Friday, 7 February 2014

Day 29: FOMO

What went well?

  • Had a peaceful start to the day, reading a chapter of Thich Nhat Hanh's Being Peace for my Intro Buddhism class. The compassion that emanated from the text was powerful.
  • Had lunch with my friend from my Sociology of Mental Illness & Intro Buddhism classes. She generously swiped me into the 1920 Commons dining hall, so it was really nice to get a variety of food, with excellent vegan options.
  • Had my first lab meeting with my fellow research assistants. It was really nice to meet them and share ideas about where we think positive psychology should go and what's going on in the field. Also, the post-doc I'm working with brought chocolate & mint cake, and it was vegan, so that was a treat.
  • Finished writing my research proposal for my Intro Buddhism paper.

What did I learn? 
  • Another insightful quote from a friend at Philo. This was in relation to a prospective member who said something publicly that warranted a bit of concern, to say the least...just dead silence. It was really sad and I felt compassion. And my friend said, "You can't save them, you can only love them."
  • A new term: Neuroaesthetics. The intersection between neuroscience & aesthetics - why people appreciate art. A prospective member of Philo gave her 6 minute presentation on this topic, and it was really excellent.
  • When time constraints exist, you make the most of your experience. People are always surprised by how "in the know" I am about what's going on on campus, or how things work around here. But I have to be! I'm only here for a semester and want to make the most of it. Massive FOMO (fear of missing out), yet of course MO is inevitable with all the stuff that's happening here. I literally get 5-10 emails a day notifying me of new events, sometimes of multiple events. It can get a bit overwhelming. But be a yes person! It's generally valuable to expose yourself to spontaneity. To give you an idea of the number of events around, here's a peek at my email inbox:

  • And here's an email I got from the Penn Abroad activities coordinator:

Dear Exchange Students,

Good morning!

As you may be aware, this weekend will be a snowy one. If you haven’t built a snow man, this might be the time to do so! Make sure to be creative and take pictures!

Last night I almost lost my phone, but fortunately with the help of many people, including officers at the Penn Police Station, I got it back. Have you gotten the help that you need from others while you are Penn? I hope so! If not, let us know- Penn Abroad if here for you.
Also, the Managing Stress and Finding Balance session is coming up on Wednesday, February 26th, at 6-7pm. Food will be provided! For more info or RSVP, click here (or email back if you on not active on facebook).  

Happening at Penn

The Bearded Ladies
Marlene & the Machine: A German Expressionist Cabaret
Friday, February 7 @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 8 @ 7:30 PM
@ Annenberg Center- Harold Prince Theatre
A “wildly entertaining” (Philadelphia Inquirer) experimental group bent on inciting a cabaret revolution, The Bearded Ladies tackle the politics of popular culture, sex, gender and artistic invention with wit and sparkle, as well as over-the-top costumes, drag, pitch-perfect songs and virtuosic prop construction. Marlene & The Machine combines the music of Marlene Dietrich and Lotte Lenya with the visual language of German Expressionism to create a shadowy world that blurs the lines between human, music and machine.

One-Acts 2014
February 6th, 7th, and 8th, 2014 7:30 pm
@ Houston Hall Class of '49 Auditorium
The Theatre Arts Council presents the 2012 One Acts: There Shall Be No Bottom (a bad play for worse actors) by Mark O'Donnell, Love and How to Cure It by Thornton Wilder, Central Park West by Woody Allen, and Monologue: "A Prayer" by Paul Simms.
Tickets: $10 with Penn Card, $12 without. A portion of proceeds will go to The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

World Culture Afternoon
Annual Celebration of African Cultures
Saturday, February 8, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
@ Penn Museum
Shake Your Sekere! African music, belly dancing in the Tunisian tradition, storytelling, arts, artifacts, games, crafts, and cuisine all come together for the Penn Museum's annual Celebration of African Cultures. Now in its 25th year, the festive event features an array of renowned local artists including the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble, storyteller Momma Sandi and the percussionists of the Women's Sekere Ensemble. Visitors can also explore art and artifacts from across the African Diaspora in Penn Museum's current special exhibition Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster, the Imagine Africa gallery project, the African Gallery and the ancient Egypt Galleries. Free with Museum admission.
For performance schedule, check the web.

Second Sunday Family Workshop
Hieroglyphic Valentines
Sunday, February 9, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
@ Penn Museum
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. In this drop-in workshop, show your love to your mummy, daddy, sibling, or friend by creating a valentine written in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Free with Museum admission. For more information, visit the website, or call 215.898.4016.

Afternoon Performance
Relâche in Residence
Sunday, February 9, 3:00 pm
@ Penn Museum
Relâche, Philadelphia's internationally-renowned new music ensemble, continues its new three-concert series, "New Sounds and Cinema," featuring both commissioned music and live accompaniment to old silent films, at the Penn Museum. The series is part of the University of Pennsylvania's Year of Sound.
The ensemble will perform the title tracks from its new CD, "Comix Trips," commissioned from composer Paul Lansky. Loaded with quirky charm, humor, and virtuosity, with touching moments as well, Lansky's music makes the eight players in Relâche sound truly orchestral. February 9 also marks the release of the group's new CD which will be for sale at the concert.

RelacheCOMIXgraphicRelâche's silent film offering will be Buster Keaton's blockbuster comedy, "The General." The title is actually the name of a steam engine which Keaton engineers as no steam train has ever been engineered before or since. The film's two chase scenes are spectacular. Relâche cranks up its live accompaniment for the film live with music drawn from its repertoire, including selections by Philip Glass, Guy Klusevcek, Raymond Scott, Eric Satie, Fred Ho, and Tyler Capp, plus Relâche's own versions of period tunes like Ashokan Farewell and Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Relâche concert tickets are just $10 for Penn students with PennCard, in advance or at the door, while supplies last. The audience is cordially invited to an informal reception following the performance to meet the musicians of Relâche. For more information, visit the website, or call 215.898.2680.

Pre-Columbian Society Lecture
Pre-Columbian Engineering in U.S. Film

Sunday, February 8, 1:30 pm
@ Penn Museum
Prof. Richard C. Shupp, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Lafayette College, and a group of Lafayette College students have researched the images of Pre-Columbian engineering as it has been portrayed in American film. The anticipated Maya apocalypse in 2012 spawned a number of Hollywood films that suggested a broad spectrum of possible outcomes. Some films were intensely sentimental, and others were stunningly gruesome. The group illustrates their talk with video clips from the films they have identified and analyzed, and share their observations and conclusions. Held in Anthropology Rm. 345. Free admission. Visit website for more information.

Far From Vietnam & The New Wave By Itself
Wed, February 12, 7pm – 10pm
International House Philadelphia,
If you're into films, you have to check out this double feature. First, the International House Philadelphia will be showing Far From Vietnam, a collaboration by many famous filmmakers in 1967. Next will be The New Wave By Itself, a movie displaying the French New Wave movement in action. It's just $7 for students to see both of these films. Check out the website for complete information.

Young Friends Valentine Event: Blurred Lines - The Secret Side of the Collections
Thu, February 13, 6pm – 8pm
Penn Museum, South Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States (map)
Think ancient art was always formal and serious? Think again! See a secret side of different artifacts at the Penn Museum that's too racy to show on an everyday basis. This year, Penn Museum will explore artifacts depicting racy and sexually explicit material in the Museum's permanent collection. Cash bar to follow.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, this exclusive event is only $5 with Penn Card. Check out the website for complete details on the event. For additional information, call 215.898.5093 or email

Penn Bookstore Series
SAT FEB 08, 01:00pm-02:00pm
@ Penn Bookstore 2nd floor, Study & Events Room
Debut novelist Christine Wade will be in store to discuss "Seven Locks"- a work of historical fiction set in the Pre-Revolutionary War Catskill Mountains. Read more about the it here:

MON FEB 10, 06:00pm-07:00pm
@ Penn Bookstore 2nd floor, Study & Events Room
Penn alum Brooke Erin Duffy will be in-store to discuss her latest book-"Remake and Remodel: Women's Magazines in the Digital Age"- a unique glimpse at how executives and content creators are remaking their roles, their audiences, and their products at this critical historic juncture

Under A Rest
Penn Glee Club Student Performance

Thursday, February 13 @ 8 PM
Friday, February 14 @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 15 @ 1 PM
Saturday, February 15 @ 8 PM

@ Annenberg Center- Zellerbach Theatre
Under A Rest presents a neo-fascist state, wherein all music has been outlawed. Anyone who sings is sent straight to Pennsylvania General Corrections and the warden of this facility wants to have all traces of music abolished from the face of the earth. On the very day the President of the World is scheduled to arrive, the prison admits four new inmates: four Penn students who had just founded a rogue a cappella group in their basement. The fate of the world and the people's happiness rest in the hands of the inmates at P.G.C., but the warden leads an oppressive regime that will be hard to overcome. Come find out what happens in Under A Rest!

Check out the Library’s WIC workshops here.

Sign up for the Outdoor Adventure trips here.

Penn also offers self-defense classes for free for female students. Check the details in the attached PDF!

Fun in Philly

Shaping Shakespeare: Hands-On Tour
Fri, February 7, 3pm – 4pm
Rosenbach Museum & Library, Delancey Place (map)
Learn about the beginnings of Shakespeare and how his work was created and changed with this tour. You'll get the chance to see rare, behind-the-scenes items and hear expert opinions on them. This tour is only $5 and advance registration is recommended! Check out the website for complete details on the event.

The Pigeon Presents: The Philadelphia Poetry Slam
Fri, February 7, 7:30pm – 10:00pm
PhilaMOCA, North 12th Street (map)
First, there will be a poetry workshop featuring Pages Matam, an award winning slam poet from Cameroon. At 8:30 people can sign up for the slam, and the slam itself starts at 9! Tickets are $10. Check out the website for complete details on the event.
I remember the poetry slam my friend took me to when I was in Columbus, Ohio, and it was quite an experience!

Transplanted Souls: Another Try at Eternal Rest
Sat, February 8, 1pm – 3pm
Laurel Hill Cemetery, Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, United States (map)
As Philadelphia grows and changes, sometimes history can get lost. Check out Laurel Hill Cemetery's walking tour and learn about how places that were once reserved for the dead are now being built upon. For $12, you can learn about the relocation of those seeking eternal rest and the reasons behind it. Visit thewebsite for complete event details.

14th Annual Print Love-In
Sun, February 9, 1pm – 3pm
Fleisher Art Memorial, Catharine Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States (map)
Celebrate Valentine's Day in a creative way! At this years Love-In, you can learn about the process of printmaking and create your own Valentine's Day cards. The session from 1 pm - 3 pm is $10 and all ages, while the later session at 5 pm - 7 pm is $20 and 21+, since wine will be served. Check out the websitefor complete details on the event.

Science on Tap
Mon, February 10, 6pm – 7pm
National Mechanics Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant, South 3rd Street, Philadelphia (map)
Are you a science geek? Join the Academy of Natural Sciences as they meet at National Mechanics to hang out with the experts and talk about science. This month features a presentation on emerging technology in paleontology followed by discussion. This event is free to attend! Check out the website for complete details on the event.

Jazz is: Now! Featuring Jon Batiste
Tue, February 11, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Kimmel Center, South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States (map)
Do you like jazz? This event is for you! Part of the Free at the Kimmel series, Jon Batiste brings an exciting and interactive event where the audience members get to join in on the fun by singing, dancing, and even playing some music. The event is free, but tickets are required. Check out the website for complete details on the event.

Night Skies in the Observatory
Thu, February 13, 6pm – 9pm
The Franklin Institute, North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States (map)
Come out to the Franklin Institute for a night with the stars -- literally! Visit the Joel N Bloom Observatory where you can view stars and planets from five different telescopes. Tickets are just $5 and also include a planetarium show! Check out the website for complete details on the event.

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