Last Thursday was the Iron Man 3 movie premiere, but prior to going to that, I got to attend a related event on campus that day: Iron Chef! This was a competition among the head chefs at each of the six serveries, and gave them the chance to really showcase their skills and creativity. Each team (a head chef and two helping chefs) prepared an assortment of appetizers, desserts, as well as a drink, which were left to the attending students to sample and vote on for best of show. Unfortunately, I arrived a tad late and missed much of their creations, but was able to try a few things thanks to some friends. Nevertheless, based on how amazing everything looked, all of the chefs certainly did a great job! After the appetizers and desserts, the chefs then began with the main event, preparing an entree using the “Mystery basket” of ingredients, which consisted of Texas quail, quail eggs, ground buffalo, purple cauliflower, rice sheets, and guava. One entree featured buffalo-stuffed quail, which I found slightly reminiscent of Epic Meal Time’s stuffed turkey. Of course, all the dishes were outstanding–a few of my friends were positively drooling as they watched the judges sample them. Most of all, it was such a treat getting to see each of the chefs in their element as they crafted their respective entrees. I hope to see them compete again next year!
It’s insane to think that my first year at Rice is nearly over – Orientation Week seemed like just yesterday! As I reflect on my freshman year here, I think about the multitude of opportunities and experiences I have gotten to take part in, and I am amazed at the wonderful year I have had. I was involved in my college’s government as a new student representative, I joined the African Student Association and the Black Student Association and performed in two cultural shows, and joined the Student Admission Council (that’s how I’m writing here now!), just to highlight a few.
Do you remember the Choose Your Own Adventure book series? Well, in the series, the book read as if you were the main character, and at the end of every chapter, you were in some sort of crisis. You could choose one of the two or three solutions, and this decision impacted all of the future decisions you made. Rice is a lot like the Choose Your Own Adventure books: Your Rice experience is what you make of it. Rice offers you a vast array of opportunities, and it’s up to you to forge your own path. Whether you find your passion through involvement in your residential college government, joining cultural groups, or pouring yourself into major-related research, the ‘adventure’ you choose is sure to leave a lasting, positive impact on your life.
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.
Hey y’all! Long time no see.
Over Winter Break, I got the chance to hang out with some of my dear friends from high school who have also gone off to college. As we were catching up, one of my friends remarked that he had switched from majoring in Biochemistry to Chemical Engineering, and I replied, “Oh, yeah, I’m torn between being a ChBE (pronounced ‘chubby’) and a BIOE.” I continued to blab about my classes until I saw the look on his face that read, “Chubby?” in bewilderment.
All silly anecdotes aside, that conversation made me realize what I truly loved about being at Rice: our culture as a university. Besides the residential college system and the university’s other traditions, one of the quirky things that stands out to others when they interact with Rice students is our language, or as the my residential college’s Orientation Week book calls it, ‘Rice Speak’. In the course guide, each academic department is distinguished by a four-letter acronym or partial word (i.e. general Humanities courses are listed under the “HUMA” category). Instead of calling the department by it’s full name, students pronounce them acronym as if it were an actual word. This is where we get terms like Musi (pronounced myoo-zee), which is what we call music majors, and archi (‘ark-ee’), which is how Rice students refer to architecture students. Rice also has acronyms for nearly all of its student organizations. (There are so many that a few of them overlap!)
On any given day, a student’s conversation will be so littered with acronyms that it sounds like a foreign language to an outsider. Although it may seem trivial, to me, Rice Speak is one of the defining characteristics of Rice University. Rice Speak brings the multidimensional, incredibly diverse students of Rice together.
Eager for more student perspectives regarding Rice’s campus life and culture? Be sure to head over to the Rice Message Boards, which may be found at https://rice.boards.edu.185r.net/. All of the bloggers are there, as well as other members (there are lots of us!) of Rice’s Student Admission Council. If you have any suggestions for message board topics, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. I really love talking to y’all, so don’t hesitate to contact me via e-mail or via the message boards.
As the clichéd statement says, “College is a time for exploration.” College is a transition to adulthood – a period of time where you can figure out what you like and dislike, what you are and are not willing to do, and what you now personally believe in or not believe in (in contrast to what faith and ideals you grew up with). Some students choose to embrace their independence and refrain from actively pursuing faith, but for those who wish to maintain their faith, the Rice University community has many options for, well, community.
What a week Centennial was! From the Lecture Series to the picnic to the Spectacle, each event helped celebrate Rice’s 100th birthday, the world’s biggest party of the year. Over the span of several days, it was great seeing friends, alumni, staff, faculty, and members of the Houston area having fun and honoring Rice.
Not only did I get to hear influential people speak at the Lecture Series, but I also got to slide down a waterslide multiple times during the North College Block Party (an event with food, fun, and games for the North colleges – the South Colleges had the South College Block Party), eat delicious gumbo at the festive picnic, dress up for and dance at Esperanza, watch an incredible light show at the Spectacle, talk to recently graduated alumni at a career event hosted by the Baker Institute, and, most importantly, see people in both Rice’s past and present in the same space, celebrating the university.
This Centennial highlighted that at Rice, there exists a “work hard, play hard” line of thought. Yes, there were events that were more on the serious side, such as the lectures, but there were also events that were more light-hearted. At Rice, it is both the serious things and the non-serious things that draw people together, and as Rice enters another 100 years, this mentality will continue.
What do a famous biologist, architect, angel investor, physicist, and the Chief Justice of the United States have in common?
During Centennial, they were all at Rice. That’s right – Craig Venter, Rem Koolhaas, Esther Dyson, Shirley Ann Jackson, and John Glover Roberts each gave wonderful, exciting lectures to Rice students, staff, faculty, alumni, and people from the Houston community.