The City of Buffalo always has a new venue or event to explore and discover. The Albright Knox, one of Buffalo’s premier art museums, is open until 10 pm and is free to the public on the first Friday of every month. My friends and I took advantage of this opportunity the first Friday in September. I had not been to the museum since high school, and was very pleased with the spectrum of classic paintings and sculptures and new visionary works. One especially cool exhibit was a mirrored room – Lucas Samaras’ “Room No. 2″ – that visitors could take their shoes off and step inside to explore. Here is my friend Joe standing inside the mirrored room.
There were also classic paintings from artists like Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack and Vincent van Gogh that were part of an exhibition entitled “Sincerely Yours: Treasures of the Queen City”.
One Jackson Pollack work featured at the museum is Convergence, painted in 1952 and shown below courtesy of the Albright Knox’s website. My friends purchased a 1,000 piece puzzle of this painting from the gift shop at the Albright Knox and we tried valiantly to put the puzzle together after returning from the museum. We sadly gave up after 3 hours with very little progress.
I encourage you to go out and explore the art that Buffalo has to showcase!
“When I say artist I mean the one who is building things…some with a brush – some with a shovel – some choose a pen.”
- Jackson Pollack
Welcome back to a new school year! I will be continuing my blog this year, so look out for exciting things that are happening at UB! I’ll be sure to keep you updated about everything this school year will bring including concerts, football and hockey games, Distinguished Speaker Series events, extracurriculars and further exploring the City of Buffalo. But first, as this past spring was super hectic at the end of the semester, I want to catch you up on some awesome events that I didn’t have time to post about during exam week.
Distinguished Speaker Series: David Blaine
UB hosted a night of magic when the university brought David Blaine to speak and show off his skills at the final Distinguished Speaker Series event of the year. David Blaine is a world renowned magician who opened his show in Alumni Arena by holding his breath in a tank of water and fish for 10 minutes while managing to eat a banana, juggle, smoke a cigar and pull an eel come out of his mouth. Blaine also performed some card tricks and drove an ice pick through his hand while telling the audience about how he became interested in magic. His show was very intriguing and served as a great study break!
Spring Fest is a concert sponsored by the Student Association held every spring. It is completely free to all UB students. Spring Fest 2014 was country-themed; The Band Perry, Gloriana and Citizen Cope headlined. I love country music and had a blast listening to Gloriana and The Band Perry live. They were amazing! Their energy and stage presence blew the audience away and kept us warm in the 40-degree weather we had that night.
Oozefest is UB’s annual mud volleyball tournament held in the spring. This was my second year participating in the muddy fun, and my team decided to continue our team name and theme from last year: Wilson, the volleyball from the movie Cast Away. We all met up the night before the tournament and decorated matching tshirts. The weather for Oozefest was much warmer than the previous year and we had a ton of fun playing volleyball in the gloppy mud. We played three games before we were taken out of the running. I love playing volleyball, and playing in a pit of mud definitely makes it more fun for everyone involved.
“Oh pioneer, so young and brave, be careful of the careful souls who doubt you along the way.”
- The Band Perry
The Center for the Arts is one of the coolest buildings at UB. It is home to the departments of theatre and dance, media study and visual studies, and is full of art galleries, theatres and dance studios. Often the CFA hosts concerts, speakers and other events that the outside public are welcome to attend, and sometimes tickets are available to UB students at a reduced price.
This past Thursday, Gavin DeGraw performed at the CFA, with Rozzi Crane and Parachute opening. I was impressed that such a big name was coming to UB, and was looking forward to the concert all week. It was amazing! I didn’t even know that Parachute was going to be performing, and I was so excited to find out they would be opening for Gavin DeGraw. They played their own songs and covered Bruce Springsteen too. Gavin DeGraw headlined and played for almost an hour. He is one of my favorite musicians, and his performance did not disappoint. His dance moves, light theatrics, and skilled voice got everyone in the CFA theatre up and dancing.
Many students find themselves rarely going to the Center for the Arts, especially those in engineering or science-based fields. But I would encourage everyone at UB to spend some time there at some point during their college careers. It is a state-of-the-art building that showcases the artistic talent of students at UB and of artists who visit, and is one of the things that makes UB so fun!
“I don’t want to be anything other than me.”
-Gavin DeGraw, ‘I Don’t Want To Be’
I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last posted – this semester has been so busy for me! I have an internship this semester in addition to my classes, working as a research assistant in the psychology department, working as a tour guide for the Office of Admissions, and making sure to squeeze in some fun. My internship is run through the SBI Legal Office at UB and gives participants an opportunity to learn legal research methods and legal writing. As one of the internship’s requirements, I have to write a 10-15 page research paper on a legal topic. I am writing about the criminalization of HIV/AIDS transmission through means of tranmission that aren’t scientifically based. This may sound super complicated, but the research has actually been really interesting and I’m looking forward to bringing it all together. I’m thinking about going to law school after I finish undergrad, and I’ve really loved this internship.
Any sophomore, junior or senior at UB can apply for the SBI Legal internship in both the spring and the fall, so I would encourage anyone interested in law or thinking about going to law school to look into it. If you’re interested in finding an internship in a different field, either during the semester or during summer or winter breaks, there are many resources at UB where you can go. The Career Services Office is a great place to start. The staff there are very friendly and knowledgeable, and will help you search for an internship and prepare for an interview. Additionally, many departments offer internships through their department for academic credit during the school year, and have information about outside internships and how to apply for them. And if you look around campus, there are often internship opportunities posted on the bulletin boards and the banners hanging in the Student Union.
As crazy as it seems, this semester is winding down – we have only 5 more weeks of classes! There will be a lot going on around campus in the coming weeks, including Springfest, another Distinguished Speaker Series event, and Oozefest. I’ll be sure to keep you updated!
“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”
Hello again! We’re back at UB for the spring semester, although it definitely doesn’t feel like spring outside! The first few weeks back have been extremely cold, with bitter wind chills, blowing snow and frozen fingers and toes.
Even though the weather in Buffalo this winter has been somewhat frightful, UB students know how to have fun in the inclement weather! This semester there is an outdoor ice rink located outside of the Student Union where students can go to skate on campus. The rink’s planned hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday from mid-day to midnight and it is completely free for students. I think this is an amazing idea and though I haven’t gotten the chance to skate yet, I am really looking forward to it. I even brought back my ice skates from home in anticipation!
Unfortunately, as often happens in the blustery weather of winter, I got sick my first week back at UB this semester. After three days with a fever of 102 degrees, I went to MASH Urgent Care. UB has partnered with MASH Urgent Care this semester to provide health services for students when UB Student Health Services in Michael Hall is closed. I went on a Sunday afternoon, and I was grateful that I could go see a doctor on the weekend when the health center on South Campus is closed. I was told I had strep throat and given antibiotics. Almost two weeks later I am feeling much better! Now it’s time to dive in and get to work!
“O, wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
- Percy Bysshe Shelley
Hi all! We’re in the final days of the fall semester and exams, papers and projects are looming. Thanksgiving break this past week was a nice break and gave me a few days to regroup and recharge for this final push of the semester.
The Saturday before Thanksgiving break I explored Buffalo with my boyfriend, who isn’t from the area. We went to The Buffalo Zoo and saw the sea lions, the rainforest habitat and the reptile house. We spent most of our time though with the polar bears because they are my favorite. The zoo has two polar bear babies – Luna and Kali – and I love them. Kali is one month younger than Luna, and Luna just recently celebrated her one year birthday. They are currently on display in the tiger habitat while the tigers are sleeping during the day. They have a 5 foot deep pool so that they can practice their diving, and their habitat is full of toys and twigs. The bears also love to play in the mud and roll around.
While we were standing watching the bears playfully fight with each other and roll around with their toys in the pool, Kali, the male polar bear, jumped out of the pool and raced over to the windowed ledge where we were peering in. He stood up on his back legs and put his two front paws on the ledge in front of me and stuck his nose to the glass not even six inches from where I was standing! I was so shocked and so happy that he came to say hello to me!
After trekking in the cold, frigid air at the zoo we went to the Buffalo Science Museum. I hadn’t been to the museum since I was a kid and it was cool to look around. The museum has several floors and lots of interactive activities, though they’re geared mostly toward young children. One of the first things we saw when we walked in was a polar bear statue! We liked the space exhibit and the fossils and evolution displays the best. There’s also a pendulum at the museum that a professor at UB worked on!
There are plenty of fun things to do in Buffalo – the zoo and the science museum just being a few. Now that finals are nearly upon us I’m glad I was able to have a day of fun exploring. And I have pictures of Kali and Luna on my wall to help motivate me to the end of the semester!
“An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”
- Thomas Fuller
Hello! One of the great things that UB has to offer to its students is the Distinguished Speakers Series (DSS). UB brings in distinguished authors, thinkers, scientists and revolutionaries to speak to students, and this event is free to UB students. Some notable past speakers include Hilary Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Bill Cosby, and Katie Couric. This past Wednesday best-selling author and writer for The New Yorker Malcolm Gladwell came to speak at UB as the third speaker in the 27th annual DSS.
Gladwell is an excellent storyteller. His speech, which lasted nearly 90 minutes, discussed his newest book, David and Goliath, and chronicled several stories and antecdotes, one of which was the story of Alva Smith. Smith was a woman living a life of luxury married to the richest man in New York in the early 1900s who became a radical and a key figure in the achievement of women’s suffragist rights and the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. Gladwell discussed his Theory of Deterrence, his explanation for why people – like Alva – defy authority, and his Theory of Legitimacy, which holds people who are going to obey authority need to be treated with respect, fairness and trust.
Gladwell’s speech was moving and uplifting. When his strong, clear voice quieted and became serious as he described the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the crowd began to clap. During a question and answer session afterward, Gladwell impressed that college years are the prime time to be a radical and to make a change in the world. His words and story were empowering.
As a student and young mind I think it’s imperative to take the opportunity to see such renowned thinkers speak about important and relevant societal topics – and you can do it for free as part of UB’s DSS! You’ll leave Alumni Arena feeling a little bit more contemplative and with a little bit more knowledge to help you in your academic and personal journeys.
“Being a radical is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.”
Last Saturday Macklemore & Ryan Lewis came to Buffalo to perform at First Niagara Center! I bought my tickets in June to see this show, and I was super excited for what Macklemore would have in store for his fans. He did not disappoint.
After two opening acts and about an hour wait, Macklemore exploded on stage amidst smoke, strobe lights and blaring music. He started the show off with ‘Ten Thousand Hours’ and played hits like ‘Thrift Shop’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us’. He had several costume changes, emerging as a cowboy for ‘White Walls’ and as his alter-ego Raven Bowie from his music video for ‘And We Danced’. He finished out the show in a Buffalo Sabres jersey, showers of confetti and flames shooting from the stage as he ended his second encore.
Macklemore’s stage presence was indescribable. Every person in attendance was hyped off of his energy and engaged with not only Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on stage but also his instrumentalists and special guests. One of his special guests included Ed Sheeran, who came to sing ‘Same Love’ and stage dove into the crowd on the floor!
Concerts like the Macklemore concert I attended at First Niagara Center are just one way to experience music in Buffalo. Bands and artists come to perform in Buffalo very frequently, and the genres expressed appeal to a wide range of tastes. I think it’s worthwhile to check out a concert in Buffalo during your time at UB – it’s a great way to have fun and explore the city at the same time!
“A life lived for art is never a life wasted.”
-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, ‘Ten Thousand Years’
Hi guys! I’ve been very busy with classes, midterms and papers lately, but I’ve still been keeping up with what’s going on around campus. Our football team has been doing very well this season. They are 6-2 on the season and are bowl eligible for the second time in the history of the football program, which means they’ll be going into the playoffs! This is also the first time since 1959 that the Bulls have won six consecutive games, which is pretty cool to witness.
The Bulls’ last home game was yesterday night versus Ohio University at 8 pm. It was nationally televised on ESPN2! There was a tailgate held before the game with games, promotional booths and a concert. The Buffalo-based band Strictly Hip played and some of my friends and I went to the tailgate and listened to the band for a while. Also the first 2,500 people to go into the stadium received a free UB scarf! We were all very excited about the scarves and made sure that we arrived early so we could get one.
We didn’t stay for the whole game because a lot of us had homework and exams to study for, but the Bulls won 30-3! Their seven game winning streak is now the longest since 1959 and the Bulls’ record is 7-2, including 5-0 in the Mid American Conference, the Division 1 conference that our team is a part of. The last time the Bulls won seven games in a row was 1897!
It’s really exciting to see our football team doing well and making history. We get to be a part of that! The atmosphere at the tailgate and in the stadium was engaging and fun. UB students fully support our Bulls!”
“The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears and score your points when you get the opportunity.”
- Lewis Grizzard
Hello! Since UB is so large and has so much to offer, it can be easy to forget about all of the wonderful possibilities the surrounding city of Buffalo has to offer. But I encourage you to get off campus once in a while and go explore the atmosphere downtown!
This past Tuesday I went to a Buffalo Sabres hockey game at First Niagara Center with my boyfriend. I had bought tickets a few weeks prior, but only told my boyfriend to save the date and not where we were going. When we got in the car, I gave him directions as we went along. He didn’t figure out where we were going until we had parked just down the street from the arena! It was fun to keep the surprise from him. At the game I bought him a Buffalo Sabres t-shirt and he actually wore it and cheered for the Sabres, even though he’s a diehard New York Islanders fan.
We sat in the third row in section 107 and the view was incredible. Players were checking into the glass just a few feet away from us and the faceoffs often lined up directly in our line of view! The game went into overtime and the Sabres ended up losing 3-2, but it was still an exciting and engaging experience. The atmosphere in First Niagara Center during a Sabres game is one of my favorite feelings. The arena, packed with thousands of fans all rooting for the hometown team, is electric and the air is filled with chanting, screaming and singing.
If you get the chance I fully encourage you to head downtown and attend a Buffalo Sabres game!
“Every day is a great day for hockey.”
- Mario Lemieux