Dinner with the President

I walked in instantly greeted by a friendly smile and an icy glass of lemonade. Pleasant conversation awaited me as I progressed to the living room, ready for a night filled with amusing anecdotes and a home-cooked meal. Although this may sound like a typical family dinner, it was a special Rice family dinner.

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Holidays at Rice

Happy holidays prospective Owls! I hope everyone is having a restful holiday season with friends and family.

This season I celebrated Thanksgiving with my Rice family before going home to Michigan for the winter holidays. Thanksgiving at Rice was a wonderful experience. My residential college’s masters invited those of us who were staying in Houston for Thanksgiving break over to their house for dinner.

Michaela (my friend and fellow Will Ricer) and I were excited for Thanksgiving dinner at the Master's house.

It definitely felt like home away from home. Their friendly dog, Steve, greeted everyone as we stepped into the decorated dining room. We thanked our wonderful Will Rice masters (Mike and Bridget) and proceeded to enjoy an afternoon of turkey, stuffing, homemade pie and pleasant conversation.

This is yet another example of Rice’s unique sense of family. I feel so thankful for the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving in the presence of such loving, supportive and interesting people.

Rice Lunch Bonding

It’s approximately 11:55am, suddenly you see giant crowds of Rice students talking, laughing and walking towards the various serveries. This is one of the many great things about Rice, the fact that (the vast majority of) class times allow students to eat lunch with each other every day. This unique scheduling allows students to bond and take a much needed midday break together.

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Family of Owls

One of my favorite things about Rice is the vibrant aspect of family/community. Rice’s residential college system and student population make it extremely easy to develop various levels of community. The residential college system forges an instant bond between students.

O-week provides new students with a wonderful smaller community. I loved being an orientation week advisor this year. My team of four total co-advisors and eight new students became a family during O-week and still support each other. We look forward to our weekly O-week lunches and my fellow advisors and I enjoy supporting our new students whether its by watching freshmen flag games or just talking over a cup of tea.

There are other smaller communities within the residential colleges too. For instance, the floor that I live on has already become very close this year. We made door signs and introduced ourselves to everyone on the floor. The members of our floor (and others) can often be seen studying on the couches in our floor’s commons. We even have a puzzle in our commons, which makes for perfect quick study breaks.

These are just two of the many communities I am lucky to be a part of at Rice. Rice is a place where students regardless of grade or background can foster a healthy community. These close knit, supportive communities help make Rice feel like home.

The Beauty of Campus

As I strolled to class on this beautifully warm, sunny day I took a moment to appreciate how truly gorgeous Rice’s campus is. One of my favorite things about Rice is the accessibility of art, both natural and man-made. On my short daily walk from my residential college (Will Rice) to the Shepherd School of Music I encounter so many of these beautiful things. These range from spring flowers, trees and butterflies to the Turrell Skyspace. I thought I’d show you some sights from my typical morning walk.

Celebrate Art!

It’s noon time and you rush out of class. You sit down in the middle of the quad surrounded by friends both old and new. Then, you start beating triplets on some bongos. This, drum circle, was a typical event during Rice University’s second annual Celebrate Art festival.

Celebrate Art is a student run  two day festival that provides students, regardless of major, with a way to engage in and enjoy the arts . This year I was music committee head. Two of the cool musical parts of the festival included short talks by professors about the connection between science and music and why we need music as well as the diverse musical acts. The performances ranged from rock bands to organists.

Other interesting aspects of the festival included the art gallery and reception, dance performances/workshops, a short film screening and a craft fashion show. There were also fun interactive activities such as the drum circle and free sketch.

I am already looking forward to next year’s festival. The thing that I enjoyed the most about this year’s festival was seeing my talented and creative classmates do something that they were passionate about. For more information on Celebrate Art please visit http://celebrateart.rice.edu/. For information about Rice Art Lab please visit http://riceartlab.org/.