deeply love the library
  26. Theater directors
  27. Bloggers (hi!)
  28. Comedians
  29. Graphic designers
  30. Radio personalities
  31. People who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and more
  32. Fashionistas
  33. Art historians
  34. Vegetarians and vegans
  35. Those obsessed with chicken fingers (hi!)
  36. Curators
  37. Discussion leaders
  38. Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer/questioning/intersex/allied students
  39. Ballerinas
  40. Orchestra musicians
  41. Swimmers and divers
  42. Television producers
  43. Economists
  44. Do-gooders
  45. Outdoorsy folks
  46. Culturally aware students
  47. A capella and gospel singers
  48. Bucket-drummers
  49. Cinephiles
  50. People who know Creative Thought Matters

How Was…Nancy Grossman’s ‘Tough Life Diary’ at the Tang?

If any of you prospective students are going to be at Skidmore in the next three months, I highly recommend you check out Nancy Grossman’s retrospective at the Tang.  There’s a lot going on — fifty years of paintings, collages, and sculptures — and it’s all wonderful to look at.  My favorite pieces were the rows of sculptural heads; Grossman has been hand-carving heads and covering them with leather since the ’60s, and each one is unique, provocative and sort of humorous at the same time.  (One head yawns energetically, its chin folding like an accordion.)  It’s all a bit “off,” in a good way.

Grossman also gave a talk before the show’s wine-‘n’-cheese opening, and she was fascinatingly tangential.  Every anecdote segued into another.  She talked about working in NYC’s Garment District and walking through the glass wall of a grocery store before recounting the time her gallerist wanted her to fork over an immense leather sculpture that she hadn’t yet completed.  Grossman had been distraught — the sculpture wasn’t ready.  “I sat down on a pile of leather jackets and asked for a bottle of Scotch,” she told us with a crackly laugh.

Check out Tough Life Diary at the Tang — it’ll be up until May 20th, at which point it’ll become a touring exhibition and visit museums across the country.  Here are some pics:

Nancy Grossman's leather heads.

The once-unfinished sculpture.

Museum-goers at the opening; I loved this outfit color combination.

More videos and pictures to come.  I had a very camera-friendly weekend.  Hint: Quidditch pictures!

Skid Vids: Dance Department, Pulse, Weekend Update

Ello ello! How’s it going? I write to you feeling extremely ill!  The college plague has gotten me at last.  Every February, various kinds of colds, flus and bugs zoom around campus faster than a speeding text message.  It’s gruesome.  I’m overcoming it with a steady stream of tea and sweatpants pockets bulging with Ricolas.

For your Wednesday entertainment, might I suggest watching these Skidmore-related videos?  This first one has to do with our dance department.  Our dance program is really good; it’s conservatory-level training that students can still pair with other liberal arts studies.  (Like if Juilliard had a baby with Wesleyan.)  We get lots of cool guest choreographers and collaborators, students can take technique classes and choreograph their own pieces, and occasionally there’ll be a REALLY stellar dance concert like last semester’s, which was a collaboration between Skidmore’s orchestra and a bevy of Skidmore ballerinas.  Yep, that’s right: Swan Lake.  Here’s the rehearsal video.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ecD5hyCwPA

Next, here’s a video of a performance at the Tang Museum two years ago.  There are plenty of performing groups to join on campus — a capella groups, Japanese drumming, tap dancing, Irish dancing, gospel choir — but Pulse might be Skidmore’s most unique performers.  These clever percussionists drum on whatever they can find: recycling bins, trash cans, random metal objects.  And they’re really good at it!  This is not some lame toddler banging on a soup tureen!  Watch them in action at the ever-gorgeous Tang.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bg5TfZ14fI

Lastly, I started my own little video series (employing some Jenna Marbles-style editing) called Weekend Update.  I figure I might as well tell you what I’m up to myself, y’know, face-to-face, one-on-one, just me and you, having a one-sided conversation.  If this is successful, I’ll start answering questions with videos too.  So send me your questions!!!  And watch my vid.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttm8xr7tZ9I

Hope those who applied to Skidmore are surviving the long wait for decision letters.  It’s brutal.  Occupy yourself by reading the #StudentChat we did with the College of St. Rose; there are lots of tips and tricks and 140-character doodads.  There will be more to come on that front, too.  Toodle-ooo!

I read somewhere that Skidmore has one of the best college radio stations. Tell me more! Have you had a show? Friends?

SKIDMORE TOTALLY DOES. I love WSPN (a.k.a. Skid’s radio station). It’s 91.1 FM if you’re in the Saratoga Springs/Albany area, and programming is 24/7.

Here’s how it works: every semester WSPN has a Big Meeting where you pick up a show application. You write down your info, your time availability, whether your show will have a theme or not, and a sample playlist. Then they assemble the schedule. Freshmen ABSOLUTELY get shows. WSPN is very much open to first-year students. Usually your freshman year time slot will be from 4 – 6 am on a Wednesday, or some other ungodly hour. That’s still kind of fun though! It’s like you’re up "past your bedtime." If you stick with the radio station, your time slots will get better and better, so that by the time you’re a senior you get 4 – 6 pm on a Friday (ideal time slot, yo.) Also you get to pick your own DJ name. Sweet.

I’ve never had a radio show (and I wish I had one) but lots of my friends have had shows over the years. Last year three friends did a jazz show together; last semester my boyfriend had a show called "The Produce Aisle" where each hour was devoted to a different hip-hop producer. This semester I know some people doing "Lit Radio" where they read and discuss their favorite short stories. And one of my favorite shows of all time played nothing but Japanese pop tunes. There’s a lot of freedom to do whatever you want, provided you don’t, y’know, curse on-air.

So yeah, love me some WSPN. Lucky for you, you can stream it here: http://tunein.com/radio/WSPN-911-s22928

And check out the radio station’s website here! http://www.skidmore.edu/studentorgs/wspn/

Thanks for your question!

Ask me anything

hi! i’m really interested in studying english. what’s the department like?

Yes! I love potential English majors! I really love the department. Not only is it full of professors who love what they teach and publish amazing work (Google Daniel Swift, Greg Hrbek, Steve Stern and Catherine Golden and you’ll see what I mean), but these professors are totally willing to meet with and help students. Professor availability: so key, especially when you’re working on big papers or projects and need some guidance. I met with two different English profs this past week alone.

And everyone has their special academic focus — American modernism, the Victorians, memoirs, lyric essays — so you can get the full experience of a particular subject with an expert, instead of a watered-down general study. It’s really wonderful to be taught by people who are passionate.

AND there are a lot of opportunities within the English department for creative work (i.e. stuff other than critical/analytic essays). That means workshops for poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, documentary filmmaking, cinema studies, and even internships outside of Skidmore. Right now I’m writing a novella in Steven Millhauser’s Advanced Fiction Projects class. It’s rad.

Hope this gives you a good idea of what the department is like. If you have questions about specifics, ask away!

Ask me anything

How Was…UJIMA Fashion Show and Chowderfest?

Wow…what a weekend.  Friday night kicked off with a great SEC show at Falstaff’s (an on-campus venue) featuring Brooklyn bands Total Slacker and Widowspeak.  I bowed out before Total Slacker hit the stage but Widowspeak was totally charming.  The Skidmore crowd swayed to the sweet vocals and surf rock-meets-doo-wop guitars, and in terms of wardrobe, it looked like we had all gotten in a time machine and traveled from 2012 to 1992.  Floral dresses and plaid shirts: totally rad, man.  Here’s a little sampling of Widowspeak doing a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_l8bp5M6kA

Saturday morning was all about Chowderfest, which is Saratoga’s annual day to appreciate various kinds of milk-based soups.  More than 70 restaurants participated, each one selling their own special chowder variety for $1 apiece.  Anyone deeply affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder would be wise to partake in Chowderfest — it is just that uplifting.  I sampled delicious sausage-and-shrimp chowder at Bailey’s, then moseyed down to Hattie’s (a fried chicken legend of a restaurant — Hattie’s beat Bobby Flay in a fried chicken Throwdown!) and snagged some bourbon chicken chowder.  Mmm.  The long lines (see below) didn’t discourage me, or any of the zillion people who came to Saratoga for the chowder goodness.

Then Saturday night, fully satisfied chowder-wise, I caught the second half of the UJIMA Fashion Show (co-directed by fellow SS2S blogger Alta!!), which was amazing as usual.  I’ve gone to the fashion show every year and always leave feeling incredibly positive.  UJIMA, the African/African-American/Caribbean-American cultural awareness group, puts on a fashion show every February to coincide with Black History Month; this year the theme was “Black Couture,” which focused on the Black community’s countless contributions to the fashion world.  Needless to say, this event was awesome, and everyone looked INCREDIBLE.

Wendy Wilson, Skidmore alum and News Editor at Essence magazine, gave a great speech.

A seriously stylish couple.

Her jacket was SO sparkly...I want it.

America's Next Top Model?

The models were all incredible — it’s pretty much impossible to not look confident when you’re sauntering down the runway to Rihanna’s “Rock Star” — and the performing groups were great too.  Here’s the Bandersnatchers singing “Baby I Need Your Lovin'” by the Four Tops:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnKnlwsUZCQ

And here’s Lift Every Voice, Skidmore’s wonderful gospel choir, singing Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are”:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdbJ5U-dBaE

And what happened on Sunday, the titular day of rest?  Why, I stuffed my face at a Super Bowl party and deconstructed Madonna’s halftime show with my fellow viewers.  (That’s a blog post for another day).  A typically crazy, seriously enjoyable Skidmore weekend.