Rent

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First, congratulations to the Class of 2017! I’m so jealous you all found out so early. I had to wait until the spring when I applied my senior year of high school because there was no such thing as Early Action!

On December 5, Quincy House had our semester-ly formal event! This year’s winter formal was a Tri-House Formal along with Dunster (Caroline‘s House!) and Leverett, which are two other upperclass dorm buildings. The event was at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, and it was the last event of the year I planned as HoCo Co-Chair. HoCo (short for House Committee) is essentially the party-planning committee (Have you seen The Office?) for each upperclassmen dorm building. Every House has one, and in addition to formals, we plan community events like study breaks and act as liaisons between the administration and students. My term is officially ending at the end of this semester. But back to the formal, which was a lot of fun. The venue looked like a convention center and it was decked out in winter decorations, along with falling snow and projections on the walls. Pictures absolutely don’t do it justice, but I thought this might help with the visual:

Tri-House Formal: "A Night by the Harbor"

Tri-House Formal: “A Night by the Harbor”

During Reading Period (which is the week before Final Exam Period, where there are no classes and we get all of this unstructured time to study), I had the opportunity to watch the musical RENT, which a few of my good friends were acting, singing, and dancing in. It’s a poignant story about young artists who live in New York and whose lives are all affected to some extent by HIV/AIDS. Read more about it here. I’m always amazed by my peers’ talents, but this show took that to another level. I’ll admit that I’m not very knowledgeable regarding musicals, but I very much enjoyed this one. It was definitely the best show that I’ve seen on campus. I don’t think there are any videos up right now, but I’ll make sure I post one as soon as they go up on YouTube.

Here's me and two of my friends, Mel and Yasmeen, who stole the show in RENT!

Here’s me and two of my friends, Mel and Yasmeen, who stole the show in RENT!

The semester is coming to an end, and I wish it wasn’t because this means I’m that much closer to senior spring. I’ve actually been feeling pretty sick the past few days. I had a 20-page final paper to write with a 102.4 fever. That sounds absurd, right? I don’t know where it came from. It happened so suddenly and I just felt deathly ill. Luckily, the teaching staff of this course that I’m taking was incredibly understanding and gave me an extension on the deadline. This way, I was able to sleep instead of trying to get creative juices flowing. Looking back on the earlier portion of the week, it’s actually kind of hilarious because I can’t describe what I felt like in any other way than feeling like a vegetable. My head was heavy and thinking was so incredibly difficult. I’m not at 100% yet, but definitely a huge improvement from what I was feeling on Monday/Tuesday. And the paper’s in!

I’m far from done, as I have an exam and another paper due by the 21st (aka the last day of Exam Period). Unfortunate! I haven’t stayed on campus this late since freshman year. Everyone leaves here at different times for a variety of reasons–some people leave as soon as their last commitment on campus is over, whereas some people choose to stay a few extra days to hang out. Reading Period and Finals are interesting because the level of difficulty and rigor can vary from semester to semester, from concentration to concentration. I’ve had a semester where I had to take 3 exams, and others where I have only had papers and projects. I’ve also had two exams on consecutive days, or like this semester, have one paper due and then literally over a week until my next assignment or exam. I’m not sure which I like better. It’s always a tradeoff though. For some, getting everything over with is the ideal, even if it means a super high-stress couple of days. For others, dragging everything out over the full two week period and staying until the last day is desired. This is the first year in a while that I’m the last person in my room to leave. My roommate, Paul, left today, which is a full 8 days before I head home. One roommate down, 6 to go. The rest of the guys will be leaving between now and Wednesday, which then leaves me here for three days on my own…

I’m sure those three days will leave me bored and wanting to procrastinate, so I’ll make sure I post once more before the end of the semester!

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Hello everyone!

It’s been a good amount of time since I last blogged. I have had a whirlwind few weeks, mostly packed tightly with extracurriculars but certainly very fun. Some important milestones were passed since I’ve last updated you all on my life, so here goes.

The first important event was The Opportunes’ Fall Jam with The Callbacks, my roommate Cynthia’s a cappella group, which took place only a week ago (wow, it seems like forever). I wasn’t very nervous for the jam, but it’s really important so I felt a lot of pressure going into it; we had ‘heck week’ leading up to our concert, which meant 4 hours of rehearsal a night instead of 6 a night, which is our schedule for ‘hell week.’ However, all of our work payed off wonderfully, as we had an incredible concert and rocked Sander’s Theater. If you’re interested, you can check out our videos on our newly designed webpage, found here. It took an all-nighter until 8:30am, but I did manage to finish editing the videos and designing our webpage to have them released simultaneously, which was an awesome feat to accomplish! I’m very proud of our group, and if any of you freshmen are reading this, come audition for us in the spring! We don’t call ourselves the Harvard Boy-Heavies for nothin’.

Fall Jam!

At our post-jam party, a lot of alums came down to Harvard and hung out with us, which was really fun. I hadn’t met them properly before, and was really excited to be able to make friends with people who were only connected to me via a cappella! Some of my friends weren’t able to make it out to our Fall Jam, but luckily our Spring Jam is March 9, and in preparation we’ve already started deliberating on songs for our new set. So exciting. Unfortunately for me, I just discovered yesterday that I have vocal nodules, a condition where the vocal cords become callused and inflamed, which means that I am going to have to take it very easy next semester. I am very bummed about that, so wish me good luck in my therapy and treatment.

Another important milestone was Grand Elections, where the new members of the Crimson, our newspaper, are elected. It’s a very secretive and very fun experience, so I can’t talk about it that much, but come and join the paper if you’re interested in knowing more! I had to leave early from The Crimson in order to get to Mather formal (one of the many upperclassmen house formals) which was at the Harvard Club of downtown Boston, and was a nice gig with The Nostalgics, my soul and Motown band. I was really tired, but we pulled through and had ourselves a blast.

Some Photo friends at H-Y…just imagine us at Grand Elections!

Tonight I’ll be going to Lowell Winter Formal with my friend Ned, and will certainly have an awesome time. This in itself is certainly a milestone, because last February we went to Freshman Formal together, and now’s the perfect opportunity to come full circle! I’ll keep you posted, but expect a great night on everyone’s part.

Ned and me last year…who knows what this year will bring?

Later in the weekend, I will be going to see my friend Kim perform in “Rent,” a show that’s playing at Oberon, a venue right near campus. She’s going to kill it, and I heard opening night was great yesterday! I also really need to start working on my final projects, as I leave for home in one week (wow, where did THAT come from) and have a lot of stuff to do before then. Next week I have my VES (art) project due, my Stats project due, my Anthropology paper due, and my final Stats exam; mostly I’m worried about Stats, as it’s definitely not my best subject, but I need to crack down this weekend and get to working on my other projects. Hmm…probably should have started those earlier, but I’ve been so busy ever since Thanksgiving break! Ah, well, I can push through.

Although this time of year is always stressful, I am really blessed to have such amazing friends. They supported me through my difficulties last year and will continue to support me through my upcoming recovery, and I know that I will always have them by my side, even when things get a bit exhausting. One thing’s for sure; these people will¬†always¬†be my friends.

Love and happiness,

Reid

 

I really love Harvard!

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