February 9, 2012

True Happiness Is A Watermelon In Your Face

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.
                    – John Lennon

Lazy College Senior (http://www.quickmeme.com/Lazy-College-Senior)

I am three weeks into my final semester at Lafayette College and for the first time since I started college, I don’t face a mad rush to finish a project or be somewhere by a specific deadline.

I am fully embracing the life of a second semester college senior who already has a plan lined up for the next two years of my life. In fact, I’m being such a good second semester college senior that I identify with an entire category of memes on the Internet.

But in all seriousness, I am appreciating the opportunity that I now have to take a step back and enjoy everything that Lafayette has to offer before I leave this place. Last week, I took part in the Lunar New Year celebrations at the College organized by the International Students Association and the Asian Cultural Association. I loved having the opportunity to learn more about a new culture and a new form of celebration (because let’s face it, who doesn’t like having a new reason to celebrate and party?).

I consider myself a worldly individual: I’ve lived in three different countries, traveled to many other countries, learned different languages, and made lasting friendships with people from different parts of the world. Even then, there is always some new culture that I am exposed to on a regular basis that I know absolutely nothing about. The Lunar New Year celebrations included lots of song and dance (the highlight being a traditional Vietnamese fan dance), learning how to write my name using Chinese characters, and great food. The event finally ended with a watermelon eating contest! I might not have won, but I did have lots of fun.

Lunar New Year celebration

Trying to psych out my opponents. Doesn't seem to be working very well.

So it begins. Look at me taking the lead...

Not my best side

Later today, I plan to go to an art exhibit by Atlanta-based artist Kevin Cole at the Riley Temple Art Gallery at the Portlock Center. One of my first-year residents who is an art major had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of his artwork and talk to him and he recommended I check it out. The photography class I am talking this semester has definitely taught me a thing or two about art. I now realize it’s more than just vision and creativity. There are so many technical elements to creating good art (choosing the right medium, ways in which you retouch photos or artwork) that I never even considered.

I have some really exciting events lined up for the rest of February as well. The weekend of the 17th, I will be attending a production of The Vagina Monologues at Lafayette College directed by and starring members of the Lafayette community. The Association of Lafayette Feminists plans and executes this every two years to encourage conversation and debate about gender issues prevalent on our campus and around the world. I attended a production of The Vagina Monologues two years ago and thought it was an excellent show and I am really looking forward to this. I also have a number of residents who have expressed interest in attending this show with me. I spoke to one of the organizers about possibly being able to help out or volunteer backstage or with technical elements so I might get another look at how the show is produced.

On Feb. 28, I will be traveling to New York City to attend a jazz concert at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan. Some friends and I are going to the album release of the new Robert Glasper Experiment album, Black Radio. Glasper, the son of professional jazz musicians and a Grammy winner himself, will be performing pieces from his new album for the first time ever and it promises to be a great musical experience.

Until then, I will enjoy the flurries of snow we are getting here in Easton and count down the days till I move to a country where the average temperature in the middle of winter is about 75 degrees F.

posted in Ryan Shroff

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