Tom Christensen (Photo by John Robinson)
Some of my fondest memories from the past four years involve driving out to Four County Players in Barboursville for rehearsals, working with passionate actors at Live Arts, performing with some of my best friends in UVA’s Culbreth Theatre, and fine-tuning auditions late at night in the Drama Education Building at UVA. I’ve been part of small casts and large casts, younger casts and older casts, but each cast shared a special bond that I’m sad to say I may never experience again. And nothing can beat a good cast party.
Political and Social Thought
Finding the Southern as a UVA student felt like hitting the musical jackpot. They always have such great bands coming through. I’ll remember looking at the fall lineup every August and December and getting excited to come back to school just because of who I’d get to see play…Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Jessica Lea Mayfield, Langhorne Slim, The Futurebirds, Reptar. The Southern is small enough so that each show feels like a community effort—bands with ties to the Charlottesville community coming home, people going to see their friends play—but big enough to get a variety of up-and-coming artists. My friends and I try to take each other to see as many new bands as possible, and I have lots of memories of being blown away by groups I’d barely heard before the show.
Molly Beauchemin (Photo by John Robinson)
Environmental Thought and Practice
UVA: I’m going to miss the view of the Rotunda from the intersection of Rugby Road and University Avenue, just in front of Carr’s Hill. I know this is really specific, but that angle really manifests the grandiose vision of UVA that Jefferson intended. It rises from this perspective and, in many ways, from this angle the Rotunda sits as the symbolic gate of the University, welcoming visitors and the Charlottesville community to partake in its splendor. I have this ongoing joke with my dad, when he comes to Charlottesville, where every time we pass by the Rotunda on University Avenue, we sigh and casually say, “Oh Rotunda,” as if we are looking at any other everyday object. It’s sort of a ceremonial practice in irony—referring to a World Heritage site as a casual friend—because we consistently marvel that students at UVA get to engage with this space every day.
Charlottesville: I will miss Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. (Of course, Beer Run, Vinegar Hill Theatre, Feast!, Cappelino’s Crazy Cakes, Sustain, HotCakes, Ragged Mountain Running Shop, Alexandra Dance Company, Daedalus Bookshop, O’Suzannah, Derriere de Soie, and the City Market are a solid 12-way tie for second place.) The Tea Bazaar was a place of comfort for me in Charlottesville. I’m from New England, and my parents both went to school in Amherst, Massachusetts, which is very crunchy and progressive, and has a preoccupation with “the local” just like Charlottesville. Tea Bazaar reminds me of the great Thorn’s Marketplace in North Hampton, because it’s so relaxed and relatively uninundated with students, which is great; it makes the place feel like my own. I have spent so many Saturday afternoons studying in the wind cubby, shoeless and sipping on a stiff pot of green tea while ignoring my homework in favor of people watching. Some of my fondest memories happened here. I am a dancer in the Alexandra Dance ensemble, and after long, late rehearsals on Second street, I would always walk to Tea Bazaar, get the Bazaar Salad and just chill on under the low lights.
Global Development Studies
I will definitely miss the Farmer’s Market a lot. It reminds me of my first summer that I spent in Charlottesville. It was a short, sweet, and relaxed summer: I would wake up, run to the market with friends on a nice, sunny morning, try all sorts of samples. It opened me up to a new world of local, organic foods. It was also the first time I felt totally comfortable here despite being so far away from home. Charlottesville is a small place compared to where I am from, but I have learned to discover all the amazing things that go on in this place, like restaurants, the music scene, local organizations, and the friendly, welcoming people here.