Three Things Thursday: How to Find Awesome Stuff to do in Tulsa Edition

It’s Emily here. Say you want to get a little culture, get to know the city, or just escape the TU bubble for a while. What’s a girl in need of diversion to do? Easy. Just check out these three things.

  1. Sign up for listservs (e-mail lists, for the uninitiated). The University’s own CE Moderator is a great source of information about upcoming opportunities to volunteer, events on campus (including lectures, which can be incredibly great), and discounted tickets to shows at the Performing Arts Center. To sign up, click this link, or wander through the morass that is our University’s web site. Your choice. Under Open Lists, scroll down to current-events. That’s it! Other lists that may prove useful to you are the one sent out by the Circle Cinema, which features $2 Tuesdays for TU students and BookSmart Tulsa, which hosts really great events with authors of all stripes.
  2. Read Tulsa blogs. Tasha Does Tulsa is a great one. The site features an insider’s guide, and every Friday Tasha publishes a new list of “Things to do in Tulsa this Weekend.” I wish we had the equivalent of Free in DC here, but alas. The OK Policy Blog is a solid source of information for the politically minded and gives information about upcoming lectures and forums.
  3. Pick up Urban Tulsa. It’s free. It’s ubiquitous. It lists almost everything that is happening in a given week, and the current music columnist is pretty much spot-on. Ignore the horrendous editorials in the front of the paper and the questionable quality of the writing and copy editing throughout and get thee to the event listings. The feature stories also tend to be decent, and often focus on the biggest upcoming events.

Now go forth and impress your friends with your exhaustive knowledge of cultural events in Tulsa. From gallery openings to film festivals to roller derby, there’s much more to living in Tulsa than going to class. Enjoy it!

Starting Senior Year

It’s Emily here. There may be no feeling more disconcerting than that of being a stranger in a familiar place. Most of the faces on campus are now foreign to me. I wasn’t here in the fall of 2008, so while I know a handful of this year’s seniors well, it really is only a handful. All of last year’s freshmen, this year’s sophomores, are total strangers, as are this year’s freshmen. I’m still not sure what to make of this. I’ve spent a good deal of my post-high school life being the new kid woman somewhere, and I’ve learned that I’m only a stranger until, suddenly, I’m not.

In this sense, dear freshmen (and anyone who was once a freshman, or will one day be a freshman), I relate to you. I also offer you the knowledge that people have gravity, a tendency to find their corresponding pieces in others. For me, and probably for a wide variety of social justice-types, the Little Blue House is an excellent place to start. I hope you’ll consider joining us tomorrow (and every Wednesday) at noon for free vegetarian lunch. Although sponsored by UCM, religion is not the focus of the lunches. They are a happy place, and all are welcome and invited.

This is it, senior year, and that’s odd, too. I can’t waffle about what I’m going to do next year anymore. I can leave myself several options, sure, but I need to have concrete plans and act on them. Getting used to that idea has taken time, but I’m finally really embracing it and getting excited about what comes next. Still, enjoy not needing to know while you can, because before you know it grad school (or the horrendous job market) will be staring you in the face.

If you’re the concert-going type, Big Gigantic is playing at Cain’s Ballroom on Thursday (the day after tomorrow). I may be willing to assist with transportation for the carless, but only if you tweet or DM me @ejcallen by Thursday afternoon.


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Enjoy the rest of your first week of class! I hope your professors and classmates are as ridiculously awesome as mine! Speaking of awesome professors, I’m always happy to take questions about professors and courses via e-mail, facebook, or twitter, so please don’t hesitate to ask.

And now, some Big Gigantic for you!

Three Things Thursday: People Don’t Come in Flavors Edition

We all know the conventional wisdom about first impressions: you’ve got one shot, and you’d better not mess it up. All of the advice is about the impressions we leave on others, but we tend not to hear as much about the judgments we make upon encountering new people. Our brains are really good at perceiving patterns and sorting things into categories, even where no pattern exists and categories simply don’t make sense. I struggle to fight off the snap judgements I make on an almost daily basis.


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We tend to think about people we meet or see around campus the way we think about ice cream: if it looks like rocky road, we assume it’s rocky road. We tasted it once, and those bites of chocolatey, nutty, marshmallowy goodness tell us everything we need to know. But people aren’t ice cream. We don’t come in flavors. People who look the same aren’t the same. Whether you’re new to campus or have been at TU for a while, it’s likely you’ll be running into new people over the next several days and weeks. As we meet and interact, let’s try to think of each other as humans, lest we all melt away in this scorching heat.


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And now, your 3 things.

  1. Don’t assume. Maybe you’ve heard this before: when we assume, it makes an ass of u and me. This is true. There are brilliant athletes on this campus, and intelligent, engaged hipsters. Maybe you already understand this-awesome! But if you don’t, you may be missing out on meeting your future best friend just because you think she won’t like you because she’s tool cool/not cool enough/not from where you’re from/was home schooled/is in a sorority/whatever. You also might think you can guess someone’s sexuality by looking at them, but chances are you can’t. So stop trying. Same goes for religious background and ethnicity.
  2. We have one of the largest international student populations in the country, yet TU has struggled to create a space that fosters cultural exchange and increases understanding. Let’s do better. The international student lunch hosted by the Wesley Foundation on campus is a good place to start (and you get free food!). So is making a conscious effort to reach out, and remembering that if you were thousands of miles from home, you might be a little shy, too.
  3. If you’re white, read something (anything!) about white privilege. It’s important. This article is a really excellent place to start: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Race and privilege can be really difficult to talk about, but if we all want to live and study in a place of mutual respect, we’ve got to be open to the conversation. This campus community is an ever-evolving work in progress, and it’s within our power to make sure it becomes a better, more inclusive place.

Okay, so this version of this song is terrible, but I couldn’t find a better one, and the song itself is awesome.