Trivia Weekend!

by Daniel Bernstein on January 26, 2015

This weekend is one of the most exciting weekends at Lawrence! It’s our 50th annual trivia weekend, known officially as the Great Midwest Trivia Contest, and it is arguably Lawrence’s best known tradition. Basically, it’s a 50 hour trivia contest (Friday 10 pm until Sunday at midnight) that happens every year during the last weekend of January, and it is broadcasted by our campus radio (internet) station, WLFM. For those 50 hours, the entire Lawrence campus goes into trivia mode; people split into their teams, and each team live streams WLFM on their computers and sets up speakers so everyone can hear, and they anxiously await the first trivia question. Once the contest starts, the members of each team voraciously scavenge the internet for the answers to each question, and the questions are probably unlike any trivia questions you have ever heard. They are remarkably obscure and specific…definitely not the kind of standard trivia questions about topics like pop culture and movies and the like! The trivia contest is directed by a group of ten Lawrentians who are known as the Trivia Masters; they write all of the questions and answer the phone lines (teams have to call in their answers). I am not a trivia fanatic, and many students at Lawrence aren’t, but it’s still very popular and most people participate for at least part of the weekend. My clarinet studio formed its own team a few years ago; the team name is “David and the Bells” (named after our clarinet professor David Bell), and the team has actually grown to include almost everyone in the conservatory!

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Trivia masters Photos courtesy of Nathan Lawrence

Aside from the trivia festivities, everything else is going pretty well, and my schedule just keeps getting busier. My highlight of last week was getting to start Irish dancing again! Leila Pertl, a music and arts educator/extraordinaire and wife of our conservatory dean Brian Pertl, teaches an informal, once-a-week Irish dancing class, and last Monday was the first class of the term! I first began Irish dancing when Leila taught this class during fall term of last year, but I ended up having an unavoidable schedule conflict that kept me from going to the weekly class. I really wanted to start again this year, and Leila very enthusiastically responded to my request that she start the class again! It’s a beginning class, so we learn at a nice and relaxed pace, and so far we have learned the basic steps of the Irish reel and jig. I have loved Irish folk music and dance for my entire life (even before I could actually move my legs!) so the opportunity to learn Irish dancing is really a dream come true for me!

Earlier this week, I attended a very informative arts administration career panel, which was in some ways the kick-off to a number of career-related events that will be taking place at Lawrence over the next couple of weeks. I went to this panel because I am interested in exploring arts/music administration as a potential career option, and I really enjoy meeting and learning about people in various careers and how they have gotten to where they are today. The panel was organized by Lawrence senior Michelle Farrand, who self-designed her own major in music administration, and this panel discussion was the final event of her senior capstone experience (the culminating project that all B.A. students at Lawrence complete…B.M. students have a recital!). It was amazing to hear the stories and wisdom of the arts administrators at this panel; although they all carry a deep passion for the arts, they have each had very different career trajectories, and each of them strongly emphasized the importance of being open to new opportunities–because there is something valuable to be gained from every job and career move.

That’s all for this week! Next time, I’ll report back on our first orchestra concert of the term!

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Back at LU!

by Clare Lauer on January 21, 2015

Hey there friends.

In case the title didn’t give it away, I’m back from studying abroad! My time in France was equals parts amazing, challenging, and insightful, but nevertheless I’m happy to be back in good ole Appleton. Seeing everyone again has been great, but I don’t think I could have predicted how difficult the re-entry process can be at times. After being really focused on language and culture for four months, getting back into the groove of psychology readings and learning about plate tectonics (finally getting that lab requirement out of the way!) is not exactly what I would call fun. Thankfully, this past week offered the perfect distraction: sorority recruitment. I’m blanking on if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am a member of Delta Gamma, one of Lawrence’s four recognized sororities on campus. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since being back on campus, the support I feel from my sisters in Delta Gamma has been one of the main things keeping me smiling on a daily basis. The funny thing, is that I never intended to join a sorority in college. My only exposure to them was through Hollywood movies that depicted the organizations as a hotspot of girls who managed to drink an unhealthy amount of alcohol at crazy campus parties while still managing to go unnoticed by campus authorities. Needless to say, they didn’t really spark my interest. But then my older sister joined one at her school (also a small, Midwestern liberal arts school), and that’s when I became confused. You see, I have always looked to my older sister as a role model, and I know she would never invest so much of her time into an activity that didn’t align with her morals and values. With those contrasting ideas in my head, I decided to go through sorority recruitment as a freshman. To my delight, during the three days of recruitment, the image my sister had tried to explain to me about what sororities can actually be like was unfolding in front of me. Upper classmen women who I’d admired around campus fall term (side note: recruitment at Lawrence takes place during the beginning of winter term) were in these organizations, and they were asking me about my interests and hobbies. By the end of the week I was smitten with the notion that I could become close friends, sisters, with these women who were so inviting to me. Not to give a spoiler alert or anything (but at the same time I sure hope you’ve come to this conclusion by now), but fast forward to this year and most of my closest friendships at Lawrence are with the women in my sorority chapter. And that is why last week’s recruitment was a welcome change of pace from homework and studying. I have loved my time being in Delta Gamma, and I relish the opportunity to share my experiences with others… kind of like right now!

PS – Here’s some pictures of my sisters and me throughout the week during sorority recruitment.


From left: Lauren Ray, Liz Burke, Isabel Damman, and me!


From left: Maureen Marshall, Liz Burke, and me!

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Applied Conservatory Experience

January 20, 2015

During my time at Lawrence, I have learned a lot more already about music than I could have imagined going into this. Not only have I learned about my own instrument and ensemble performance, but I have also learned about music history and music theory–something that I never pictured myself enjoying. From the things that […]

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Winter Time!

January 11, 2015

Greetings! It’s our first week back on campus and it’s a winter wonderland! Actually, we’re having a fairly warm (15 degrees!) and precipitation-less weekend, so some of the snow is starting to go away temporarily, but it’s still very winter-like and beautiful out there! I’m from Southern California, so snow is still a fairly new […]

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FC Nantes

November 23, 2014

Hello everyone! There’s tons and tons that I could talk about with all of you, from writing a ten page paper in french (ahh!) to going to Madrid, Spain (which was incredible!!). But I just got back from watching a football match (soccer game) of Nantes’ professional team, and it was amazing! I love going […]

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