Tuesday, March 31, 2015

4 Square Post-Game Review

For those who missed 4 square, you missed one hell of a game. It was quite amazing and fun. Even residents who were cooking, doing laundry, or just stopping by got the 4 square bug and played a couple of rounds! Check out here to see what you missed!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Earlier this month I hosted a short talk on how to get better sleep: PillowTalk! It was a great discussion on how to sleep in the most efficient ways you can while still handling the busy school year, and I had a lot of fun talking with everyone!

For those of you who missed out on the talk but still wanted the info, here's the handout I made for the event! Get better sleep, everybody!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

4 Square Official Rules!

In the spirit of the 4 Square program tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25th @ 6pm, in the community room. I thought it would be an excellent idea to post the official rules a 4 square so we all know how to play!!

The Object
The object of the game of four square is to eliminate players in higher squares so that you can advance to the highest square yourself. Four square is played with a rubber playground ball on a square court with four players, each occupying a quarter of the court. The ball is bounced between players in squares until someone makes an error and is eliminated. Eliminated players leave the court, all players advance to fill the empty squares, and a new player joins at the lowest ranked square
The Ball
During play, players may only hit the ball with their hands. We describe the "hands" as any area between the player's wrists and her fingertips, including the backs of her hands. The ball may be hit with open or closed fists in the same manner as official volleyball. Players may not catch, carry or hold the ball at any time during play. Spinning the ball is allowed as long as the hit that produces the spin is not a carry or other illegal hit. We get a lot of questions about spins.
In all cases, players who strike the ball incorrectly are eliminated.
The Court
Squares are ranked from highest to lowest. Our league uses numbers 1 through 4, other people use letters and even a few use the title of royalty. In all cases, the highest and lowest ranked squares should be diagonal from each other.
There are two sets of lines on the court. "Outside lines" are the outermost edges of the entire court, while "inside lines" refer to the line dividing individual squares of the court that cross in the center. All lines on the court are 1 inch wide.
  • Outside lines are in-bounds. If a player bounces the ball onto any outside line, it is still in play. However, if the ball bounces outside of the outside line, it is out of bounds and the player that last hit it is eliminated.
  • Inside lines are out-of-bounds. If a player hits a ball onto any inside line then that player is out. This applies to ALL inside lines, not just the lines that border her square. If a ball touches an inside line, the player that hit is last is eliminated.
Players are not required to stay in their portion of the court. They may stand, walk or run anywhere on the court, though it is best to stay in a position to protect your own square.
Serving the Ball
The ball is always served from the highest ranked square to the lowest square. Squares one and four are positioned diagonally across the court. The server must drop the ball and serve from the bounce. The ball must be allowed to bounce once in the receiving square, then the receiving player must hit the ball into another square of his or her choice. After the receiver touches the ball, the ball is in play.
Serves are meant to place the ball fairly into play. Because the server must serve the ball the same way each time, it is the receiving player who controls the first play of the game.
The receiver of the serve is allowed only one mistake on each round, we call this a fault. If the receiver of the serve hits the ball incorrectly, or fails to hit the ball inbounds, then the receiver is allowed to take a second serve. There is only one fault allowed per player per round.
We refer to a fault as "one bad", as in one bad return. However, if a player faults the second time then it we call it "two bad". In other words, that is too bad for you.
Normal Game Play and Possession
Each time the ball bounces in a square, the owner of that square must hit the ball into another square. No exceptions.
Once the ball touches down in a square, ONLY the owner of the square can touch the ball next. If she does not, then she is out. If she hits it poorly or out of bounds, she is out. If another player hits the ball before she does, at any time, the other player is out.
Once that player hits the ball once then any other player may hit it next. This means it is not necessary to let the ball bounce again before another player hits it. The next player to touch the ball is subject to all the normal rules.
Each time a player is eliminated, that player leaves the court and all players advance to the higher numbered square squares. The lowest ranked square is then filled with a new player. All eliminated players leave the court and wait for their next turn to join in the lowest square.
These situations represent all the ways in which a player may be eliminated from the court. Players are eliminated for:
  • Failing to hit the ball into another square
  • Allowing the ball to bounce more than once in their own square
  • Hitting the ball out of bounds or onto an inside line
  • Hitting the ball incorrectly, such as holding, catching or carrying
  • Hitting the ball with a part of the body that are not hands
  • Hitting the ball out of turn (poaching)
  • Violating any number of local rules that are made up on the playground
If the ball is touched by another object which is not one of the four players or the floor, this is called interference. The round is started again. Players waiting in line may not touch the ball when in play.
The Showdown!
If there is a dispute that cannot be settled by the officials then the only proper way to come to work out the disagreement is through the Showdown. The Showdown is mini-game of two square with no custom rules and the loser is knocked out of the game. In the event of a Showdown, there are no points or errors logged for the players, the winner of the showdown is simply allowed to stay in the game.
Customized Rules
Advancing to into four square comes with the unique privilege of creating special rules which tailor the game play to your own style and help you to stay in four square longer. This is where most of the fun and complexity of game comes from, especially for children. When in four square, the player may invoke special rules which become part of the game for that one round. After each round, she must call the rules again or it is assumed that there are no special rules required.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Open Mic NIght

GUYS! Open Mic Night TOMORROW! at 8pm in the SVA Student Center on 23rd street between 2nd and 3rd. Show up and get some foooooood and amazing performances!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Your Music is Old News, Listen to Yabadum!

A little over a week ago, I was over at Piano's to check out a local band playing in the back. Four gangly guys with the tell-tale "X"s on the backs of their hands were strewn across the stage. I can't say I was expecting all that much, honestly, but I was fucking wrong as hell. The room started out with maybe eight people if I'm being generous and by the end of their set the room was too packed for me to see the door (or the bar. Both are key landmarks.) Anyway, instead of stuffing this post with fluffy words about these guys and their music, I'll just link you to their Band camp site. Seriously, it definitely will give you the kick you might be needing as you burn that sweet midnight oil (always thinking of you, thesis students!).


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Paddy's Day!

Look... even the Irish have been known to say, on Saint Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish.

As most people will go out and grab a cold brewsky tonight (please be safe), people do not even know why Saint Patrick's Day even happens. Who is this St. Patrick? And why is he celebrated on March 17th.

History of Saint Patrick:

Saint Patrick's birth name was actually Maeywin into a Roman Britain home. However, he was kidnapped into slavery and taken to Ireland. He eventually escaped to a monastery in Gaul, France where he found Christianity. In 432 he returned to Ireland as a missionary. Saint Patrick help convert Christianity by confronting the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan beliefs. St. Patrick eventually became a bishop and after his death declared the patron Saint of Ireland.

Other fun facts!
The shamrock: According to legend St. Patrick used the three leaf clover (or shamrock) to explain the Trinity.
Dyeing the river green: The practice of dyeing the river green started in Chicago in 1962, when city officials decided to dye a portion of the Chicago River green.
Corn beef and cabbage: This is an Irish American dish. Irish Americans were so poor they could not afford certain meals. On St. Patrick's Day, the best meal they could afford was beef and cabbage. It became a staple for the holiday.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Let the Registration begin!

[] It's that time of year again! []

Class registration! All of you should have received an email with a scheduled registration appointment. It's important to use the time before your appointment to clear any holds and take time to prep your potential schedule! (& BACK UPS!)

If the class you want fills up before you get a chance to register, email the instructor expressing your interest in the class and they'll likely let you join! If you're passionate about being in a class then fight for it! 

One pro tip to underclassmen is to research your instructors! Sit in on classes and find their work online. SVA has over 1000 amazing instructors and it's important to find the ones best tailored to your interests and learning style! You can see a full faculty list here

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Yes please, ice cream!

The weather is starting to pick up (finally) and that means you need to get outside! Whenever the sun is shining even a little bit I instantly crave ice cream. In case you missed it in the lowdown or want some more detail, here are three local spots that are perfect for any sweet tooth.

First is Melt Bakery and they have ice cream cookie sandwiches. They are located literally right around the corner on Orchard St and also have a cart that pops up round the city. You can get an amazing treat for around $4 and they also do mini ones for cheaper. There are some staple flavours like the Lovelet (red velvet cookie with cream cheese ice cream), the Morticia (chocolate cookie with chocolate rum ice cream) and the Cinnamax (snickerdoodle cookie with cinnamon ice cream). It's worth checking out as they also have rotating/seasonal flavours that are normally pretty wild and delicious. The best part about Melt? They have loyalty cards where if you buy ten sandwiches you get the next one free (which is super easy to do).

My second recommendation is at the top of Ludlow St opposite Katz and it's called il laboratorio del gelato. As you might have guessed they are a gelato place and they specialise in unique flavours. They have some classics like chocolate, mango, strawberry etc. but also unusual ones like beetroot, basil, pear and sweet potato. The most famous is their olive oil (which is actually amazing). When you walk in you kind of feel like you're in an asylum as everything is so white and pristine but I guess that's the whole 'laboratory' feeling they have going. The prices vary depending on how many scoops/toppings but it's all pretty reasonable and a perfect midnight snack.

Lastly (and this one is about a ten minute walk away) is Big Gay Ice Cream and it probably wins for the best name. They initially started out as a truck but now have a permanent location in the east village on 7th St. Unlike the previous two these are gourmet, giant ice creams that in cartoons the character normally drops on the pavement. The most famous is the Salty Pimp (yes they all have kooky names) which is vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche and salt - then it's dipped in chocolate which hardens and makes a crunchy outer coating. The location itself is decorated with rainbows, unicorns and sometimes the occasional drag queen pops by.

Get out there and smell the roses! Or at least eat some ice cream!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Florence Itally - Spring Break

During spring break I was fortune enough to take a trip to Florence with the SVA honors class. (Half of the honors member went to Florence, the others went to India!)

Anyway, if you ever get a chance to Florence, you will find that there is just so much to do with museums and food. WINE IS CHEAPER THAN WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crazy...
But there were three parts of Florence that I am still blown away by. It is quite an artistic city dating back to Medieval Times. Master artists and their works can be found in Florence and to see them in person was breathtaking.

Here are the cliff notes :)