Dogtown Afterhours

This Friday marked one my favorite Drake traditions, Dogtown Afterhours. Yeah, it’s a mysterious name, but what the event really means is that campus organizations, clubs, and students come together to spend the evening doing awesome things and having an awesome time. This year, the event consisted of events both on campus, and off to celebrate the university and our Drake neighborhood.

A view of the massive crowd during Dogtown's a cappella performances.

A view of the massive crowd during Dogtown’s a cappella performances.

I was actually working at Dogtown this year as part of the Student Activities Board. We hosted a craft room and a Dueling Pianos show that turned into a packed house of students all singing everything from Disney classics to Elton John. As if that wasn’t enough fun, there were trips to Skyzone and bowling, crazy amounts of free food, games, an improv show, and performances by all three of Drake’s a cappella groups. And fittingly, the whole night was capped off by fireworks.

It truly was awesome. And while I knew it would be, I was pleasantly surprised by just how many students were Dogtown attracted. All of the events were packed throughout the night. And the evening’s participants weren’t just first year students who had never experienced Dogtown before. In fact, I saw so many sophomores, juniors, and even seniors hanging out and enjoying the festivities, not because they were curious about what Dogtown was, but because they knew that it was one of the most fun illustrations of just how collaborative and creative this campus can be.

For more photos and information from Friday’s Dogtown Afterhours, check out the event on twitter.

Happy Drakeaversary

It’s my anniversary. Well, maybe my Drakeaversary is a more appropriate term. Anyway, three years ago this week I began my committed relationship with Drake University when I decided go to school here. And honestly, it was not an easy decision.  There are an awful lot of factors to consider and an awful lot of schools out there. Coming into spring break of my senior year in high school, I had no idea which one was right for me.

So, I decided to do a bit of a tour to go around and get one last look at the final schools on my list. I mean, the college decision is a big deal and I was very worried about messing it up.

Turns out, I didn’t need to be so worried. After setting foot on Drake’s campus again, I knew it was gonna be my school. And three years later, I’ve never looked back.

I’m not saying that Drake is right for absolutely everybody out there.  It really depends on the feeling you get on campus, on whether or not you can envision spending four plus years there. But I will say that Drake is the perfect place for me to learn and grow. It’s my academic home. Sorry if that’s sounding a little Hallmarky. But after all, I do have to find some way to say happy anniversary to Drake.

The Myth of Spring Break

Are you ready? Cause I’m gonna dispel a pretty prominent college myth: Spring Break. At Drake, the weeklong hiatus kicks off this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited. But I’m not excited for the beaches of PCB or out of control house parties. I’m excited to sleep. And to see my family. And to hang out in good, ‘ol St. Louis, Missouri.

Sorry to disappoint if you were looking for glamorous crazy spring break stories. If that’s the case, I’d suggest a cinematic classic by the name of Spring Breakers featuring America’s most loveably pretentious treasure, James Franco. But really, I read classic literature for fun so I really don’t know what you expected out of me.

The point is that frankly I’m exhausted. After a whirlwind of the first half of the semester, I really do need a chance to recharge the mental batteries and get set for the home stretch. And honestly, I’m not alone in this. Honestly. For the most part, I know a lot of people who are simply going home. But I don’t mean to say that Drake students simply don’t do spring break. Some people I know are going on vacation, and others going on service trips this week. But in general, the myth of spring break as propagated by media portrayals doesn’t really exist here. Most of us work really hard at school and now need a week just to…relax. And that’s just fine with me.


Although there are a lot of cool places in Des Moines, one of my favorites is a shop in the East Village called Domestica. Filled with the kind of edgy jewelry and artsy prints you see in indie Sundance movies, this shop really is the epitome of all that is fun and quirky. For a small-ish shop, the amount of time I spend in there is impressive. But it’s also necessary because there’s so much to see. The place is packed full of accessories like pug tea towels, Vampire Weekend posters, and bicycle drinking glasses. And yeah, it may sound like I’m describing Zooey Deschanel’s house, but that’s the beauty of Domestica. It’s sincerely cool, quirky fun.

My latest Domestica purchase: a little piece of Drake pride alongside a print of some of my favorite books.

My latest Domestica purchase: a little piece of Drake pride alongside a print of some of my favorite books.

Domestica’s location also has a lot to do with its vibe. Set among the boutiques, restaurants, and shops of the East Village, the store acts as yet another stop in the weekend activities of Des Moines’ hip young professionals. Honestly, the only thing I don’t like about Domestica is its adverse affect on my bank account. The good news is that I never feel all that guilty about supporting a cool, local business…and picking up some awesome stuff in the process.

For more on Domestica, check out their website.


Full disclosure: I love the Oscars. There, I said it. I spend months getting ready, watching films, and catching up on all the other award shows. Celebs think they take their Oscars routine seriously? I wake up on Oscar Sunday to immediately begin awaiting Ryan Seacrest’s appearance on the red carpet. I mean, I’m not crazy or anything. But when it comes to movies, celebrities, and general pop culture revelry, I might be a little crazy.

The poster for the SAB Oscars event, complete with that beautiful, tiny gold man.

The poster for the SAB Oscars event, complete with that beautiful, tiny gold man.

Luckily, I’ve found at least a few people at Drake who share my passion for all things Hollywood. In fact, my first year seminar class (the homeroom of the Drake experience) was called “Coming of Age in the Cinema”. Thus, the first people I met at college and those I would live with my first year, also shared my interest in movies. We’ve been friends ever since.

This year, the Drake Oscars festivities went beyond my group of friends. In fact, the lovely Student Activities Board (shameless plug) hosted an Oscar viewing party complete with movie snacks and Oscar ballots. The event was created to celebrate the Chicago Bus Trip of potential Drake students and give current Bulldogs a chance to watch the awards together. But more so, I firmly believe the event was a celebration of the greatest, most glamorous, most cinematic night in all the land. Until next year, dear Oscars. #AdelaNazeem