Category Archives: Videos

I’ll Be Seeing You

Author: Carolyn Grace, C’16

Hit play and start reading!

It’s been a week of “lasts” here at dear old Penn – yesterday was my last chapter meeting with Sigma Kappa, today was my last day of classes, and Friday will be my last rehearsal with Counterparts.  Normally, I’d be excited for the closing of yet another school year.  Summer’s just around the corner, and I’ll get to spend it with so many of my friends who are choosing to stay in Philly!  But for one reason or another, I don’t feel that excited.  At least not right now.

Maybe it’s the rain (sorry, I mean MONSOON) outside.  Maybe it’s the looming papers and final exams that I have in the next couple weeks.  Or maybe it’s the realization that I’ll be boarding a plane next semester instead of driving 45 minutes to move back on campus.  Whatever it is, I’m sad to be nearing the end of my sophomore year.  It was hard getting back into the swing of things when I returned to campus this past August, and it by no means got any easier.  But in spite of all that, I can say with confidence that it was better than my freshman year.  I was presented with new and exciting opportunities, and more importantly I met new and exciting people, people who I am honored to call close friends.

I found this picture in my room earlier this afternoon:

It’s the first picture of me from this academic year, the first day of NSO to be exact.  I definitely had no idea what the year was going to be like, but that didn’t stop me from goofing off with my friends!  That seems to be the best way for me to combat the anxiety of not knowing, acting silly.  Hopefully, I can keep a similar lightheartedness as I enter my semester abroad next year.

I wonder what my last picture from sophomore year will look like.  I guess I don’t really need to know right now.  There’s fun in not knowing.

Until next year, dear Quakers.  I’ll be seeing you.  Thanks for reading :)

 

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Do You Want to See My Show, Man?

Author: Carolyn Grace, C’16

Tapping into my inner Pitbull while rapping  "Timber" with the Mask and Wig band!

Tapping into my inner Pitbull while rapping “Timber” with the Mask and Wig band!

Well, Fling has finally been flung, dear Quakers, and oh what a wonderful weekend it was! As planned, I danced to David Guetta, sang/rapped on stage with both Counterparts and Mask and Wig, and ate my weight in fried oreos. All in all, a successful few days :)

But my performances are not over!  Oh no, my biggest show of the semester is coming up this weekend: the Counterparts Spring show!  If you’ve clicked on the link, then you’ve just discovered that our show title “Do You Wanna Build a Show, Man?” is, in fact, “Frozen”-themed.  Because “Frozen” will always be relevant.  Always.

I have to say, the publicity we’ve done for this show is pretty awesome.  We have a great series of posters (see below), and we just released a promotional YouTube video as well.  However, if you haven’t seen “Frozen”… well I don’t know what to tell you.  None of these references will make sense.  So I suggest you watch the movie before coming to the show.

Our poster for "Do You Wanna Build a Show, Man?"

Our poster for “Do You Wanna Build a Show, Man?”

My Facebook profile picture to promote the show!  I know, it's pretty adorable.

My Facebook profile picture to promote the show! I know, it’s pretty adorable.

We’re back in Iron Gate Theatre, where I sang in my first-ever CP concert.  It’s a beautiful space, and I can’t wait to see it packed with my friends, family, and Counterparts alumni!  Our set list is also stellar.  I’ll be singing “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” with one of our new members, Andrew.  In addition, we have songs by the Beatles, Amy Winehouse, Sara Bareilles, Ariana Grande, Hall and Oates, and Delta Rae…just to name several.

Like the many other student artists on campus, I am always in a bit of shock when I enter the week leading up to my show.  It’s crazy to think about how much work I’ve put into the semester for Counterparts, and it’s going to be culminating into only two performances this weekend!  It’s times like these that I try to truly appreciate the level of talent and dedication to the arts that exists here at Penn.  Though I cannot go to every show that happens on campus, I will always applaud the effort that goes into any and every performance.

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Flung, Wild, and Free

Author:  Carolyn Grace, C’16

Spring has finally sprung on campus, dear Quakers, and just in time for Penn’s greatest weekend ever: it’s time for FLIIIIING!

Goofing around in the Fling photo booth :)

Fling 2013: goofing around in the photo booth :)

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or you just happen to be reading this blog post and you don’t go to Penn, Spring Fling is the biggest (and best!) college festival on the East Cost, in existence for now over 40 years.   The festival actually has a pretty rich history and is certainly one of Penn’s biggest traditions.  Without a doubt, it’s the favorite tradition among students!

The theme for this year’s Fling is the oh-so groovy  ❀☮ PEACE LOVE AND FLING ❀☮  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t super excited.  SPEC has a great line-up for the big concert on Friday: Magic Man, Ra Ra Riot, and headliner David Guetta!  I wasn’t familiar with the first two artists when SPEC first announced them, but after to listening to them on Spotify I am so stoked to see them perform live.  Here are a couple favorites of mine from Magic Man and Ra Ra Riot, both of which I hope are played at the concert!

“Paris” by Magic Man

“Beta Love” by Ra Ra Riot

Lilly and I before CP takes the stage!

Lilly and I before CP takes the stage!

As great as the big concert is going to be, I have to admit that I’m looking forward to the Quad concerts the most!  It’s the chance to see my friends in other performing arts groups rock the stage in front of the entire student body.  I’m especially excited to watch Bloomers Band, Penn Glee Club Band, and Penny Loafers a cappella (good luck guys!).  Counterparts will also be singing in prep for our Spring show…but that’s for another blog post ;)

The final performance, however, is going to bring the walls of the Quad down.  Some lovely ladies of Counterparts (Sam, Swaroop, Lilly) and I will each be singing with the Mask and Wig band!  Their performance is the final one of the entire Fling weekend, and it always draws a huge crowd.  I can’t wait to be up on stage with them, mostly because my performance is going to be something I’ve never done before.  I’ll be singing the song Timber by Ke$ha and Pitbull.  Well, actually, I’ll be rapping it.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I’m going to be rapping Pitbull’s part of Timber.  And I literally cannot wait.

A crowd shot from the Mask and Wig stage.  I'll be up there in almost a week!

A crowd shot from the Mask and Wig stage. I’ll be up there in almost a week!

So grab your fanny packs, don your neon tanks, and make room for the fried oreoes, dear Quakers.  The countdown to Spring Fling begins NOW!

 

 

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Where in the World

Author: Carolyn Grace, C’16

Spring Break is slowly winding down for us Penn students, though I can’t say I’m entirely heartbroken.  While many of my friends spent the past week vacating in warmer climates, I stayed right here in good old Philadelphia, which wasn’t so bad until the Ides of March kicked in.  (Kudos to anyone who got the reference in that last link!)

I’m not that discouraged, though.  My time to travel will be here before I know it!  It was only a few weeks ago that I recieved my acceptance into the Columbia in Paris program through Penn Abroad :)  This September, I’ll be going back to France to study abroad for the entire Fall 2014 semester.

My acceptance e-mail.  I'm going to Paris!

My acceptance e-mail. I’m going to Paris!

I’m extremely excited about the immersion experience this program offers.  I’ll be taking classes at both Reid Hall (the institution designed specifically for study abroad students) and a Parisian university.  There are so many in the city, and I get to choose where I want to enroll!  I also have the opportunity to live with a host family, which I did this past summer in Tours, France with the Penn-in-Tours summer abroad program.

What I am most excited for, however, is the opportunity to live in Paris (skip to 1:45) for the semester.  I visited the city for three days during the Penn-in-Tours program.  I can only imagine what it’s going to be like living there for three months!

Staying with the Pixar theme :)

Staying with the Pixar theme!

I have my first abroad meeting when school is back in session.  It seems like such a long way off, and I certainly don’t want to rush the rest of this semester.  I can’t deny, though, that the sooner I’m back on a wine and cheese diet, the happier I’ll be :)  Vive la France !

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From Teen to Twenty Something

Author:  Carolyn Grace, C’16

WELCOME BACK, MY DARLING PENN QUAKERS!

Yes, second semester is finally upon us, and I am still on my winter break sleep schedule.  But I’ve missed dear old Penn, and I am thrilled to be back in the bustling atmosphere of classes, activities, and friends.  More importantly, I can now satisfy my strange craving for Houston Hall’s sushi.

Things certainly are busy for only the second day of school.  Rush has officially begun for Sigma Kappa as well as the other Panhellenic sororities.  I’m already exhausted from yesterday’s Open House, but I am even more excited to get a brand new pledge class in SK!

Counterparts is already in the midst of selecting our Spring semester repertoire, and we will soon begin rehearsals for our February performance in the ICCAs!  For those of you who have seen Pitch Perfect (unlike me!), you understand that this is a pretty cool event.  I don’t know much about it, but I’m always ready to be back on stage singing with CP.  More details to come!

The ICCA performance in Pitch Perfect.  AKA my study guide!

The ICCA performance in Pitch Perfect. AKA my study guide!

For today, however, what I’m most excited for has nothing to do with sorority life or a cappella.  Today’s post, in addition to being my first one of the new semester, is the last post I will be writing as a teenager.  At exactly 12:17 AM tomorrow morning, I will be 20 years old!  I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’m about to become a “twenty something.”  I’ve seen the numerous BuzzFeed posts about this particular age group, all of them hilarious albeit slightly concerning.  Technically, I am a young adult.  So, how much of my life actually needs to be put together?  Quite frankly, I’ve always felt the label “teenager” was like a “get out of jail free” card for behavior.  Neurotic, eccentric, angsty, or overly emotional?  Hey, blame it on puberty and hormones!  I’m hoping I still have some of that leeway when I turn 20.

So, you can bet that I’ll be celebrating tomorrow, and you should too!  Well, maybe not celebrating my birthday specifically (though I’d certainly appreciate it :) ), but rather celebrating a new year, new semester, and the new opportunities that come with it all.  Good luck this Spring, Quakers!

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A Year in Review at the Red and the Blue

Author:  Carolyn Grace, C’16

Play this and start reading:

Happy New Year, Quakers!  I hope you all celebrated accordingly :)

Since we’re only into the second day of 2014, I don’t believe it’s unreasonable to look back on the many fond memories I had in good ol’ 2013.  However, this is, after all, a Penn blog.   That’s why I’m using this post for My Top 12 Penn Moments of 2013, one for each month.  Enjoy, and try to think of your Top 12 Penn Moments as well!

12. JANUARY

I get invited to become a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority!  I celebrated my acceptance with my new sisters all through the night, right into my 19th birthday the next morning.  Talk about a great birthday present!

I finally meet my Big!

I finally meet my Big!

11. FEBRUARY

Big-Little Week for Sigma Kappa!  (For those who are unfamiliar with the term “Big-Little Week,” click here for more info.)  After a FULL WEEK of anonymously-sent baked goods, gifts, and guys, I discover who my wonderful Big is:  Tara!

10. MARCH

Spring Break has arrived at Penn, and what better way to spend it than with my fellow Quakers!  I take a weekend trip to Tenafly, NJ with my good friends Charlotte and Gabby, both of whom I met through the freshman seminar “Katharine Hepburn Films.”  I also travel to New York City with a few members of Counterparts:  Lilly, Scott, and Nina.

9.  APRIL

Enjoying Fling with some SK girls and Mask & Wig guys!

CP about to take the stage

Ok, so I’m cheating a little bit here.  I have two big moments from April 2013.  The first, of course, is Spring Fling.  I mean, how can I leave that out?  It’s the largest collegiate carnival on the eastern seaboard!  Not to mention, it was my first one.  The second moment:  Time to Shine, of course.  Counterparts was one of the many student groups to perform before the Train and John Legend concert.  What was even cooler was that we were the first group to sing on the same stage as these artists!

8.  MAY

My freshman year at Penn finally comes to a close, but not before I start recording for the new CP album!  In the midst of studying for final exams, we all come in at various times to record various songs from first and second semester.

7.  JUNE

A beautiful day to see the Arc de Triomphe

A beautiful day to see the Arc de Triomphe

Bonjour de la France!  Already having departed in late May,  I am entering my  third week in Tours, France with the Penn-in-Tours summer abroad program.  For six weeks, I study a year’s worth of French at the Université François-Rabelais with about 30 other Penn students.  We all live with host families and go on weekend trips around the Loire Valley, visiting castles, exploring museums, and tasting wine!  After mid-terms, we are given a three-day weekend to travel anywhere in France.  I, along with my friends Rachel, Emily, Fola, and Faith, decide to spend those days roaming the magnificent city of Paris.

6.  JULY

A summer is not complete without a trip to the beach.  In addition to my family’s annual vacation in Strathmere, NJ, I spend a weekend in Wildwood with my good friend, Alexa.  She’s one of the first friends I made at Penn!

5.  AUGUST

BACK. TO. SCHOOL.  After another summer of not tanning at all, I am ready for Sophomore year to begin!  Before NSO even starts, however, I kick off the new school year as a student leader for the PennArts pre-orientation program.  I participated in PennArts as a freshman, and it’s just as fun to experience it again as a leader.  The 50-60 of us explore all the arts that both the Penn and Philadelphia communities have to offer.

The PennArts leaders are ready to welcome the freshmen!

4.  SEPTEMBER

CP welcomes its newest members: David, Emily, Michael, and Andrew!

3.  OCTOBER

Date Night?  More like Neuro Night!  A Wharton junior in SK has partnered with the drink company, Neuro, for a class project. As a thank-you for all of her hard work, Neuro brings in manicurists and hair stylists to the SK house to help the girls get ready for our Date Night downtown!

Sarah, Virginia, and I try some Neuro while we wait to get our hair done

Sarah, Virginia, and I try some Neuro while we wait to get our hair done

2.  NOVEMBER

After weeks and weeks of rehearsal, Counterparts performs its Fall show, “Private ‘Parts.”  I sing a jazz song by Melody Gardot called “Baby, I’m a Fool.”

1.  DECEMBER

I am invited to sing at the Mask & Wig Club’s annual Charity Ball!  The band held auditions earlier in the Fall, and several girls (a bunch of them in CP!) were selected to perform.  The guys were extremely fun to rehearse with, and the songs were so much fun!  Of the three events I sang for, Charity Ball was definitely my favorite.  Everyone dresses up in gowns and tuxedos for a night of great food, dancing, and music.  What a classy way to close out the year!

Me and my date, Luke

Me and my date, Luke

And there you have it, 2013 through the eyes of a Penn Quaker.  I hope 2014 brings just as many great moments like these, maybe even more!  Enjoy the new year, Quakers :)

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A Different Kind of Study Break

Author: Carolyn Grace, C’16

In case you haven’t heard yet, Quakers, Finals Season is in full swing.  This explains why I haven’t posted recently, but with 1 final and 2 papers already completed I am back in the blogging game!

I am sure many of you remember from your college days the various “study breaks” offered by different college houses and groups at Penn.  Anything for free coffee and muffins, right?  This year, however, I had the pleasure of taking a study break that was a bit more, well, unconventional.

Planning the College Christmas Party is a delicate art.  It’s more than just ugly sweaters.  One needs the perfect amount of hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, one or two competitive games, and of course a rockin’ holiday playlist.  Fortunately, the lovely ladies in Harnwell Room 1712 are experts at throwing the ultimate College Christmas Party.

Alexa, Leah, Katie, and Nina have been some of my closest friends at Penn since my pre-orientation program and NSO.  Last year, they planned an awesome Christmas party from Alexa’s tiny single in the Quad, and luckily they had a bit more to work with this year in their apartment.   Leah baked mini quiches, Nina made latkes, Alexa and Katie ran the Post-It Note game and Christmas Bingo, and I had the honor of making the playlist.

Again, the festivities were a success!  Not only because of food, games, and music, but more so because of the company.  It’s very easy to get caught up in the gloom and doom of finals season.  I can feel bogged down by the papers and the exams, of course.  But one evening with friends is enough to remind me that I’m not in this alone.  We all have crazy amounts of work, but we also have each other as study buddies or necessary distractions.  Academics are an integral part of life at Penn.  I’d like to argue, however, that friendships are just as – if not more – important.

Happy Holidays from Harnwell 1712!

Happy Holidays from Harnwell 1712!

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Two Weeks

Author: Carolyn Grace, C’16

It’s a shame that my job has me blogging only twice a month.  A lot can happen in two weeks, especially when you’re a Penn student.  These past several days were particularly buzzing with activity, so I’ve decided to make this post a re-cap of what I’ve done since my last post.  Enjoy!

October 22nd – 25th: Going GrΣΣk

This year's Greek Week logo

This year’s Greek Week t-shirt logo

As a Junior Delegate on the Panhellenic Council, I helped organize this fall’s Greek Week.  Panhel, IFC (Interfraternity Council), and MGC (Multicultural Greek Council) sponsor a week of academic, social, and philanthropic events for the Penn Greek community each semester.  This year, we hosted a Penn Faculty Speaker Series, an Academic Bowl trivia game, a dodgeball tournament, and a Meet the Greeks BBQ.  The events were really fun, and they did a great job of bringing together the various frats and sororities on campus!

October 27th: Running for the Cure

After 13 years of playing purely water sports, I decided to run my first ever 5k: the Rena Rowan Ribbon Run.  The final Greek Week event, the Ribbon run benefits the Rena Rowan Breast Center at Penn’s very own Abramson Cancer Center. The Rowan Center provides all clinical services a woman facing breast cancer may need; including integrated cancer treatments, psychosocial counseling, cancer risk evaluation, and nutritional counseling.

SK at Rena Rowan!

SK at Rena Rowan!

I ran in honor of my Mom, whose strength and knowledge of her diagnosis brought her to theAbramson Cancer and Rena Rowan Breast centers.  Some fellow Sigma Kappa sisters joined me, and our team ended up doing extremely well!  We placed 1st, 2nd, and 4th overall in the Women’s division, and we won Best Sorority Participation!

November 1st – 2nd: Private ‘Parts

Our fall show poster

Our fall show poster

After almost 6 weeks of rehearsing, Counterparts finally performed our fall semester show “Private ‘Parts”! Now, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, the show title was dectective themed.  Just look at the poster!   In all seriousness, though, the show was fantastic.  I sang a jazz number called “Baby I’m a Fool” by Melody Gardot.  It’s been my favorite CP solo so far!  My family came to see us perform, as did a lot of my friends and alumni of the group.  After the show, past and present CP members went to City Tap House for dinner to celebrate another successful show.  Videos of our performances will be up on our YouTube channel within the next couple weeks, so stay tuned!

Counterparts, before the start of our fall show!

Counterparts, before the start of our fall show!

November 3rd: Handle With Care

The album cover for Handle With Care

The album cover for Handle With Care

Counterparts’s newest CD, “Handle With Care,” is officially available!  We recored the CD last spring, and since then our Music Director and President were working with the studio to mix and master each track.  And the results are incredible!  One of my solos from last year, “Your Heart Is As Black As Night,” is featured on the album.  I’m so excited to listen to it, and I’m so proud of CP.  Our hard work really paid off!  We sold a lot of copies this past weekend at our show, but we have also made it available for download online.  Take a listen, and buy it today :)

November 5th:  QUIZZO

This year's logo for SK Quizzo

This year’s logo for SK Quizzo

SK is kicking it into gear with preparing for Quizzo.  There are now 10 days left until the event, and we still have so much to do!  We’ve been actively recruiting teams across campus (Right now, I’m working on registering both a Counterparts and a Mask & Wig team) as well as collecting donations, creating flyers, and ordering shirts for the event.  The prizes look awesome: free spring break trips, free overnight stays at hotels in Atlantic City, pro athletic gear, Tory Burch bags, club box tickets to 76ers games, and gift cards upon gift cards.  I wish I could play!

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T-Minus One Month!

Author: Amanda D’Amico

There’s less than one month to go until the close of Making History: the Campaign for Penn!

Making History is the most ambitious campaign in the University of Pennsylvania’s history, spanning every school and center and enabling Penn to enrich and strengthen programs to lead across disciplines. The comprehensive campaign sought to raise $3.5 billion while simultaneously strengthening the connection between alumni and the University.

Since its public launch in 2008, the Campaign has had great success. Alumni engagement has increased exponentially each year with more alumni attending Homecoming and Alumni Weekend than ever before. And, in September 2011, Penn reached is $3.5 billion overall goal.

While the overall dollar goal has been met, there is still more work to be done within the Campaign’s priorities, which include faculty support, undergraduate scholarships, graduate and professional student aid, buildings and renovations, programs and research, and unrestricted support. Help the University meet all of its goals by making your gift before December 31, 2012!

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First Timer

by Liz Pinnie

This past Alumni Weekend was a time of firsts for me.  It was the first time I actually listened to the words of “The Red and The Blue”, the first time I saw the Alumni Parade, the first time I spoke to Ben Franklin, the first time I experienced the joy of the food selection in the reunion tents and the agony of my feet at the end of a 14 hour day.

Great Display of Penn Spirit at Alumni Weekend 2012

Great Display of Penn Spirit at Alumni Weekend 2012

I heard Kweder for the first (and second, and third, and fourth time), experienced a yPenn Highball (total blast), and ate multiple Insomnia Cookies after hours (thank you, Class of ’97 for your excellent party food choices).  However, my favorite first was being able to walk in the 2012 Commencement.
(Click here to see the University Flickr Photo Album)

When I signed up to “work” Commencement, I expected to chit chat with alums, help them put their caps on, and then sit patiently through too much pomp and circumstance.  I had it all wrong.  Yes- I did chit chat with alums, and yes, I did help them into their cap and gowns.  However, after doing this I looked around the room I was in and realized that I was surrounded by General Petraeus, Andrea Mitchell, Anna Deavere Smith, President Amy Gutmann, and the brilliant faculty of Penn.  As if hob-nobbing with that crowd wasn’t enough, after a brief breakfast, I trailed alumni downstairs in order to walk in Commencement.  “Walk in Commencement” doesn’t really do this justice:  I didn’t just walk.  I processed.  In full on cap and gown. Into Franklin Field.  In front of a thousands of parents in the stands, and a ton of students coating the field.  Carrying a very official looking flag.

As I entered the stadium, the roar of the crowd crashed into me; parents waved from the stands, students tried to high five me, and for a second as I walked up the central aisle, I’m pretty sure my face (expression was probably a cross between surprise and rapture) made it up onto the mega TV. screens that flanked the stage.

I felt way more important than I am, and like a total rock star.

As if this wasn’t enough, I was then ushered into fantastic front row seats to experience the beautiful 2012 Commencement ceremony, which included an inspiring talk by Geoffrey Canada. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTF1ytiR9gE

The crazy thing is that if you are a Penn Alumni, you too can have this experience.  It’s like a two hour full body and mind revitalization; cheering fans, official regalia that makes you look very smart, great seats, rousing speakers- working and participating in Commencement is the bee’s knees.  So next year, if you’re looking to be inspired, or have always wanted to be on a megatron, let us know.  We’ll slap a cap on your head, a flag in your hands, and send you off into the cheering crowds for a day you won’t soon forget.

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