Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dance Fever

How is it that I go to a BBQ and get five bug bites and all my friends from around here don't feel a thing? Do the mosquitoes know I'm from Minnesota and want to feast on my sweet mid-western blood? I don't get it.

The longer I'm here, the more I realize I am on an actual college campus. I have resorted to stealing plastic forks, knives, and spoons from the dining halls because people allegedly steal silverware from your room. One of my roommates locks her door even if it is just to use the shower across the hall. I pay for laundry, there is a mail room, and on weekends a long van comes to pick up freshmen from the student union for off campus fraternity parties. So much going on all the time such as this week's student involvement fair complete with over 300 student groups (picture of Wolfie the Seawolf)
as well as a Mac Miller and The Cataracs concert.

This week I joined the Stony Brook Ballroom Dance Team and was pleasantly surprised at how well I was able to immerse myself into their community. I went to the first practice and most of the members could tell I already had ballroom experience. Though I was able to  keep up with most of them, I also had some anxiety about the way their team creates partnerships. While UMR assigns who dances with who, this team chooses individually who they'd like to dance with. Dance partnerships take a lot of time to develop depending on how dedicated a couple is. Seeing as how I plan to only be here one semester, I was skeptic that I'd find someone to compete with for just half the season.

Much to my chagrin, during the second practice I was approached by one of the members, Jeremy, asking if I'd be willing to dance with him for the first competition on October 12th. I gladly excepted knowing from talking to him that he intends on winning...a lot. Thus, along with about eleven hours worth of classes a week, I will be putting in about five to six hours a week of dancing. Thank goodness my classes are easy this semester so I'll be able to dedicate more time to a hobby I can't help but think I'll only be doing for this last year of undergrad. Hopefully that is not the case.

I read an article during the weekend on how anthropology is being modernized to aid corporate businesses. Initially, I think most people would assume that a career in anthropology would involve either teaching, primates, or digging up fossils. In reality, companies such as the distributors of Absolute Vodka are hiring ethnographers (ethnography- a branch of anthro) to attend house parties in New York to pin point how they can make their product better. From a health science point of view, I think ethnography can be useful in so many different ways. Upon doing some further research I found out Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation hires ethnographers in order to transform the way health care is experienced and delivered. The empathy involved in realizing a persons cultural, religious, or personal values is so crucial for any sort of involvement in patient care. I'm obviously loving anthro so far. Just thought I'd share my inner nerd with thee. 8)

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