Holiday Spirit

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Winter Break is almost here!

It’s that time of year again! Christmas trees are out, sleigh bells ringing, and joyous spirit is in the air. The beginning of December goes by in a blur as we switch from turkey mode to Santa mode. Sadly, the happy times also bring the deadlines of the last few assignments that students hurry to finish and the dread of upcoming finals. To bear the thought of study days and the end of my first semester at Rice, I’m going to explore the various holiday traditions and events we have around campus and in Houston that students attend to take a break from studying.

The Rice Program Council (RPC) hosts a lot of events to get students in the holiday spirit. I’ve been to a few of their amazing study study breaks, like a gingerbread house making competition, late night bites from Tiff’s Treats, and subsidized tickets to see the annual Houston Zoo Lights. It is a really fun, unique experience to see the giraffes, ostriches, and sea animals at night surrounded by gorgeous light decorations that cover every inch of the 55-acre zoo. The RPC always has great events planned which almost always involve food, a must for surviving the finals season. One really fun upcoming study break is the Winter Wonderland themed President and Dean’s Study Break. We get to have amazing holiday themed treats and hang out with President Leebron and Dean Hutchinson. It is guaranteed to be a wonderful time, and a break from the stress of studying for finals. Our very own student run business, Rice Bikes will also be hosting a special Rice Rides: River Oaks Lights. River Oaks is a neighborhood around Rice University and is known for decorating their lawns with gorgeous displays of light decorations to honor the holiday season.

PC: Tim Stanley Photography

With all the fun events, I am sure that the prospect of study days and upcoming finals will actually be more entertaining than I realize with these great events on campus and around Houston – I just have to make sure not to get too carried away in the holiday spirit!

 

Club Fondy

The place where homework is finished moments before its deadline, where students study until wee hours into the dawn, where the printers never fail us, where bookshelves are filled to the brim containing knowledge still left to acquire, and where the study spaces have the perfect balance of comfort and light is where I spend most of my time: Fondren Library. This unofficial twelfth college, affectionately known as Club Fondy, is open to all Rice students and faculty almost 24/7. Located right in the Academic Quad at the heart of campus, students flock to the library at all hours of the day to complete their work in their favored quiet serene place.

My college journey only began a few weeks ago, but Fondren Library has quickly become one of my favorite places to go during the week when I need a silent place to finish my homework or study for exams that never seem to end. Each floor of Fondren has unique architecture, study spaces, and ambiance, all of which I would recommend exploring before deciding on your favorite floor. As a general trend, the noise level on each floor decreases as you move up the building, with sixth floor being the quietest – perfect for the students who need zero distractions to complete their work. Finding the best fit for you is crucial to help you get the most out of your library experience.

Fondren is not just your typical library with books, computers, and printers. It houses some of the most unique services found on campus, such as the Center for Written, Oral, and Visual Communication, where trained professionals help students improve essays and research papers, as well as ace medical school interviews; the Digital Media Commons (my favorite) where students can check out professional cameras and video cameras, use the video/photography studio, and create high quality posters, audio, video, and more; and the Brown Fine Arts Library with hundreds of thousands of books, periodicals, music scores, and more from around the world. Students can also find centers dedicated to GIS/Data Collection and preserving government information. It is one of the most versatile buildings on campus that everybody visits at least once, and most who do visit find it hard to leave.

Fondren Library, a familiar sight from the very heart of the campus