Blogger: Daphne Auza
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to write for this blog without sounding unoriginal. I’m going through what pretty much everyone else is this time of year: looking forward to winter break, stressing over finals, bundling up for LA “autumn”, etc. I’ve also been trying to do more grown up things like present conference papers and wear lipstick. But right now I’m at a point in the semester where complaining about all the work I have to do seems useless. I’m just going to try and endure it with as much positivity as I can muster and the “Frozen” movie soundtrack.
To keep myself motivated, I’ve also been thinking a lot about next semester, which is when I will be studying abroad at the Universiteit van Amsterdam! I can tell it’s getting closer because I’m starting to receive emails from the school, which are all in Dutch… without English translations. I’m planning on practicing my beginners’ Dutch skills over the winter break so that I’m not completely helpless once I get over there, but right now I’m going to have to rely on the assistance of my good friend Google Translate.
Although I’m super excited to be traveling in the spring, it’s weird not to be looking forward to the usual Spring Semester activities that go on here at Oxy: Dance Production, Vagina Monologues, Feast Arts & Literary Magazine, and especially CUPSI. CUPSI is the annual national college slam poetry convention/competition that Occidental Spoken Word Club sends a team of five student poets to every year. Luckily, I had the amazing privilege to compete as a poet during my freshman and sophomore years.
I’m about to get sickeningly cheesy here, but my involvement in Oxy’s spoken word scene and my experience with CUPSI has basically changed my life- or at least how I look at the intersection of the arts with social justice. In high school, I never felt particularly loyal to any of the clubs I was in, and I was way too self-conscious to ever show my poems to anybody, including family. So it even surprised me when I decided to join Spoken Word Club and perform in one of their slams on a whim. (It was my first semester of college, and I was a little delirious with the enthusiasm of “stepping outside my comfort zone” and “recreating myself”.)
This fall, I participated in the club’s e-board as Program Director. (Timid little me in a leadership position, who woulda thought?!) That means I helped organize some of the events we held this year, including the Qualifying Slam that determines who goes to CUPSI. I wanted to jump out of my seat and applaud during every performance, but of course I had to keep up my rep of being a calm, collected human being (not really). I have so much faith in this year’s team, and while I’m a little melancholy about missing all the other fun club events that are happening next semester, there’s never a wrong time for embarking on new adventures. And I will definitely be sending more blogs from Amsterdam!