Improv meets Rice

Every Monday evening, after dinner, I go to one of my favorite classes this semester: Introduction to Improv, taught by Lovett senior Jake Hassell. For an hour every Monday, I get to forget about biochemistry and physical chemistry and instead focus on love, life and laughter.

I mostly signed up for this class because I think Jake is one of the funniest people that I know. I met Jake my sophomore year when he went to Screw Yer Roommate (“Screw”) with my suitemate. Screw is an event planned by Rice Program Council where you set your roommate up on a blind date with anyone across campus. You and your blind date wear matching costumes, coordinated by your respective roommate pairs. On one Friday in early September, all students participating in Screw gather in an outdoor quad and attempt to find their date via their costume. After finding each other, students go to dinner with their blind date in a group of friends. Sophomore year, Jake went with one of my best friends, Alexandra, to Screw. We got dinner together in a local creperie, and ever since then, I knew that Jake was the funniest person I’ve ever met.

Ever since sophomore year, Jake and I have been good friends. Over the years, Jake has put his skills to use by participating in numerous improv comedy shows. On campus, Jake participates in, and is the current president of Spontaneous Combustion, Rice’s oldest and only improv troupe. Off campus, Jake participates in many improv shows across Houston, and kills it every night. So when I heard he was teaching a student taught course on improv this year, I knew that I had to sign up.

Student taught courses (STC’s) are a unique style of courses that allow undergraduates to teach and take classes in non-traditional areas. These courses count for 1 credit hour and are graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory scale. They are a fun way to learn about a skill from your peers and to meet new people across campus.

Jake’s course on improv is my favorite STC that I’ve taken. For an hour every week, I meet with eighteen of my friends across campus and play improv games. Through many awkward jokes and laughter, we’ve learned the basics of improv and applied it in a variety of situations. As a part of this course, we have to see an improv show in Houston and critique it. My friends and I attended one this Thursday at Station Theater where Kevin Hart was in the audience! It was insanely fun and I’m so excited to do it again!

While I don’t know if I’ll continue studying improv in the future, I’ve definitely gained a deeper appreciation for the art and will continue to attend improv shows whenever I can. I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to learn this from one of my friends here at Rice!

Rondelet 2015: Dancing with the All Stars

Think back to your prom. Remember the beautiful dresses, curling your hair, taking approximately 293702938 photos? Remember the awkward dancing, the dieting it took to fit into the dress that you KNEW would fit, and the way your feet managed to hurt even while sitting? Guess what! You can experience all those feelings (and more) again at Rice!

Rice Program Council (RPC) is a completely student-run, campus-wide organization involved in organizing and hosting events and opportunities both on and off campus. These events aim to build community and enhance the quality of life for all Rice students. Some of our major events include Beer Bike, Willy Week, Esperanza (fall formal), Rondelet (spring formal), Screw-Yer-Roommate, the President & Dean’s Study Break, Rice Nights at various cultural events throughout Houston, the Gingerbread House Building Competition, and Night Bites!

Rondelet is Rice’s annual spring formal, which dates back to the 1940s, is held off-campus. This year, it was held at the Astros’ baseball field, Minute Maid Park, and everyone had a ball! Offering delicious catering, snazzy tunes, and more, Rondelet is wonderful opportunity for Rice students to dress up and go out for a fun, classy night with friends.


Meet RPC's Executive Board! (from left to right) Dixita Viswanath (me!), Ly Nguyen, Jodie Nghiem, Aisha Jeeva and Julie Neisler


Let’s get physical?

My friend, who works at the Rice Recreational Center, jokes that if you really want to work out, skip the first three weeks in the semester. It’s practically useless to work out then; every machine is booked from the faux-early risers and the night owls who have-to-get-that-run-in. And then…it dies.

After four semesters of doing just that, I knew I needed a change. I was going to be HEALTHY this semester.

So I got the INSANITY workout from a friend and decided that 63 days is nothing. I could do that. Hell, I’ve waited longer for a Harry Potter book to come out. 63 days is basically as long as all three extended-edition-Lord-of-the-Rings-movies. And to prove it, I texted a picture of myself post-workout to my sister. If she didn’t get a picture in 24 hours, she had the right to post something socially embarassing on my Facebook wall.

Turns out I care if people see pictures of me from 10 years ago. I finished the challenge and I only missed 6 days (!). I blame finals.

I’m going to take the challenge again. And this time, I can do it without social motivation. I think. Check back in 63 days.


Things I Learned from Living with 7 girls

Midterms weeks involve copious amounts of coffee, random papers stuffed into books and the (frequent) Buzzfeed updates. As a result, this blog post will be featured as a list about the  perils/turmoils/happiness/joys that only living in a room with 7 other girls will cause.

1. Girls have a ton of products. Seriously dude, the internet is not joking when they say this. Each one of us has at least 10 bottles of some sort sitting in the bathroom. Our shower is just littered with bottles ranging from the usual shampoo/conditioner/soap to four different types of face wash and two types of mouthwash per person.

2. Girls eat a TON. Sure, we may daintily pick at our salads in the servery but boy oh boy do we love chocolate. We have a halloween sized bowl of candy in our suite….and it’s gone in 6 days.

3. If you need a friend, people are there AT ALL TIMES to bash on whomever injusticed you and will voluntarily drop what they’re doing to buy you ice cream and talk to you.

4. ALL THE MUSIC. Seriously though, our suite is half Arctic Monkeys half Taylor Swift.

5. Endless love. Walk in at 3 AM from the library and someone will be sitting there with chips, decorating the walls or generally redditing on our couches.

6. Everything you could possibly want plus more. Living with your seven best friends is highly stressful but completely awesome.

Trust me, I’m (almost) a doctor: Rice EMS

I’m a REMS baby. I strut around campus, throwing words like “supine” and “hypertensive and bradycardic” around like I know what they mean. I prance around in my all black outfit except for the yellow and white logo of Rice EMS and my pager, thinking I’m so cool even though it’s the nerdiest thing I’ve done to date including the time in high school when I was captain of Math Team and The Challenge . But this time, I love what I do. In a phrase, I get to save lives

What do you get when you put all of REMS in a room all day to learn advanced techniques? Silliness. You get silliness. This is Fall Training Day for REMS 2013. See if you can find me (I'm holding someone)


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Beer Bike 2013


Twas the night before Beer Bike, when all through the colleges

Every creature was stirring, every team waiting. 

The banners were hung in the commons with care, 

In the hopes that a victory would soon be theirs. 


On May 5, 1957, Rice University began what grew to be one of its most famous traditions  Beer Bike. Back then, students had a “chugger” who chugged a can of beer and “bikers” who lapped around the inner loop. Baker college finished first, followed by Will Rice and Weiss. Hanszen was disqualified for taking a “shortcut” (read: cheating). Every year after that, Rice sponsored Beer Bike, a friendly competition between the colleges. Despite past changes and changes to come, Beer Bike will always remain what is was first intended to be: a friendly competition between the colleges; in short, uniquely Rice.

Alex Schmidt, biking for Will Rice

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