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Campus Celebrity: Liz de Lise

Meet this week’s Campus Celebrity: Liz de Lise! An incredibly talented senior, Liz has spent the past four years showcasing her musical talent for the college community, in addition to doing some pretty rad academic research. We’ll definitely be sad to see her go as she graduates in the coming weeks! Read more about Liz’s experiences below!

 

Congratulations on becoming this week’s Campus Celebrity! We heard you perform with your band CAMP at Arbo-Fest a few weeks ago, can you tell us a little bit about that experience? What was it like opening up for Chasing Blue?

Why, thank you! Performing at Arbo-Fest was a treat. It’s always great to play outside in general, but especially wonderful to play to a bunch of your pals and peers. Arbo-Fest was a great opportunity for Camp to play to a new audience, different from the typical crowd at MOBROC shows. Opening for Chasing Blue was of course great as well. Really cool, talented people.

In addition to CAMP, you’re also the president of MOBROC and the pitch of Vox Cameli. How did you get involved in these groups at Conn?

Let’s see…I actually came to Conn with the intention of joining MOBROC. The concept of a student-run band collective was so amazing to me, I couldn’t wait. I started playing music with my friend, Gautam, day one of freshmen year, and we’ve been playing music since. We lucked out freshmen year, because there were not many bands trying to perform, so as freshmen we got to play a ton. Because we were so active over the past 3 years, we became co-presidents. It’s been the best ever!
As for acappella, it was kind of just what everyone else was doing freshmen year. It was like, if you love singing, you must do acappella. So, I auditioned, got in, and now I’m the pitch? That said, it’s been an incredible experience. I’ve learned to teach and I got to chill with some cool peeps.

Obviously music is a huge part of your life; where did this passion come from, and how has it influenced your college career?

Both of my parents and brothers are musicians, and I grew up watching my dad in the recording studio, watching my mom sing, things like that. I started playing music and singing when I was a little kid. It was just always a part of my life, no questions. Plus, I was really bad at softball. Music, especially writing lyrics and music, has always been the only way I know how to express exactly what I’m feeling, or at least to interpret the way I’m feeling. In terms of my academic life, I just finished an independent study, for which I wrote and will perform songs about anthropological research I did last summer in Portland, OR. The whole thing was a supplement to my thesis. Really, without music, I would have never gone to Portland, and would have never done the research I did! The desire to express myself and find some kind of satisfying release is manifested in my love for music.

We also saw you featured on Conn’s homepage because of your experience researching street kids in Portland, Oregon last summer through the Myers Fellowship. Can you tell us a little bit more about your work last summer?

The Myers was the coolest ever! But really, I’ve never thought of myself as someone who would get an academic award. I always knew I loved music and performing, and that I love talking and listening to people, but never knew what I could do with all these things. At Conn, I discovered anthropology and never looked back! The whole thing felt slightly harebrained at first, at least to me: I went to Portland to play music, met people who lived on the street by choice, and we hung out. My adviser, Prof. Graesch, told me that I needed to go further with this in and honors thesis, and a friend told me about the grant. So, thanks guys! But really, it was such an honor to be entrusted with the Myers, so to speak. My work focused on why a young person would choose to live on the street, what their past lives were like, why come to Portland- things like that. Ultimately, I want people to read my thesis and come away with the understanding that street lifeways and those who live on the street comprise a subculture, and that within this there are tons more subcultures, street kids being one of them. Homelessness looks like a lot of different things, and we tend to stigmatize and dehumanize those who live on the street. It’s also important to look at our own understandings of “the good life,” in many of our cases, what it means to pursue the “American Dream,” and understanding that everyone sees these things differently. AKA: there’s no right way to live your life. 

Graduation is almost here! What has been your favorite memory here at Conn, and what is the most important lesson or experience that you’ll take with you?

Gahhhhh don’t remind me! Just kidding, but really…crazy nutso. Anyhow. I think the most important learning experience has been a gradual realization over the past 4 years. Throughout our lives, we experience numerous climactic moments of conclusion or change, moments that we often anticipate with combined feelings of anxiousness and fear and excitement, etc. And because we see them as the climax, the action packed point in our personal narrative, we have specific expectations. Whether I like it or not, I’ve had many-a graduation dream. But, sometimes these days or moments that are “supposed” to be the BEST EVER, are days- and that is okay. It’s more than okay! It’s exactly what life is, and that, to me, is what makes it all special, just living in the moment and embracing exactly how you feel, and being okay with it. But mostly understanding that the moments when you feel climactic inside, might just be normal-sauce days. 
Favorite memory…hmmm…I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I’ll never forget walking into “the Barn” (MOBROC practice space) because I heard music, and Shake the Baron greeting me and welcoming me in. Naturally, I swooned at their beauty and excellence and most likely squeaked something out. But, it’s so neat to look back at the person I was then, and who I am today, and feel like I really made a space for myself at Conn, that I found my niche, as “they” say.
Liz’s last show is Thursday @ 8pm in Coffee Grounds
I'm a history major here at Conn and in addition to being a writer for Her Campus,  I am also a SISTER mentor, meaning that I do fun activities with local middle school girls twice a week! This semester I am applying to PICA, a certificate program in public policy and community action, and designing a project around how after-school programs can counteract inequalities within the public education system. In addition to being socially active, I love hanging out with my friends, being silly, reading books, and drinking tea! My current obsessions include: Passion Pit, the Wombats, Downton Abbey, and pretending to be a secret agent when watching Covert Affairs.
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